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What 2020 Has Taught Me about Life & Bipolar

Elizabeth Drucker
December 14, 2020

Living with bipolar and working toward a graduate degree in public health has given me a unique perspective on this past year. My anxiety was amplified to the extreme, and learning to live through these challenging times required me to reprioritize self-care and close relationships. From Dubious to Facing Sudden Danger As a graduate student...

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7 Ways to Avoid the Negative Consequences of “Doom Scrolling”

Anja Burcak
December 8, 2020

Are you consuming too much negative news and social media at night? Your lack of restorative sleep, mood triggers, and ramped up anxiety are good reasons to take back control! This year, I feel as if, collectively, we are glued to our screens even more than usual. From Zoom calls to social media scrolling, many of...

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6 Strategies for Simplifying an Uncertain Holiday Season

Sasha Kildare
December 4, 2020

We are living through a stressful, complicated, and emotionally taxing time of year—all in the midst of a world health crisis. To reduce my anxiety, I streamline and simplify. Here’s how I’ve addressed the stressors of past holidays, plus what I am doing now to reduce my tension in this particular season of uncertainty. I’m...

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10 Strategies for Getting Through the Holiday Season

Carrie Cantwell
November 30, 2020

Times have been tough. But so are we. The end-of-year holidays can be difficult any year, and, this time around, they pose new challenges to our mood and well-being. Let’s not forget: Living with bipolar has taught us how to navigate through uncertainty. Here are the coping skills I’ve been relying on to remain stable...

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6 Ways to Get Through the Next 6 Months

Julie A. Fast
November 4, 2020

Living with bipolar isn’t easy—it requires strength. We can get through periods of societal instability and still remain stable with our bipolar. Here are the strategies I’m using to get through this stressful, triggering season. Bipolar & the Need for Support and Coping Skills in Times of Stress Bipolar disorder isn’t an easy illness. We...

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My Mantras (Past & Present) for Managing Bipolar

Brooke Baron
October 8, 2020

Over the years, I’ve used different mantras—phrases I repeat internally—to focus on important lessons and goals. At first, it felt corny. But, every day, my mantras offer me greater peace of mind. The Mantra–Friend Connection Mantras are personal phrases that we repeat to ourselves to focus our attention on a specific concept or feeling and...

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How to Overcome Setbacks with Bipolar Disorder

Elizabeth Drucker
October 6, 2020

A series of complications on the heels of my diagnosis taught me early on that bipolar can disrupt our plans in ways we don’t anticipate. So, I developed personal guidelines for turning setbacks into comebacks. Underestimating the Impact of Bipolar Very soon after my diagnosis, I faced painful personal setbacks from bipolar; at the time,...

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Anxiety Management Strategies for Highly Sensitive People with Bipolar

Tanya Hvilivitzky
September 30, 2020

If you experience sensory overload from certain physical sensations, people, or environments, it’s important to pay close attention to what overwhelms you and triggers stress. Bipolar disorder can often be complicated by anxiety—whether as a symptom of bipolar itself or as a separate condition. If you are also a highly sensitive person, or HSP—someone who...

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Why I Needed a Mental Health Getaway

JB Burrage
September 15, 2020

Feeling trapped and overwhelmed, and with depression looming, I felt an urgent need for a change of scenery. Answering my “traveling itch,” I took the risk of visiting my hometown. The trip was for my peace of mind—and it was worth it. Why Would I Take the Risk of Traveling? In July of this year,...

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A Begrudging Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Brooke Baron
August 13, 2020

Our thoughts matter—especially when it comes to mood episodes and stability. I can’t stand sitting still long enough to meditate, but here’s how I learned to stick it out, to “turn out the horses” and let my thoughts run free. Struggling to Switch “Off” As a workaholic and a parent of three preschoolers, I struggled...

