The Link Between Bipolar and Creativity

The link between bipolar disorder and creativity is a hot debate. Although I am in the creative profession, I can understand how this relationship can irritate people with bipolar disorder who do not find themselves in a creative position.

In this video, I share a different perspective on addressing this topic. It all comes down to one overall question, How can our way of thinking contribute to society? Also, I talk about the barrier that keeps those of us diagnosed with a mental health condition from finding our passion and where we can thrive.

Please share your comments and subscribe to my HealthyPlace YouTube channel.

Advertisements

Keeping It Candid On “I’m​ Bipolar Too” Blog

I started my journey with HealthyPlace.com almost a year ago. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my experience and talk about mental health in an authentic and open way. The adventure continues on my HealthyPlace blog, “I’m Bipolar Too.” There will be new posts every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I am getting personal, sharing advice and keeping it candid about mental health. Share your thoughts and experience in the comment section of posts or do a response video and send it into info@healthyplace.com.

Also, don’t forget to keep up with my HealthyPlace YouTube channel! New videos every Monday morning. Again, please share your experience or do a video for us. You have a story, a voice, and it deserves to be heard. Please subscribe if you have not had a chance!

 

 

 

 

StandUp SpeakUp: A Candid Interview About My Experience with Bipolar II

In this podcast done for Wearable Therapy Tokii, a company creating wearable art with a powerful message about mental health. In this interview, I talk in depth about my experience with bipolar II and the need for better resources for those struggling with mental health conditions.

Podcast: https://standupspeakup.podbean.com/e/episode-1-overcoming-bipolar

Blog: http://www.standupspeakuptokii.com/a-journey-through-bipolar/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming to the Healthyplace Youtube Channel Talking About Mental Health

Every Monday morning I will be posting videos at my new HealthyPlace YouTube channel, sharing parts of my story about living with bipolar II. I will be talking to friends, family, and strangers on the street about mental health. Stay tuned for the wild ride! Subscribe to the YouTube channel. See you next Monday morning.

Why People Feel Uneasy Taking Meds for the Head

Treatment plans for mental health care differ from situation to situation.  In some cases, it calls for therapy and in other cases medication is needed.  This doesn’t mean that when you wake up feeling sad, you call the doctor and start popping pills.  However, when depression or severe emotional behavior begins to affect your daily life, work and relationships, it is time to seek help.  There is no shame in taking medicines if needed.  If you get the flu do you take meds?  Yes.  So what is the difference when it is the flu of the mind.  There is none.  Would you blame someone who lost her husband in war for seeking out medication for anxiety?  Would you judge a woman for taking antidepressants who lost her child 2 months shy of his 1st birthday to cancer?  We all want to end up at the same place, but some need to take a different route to the intersection of happy and healthy.  There is no shame in that.

Reasons why people feel uneasy taking meds for the head…

I don’t need a pill to make me happy.

Lets do a word replacement, instead of happy, lets put healthy.  I don’t want to take a pill to make me healthy!  Make sense?  Happy and health go together like PB&J.  Think about people from the past, who would have done anything to receive treatment to help them maintain a stable life with a mental disorder.  Virginia Wolf is shaking her head.

I feel like I am weak if I have to resort to medication.

Are people who have diabetes weak because they have to resort to insulin in order to survive?  It is all about how you frame it.  You are not weak, you are honest about your situation and health.  A strong person acknowledges their pain, and does something about it.

I am afraid people will judge me.

Okay, write out those people who you think will judge you.  Now delete them from your phone.  People who love you won’t judge you.  I hate to tell you, but when you get a prescription you are not the headline on the 10’oclock news that night.  If you fear judgement…dont tell anyone.  You will be pleasantly surprised that over half the people you fear in opening up to, are going through a similar situation.

I don’t want people to think I am crazy.

What is crazy is having the available resources to receive good mental health care, and not taking advantage of it.  Reaching out for help is far from crazy.  People will get wasted, and have sex without a condom with the first person they meet at a bar (no judgement) and that is not considered crazy.  However, taking anti-depressants for depression, YIKES that is insanity!  Think about it.

I don’t want to stay on medicine long-term.

Okay, do not jump the gun.  Get to Point A before jumping to Point Z.  You may not be on medicine for the long-term, but if you are so what?  If you feel like your life, relationships and your day to day has improved since taking a medication than why would you stop.   Again, everyone has to take a different route to happiness sometimes.  Do not be ashamed of the route you take.

 

We Are Petrified Of Falling In Love & This Is Why…

It is the first time in years you have been decently balanced on the beam.  You wobble, but not falling off is good enough for you.  And then you look behind you, and you see it coming…Love…and your feet hit the floor.

We are the patients of love.  So do you take the chance that you may hit the floor again?  Is it worth it?  First we have to acknowledge the reasons for why we fear the most beautiful part of life.

We are petrified of falling in love & this is why…

1.  …because it means we will finally have to let our guard down.

