People feel the need to "correct" mental health language constantly. This is mainly a product of political correctness and virtue signaling -- both of which I detest. In fact, talking about mental health and mental illness is like talking through a minefield. Wrong mental illness name -- boom -- you've exploded. Wrong sentence structure -- boom -- you've exploded again. And the thing is, running around correcting mental health language simply shuts down conversation altogether, and it's that exactly the opposite of what mental illness needs? Mental illness needs more open acknowledgment, not people shedding in the dark scared of being publically shamed for incorrectly using words.
If you have bipolar disorder, there's a good chance you've wondered, "Is it my fault I have bipolar disorder?" In my experience, most of us wonder this at some point, usually early after diagnosis -- I know I certainly did. There are multiple reasons this seems to come up for people. If you're wondering if your bipolar disorder is your fault, read on.
It's hard to look forward with bipolar disorder sometimes. Sure, if you happen to be hypomanic, or manic even, looking forward might make you feel great. You might feel like your hope is boundless and your life is limitless. If, however, you are in a depression, or even if you're euthymic (not in a bipolar mood episode), you might find looking forward with bipolar to be very hard indeed. I'm here to say, though, while it can be hard to be positive about the future with bipolar, it isn't impossible to see a glimmer or two on the horizon.
Bipolar disorders and anxiety are frequent bedfellows. In fact, anxiety and anxiety disorders occur in more than half of those with bipolar type I, according to the paper, "The Importance of Anxiety States in Bipolar Disorder." And I am one of those who experience anxiety in bipolar disorder. Whether your anxiety comes in the form of a specific disorder, or it's just symptoms of anxiety, I can attest to the fact that anxiety affects bipolar disorder, and it's not in good ways.
You're going to need to talk to people about your bipolar disorder. It doesn't matter what stage of the illness you are in -- just after diagnosis, deep into treatment or in remission -- you need other people to know about your mental illness. So let's talk about why you need to talk to people about your bipolar and how to do it.
I wonder if the pandemic could help our mental health in the long-term, in spite of it harming our mental health in the short-term? I know that may sound counterintuitive, but it is a question I've been pondering. This is thanks to all the mental health awareness that's being spread right now. Will that awareness related to the pandemic, help our mental health in the long-term?
Bipolar has a definite effect on one's career. Bipolar can alter a career, derail a career or even, in some cases (like mine), create a career. I have yet to meet a person whose career has not been affected by his or her bipolar disorder.
Making doctors listen to you is actually a tall order. I know it seems like it shouldn't be, but it is. If you read my piece last week, "Psychiatrists Won't Listen to Patients -- 8 Reasons Why," (applicable to any type of doctor) then you have an idea as to why. So while last week I focused on the problem, this week I want to focus on the possible solutions. Here is what you can do to make doctors listen to you.
Do you want to help a depressed friend or family member this holiday season? Many people do. Depression touches so many that it's almost a given you will know someone who struggles with it (or you, yourself, will) at some point. But many people don't know what to do to help a person with depression over the holidays. Here are some tips to consider.
Intrusive thoughts are something I deal with along with bipolar disorder, although I should say that intrusive thoughts are not, specifically, a known symptom of the disorder. That said, intrusive thoughts seem to be something many with bipolar disorder deal with. Here, I discuss what intrusive thoughts are and why people with bipolar disorder may experience intrusive thoughts.