Looking back at my childhood through my mid 20s, I suppose one could say that compared to other youth, I was mostly left adrift. I think my siblings were, as well. My parents were the opposite of “helicopter parents” in that they did not control our every move. In fact, they did not control much of what we did. They provided us with a nice home, and good food to eat. They took us on weekend and other excursions. They did teach us right from wrong, but beyond that we had a certain freedom that many other children our ages didn’t seem to have. Continue reading →
Right now, I am resigned to the necessity of patience and carefully calculated approaches. Being middle-aged, I have learned from the impulsivity of my youth. It took me a very long time to get to this point of control, and ability to safely stay put. Today, I’m aware how important it is to keep my eyes widely opened to make sure I know what is ahead, aside and behind me. Continue reading →
Please consider reading Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this four part post series before continuing with this post.
***Some content in this post may be disturbing or triggering. This post primarily focuses on a major depressive episode of Bipolar disorder type 1***
At the end of Part 3 of this post series, I had attended my eighth out of 10 hospitalizations for mania and/or mania with mixed features, and was again in an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The remaining major depressive episode eased briefly. I had improved sufficiently enough to return back to work part-time and resume care under my private psychiatrist, Dr. Ripley.
Only two months later, the depressive episode worsened to severe, but there were no hints of mania involved. Continue reading →
Please consider reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this post series before continuing with this post.
***This post may be triggering. It details my personal experience with Bipolar type 1 full blown manias and mixed manias. Not all people with bipolar disorder behave as severely as I detail, or even severely at all. Experiences with bipolar disorder vary.***
At the end of Part 2 of this series, I mentioned that it was after my sixth Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that I likely quit my medications cold turkey. Because of that, my transition from quasi “wellness” back to complete mood instability was quite rapid. The scariest part was that I had recently returned to work part-time. Continue reading →
***Some content in this post series may be very triggering***
In Part 1 of this post series, I mentioned that I do not remember at least half of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations, mostly the second half. In order to write this part of the series I’ve had to refer to the past hospital records I collected to figure out what likely happened when. I may still mix some things up. The hospital records do not contain the full story of my experiences. I remember mentioning that to my current psychiatrist of 12 years, and he said he wasn’t surprised. Continue reading →
***Some content in this post may be very triggering***
Before I start this post series, please note that I do not remember all of my 10 psychiatric hospitalizations. Many are mostly lost from my memory, so I will use hospital records to assist me in writing about them. This first installment is actually a part of this story series that I do remember in some detail. My bipolar disorder was not at its very worst at this point. My episodes worsened over the four years that followed. In this post I was 33 & 34 years old.
This series is being written in preparation for a chapter in my working memoir.
I have had issues with anxiety and panic attacks at various times of my life. It either comes with my bipolar disorder at times, or is a separate mental health issue. My panic attacks can be brought on by what may seem like nothing, or at least seemingly small triggers. And panic attacks can easily breed more frequent attacks. Scientists believe this may be part of the “kindling effect”. The kindling effect (originally applied to epilepsy, but now also applied to bipolar disorder, addictions, and even other mental health issues) is where with each episode of the illness, later episodes become more likely and more severe. It can sometimes be difficult to finally break the cycle of kindling. Continue reading →
Last summer my husband and I bought two beautiful new light green painted rocking chairs for our deck. We had to assemble them, which was a monumental effort, as self-assembly projects can sometimes be. But when they were ready, we put them into place with a perfect view of our hummingbird feeder. Continue reading →
Do you have a favorite blanket? One that is extra comforting? Perhaps it is especially soft and warm and has a long history of providing comfort. Maybe its colors, pattern and origins are meaningful to you?