brain-vs-mind

You Are Not Your Bipolar Thoughts

→ June 2, 2014 - 21 Comments

You Are Not Your Bipolar Thoughts

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Recently, a commenter was here and she was frustrated because her doctor told her to separate herself from her bipolar thoughts. And the commenter remarked,

How am I supposed to separate myself from my thoughts? I AM MY THOUGHTS. Everything I do, everything I say, everything I am, started with a thought.

This is true and it isn’t. I understand this commenter’s frustration and I understand how illogical it seems to suggest that you can separate yourself from your thoughts. After all, don’t you have to think about the separation? And how does that work, exactly?

What this commenter’s doctor failed to mention is probably the most confusing part of any mental illness. The mentally ill thoughts come from the brain while the ability to separate from those bipolar thoughts come from your mind. And you brain and your mind are not the same thing.

Read more

Escaping a Bipolar Brain

→ September 20, 2012 - 59 Comments

Escaping a Bipolar Brain

This morning I was watching Perception, which is a TV show wherein the lead character has schizophrenia. He, like most of us with a mental illness, is trapped inside his head – trapped inside his mental illness. Oh, he functions and everything, but his mind is still trapped inside a sick brain.

And this is how mental illness is. My friend called it the ball and chain. He says I do really well for a person who’s always weighted down like that.

And this morning, one of the characters in the TV show said, “I spend a lot of my time finding puzzles hard enough to get him [the lead character] out of his head.”

When I heard that, I burst into tears.

OK, maybe I’m unstable and that leads to tear-bursting, but also the point rang so poignant that I couldn’t deny it – I spend most of my time trying to desperately escape my bipolar brain.

Read more

The Mind-Brain Split and Enlightenment in Mental Illness

→ April 22, 2012 - 26 Comments

The Mind-Brain Split and Enlightenment in Mental Illness

I wrote a rather popular piece a while back called A Damaged Brain and a Mind Trying to Deal with It. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen this before as it’s part of my bio. If not, then it might be the first time you’ve heard that turn of phrase.

Commenter Reply

And recently a commenter replied:

I do not believe in this mind/body duality. I believe that you are your body.

OK, no problem. I don’t expect everyone to agree on such things. I have nothing invested in making the world agree with me.

But the thing is, I know there is a brain-mind separation. And how do I know this? Perspective. It’s your free gift with a purchase of 10 or more years of bipolar disorder.

Read more

A Damaged Brain and a Mind Trying to Deal with It

→ November 30, 2011 - 37 Comments

A Damaged Brain and a Mind Trying to Deal with It

My Twitter bio says I have, “a damaged brain and a mind trying to deal with it.” This confuses a lot of people. It’s OK. I get it. Most people don’t differentiate between the mind and the brain. But I do. In fact, I consider it a critical distinction for people with a mental illness.

Your mind is who you are; your brain is just what you are.

Read more

Are bipolars crazy? I am. It’s OK to be Crazy.

→ June 10, 2010 - 4 Comments

CrazyI am crazy. I tell this to people in my personal life. It’s not a secret. I figure there’s no point in trying to cover it up; it’ll come out eventually. I’m crazy. The approximately 20 scars on my forearms rather give away that something is amiss.

But people really don’t like the word “crazy”. In fact, most often, what people say to me is, “no, you’re not!”. Well, actually, I am. I have a mental illness, I’m bipolar and I’m crazy.

more at Breaking Bipolar: Are bipolars crazy. I am.