facebooktwittertwitter

Contact A Counsellor

counsellor button

KNOW MORE

teen suicide icon

 

panic anxiety icon

panic anxiety icon

#MindfulMondays with Miss SA

teen suicide icon

IN THE WORKPLACE

Research on Depression in the Workplace.

For more information please click here

business

SADAG NEWSLETTER

email subscribers list

To subscribe to SADAG's newsletter, click here

To view previous newsletters - click here

MHM JOURNAL

Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

MHM Volume 8 Issue1

Click here for more info

JOURNALISTS

journalists crew making newspaper

If you are a journalist writing a story contact Kayla on 011 234 4837  media@anxiety.org.za

MYSCHOOL

MySchool Facebook banner Nov

It’s the small things that make a BIG difference. Sign up for the “My School | My Village | My Planet” Card and start making a difference to Mental Health in South Africa today.

Click Here

SPEAKING BOOKS

cope with cancer book

Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted. That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way healthcare information is delivered to low literacy communities.

The customizable 16-page book, read by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood by everyone across the world.

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 100+ titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 45 countries.

suicide speaking book

My Life as a Bipolar Mom

Cristina Fender, 34, of Austin, Texas, is an aspiring writer, blogger, and mother of two who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006. Each and every day Cristina struggles to manage her condition while taking care of her family. Though Cristina's approach to treating bipolar disorder isn't for everyone, her story vividly demonstrates how elusive stability can be for people with bipolar.

(CRISTINA-FENDER)

I think the hardest job in the world is being a stay-at-home mom with bipolar disorder. I’m 34 and married, and I have two girls, ages 2 and 5. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder on October 2, 2006, while pregnant with the second baby.

I’m a compliant patient, although I still feel crippled by my disorder. I duly take my medications—lithium, Geodon, Ambien, Xanax, and Prozac—as prescribed by my psychiatric nurse practitioner. The various meds calm my mania, even out my moods, and ease my depression, and they allow me to sleep most nights. I see a talk therapist, too.

Are You Bipolar? Take Our Assessment

man-bipolar-depression

Find out if you or someone else needs help Read more

More about bipolar

* What Is Mania in Bipolar Disorder?

* 9 Ways to Control Bipolar Disorder

Despite all this help, there are days when I can’t get out of bed because I’m in a deep depression or didn’t sleep at all the night before. Sometimes I’m unable to do anything other than get my kids fed. When I’m too depressed to function, I tell the girls that “mommy’s sick.” At the other end of the spectrum, if I’m in a manic phase, I frantically work on other projects around the house, and the TV is my babysitter. It’s because of my children that I can get up in the morning and attempt to function at a somewhat normal level. Getting out of bed when your Geodon causes sleepiness (yet prevents mania and psychosis) is a feat in itself. I down two Frappuccinos just to get going.

After my 2-year-old goes down for a nap at 11:30, my anxiety creeps in. I’m restless, pacing, and I feel like I’m going to explode from the inside out. Anxiety makes my skin crawl and I almost claw at my skin to get it to stop. I usually take a Xanax, which calms me down.

After lunch, I wander into my bedroom, light some incense, and pull out my stash of marijuana. A few tokes and I’m anxiety-free for about half an hour. (My therapist agrees that it helps some people.) I don’t mention my marijuana use to the nurse practitioner because, frankly, we don’t always see eye to eye on my treatment. For example, right now I get the shakes; she thinks it’s due to the lithium and I think it’s the Geodon. But when you mess around with my medication—cutting down on one med or the other—you better be right. The consequences can be devastating for me and my family.

And even if I’m doing fairly well, I still experience episodes of “auditory overload.” Everything gets louder and I can’t cope. These episodes usually occur when the kids are yelling and the TV is on. Listening to my iPod helps; it keeps me centered.

 

Our Sponsors

Our Partners