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Our Mental Health Blogs

Surviving Family Vacations Without Losing Your Mind

Surviving Family Vacations Without Losing Your Mind

Family vacations can make me feel like I'm losing my mind. Here's how to stay sane and enjoy your family vacation. Take a look at these tips.

Family vacations can make me feel like I’m losing my mind. I pack so many expectations into our annual, family vacation that I forget to be realistic about what I need, who my family is, and just how much togetherness we can endure. But this year, I’m dead-set on surviving our family vacation without losing my mind.

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Summer Transitions for Parents With Mental Illness

Summer Transitions for Parents With Mental Illness

Parents with mental illness, expect summer transition behaviors from your children. We often underestimate what a huge transition our children experience as they finish up the school year (Help Your Child Feel Confident at the End of the School Year). Their routines change dramatically, as do ours. It is normal for kids to be grumpy, overly tired, and even combative as they work through major transitions in their lives. Parents with mental illness expecting these transitions into summer may have an easier time working with their kids and avoid mental health triggers. 

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Families with Mental Illness: Plan Summer Fun on a Budget

Families with Mental Illness: Plan Summer Fun on a Budget

Families with mental illness can have fun this summer, even on a budget. Many families with mental illness cannot go on an expensive vacation this summer. Even if families do have the funds, their mentally ill family member may not be well enough for an entire week of family togetherness (When Bipolar Ruins Your Vacation). But if you’re like my family, you still want to share special time together. Here are some great ways to spend time together this summer, even if your family is balancing a tight budget and mental illness.

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Moms with Mental Illness: Prioritize Naptime This Summer

Moms with Mental Illness: Prioritize Naptime This Summer

Moms with mental illness, you need naptime during the summer. Your kids might be well over the napping stage. But as you plan your summer, consider cutting out a period of your day for naptime. Summer affords so many freedoms to families, but without a few built in rest-stops in the day, moms with mental illness can become very overwhelmed. Kids also become overstimulated in the sun and play. Everyone can benefit from a naptime this summer.

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Summer Survival Guide for Moms With Mental Illness

Summer Survival Guide for Moms With Mental Illness

Moms with mental illness: we need a summer survival guide. At first, the lazy days of summer seem like a Godsend to the routine-weary mom. But sooner than we can run out of Otter Pops, the kids are screaming and hitting each other and complaining that they’re bored. If I’m not careful, this mama’s losing her cork before we even light the sparklers for the fourth of July. Here is a summer survival plan for all of us moms with mental illness who need a little extra help to survive so much family togetherness this summer.

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Bipolar Mom: You Are a Superhero

Bipolar Mom: You Are a Superhero

Bipolar moms are superheroes. I know we don’t look like it, usually. We’re dressed as ordinary moms, wearing our yoga pants at pick up and our baseball caps at little league games. That’s what you see on the outside. That’s how we blend in. But if you could see the battle we’re fighting each and every day to stay healthy and to love our families, you’d see our superpowers at work. Every bipolar mom is a superhero, whether you can see her superpowers or not.

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Mental Illness and Marriage: Make a Wellness Contract

Mental Illness and Marriage: Make a Wellness Contract

Mental illness can derail a marriage if left untreated. When spouses commit to a wellness contract, marital success is more likely. Find out why. Read this.

When a marriage contains a mental illness, you should make a wellness contract to create boundaries.With a 90 percent divorce rate for couples in which one spouse has bipolar disorder, I realize how blessed Jack and I are to still be married. But our marriage has not survived for 16 years just because we love each other. Our marriage has survived because we made a straightforward contract after my bipolar 1 disorder diagnosis, and both of us have kept to it. He promised to stay with me for better or worse, and I promised to be med-compliant and to attend therapy in an effort to become as well as possible. Our wellness contract is helping our marriage and my mental illness.

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Taking Care of Myself Is The Best Way To Care for My Family

Taking Care of Myself Is The Best Way To Care for My Family

Last year on my birthday, I became very ill with Strep Throat. I only agreed to go to the ER when I began shivering with a high fever, believing my ear was about to explode. As they wheeled me in for a CT scan, I started wondering, how on earth could I have let myself get this sick?

Since my bipolar 1 disorder diagnosis at 21, I’ve practiced the art of ignoring my own needs. If addressing my needs didn’t fit into my environment, I numbed out. I refused to listen to the needs of my body and soul, even if it meant I was ignoring symptoms of my mental illness. 

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Planning Ahead for Mental Illness During the Holiday Season

Planning Ahead for Mental Illness During the Holiday Season

Planning ahead for mental illness during the holiday season is tough, but it is doable. I could almost feel the whisper of hypomania pulsing through my veins last weekend as my family and I rolled through the Starbucks drive-thru. I squealed with excitement as the green aprons passed me my steaming red cup. As I sipped my cup of eggnog and espresso, I couldn’t help but hope that my usual upswing was on its way. I look forward to my Christmas high–to actually feeling good–all year long. Christmas is so much fun. But is hypomania really a good thing for my family (Effects Of Bipolar On Family And Friends)? How can I navigate through my bipolar disorder to have a magical and peaceful holiday season? How can I plan ahead for my mental illness during the holidays?

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Parents With Mental Illness: Trade ‘Normal’ for Happy

Parents With Mental Illness: Trade ‘Normal’ for Happy

Before I had my babies, I imagined that I would be the perfect stay-at-home mom, and despite being a parent with a mental illness (bipolar 1 disorder), I thought I could keep everything normal. I planned to arrange play dates, work out, make all of my family’s food from scratch, keep the house clean and decorated, while still reserving enough energy for some saucy romance with my husband. My kids deserved to  have a normal childhood, no matter how crazy their bipolar mother was. I was determined to not allow my bipolar disorder to interfere with my mothering.

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