We will finally be forced to share the story that we have yet to share with ourselves.  To be open and reveal our insecurities with the fear that someone will take advantage of our vulnerability.

2.  …because we are afraid that our love won’t be reciprocated.

Relationships are never 50/50, and this is normal.  However, when it becomes 80/20, and we are on the 80 side of the equation, it emphasizes our insecurities.  It makes us feel weak, and powerless, building our inner wall a little higher when it comes to love.

3.  …because we are petrified that he/she will not accept our flaws.

Revealing our authentic selves is difficult.  It is scary to think that at the point in your life when you have finally embraced your imperfections, someone could come along, and make you think the opposite.  Being single seems worth it if it means we do not have to revert back to resenting the parts of us that we have been working towards accepting.

4.  …because if it does not work, it breaks a little piece of us.

Because each time our heart breaks, it breaks a piece of our minds and our soul.  And too many chips falling off could lead to the whole thing breaking.  It undeniably hurts, and as time goes on you may lose hope that love even exists.  A thought that is truly tragic.

5  ….because longing and lusting for him/her is just as scary as it is pleasurable.

Love is passion, and this is a beautiful element of it.  However, allowing someone to come into your life, and maintain this type of power over your body and mind can be just as scary, as it is pleasurable.

6.  …because we might bring the baggage of our past relationships into the next.

You fear that the damage done by ex-lovers will tag along with you into your next potential relationship.  It is hard to admit to yourself that someone from your past has had a negative influence on your present behaviors.  You don’t want to take baggage into your next relationship, so you are fearful about entering into one.

So what do we do…

We acknowledge our past, and confront our fears.  We take the risk, and fall in love.  If there is one thing in this world that is worth risking a lot for, it is love.  Love opens you up to new possibilities, and whether it fails or succeeds, relationships build your character.

Only reveal your authentic self when it is deserved.  Trust is to be earned, not given.  Enjoy the ride while it lasts, and if you hit the ground again, tell yourself that you are going to use the pain as a stepping stone to a successful future in life, and love.

 

 

6 Things Women Need To Stop Doing To Other Women

She is such a slut!  Ew, she is huge!  Did you see what she was wearing?  Why is he dating her?

The goal is to build a ‘sisterhood’ between women, however, there is still much work to be done.  We are harder on each other than we are on those keeping us below the glass ceiling.  Several women shared with me a situation, in which they felt abused or embraced by their fellow female comrade.  It is evident that a readjustment of our attitudes towards one another is necessary.

These are 6 things women need to stop doing to other women.  

1.  Stop blaming her for his infidelity.

This is common.  The boyfriend cheats, we blame the woman for our relationship problems.  She is not your problem, he is.  In many situations the “other woman” does not even know he has a girlfriend, and if she does, karma will be a bigger bitch than you could ever be!

I gave another woman hell about sleeping with my boyfriend.  She didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.  I married him, and we had two children.  He cheated on me with three different women throughout our marriage.  We got divorced two years ago.-Melissa, 42

2.  Don’t diminish each other’s life choices.

Whether you are a “work-aholic” or a “mom-aholic.” We need to empower each other’s life choices.  We are all making progressive steps as mothers, and boss ladies.  Clap for her, not at her.

I chose to have a career over having children.  It was my decision.  My sister has two daughters. My sister and I love to jump in each other’s shoes once in a while.  We respect one another.-Erin, 38

3.  Stop calling her a Slut.

We are justifying this type of name calling when we say it about other women.  If your girlfriend is living a lifestyle you think is dangerous than confront her about it, don’t call her degrading names for her sexual decisions.

I have had my fair share of sexual partners, but always use protection.  I enjoy sex, and I am not ashamed to say so.  I have been called a “slut” more by women, than I have been by men.-Johanna, 27

4.  Stop body shaming.

It’s bad enough we have to hear it from guys.  Women have the power to change this, but for some reason we brutally scrutinize other women’s bodies.  Body shaming other females is more mentally damaging than you think.

I went to join a sorority my Freshman year at the University I attended.  We had to do the cliche “rush.” One night the sorority sisters lined us up in our bathing suits, and used a marker to circle the areas of our body they found unflattering.  I went home to see myself in the mirror covered in marker with words like PIG! FAT! UGLY!  I dropped out a week later.-Alison, 24

5.  Start embracing, and stop competing.

Being a woman is not a sport, and girlfriends are not suppose to be enemies.  We are all different, and bring something different to the table.  If you feel insecure around other women, look inside yourself to find the root of the problem.

My best friend is a supermodel, but she has always empowered me.  We go shopping, and she dresses me up when we go out.  We did not compete, we built each other up.  She is a major part of the reason why I am so confident today. Kara, 25

6.  Her style may not be your style accept it.

She is not “white trash” because she has tattoos, and she is not a “snot” because she wears Lilly Pulitzer.  Instead of calling her blue hair “weird,” call it “eccentric.”  Let’s embrace our differences, and respect each others style.

