The most helpful thing you can do for a loved one with bipolar:

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I was talking to a friend the other day about how lucky I was that my boyfriend is just as good as my parents at doing the one thing most important to my mental health: Keeping me in check.

There are lists upon lists out there about things you can do for a loved one suffering from Bipolar disorder. Most of them are really good tips, but the most important one for me normally doesn’t show up on those lists, because it’s not always pleasant, and newly diagnosed people sometimes don’t react to it well and therefore it doesn’t always seem productive.

You see, I’m aware of my big mood swings when they happen. It’s hard not to notice when you nose dive or are suddenly ten times more active than you normally are. It’s those small ones that get me, the ones that I think are triggered by daily events because I can’t see it as clearly as someone watching from the outside. I don’t always consider all the facts, because the change felt natural from the inside, and after all, I still got everything done that I needed to do.

Those smaller mood swings are important though, if your swinging that much it needs to be addressed and your medications need to be adjusted. They might not feel like a big deal on the inside, but they can be long term, and they can also be a big deal for those around you. And those around you are normally the ones who notice them first.

I used the words “keeping me in check” at the top of this post, but that sounds harsher than it really is. It’s a gentle nudge, a firm yet kind acknowledgement by your loved ones that something is off.

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We need to talk about our celebrity problem:

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I feel like I’ve watched hundreds of celebrities fall from grace recently. It’s empowering to watch bad people exit stage left, but watching how torn up people have been over their favorites falling has led me back to something I haven’t spent much time thinking about since a group of my friends were neck deep into the One Direction fandom years ago.

Hint: It’s about celebrity worship.

There is nothing wrong with liking a celebrity. There is nothing wrong with loving their work and buying every album or movie the moment it comes out. What’s concerning is when celebrities pass “my favorite _____”, then pass “my role model”, and land in “my idol”.

Idols are problematic in general, from a religious standpoint, but they’re problematic without that take too. People have hold their favorite celebrities up as untouchable. Anything they do wrong is immediately dismissed. They are to be imitated. They are to be worshiped as gods among us.

It doesn’t seem like that big of a concern most the time, because I’m not around it much. I’m an adult. We grow out of these stages, or at least, most of us do. We shake it off and move on with our lives. However, there are times when I fall into the depths of Twitter or Tumblr and I find out that the worlds teenagers are spending their youth obsessing with other’s lives on social media. They’re making blogs for them. They’re posting daily pictures of them. They know what hotel they are staying at tonight. And it’s absolutely toxic for them.

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Book Review: Mere Christianity

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Mere Christianity is C.S. Lewis’s forceful and accessible doctrine of Christian belief. First heard as informal radio broadcasts and then published as three separate books – The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and Beyond Personality – Mere Christianity brings together what Lewis saw as the fundamental truths of the religion. Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity’s many denominations, C.S. Lewis finds a common ground on which all those who have Christian faith can stand together, proving that “at the centre of each there is something, or a Someone, who against all divergences of belief, all differences of temperament, all memories of mutual persecution, speaks the same voice.” 

-Goodreads

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Seven (Good) Things:

 

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My seven things normally are just a collection of things from around the internet. I decided to do things a little different this time and highlight seven good things that we might have missed with the world focusing on all the bad news. It’s part of my effort to be a more positive person and focus on the things that we should be celebrating in life.

Here are seven good things!

  • This article talks about how “charitable giving reached an all-time high in 2017, with donor generosity cresting the $400 billion mark for the first time U.S. history.”
  • This tweet from ABC is reminding us that we’re still working miracles and giving people (and cute babies!) the gift of sound, something that used to be unheard of.
  • According to this article the number of Jobless claims has declined for four weeks in a row, with the jobless rate at an 18-year low of 3.8%.
  • This article is reminding us that being good to others actually improves our health and our well-being.
  • Everyone loves animals, and we’ve been doing something about it, thanks to wildlife efforts, we’ve gotten these animals off the endangered list.
  • Smoking is deadly, but it has hit a new all time low, as reported in this article by AP, meaning that we’re working towards a healthier tomorrow.
  • The longest running study on happiness found that our good relationships have the biggest impact on our health and overall joy!

Outrage is all the rage:

I’ve noticed something happening over the past few years. Outrage is in style. I should have noticed it sooner then this year, the viral “what are ya’ll mad about today” tweet that made its rounds everyday, opinion pieces losing their journalistic standards and gaining more explanation points, people creating anonymous accounts just to leave untraceable slurs. I was blind to it though, because I was busy being angry like everyone else. The end of that started when I detoxed my social media six months ago, but really, me deleting that only opened my eyes to how much anger there was, and how much people enjoy being enraged.

When I deleted all the politics and anger from my feeds I noticed that I had problems checking the accounts I had unfollowed. It wasn’t because I was uninformed, I was still keeping up with the news by following sites that reported facts without the slant. It was because I missed the raging opinions. I missed the hot takes.

I thought I missed the passion.

It’s a really interesting situation, being enthralled in anger makes us feel like we’re doing something about the issue, even if we’re just ranting online or to friends who in turn rant back, but in reality all we’re doing is stoking fires that burn out of control.

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Untreated Metal Illness, The Silent Killer.

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The news of Kate Spade’s suicide has rocked the internet this week. It rocked me too, because like others, I associated her with the happy, quirky, and glittery line that shares her name. It struck a lot of people because she had the fame, the fortune, the family and could still bare such sadness that she wanted to end her life.

I don’t want to write a think piece on a families tragedy, so I won’t, but I did want to talk about a topic that this tragedy brought to my mind, and that’s untreated mental illness.

There is a strong stigma around mental health treatment. Some of it has to do with the fact that there is still a stigma around mental health, but some of it has to do with the person who should be seeking it.

I often hear the pitch about how we don’t think negatively about blood pressure medication so we shouldn’t about anti-depressants, and I agree with it 100%, but what I keep hearing from individuals is “I think anti-depressants are great, I just don’t need them. I’m just a little sad.”

We downplay our own problems and dismiss them, because they’re inconvenient to face. It’s scary to say we’re not okay, to have to step back from things so we can take care of ourselves. So, we push through and things get worse and worse, then suddenly, there is no return.

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On facing our anxieties instead of nurturing them:

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I read an article recently about the huge increase in prescriptions for medications like Xanax. That we’re prescribing 5xs the amount that we were just a decade and a half ago. I then went on Twitter and saw a huge debate on why you should never call someone on the phone and should always text them instead.

The tweet with the most likes was one that just read: I HAVE ANXIETY, KAREN.

I’ve thought for a while that we’ve been creating the kind of culture that nurtures anxiety instead of cures it. I understand why we’ve done this. I hate when I email someone and they call me instead of replying back. There is so much less pressure over email or text. But you know how you get rid of that deep dread that happens when you talk on the phone?

You talk on the phone.

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