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  1. About Natasha Tracy
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  3. Lotta Bipolar Bits: Survivors Diary Of Living Bipolar (My Bipolar World)
  4. Living with Mental Illness: Books, Stories and Memoirs

Summary: The book describes a mother's journey to unlock the mysteries of her son's autism, seeking the miracle of a cure, and the work she and her husband did creating Cure Autism Now CAN. Understanding how nonverbal children communicate is one of the core themes of the book focusing on Tito, a brilliant autistic boy from India and his mother Soma who teaches him to communicate.

Soma's methods were the cause of 60 minutes special and caused thousands of families with autism to seek her support. Eventually, the author's son, Dov, develops rudimentary communication skills. Summary: Written from the first person perspectives of siblings who have an older brother with autism, Paul and Judy Karasik describes the challenges and difficulties of growing up with a family member with this lifelong disorder.

Going from childhood into adolescence and adulthood, both authors offer well written descriptions of their feelings and experiences over the years. The book is an insightful read for anyone with a sibling who has autism. Summary: Temple Grandin's most famous book, Thinking In Pictures is a detailed account of her life, focusing mainly on her development as an adult suffering from Asperger's disorder.

The author is a well-known agricultural designer and this book describes in detail how she has used her disorder to develop her career. Though her first book, Emergence, describes in more detail her childhood and the ways autism affected every experience she had, this book focuses more on an integration of her adult life with a review of the scientific information available today. Best suited for parents, late high school students who are affected by autism and providers caring for patients with these disorders, this is an advanced book that can provide much detail about the possibilities of working with autism and Asperger's disorder.

Warnings: This book has many recent additions and discusses at length different treatment options, theories and current research. Those reading are advised to discuss any treatment or diagnosis questions with a health care provider. What it is to be me!

Summary: An excellent book for the child with Asperger syndrome to understand some of the symptoms that he may be struggling with. Bold text and colorful pictures make the book engaging. Summary: From the time she was a small child, Kay Jamison knew that she was different.

Her moods were unlike other children and her experience of the world was at times confusing. This book charts her course from a young girl with unstable moods, to an adult diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Jamison eventually became a successful professor at Johns Hopkins University while battling her moods and seeking treatment with medication, therapy and supports. The book documents honestly some of the dangerous pitfalls of mania and depression and should be read by patients with a caregiver's guidance but can provide hope and inspiration for anyone living with a mood disorder.

Warnings: This book discusses frankly the author's own suicide attempt and though it is handled well, parents should know that it is a topic that occurs in a detail. Summary: This is a short story about a boy with bipolar disorder. When the boy goes to see his doctor, the doctor provides a nice description of the illness.

The book can help a child understand his or her illness and feel less alone. Summary: The author writes of her experience as a child and adolescent struggling with mood problems. Summary: This is a historical life journey of one woman's experience with lifelong mental illness. It addresses some of the biases and stigma associated with mental illness.

There are only brief anecdotes of symptoms during childhood and adolescence. This book would not likely appeal to an adolescent struggling with evolving mental illness or a parent with questions about their child or adolescent. It would most likely appeal to an older adult with a history of bipolar disorder or a family member of an older adult with bipolar disorder or a historian. Warnings: The book comprises a different historical era from 's to 's. Strong Catholic influence.

Summary: This is a short but wonderful book about a young boy whose big sister has bipolar disorder and needs to go to the hospital. It thoughtfully describes the impact of the illness on the boy and his family. Keywords: borderline personality disorder, self-destructive behavior, substance abuse, anorexia, therapy. Summary: Rachel Reiland writes about her struggle with, treatment for and recovery from borderline personality disorder. Her account of her provocative, manipulative and dangerous behavior may help readers recognize typical behavior and mood reactiveness seen in borderline personality disorder.

She relates the effect it had on her husband, children and extended family, giving caregivers who read this novel a window into similar experiences they likely face with the individual with borderline personality disorder in their lives. Reiland's detailed scripted account of her therapy sessions with Dr.

Padgett could be used as an excellent teaching tool for clinicians interested in treating individuals with borderline personality disorder. Warnings: dangerous self-destructive behavior, sexual themes, provocative and manipulative behavior, suicidal thoughts. Girl, Interrupted Author: Susanna Kaysen. Keywords: borderline personality disorder, depression, suicidality, non-suicidal self-injury, sexual promiscuity, McLean Hospital, 's, stigma, inpatient psychiatry, depersonalization, thorazine, chlorpromazine. Summary: Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed at eighteen with borderline personality disorder.

She spent two years on and off the inpatient psychiatric ward at McLean Hospital. This memoir chronicles her time on the ward and describes the personalities and psychological make-up of the other patients she lived with in the hospital. It serves as an excellent psychoeducational tool for learning about borderline personality disorder and what psychiatric treatment was like in the s at one of the most famous mental hospitals in the country.

Girl, Interrupted is an excellent first-hand account of one young woman's mental health struggles and a fascinating example of how borderline personality disorder was conceptualized some 40 years ago. Summary: A true story, the author discusses his sufferings of depression, including both psychological and physical symptoms. He covers his thoughts of suicide, hospitalization, and eventual recovery journey. Summary: Well-known actress Brooke Shields discusses her experiences with postpartum depression following the birth of her first child in this memoir.

This memoir helped to increase the public's awareness of mental health issues during and after pregnancy. She discusses the impact of motherhood on her relationship and career and the role mental health treatment played in her recovery. Warnings: Contains discussions of suicidal thinking that may be upsetting for some readers.

A psychiatrist and journalist assisted the teenager in writing this book. Summary: Recommended for middle school and teenage girls who are struggling with peer relationships and desire to fit in and be popular in school. There are useful tips on how to recognize a supportive friendship versus a destructive self- esteem lowering relationship. The short book is a fast read and helps teens to identify their own friendship building styles and how to distance themselves from inappropriate friendships.

Book also discusses how to cope with being excluded from groups and hurtful friends. It's a valuable resource for teen girls navigating the social world. Summary: This is an excellent storybook about a princess developing depression. It contains great use of metaphor and also provides psychoeducation about the development of depression and the ways to move beyond depression. This book would be a wonderful waiting room book and is recommended reading for a parent and a child. Prozac Nation: Young and Depressed in America. It also covers abuse of unprescribed drugs.

