Today is World Bipolar Day, held on March 30, because it is Vincent Van Gogh's birthday. About 2.6% of un in the United States are diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This year, I want people to really try and understand that treatment for Bipolar Disorder is complicated. The simple trope is that if all of us with mental illness would "just take your meds," we would be fine. That’s not true. I recently looked through my notebooks of medication notes (I have taken everything from
If you have been following me for a while, way back when I had my blog, Bipolar Spirit, then you know I have been on dozens of medications to treat my bipolar II disorder, PTSD, panic disorder, binge eating disorder, ADD, and cognitive decline and none of them worked. I have been in different kinds of therapy for over twenty years, and while I slowly got better in some ways, my brain still was just not working correctly. While I intellectually had healed a lot of the trauma a
Quite a few years ago, I started writing about body positivity. I talked about not focusing on weight, eating disorder recovery, and mindful eating. Deciding that I would never think about my weight again or never consciously eat in a way that might change my body size was just what I needed. I needed to get out of the mindset that weight was a moral issue and that my worth was based on my size. The research that says weight is not related to health was liberating for me and
(Photo of a Paleo version of chicken and waffles from Mission Heirloom, one of our favorite restaurants in Berkeley, CA.) Chronic illness is one of the main reasons many people have turned to a Paleo diet and lifestyle. The Paleo diet has been effective in treating everything from eczema to multiple sclerosis and, due to such great results, people who live with mental illness are now also using it as part of their treatment plan. Mental illness affects about 61.5% of American
[Image: Rev. Katie and her son on a fun walk in the park on Christmas Eve.] My son and I were talking today, answering the question: “What would you most want for Christmas?” He said he was not sure what he would want, and then he looked at me and said, “Mommy, could this be anything? Like, are we imagining the perfect Christmas gift?” I told him, sure, we could imagine anything we wanted. He said “I would want you not to have mental illness anymore. I mean, I don’t really ne
Many years ago we moved to a new state. I was, again, in an area where I did not know any doctors or anything about their mental health system, which meant I bounced from psychiatrist to psychiatrist and psychologist to psychologist until I found one of each that worked well with me.
I had been referred to a "great" psychiatrist by my primary care doctor and was quite optimistic about finding someone who could figure out medication for me. I sat down in this man's office, t