Daily Archives: February 17, 2016

SADS = no posts

It's really not surprising at all that I haven't posted from January 20th to February 17th.  This is one of the worst periods of the year.  I think somehow in conjunction with bipolar I have SADS.  Or maybe it's just the bipolar.  Either way I get seasonal depression here and during early July.  It's a toss up which is worse.


I do think the light box has alleviate some of my depression during this time.  It wasn't as bleak as it has been.  I also managed to keep up relatively high productivity at work, while other times during this year my productivity has suffered.  Work performance is an obvious barometer for my mental health (as well as housework).  At times it did all seem too much and I lagged behind on the laundry etc.

Last weekend was rough as Mary discussed how critical it was we concentrate on in-home family therapy for Phillip before his 5th birthday.  The neuroplasticity really slows down after 5.  She has been watching many videos on autism talks from the University of California San Diego.  This was very distressing and overwhelming to me.  It feels like such a monumental task.

The Struggle

I have started The Great Purge of my storage unit and it has hit my like a ton of bricks. It’s not just that I can’t afford the unit anymore.  There’s my panic that I am losing my Private Disability income.  What will I do?  How will I survive?  How will the bills get paid?  It will take a very short time to decimate the little nest egg I have that I hoped to use to buy either a trailer or a tiny house to pull to Florida in the wintertime.  I can see that dream quickly disappearing.  The other very painful thing is that I have my whole adulthood of accumulation of items – in particular my kitchen items – that I now need to dispose of.  A lot of the items were gifts from family and have great sentimental value.  Realistically, I have to ask myself:  Will I ever again have a home on my own?  Will I ever again be able to work, or support myself in any other way?  The grief in giving up these possessions, as well as my independence, is almost intolerable.  Feeling like I have no idea where my life is going is also intolerable.  Thoughts of suicide keep bubbling up.  Thoughts of hospitalization, and how much I would hate that, come up.  I keep doing what I feel is the next right thing:  going through my possessions, donating some, listing some for sale, throwing out some things, purge purge purge.  Still exercising.  But the demons seem to be sitting on both shoulders right now and the fight is real.  It is both startling and saddening to me to see how badly I have crashed, so quickly.  There’s no light at the end of this tunnel.  I have family members asking me to make commitments to care for other family members in April, and while I have agreed to the commitments, in my mind I’m asking, will I still be alive in April?  I just wish someone or something would swoop in and save me from this experience.  I’m tempted to play the lottery, the fantasy is so strong.  But it’s just a fantasy!  Facing reality at this time is really, really painful.  Part of me says to find a way to store all the kitchen items where I’m living now, and the other part says, what’s the point?

I hate writing such a total fucking downer of a post, but I guess I’m hoping that some of you will have some insight, some advice, or some experience that can help me through this. I love being light and silly and entertaining, but really, this is a blog about being Bipolar.  And this is where this Bipolar is right now.  The struggles with Disability, not being able to work, finances, and fears for the future are all real.  Not wanting to live through the pain is real.  Instability is real.

Please, if you have something to share, do so. Thanks in advance.  Hope your week is wayyy better than mine!  BPOF.


Filed under: Bipolar, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader, The Bipolar Struggle

On Writing

Stephen King wrote an excellent book on writing, aptly titled On Writing. I’ll hope he’ll forgive me for using the same title for this blog post. While Stephen’s book was primarily about being a writer, this post is about why and how I write. Unemployment I haven’t worked in over eight years. My road to […]

The post On Writing appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Young Minds Matter

kateOne of my favorite quotes is by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.  He said, “I want a checkup from the neck up in every physician’s visit from our pediatrician to our geriatricians.”

Many mental health advocates have been saying for years that more needs to be done regarding mental health. We need to take steps to raise awareness, erase stigma, let people know how and where they can get help, and that mental illness can be treated.

However, mental illness can’t be addressed if a parent, loved one, or person even knows they have a problem.

