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Our Mental Health Blogs

My Fear of Dating with Bipolar Disorder

My Fear of Dating with Bipolar Disorder

Dating with bipolar disorder can be tricky for so many reasons. You’ve got a bipolar routine to maintain, emotions to keep in check and a massive elephant in the room that you will have to deal with at some point. This evening I will be having a first date. And I have a fear of dating with bipolar disorder.

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Keeping a Job When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Keeping a Job When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Many people with bipolar disorder hold down jobs, just like everyone else. We get up, swear in traffic, survive on coffee and rant about our bosses behind their backs.

But people with bipolar disorder or another mental illness have special challenges when it comes to work. We’re sick more often, we need time off for medical appointments and stress affects us more than your average person. Here are a few tips on handling work and bipolar disorder.

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What to Do When a Family Member Gets a Mental Illness

What to Do When a Family Member Gets a Mental Illness

A get questions from all sorts of family members and friends of people with mental illnesses and, luckily, many of these people want to help. The trouble is people feel intimidated by a diagnosis of mental illness. They don’t even know where to start to help. This is completely normal. A probable lifetime diagnosis is enough to make anyone feel powerless.

But you are not powerless. If you love someone with a mental illness, there are many things you can do to help.

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Starting Conversations About Bipolar (When You Have Bipolar)

Starting Conversations About Bipolar (When You Have Bipolar)

After reading my last post, Starting Conversations About Bipolar Disorder (When You Don’t Have Bipolar), a commenter requested a similar piece on how to start conversations on mental illness when you do have bipolar disorder. I thought this was a good question as it’s as hard for people with a mental illness to bring up this tough subject as it is for those around us. After all, we don’t want to frighten people or get into major emotional upset.

So are there things to consider when bringing up bipolar disorder with people who don’t have a mental illness?

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The Best of the Breaking Bipolar Blog in 2012

The Best of the Breaking Bipolar Blog in 2012

In one year I write over 100 blog articles for Breaking Bipolar. I’m honoured to say that many people have responded to this writing and it has spawned many great conversations. Popular topics this year ranged from self-harm to passing down of bipolar to your kids to the understanding of mental illness.

Check out these popular articles you might have missed.

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Shackled to Mental Health Political Correctness

Shackled to Mental Health Political Correctness

Since I’ve started writing for HealthyPlace I’ve learned a lot about what you’re not supposed to say about mental illness. Some classics are the word “crazy” and not referring to oneself as “bipolar” directly.

In other words, I’m not allowed to say I’m a crazy bipolar.

There are many other things I’m not allowed to say too. “Mental health” can only be used in some cases whereas “mental illness” must be used in others. And then there’s “behavioural health” and the myriad of rules around talking about suicide. One could get permanent writer’s block worrying about ticking off some group of people who care about some specific word.

So I have a rule. I do what I want. And I tick off some people. It’s not on purpose; it’s just that if I didn’t, how in the heck would I write?

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Speaking Openly About Bipolar and Being Judged For It

Speaking Openly About Bipolar and Being Judged For It

I’m a mental health writer and I have a mental illness, so, of course, I write about my mental illness. I write about my symptoms and the affect they have on my life. I write about their treatments and their success or lack thereof. I write about what it’s like to have bipolar disorder.

And boy do people feel fine about judging me for it.

Commonly people will say that I don’t have bipolar disorder (being, I’m sure, expert diagnosticians) or say that I’m an idiot (and whatnot) for trying the treatments I have. It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that some things I don’t like to talk about at all. People like to attack me for electroconvulsive therapy and vagus nerve stimulator use specifically. And I don’t like to talk about self-harm, because inevitably people yell about that.

But I learned something earlier this week – not everyone judges people with a mental illness.

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Homeland – Is it Good for Bipolar Disorder Awareness?

Homeland – Is it Good for Bipolar Disorder Awareness?

If you haven’t been turning in to Homeland, you’ve been missing out on a new bipolar icon. Homeland stars Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) office who, unbeknownst to her employer, has bipolar disorder.

Homeland is no average show. Homeland won Best Show, Best Writing, Best Actor and Best Actress Emmys. You can catch Homeland on Showtime in the US and Super Channel in Canada.

Of course, the reason I tuned is was to see how this show handles mental illness. And they do not too bad a job.

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Jesse Jackson Jr. – Is a Person with Bipolar Disorder Electable?

Jesse Jackson Jr. – Is a Person with Bipolar Disorder Electable?

As you might have heard, last week it was revealed that Jesse Jackson Jr., an Illinois congressman, is in treatment for bipolar disorder. Jackson Jr. has been on medical leave since June 10th and has been diagnosed with bipolar II.

As Candice Crawford, CEO and president of the Mental Health Association of Central Florida in Orlando, says, “People with bipolar II can lead perfectly normal lives.”

I agree completely, but the question is, can they be elected to public office?

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Want to be Bipolar Online? Grow a Thick Skin.

Want to be Bipolar Online? Grow a Thick Skin.

Now, of course, no want wants to be bipolar, but people do make the conscious decision to admit to their bipolar disorder online. There are many reasons to do this but often people want to be able to express themselves in catharsis or reach out for support. These are perfectly good reasons.

But, unfortunately, that decision is not always met with understanding and support. In fact, sometimes it’s met with vicious hatred.

Not long ago I was in touch with someone newly-diagnosed with bipolar disorder who had started a blog to express his feelings on it. He was just an ordinary guy trying to do his best to make sense of the senseless.

And what happened? Quite simply he was attacked on all sides from the antipsychiatry crowd. Somehow they found him, zeroed in on him, and hounded him with hatred until he slinked off of Twitter altogether.

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