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So, what's the difference btw hypomania and having times when you feel happy instead of depressed?

I love Carrie Fisher. Just finished reading "The Best Awful" for the 3rd time. "Postcards from the Edge" one of my faves.

Stephanie, I think that is the problem with mental illness, hard to diagnoise. some of it has to do with the level that it interferes with your life. When I first was treated for depression, (well maybe the second time) I was diagnoised as cyclothyic, I thought he said psycho-thymic...and I asked the doctor how to spell it, I don't think he knew....http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/cyclothymia-cyclothymic-disorder, but I am working on posting some of my experiences on my blog. One also has to be persistant with the doctor and question....question, question.....also it doesn't help if your employer changes insurance carriers every year or so...and you end up with a new Mental Health provider mid treatment. But I won't go into all of that here...waaaayyyy tooooo long.

I have two in my home with this. I will be back to visit regularly.

I can only speak to bipolar disorder from the standpoint of being the parent of a bipolar (now adult) child. I spend half of my life estranged from her, because the tiniest imagined slight sets her off when she is going into her depressed state. I can tell her I love her 356 days a year, but if I forget even once, or neglect to verbally validate her, she will go off into a mad mother-bashing episode that can go on for hours, weeks or even years. I live my life in fear of her...in fear that she will harm herself...in fear that she will harm her children...in fear that she will harm me or my other two children. I want her to know that I love her deeply, but to her, this seems to mean that I can love ONLY her, because she takes any attention that is given to her siblings or their children as personal slights against her. Everything is measured....Did so-and-so get more than I...does she love so-and-so more than she loves me. She pleas for equality, but what she actually wants is exclusivity. She will be 40 yrs. old on her next birthday and I am exhausted. I do love her. I love her with all my heart, but when she goes into her depressive states, she zeros in on me and goes online and tells people that I am evil, that I beat her, that I was a horrible mother. Then, when she is manic, she puts me on a pedestal and I am perfect in every way and can do no wrong. Both positions are exhausting ones to hold . I just want to be Mom.....I want to be able to be tired or angry or sad just like everyone else. Sometimes I feel like a performing seal or someone who must walk on egg shells all the time. So this is my question. How does a parent display love to a bi-polar person/child/adult in a way that it can be felt and accepted as genuine?

Thank you for this blog! I have suffered from depression for most of my life(finally diagnosed when I was 30). Both of my daughters are showing signs, but, neither will get treatment. It took many years for me to understand that my "condition" is not unusual, and that taking daily meds is just part of life! I have added you to my feeds!

Thank you for a brave and beautiful blog. I am a retired attorney, a practicing artist, and I have bipolar (but it doesn't have me). Carrie Fisher is one of my heroes, and now you are another.

So many of the people who misunderstand and stigmatize mental illness do so out of ignorance. Often they are unaware that people they know and even admire are living with mental illness, so going public is one of the best ways to combat the stigma. I know I've changed a few minds by being open and expressing myself honestly.

I would like to contribute about my bipolar and trying to help others with the same condition. I can refer you to some of my own blog posts if you email me, or simply click thru to my blog and review the "personal history" category.

Thank you again.

I have been taking anti-depressants since I was 26 years old. I am now 52. I never cease taking my medication. I recall a childhood of bleakness. I didn't know "true color" until the meds took hold. I never realized the sky was so blue. The grass was so green. It is time to come out of the "closet of denial" so that we can erase the stigma. I'm not ashamed of my illness. I am ashamed that the world is just not ready to accept it as one.

i would add irritability to the hypomania list. that's how it shows up in me. i have type I, but sometimes exhibit hypomania also.

there is a great website for tracking your moods, sleep habits, anxiety levels and meds.
it's free and i really like it.

Hallucinations are something that many people seek, maybe a way to leave this reality for a while, maybe for religious purpose, or just to get a nice ride. I think the most common way to do it is by consuming LSD.

I think that it is great that you are admitting that you have a problem. You start from that point.

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