Together at the Poles

Monthly Archives: June 2012

Shele Katryna Cox: Drawings

Shele Katryna Cox is an artist with bipolar disorder, living in England. She started to draw about two decades ago at the age of five or six, and studied college-level art for a time, though anxiety and panic made it difficult to continue. She has now been married for seven years, having been fortunate enough to have found “my soul mate and best friend in my husband, [who] has seen me at my worst and still stood by me.” She draws primarily in black and white, but has recently been moving more into color. Continue reading

Not Fighting the World: Handling Injustices as a Bipolar Person

I wanted to talk today about a topic that’s been concerning me a lot lately, which is how to handle injustices with bipolar disorder. By injustices, I simply mean when someone is doing something that is genuinely wrong, especially when those injustices affect us personally. This could include anything from someone spreading a harmful rumor to someone actively discriminating against me because of my bipolar disorder (or any other reason). Like everyone else, we often have people do unjust things to us. Continue reading

Michael Ligtenberg: Bipolar At 47, Part One – Before

After reading many blogs here at Bipolar Today, I have been inspired to relate my own experience with my mental illness. It is a 2-part blog centering on how this disease has affected my life before diagnosis and how I have dealt with it since diagnosis. Just as I found so many anecdotes here both helpful and reassuring, I hope that you, the reader, will be able to see a reflection of your own experience with Bipolar Disorder. I have also discovered that writing has proven to be a very therapeutic activity for me. Continue reading

Benjamin Graebner: Paintings

Benjamin Graebner grew up in Colorado and was a competitive swimmer and loved to snowboard the mountains. He is a 2010 graduate from Ave Maria University in history. While studying for his undergrad, Ben was, as yet, undiagnosed and not in touch with any medical assistance and it is a tribute to his strength and determination to have completed his degree considering how he was suffering. He is currently working towards his master’s degree at Palo Alto University for clinical psychology. Now twenty-three years old, Ben was diagnosed in January, 2011 as Bipolar 1. Continue reading

Book Review: "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison

I thought I’d try something new today, and write a book review. There are a lot of books about bipolar disorder that I really like, and a few that I really don’t, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to share some of the excellent resources and stories that are available. This review contains spoilers, if one can really spoil a memoir, but I wanted to go through the various parts of the book to show the themes she touches on. Continue reading

The Enchantment of a Bipolar Life

Sometimes I’ll hear people say that people with bipolar disorder are “addicted” to mania and hypomania. I prefer to think of it as the “enchantment” of a bipolar life. Don’t get me wrong. Bipolar disorder often, even usually, can be disruptive and terrible experience. However, there are moments where it’s like the world is just crackling with magic. I don’t think that we should have to apologize for sometimes enjoying ourselves. Continue reading

Two Lesser-Known Forms of Bipolar Disorder: Cyclothymia and Bipolar Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified

Please do not use the following article for self-diagnosis or the diagnosis of others. Even mental health professionals cannot diagnose themselves. It is intended instead for information and to provide useful subject matter to discuss with a psychiatrist or therapist.

The distinction between bipolar I and bipolar II is confusing enough (I have written another article on that subject), but sometimes people receive even less-known diagnoses, which are “cyclothymia” and “bipolar disorder, not otherwise specified.” When people receive these diagnoses, they are often even more confused by what is going on. Continue reading

What’s In a Name?: Language and Mental Illness

Today, I was initially going to write my post about the definition of mental “health.” I still plan to write that post, but I realized that before I write anything about the definition of “health,” “illness” and “disease,” I needed to write something about what it means to define something at all.

As someone with a mental illness, how words are used is very important to me. It affects the way that I think about mental illness, and the way that my condition is communicated to other people. Continue reading

Guest Post: How Bipolar Disorder Blessed Me

Gloria, who is a regular contributor to our Facebook page, has written this account of her experiences with bipolar disorder, and how it ultimately blessed her life.

Prologue

With confidence and honor, I choose to write about how bipolar disorder affected my life, after many years of shame, self-hatred, living in a pit, and hiding from humanity. After years of difficult work, with help from my psychiatrist, a kind and wise counselor, my eyes started to slowly open that I had nothing to be ashamed about and that I had a place “in time.” Continue reading

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Psychotherapy from Daniel

Daniel Bader, Ph.D., RP (Qualifying), CCC

Daniel Bader, Ph.D., is a Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) and Canadian Certified Counsellor specializing in bipolar disorder, offering in-person psychotherapy in Kitchener, Ontario, and online and telephone psychotherapy within Canada.

To book an appointment with Daniel, please visit his Psychology Today profile.