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Jennifer Peterson

This essay won first place in our High School Essay Contest this year. Like a shadow, it cannot be shaken. It hides in corners and feasts in the dark, preying on its victims from afar. It alters their minds, forever distorting the way in which they view their own self worth. It devours confidence, crumbling it into microscopic,...
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Kimberly Lifton

This essay won second place in our High School Essay Contest this year. No one would ever say, “It is just cancer. Get over it.” So why does society stigmatize people who suffer from mental illness? How come when people have a mental illness, society perceives them as if they are monsters? Why can every other organ in the body...
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Cheyenne Benwarisingh

This essay tied for third place in our High School Essay Contest this year. I live in Jamaica, a country rich with diverse ethnicities, personalities, and beliefs. As unique as the people of my country are, we all have one commonality, and that is the stigmatization of persons with mental disorders. Very rarely will you hear a...
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Amadea Smith

This essay tied for third place in our High School Essay Contest this year. At my high school, it is not uncommon to hear put-downs in the hallways - “He’s just trying to get attention,” “She's so bipolar.” These kinds of naive comments about mental illness are just as ubiquitous as a wad of gum under a chair. Sixty million people...
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This is the third in a series of 26 posts covering a variety of stress management tools and techniques, starting with the letter A. For some background information on stress and bipolar disorder, the blogger recommends reading her three-part series, “Getting a Handle on Stress When You Have Bipolar Disorder,” starting with the first one. ...
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Everyone I have ever talked to within the mental health community has an acute awareness of the social stigma of their condition. They could jeopardize their career, could lose their friendships, or even have their family torn away from them. We are all aware that people look at us differently, fail to trust us with important tasks, or even skip...
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Thankfully I normally get to sleep very quickly. However, about a month ago it took me a VERY long time to get to sleep. I had a bunch of ideas swirling in my head and my mind kept firing off new ones. They were exciting ideas about a variety of things: a fundraising hike for the International Bipolar Foundation that friends and I are planning,...
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I remember what it was like hitting rock bottom. I hit it hard. I had checked myself into the psych ward twice and was dealing with a dull, achy feeling. Whoo boy, was that hard! Thankfully, I had and still have God, my husband, and mom on my side. I also found the right combination of medications and saw a therapist. It took a few years, but it...
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Sometimes the hardest part about being married to someone with bipolar disorder is trying to reconcile the actions of the illness from the actions of the person. When you live with someone long enough you get to know them pretty well.  You become comfortable with their habits (good and bad), their moods, and their daily routines. More...
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I consider mania to be the forgotten orphan of the two poles of bipolar disorder – with depression being the most discussed. Depression gets all the attention, all the talk, all the focus and mania is left out in the cold. On the International Bipolar Foundation’s (IBPF) website, the IBPF’s bloggers have written 77 articles about depression and...
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