Young Minds Matter, a program started by Kate Middleton, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is a huge step in addressing this problem.  

Parents often fail to seek help for their children who they suspect have a mental illness because they don’t want to endure the stigma.  They don’t want to think that others think they did something wrong.  Most mental illnesses are caused by a chemical imbalance yet many people don’t know that. This contributes to why children and parents want to let others know they have a mental illness.

In addition to liking what Patrick Kennedy said I now like what Kate Middleton has said. “The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health. For too long we have been embarrassed to admit when our children need emotional or psychiatric help, worried that the stigma associated with these problems would be detrimental to their futures.”  Ref1

The program that Kate Middleton has put into place she hopes will make a real difference. She plans to use articles written by people have struggled with mental illness and won.  These articles will also include researchers who are “asking important questions about the mental health of young people, and are getting answers that will be of real benefit to all parents and teachers.” Ref1

This exciting new adventure looks like it is really going to raise awareness about mental illness especially in children.  Kate Middleton is hoping that you not only read the articles. She is also asking others to share their stories.  If you are interested in contributing your story she asks that you send it to: [email protected]

picmichIt is great to hear that others are getting on board with this endeavor.  This includes First Lady Michelle Obama.  She has praised Kate for her efforts  and has said,”The Duchess of Cambridge has been a passionate voice on so many important issues, and I’m grateful that she is using her day as guest editor to shine a bright light on mental health, particularly children’s mental health, and on the tens of millions of people who suffer in silence.and that getting help is not  “a sign of weakness” but “a sign of strength”. Ref2

I hope that many other leaders continue to join this great cause.

If you are interested in becoming an advocate please see another blog I wrote: What can a mental health advocate do to help people with mental illnesses

Picture sources: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge  First Lady Michelle Obama

Petition: Introduce Mental Health Education on to the UK National Curriculum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Young Minds Matter

kateOne of my favorite quotes is by mental health advocate the former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.  He said, “I want a checkup from the neck up in every physician’s visit from our pediatrician to our geriatricians.”

Many mental health advocates have been saying for years that more needs to be done regarding mental health. We need to take steps to raise awareness, erase stigma, let people know how and where they can get help, and that mental illness can be treated.

However, mental illness can’t be addressed if a parent, loved one, or person even knows they have a problem.

Young Minds Matter, a program started by Kate Middleton, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge is a huge step in addressing this problem.  

Parents often fail to seek help for their children who they suspect have a mental illness because they don’t want to endure the stigma.  They don’t want to think that others think they did something wrong.  Most mental illnesses are caused by a chemical imbalance yet many people don’t know that. This contributes to why children and parents want to let others know they have a mental illness.

In addition to liking what Patrick Kennedy said I now like what Kate Middleton has said. “The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health. For too long we have been embarrassed to admit when our children need emotional or psychiatric help, worried that the stigma associated with these problems would be detrimental to their futures.”  Ref1

The program that Kate Middleton has put into place she hopes will make a real difference. She plans to use articles written by people have struggled with mental illness and won.  These articles will also include researchers who are “asking important questions about the mental health of young people, and are getting answers that will be of real benefit to all parents and teachers.” Ref1

This exciting new adventure looks like it is really going to raise awareness about mental illness especially in children.  Kate Middleton is hoping that you not only read the articles. She is also asking others to share their stories.  If you are interested in contributing your story she asks that you send it to: [email protected]

picmichIt is great to hear that others are getting on board with this endeavor.  This includes First Lady Michelle Obama.  She has praised Kate for her efforts  and has said,”The Duchess of Cambridge has been a passionate voice on so many important issues, and I’m grateful that she is using her day as guest editor to shine a bright light on mental health, particularly children’s mental health, and on the tens of millions of people who suffer in silence.and that getting help is not  “a sign of weakness” but “a sign of strength”. Ref2

I hope that many other leaders continue to join this great cause.

