other’s views

God Tests Those He Loves, with Bipolar, Apparently

→ July 6, 2017 - 27 Comments

God Tests Those He Loves, with Bipolar, Apparently

I know people are trying to help when they say to a person with bipolar, “God tests those he loves,” but, here’s the thing, it doesn’t help. It doesn’t help at all. All it makes me think is, “Is there some way I can make this god of yours hate me?”

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I Want to Be Happy; It’s Not My Fault I Can’t Be Happy

→ September 7, 2016 - 50 Comments

I Want to Be Happy; It’s Not My Fault I Can’t Be Happy

I want to be happy. It’s been a long time since I, genuinely, have been. Yes, the bipolar medications do their job and keep me alive; and yes, I’m less depressed than when the bipolar medications weren’t working, but, still, I’m not happy. And while some people seem to think differently, I really, really want to be happy. It’s not my fault I can’t be happy.

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Top 5 Myths about Bipolar Disorder – Debunking Bipolar Myths

→ March 29, 2015 - 32 Comments

Top 5 Myths about Bipolar Disorder – Debunking Bipolar Myths

Myths about bipolar disorder abound and, honestly, most people don’t know anything about bipolar except the myths, or common misconceptions. On World Bipolar Day, it makes sense to me to spend a little time pointing out bipolar myths and addressing them.

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8 Things I Wish Parents Knew about Bipolar, Mental Illness

→ March 19, 2015 - 40 Comments

8 Things I Wish Parents Knew about Bipolar, Mental Illness

When you think about your history, what do you wish your (or other) parents knew about bipolar disorder or mental illness? My parents, like many people, knew nothing about bipolar disorder and this, undoubtedly, harmed me. Their lack of knowledge and lack of openness about their own mental health/illness history made my life and my bipolar journey much harder than it had to be. Here’s what I wish my parents, and other parents, knew about bipolar disorder and mental illness.

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Support for Bipolar Disorder – Will You Be Okay Tonight?

→ November 4, 2014 - 20 Comments

Support for Bipolar Disorder – Will You Be Okay Tonight?

Yesterday I got the news that I’m losing one of my best friends of 16 years. He’s someone I’ve known pretty much since birth. He’s giving and loving and very furry. He’s my cat.

And while I can understand that not everyone will fully comprehend the bond between a human and animal, you will just have to take my word for it that the news put me into shock and I am now grieving what will very soon become a physical loss.

And, of course, a trauma like this (yes, it is a trauma) will make my bipolar disorder blow up. Bipolar makes grief worse and grief makes bipolar disorder worse.

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When Your Family Doesn’t Support You or Your Mental Illness

→ August 26, 2014 - 33 Comments

When Your Family Doesn’t Support You or Your Mental Illness

Recently a received a message from someone who was very distressed because her family wouldn’t accept her because of her mental illness. Her family hadn’t cut her out of their lives, necessarily, but they didn’t understand bipolar disorder and just waved her off telling her to “take her meds.” They made no effort to support her dealing with her mental illness.

And to this woman, family was everything. She didn’t think she could live without the support of her family.

And while I know that family is critically important to some people, I’m here to tell you: you can live with a mental illness, with bipolar disorder, without the support of your family.

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Does ABC’s “Black Box” Portray Bipolar Accurately? Fairly?

→ May 25, 2014 - 19 Comments

Does ABC’s “Black Box” Portray Bipolar Accurately? Fairly?

For weeks people have been asking me my opinion of ABC’s new show Black Box. According to Wikipedia, about 6.9 million people watched Black Box’s series opener and it seems like about half of them have contacted me about it.

People are wondering about this show because Black Box’s lead, Catherine Black, (played by Kelly Reilly) is a neuroscientist who has bipolar disorder. In fact, the first episode of Black Box details the Black’s descent (ascent?) into mania after she stops taking her medication (which includes lithium, an anticonvulsant, and an antipsychotic).

In short, I think Black Box tries for accuracy and they hit it here and there but, as with all television shows, it’s dramatized and so bipolar disorder isn’t terribly accurately, or fairly, portrayed.

