Bipolar Treatment with Peer Support

Articles and blog posts relating to the treatment of bipolar disorder through peer support - local and online.

Blogs and Articles

Same Stuff, Same Place, New Counselor

Beth Brownsberger Mader
April 14, 2012

I was completely surprised late last week when the clinical director of my behavioral center phoned to ask if I wished to return to talk therapy.  It seems there may be some shifts in funding in my state that will allow mentally ill folks under my “classification” to receive counseling again after a two year...

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The Gift of Emotional Oversensitivity

Beth Brownsberger Mader
March 31, 2012

Last Saturday I wandered in for a haircut at “walk-ins” hair salon.  Lately I find these places to be convenient, cheap and help me keep my currently short pixie cut in shape.   Only one stylist was present, and though there were few clients, she appeared sort of irritated.  The current patron, a man with a...

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Why We Can’t “Just Get Over It”

Beth Brownsberger Mader
March 17, 2012

I was kvetching to my husband about how I remained upset about a recent attempt to make amends with a former colleague/friend about something spiteful this guy did almost a decade ago.  My husband of nearly 16 years said, “why can’t you just get over this stuff?”  Funny, that’s what the person I was trying...

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Feeling Worse After Therapy?

Melody Moezzi
February 27, 2012

In response to last week’s post, I received several insightful comments about how attending support groups can sometimes make people feel worse. I know this is true–not just because of those comments, but also because it’s happened to me. And not only in relation to support groups either. It’s also happened after appointments with therapists...

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A candid of two friends sitting next to each other on a patio. They're side by side, and the woman on the left has her arm wrapped around her friend, in a one-armed hug, as they talk and confide in each other lovingly.

The Sponsor

Danielle Belton
February 24, 2012

One of my long-time friends is an alcoholic. She’s been sober for several years now and “came out” as an addict around the same time I was dealing with my worsening “depression” that turned out to be Bipolar Disorder. I had my group sessions and she had Alcoholic’s Anonymous. I had my therapist and she...

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Mutliethnic, mixed-age group of people in support group or group therapy have an animated conversation.

The New Kid in Group

Melody Moezzi
February 20, 2012

Last week, I finally went to my first DBSA meeting after moving to North Carolina in January. It was vastly different from the meetings I attended in Atlanta over the past several years, and at first, I was seriously thrown off. While in Atlanta, for example, our facilitator made it a point to ask that...

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Lovely Lady Learns to Live Alone

Beth Brownsberger Mader
February 18, 2012

Now comes the time in the married life of Lovely Lady and Charming Husband when they are forced to live apart.  For you see, Charming Husband was summoned by his leader to move to desert regions south, and provide service to motocross-type populations there.  Like, in two weeks. Therefore, Charming Husband is taking advance charge,...

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Why Have a Pet?

Beth Brownsberger Mader
February 11, 2012

I’ve always had pets, or pets-at-parent’s, waiting for me to come home.  My family was lucky—most of our pets lived a very long time: 2 cats lived to 21, a dog to 16.  In my adulthood, we’ve also had some fortune: a cat lived to 19, a dog to 14. We now have 3-dog nights...

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Outline in white against a dark gray background. A woman sits on the floor, hugging her knees to her chest. Represents grief and loss of a loved one when living with bipolar disorder.

Guilt & Moving Forward-Part II

Beth Brownsberger Mader
February 4, 2012

Last week I wrote about my struggles with guilt skulking its way into my conscious/unconscious mind. In the days since (with your input!), I’ve come to think it’s my fluctuating anxiety levels about the huge changes coming in my life driving it—that is, moving, and leaving years of pain behind. I met with my avatar-doc...

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The Bipolar “Ego Monster”

Danielle Belton
January 27, 2012

At times, bipolar disorder can have a very “me-centric,” ego-boosting nature. So make sure to not neglect the needs of family and friends. Probably one of the greatest threats to my ability to make and maintain healthy relationships is the “me-centric” nature of Bipolar Disorder. I’m happy. I’m sad. I hurt. I vent. I have...

