I Went Off My Meds to Be More Spiritual

Well ok – let me qualify that. I reduced my meds.See there’s always been this niggling feeling if I could just reduce & eventually not take any medication I would be better off.

My Big Fat Naked Psychosis (told in 3 three-word sentences)

It started when a writing friend told me of an exercise her teacher gave her. Write your life story, but write it in 3-word sentences. Here’s the long and the short of it.

Practicing Good Survivorship

I know there are others like me out there, loving someone like my brother. I don’t know what concrete guidance I can give you, other than continue to love that person.

How Getting Naked Eased my Depression & my Life

Accepting the naked truth (that I was dealing with a psychiatric condition not just ‘mood swings’) helped me recover from bipolar disorder and recover my career.

Yes, Victoria, there is a Sanity Clause

The Holiday Sanity Clause is thus: you have the right to say graciously ‘no’.

Smoke and Mirrors

I recently discovered my incessant battle with food and eating has merely been a smoke screen for my generalized anxiety disorder. Now what?

Caregiver Tips to Support Someone with Depression

What benefited me most when I was struggling with depression and in particular pushing people (and their assistance) away?

The ‘Amnesia of Depression’

An odd phenomenon happens when I get depressed. I forget I was ever well. I forget I’ll come out the other side (I always do). I forget there even is another side. Because depression feels permanent.

Flounder or Flourish - Guest Post by Catherine G. Lucas

Why do some people going through a mental health crisis flounder and others flourish? It’s all to do with the quality of support we get.

S.P.A.C.E.: How to Create Mental Health & Vibrant Wellness

The S.P.A.C.E. (Small Positive Actions Change Everything) phenomenon works every time.

Please Don’t Tell Me I Just Have a Chemical Imbalance

This is what I’d like to ask of clinicians, doctors, and advocates for mental illness in general and bipolar disorder specifically: Please don’t tell me I just have a chemical imbalance. There is a whole lot more going on inside my mind and my relationships and my world than the balance of serotonin or dopamine or norepinephrine.

How the Hell Do I Get to Where I Want to Go?

This past Saturday I went to visit my Aunt. And I got lost. Really lost. For 2 hours. I actually wound up at the US/Canadian border (I kid you not) with my gas tank at empty knowing my Aunt had called the ambulance to take her to emergency. If we want to live our best life we need a good map, a clear destination and some friendly folks to help us along the way.

How to Help Your Adult Child if They Have a Mental Illness

As parents of adult children living with mental illness you tell me how painful it is to see your son or daughter in anguish yet at the same time not accept help.

How to Make Indecision Work for You & Anxiety Fall Away

How do you live comfortably with ambiguity so it doesn’t drive you into a panic attack or analysis paralysis? Make it official (the indecisiveness, not the panic attack). That is: choose to be indecisive.

Bipolar Disorder and Making it into the Super Bowl

In football, recovery is measured in weeks or months, not years. This time around, it’s not my knee that’s had to recover, it’s my mind. And it’s taken me years and been far more difficult than making any NFL roster.

Feelings are Not Facts

Sinister self-talk slithers in & with it unpleasant emotions. It’s the usual suspects (like the Seven Dwarves but meaner): useless, worthless, hopeless, clueless, shameful, guilty & unlovable. Recognize feelings for what they are: feelings, not facts. This creates a buffer zone between yourself & your belief in them. Just because you feel worthless, doesn't mean you are.

Not So Silently Through the Night

As a Canadian (privileged) white woman, I sheepishly admitted I only had a vague notion of what was meant by ‘the strong black woman’. Christie Neptune, artist & trailblazer explains the phrase comes from the ability to endure, overcome and live through extreme adversity. “I am forced to tuck away my feelings; my grief, my hurt, my pain for the sake of moving forward.”

Celebrate Your Shame, It’s Getting You Healthy

I had some monumental shame attacks learning to accept my long history of therapies, treatments, shrinks and all that 'stuff'. But all that 'stuff' – like my friend and her path, and you and yours - is bringing us to more awareness, self-compassion and wellness. So celebrating shame isn't so crazy after all.

The 6 Steps of Healing You Need to Know

Denial of an illness is the greatest barrier; acceptance, the greatest liberator. When we start, albeit slowly perhaps, to accept our illness, mental illness or otherwise, only then can healing begin. Often the longest leg and biggest barrier in the road to recovery is the journey to acceptance.

The Zen of Managing Chaos

Learning to befriend change helps make change less daunting when it inevitably comes.

Is Community Based Participatory Research Actually Research?

At a talk, a researcher discussed a community based participatory research project where individuals with mental illness were involved from start to finish. In the next row, I heard a delegate say “it’s just the new macramé.” Ironically the talk was being presented at an anti-stigma conference. Go figure. But perhaps due to the history of tokenism, skepticism is justified.

What I Know for Sure about People with Mental Illness

11 Things I know to be true about those of us in the mental illness tribe.

Bipolar Coming Between Brothers

It's hard to watch a relationship become estranged. And even harder when you don't know what the future holds. I cannot predict the future, but I have seen horribly wounded relationships return to loving caring ones (including my own). Here are four tips that may help start the healing journey.


A new documentary by Phil Borges and his team portrays psychosis in a wider, more inclusive perspective than I've ever seen. It is unusual and doesn't apply to everyone who experiences psychosis. But for those it does, it may be refreshing and a relief.

I’m a Bipolar Love-Child. What About You?

I already felt like an alien amongst my own kin, not to mention uncomfortable in my own skin. Then when I was hit with bipolar disorder, well, talk about feeling like even more of an outsider. Now I wasn’t just that weird artsy kid of Jack and Velma Maxwell’s, I was the CRAZY weird artsy kid who been in the psych ward. Like icing on the cake I was a loony tunes times two.

What’s Your Psychiatric Super Power?

What’s your psychiatric super power? What’s the strength of your bipolar bicep? The power to...persevere in the face of tall challenges...unearth humor from painful places? The power to be vulnerable and brave simultaneously?

Finding Your Light

Recently, I've had a string of ‘feeling-pretty-bitter-resentful-jealous-nasty-and-down-right-ornery-look-at-everyone-else-who-is-doing-better-bigger-more-creative-things-how-come-they-get-recognized-for-it-and-not-me' kind of days! Yup - that about sums it up.

Ride Don't Hide

At this time there may be no cure for the collection of emotional/cognitive afflictions known as ‘mental illness.’ That said, the medicine to cure the social disease of mental illness stigma has been discovered. The medicine is community mental health awareness events.

The Path to Liberty is Openness

Andrew Solomon is very clear: “There is a sense of it, depression being shameful. And the only way it will to cease to be shameful is for people to be open and to talk about it.”

The Bipolar Aesthetic

After living in ashamed secrecy for 17 years, artist Missy Douglas, who lives with bipolar disorder, uses painting to expose her true identity.