Diving into Bipolar
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Savanna
1y ago
By: Melinda Goedeke Spying on a lobster the size of my leg while gently swaying back and forth 70 ft. below the sea is both exhilarating and meditative for me. I even secretly like the anxiety of knowing that with each breath my oxygen is depleting. I swim swiftly past fire coral hoping to avoid the oozing and burning wounds it inflicts on me; yet, I want to get close enough to see its brilliant color. When I tell people I scuba dive, they often give me a look of surprise or maybe it’s fearful curiosity. It is the same look I get when I tell people about my daughter who suffered from bipolar d ..read more
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How to Support Your Child in School as a Parent with Mental Illness
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Savanna
1y ago
You may not think of fall as a time of new beginnings, but if you have a child in school, the new school year is certainly that. Supporting your child at school is difficult enough but throw a mental illness into the mix and that becomes incalculably more difficult. If you suffer from a mental illness and are lost on how to ensure that your child learns the most they can at school, read on for a guide on how to support your child in school as a parent with mental illness.   1. Keep Communication Channels Open Children with a parent who suffers a mental illness may not understand why their ..read more
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A Father’s Love
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Savanna
1y ago
June 19, 2022 Dear Dad, This Father’s Day I want to celebrate your role in my life. Especially how you helped me through my bipolar diagnosis and functional recovery.   Three years before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you shared some wisdom with me that helped shape my future response to every setback. That powerful statement has remained inside of my head and helped me adjust to my new life with bipolar disorder and rebuild a full life, healthy relationships, and successful career. I still see your face and hear your voice firmly and lovingly speaking these words almost two deca ..read more
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It Ain’t Easy – Meds and Bipolar Disorder
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Savanna
1y ago
By Melinda Goedeke I laugh sarcastically every time I watch a commercial about medication for the treatment of bipolar disorder. Unkempt young men and women are shown in dark, depressing places with vacuous eyes and downtrodden faces until they take the miracle medication which quickly transports them to a place full of rainbows, butterflies, and good hygiene. Bipolar medications can and do work to some extent for some people, but for most people navigating the meds is like fighting on the front lines; unfortunately, my daughter Laura lost her war despite her tenacious efforts. Treating bipola ..read more
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Complicated Simplicity
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Savanna
1y ago
By: Christina Broderick My childhood was what I considered entirely normal. As a kid I had a great family, nice friends, performed well at school and participated in extra-curricular activities, becoming highly involved in sports during my teenage years. College began with an epic bang! I loved the freedom, living 2 hours away from home, the variety – so many people to see, places to go and things to do. However, then it began. Around 2007 I began having what I refer to now as ‘indecisive episodes’. I found it extremely difficult to make even the simplest of decisions so I gradually began to r ..read more
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What I Wish My Family Knew
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Mika
1y ago
Author: Margaret Fitzgerald   My family knew little about serious mental illness when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Hindsight is 20/20.  What follows are what would have best helped me be successful in life before and after my diagnoses.   Many people with bipolar disorder have a weight problem, because the medications can cause weight gain.  Also, some medications cause hypothyroidism.  In my experience, eating calms my mood and wards off hypomania.  I have also found that being hungry causes hypomania. When I was at my smallest, I was hypomanic mo ..read more
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Bipolar: the Impact on Me and Others
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Mika
2y ago
Author: Major General Gregg F. Martin, US Army Retired My brain burst into full-blown mania in 2014, at age 58.  This “late onset bipolar disorder” is rare, with only about five percent of diagnosed cases occurring this late in life.  I may have had undiagnosed bipolar disorder earlier, but there were no symptoms that were recognizable to myself or others, until I was 58.  In retrospect however, there were warning signs for more than a decade.   It is likely that before diagnosis, bipolar lifted me up for most of my life and helped make me more successful than would otherwi ..read more
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I See You
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Mika
2y ago
Author: Melinda Goedeke I have two children. One is low key, mild-mannered, and has a half tooth. The other is high-key, wild-mannered and has a double tooth. Both are brilliant, beautiful and better than me, but one is living, and one is dead. Laura died from bipolar disorder in 2017 after trying every medication, years of therapy, residential treatments and hanging on to hope; unfortunately, hope stopped, and her life ended. And when she ended, part of me ended too. My kids loved each other despite and through harsh words, high praise and a sense of family. They understood each other in a w ..read more
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Sit Close to the Fire
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Mika
2y ago
Author: Melinda Goedeke We don’t have bonfires. We have scorching, searing conflagrations that silently raise our internal boiling points until we are nearly cooked and charred.   We scoot back only an inch as we don’t really want to leave the warmth despite the fear of the ash falling all around us and the sparks burning holes in our mesh chairs and flannel shirts. I know every bonfire will be this way because that is how my husband makes them, and that is what I like and know.   I  am  drawn to the flickering flames and am willing to sit close to them unshielded ..read more
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Eternal Sleep 
International Bipolar Foundation » Parenting
by Natalie Lima
2y ago
Author: Melinda Goedeke  Sleeping is an event for me. 8:30 p.m. comes around, and I start thinking about sleep. I put on my oversized jammies and crawl into bed ready…..ready to shut down. To stop. To rest. My husband doesn’t do any “readying” and is asleep the moment his head hits the pillow. My head hits the pillow, and there it sits – awake. I read, I adjust my weighted blanket, I pet my dog, I squeeze my eyes tightly shut hoping they’ll stay shut. Some nights I continue a version of this routine throughout the night. And sometimes, sleep comes and stays.  Unfo ..read more
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