Living Bipolar Strong

Living Bipolar Strong

Bipolar can be such a devastating illness. It can be a difficult monster to defeat. It is deceptively beautiful at times. Thoughts come so fast that they overwhelm you. Emotions are so beautiful you are moved to tears. Creativity abounds and you’re filled with confidence.

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How to Find a Great Psychiatrist for Bipolar Disorder

How to Find a Great Psychiatrist for Bipolar Disorder

I've been busy working at getting my private practice up and running. I leased an office and applied for a business license. I've been working on my website. Days go by quickly and it feels as if time is very limited. I haven't ever felt this way before -- purposeful, intent, excited for what the future might bring. It's funny -- after having a manic episode and going through a divorce, things like this have greater meaning. I had to survive the depths of bipolar disorder in order to make it here today. 

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Learning How to Love After Divorce and Bipolar Depression

Learning How to Love After Divorce and Bipolar Depression

After my divorce, I didn't love less; instead, I found that I loved more. There was a dark period in time in which I wrestled with demons. I saw all my flaws. All the horrible mistakes I had made. I had spent so much time caught up in the material, tangible things in front of me that I had failed to realize the truth until it all came crashing down on me. When my life fell apart and I was left with nothing, when it was just me in the dark, peeling back the layers of my life, wrestling with God to please kill me now, suddenly, only truths remained: that there is meaning in life and it is love. 

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Virginia Woolf, My Mother, and I: Bipolar and Leaving the One You Love

Virginia Woolf, My Mother, and I: Bipolar and Leaving the One You Love

There is a strange clarity to madness, one in which everything is twisted around. When I was a child, my mother went through a period in which she went 'wild' according to my father, served him with divorce papers, and gave him full custody of me. For years, I wondered why. Whenever I asked her, she said it was because she loved me and knew that I would live a better life with him. Her explanation never made sense to me -- all the other children whose parents had divorced lived with their mothers, not their fathers.  It seemed selfish for her to leave me with him, so that she could be free and live life childless however she wanted. It sounds like a simple thing when put into words like this, but I felt a lot of pain over the loss of her throughout my adult life. Never being a recipient of a mother's love does something to a person. There is always an emptiness, a guardedness.

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What It's Like to Live with Bipolar Disorder

What It's Like to Live with Bipolar Disorder

The best way I can describe living with Bipolar is that it is like living with cancer. Bipolar is a beautiful monster, albeit a deadly one -- one which, if left untamed, has no qualms about consuming you alive. It is an illness that must be faced and fought back each day to prevent greater progression and malignancy. Some days are easier than others. But the potential for illness recurrence is always there. I say this not to discourage anyone with Bipolar or to make light of cancer, but instead to highlight the grave seriousness that treatment and self care for Bipolar must hold.

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How Suffering Can Be a Gift

How Suffering Can Be a Gift

Some people live their lives simply going through the motions. I should know -- for many years, I was one of them.  I was alive, but not truly. Although my eyes were open, they did not see. I lived life to pass time, always working toward the next thing. I was not fully present or aware. 

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Living with Manic Depressive Bipolar Mixed States

Living with Manic Depressive Bipolar Mixed States

During my training as a psychologist, mixed states, defined as one in which an individual experiences symptoms of both depression and mania occur at the same time, never quite made sense to me. The existence of mixed states seemed paradoxical, and counterintuitive. How was it possible, I wondered, to experience symptoms of heightened energy and agitation characteristic of hypomania while also experiencing symptoms of depression and suicidal despair?

It wasn't until my own personal experience with mixed states that I truly understood.

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