It discusses self-harm, suicide attempts, and therapy sessions in detail. She touches on her financial struggles to cover treatment. The author was one of the first individuals to be prescribed Prozac; the book describes her journey to this point, her experience since, and the overall rise of mental illness diagnoses and Prozac prescriptions. Please note this book was first published in , and many changes and updates have occurred in the specialty since then. Summary: Trouble in My Head is a book written by a young woman in her own words, post treatment for very severe depression with reality distortion and anorexia.

She deftly explains her rationale, distorted thought processes when she was at her most ill and her experience on an inpatient unit. She begins to integrate into the treatment, accept medication, and through her eyes, we watch her improve, her depression and body distortions become less severe, and Ms. Monaque reconnect with her family and the world. The ending is uplifting and shows how severe mental illness can be treated.

This is well written and eye opening from a first person perspective. Warnings: This could be a trigger for those with emerging restrictive eating issues and could also increase ideas about why not eating could make sense—especially initially as the author is very ill. Toward the end, the patient does talk about having gone off of her medication without talking to her MD and does qualify this by saying anyone should first speak with their doctor.

This could inadvertently encourage patients to change or drop medications without collaborating with their team. This book is from the U. There may be some terminology that could be confusing, but it's not extensive. The entries are easy-to-read recaps of various days which reveal the progression of the illness. Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression. It includes the pairing of essays, written by husbands and wives as well as sisters, to show different viewpoints of the illness.

The book covers a spectrum of experiences, from spiraling into a depression for the first time to living with it to recovering. Summary: Workbook for kids who use a lot of negative thinking to help them to learn techniques to see more positive aspects of life and cope with negative things that occur.

Summary: A simple picture book about sad feelings. Summary: This book is told through the eyes of Doris, the mother of 19 year old Andrea, after she has been devastated by the news that her daughter has passed away in her sleep after a year-long battle with bulimia. The author intertwines Andrea's own diary and journal entries, along with self-penned poetry, to reveal the story of their struggle to deal with bulimia and the ultimate consequence of their fight.

Audience: Young adult Adolescents and older due to mature themes; Parents of individuals with bulimia. Summary: In this autobiography, Lucy chronicles her own experiences as she enters the early stages of anorexia, struggles with her symptoms, and eventually makes her way into recovery.

Many of the pages are narrative, but also include first-hand journal entries from her own diaries at that time. Audience: Young Adults Adolescents or older due to advanced language, mature themes; vivid descriptions. Summary: Viewed through a series of diary entries, the author exposes Blythe's journey through anorexia, and how it affected her self-esteem, her relationships, and her ultimate recovery from the illness.

At the end, the author includes tips and inspirational items from her own struggle with anorexia. Audience: Young adult Adolescents and older due to mature themes, vivid descriptions, strong language. Keywords: Eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, sexual content, drug and alcohol use. Summary: This memoir follows Jenny Lauren, the niece of Ralph Lauren, the fashion designer, through her formative years, during which she developed anorexia and bulimia, and eventually required significant medical treatment to deal with the consequences of her illness.

Audience: Young adult College students due to mature themes, vivid descriptions, and profane language. Summary: This follows the story of Leslie, a successful, popular teenage girl, as she develops and struggles with anorexia, and how it affects not only her, but all those around her. The story is fiction, but written by an author who had a personal struggle with anorexia, which she details in the foreword and afterword of the book.

Audience: Young adult Adolescents and older due to mature themes, vivid descriptions. Summary: This is the story of Jennifer Hendricks, who was diagnosed with anorexia at age fourteen, and passed away at age twenty-five. The book is narrated through the recollections of her father, and Jennifer's personal journal entries. It follows her journey into illness and her eventual death as a result of struggling with an eating disorder. Audience: Young adult Older adolescents, College students due to mature themes.

Solitaire Author: Aimee Liu. Summary: In this book, the story outlines the life of Aimee, a young multiracial girl growing up in the s, who develops anorexia nervosa following a difficult transition into a new life in the United States and trauma at age seven. Aimee describes her path to recovery after a long fight with her own mind and body.

Audience: Young adult College students due to mature themes, vivid descriptions, and advanced language. Summary: This book chronicles Mayra's development of bulimia at age nine, followed by anorexia by age fifteen, and her long struggle with self-image, medical complications, and acting out, along with her eventual recovery from eating disorders. Summary: This is a book to be read to younger children about therapy, which can apply to therapies other than just play therapy.

It has nice pictures and understandable text as well as a much needed section on confidentiality. Audience: Younger child with parent or therapist or PCP office staff reading to child. Summary: Part of the Teen Life Confidential series, this chapter book features information and strategies for children who are being bullied.

Chapters include details about how to deal with being bullied, how to understand what causes others to bully, what to do if you are a bully, and important tips like developing self-assertiveness and more self-awareness as well as how to make friends. Chapters include some self-help type questions and guided exercises appropriate for pre-teens. Summary: This is a story of a 12 y. It describes the problems and reasons for going into therapy, a little about the therapy she is involved in, some definitions, and whether to tell friends about being in therapy.

It's a bit wordy at times but may help a depressed and anxious tween understand therapy. Summary: Short, concise, positive book for children starting therapy. Helps them understand why therapy may be helpful to them and what therapy can consist of. Katia Moritz, PhD. Summary: This is a funny, farm-friendly book about OCD. It is written for very young children who love animals. Devil in the Details Author: Jennifer Traig. Summary: In her memoir, author Jennifer Traig describes firsthand her own difficulties with developing neuroses and compulsive behaviors related to obsessive compulsive disorder from age twelve to college.

Using funny anecdotes and humor, Traig brings the reader into her world in detailed descriptions of her experiences. Summary: This is a great introductory book on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and its effective treatment. It is meant to be read by a child who is struggling with obsessions and compulsions. It is very encouraging and informative. Summary: This is a great book explaining how to fight OCD. It has clinical exercises and drawing space to emphasize the therapeutic take-home points. It's a great way to help kids conceptualize how to fight OCD.

