marshastephenson

Living with Bipolar

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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

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  • 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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Reconciling the Past and Staying in the Present

I understand just how Amy feels! I find myself having to take in a deep breath and exhaling completely to become in the present moment. When the self talk won’t stop, I often remember “Peace! Be still!” Mark 4:39

Shedding Light on Mental Illness

Reconciling the Past

Many spiritual teachers typical focus a great deal on “staying in the present moment.” For those who don’t live with bipolar disorder it’s still a great challenge not to hold on to the past. Because I live with bipolar disorder I feel like it might even be more difficult for me to “let go” of the past.

While I know it’s not healthy to hold on to the past and certainly even less healthy to ruminate about it, I still find it difficult not to get stuck sometimes in a time when life might have been a little easier. I also have those moments when living in the present actually triggers my thoughts and takes me back to a different time and place.

Whether it be with my current job situation or my past career I can’t help but wonder where I would be without this illness…

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Lessons Learned From Walking The Dog

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So true and a goal for every day. Walking hand in hand with Christ is such a blessing, because no matter where you are lead, you are not alone! Great Blog Kim!

Kim Wilbanks

I have a confession to make.  My nest is not truly empty.   There is one small creature who inhabits our home and our hearts. His name is Higgins and he is our almost decade old Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

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Higgins was my daughter’s dog, a Christmas gift during her fifteenth year (after she finally wore her dad down).  But, as often occurs, she became a busy teenager and then went off to college.  She fell in love with her college town (and a certain young man in that town) and there she stayed.

Oh, Higgins is very excited to see her when she comes home, jumping and wagging what little bit of a tail he has.  He follows her around like the puppy he used to be but we all know to whom he really belongs.

He’s my baby . . . ok, my husband’s too.

I take Higgins…

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