marshastephenson

Living with Bipolar


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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.

Marsha

Shedding Light on Mental Illness

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

bds

  • 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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Mental Illness and Why You Should Support the Cause

This is true all over the country. I was talking to my sister today and found out so many Psychiatrist left New Orleans after the flood that getting help with mental illness is almost impossible. You can imagine how many people truly need mental help after that disaster.

Also, I received a call from a friend of mine today. Her son was bipolar and he lost his life recently. He was in his 20’s. Much to young to die.

Please find ways to support the cause and help change a very broken system!

Marsha

Shedding Light on Mental Illness

Mental Illness is a huge social problem. The Center for Disease Control calls it a “public health crisis.” Yet it seems that little is being done to address the challenges.

As a Mental Health Advocate I tend to focus on awareness and educational efforts because with a lack of education, knowledge and awareness it makes it very difficult to get a broader community to care about the cause.

It is extremely challenging to encourage policy makers to invest in mental health treatment and the subsequent supports that need to be in place. Yet the system is bleeding at every turn.

Robert Glover, Executive Director of the National Association of Mental Health Directors, says states cut $5 billion in mental health services from 2009-2012. During the same time frame 4500 psychiatric hospital beds were eliminated, which is greater than 10% of the total.

Even though there is a greater need for…

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Don’t let mental illness define you

So true! There is so much living yet to do:)

Shedding Light on Mental Illness

For many years I refused to accept my diagnosis of bipolar disorder. I was challenged by a great deal of self-stigma…I blamed myself for my symptoms, I felt guilty for having something wrong. And by no means did I want to be a part of a group that was looked down upon in our society. I simply did not want to have to deal with my illness, so denying it seemed like I could make it go away.

Like any other serious illness my bipolar disorder just got worse without treatment. It escalated to the point where I found myself in places that I could never imagine I could end up. I pushed people away from me, left a successful career in the dust, and became so depressed I could not get out of bed.

Fast forward several years and I am now successfully treated with a proper combination of…

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