Summary: A personal memoir of Dr. Elyn Saks, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Southern California and her experience of living with schizophrenia. From her youngest memories to embarking on a career and managing her illness as an adult, this is an inspiring story about one woman's ongoing battle with psychosis and how she was able to work with her illness to lead a successful life. Spiro, M.

Summary: This book chronicles the lives of identical twin sisters Pammy author Pamela and Lynnie Carolyn as their lives are turned upside down by Pammy's descent into psychosis during their adolescence. As the previously eclipsed sister, Lynnie finds herself in the conflicted position of surpassing Pammy as the illness progresses. The authors are frankly honest about how their lives are impacted by schizophrenia. Audience: Young adult to Adult due to mature themes, vivid descriptions, foul language, advanced language. Summary: Told through the viewpoints of the author, Lori, her family members, her doctors, and her friends, Ms.

Schiller pieces together the account of her personal struggle with schizophrenia, starting in her seventeenth year. Her first personal accounts reveal the depth of the pain and conflict within a person with schizophrenia, but also the unintended consequences of the illness on those around her.

About Natasha Tracy

Audience: Young adult Adolescents and older to Adult due to mature themes, vivid descriptions, foul language, advanced language, scary situations. Summary: This novel follows the early career of the author, Ms. Slater, as a psychologist at the Bate House, a residence for chronic schizophrenics, and an outpatient clinic therapist. Slater unflinchingly describes both the struggles of her patients, but also her own difficulties in her attempts to help them. Schizophrenia, personality disorders, depression, and abuse are all revealed through the eyes of Ms.

Slater and her patients. Audience: Young Adults Adolescents or older due to foul language, mature themes, vivid descriptions. Summary: Caroline Kettlewell writes in Skin Game about her struggles with cutting. She gives a well-written and thoughtful account of the issues she faced in childhood and adolescence and how they might have led to her eventual use of non-suicidal self-injury as a form of fascination, self-punishment and maladaptive coping skill.

Kettlewell also explains how she eventually was able to stop cutting, which could be helpful to individuals who struggle with this issue. Her account is remarkably honest, and really makes the reader understand what cutting did for her and why she eventually gave it up. Warnings: Explicit and sometimes gory descriptions of cutting, should probably be read with the assistance of a knowledgeable therapist.

Summary: The introduction discusses the concept of the the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative AMHI which coalesced to create an informative reference regarding mental disorders, which present between the ages of 10 and 22 years old. The Annenberg Foundation created a series of mental health books. The first series is heavy in science and research.

The second prong of the series is dedicated to smaller books for general readers. The third prong is two websites: 1 www. Kyle takes the reader through the prejudices of society's view of an addict and then through the trip from the normal angst of adolescence to the devastating destruction of heavy addiction and how he decided to allow the choice to become a compulsion.

This books includes the science of addiction terminology all in reader-friendly verse. He decribes the multitude and the lack of resources to help an addict recover - the trials, failures and successes. This book has frequently asked questions, a glossary, resources, and a blbliography at the back, making this a great resource tool with clear, concise, and reliable information.

Warnings: Frank discussions of substance use, descriptions of life threatening situations, profanity, discussion of sexual themes. Summary: The author provides a candid account of the impact of his son's drug addiction on him and his family.

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His son also wrote a memoir from his perspective, Tweak , and these two books can be read independently or can together provide a rich portrayal of the development and treatment of substance use disorders. The author also includes evidence-based scientific information regarding substance use disorders and their treatment. Summary: This is the memoir of a young adult who went from a seemingly well-adjusted high school student to a man fighting addiction to methamphetamine and heroin.

The author wrote this book as a companion to his father's memoir, Beautiful Boy, which is an account of the same situation told from a parent's perspective. Lezine, Ph. Summary: This is the story of DeQuincy Lezine and is written in the 1st person. DeQuincy documents using his journals the lead up to his suicidal plans and the treatment phases he went through to reach his present state. The book is full of references to treatment strategies, medications, pros and cons and documents with matter of fact intent the intensity of the work and practice DeQuincy had to do to obtain relief and stability from suicidal thoughts and depression.

Summary: Nancy Rappaport, a prominent child psychiatrist, was 4 years old when her mother committed suicide. In this book she explores her mother's life and death in a search for meaning and understanding — both in terms of her mother's state of mind and the impact of her loss on the author's own life and family. Rappaport offers important insights and validation for individuals and families dealing with suicide.

Summary: A unique workbook by and for kids who have witnessed or been exposed to murder. Utilizes an interactive format to encourage expression. A useful resource to help kids work through a difficult experience. Dwight Holden, MD. Summary: This is a touching story about a little girl whose grandfather died of cancer. They had a very close relationship. The reader learns about how she struggles to process his death and resolves to keep him alive in her memory.

Lucky Author: Alice Sebold. Summary: This book is a memoir that describes the author's experience of being raped as an eighteen-year-old college freshman at Syracuse University. In is titled Lucky because a policemen told her that she was lucky to be alive; shortly before her attack, another young woman had been killed and dismembered in the place.

Sebold describes the devastating effects that this rape had on her life, but also how she was able to overcome much of this adversity and ultimately make sure her attacker was arrested and convicted. Summary: A Place for Starr is a children's book written in poem form and is an easy to read and well-done account of one family's experience with domestic violence. The illustrations are beautiful and it takes a difficult topic and appropriately touches on the emotions and consequences of experiencing domestic violence. At the end of the book, the family leaves the home and goes to a shelter to get away from the abuser, so it ends on a positive note.

Warnings: This book contains is about domestic violence, an inherently terrifying theme, but it explains it without any gratuitous drama and it is appropriate and well-written. Summary: This is a story about a little girl named Charlotte, who lost her mother in a car accident when she was five and a half years old. Charlotte and her father are sad and Charlotte feels afraid at night. Additionally, she worries about what will happen to her if her father dies and is sensitive when a friend makes an unkind comment.

As a result, her father brings her to a therapist to get help. The therapist helps Anna voice some of her fears and improves Anna's relationship with her father. Warnings: This book is an excellent book to ease the child's fears before a first visit to a therapist for parental bereavement. Summary: This book is a simple explanatory account of what a child might feel and think when a loved one dies.