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How Mindfulness Made a Huge Difference in My Bipolar Symptoms & Self-Control

Debbie Jacobs
August 6, 2020

After experiencing a breakdown and overwhelming pain, I was pushed to find a new way to manage my mind, quiet my internal chatter, and calm my insecurity, anxiety, and aggressive behavior. Developing the Skill of Mindfulness for Bipolar Management Ten years ago, due to my own overwhelming pain and breakdown, I felt compelled to do...

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Finding Positive Takeaways in Times of Instability

Susie Johnson
June 24, 2020

After many years of stability with my bipolar symptoms, recent world events turned everything upside down. I was lost, and, for a little while, without faith. As I move to the other side of anxiety, I have discovered positive lessons learned throughout this ordeal. Interrupted Bipolar Stability and High Anxiety I had been living in...

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Dissociation, Stress, and the Importance of Self-Grounding

Carrie Cantwell
June 23, 2020

We all experience times when we drift off—those “Wait, what’d I just miss?” moments. With bipolar and increased stress, I’ve found this happening more frequently than I’d like. Here’s how I’m countering dissociation with self-grounding techniques. What—What Did I Miss? I was binge-watching a great Netflix show yesterday when, all of a sudden, I realized...

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6 Strategies for Learning to Coexist with Anxiety in Times of Crisis

Elizabeth Drucker
June 18, 2020

At first, trying to manage my bipolar symptoms, my anxiety, and widespread uncertainty felt overwhelming. My stress levels spiraled up and down; but, eventually, I learned how to cope. Now I can get through the days more peacefully by following my strategies to do something constructive. Distinguishing Worldwide Instability & Personal Instability When world events...

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How I’m Handling Panic and Anxiety from Wearing a Face Mask in Public

Julie A. Fast
June 16, 2020

Bipolar disorder can complicate our response to stress, but sometimes anxiety is a normal response. Wearing a mask in public is a new experience for many of us, and if it’s triggering anxiety for you—you’re not alone! Sudden Cultural Changes & Unexpected Anxiety I lived in Japan for over three years in the 1990s and...

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Managing Bipolar Anger at Work

Jessica Taylor
June 11, 2020

With bipolar, I feel emotions intensely, especially anger. With workplace stress, it can be really hard to keep my cool. Here is what I try to do if rage starts bubbling up when I need to remain “professional.” Workplace Challenges, Stress, & Bipolar We all deal with challenges at work. Whether it’s the job itself,...

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Handling Sudden Changes, Increased Anxiety, & Bipolar Disorder

Jessica Taylor
May 20, 2020

When the world shifted and everything changed at once, I needed to manage my overwhelming fear, stress, anxiety, and bipolar symptoms. So, I learned to take my own advice to find comfort—even though everything felt uncertain. Dealing with Bipolar, New Stressors, & Dramatic Shifts to Daily Life In just a short amount of time, the...

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This Is Temporary—Finding Peace in Overwhelming Times

Carrie Cantwell
May 14, 2020

With bipolar, my mood can fluctuate between the extremes of mania and depression, and my thoughts often follow an all-or-nothing pattern, too. In times of high stress, it’s easy to convince myself things will never get better. The good news? I don’t have to believe myself. Unhelpful Thought Patterns I, like many others, have been...

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How I Keep Mania at Bay & Avoid the Urge to Overcommit and Overextend Myself

Julie Whitehead
April 28, 2020

At certain points in the year and in life, I feel pressured to accomplish a lot of tasks all at once. I’ve learned that when I’m overbooked and overwhelmed, hypomania, mania, and hospitalization are sure to follow. Here’s what I do to avoid a mood episode with bipolar. Obligations, Overscheduling & Bipolar Do NOT Mix...

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Tips to Avoid the Spin Cycle of Bipolar Mania

Debbie Jacobs
April 17, 2020

After a manic episode, I realized the damage done and knew I had to create a strategy to limit (or prevent) this mood episode at the earliest possible sign of onset. Know Thyself, Know Thy Manic Episode If you have done a lot of damage in a manic episode, you might have learned (as I...

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