Beth Brownsberger Mader was diagnosed in 2004, at age 38, with bipolar II disorder and C-PTSD, after living with symptoms and misdiagnoses for over 30 years. In 2007, she suffered a traumatic brain injury, compounding bipolar recovery challenges that she continues to work on today. Since these diagnoses, Beth has written extensively about bipolar, its connection to PTSD, physical illness, disability, and ways to develop coping skills and maintain hope. She also writes about bipolar/brain disorders and family, marriage, relationships, loss, and grief. Beth finds the outdoors to be her connection to her deepest healing skills, where the metaphors for life, love, compassion, and empathy are revealed, and how her bipolar and other challenges are faced head-on with perseverance and determination. Beth served as a contributing editor/featured columnist for bp Magazine from 2007 until 2016, and as a bphope blogger from 2011 until 2016. She returned to blogging for bphope in 2019. Beth continues to work on her unpublished memoir, Savender. She holds a BA from Colorado College and an MFA from the University of Denver. Beth lives in Colorado with her husband, Blake, and her service dog, Butter. Check out Beth’s blog at bessiebandaidrinkiewater.wordpress.com.
Letting Go of the Past to Celebrate Present Accomplishments—Both Big & Small
You deserve to feel good about yourself and your accomplishments. “So, uh, you gotta tell me what you wanna do,” my husband said to me for, like, the billionth time in the past six months, “because time’s a-wastin’, baby.” I cringed. Of course I did. I’m turning 50 in a few weeks, and a couple of...
BIPOLAR CREATIVITY- When Creativity Leaves, Have Patience
Many people with bipolar disorder are gifted with extraordinary creativity but what happens when the creative well runs dry? By Beth Brownsberger Mader I suddenly thought of this topic while doing my morning yoga sun salutations. I was bending over, palms to the floor, observing through sleepy eyes my dusty area rug, pondering nothing....
Living with Bipolar: Is Self-Care Selfish?
For some, it is challenging to appreciate the difference between “selfishness” and “self-care.” It can be difficult to discern the two terms. In my mind, “selfishness” is acting in my own self-interest, believing that I am entitled to behaving a certain way —and who cares about others? “Self-care” is recognizing my self- worth enough to...
Blogs and Articles
Bipolar & Relationships: Coping with Change as a Couple
Even in a great marriage, handling major life changes while also managing bipolar disorder is challenging. Step back, take a breath, persevere! The return to our beloved Colorado last spring after 17 years happened quickly, though we had been planning it in our hearts for some time. It was a matter of my husband...
Let Hope Into Your Life By Confronting & Conquering Bipolar
In order to bring about effective change, we must confront our challenges. And, as people with bipolar, conquering aspects of our disorder is vital to getting well, thriving, and in some cases, surviving. “You cannot conquer what you won’t confront.” I came across this quote in recent news, discovering it comes from a variety of...
Bipolar & Change: Major Upheavals and Coping
I am writing this a week after the US presidential election. No matter how Americans may have voted, to say it has been an upheaval is an understatement. For many across the country, it is a time of mourning, a sense of grief and deep confusion, even pain and fear. For lots of others, it...
Coping with Medication Change
If you have bipolar disorder, changing medications can result in many challenges. Here are some tips to take on those trials. I’ve been on the same medication cocktail for over seven years. I think. It’s been so long, I can’t remember. You see, when that particular set of meds was put together,...
Accepting Unexpected, Unannounced Bipolar Mood Swings
To experience my bipolar as an illness entirely separate from everything else in my life, as an entity of its own, is, in a way, a blessing. One might think that twelve years’ post-diagnosis, nine years as a writer on mental health issues, three years as a peer supporter, and a consistent follower of my own...
Finding The Strength To Return To Work
Returning to work after an extended absence is frightening. To make sure your new job doesn’t affect your stability, plan ahead, equip yourself with all of the necessary tools, “speak softly,” and “carry a big stick.” President Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt said, “Speak softly, and carry a big stick; you will go far.” The man also rode a lot of...