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Living a Full Life with Bipolar Disorder

Living a Full Life with Bipolar Disorder

As happens from time to time, I recently received feedback from someone who was not a fan. Anonymous’s remarks included:

…The way you go about it, you’d suggest that anyone with bipolar or any kind of mental illness shouldn’t lead a full life.

Let me be clear. You can lead a full life. Anyone can. What I recommend is calibrating your definition of “full” to allow for a mental illness.

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Common Secondary Wounding Experiences: Injuries After the Trauma

Common Secondary Wounding Experiences: Injuries After the Trauma

Sometimes people have a less than compassionate attitude toward trauma survivors. They may deny the experience, downplay it, blame the victim, or show ignorance. More Than Borderline’s, Becky Oberg, discusses these attitudes in this BPD video.

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People With a Mental Illness Are Not More Angry!

People With a Mental Illness Are Not More Angry!

I feel like I am doing a lot of apologizing lately. I am sick of saying: “I am sorry”, “Sorry, I did not mean it”, “Please forgive me” or this one is creative: “Please, let me steam clean your carpets because I am oh so sorry I called you a choice word when we were fighting…Did you need to borrow any money? Like my new leather boots? Take them. Because, dammit, I am so sorry!”

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Q and A with ‘Electroboy’ Andy Behrman – Part Two

Q and A with ‘Electroboy’ Andy Behrman – Part Two

This is part two of an interview where I explore the inner-world of Electroboy, Andy Behrman. Mr. Behrman speaks candidly about bipolar myths, combating stigma, mania, depression and everything in between. In part one, Mr. Behrman discusses bipolar mania, his use of drugs and alcohol, and hypersexuality.

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2012 Top 10 Posts for Verbal Abuse In Relationships Blog

2012 Top 10 Posts for Verbal Abuse In Relationships Blog

Counting down to 2013 means different things to different people, but I thought I’d take time out to share Verbal Abuse In Relationships greatest hits in 2012. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support throughout this year! I look forward to meeting more of you in the next 365 days.

Happy New Year! May 2013 be full of support, encouragement and success for all, and your every day filled with love, light, and laughter.

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Dealing with Bipolar at New Year’s

Dealing with Bipolar at New Year’s

A commenter recently asked about how to handle New Year’s Eve celebrations with bipolar disorder. Basically, she was concerned because her husband wanted to celebrate New Year’s but she would rather sleep through it to keep her bipolar in check.

So the question is, what do you do if you’re feeling pressured into celebrations?

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How To Release Unwanted PTSD Emotions

How To Release Unwanted PTSD Emotions

When you’re struggling with PTSD symptoms every emotion can feel amplified, intensified and overwhelming. You can just be going along your day and then, Whoosh!, all of a sudden you feel yourself blindsided by some uncomfortable feeling. What to do???

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Abuse Victims Addiction Problem

Abuse Victims Addiction Problem

The New Year sparks desires to bring something new into our lives. Unlike the religious holidays of the season, the New Year focuses on our individual wishes, wants, and desires. New Year celebrations beckon us to kiss the ones we love then spread our wings and fly into the great unknown – new feelings, new actions, new thoughts.

But if you feel like I did seven years ago, the idea of “doing something new” when there were so many old problems to solve seemed like too much. Instead of embracing the positive energy and flying toward new horizons, I sat on my behind and lost myself in The Sims 2, a video game that allowed me to create a pretend family of my choosing. I became addicted to the fantasy because I didn’t have the energy for anything other than wishful thinking. 

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Say “No” to Holiday Stress

Say “No” to Holiday Stress

Talking about holiday stress, this time last year (2011), I was a holiday wreck and my mental health was in shambles. I searched high and low for a reason, any reason, to celebrate the holiday season. But I was still recovering from a severe bout with post-traumatic stress and overlapping bipolar moods that left me anxious, agitated and unemployed. My relationships with nearly everyone important to me, including my wife and children, were suffering in some way. Nothing really made sense to me (least of all happiness) and my ability to reason had temporarily left me.

It was an odd feeling, being so pessimistic and not being able to help it. For the sake of my kids, I always managed to be an instant party in a box! But I could no longer counter my inner darkness by being the light of family photos and dinner parties. There was no energy left for coordinating gift exchanges or any other festivities. I just didn’t have it in me anymore.

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The ‘Two Masks’ of Mental Illness: Depression vs Stability

The ‘Two Masks’ of Mental Illness: Depression vs Stability

When I think of mental illness–my journey sprinting through life alongside it– I think of the image below. The famous Two Masks. I painted a picture of it, framed it, and gave it to my mother a couple of years ago. The irony was not lost on her. It hangs in the hallway; laughing at me. The masks represent bipolar disorder to me. They represent emotion on a whole–the entire spectrum. Like many people living with chronic mental illness, it’s hard to find the parts that define the middle; the sort of happy bits that made us smile but were fleeting.

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