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It touches on the unknown and issues children may be curious about without subscribing to a certain spiritual belief system. It would be appropriate for a parent and child to read together after the death of a pet, a friend or a relative. Considerations: This book does not subscribe to any one religion's beliefs about death. It only mentions that most people believe that the soul goes somewhere to join other souls of those who have passed away. Summary: 1st hand short book on a child's dad being diagnosed and treated for cancer.

Book includes lots of questions kids may ask and gives calm but factual answers. The book ends with some fun stress relieving activities for the child. Please Tell! Summary: Jessie is a nine-year-old girl who was sexually abused by her uncle when she was four-and-a-half. She explains what it was like to be abused and what happened when she told her parents and saw a therapist.

Jessie explains how she felt as a result of the abuse and what helped her get through it. Warnings: This story is incredibly powerful as it is a rare firsthand account of early childhood sexual abuse written by a 9-year-old survivor. It gives excellent advice and could serve as a useful tool so that other child victims do not feel like they are the only ones who have been abused in this way. The pictures help emphasize the mental states of the characters with an easy-going comic book style. While directed at children, the story might also provide parents with a framework to understand how trauma can affect their children.

Sad Book. Summary: This is a nice psychoeducation about loss and sadness and reactions to loss and sadness. The challenge is it appears to be a children's picture book but seems more geared towards adults. It also offers some protective factors and hope towards the end. It never. These are my symptoms,compulsive writing,physical exhausted,binge eating loss of appetite,seasonal depression,difficulty making decisions,baby blues,miss judge time,mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, getting lost,some times have a great interest to be around people other times I want to be alone,I internalize peoples hurtful comments.

I would like to know how not to internalize hurtful comments? If you do love them, let them know or give it right back to them. Then ask if they like it. I have severe Bipolar 1 and I also suffer from severe anxiety and insecurity. How much of that is due to my illness is hard to say because just the fact of having a mental illness causes insecure feelings in me, never mind how my Bipolar 1 actually changes my thoughts.

What should be a small irritant perhaps a car not stopping at a crosswalk enrages me. When I look at somebody I love, I am overwhelmed with emotion. A small setback becomes a catastrophe in my mind. I try to ignore this fear because it has now protective value and, if I get anxious enough, might even make depression more likely. Despite the havoc my bipolar disorder has caused, I am grateful for some things. And, lastly, there were some things that I did while I was manic that are actually hilarious in retrospect in their craziness. Other things, of course, are shameful.

Couple of months ago boyfriend was diagnosed with BP II. I moved across the world to be with him and we talked about getting married and starting a family. We recently got into an heated argument of how I feel ignored and asking him what he wants. I asked if he wants marriage and kids and he said no. Seems like he just want to stay alone in a room…. I have both, and probably more, and relationships are difficult. One thing that I have noticed is when we are going through an episode is we feel like the other person should automatically understand and know what we are going through, how we feel, et cetera, and to give us what we want without asking for it.

He is probably just worried … I know the feeling all too well. Just ask him what you can do to make it better and give him lots of hugs! I am sorry to hear all of this. My wife has bi polar disorder and it is really hard. It is so hard she is in school and she thinks she cant do it. Have a faith system… it helps ease the pain. Thank you for this. I have seen him at his absolute best and supported him through his absolute worst. I have my own issues and he supports me thoroughly through those, all was great. However my worry — one which I would appreciate advice for — came from a comment I made when we were friends before we started dating.

We had a candid conversation about our intimate histories. He grew up a Catholic and has very strong views about intimacy and love having to be extremely closely related. He has only had one intimate partner before me. I have had a very small number of partners before him, but over the last couple of months he has become increasingly fixated on this, to the point where I am struggling to cope with his persistence in bringing it up in conversation. Can anyone advise me how I can help or support him?

I truly truly love him and will do anything to help him — but am just at a loss as what to do next. Please help me. To keep things short n sweet! However, not impossible! Anyhoo, back to you! His irrtating thoughts of even my past sex life also like you not very active! For putting it very simply! Anyhoo, again you certainly think hard in considering saying this to him, bc definitely it could NOT be a positive result!

Decided that your love for me is much greater than the dislikes he has of my past! You agree to begin working on eliminating the irritating thoughts all together of coarse with my help! Learn to replace negative thoughts with a positive one EACH time such occurs!

My apologies for jumping topics, and giv Mf too much detail, throwing you off topic! Hi, I have bipolar disorder. However, I am currently stable thanks to a medication combination that currently works hallelujah and I am careful about lifestyle stress! So I found your article a bit off-putting.

As if my mind, and how I think, is different because I have this disorder. It really is not. I believe that people That have not been diagnosed with anything could have those extreme types of thoughts and emotions at times too, in times of stress. I really do not believe humans are all that different from each other. Yes, I can have extreme thoughts and emotions when I become unwell, but like everyone else, having insight and perspective is helpful, having someone or others to share and express, get it out, helps volumes.

To me, my bipolar disorder means I am more vulnerable than others to extreme highs or lows or mood, which will affect my judgment and behaviour definitely if I did not take the medication. Your post confused me. Are you sure your diagnosis is correct? One : The person who has borderline suffers with a chronic sense of loneliness. Two : The person with borderline has an intense fear of abandonment.

But, it is possible I would think to have bipolar and borderline. It makes sense, though. Perhaps the world of medicine continues to evolve with treatment and diagnosis. My trigger for depression is I get depressed when certain people are degrading or cruel to me or my kids. I am not disrespectful to others and my reaction is fitting for the situation. I was hoping someone on here could give me strategies to not get depressed after dealing with toxic people. There is no end to the worry, confusion, anxiety and exercise of resources we dedicate to helping my sister.

I hear that ceaslessly from my sister and all of you. Like a broken record, bipolar sufferers go on and on and on about how no-one can imagine how THEY feel. They have one-track minds which assume that normal people have an imaginary ability to live in THEIR heads, but we simply choose not to. How hypocritical and self-righteous! In degrees, even. Please explain how your different brain reached this conclusion? We ALL live on a spectrum. I do not expect my sister to feel guilty or to blame for how her brain processed things.