If you are interested in becoming an advocate please see another blog I wrote: What can a mental health advocate do to help people with mental illnesses

Picture sources: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge  First Lady Michelle Obama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rocks and Water Therapy

So I just watched a show with a strong back story about being traumatized and going into therapy. The therapist basically takes an empty glass and a glass full of rocks, pours the rocks into the empty glass and says, “It only looks full of the bad things.” Then they add water which does fit into the spaces between the rocks and say, “You have to focus on the good things, which are the water.”

HUH?

I mean, on an intellectual level, I get it. But from the standpoint of someone who crashes and burns without rhyme or reason, I find it almost laughable. I AM grateful for  the good things in my life. I do try to focus on them.

But if you’re using that as a way to”fix” bipolar and all its bastard cousins like anxiety and depression…You’re very bad at your job.

This is not simply some cognitive “retraining” of the mind to view things differently. This is basically telling those of  us who take meds to “correct” the imbalance in our brains that we should just focus on water and rocks. Am I simplifying? Insulting what is a worthy therapy method for many? I have been lambasted several times for daring to criticize cognitive behavioral therapy. And I stand by my assessment of it. If it works for you, excellent. It failed me.

I have learned many things in therapy. Like how to rein in my emotions when they go wily nilly and not lash out and throw shit at people’s heads. Like how to identify when triggered or when a mood or anxiety hits from out of nowhere. I have learned “cautious optimism”.

What I have NOT learned in over 24 years of having therapy shoved down my throat as a cure all is…How not to go under when the depression  hits and the anxiety attacks. Over and over it happens again. No matter what changes I make in my behavior, my thinking, no matter how stable I become or how panxiety ridden I am…I TRY to hold on like someone hanging off a cliff, til my fingers are bloody, my nails are ripped off, and still I cling and hang on…

And go splat anyway.

So where’s my water and rocks there????

Oh, right. It’s between “There is no cure for bipolar” and “Buck up!”

This is not some behavioral thing for me. Why in the hell would I purposely become SCARED of listening to the music I (normally) love? Why would I suddenly stop wearing the make up I have always had so much fun with?

Because…I am bipolar two and I CYCLE.

I can gloss over it as much as I want but it’s just a fact. Every winter, it is a fact. Surprisingly, I have yet to meet a doctor to suggest maybe moving might help with the seasonal. Not that I could pay for it. But if the climate plays such a role, why not move?

Right. I tried that. Sunny California. It didn’t stop the downward spiral.

I didn’t fall as far there until I returned to this…place.

Rocks and water.

Pardon me for being pissed off I have more rocks than water at the moment.That’s totally unnatural and counter productive, right? To just feel the way you feel. No, you MUST spew rainbows and burp sunshine. LIE to yourself. LIE to everyone. Because it makes everyone much more comfortable. Except for you, but you don’t matter. You are, after all, a head case.

Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?

Probably.

But true to my rebellious nature, I stand by my right to make mountains out of molehills, to feel the way I feel, and to not give a damn if it’s “counterproductive”.

grumpy lemons

 

 


Hopelessly Trapped

During my last inpatient stay I talked with the social worker about how to move out on my own.  She encouraged me to reapply for disability (I was rejected before because I didn’t have enough work credits, but I do now).  I submitted that application, and when I did my taxes I got a recommendation […]

CBT and Me

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
My whole soul rebels against structured things, always. I think I spent the first two months “forgetting” to do various cognitive behavioural therapy homework assignments. The week she finally said, “just write anything,” I suddenly became compliant, but last week she strode in and said, “before anything else, I…

CBT and Me

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
My whole soul rebels against structured things, always. I think I spent the first two months “forgetting” to do various cognitive behavioural therapy homework assignments. The week she finally said, “just write anything,” I suddenly became compliant, but last week she strode in and said, “before anything else, I…

CBT and Me

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
My whole soul rebels against structured things, always. I think I spent the first two months “forgetting” to do various cognitive behavioural therapy homework assignments. The week she finally said, “just write anything,” I suddenly became compliant, but last week she strode in and said, “before anything else, I…