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Bipolar doesn't have to mean crazy!

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Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

Hi all, I want to post a link to the short book I wrote about my experience living with bipolar disorder and working as a nurse. My goal is to demonstrate that people with mental health disorders can still be successful in careers, relationships, and life in general. I want to raise awareness, provide education, increase compassion, and correct common misconceptions. I am not financially motivated, luckily I have my nursing job! I am under no delusions that I will become a "best seller", and I am donating all profits to National Alliance for Mental Illness at the end of the year.

Please share with anyone who might be interested or benefit. If there are people who cannot afford to buy it I'm happy to send them a free copy 😃 Also totally understand if this is considered using the site for "marketing" and if admin needs to take it down. Just thought a nursing site may be a good place to share since it is written by a nurse. And I am fine with people knowing my "real" identity, the purpose of the book is to decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness by coming forward about having the disorder 😃

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+brightest+darkness+a+journey+into+bipolar+disorder&crid=29N6LVM4R1BB0&sprefix=the+brightest+darkness%2Caps%2C211&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_19

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 49 years experience.

I plan to read it first and then probably give the paperback to my spouse to read. He has good friend who was diagnosed bipolar a couple years ago. He is doing so much better since starting treatment. He is able to work full time and his home relationships are better.

My cousin is bipolar. She used to move and return to school when she didn't know what to do. She has lived in several states and earned three master's degrees and a PhD. I used to have looooooong messages on my machine from her calling and talking until it ran out of tape.

She is now retired with a full social life with church and charity friends.

PS: I met a wonderful RN who works full time in mental health. We worked together on safe staffing. She was very open telling almost everyone of her diagnosis.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

6 minutes ago, herring_RN said:

I plan to read it first and then probably give the paperback to my spouse to read. He has good friend who was diagnosed bipolar a couple years ago. He is doing so much better since starting treatment. He is able to work full time and his home relationships are better.

My cousin is bipolar. She used to move and return to school when she didn't know what to do. She has lived in several states and earned three master's degrees and a PhD. I used to have looooooong messages on my machine from her calling and talking until it ran out of tape.

She is now retired with a full social life with church and charity friends.

PS: I met a wonderful RN who works full time in mental health. We worked together on safe staffing. She was very open telling almost everyone of her diagnosis.

Thank you so much! I think what you described about your cousin can be common with bipolar; intelligent people who succeed academically/intellectually/artistically but have trouble with succeeding in life in the traditional sense, as in following a linear path to a degree that leads to a job, family etc. I commend you for your patience and understanding with the long messages! I guess the chaotic lifestyle works out if you're an extremely talented artist/musician, but for the rest of us I hope we can stabilize enough to be mentally and financially successful and lead happy lives 😃

Honey222

Specializes in School.

I have a few questions for you about this specific topic, I am applying to take the NCLEX and have been asked to disclose my mental illness, and I am not sure what or what not to do??? If you could give me some advice I would really appreciate it, I'm kind of freaking out. 

Edited by Honey222

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

13 hours ago, Honey222 said:

I have a few questions for you about this specific topic, I am applying to take the NCLEX and have been asked to disclose my mental illness, and I am not sure what or what not to do??? If you could give me some advice I would really appreciate it, I'm kind of freaking out. 

Hi Honey222,

I think every application for tests and jobs asks you to disclose any disabilities. For tests I usually do not check the box that I have a disability because my condition doesn't affect my ability to take tests and I don't need any accommodations. Sometimes someone with a learning disability or anxiety may need to apply for extra time, taking the test in a separate room, etc, and those with physical disabilities may need to know how to access the building, etc.

Unfortunately there is still stigma related to this disorder and questioning of our ability to function and work, when in fact many with bipolar are intelligent and can contribute a lot if we have our symptoms under control. If you choose to disclose it I doubt you will receive any accommodations, and if you don't disclose it for NCLEX, BRN, jobs, I doubt they will "investigate" you. I think only if you receive a BRN complaint they may look into your mental health, but no one can access your medical records without your permission or a subpoena due to HIPAA. I have checked the "Yes I have a disability" on low stakes applications just to see what happens. It doesn't ask you to specify which disability, and no one has ever contacted me about it, and I have received job offers from apps where I checked the box. 

