Living with Bipolar

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Police Dealing with Mental Illnesses

Yesterday I had the privilege of listening to an International Bipolar Federation interview with Retired Sergeant and Chairman Ron Clark, RN, MS, APSO. Ron is involved with the Badge of Life Program. The mission of Badge of Life is a 12-year-old program to support officers in times of crisis. Depression, PTSD, and suicide is very high in law enforcement. They see really bad things. Sometimes it is impossible to get those images out of their mind.

Badge of Life is a proactive organization to reach officers before they are in trouble. They need support. Most officers, fireman, and paramedics are afraid if they say anything regarding struggling with depression or PTSD issues they will lose their jobs. They are afraid to confide in peers. According to Ron Clark more training is being provided for peer support. They encourage other officers to see someone. Ron said, “we need to have a buddy system. It works.”

In 1980 PTSD was renamed PTSI.(I) stands for injury rather than disorder. If an officer was injured with a broken leg on the job it would have been covered. Mental Health is not treated the same way. 38 years and it is still not recognized nation wide. Colorado and Maine just got coverage for mental illness vs physical injury.

Bottom line is we can do better for our officers.

Check back tomorrow for Crisis Intervention Training that is being done for our officers. When officers receive training in dealing with citizens struggling with mental health issues, the entire incident usually turns out to be a win for everyone involved. Looking forward to sharing my experience with police officers and paramedics in 2010.



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Two Childhood Friends Reunite

This will be a wonderful story about the life of Amy Gamble and her struggles and victories over her mental health. So happy that Amy’s dream of writing a book to help others has come true!

Shedding Light on Mental Health

Lori Whitwam, an author, editor and one of my childhood friends, wrote an especially personal blogpost of how she came to help me with my book, “Bipolar Disorder, My Biggest Competitor: An Olympian Journey with Mental Illness.” Clearly without Lori, God, the Universe’s mystery and lots of support, I wouldn’t be anywhere close to publishing my book.

Read the article Lori wrote on her blog today. It’s especially touching and a testament to how people can be brought together for the greater good.

A Project Close to My Heartby Lori Whitwam.

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My Testimony

So glad to share Renee’s testimony! Her father was my pastor in 1992, when I was first diagnosed bi-polar. Their family has been through so much with losing their son in an accident. This is a life changing story. May those suffering mental health disease know there is hope even when life seems hopeless.

My Invenstory

For 34 years, I described my faith as “inherited.” I spent a significant amount of my adult life wrestling with my convictions and whether or not my spiritual life was solely a result of my upbringing. I openly shared with other Christian friends the desire to have a faith that was my own, a faith I experienced first hand, a faith I had heard so many others enthusiastically proclaim from the pulpit after encountering a miracle in the midst of their life’s “rock bottom.” I longed for something to strengthen my spiritual walk…I longed to know The Lord in a way so real that there would be no room for doubt….I longed for a testimony that I couldn’t ignore or explain away. I always sensed deep down that to secure my faith, I would need a moment where everything changed….saved by something supernatural, something undeniably bigger than myself. I spent…

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By Wisdom a House is Built

Thank you for sharing this Proverb and your reflection. Our homes should be a safe haven filled with love and respect.

Paul Linzey

treasure-chest-619868_1920The theme verses for the Biblical Principles of Marriage are Proverbs 24:3-4: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”

The house in this proverb refers first to the marriage, and second to the family: the people residing in the home. The building, its furnishings, its decorations, and its treasures symbolize different aspects of the relationships in the home, or perhaps the character of the people in the home. It speaks of the lives, the relationships, and the happiness of the people who live together in the home.

The writer of the proverb demonstrates an understanding that in the same way people desire nice homes and nice “things” inside the home, people also desire good relationships. He uses the home as a metaphor for the kind of marriage and family that are worth striving for…

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Do you trust me?

I start each day reaching for this outstretched hand! Thanks Kim for your blog!

Kim Wilbanks

My children grew up watching Disney movies.  They were babes when the classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Aladdin were released. We watched the movies so often I still know the words of most of the songs.

We had a game we would play when traveling.  One person would say a line from a movie and the others would have to guess the movie.  I would always start with “there’s a girl in the castle” said in my best French accent.  Can you guess which movie? 

If you think about it, there is always a line or two from a movie that stand out and make it easily identifiable.  I thought about one of those lines recently.  It was a line uttered by Aladdin/Prince Abu in the 1992 animated feature Aladdin.

At one point in the movie, Aladdin notices…

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9 Thoughts on Recovery

Amy is a great advocate for those who struggle with mental health issues . I love the way she expresses her journey and gives hopes to others. I hope some day to talk to Amy! May you be blessed by her Blog post.


Shedding Light on Mental Health

1) Fighting for recovery…

Fighting my way to recovery has been a battle I refused to lose. I think it’s hard for the average person to understand how someone who lives with a mental illness has to learn how to get her life back. It is not easy and some people will not be able to ever recover from it. But many people do and they do it by fighting.

2) Analogy…

Imagine if you are going along and “doing life” and all the sudden everything you knew changed. Your friends were gone, you lost your job, and you were faced with dealing with the consequences of matters you didn’t bring upon yourself, but your illness caused everything around you to go up in smoke. Worse than a rug being pulled out from under you and more like a dam bursting with rushing water heading right toward you–that’s the essence…

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Interesting Statistics about Bipolar Disorder

Another eye opening blog from Amy! Share with other suffering so that they don’t feel so alone and are educated about this disease.

Bipolar Bandit


  • People with bipolar disorder, on average, suffer 10 years before receiving treatment  and only 49% of bipolar individuals receive treatment. 1
  • The average age of American bipolar disorder onset is 25 years old 2
  • 83% of bipolar cases are considered severe. 3
  • More than 66% of people with bipolar disorder have one or more relatives with bipolar disorder or clinical depression 4
  • Bipolar individuals’ average bipolar episodes last 3 – 6 months 6
  • The bipolar suicide rate is 60 times higher than that of the general public and one in five people with bipolar disorder commits suicide. 8,7
  • Bipolar disorder is the 4th-highest reason for disability WebM.D. AND 200,000 people with bipolar disorder are homeless 9
  • 69% of bipolar patients are mis-diagnosed at least 3.5 times 10
  • 10% of bipolar disorder patients have onset of symptoms in their 40s-50s  11
  • Bipolar relapse rate 80% within 2 years without meds

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