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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

BBC Three are currently airing a mental health season & last night ‘Diaries Of A Broken Mind’ was on. It focuses on 25 people chronicling their lives via a handheld camera. It was very insightful, as it literally gives you an inside view of people lives with various mental health issues.

As many of you will know I have bipolar…umm for those that don’t…eyes up to the top of the page…hear that? Yep a few pennies dropped right there 😉 Sorry I went of on a tangent there. So I have bipolar, but what this season of mental health programmes is giving me, is a wealth of information & knowledge on other mental health disorders out there.

Have a look at the episode I watched last night. I noticed the uploader’s comment on YouTube mentioned he’d received copyright infringement due to the music content in the programme. So if you can’t access this by the time you try let me know & I’ll change the link.

Let me know what you think?

I appreciate it’s a long documentary, so if you don’t have the time just click to 12mins in & watch until 13:30. This was my favourite part of the docmentary. Partly because of the amazing piece of music in the background, but also because it encompasses really well the stigma we face around mental health in just 1min 30secs.

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Sorry it’s been a while since I last posted. We’re in a heatwave at the moment in the UK & after working outside, between 10:00-15:00, all I’ve wanted to do when getting in is relax & try to stay cool.

The final episode of the Don’t Call Me Crazy series aired a week ago. See below a link for this most recent episode & the previous two.

In this episode it focuses on Beth & two new male patients.

As ever let me know what you think of this episode & the series as a whole?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ0nVKFOwHg – Episode 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDUwcSMmqDU – Episode 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Ry9fL71x0 – Episode 1

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It’s coming to the end of my temporary rolling contract & my mind keeps looping to ‘What if I lose my job?’. I’m fairly confident that it will be renewed, as we’re well into the summer holiday season & there is plenty of work right now.

That said, the worry is still lingering at the back of my mind, mainly because this job seems to work with my bipolar really well. As a postman, I get daily exercise, a mix of cycling & walking for four hours each day. I also get to work outdoors enjoying plenty of fresh air & interacting with the public. So if I do lose my job I think I’ll struggle to find one that helps with the bipolar side of things.

Soooo it came as a nice surprise yesterday, when the subject of my contract renewal came up at work. Now my manager isn’t one for words of encouragement, so when he said ‘Well you haven’t got any worse’, I thought, steady on boss let’s not go all out on the praise here :). To be fair he also said I’d gotten better & was performing my rounds quicker. I still didn’t get confirmation I’ll be getting a new three month contract, but the positive feedback was…well…positive 🙂

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I read this on Bipolar Out Load. It’s a great article Nellie has written about, well, ‘Building Your Own Happiness’. I sometimes struggle to read large posts, as this one is, but it’s definitely worth reading part of it, leaving it & then coming back to read the rest.

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Good news! I found the BBC documentary ‘Don’t Call Me Crazy’ on YouTube. A few of you requested I upload it if I found it. Here is the post I did on it a day or two ago.

Let me know what you think of it?

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YoTgHSe2irg

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I read this post explaining why people with bipolar may live quietly with it for so long, due to the stigma associated with it.. It also lists areas of our lives that bipolar can affect.

The post is Not An Island, from bi[polar] curious.

I’ve pasted below the post in case the link doesn’t work for you.

……………………………………………………………………………………

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about why I lived silently with bipolar disorder for as long as I did.

There was, of course, the terror that people would reject me…

Or that, even worse, they would want to bar me from doing the things that I loved.

As much as that fear was an integral part of my silence, there was something else that I think played a larger role.

I didn’t think bipolar disorder, or the inner workings of my brain anyway, was affecting my life in any significant way. Especially when I was in more stable periods.

I thought of myself as an island, and the only parts that would be effected would be the ones that knew about this hidden illness.

Of course, I was one hundred percent wrong. My mood swings were affecting everyone around me, and were effecting my own life in a very significant way.

I’ve been attending a peer recovery class the last few weeks and early on we made a list of the ways mental illness affects our lives.

It can affect

  • our relationships (with friends, family, co-workers, etc)
  • our ability to work (for better (hypomania) or worse)
  • our ability to complete schooling (at practically any level)
  • our housing situation
  • our financial situation (both via working and due to medical costs)
  • our physical health (depending on how well we can take care of ourselves)
  • our ability to take care of others (children, pets, etc)
  • our spiritual lives

And I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting! Looking at this list really made me aware of how many aspects of my life are affected by bipolar disorder, not just work and relationships. I know that I’ve experienced every single one of the things on this list, and not in a minute way.

I think that only after being open and honest about what I experience could I get the help that I needed in all of these aspects of life. The result? Though these areas are all affected, I am able to lead a more stable life.

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I read a post by a fellow blogger earlier called An Open Invitation, he writes the blog bipolarblogging. In the post he discusses how a lot of the search terms he has come across on WordPress are around bipolar relationships. He has requested that we discuss our own experiences of a bipolar relationship, so here is mine…

I’ve been with my wife for 14 years & married for nearly 10 of those. As with most marriages, we’ve had our ups & down, so mix that in with me having bipolar, we may have had more than most. I was only diagnosed with bipolar 3-4 years ago, but had been diagnosed with depression prior to that for nearly 10. So who knows when the bipolar thing actually kicked in.

We’ve known from the start that we love each other deeply. I’m lucky, in the sense that I’ve read plenty of instances where bipolar relationships have broken down, and yet here we are still going & more importantly still wanting to go. One thing I do wonder though, is that as there is a high divorce rate these days, who is to say that those marriages that have broken down, wouldn’t have broken down anyway, whether or not one of the couple was bipolar. I also wonder if that last sentence made any sense 🙂

One thing I do know, and it may sound clichéd, is communication is key. That was the most important lesson I learned from my parents relationship. Theirs failed, but from the get go with my wife & I, we were adamant we would tell each other how we feel. It might take a while to realise what it is we’re feeling, but we tell each other when we do.

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