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last year i was preliminarily diagnosed with BPAD 2 and read a really informative book called Bipolar II. it looks at the link between the disorder and creativity. thanks for opening up this dialogue and for sharing your story! it does help to know we are not alone. *i would love for you to do a feature for my creative community blog the wishstudio (www,inthewishstudio.blogspot.com). i think so many of us can relate to what you speak of even if our illnesses don't share the same name.

Joanna's art speaks to me beyond even mental illness, to the shame based feelings carried from a dysfunctional childhood. My son was just diagnosed with Bipolar 1. You have done an excellent job of sharing on your blog about the disease and the difference between mood swings and this illness of the brain. It is like diabetes in that it is a real illness needing real treatment. It is heartbreaking as a mother, or anyone, watching somebody you love decline into this surreal world and behave so erratically. But to see his return to living productively after just a few weeks of therapy and new medication fills me with so much hope. Thank-you for this blog and sharing all that you are experiencing and allowing others to share too. It feels like a safe haven here.
Blessings ~

oh my, Crystal, your post so touches my heart. I am stuck in this place of belief and dis-belief...because of what I was taught to believe.

I know what I have experienced, and still do at times...those suicidal feelings that visit often, sometimes taking a break. How I wished I had a mom that believed in me when I was young. But realize she too suffered from the "non normal". Mental illness has visited my family, I think to all of us in my family.

Hang in there Crystal, with a mom like you, your son will concur, i do believe.

another JoAnnA with love and hugs

Crystal, I meant CONQUER..not concur :)

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