If you’ve been to see a physician regarding any kind of mental health concern, one of the first things that he/she will ask you is how you’ve been sleeping. Sleep is an absolutely integral part of our general health and specifically to our mental health.

As you are aware by reading this blog, I am diagnosed as being bipolar, which means that I have to pay special attention to how much sleep I get.. and more importantly, when I am not sleeping.  Read more

Bad Habits

Living functionally with a mental illness is largely about behaviour modification as part of your wellness routine. By definition, if you are mentally ill, many aspects of your behaviour can, at times, be out of your control.

This can be helped through helpful therapies like cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) or a mindfulness practice. I plan to write extensively on these topics in the coming weeks and months, as these practices have been extremely helpful in my life. Read more

Doing Things When You’re Used to Doing Nothing…

Many of you who live with a mental illness have probably been accused of being lazy before. I know that I have.. many times.. probably too many to count.

The worst part is, I often accuse myself of being lazy. My doctors inform me of limitations on my energy that I need get used to, but I can’t.

There was a time in my life when I was a multitasker.. capable of many things.. I understand that things are different, now that I have chosen to take medications to temper my symptoms.

Regardless of the medications that tire you out, bipolar alone is an energy bandit whenever you are stuck between episodes, and even worse, when you in the depressive cycles, which seems to strike most individuals with bipolar far more frequently than the sometimes pleasant(ish) moments of mania. Read more

Family & Illness

I wanted to come clean about a few things here. I was not an easy kid. In general, I would say that I was not easy to be around once I hit puberty.

There were many reasons for this, most of which are not relevant to include here, but one of the reasons was the fact that I was dealing with a mental illness.

Both of my parents tried to get me to see a doctor when I was quite young, but I refused to go.  Read more

Continued Trials & Errors and my time on lithium

If you revisit my last post, we were discussing the various medications that I had been prescribed, up to my taking the CAMH IMPACT study DNA test.

It is at this time that I was taken off most of the drugs that had been prescribed by the first doctor to diagnose me as bipolar and start a process that would span years trying to find another cocktail that would work.

I was still very early on in my journey at this point and I was unaware of what the “success” of one drug or another really looked like. Read more

Trial & Error

Bipolar disorder, regardless of what type you may be dealing with, is historically very difficult to treat. If you are dealing with bipolar yourself, you have probably already know what I mean. It isn’t as easy as going to the doctor and getting a prescription for some secret pill that will take away all your problems.

Why would they make anything easy on us, right?

For those of you who may be at the beginning of your mental health journey, you deserve to know what lays ahead. You will likely have to experiment with many different drugs, different dosages, and different cocktails before you find what works for you.

Even then, you will likely be dealing with a host of side effects that can range from weight gain, tardive dyskinesia (tremor), issues with body temperature regulation, issues with taste and dry mouth, and many, many more. Read more