Were you asked to disclose because someone knows you have bipolar disorder? Or you're asking about just the general section where it asks if you have any disabilities and bipolar is on the list? Hope this helps and feel free to PM me! So glad you're not letting bipolar hold you back from becoming a nurse = )

P.S. Thanks to everyone who read the "mini book" I wrote about this topic. I have been donating the profits to wonderful mental health programs in my area. Perhaps it was foolish to disclose my identity on this site, but I have nothing to hide and it is worth it to me to promote the cause and decrease the stigma! Happy 2021 everyone, hope it's a better year for all of us in terms of mental health and much more = )

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

So glad that you have been able to use your time and talents to write this book that will certainly help many other people gain insight into bipolar disorder. Navigating life and all of its experiences while living with such a disorder certainly brings extra challenges, but sharing with others that you can be successful is a great thing. Wishing you all the best, thank you for sharing. 

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

4 hours ago, JBMmom said:

So glad that you have been able to use your time and talents to write this book that will certainly help many other people gain insight into bipolar disorder. Navigating life and all of its experiences while living with such a disorder certainly brings extra challenges, but sharing with others that you can be successful is a great thing. Wishing you all the best, thank you for sharing. 

Thank you so much! = )

Honey222

Specializes in School.

15 hours ago, JBMmom said:

So glad that you have been able to use your time and talents to write this book that will certainly help many other people gain insight into bipolar disorder. Navigating life and all of its experiences while living with such a disorder certainly brings extra challenges, but sharing with others that you can be successful is a great thing. Wishing you all the best, thank you for sharing. 

Thank you so much! I have sent you a response on instagram! Again thank you.

 

DavidFR, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 35 years experience.

Thanks for the link and absolutely wonderful that you are donating the proceeds.

My mother was bipolar and was at the same time a very intelligent and articulate lady. When she was well all was hunky dory but people who have never experienced this have no idea of the difficulties the unwell periods can pose, to the sufferer and to the families around them - difficulties which can be overcome.  And yes, just as you point out, her life was successful and fulfilled contrary to the many myths surrounding mental illness.

I periodically buy batches of English books on Amazon since imported books are very expensive here are not everything gets translated into a French version. Definitely on my next Amazon shopping list.

Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I appreciate that you are able to share and shed some light on Bipolar.  

I have a sister with it and it was sad to see her life spiral out of control and unfortunately she self-medicated with illegal opiates, has a felony, and ruined all her relationships and career and lives in a cheap trailer struggling.  My parents and myself never gave up on her and she's doing well but still in the rubble.  She's a smart, funny and brilliant person.

All the best.

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

10 hours ago, DavidFR said:

Thanks for the link and absolutely wonderful that you are donating the proceeds.

My mother was bipolar and was at the same time a very intelligent and articulate lady. When she was well all was hunky dory but people who have never experienced this have no idea of the difficulties the unwell periods can pose, to the sufferer and to the families around them - difficulties which can be overcome.  And yes, just as you point out, her life was successful and fulfilled contrary to the many myths surrounding mental illness.

I periodically buy batches of English books on Amazon since imported books are very expensive here are not everything gets translated into a French version. Definitely on my next Amazon shopping list.

Aw thank you so much! I didn't know you were in France! Yes, I will forever be repenting for the damage I caused to my family and my partner during my worst times, and I know having a family member (especially a parent!)with this disorder can be so hard, so I admire you for the compassion and patience you show toward your mother. Thank you for your support and for sharing about your experience. 

LibraNurse27, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 8 years experience.

6 hours ago, Tweety said:

I appreciate that you are able to share and shed some light on Bipolar.  

I have a sister with it and it was sad to see her life spiral out of control and unfortunately she self-medicated with illegal opiates, has a felony, and ruined all her relationships and career and lives in a cheap trailer struggling.  My parents and myself never gave up on her and she's doing well but still in the rubble.  She's a smart, funny and brilliant person.

All the best.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Your parents are very compassionate. It is sad to see so many people self medicate with substance abuse due to lack of access to mental health care or other factors. It is so hard for families to deal with the substance abuse on top of the mental health symptoms, and it can be hard to come back from that combination.

It is heartbreaking but I understand people who have to disconnect from their family members with mental illness and substance abuse for their own mental well being. I don't judge them as this was a majority of my pt population in the hospital and it was draining and depressing to see them in and out of the revolving door from the streets to the shelter, to the hospital, the sober living, get kicked out for using/drinking, back to hospital, etc. I hope our country will develop preventative mental health programs so people don't only get treatment when they are so far gone. Thanks again for your response!