It cannot empathise or accurately predict non-dichotomous neuroses nor can it understand spectrums. The degree of trauma, frustration, pain, cost and fracture to health and functioning cannot be measured by either party. And even if they could, it is far less likely that the bipolar brain would be the one able to do this. And still be bipolar. Only with my imagination can I know anything at all about what life is like for you.

Compassion and kindness are the best ways I know of to be connected with each other. Bad events outside of parents and sister have happened in your life. Who is showing you the compassion and kindness that you so rightly deserve? When it comes to mental illness there cant be too many blogs because the medical profession is still in the toddler stage when it comes to understanding the brain.

Bipolar is something i HAVE- it is not who i am. I am responsible for everything i do and its consequences. I can do this because i have bothered to look out for triggers and with discipline and mindfulness i am able to dip into my box of coping skills. I now retreat when i feel some fanatical or extreme reaction bubbling up inside of me. My solution is exhaustion so i go the physical route. Connecting with nature does it for me so come rain. Over-night i became persona non-grata.

I was no different than at any other time of my life except for the label. At seventeen- becoming conscious that my erratic behavior was hurting those close to me, i left home, i left the country, i decided not to have kids. Iv not had a serious relationship for ten years. This i did without resentment and complete acceptance that , though i will always mean what i say i will seldom get it right to say what i mean.

I am not into self-flagellation and have no desire to become a martyr nor a victim. So until i can wear this fragile shell like Armour i will continue to enjoy my own company. In my world, your world and all citizens of the world need to take a sledge-hammer to stereo-typing. Learn what it means to be tolerant and fight for the protection of diversity.

This is my story. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I do know that stereotyping bipolar sufferers helps neither the caretakers nor the people, themselves; however I think you proved my point. You have not been fair to compare typecasting minorities or lesser-abled with being a caretaker to a person with a mental illness. A specific one. This is not a correct comparison. In this example, stereotyping Jamaicans, Rastafarians etc is entirely different from a completely different discipline.

As the biological, physiological and psychological make up of the brain of a bipolar person and someone without it are entirely different. This article was talking about existent differences in brain functioning; and specifically a bipolar brain versus a non-bipolar brain. Bipolar sufferers are the only ones who struggle with the one trait Natasha mentioned which I disagreed with: reluctance to acknowledge an inability to accurately guage the impact of their ilness upon others.

I am NOT the only person who has ever experienced dishonesty, entitlement and unmitigated cruelty in relationships with Bipolar people. Those unique set of behaviours only manifested in the Bipolar people and those where bipolar was a comorbid disorder. Clearly not ALL of you are violent, not all of you are selfish by nature, not all of you recklessly spend money ordinarily or cheat on your spouses out of premeditated malice or are substance abusers.

But you ALL cannot understand how a non-bipolar brain receives and experiences your illness. You said yourself that you isolate due to ruining relationships but not being able due to your illness to put an end to it. Why are you out of relationships for 10 years. You obviously have SOME recognition that being bipolar affects more than just yourself. You have moved countries, determined not to have children and a whole host most because you know your illness causes you to hurt others. And pain.

And loss. My only objection was to the article stating that any one party has it harder than the other. I never said it was easy to be bipolar. But Trizia, just like my sister; just like Natasha, just like thousands of blogs, you are only able to focus upon your own hurt and your response toward me was cruel and unhelpful. Whether you meant for it to be, or not. Bipolar people have a bipolar brain. They should not venture into explaining the non-bipolar brain. Sorry Hannah, i wanted to add something but mom needed the computer..

Has your sister been properly diagnosed? Correctly medicated? There is an extremely fine line between Schizophrenia and Bipolar but a huge difference when it comes down to extreme physical violence brought on by paranoia. Perhaps others have but i have never witnessed or heard of nor read any material where a Manically Depressed person Bipolar is a term not older than 50 years and was adopted to make the merry-go-round in your head, sound more hip and trendy turns so horrifically on one of their own.

The other thing i wanted to mention is medication. Reading your nightmare i immediately thought this girl is Schizophrenic. For yourself ensure, create or join a support.

Lotta Bipolar Bits: Survivors Diary Of Living Bipolar (My Bipolar World)

This one would not be up for negotiation. My mom is unaware that i know she discusses me………. There is no way on this earth that you will come out of this unscathed. Apologies, i have a tendency to take the scenic route instead of just getting to the point which is simply. Just one more thing. I sincerely wish for you to find the strength and courage to own your life so you can discover SELF. You already know all there is to know about sufferance. Choose to experience something else. Once your sister is stabilized which should be a given once you attract the right physician- throw out the fear, guilt and doubt and make it clear to your sister she is now accountable for every breath she takes.

Let her know that if ever she ever self-diagnoses herself as cured and stops the meds, you will have her certified. I may throw a tantrum if i hear the threat but it's sobering- in retrospect. Okay NOW im finished. Thank you for coming back, I showed your reply to my sister and parents. She has made an apointment to see her Psychiatrist the day after tomorrow. Thank you for your help. Hello Hannah, I just finished reading your initial post and I believe you have every right to just let all your feelings flood the page until you find that small sense of relief.

Talking about your side of caring for your sister and being completely honest on how it makes you feel, is a hard, bold, and positive step for yourself. You also need to know how strong you are compared to most. I have dedicated all of my life, body, and soul to caring for my mentally ill family members. They are my life, my love. You are not the first and you will not be the last. But do you understand how frightening it may be for your sister to not know when those outbursts will happen and then remember her uncontrolable action?

The guilt she may feel? Reverse the roles. You are in her shoes and she in yours, what would you hope for? Bipolar patients, from my experience, have a higher level of hope than the average person.

Living with Mental Illness: Books, Stories and Memoirs

Your sister has a chronic disease that seems to sometimes drive you mad but you are well and healthy and that is something you must come to terms with. We all have sacrifices that we must make, that goes for everyone. I go to college full-time, work full-time, take care of my father currently in chemo — and has been since I was 6 yrs. I also take care of myself. I am a 26 year old female that suffers from bipolar disorder II, anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and seizure disorder and Hannah, the only thought that allows me to never commit suicide, is knowing my family needs me and I need them.

