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Children with a Mental Illness – Yes, it Could be Your Child

→ April 15, 2014 - 25 Comments

Children with a Mental Illness – Yes, it Could be Your Child

I give presentations on mental illness in different places, and one of those places is in schools. Kids aged 12-18 get to hear about mental illness, stigma and my personal story of bipolar disorder. This takes around an hour. And after hearing an hour of me speak about my personal challenges and about how I have faced down bipolar disorder are a myriad of treatment failures, the teens often feel a certain closeness with me. I suspect it is for this reason that after the presentation, so many of them come up and talk to me. They talk about how they have been in the hospital or how they have a friend with bipolar or that they think they might have a mental illness.

And, of course, if a teen thinks they have the symptoms of a mental illness I always say, “Have you talked to your parents about this?”

And I always expect them to look at me like I just said something ridiculous because when I was their age, I sure would have found the notion laughable.

But they generally don’t. Many, many of them have, indeed, talked to their parents. And what have the parents done?

Nothing.

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Depression Makes the Pain of Your Past Worse

→ April 7, 2014 - 27 Comments

Depression Makes the Pain of Your Past Worse

I have told this story before.

Once upon a time I knew a beautiful girl who we’ll call Jane. Jane was curvaceous, feminine, sweet and generous. Jane and I became lovers overnight.

And then life happened and we broke up. My fault, actually. I couldn’t handle having a girlfriend while being in the hospital.

But we remained friends while living our separate lives – very good friends and occasional lovers. It was pleasance punctuated with striking screams.

Then, when I went through electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), I turned to her for help. And help, she did. She stayed with me to help me through the first six treatments of ECT and for this I will be forever grateful. And when she left that day, to return to her life, I said something along the lines of, “Goodbye. I love you. I’ll miss you.” (At least I think I did. The ECT makes it all hazy.)

And she never spoke to me again.

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I Can’t Have Bipolar – I’m High-Functioning, I Have a Job

→ April 1, 2014 - 29 Comments

I Can’t Have Bipolar – I’m High-Functioning, I Have a Job

I started thinking about alcoholism the other day because of some stuff going on with a friend and I started to think about how high-functioning people often don’t consider themselves alcoholics because they’re high-functioning. How can I be an alcoholic; I have a job? A family. A wife. Friends. Money. A house. And so on…

And the same is true for people with bipolar disorder. People think to themselves, “I can’t have a mental illness – I have a job.” Or, “I can’t have a mental illness – I’m a good mother.” Or, “I can’t have a mental illness – I have a degree from a top-tier school.”

But as I have told audiences over and over – mental illness happens, and it can happen to anyone.

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Accountability for your Actions with Bipolar Disorder

→ March 25, 2014 - 16 Comments

Accountability for your Actions with Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness, but many of the problems that come with bipolar disorder are the actions that it provokes. The illness may be in the brain but much of the harm exists in the life around you. You may act out the illness in many ways through anger, hurt, overreaction, panic, hypersexuality, overspending or others. But the question is, are you responsible for your actions when you are in an acute bipolar episode? If you’re severely depressed or manic, are you accountable for your actions?

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welcome

Welcome to the Bipolar Burble. I'm Natasha Tracy, your host.

Warning! This site is about bipolar disorder and other mental health issues and talks about subjects such as suicide, self-harm and other touchy subjects. This site is not intended for youth and may be disturbing to some.

Nothing on this site should be considered a medical recommendation. I am not a doctor. Anything of interest should be discussed with your doctor. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. (Sorry, I have to say that.)

All writing and mental health information here is accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time of publication. However, keep in mind my opinion, and available information, changes over time.

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