Going home to visit my family during the holidays used to be a joy when I was a child. Bipolar disorder changed this for many years. I saw family gatherings as a place that highlighted my shortcomings, my medication weight gain and how behind I was in life because of this illness.
It’s Easter tomorrow and for those who celebrate the day with a big family dinner, planning ahead for the inevitable feelings that come up for people with bipolar disorder is essential.
Now that my bipolar disorder is under control and I’m more able to accept myself for who I am, I enjoy dinners with family and friends. I still have the illness. I still struggle with my weight and I still get stressed when there are too many people around, but wow, life is so much better when you [ Read More ]
This is my blog from 2007. Isn’t it amazing how this illness just keeps chugging along even when we do our best to stay stable! My depression is so much better, but I still have the tough days – the stunned days. I have to get out my drill sergeant pretty often!
From 2007: I woke up depressed. I was up a few nights ago so I’m obviously rapid cycling. I called a friend to tell her I was manic- this is part of my treatment plan- and she said, “Ok. What happens next?” I said, “Well, I feel so good right now, but I will probably go down. It always happens even though I never believe it will. I just have to look at the way it has been in the past.” Two days later I am down.
When I [ Read More ]
Have you experienced any of the following in the past few months?
- Slept less but felt more energized? Had the thought… sleep is a waste of time!
- Had the thought- Thank god the depression is gone, I feel SO much better. ?
- Felt like spending more? Drinking more? Are you behaving in a way that has people asking you what’s wrong and you want to reply- NOTHING! Don’t wreck my buzz man. Do you want me to be depressed forever?
- Do you feel more sexual than normal? Do you have sexual thoughts about anyone who is good looking?
- Are you eating less than you normally do?
If you answer yes to any of these, you know what it means. You might be manic!
NO MANIA THIS YEAR has to be [ Read More ]
Do you have trouble getting things done when bipolar disorder is active?
Do you care about someone who would like to be more productive, but the bipolar disorder mood swings make it difficult to get things done? I have good news. People with bipolar disorder can learn to get things done! I was recently interviewed by health and lifestyle guru Dr. Lorraine Haataia on the topic of how we can learn to get things done no matter what we are going through in life. She asked me about my own experiences around bipolar disorder and work and we then had an inspiring conversation on how the strategies in my book Get it Done When You’re Depressed: 50 Strategies for Getting Your Life on Track can help anyone who struggles with motivation (my views on motivation may surprise you!), getting started [ Read More ]
Click below to listen to the Bipolar Disorder 101 coaching call where I condense my bipolar disorder knowledge into one hour. We had over 100 people on the original call- now it can reach even more people. You can listen online or download the MP3 to any handheld device. Here’s a quote from one of the listeners:
“Julie, how did you get so much information about bipolar disorder into one call? It’s the first time my son has ever made it through a whole recording about his diagnosis. I could tell that hearing the facts from someone who struggles as much as he does with bipolar really made a difference. Thank you! I was crying and didn’t want him to know, but it was happy crying. This is the FIRST time he has done anything with me related to his illness. I have hope now [ Read More ]
Oh yes, the dark weather has started here in Portland, Oregon. It’s easy to experience seasonal affective disorder symptoms when it gets dark at 4:00 PM. I have found that prevention is the best treatment for SAD. The first step is to determine your worst time of the day. When do you feel the most down? It’s around 4-6 PM for me.
Here are some tips for how I manage and prevent seasonal affective disorder :
1. I get natural light in my eyes if there is sun in the morning. Look up at the sky and let the light get into your retina so it can tell your brain to switch on your serotonin. You want to look at blue sky whenever possible- this is the blue light that helps depression. Light boxes can cause mania in people with bipolar disorder. I [ Read More ]