I understand you have all your our stressors, frustrations, sad moments and happy moments but for someone with bipolar disorder there is no cause to their outward mood reactions. Dear friend I felt like the same as you do for more than 29 years I feel exactly the same as you do but the worst part is that after that I realized I am sick as well as this is a genetic problem so kindly please go and have checked I give up many things I helped a lot but it is because I am a little bit in a better mood, so i am never sorry for what i did for my sister my brother and the sickest mom i ever had I am also sick and some one needs to take care of me who is me!

I can relate to this. And they are so exasperating. They argue off the top of their head. My father would just throw a fit about nothing. Thank you. This is such a great post Natasha and describes me perfectly. I can see why is has been so popular. One of my professors said I immersed myself in projects. I think immersed is a better word than compulsion because it offers the possibility of choice, with maybe a hint of self control. Another opinion — a diagnosis is just a word, it allows people to play scrabble with your brain. A person with BP at any level do not have the filter, social cues or self control that normal people do period — medications and therapy helps for sure.

Diagnosis is not just a word, it is a word that follow a real medical illness followed by treatment. No one in their right mind would ever say that. Mentally unsound people think outside the box they have ideas mentally sound people have trouble coming up with.

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I want to be the voice of the mentally unsound and physically handicapped. Let me be the voice of million Americans. Let me cry for you let me laugh for you let me carry you. I may that cute girl at Starbucks reading the latest issue of Batman. I may be that guy at the gym you were always afraid to ask out. I may not even exist as a human. Have you ever thought your living in a Matrix? Were on a path to destruction ask yourself, who will you elect to worsen you, destroy everything you stand for, make you cry, lead you to your demise, create animosity between mother and son, mother and daughter, husband and wife.

Are you sad yet? You should be. Think about how great if you elected someone like me for DNC, I can turn heads with just my smile. I think we could all reach out and touch faith at this point. Sorry for the long exposition you said you wanted to know what talking to a Bipolar person is like.

Be careful what you wish for you may just get it and live happily ever after. I was killing myself laughing at your all over the place post and slight narcissism. No this is exactly why the rest of the world needs help adapting to the life of people with bipolar, instead of making fun of us by laughing at us etc.. We all have to adapt to your lives which can be hard to understand. We all came from the one same God and he loves us all bipolar or not bipolar. I have dealt with people with BP, addicts — sex, drugs, gambling and booze.

Thank you for this, Ricky. You really have given honest expression to the bipolar mind and your writing is like exhilarating beat poetry. I hope you find your way to some peace and security. You are right about us being able to think outside the box, but it can be a rough journey. I hope you find your safe harbour. Preach on brotha man. Lol, you get the point. I have to say thank you for this post, it made me feel like I was not just crazy, that when I face conflict with my sister my mind immediately says to kill myself or that it is vital to run away.

Just reading this information reduces a lot of stress. Its comforting to know the impending doom and obsessions about the doom are normal for a person with my disorder. Car drives by slow: Must going to get robbed later on. Food order takes longer than expected: Must be spitting in the food. Get looks at the store: They must think I am going to shoplift. Random pain: I have cancer and I am going to die. I struggle with some of these on a daily bases. I have had similar periods of thinking like that in the past too.

Exercise helps me have a better baseline state of mind and mood. Also finding ways to either distract my mind or be more in the moment and not caught in thought take sustained effort, but are possible and some of the main ways people deal with this situation. Cognitive behavioral therapy in general can help with a therapist, but you can do things on your own as well. Is this why bipolar people leave the people they love zo often? They are already thinking of what can go wrong or imagining that that person is going to leave them?

My ex makes sure he stays in touch but tells me he is afraid he will hurt me again. Again, I detach to guard my heart.

My Life With Bipolar Disorder

Having bipolar is a lot about moods, moods that we are problems managing. Hi Paige Its complicated. We have known each other 40 years, dated as teenagers and he has pursed me for 30 years. Fonally took a chance and we were so happy. We do have a physical relationship, and I know everyone says to not do this but I need to stay connected to him. He has just told me he only takes half of his lithium. Because he is not manic or depressed he thinks he is fine. I believe he has been cycling since last march, definitly hypomanic and hypersexual.

A relationship that has endured for 40 years is going to be complicated, especially when tender feelings are still alive. I believe those of us who have bipolar are ultimately the only ones who can save ourselves, at least this was true for me. The lithium will only take him so far.

Bipolar is not curable, but it is treatable. You mentioned having a physical relationship with him because you need to stay connected. This is your life — you have the freedom to make choices. The consequences are unknown until they happen. Please be kind and gentle with yourself. You deserve to be loved and cherished. Great advice!!! This can sound cold from someone not struggling, the advice you gave that is.

Wish I could read more people with BP express your views of owning it and trying to work with it. Wow… Paul you seem very angry??!! What are you…. You sound as angry as my ex was and probably still is. He was diagnosed as BP but never got as far as to what degree and yes he seemed like everything you stated above. Wish you all the best! Whats up with all of the quotation marks? Why so angry? I have been bi polar since I was a kid. What this lady has wrote for this article is dead on. I have not been diagnosed as bi polar. I have been treated for pmdd, and depression.

I just watched my father die, and all I see is him dying over and over again. On loop. I long for the mania. At least I would get something done. I live in my bed. I am quite accomplished,in some areas but, right now I am nothing. I begged my dr for ativan. He declined. I was afraid to be labeled, but I explained, this is a serious condition I have!

My pshch doc is seeing me Sat. I am getting ritalin to combine with the wellbutrin and celexa. When I I start to be that person you see in all these videos? I was treated for depression most of my life. Diognosed last year with bp2. I experience rapid cycling and mixed states often. I take lithium, lamictal, and seriqual. I woorry so much about the effect on my kids and husband. Rage dispair rule me so much of the time. I was sexually abused by a family member and lost both parents in the last 5 years. In thier sixties. Articles… Websites. Should I ask him to come to my next psychopharmacology appt?

I saw my previous therapist for thirteen years. Any resources are welcome. In addition, if you want your partner to join you at a medical appointment, I highly recommend it. It can be very helpful for them to chime in and help you remember exactly what you doctor may have said. You may wish to take your partner to therapy sometimes, too. There are many issues to work out when mental illness is in the mix. Your best ally is regular, open and honest communication so that you can both understand what each other is going through and feeling.

