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    Understanding Bipolar Disorder

    Understanding Bipolar Disorder by Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder in which individuals experience extreme moods ranging from depression to mania. It is helpful to conceptualize Bipolar Disorder, and mood in general, as a pendulum that swings back and forth on an emotional continuum that ranges from depression to mania (see graphic below). In individuals who do not have a mood disorder the pendulum gradually swings from happy to sad

    I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder – Where do I go from here?

    I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder – Where do I go from here? by Catherine “Katie” Ness, MA, LCPC A diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder can be overwhelming. You may have suspected over the years that your moods seemed more intense than those of your family or friends, but actually hearing the diagnosis out loud can confirm that underlying fear that something is not quite right. It also means that you need to take action and

    Conant High School Health Fair

    Recently, NAMI Barrington Area participated in the Health Fair at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates.  It was fun interacting with these amazing young people.  They loved grabbing a bit of inspiration from our inspirational quotes jar.  They also helped us create a Self Care Board through providing ideas as to how they take care of themselves physically, emotionally, personally and with regard to school life.  Check out their list of insightful ideas here.

    Groundedness

    By: Aleene Shirley Morgenthaler Before my psychotic break in 2013, I never had to think to myself “ground yourself.” Now it is a practice that I’m so grateful for. I first learned about grounding at an outpatient program. The facilitator was using words and inflections I was foreign too. She seemed like a very spiritual person. It really annoyed me but she planted a seed. I would use the grounding technique I learned – sitting

    Dreaming

    By Aleene Shirley Morgenthaler With ten weeks left of my college career, I experienced mania for the first time.  Two years after were marked with six hospital stays and out patient programs.  It’s been three years of recovery and I am happy to be able to share my voice through NAMI-Barrington Area’s Blog. I’ve always been a dreamer – it’s what made me optimistic and energetic.  I would dream about choreography, relationships, and goals.  Everyday

    Supporting a Loved One Struggling with Bipolar Disorder

    By: Catherine Ness LCPC   Struggling with Bipolar Disorder is an on-going and exhausting battle for the affected individual; Watching someone you love struggle with Bipolar Disorder can be equally challenging and exhausting. Seeing your loved one experience hopelessness, frequent crying spells, social and career frustrations and feelings of worthlessness can be heartbreaking. Conversely, being the target of anger and anxiety and witnessing successive poor life choices can be frustrating. Never knowing how your loved

    Parent Voice

    Parent voice Aleene Shirley Morgenthaler Before my diagnosis with Bipolar 1 Disorder in 2013, I was impassioned with serving my communities with my skills and talents.  Now, the Mental Health Community has become my focus. My posts are concepts that helped me and continue to – as mental health is a lifelong journey. Hope you enjoy the read. In losing who I was from my Bipolar diagnosis, I had to relearn how to be an

    Honoring Sadness

    Aleene Shirley Morgenthaler   In 2013 my life changed forever in a big way.  I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. The rollercoaster ride lasted for two years with 6 hospital stays.  I have now been in recovery since 2015.  As a Community Service Scholar at DePaul University, I’ve been driven to serve with my skills and talents.  Writing is a passion and something I believe I am skilled and talented in.  So, these words

    6 Ways You Can Help a Loved One on Their Healing Journey

    By Shainna Ali | Mar. 02, 2018 Take a moment to consider all the people in your life: your coworkers, friends, family. At any given time, 1 in 5 of these individuals is living with a mental health condition. You may have noticed them struggling, but if you’re not a trained mental health professional, you may not have known how to help. However, you can help. You can be supportive and encouraging during their mental

    Playing the Victim

    Aleene Shirley Morgenthaler   In 2013 my life changed forever in a big way.  I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. The rollercoaster ride lasted for two years with 6 hospital stays.  I have now been in recovery since 2015.   “Playing the victim” is my first post because it is one of the first concepts I had to shed away for my recovery of Bipolar mania & depression.  When my therapist first talked to

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