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Caregiving Matters

November 25, 2014
There are three things that I have begun to incorporate into my way of thinking as a caregiver. It started when I was in my early 20’s and began to lightly step onto the caregiving path for my aging grandmother. My parents long ago started something, (now defunct), called ‘Caregiving Matters’ when my grandmother was ill, for the issue of creating...
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Labeling Without Thought

November 25, 2014
A recent discussion with a nurse practitioner prompted me to think about the nature of labels. She argued that regardless of the label, the underlying condition of behavior consistent with that description remains unaffected by the label assigned. Naturally, I disagreed. Labels are descriptors: values to which we assign descriptions of...
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That's Not a Real Diagnosis

November 25, 2014
“That’s not a real illness.” “I don’t believe in mental health.” “If you don’t need medication, you must not really have bipolar.” These are just a few of the long stream of comments from people in my life, the most recent being “You know, I don’t think you’re bipolar, I think you have cyclomania,” because having a Bachelor’s in psychology...
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We have a thing against weakness don’t we… well I for one do. When I look at negative unhelpful patterns going on in my life, despite the apparent effort that I have put in to change – I feel so weak and whiny. I often hate listening to myself talk to others because I am thinking that they must be thinking, “Here we go again…” See that...
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November 22, 2014 is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a day that much of society most likely does not know anything about. The American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in recognition of a resolution that Senator Harry Reid introduced to the senate, pronounced the Saturday before Thanksgiving to be “Survivors of Suicide Loss Day...
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Hey Jealousy

November 19, 2014
I have a friend who is an expert in her field. She is respected by the community and gives presentations from her knowledge base. She is also a talented artist and sells her painted wineglasses at many gift stores in the area. She plays the piano at her church every Sunday. She travels with her husband and two kids and they hike and camp regularly...
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Getting Help

November 19, 2014
Getting help for my bipolar disorder was one of the hardest and best things I’ve done. I’m a pretty proud and independent person so opening up and making myself vulnerable was extremely daunting. I was in my third and final year of university when I knew something wasn’t right. The familiar feeling of dark hopelessness had started to creep...
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Sally Buchanan-Hagen

November 19, 2014
My name’s Sally and I live in Australia. I’m 24, a nurse in the emergency department, an honours student and I have bipolar type I disorder. When I was 20 I was diagnosed with unipolar depression, but a few years later at 22 it was evident that I had bipolar. I was diagnosed with bipolar type II but in the months following that diagnosis I had a...
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Resilience is defined as “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens” or “the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” If you want a real-world example of something that’s resilient, think of a Slinky.I think it's fair to say that...
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Six Simple Things You Can Do

November 18, 2014
Be HopefulHope is crucial for recovery, and there is good reason to be hopeful when it comes to mental health challenges.  The vast majority of us who get appropriate treatment and support get significantly better.  This is good news, but it is also not news that has been told until recently.  Hope is the ONLY predictor of recovery...
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