Good Luck :. What does crystal Meth do to a brain that is bipolar. If they are using or having been using for years? Ones that are medicated with prescriptions and doing meth? To getting off there medications and then going to meth? Someone is commenting under the name Eve, which is not me.

I was so damn confused when I read it. I thought, how the hell did I write that and not remember? So maybe whoever you are, could you add your last initial? Like you said about the little things, sunrises, your daughters embrace, you need to find hose things in each day.

I appreciate the time you offer on this topic. I am with a wonderful, nearly perfect man and my biggest fear is that I destroy the relationship. It drives me crazy — and I know this effects my boyfriend. What do I say? I have been on and off antidepressants since I was 15, I attempted suicide that same year this occurred after I spent a month in a facility.

I just want my self assurance to improve, to be the happy person my boyfriend deserves, and not have to struggle so hard to deal with these emotions. Thank you in advance for your time. You have every right to access proven and effective treatment and support for your health condition. You are not your illness, it is a health condition you are experiencing and which can be effectively managed through tailored treatment.

This treatment may involve a combination of pharmaceuticals as well as psychotherapies. Together with a healthy lifestyle, treatment for mood disorders such as bipolar disorders there are several sub-types has come a long way. Arm yourself with as much information from reputable sources organisations that specialise in research and treatment of mood disorders. Be wary of taking on the opinions of every other person with or without a mood disorder or mental health condition. I just wanted to assure you that with accurate information and professional support, your health condition can be managed and you can improve your quality of life.

Education is absolutely crucial — seek out evidence-based, objective information sources that are peer-reviewed. Psychotherapy with a clinical psychologist — mental training — this is where you can have regular, ongoing emotional and psychological support. There are a number of other psychotherapies which are essentially strategies that improve coping mechanisms. Remember, everybody has stressors in life but what makes people with Bipolar Disorder different is the ways in which we respond to these stressors.

Much of this can be altered with a little training and practice. This is not a cure, Bipolar Disorder does not go away — rather, it can be effectively managed so you can get your life back. Support — different people can offer different styles of support. That job is for a professional, or a team of professionals such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social care worker, dietician, etc.

The role of loved ones is to educate themselves on how best to care for their loved one. This is NOT there job. Also, pick and choose whom you disclose to and how much you disclose about your illness. You are not under any obligation to tell others you have Bipolar Disorder or any other illness for that matter. You can work out who you trust and go from there. Lifestyle — activites that you love, exercise, yoga, mindfulness and anything you can do that you can become immersed in.

For me it is a good book, I get lost in it and when I come back, my mind is calmer because it had some time off from the thinking, etc. Find something to engage in. Diet — a healthy diet will feed the brain and body with all the nutrients it needs and will eliminate the strain that processed foods can put on your system. Food really does influence mood. There is increasing evidence that indicates inflammation and cellular degeneration as being a part of Bipolar Disorder and other mental health conditions.

It is a neuro-biological disorder. Pharmaceuticals and psychiatric medicines — Insist on being referred to a psychiatrist preferably one who focuses on Bipolar Disorder from your GP. A psychiatrist is in the best position to have all the up to date data on which pharmaceutical options you can begin to apply. Be realistic, the brain is a complex machine we are only just starting to understand.

There are many regions of the brain and they all talk to each other in various networks for various purposes. Medicines that interact with these networks are well-researched and we have the ability to use them safely and with wonderful outcomes. Manage your expectations and be open to the fact that this is a complex disorder that presents in different ways the more you read about the different types of Bipolar and what other diseases can be found in concert with bipolar and how each person is treated will be different to another when all their symptoms are taken into account.

For example, symptoms may range from manic to depressive, to hypo-manic to mixed state, to rapid cycling. Some people will have insomnia, others hypersomnia. So, step into this with your eyes open to the complexity in which these things will need to be managed. Communicate with your psychiatrist, tell them about your symptoms, they can shed light and help you decide whether to ride it out till the symptoms subside or to manage a transition to another medication. Medications can work in concert with one another so be prepared to combine them to get a stabilising effect.

Mood diary — tracking your moods through a day can be done on paper or in an app. It can be really hard thing to recall off the top of your head how you were feeling last week, last month, etc. But this information can be used to understand your symptom patterns and what treatment needs to be applied. Keep a safety plan — knowing what to do in an emergency, such as who to call or where to go, is essential in your self care plan. Then you can apply some of the coping techniques you learnt in CBT. Private Health Care — one day you may have to go to hospital and stay there until your mood is stabilised.

If you can do this in a private facility it is very different to the emergency psych ward at a public hospital. A private facility is the best place to be for monitored recovery. If you can get private health care with unlimited private hospital cover, it is worth every dollar and may just save your life if you are having an acute suicidal episode. I hope this information has helped. The worst thing is wandering around in the dark and operating on false assumptions, misinformation and faulty thinking. Hello Eve, Thank you for the kind words. I am indeed lucky to have the support of my wife.

My kids, now that they are grown do the same for me. That was fourteen years ago. Not knowing that I had bipolar, life threw everything it cold at me all at once. Our much loved dog of 17 years passed. This dog taught me so much about love and life that I could never describe him as anything less than a member of our family.

He grew with our children and came to become a loving reminder of the kids as they had just left us to start their own lives. I recently heard of a term someone coined. We lost our beloved pet. We lost our kids. My Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and had just died a horrible death that I was witness to very personally. My job. It was toxic. Sixty hours a week of pure stress. I lived a state of perpetual burnout for twenty six years. I coveted this job as it was high paying and allowed me to raise my family without financial hardships.

We still knew what scrimping and saving was all about though. Then one day while trying to process the loss of my loved ones. I came to work and met the third shift people coming out to go home. They looked stunned. There were armed guards, trained dogs, and frightening looking people in suits with bullet proof vests.

We were herded into the cafeteria and told they were closing the plant. There was no consideration or compassion about how this was done. I was 46 months away from retirement and this hit me like a sick joke. I had fretted for two years over this day as I had learned how the company functioned and saw many telling signs that something was up. When I questioned this with the managers they denied the possibility.

