Browsing CategorySelf-Care

Did My Personality Type Cause My Bipolar?

One of my several bookcases of binders I used to pride myself on my total type-A personality. Over-achiever, control freak, wannabe wonder-woman who took on way too much – at work, at home, as a volunteer, and in social settings. My level of obsessive organization was unrivalled: I have over 60 binders for every possible project, labelled and stored neatly in my office. Needless to say, confronting chaos and embracing change is not one of my fortés. So when I developed bipolar disorder, I got completely derailed. It was my type-A personality (combined with menopause) that caused my bipolar In…

Go to the Mental Health Gym Every Day!

The concept of a “mental health gym” I’m a big believer in going to the “brain gym”: taking steps to actively (and proactively) maintain my mental health. Mental fitness is vital for all of us, wherever we may fall on the mental health/mental illness continuum. We exercise or go to the gym every day (or we try to, at least!) to keep our bodies fit, but what do we do for our minds? We need to give just as much attention to our mental health as our physical health. There are many types of physical exercises that we can do…

What does International Women’s Day have to do with our mental health?

Chicken-and-egg? Recently, I MC’d a local event to mark International Women’s Day (8 March) in my hometown of Baie-D’Urfé, Quebec. The photo shows many of the 35 women who participated and shared ideas on the theme “A Balanced Life; A Fine Line.” It was great to learn from so many different women, at many different stages of life: from childless, single young women to at-home and working mothers, to mid-life professionals, to retirees contemplating exciting new ventures… As I said in my Instagram post at the time (see below), without true balance between the genders, humanity will never achieve its…

Tips to avoid the “depression demon”

Ouch! In mid-January, I was out walking in extreme wintery weather, and I slipped on some ice – hard! Ouch! To make a long (and very painful) story short, I broke my left ankle and was put on three weeks of bedrest. Then, just as I was starting to walk again, while trying to protect the injured ankle, I put too much strain on my right leg, and tore the meniscus of my right knee. Ouch, ouch! Will this injury precipitate a depression? The first thought that crossed my mind as I lay bed-bound in agony, leg in a splint…

Block Your Bipolar Triggers! (Part 2)

How to analyze your bipolar triggers If you missed Part 1 where I explain what triggers are, you can read it here. I learned the hard way! I now look at my bipolar symptoms as a clue, an early warning sign. I ask: what might have triggered or caused these particular symptoms at this particular time and place? When I looked back at my whole history with bipolar, studying my daily charts and all the notes I had made over many years, I could identify triggers or potential triggers for about 80% of all my bipolar episodes. In the other…