I came from a Conservative home, and my best friend was a wild child from Boston.  Her style was totally different, she had tattoos, talked about sex and everything in-between.  At first I bashed her.  Then one night, we drank wine, and I opened up to her about everything.  She was my Maid of Honor at my wedding.-Catherine, 28

 

 

7 Things You Realize When You Do The Unexpected

As I was walking along Coronado Beach, I could hear the loud sounds of the fighter jets whizzing by my head.  I looked around and realized how quiet the people were around me.  I heard another jet coming.  I climbed to the top of a rock overlooking the beach, threw my arms to wave and blew kisses towards the pilot as if I was Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot.”  Suddenly the jet waved it’s wings, and increased speed.  You could hear the loud engine roar.  Smiles, laughs and claps came from the crowd.  Those who were seen rolling their eyes were merely bystanders to life, while I was actually living it.  An unexpected moment, that turned into an everlasting memory.-Halfway2hannah

Its about being open about who you are, and allowing yourself to experience life on your terms.  These are 7 things you realize when you do the unexpected…

1.  People will judge you no matter what you do.

Tatted or not, people will judge you.  Wealthy or poor, people will judge you.  Skinny or overweight, people will judge you.  Regardless of how you look, behave or speak people will judge you.  So why not be judged for living the life you want and doing the unexpected?

2.  You are living, while others are just existing.

They may roll their eyes at you, but inside they admire your vibrance.  People who live their life without the approval of others inspire those around them.  They are the electric shock that bring some back to life, including themselves.

 3.  You are making unique memories when you do the unexpected.

These moments turn into stories that are told throughout your life and beyond.  You will not remember how many people were watching or the things that were said about you.  All you will remember is how you felt.

4.  Living life by someone else’s rules dampen’s your spirit.

Day by day, year by year, playing by others guidelines, and not your own, will make you bitter.  Trying to satisfy society’s standards is exhausting, and weighs heavy as time goes on.

5.  You miss out on genuine love & friendships when you play by other peoples rules.

Whether it be to open your eyes up to love, or the world around you, people you meet along the road are of significant value.  The best lovers and friends are the ones who come into your life unexpectedly.  Embrace it.

 6.  You see who your friends really are.

When you do the unexpected, even if just for a brief moment, you learn a lot about yourself and those around you.  The people who will support you even if they do not agree with your actions are the ones to keep around for the long run.

7.  Living life outside the box builds you as an individual.

Whether you succeed or fail, you learn lessons that cannot be taught in the classroom or at your job.  You get a chance to experience life on your terms. It is a wake up call to those around you who have power over your decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Ways To Reduce The Stigma Of Mental Illness

It does not matter if you have or do not have a mental disorder, stigma affects us all!  Mental health is a hot topic right now, and it has never been more important to work as a community to reduce stigma.  It is time we open up the mental health conversation on our terms this time!  Here are 9 ways to reduce stigma…

1.  Knowledge is power.

Read up about mental health.  The information is easy to find.   Ask yourself, What is a mental illness?  What types of mental illness are there?  What are the symptoms? Why is it referred to as a “mental illness?”   

2.  Be active on online media platforms.

On Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook post positive articles, blogs, quotes, and/or images that relate to mental health.  Stay away from going on a wild political rant.  This can be a major turn off.  You want to encourage the conversation, not diminish it.

3.  Get people involved.

Bring your friends along with you to events or volunteer opportunities.  It gives a different image of mental health than what they may have originally thought.

4.  Develop your own opinion.

You do not want to sound “memorized” when talking about mental health to other people.  Take the information you have gathered, and form your own personal opinion.  What ideas will you share with the public?

5.  Be confident, cool & collected.

It is nerve-wrecking to talk to people about mental health.  This should not stop you from being vocal.  You do not have to be aggressive.  Be calm and collected when expressing your views to others.

6.  Get people talking.

Casually introduce the topic of mental health in a social conversation with friends or family.  Hey, did you know that Demi Lovato is diagnosed with Bipolar II?   Get the conversation rolling and get people talking.  You might be surprised how interested people are by the topic.

7.  Focus on the positive.

There are many successful, and incredibly gifted people with mental disorders in society.  However, this is not what is heard or seen in the media.  Discuss mental health with a positive attitude.  People are more willing to listen, and engage in the conversation.

8.  Reveal the parts of you that contradict stigma.

It is important to reveal things about yourself, or someone else, that conflict with what “stigma says.”  Mental illness does not define you, or anyone else.  You want people to embrace your character before acknowledging your disorder.  This encourages people to question what they hear in the media about mental health.

9.  Share your story, only if you are comfortable with it.

This is not for everyone.  It is not easy to be open about mental illness, and due to the stigma, there are consequences.  Your story established a personal connection with readers, and shows the impact of stigma and labels.  If you want to share your story, I will be creating a page in the following weeks on my blog, “Your Story.”  The guidelines will be listed, and I would love to help you on your journey to sharing your story.