How You Can Help a Person with Bipolar Depression 💙

😿 I lived with dangerous suicidal depression from age 19. I had ECT in my mid 40s. I was very sick. I use all of the ideas in my books to stay alive and remain stable enough to work and have relationships. I taught the people around me to help. ✍️ 📘 Here is a bit of my story and what led to my writing Get it Done When You’re Depressed, a book that teaches you how to help a loved one or client who is depressed how to get out of bed and out of the house to get on with life… even when the depression is strong. 🌧 In 1997, I realized that if I didn’t teach myself to get out and do things when I was depressed, [ Read More ]

How long does it take to ‘accept’ the bipolar disorder diagnosis? 🤔

This is a post from my Julie A. Fast Facebook page. I write about life with bipolar on this page daily…… It’s amazing that we can use little pictures to capture life with bipolar mood swings! 😀😕🤕😟😢😭….🤠😀🤪🤣…🤬😈👿👹… 😕🤕😟😢😭….🤠😀🤪🤣…🤬😈👿👹… and on and on it goes! A few thoughts on acceptance and bipolar. I know that many read my posts and never comment or like so as not to be seen on a bipolar page. That is fine with me. The fact that you are here is what matters. It means you are thinking about your brain. It might help to know that I have never really ‘accepted’ this diagnosis. I am still shocked and upset that I have a serious mental illness. I am never used to it fully. I have had symptoms since age 16, was diagnosed at 31 and now in my mid 50s I still struggle with the [ Read More ]

Julie, can you be more positive! PLEAAASSSSEEEEEE!

I know I can write a lot about what is not working in our current mental health system. I know that I talk about the abuse many family members and partners experience if a loved one has untreated bipolar. I know that I have compassion for all of us who have the illness, especially if we also have secondary diagnoses such as psychosis.

Where are the positives? Oh, there are SO MANY. I am alive and you are alive. I know that I have bipolar disorder and a psychosis disorder. This helped me figure out why my life was so chaotic for so many years. I call this my get out of jail free card!

I am so thankful for my diagnoses. They saved me. For 15 [ Read More ]

Growing Older with Bipolar: Caring for Aging Parents

My nephew David with my mother Rebecca

My mom is a powerhouse. She’s 78 and has the energy and lifestyle of a 60 year old woman. For this reason, I have been able to ignore the reality that my mom is aging. When I think about the aging process of my most important supporter in life, I realize that one day our roles might change. One day, I might be the one who has to be the #1 support.

As a person with bipolar, I am not sure what I will be able to do. I will not be able to stay with her at night. I will not be able to take care of her if she gets ill. I will not be able to travel much or financially take [ Read More ]

Positive Ways to Keep Going when You Have Bipolar Disorder

How to keep going when you think you can’t go on. Strategies for living day by day when you have #bipolar disorder or #schizoaffective disorder.

1. I find that reminding myself of the episodic nature of our illness helps. It is very rare for us to stay in one state forever. We will cycle out of a mood swing. If we keep working hard on management, we will cycling out of the mood swing more quickly. So a rough day today, can be a better day tomorrow or the next day. If you are sick today, remind yourself that change is possible.

2. Being drugged from medications is a serious issue that has to be addressed daily and continually until it is [ Read More ]

When Bipolar and Psychosis Mess up Friendships We Have to Be Honest About Our Feelings

I love doing guest blogs for helpful website. The Gum on My Shoe website was created by Martin Baker and Fran Houston to highlight the needs of friends who care about someone with bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder. I love their book High Tide, Low Tide: A Caring Friend’s Guide to Bipolar Disorder and I appreciate how they allow me to be brutally honest about my life with bipolar and how it affects friendships.

My latest post, How to Gently and Kindly Talk with a Friend About Difficult Bipolar Symptoms talks about the other side of the bipolar friendship discussion. MY friendships with people who have serious mental illness.

Here is the beginning of the article:

“As friends of people with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder [ Read More ]