Awareness, Bipolar, Shared, Social Media, Stigma, Stories, Video

His Finest Hour

Faris Khalifa in this brave video opens up about his mental illness and breaks his silence, not just for himself, but for those who still feel they can’t.

Find the original source article here.

Awareness, Bipolar, Information and Resources, Shared, Social Media, Video

5 Historical Figures with Mental Illness

Mental illness is difficult to live on its own, but feeling like you have to hide it, are afraid that someone will find out or maybe people already have treated you differently because of it. Here is a little video I would like to share in support of ending the stigma associated with mental illness.

5 Historical Figures with Mental Illness

 

Bipolar, Mental Health, Musings, Personal, Stigma, Stories

I think he’s like, bipolar or something…

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I wanted to write this evening about something that has stuck in my mind for a long time. There were two incidences, several years apart, but they are very similar. They are both examples of stigma and how uninformed many people are about mental illness. Both occurred where I was working at the time, and both involved a discussion between co-workers (myself included). In each scenario several of my co-workers were talking about a regular customer, an acquaintance (more of mine than anyone’s). Each customer was a regular at each place I worked. Most of us had close to daily interactions with them, mind you they were the typical superficial interactions that a coffee shop regular would have with a seasoned barista. The customers were regular enough that we had plenty of time to observe each of them, their mannerisms and their perceived characteristics.

"He was different, very quiet. He kept to himself a lot."
“He was different, very quiet. He kept to himself a lot.”

In the first workplace, I actually had a chance to sit and chat several times with the gentleman and I happened to really like him. I could see how he could come across different or even a little strange, but he was actually quite interesting and very nice. He was just really quiet and kept to himself. He always walked to and from the shop and dressed like someone who might live a simple, natural life in a cottage by a lake. I could see why they found him to appear out of place.

In the second workplace, I had never personally met the individual, but I was listening to the conversation of a couple of my co-workers and immediately got the impression that he was not a nice guy. He clearly had some issues and they seemed to find it quite acceptable to make it clear that he was screwed up and most certainly not a good person. He had major issues, in their opinions.

In both situations, the conversations drifted to an end with exactly the same conclusion. Not one that was based on any previous training or understanding of the “diagnosis”, mind you. Nevertheless, it wawomen-gossip-at-work-e1359396952867s clear to them. The first pair, about a man that they had never actually spoken to, agreed that “Yeah, he’s bipolar. He creeps me out so much.” The second pair, the two that I was considering sharing that I have bipolar, quite simply stated, “I’m pretty sure he is like, bipolar or something.”

“I’m pretty sure he’s like, bipolar or something.”

This sentence has silenced me for far too long. Those conversations still paralyse me.

These people had no idea what qualifies as bipolar disorder. They didn’t know that I was bipolar. I am quite certain that neither of those men were bipolar. Those two scenarios pop into my mind often. I have not come out about my bipolar disorder to many people, and it is situations like that that keep me silent. It is my impression that bipolar disorder is perceived to be an illness whose sufferers are plagued with unsavoury characters, that they are selfish, dangerous or miserable. They are strange and not to be trusted. That is my experience of how those who do not know anybody personally (that they know of) who has bipolar disorder perceive a person with bipolar disorder to be. It scares me frankly. It makes me worry that suddenly those who I have been close to will immediately question every moment that we have spent together, that they will suddenly see me as something else. Someone that is not safe, that needs to be kept at a distance. This is stigma. This is what it does and how it feels.

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Sometimes I imagine what would happen if all of us with bipolar disorder were to come out and tell the world at the same time. At least there would be an accurate representation of what bipolar disorder looks like, acts like, is. They are people that they like, love and have known as friends for many years. That is what bipolar looks like. Just like the person they are sitting next to, sharing another story about the strange guy who just came in for coffee again.

Bipolar, Information and Resources

Do You Have Bipolar Disorder? I Need Your Help!

I am working on a comprehensive list of medications used to treat Bipolar Disorder. I want to create a go-to resource of as many of these medications as possible including the classes of drug, their method of action, both common and uncommon side effects, links to more detailed information and other pertinent info. I want it to be a resource of sorts to get an overview of what is commonly and uncommonly prescribed. I often spend time combing through numerous websites trying to find an overview of certain medications and seem to have to dig through quite a bit of information that is too detailed for what I am looking for.

I am looking for a quick list of medications that any of my readers who have been treated for bipolar disorder (any type) have ever been prescribed so I can cross reference with my list. I don’t want to leave any out.

Anybody reading this who can help I would really appreciate it if you could leave your info in the comment section. Thank you!

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Bipolar, Musings, Personal, Stories

Depression ~ My Perspective

Depression and laziness are not the same thing. ~BPScorpio

I am coming out of a severe depression that has lasted for almost an entire year. It began to subside, slowly, about three months ago. When I say slowly I mean, I could start to remember what I did the day before, dates, appointments. I could finally take a shower and even use shampoo.