Well it finally happened. We were done. But the closing was on their terms. They would close when THEY wanted. I watched helplessly as the equipment that I had become part of over the years was ripped out and disappeared. This was done on weekends when no one was allowed to work. We came to realize that we would witness another loss when we were scheduled off for the weekends. This became a death of a thousand cuts for me. Then the next step came. Surveillance cameras.

We were watched constantly. I felt like a prisoner and a criminal. We needed to get our worthless asses out and work like real workers. Oh, and by the way I was scheduled 70 hours a week of this. Well, it finally became more than I could bear. As I drove to work on that Sunday trying to fit any of this together so that I could move on, I played my usual Sunday game of count the cars that were on the road early in the morning on a Sunday the day of rest.

Well one of the vehicles was a family pulling a boat to spend the day relaxing and enjoying. I was instantly overcome with the deepest grief and hopelessness I have ever felt. I spent the day drowning in this hellish state. That night I went home to an empty house as my wife was out with friends for the weekend. I realized that my life was less than useless. I had been told and shown that by the authorities that ruled me seven days a week. I was trying to deal with the grief of losing my family and all this was thrown of top of it all.

My wife was glad to be off with friends. I was glad she was gone. The hell that I was in was spilling over onto her. I hated the toll I was placing on her as I tried to cope. I expressed my fear and confusion as anger to her. It was killing her. I was the enemy of everything I knew. It was clear in m bipolar mind. I had to die. I went dutifully to work Monday.

I had sealed my death sentence the night before. I faced the hell one last time…and melted down. In true bipolar fashion I truly needed to die and truly wanted to find a reason to live. This tore me emotionally to pieces. I went home convinced that peace was to come ONLY thru death. My high powered rifle was waiting for me. An instrument of death that was about to become my angel of peace.

My place of death picked out as the place that I would last see this realm in which we all live and love….. I was already dead. My decision, as god is my witness was to die. It was done. I was emotionally gone already. Only the simple act remained and I was now headed to finish it. I got home. There was my wife. OH GOD! I had an appointment with death and now she stood in the way. I raged. I cried. I laughed at the folly of what I was. Two EMS techs guarding me. The one told me: You can make this easy or hard on yourself you can sign you in or we can.

I faced the hardest thing I have ever done. To say to the world thru this paper: I am mentally ill. I am less than what a whole man is. I submit to you because of this. I signed the paper. I lived. I recovered. Never to be the person I was again. My actions thru Bipolar has robbed me of who I was and left me an empty shell. The richness of life is only a shadow now. A beautiful sunrise, the love for a daughter, holding her sobbing after being betrayed by her husband.

I now live in the hope of someday once again to feel whole and truly alive. This what Bipolar is to me. Well my situation sounded and went like this…. I said sure whatever right?? So a few more months down the road, I found out he was carrying on with another girl — I left. We talked and worked things out. Fast forward a little bit…his neighbor committed suicide over the holidays a few years back, weeks after that he tells me he thinks about suicide all the time…total shock to me?!

So convinced him to go to his GP, I went with him. Appointments later, a scip and an appointment with a therapist — he was diagnosed as BP and will have to work hard at it. He told me he was taking the meds who knows?? I just know he went from severe depression to this person and I will say crazy…the things that would come out of his mouth…OMG! He was canned the next day…surprise!? This man has never been able to save a penny because he just spends it randomly with no thought at all, mind you he is a single parent of 2 boys, but still you know. So he has this great opportunity to re open his business with a partner and asked me to join it — I said no way I can start to see the writing on the wall I said good luck and then he turned around and asked for a loan to start up…haha!

I gave a loan — -stupid I know but I did! Now during all this he is depressed, missing work days here and there, not eating and loosing a ton of weight, smoking weed, coffee and candy is all he is eating for months on end. Rages at everyone for the littlest things as usual. I said nope not this time your own your own. Well that was when he turned in a monster seriously, from that day forward.

I was getting tired of missed family functions, skipping work, numerous car accidents because of raging, he attitude was just horrible, threats of emailing everyone I know and will make up lies about me, porn addiction — would not go to work and sit home watching porn all day not lying , threathen send indecent photos to my father, blaming me for his condition, I make his life miserable, he hates me, he used to love me, trash talk about me to my son about what a deceitful bitch I am, refusing to pay me back the loaned money, would leave the front door open when he left the house — for the whole day, I would come home and think WTH?

From that day forward, I found a place to live stayed out of the house as much as I could. Kept my son away from him, and locked my bedroom door every night. He owned a hand gun…yippee! So I moved it weekly until I moved. If he does great, just stay away from me. Such a crazy roller coaster and the stress that came along with it…wow! I will say he destroyed me emotionally , I have no interest in romance, companionship and honesty loathe him for destroying this part of me.

Time heals and I will heal. Ted and Ruth Ted: I feel for you buddy. I know that feeling of desperation and having to go to the hospital with a cut up wrists and feeling embarrassed because someone you love saved you. Which in reality we should be thankful for. But know that each day the sun will rise and time moves on. I commend you for being honest with your emotions on here with us. Your wife sounds like a very loving and commendable woman and I hope that you never take advantage of that. By the sounds of it, you are very lucky to have her. I may not have done things as extreme as your ex did, but I still have expressed my feelings of remorse and hope for a future without disappointing those close to me.

But at the same time, BP cannot be the blame for everything. As I mentioned before… My partner cheated on me.. And I will stop there… But he is not BP. People still need to be accountable for their actions. Your ex may have been suffering BP, but that can never excuse the abuse you suffered at his hands. You deserved better from him and you deserve to know that maybe, just maybe it was the fact he was an unkind human being.

I have great relationships with people. Being BP doesnt make you stupid. Xx If you want to talk my email is below. Hello Ruth, WOW! Not in a bad way though. I am currently dealing with a situation that has brought what you said into some focus. I indeed am aware of the pain and suffering I cause my loved ones. I am Bipolar II. How aware?

Fifteen years ago I attempted suicide. I cause the suffering. I throw peoples lives into chaos. That then was the point that I realized a large part of Me was causing so much of the hardship for everyone around me. The biggest problem for me is there is no foundation to build any kind of emotional stability. This was my guide that I used to live my daily life. This model included everything I encountered and it included how I related to others in every way.