The Coping Skills You Didn’t Know You Needed

There Is Always Hope Of Reducing Your Pain! You can calm and soothe yourself when you hurt. It takes a long time, some training, and a lot of practice, but by using coping skills, you can learn how to calm yourself during a depressive episode, an anxiety attack, a panic attack, a bipolar episode, or […]

“How do I comfort a loved one who is in mourning?”

  First and foremost, be patient. This is a wound that will only heal with time. And don’t worry. There’s nothing for you to fix. Be supportive. This refers back to patience. You will temporarily have to pick up some extra responsibilities, because there are things your loved one can’t do right now, like dishes, […]

Angry At Everything

I’m really struggling, and I just want to be heard. Please hear me. Please don’t be offended. I need to vent. This is me angry. I’m not angry at you. Please keep that in mind. I just need someone to hear me say all of this. I need it out. I need it said. You’re […]

“How Can People On The Internet Help Me With Severe Depression?”

All people on the internet can do for you is to listen and respond. We can offer our support through words and remind you that you are not alone. We will be here in the middle of the night. We will hear you, and we will try to help.   Move forward with the hope […]

Memories That Almost Break Me

Yesterday in therapy I told the story of the last days with Sophie and my first days of incapacitating mental illness, just before I was officially diagnosed. I was surprised at how upset I became in therapy, and by the clarity of my often faulty memory. Timeline was:   I started to feel like I […]

How to Survive Depression

I have lots of practice dealing with depression, and I hope I can help you with what I’ve learned. When you’re depressed, not much appeals. Nothing sounds fun. Nothing seems worth doing. When that happens to me, I know I’m depressed. Losing interest in things you usually care about is a normal and typical symptom of depression. For many very lucky people, sadness passes in a day or so. For those of us whose sadness lasts weeks and expands into full depression, we need a plan. Deep depression can lead to suicide or suicide attempts. If you’re going to stay alive, you need tools to help you do so. Suicide happens when the pain you experience exceeds your ability to cope with it, so if you’re going to stay alive, your options are to lower the level of pain or increase your coping ability. This explanation is not original to me, so don’t credit me for it. I use it because it’s a clear and simple analysis of a messy state of mind…

The Coping Skills You Didn’t Know You Needed

There Is Always Hope Of Reducing Your Pain You can calm and soothe yourself when you hurt. It takes a long time, some training, and a lot of practice, but you can learn how to calm yourself during a depressive episode, an anxiety attack, a panic attack, a bipolar episode, or something similar. When I […]

Sometimes I Can Only Sit And Feel Hard Things

Since my diagnosis, I haven’t been able to do much. I abandoned school in the middle of spring semester four out of four years. Springtime always makes the bipolar more intense and often unbearable. I couldn’t do laundry, go to class or parties, basically nothing but stay in my room and be upset. Sometimes I’d use the episode to make a painting, and god, those paintings born of episodes are the darkest ones I’ve made. None of them are on this site: I believe I burned them all one night in a manic episode. I thought it would be cleansing. It was just destructive. You get a lot of ideas when you’re manic, and most of them are terribly misguided…

Staying In A Psychiatric Hospital: A Story In First Person

(Quick! Take a 4-question quiz to let me know how you feel!) It starts out scary and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to go to the psychiatric hospital. I didn’t want to be there. I was already suicidal, and here I was voluntarily giving up every comforting thing I had in my life: people, places, and […]

How Mental Illness Affects My Life

I am disabled because of my mental illnesses. I have bipolar II, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. I was diagnosed when I first presented my bipolar symptoms at age 19, 12 years ago. I also dealt with major depression as a child. I am disabled because I have mixed-state, rapid cycling episodes with […]