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Loving a Paranoid Partner

→ October 3, 2013 - 16 Comments

Loving a Paranoid Partner

Today’s guest post on the Bipolar Burble blog is by Marion Gibson, author of “Unfaithful Mind “– a tale of what it’s like to love someone who has a paranoid disorder. To win a FREE copy of her book, leave a comment here.

I am married to a man with a mental illness.  High school sweethearts, we travelled the world and grew a family. We were just like any other couple. And then two years ago my husband woke up and believed I wanted him dead.

He thought I had no use for him anymore and I was going to poison him. He stopped eating food in the house and started drinking only store bought water from our emergency supply. He wrote a note and hid it in his chair explaining that I had poisoned him. He also believed I had been unfaithful in our marriage right from the beginning. He thought I had a way about me that I could convince men to sleep with me whenever and wherever I wanted.  He wanted paternity tests on all three of our children.

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How to Explain Bipolar Disorder to Others

→ July 8, 2013 - 46 Comments

How to Explain Bipolar Disorder to Others

Some people say there’s no way that someone without a mental illness can understand what a person with bipolar disorder goes through. I suppose there is some truth to this; I’m sure I don’t understand what it’s like to be paraplegic even though I have a sense of what it would be like not to be able to walk.

Nevertheless, there are ways of explaining tough subjects, like bipolar disorder, to others, such that they have a better chance of understanding where we’re coming from. Here’s how to do it.

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Dealing with Bipolar Stigma and Prejudice in the Workplace

→ May 24, 2013 - 30 Comments

Dealing with Bipolar Stigma and Prejudice in the Workplace

Many of us hear condescending, stigmatizing and prejudicial remarks about bipolar disorder in the workplace – a place where everyone should be treated with respect and as an equal. This lead one reader to ask me this question (reprinted with permission):

I’m not sure how to deal with an incident at work. The company brought in a trainer who when talking about difficult coworkers said “for example have you ever worked with someone who is bipolar.” I spoke with him afterwards and he said he meant to say when unmedicated. I’m disturbed because that seemed very stigmatizing and prejudiced either way yet it was accepted as appropriate . . . I hear how difficult people with bipolar are frequently, like we are 10 to 100 times more difficult than other people just because of our illness. Can you please offer any insight so I can stop feeling like a plague on humanity?

I read this question and I was pretty much incensed.

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More Worst Things to Say to a Person with Bipolar – Isn’t Everyone a Little Bipolar?

→ March 27, 2013 - 50 Comments

More Worst Things to Say to a Person with Bipolar – Isn’t Everyone a Little Bipolar?

I’ve written a couple of posts on the worst things to say to a person with bipolar disorder and saying, “Isn’t everyone a little bipolar?” certainly ranks among the worst.

I can’t freaking stand it.

It’s so unbelievably dismissive and invalidating of a medical illness that I can barely fathom it. One very mature person on Facebook simply said, of this statement, “I guess our work fighting stigma isn’t done yet.” That’s an awfully gracious way of putting it.

Isn’t Everyone a Little Bipolar?

The answer to this question is “no.” No, no, no, no, no, a thousand times no. Seriously. To suggest that everyone is a little bit bipolar shows an absolute ignorance of bipolar disorder and of mental illness in general.

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Why People with a Mental Illness Shouldn’t Be Denied Guns

→ January 13, 2013 - 196 Comments

Why People with a Mental Illness Shouldn’t Be Denied Guns

I’m a mental illness advocate, but quite frankly, if I wasn’t, I could be an anti-gun advocate. I’m not a fan of guns. Not in the least. Pieces of metal designed to kill strike me as being archaic and barbaric and speak to the basest nature of humanity and are not particularly enlightened. This is not to suggest I would ban guns (if anyone cares) but there are types of guns I would ban and laws I would enact to limit access to weapons.

So now that you know my political leanings I say this: you cannot take away a person’s (legal) access to guns just because they have a mental illness. It’s wrong and it fundamentally violates their rights.

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