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Snark. Jab. Gripe. Are We Supporting Each Other?

Beth Brownsberger Mader
January 21, 2012

Last week, as I read comments here on the blog and on other social media such as BP Hope’s Facebook page, I interpret, well, a bit of…snarkiness.  Mistrust.  Gripes.  Arrogance.  And even personal attacks. OK, we all know that our mood disorder is, duh, moody: our temperaments, including kvetching, can be poured into our comments,...

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My Fairy Tale Work Environment

Marybeth Smith
January 15, 2012

After watching a friend struggle with taking FMLA for their mental illnesses then recalling my own medical leave experience, how hard it was to go back knowing everyone knew I was “crazy” and couldn’t handle life’s load … I became frustrated with how hard it is for those of us with bipolar to maintain our...

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Accentuate The Positive Using Mental Health Humor

Chato Stewart
January 11, 2012

When things look bleak, try accentuating the positive––and eliminating the negative––through some good old-fashioned mental health humor. Accentuate the positive? Bull! You need more than to Accentuate the positive. Gather around this blog post everybody! Do you want to live with bipolar disorder or do you want to live with no labels and enjoy life?...

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Support Systems and Why I Love the People Who Have Bipolar Disorder

Marybeth Smith
January 1, 2012

2011 sucked. In short, my marriage almost ended (But it didn’t! Yay!), my grandmother died, I started a new job then quit said job, moved into a 2 bdrm apartment (We’re a family of 5!), had a falling out with and lost a good friend, and got hit with an awful bout depression.   Okay,...

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Resolve to Adapt

Beth Brownsberger Mader
December 31, 2011

The last fancy New Year’s party I went to was in Chicago, circa 1990.  My girlfriends and I were all dressed up in short sparkly dresses, trying to walk icy sidewalks in 3” heels. We’d parked my mom’s car on an unknowingly restricted side street.  After enduring drunk-boys-a-smooching and drunk-girls-a-puking, we ended up at the...

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Summoning Sergeant Pepper

Marybeth Smith
December 17, 2011

I’m beginning to believe loneliness is a symptom of bipolar disorder … One of those awesome symptoms that comes and goes with little to no warning.   It’s funny how you can be in a crowded room full of family and friends and people who love you … and you’re standing there 100% totally and...

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You Say Tom-a-to, I Say Tom-ah-to…

Beth Brownsberger Mader
December 17, 2011

Many of you are aware that the DSM-IV is the primary tool used by mental health professionals in diagnosing psychiatric/psychological disorders.  It is likely your diagnosis(es) is a result of your doctor referring to the Manual and its various criteria within a certain category.   In order to make a final diagnosis, doctors (I am simplifying...

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Feeling Invisible …Is It Because They Can’t See Me, Or Am I Just Hiding?

Marybeth Smith
December 11, 2011

There comes an inevitable moment in life where we’ll each feel invisible. (Not to be mistake for “invincible,” though way cooler!) Its that moment when you feel like nobody sees the real you, sees your pain, your cry for help, or sees your shattered heart. That moment sucks. Unfortunately, having Bipolar, this occurs quite frequently...

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A hand squeezes a stress ball filled with gold glitter. Part of a laptop keyboard and crinkled Post-It Notes are visible on the surface of the desk in the background.

My Thumb Thing

Beth Brownsberger Mader
December 10, 2011

Anyone use a “thumb thing” ?—a small item that that you grab, hold on to and rub with your thumb or roll in your hand to calm yourself?  All the rage a number of years ago, many were made of polished stone, hardwood or other materials.  But one made of wrought iron? Mine is and...

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A series of colorful pegs with one left out of the group, representing social anxiety and feeling like a burden with bipolar disorder.

Isn’t Everyone Bipolar?

Melody Moezzi
November 28, 2011

Short answer: No Given the fact that I write and speak about my experiences living with mental illness, I’ve heard more than my fair share of opinions about bipolar disorder. One of the most common responses I get from people without bipolar (presumably trying to make me feel better) is that everyone has bipolar or...

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