I really hate depression. It makes me feel lazy. What’s worse, it makes me feel like other people think that I am lazy. “Get up and go outside for a walk, it’ll make you feel better!” “You don’t have it that bad, look at how good you have things!” Add more guilt here. Do they not know that I would do almost anything to have the energy to get up and go for a walk? I would love to comb, and blow-dry my hair? Maybe add a little make-up and put something nice on? That’s funny. Those things are out of the realm of what I would do almost anything for. I would do almost anything to have the energy to take off my sweats and take a shower that includes washing my hair, shaving, oh my god the nightmare! I always do it, eventually, but I wish just one person could feel how physically difficult it is to do those things.

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I loathe depression. Lying there, knowing how many things you need to do, appointments to go to, mail to open, laundry to do, hell, eat! Just anything! Knowing how lazy you must seem to everybody around you. How do you explain the feeling? That feeling of agonizing heaviness that makes you feel like you cannot physically move. Depression is not just sadness, guilt, emptiness, feeling of failure, fear, anxiety and on and on. Those aspects of depression to me are the ones that I have become used to. I have my head wrapped around those symptoms as much as one can. It is hard to remember at the time, but you know that it is depression. The nightmare for me is the physical toll that it takes on me.

You see, when I suffer a depression that is contained mostly to the emotion symptoms, a few of which I described above, I can still manage to complete some daily tasks. I am just very sad, anxious, guilty, etc while I drag myself through to completion. It is the deep, all consuming depressions that hijack my mind and my body that leave me feeling the most helpless.

images (29)Have you ever had a dream where your mind wakes up but your body is still in sleep paralysis? Those terrifying nightmares where you can’t move, scream or call for help? That sort of how a severe depression feels to me. It is difficult to explain, but every motion, every movement feels more difficult and exhausting than if I had the flu. Most people find it difficult to get up and at ’em when their body is overtaken with a flu, right? Well, that is the best way that  can describe how I feel when going through a severe depressive episode.

I can only write this now because I am feeling pretty good. I have come through and finally am in the care of a strong team of professionals. A great GP, Psychiatrist and counsellor that I have never had before. I am feeling happy today. Some days are better than others, but things seem to be looking up and I seem to feel better more often than not these days.

Now that my depression has been treated for some time, as difficult as it was, I can get up and go for a walk if I am feeling a little low, and it does make me feel better. Going for a walk and counting your blessings do not cure severe depression. Professional medical help to treat severe depression will eventually lead one to have the ability to get out and go for a walk.

If you are suffering a depression right now, my heart goes out to you. I understand that it is too hard to do a lot of things that many around you might think are simple tasks. I know that simple tasks are only simple to someone healthy, and that you are not ungrateful for the things in your life. You are ill and that is it. It is not your fault.

If you know someone who you believe may be suffering from depression and want to help, acceptance of where they are and education are a good first step.

Here are some links:

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bipolar

 

Bipolar, Musings, Personal, Stories, Video

Just Shag It

It is really late right now. I have been fighting really hard for a long time. Fighting to be positive, to grow through self improvement, meditation, healthy lifestyle, blah, blah, blah. I feel worn down right now. I should be in bed, I should have gone to the gym, why was I so tired to today? I thought I was feeling better lately. Ahhr!

I just don’t have the time nor am I in the mood for pretty words right now. The fact is I am tired of trying to feel good. Do you know what? Most of the time I feel like I am dragging my ass through quick sand and the moment  I get a medication that gives me a bit of energy I am suddenly becoming hypomanic. We better stop them or you’ll become manic. Well to hell with it! I say bring it on! Bring on the hypomania, while we’re at it, ramp it up to full blown mania! Anything to get me out of this slump.

I see the laundry sitting there, I want to do it but it is as though there are a thousand elephants holding me down. It is so frustrating to almost have normal energy but to be not quite there. It’s down right painful!

I will admit that I have been feeling better than I did when I was in a severe depression, but god help me I do not feel the way other people appear to feel. Why is everything such a chore for me? Showering, errands, cooking, getting dressed, and on and on. I want to have daily energy! Some days are okay but I am still pushing myself through. That makes the days that are not okay a darn chore. I have just started Wellbutrin and I hope to high heaven it boosts my mood and energy because I can’t fake it anymore. Not that I have been doing a great job of faking it anyway. Shag it all!

And that, folks, is how I am feeling right now. Raw. I am so sick of it!

 


 

 

Sick Of It

Addiction, Awareness, Bipolar, Information and Resources

Self-Medication

Quite frankly, in my experience the symptoms of bipolar disorder are so unbelievably painful and unbearable that I would often prefer death, and I have thought about it many times. Instead, I sometimes make the choice to self-medicate, and I believe that is a common solution. ~Biplar Scorpio

“…the discomfort a person feels in these chaotic moods is so great that she may be willing to do or take almost anything to make it stop.” ~from psychcentral