Nothing has challenged my journey with bipolar 1 disorder more than when my family has undermined my mental health plan. Not only must I continue my full-time battle of self-care and adjustment (Mothering with an Invisible Mental Illness), I must also work overtime to address the vicious words of family members that infect my mind and impede my wellness. After 15 years of living with bipolar 1 disorder, I have learned that when family members attack my mental health wellness plan, I must readjust my definition of family in order to stay well. Keep reading »

Before the new year begins, every mom needs to hear these simple words to preserve her sanity: good job. “Good job” may seem simple and a bit trite, but Christmas has a way of leaving mentally ill mamas strung out, exhausted, and defeated (Stressed Out! Stress, Mental Health, and Our Sense of Control). After all of the efforts spent making Christmas magical for everyone else, the house is a big old mess, the kids are exhausted, and daddy’s gone back to work. Mama’s left, again, to put it all back together, take down the decorations, and get the family ready for a brand spankin’ new year. It all seems a bit impossible. So Mama, before you start undecorating, washing dishes, and folding another load of Christmas pajamas, hear me out. Let’s talk about what every mom, mentally ill or not, needs to hear before the new year begins. Keep reading »

Sometimes it is best not to go home for the holidays and avoid mental illness relapse. If you have a mental illness, it can be hard to tell if your illness or good sense is winning out when you make your holiday plans (Mental Health Issues Over The Holidays). But if any of the following reasons are true for your family with mental illness this holiday, you may be better off finding a different place to spread your holiday cheer in order to avoid mental illness relapse. Keep reading »

Enjoying the holidays with your mentally ill loved one can seem like an enormous challenge. But even if you have to alter your expectations and change a few traditions, it is still possible to have a great holiday together. Here’s how to enjoy the holidays with your mentally ill loved one. Keep reading »

Your health is something you need to consider before a bipolar pregnancy, along with your marriage. If you live with bipolar disorder, the decision of whether or not to have a baby is about more than just your psychiatric condition. Your overall health must be considered, also. Here are some health concerns to review before getting pregnant while living with bipolar disorder. Keep reading »

Your marriage is something to consider before a bipolar pregnancy. When you live with bipolar disorder, whether or not you should get pregnant is a difficult decision (Why I Chose to be a Mother Despite My Bipolar Disorder). There is a lot to consider before a bipolar pregnancy, and the stability of your marriage needs to be at the very top of this list.  Keep reading »

Should women with serious mental illnesses have children? There are many respected, professional women living with bipolar disorder who have decided against having children (I Can’t Get Pregnant–I Have Bipolar Disorder). I chose to have children, to take the risks associated with a bipolar pregnancy, postpartum dangers, and passing down my bipolar disorder. Here’s why. Keep reading »

Talk to your college student about mental illness, even if you do not believe your child is displaying any symptoms of a mental illness. Not only do college students often become symptomatic for the first time when they are away at college, but they are also much more likely to die of suicide (Discuss Mental Illness and Suicide with College Students). While we cannot prevent mental illness, we can equip our college students to recognize symptoms of mental illnesses and suicidality and get help for themselves or a friend if necessary.  Keep reading »

We need to discuss mental illness and suicide with college students as every college student needs to be educated about these things. In a society where we educate our teenagers on birth control, alcohol and drug abuse, along with religious, racial, and gender preference awareness, we are failing to educate our college-bound teenagers on mental health issues. For their own wellbeing, we must educate every college student on mental illness and suicide. Keep reading »

For the mom considering suicide, please don’t give up (What to do if You Are Suicidal). I know what it feels like to be so tired and so desperate that nothing feels more appealing than just not being here anymore. But please listen to me, mama: you are worth saving. You are worth fighting for. Your family is worth fighting for, and they need you to be well so they can be well. So, friend, if you are considering suicide, if you think your family might just be better off with you, this is for you. Keep reading »