My Story

Photo by Jeff Norris
I am a Unitarian Universalist minister, a wife, and a mother. I am also someone who has bipolar disorder, ADD, and anxiety. I knew at the young age of six that "something was wrong with me," but I did not know what it was. At eleven years old I wrote in my diary: "I promise I won't ever go crazy." My biggest fear was to have mental illness, yet I knew all along that was what was happening.

It took many years of panic attacks, depression, mania, and confusion for me to finally be correctly diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder, ADD, and panic disorder at the age of twenty five. I have been on almost every medication and I have seen quite a few psychiatrists and psychologists. My life is consumed by trying to manage my illness, do good in the world, and have a great family life.

My illness is better than it used to be, but I am not what you would call "symptom free." I attempted to manage my illness solely through diet, spiritual practice, seeing my psychiatrist, and lifestyle requirements- along with a lot of help from my family, but have as of August 2011 added in medication again. Since I was 19 years old, I have been on many medications, none of which have worked all that well, and currently am waiting to see if my new medications are any better. UPDATE March 2012: The new medications have not worked and I am back to treating my bipolar through what I now believe is an even better diet for me (Paleo Diet), exercise, consistent sleep, and meditation. I believe mental illness is a chemical imbalance and also a spiritual issue because of how the mind and spirit are interconnected.

In the photo above, you can see my tattoo of the logo from the musical "Next to Normal." This musical is about a woman with bipolar disorder and her family. In my experience, it is extremely similar to my family's life.  If you truly want to know what bipolar does to not just the patient but also the family, who are usually our caregivers, listen to this musical.

In this blog I hope to help support other patients like me and their families. I also hope to raise awareness and help end the stigma against people with mental illness.

In addition to this blog, I also have a blog called Moving In With Dementia, as a few years ago my husband, son and I moved in with my parents to help care for my Mom who has dementia. We moved out in January of 2012, but we are still helping out a lot with her caregiving.

I truly believe we need to learn how to care for each other, because there are some illnesses that you just can't fix, but which can be managed, together. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking this journey with me. I hope you share your stories with me as well.


Rev. Katie
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PS: Obviously, I am not a medical doctor. All thoughts expressed here are my own opinions and from my experience. I might share some information about my treatment, but my experience is not advice as to what you should do. ALWAYS seek medical advice whether you are changing your diet or want to change medications.