Sunday, January 29, 2012

Symptoms of Mania

This is a good "quote" from the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for the symptoms of mania.

What are the symptoms of mania?

Mania is the word that describes the activated phase of bipolar disorder. The symptoms of mania may include:
  • either an elated, happy mood or an irritable, angry, unpleasant mood
  • increased physical and mental activity and energy
  • racing thoughts and flight of ideas
  • increased talking, more rapid speech than normal
  • ambitious, often grandiose plans
  • risk taking
  • impulsive activity such as spending sprees, alcohol abuse
  • decreased sleep without experiencing fatigue

I share this quote to educate those who may not know or understand what mania is.

Symptoms of Depression

This is a good "quote" from the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for the symptoms of depression.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Depression is the other phase of bipolar disorder. The symptoms of depression may include:
  • loss of energy
  • prolonged sadness
  • decreased activity and energy
  • restlessness and irritability
  • inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • increased feelings of worry and anxiety
  • less interest or participation in, and less enjoyment of activities normally enjoyed
  • feelings of guilt and hopelessness
  • thoughts of suicide
  • change in appetite (either eating more or eating less)
  • change in sleep patterns (either sleeping more or sleeping less)

I share this quote to educate those who may not know or understand depression.

When I am depressed I don't necessarily experience ALL of these symptoms,
 but I do experience a good handful.
The degree or intensity of the symptoms varies.

Just because I take medication for my illness doesn't mean I don't get depressed.
It is BECAUSE I follow my doctor's orders
that the severity of my symptoms are lessened and I am better able to manage my illness.

What is bipolar disorder?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness website,

"Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, is a medical illness that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, and functioning. These changes may be subtle or dramatic and typically vary greatly over the course of a person’s life as well as among individuals. Over 10 million people in America have bipolar disorder, and the illness affects men and women equally. Bipolar disorder is a chronic and generally life-long condition with recurring episodes of mania and depression that can last from days to months that often begin in adolescence or early adulthood, and occasionally even in children. Most people generally require some sort of lifelong treatment. While medication is one key element in successful treatment of bipolar disorder, psychotherapy, support, and education about the illness are also essential components of the treatment process."


National Mental Health Association

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Alliance on Mental Illness—Utah Chapter

Above is a list of websites that can help those diagnosed with mental illnesses and their families. There are classes and support groups available.

Comic Relief

My husband and I went on a date last night to see a famous comedian, and it was actually clean comedy!

No dirty jokes, no crude was GREAT!

This whole past month has just been a lot of emotional upheaval and last night I laughed for about an hour and half straight.
I REALLY needed it!

Humor can heal.

My oldest child was blessed with a good sense of humor and I feel so blessed to be her mother. When she was just 2 months old
I was just holding her when she started to giggle.

So I giggled.

Then she giggled.
And didn't stop giggling.

I love this memory of her.
She has brought laughter, light, and love into our family ever since.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A wise man once said,


                          is a QUITTER

                                                   TOO LAZY to TRY"

I'm totally going to use this with my kids! And, more importantly...with myself.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

12 Steps Towards Healing

My in-laws served a mission for our church right around the same time that I was experiencing the first of my symptoms of the bipolar disease. They were called to be facilitators for one of the Addiction Recovery Program meetings,12264,2873-1,00.html which are sponsored by LDS (Latter-Day Saint) Family Services to help those who struggle with addictions such as:
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs (both prescription and illegal)
  • Tobacco
  • Coffee and tea
  • Pornography
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Gambling
  • Codependency
  • Disorders associated with eating
They sent me the workbook that the church uses for the 12 Step Addiction Recovery Program and I know they were inspired to do so. At the time they sent it I was in denial about my diagnosis and I was too angry and proud to go through the workbook. So I set it aside and basically forgot about it.

Eight years later I was sitting at our family computer when I looked over at the bookshelf and saw the workbook. As I glanced through the pages I started crying. It was like I was receiving one on one counsel and admonitions from my Father in Heaven about changes that I needed to make in my life.

While I don't have any addictions,
I was amazed at how well this program applied to my struggles with my illness and I felt that it could help me. You can download a copy of the workbook for free at,11666,8517-1-4751-1,00.html

I have seen how the 12 Step Recovery Program is helping me in my own life and I know that it will help others. For me it is like a road map to recovery and healing.

Each step includes a key principle, action steps, and a section called study and understanding. The last section is filled with scriptures to study and questions to answer and write down. It helps me to better understand how to apply each step to my life.

KEY PRINCIPLE: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

Step 2 HOPE
KEY PRINCIPLE: Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

Right now I am on: Step 3 TRUST in GOD.
KEY PRINCIPLE: Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I was reading a quote from the Lectures on Faith by our prophet Joseph Smith, Jr.

"Let us here observe, that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.

First, the idea that he actually exists.

Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes.

Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to his will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive."

As I was reading the second thing that is necessary for faith in God I was struck by the word


Sometimes I struggle with trusting my Father in Heaven and I know that it is connected to some INCORRECT ideas I have of God's character, perfections, and attributes.

When I was in college I used to carry my scriptures everywhere with me.
 They had their own little spot in my backpack. If I was feeling discouraged, homesick, anxious or whatever, I would open my scriptures and read.
 I always felt better after doing so. 

A thought occurred to me the other day that the past few years I have been relying too much on my husband for spiritual support and strength and that I needed to get back into the habit I started when I was a freshman in college...meaning, to more often turn towards God through scripture and prayer when I am feeling depressed.

Through the scriptures I will come to better understand CORRECT ideas of my Father's character, perfections, and attributes.

******Side Note: A copy of where and when the 12 Step Addiction Recovery Meetings are in your hometown...,12169,2128-1,00.html