Reducing stigma

I was recently asked the excellent question: what can I do to help you feel less stigma? I replied with the first thing that came to mind, but the question stayed with me. It deserved more than an off-the-cuff answer. It deserved reflection. After my standard thoughtfulness, this is what I came up with. First,Continue reading “Reducing stigma”

Journals 101

Do you journal? I’ve been journalling since I was a kid, when it was called a diary. I was recently asked to elaborate on my technique, which made me realize that my journals are not one-size-fits-all. This post describes how journalling best helps me. Gratitude This is my gratitude journal. I’ve had one for decades,Continue reading “Journals 101”

Don’t Call Me Crazy: a short story

This story was a birthday gift for my son, inspired by one of his mind-blowing questions. After he read it he said “This looks really pro. Like you’ve taken a course.” Thanks kid. DISCLAIMER: This story might seem to suggest that I am against medication, which is not true. There is a lot more toContinue reading “Don’t Call Me Crazy: a short story”

Crazy: Memoir of a Mom Gone Mad

When Charise Jewell decided to leave her career as a robotics engineer to pursue writing fiction, the 40-year old mother of three had no idea that she was embarking on a real life story beyond her wildest imagination. Without warning, and while preparing to celebrate Mother’s Day 2017, she rapidly descended into a severe mania,Continue reading “Crazy: Memoir of a Mom Gone Mad”

Talking to kids about mental illness

This is a slide from my mental illness/health presentation for kids at local schools. You can click through and share any or all of the slides below. When we talk openly about mental illness it reassures people if they have any concerns, and helps to remove stigma. This fosters open communication, which makes people moreContinue reading “Talking to kids about mental illness”

Mania Explained

              Most people I know have never experienced a manic episode. They are curious but respectful, so don’t ask for details about mine. They don’t want to upset me by dredging up painful memories. I appreciate their respect and concern, but I think that talking about hard things makes us stronger.               My first mania,Continue reading “Mania Explained”

Balancing Bipolar Disorder

I recently saw my psychiatrist for a check-up, something that happens every month or two depending on my mood. He’s been pleased with my progress and during the appointment he remarked “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.” This got me thinking – what am I doing? In the past year I’ve fluctuated between hyper maniaContinue reading “Balancing Bipolar Disorder”

Books we’re reading this month…

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter We’re finally starting to realize that we eat too many carbs. This book links a carb-heavy diet with brain health, and it’s not just refined carbs either. In other words, according to Perlmutter, too much multi-grain bread, or even fruit, causes ADHD, dementia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, mood disorders, and manyContinue reading “Books we’re reading this month…”

Spiralling out: a photo essay of mania

On May 15, 2017 I was hospitalized and diagnosed as having Bipolar 1 mood disorder after experiencing an extreme manic episode. Music and art were very significant to me during this time and both held great meaning. Once the dust settled and I looked through my camera I realized that it clearly showed my descentContinue reading “Spiralling out: a photo essay of mania”