How To Help A Friend with Anxiety

Talk to your friend about what activities are soothing, as well as what the things they really need to hear from you are. Encourage them to write these things down, with the goal of giving you the piece of paper to keep, so that you can say or do helpful things when they are having […]

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How I Learned That Change Is Always On The Way (or Hope In Water)

    One time, about 5 years ago, I was on an antipsychotic medication that was known for being very safe and having few side effects. I will not name it here, because I don’t believe that telling others about my bad experiences with medication is safe or appropriate. This medicine helps millions of people; […]

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Scared of What’s Next

Over the past month, I’ve been declining. The other night, my husband made a minor comment that made me feel bad, and I fell into a thought spiral on the thought “It’s not supposed to be this hard.” I started crying. I sank deeper into dark ideas, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness and meaninglessness. When […]

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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 […]

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What to Expect in a First Therapy Appointment

When you see a therapist, it’s good to go in with goals in mind. Those goals can be big or small, broad or narrow. Some of my goals in the past have been “reduce depression”, “cope with anxiety”, “build a healthier relationship with food and lose weight”, “learn assertiveness skills”, “set firm boundaries with parents”, […]

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A Manic Introduction to a Realistic View

What will I be without my illness? This question terrified me. And it terrified me to admit that I was terrified because that meant something was wrong with me. And there is. There is a pretty massive thing wrong with me: I have a broken brain. Along with that broken brain came a personality developed […]

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How An Episode Unfolds, and What It Feels Like

In case you don’t already know, I have bipolar II, mixed state, rapid cycling episodes with psychotic features. I get hallucinations as well as paranoid delusions during manic and depressive episodes, which is part of having mixed state episodes. A mixed state episode can lean one way or another so it can be helpful to […]

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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 […]

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Why I Won’t Have Children

I have always desperately wanted a daughter, and wanted to have several babies. I worked in infant care for seven years, and babies are my favorite people. I feel so much love toward them and from them, and have so much purpose when caring for them. From a very young age, around four or five, […]

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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…

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