Accepting New Family Member and Partner Coaching Clients

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Five years ago, I started coaching partners and family members of people with bipolar disorder as an addition to my writing career.

I never thought I would find work that I enjoy as much as I enjoy coaching. I feel at home with the parents and partners as I have been where they are- and I remain calm during the crises that many of my clients are going through while we are working together. Bipolar disorder is like a puzzle. It’s not always easy to find the right pieces on your own. It helps to have a coach as a guide.

My coaching practice has room for new clients. I take new clients about once a month-and then help them as best I can. It’s a partnership that saves relationships and often lives.

Coaching is not for everyone, but if you are concerned [ Read More ]

Getting Through the Family Holiday Dinner When You Have Bipolar Disorder

funny familly 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 ]

Guest Blogger Tara Rolstad: Parenting Children with Mental Health Disorders. It Gets Better!

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Unique, alone, and never-ending.

When I started my journey seven years ago walking alongside family members who lived with mental illness, I was pretty sure those words would always define my experience.

My husband and I had become foster parents for two nieces, and I became legal guardian of a third, and we helped my parents as they took in a fourth. It wasn’t long before the severity of the girls’ PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and anxiety became clear.

We who had known nothing, really, about mental illness would eventually become skilled advocates, experts in DBT, CBT, and OHCHWGA. (That last one? “Oh, holy crap here we go again,” familiar to many an overwhelmed family member.)

But at first, as we were swept up in a chaotic storm of self-harm, [ Read More ]

Bipolar Happens! is a Bestselling Bipolar Disorder Book on the Kindle!

BHenhanced 65Bipolar Happens: 35 Tips and Tricks to Manage Bipolar Disorder is often the #1 Bipolar Disorder book on the Kindle.

That’s exciting. I went to the Kindle store to see how my books Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder and Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder were doing on the bipolar disorder page. These books are in the top ten ranking- and then I saw that Bipolar Happens! was doing well on Amazon.

Fantastic! Bipolar Happens! is an enjoyable book about a serious topic.

Guess what- it’s only $.99 I want it to be available to everyone.

Yes, I think this is a great deal and a good way to get helpful information about bipolar disorder at minimum cost. Bipolar Happens! was my first book. I knew I wanted to talk about how I manage the illness, but I also wanted to tell stories [ Read More ]

My Bp Magazine Blog Post: Does My Teenager Have Bipolar Disorder?

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It’s hard to know if your teenager has bipolar disorder simply because teenagers are emotional creatures! How are parents supposed to figure out what is typical and what is a possible bipolar disorder symptom when so many teenage behaviors seems to mimic the ups and downs of bipolar disorder? I address this question in my latest blog for Bp Magazine.




After years of working with parents who ask me this exact question, I came up with a quick tool all parents can use to at least determine if a teenager needs an evaluation from a health care professional. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but wow, it can save a lot of future grief!

Click here to read the blog post from Bp Magazine and visit [ Read More ]

Do You Care About Someone with Bipolar Disorder Who Refuses Help for Bipolar Disorder?

communicate blueYou are not alone! Many people with bipolar disorder can’t see they are ill and many know they have the illness, but stubbornly refuse help!

Here are three tips to ease your loved one into future treatment:

1. If the person refuses to say the words bipolar disorder, don’t try to force the issue…yet. Instead, talk about feeling good, feeling down, feeling upset or feeling angry.

2. Focus on sleep. Many people with untreated mood disorders are open to getting help for sleep. Talk about sleep studies, small doses of melatonin four hours before midnight and talking to a professional to get help for sleeping issues.

3. If it feels right, talk about anxiety. I’ve learned through working with parents and partners that people who refuse to use the words bipolar disorder will often have an open discussion about anxiety, especially men.

There [ Read More ]

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