I find pain destroys my ability to think. I find that once pain reaches a certain level, I can no long formulate rational thoughts, and all I can think about is the pain. I short, pain kills my brain. This feels like a curse for someone who uses her brain for a living. However, pain's penchant for affecting one's ability to think is hardly limited to me.
Bipolar is usually medicated to a manageable level. In other words, people with bipolar disorder who are on medication are not "back to normal," rather, they still exhibit some bipolar traits but at a manageable amount. This is completely different from what I was told for years after diagnosis, and it's also different from what people see in the media. People seem to think that a pill will make the person back to who they were before the bipolar disorder. I'm sorry to say, this just isn't true for the vast majority of us.
People feel the need to "correct" mental health language constantly. This is mainly a product of political correctness and virtue signaling -- both of which I detest. In fact, talking about mental health and mental illness is like talking through a minefield. Wrong mental illness name -- boom -- you've exploded. Wrong sentence structure -- boom -- you've exploded again. And the thing is, running around correcting mental health language simply shuts down conversation altogether, and it's that exactly the opposite of what mental illness needs? Mental illness needs more open acknowledgment, not people shedding in the dark scared of being publically shamed for incorrectly using words.
I've had the signs of mental illness in my life since I was a child but didn't receive treatment until I was 19-20; so, why didn't I get treatment for bipolar disorder earlier? This is a question that many people ask themselves, and different people answer it in different ways. One of my major reasons for not getting bipolar treatment sooner involves antipsychiatry.
I'm far too acquainted with comfort food and depression. I wish I had no knowledge of it, but that's just not true. I admit to comfort-eating when depressed in spite of knowing that it tends to be bad for one's physical health. So, let's dive into what comfort food in depression is and whether it actually offers any benefit.
Last week I applied for the disability tax credit (DTC). The DTC is something we have in Canada for people with severe disabilities that still pay taxes. It doesn't just allow for a tax credit; it also allows for access to extended medical healthcare, special retirement savings benefits, and more. If you have been reading Breaking Bipolar for a very long time, you might recall that I previously applied for the disability tax credit and was rejected. Well, last week, we entered round two of applying for the disability tax credit.
I feel like I'm a professional patient right now -- a professional patient being one who has found that maintaining their health is a full-time job. This is not a job I applied for, not one I accepted, and not one I want. In fact, being a professional patient might be the worst job one can have. So, let's talk about being a professional patient, how to live with it and how to get through it.
When you have bipolar disorder, advocating for your health is even harder. And honestly, doctors are often to blame for this difficulty. Not all doctors are the same, of course, but many treat people with serious mental illness in ways different from other patients. Learn why it's so hard to advocate for your health with bipolar disorder and what you can do about it.
I was recently asked if trauma can cause bipolar disorder. This isn't the first time I have been asked this question. I think the question often comes from two types of people. The first type is people who have trauma in their past and want to know if it caused their own bipolar. The second type is of people who are concerned that trauma may cause or have caused bipolar in another. I can understand the concerns of these people, so let's dig into the question: can trauma cause bipolar disorder?
I've been asked if being a mental health advocate is worth it. After all, that could describe my full-time, all-time job. As in, since I became a professional mental health advocate, almost all my days are dedicated to it. Whether I'm doing something for a client or not, mental health advocacy is just something I sleep, eat and breathe. But is being a mental health advocate really worth it?