TIPS029: Being Beautifully Bipolar with Elaina J. Martin

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TIPS030: When Mental Health Meets a Platypus with Betsy Blanks
September 11, 2017

TIPS029: Being Beautifully Bipolar with Elaina J. Martin



Elaina J. Martin is passionate about stomping out the stigma of mental illness. She recently completed a memoir about living with mental illness that she hopes will one day end up in the hands of someone who needs a little hope. She writes the blog Being Beautifully Bipolar at PsychCentral.com and a personal blog at ElainaJ.com. When not writing or trying to snag a literary agent, she is the girlfriend to a charming Navy sailor and is a loving pet-parent to two big, black dogs

Click to tweet: Elaina J. Martin shares her incredible journey on the i’Mpossible Project #podcast! #bipolar

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Time Stamped Notes

  • 9.05 An abusive (now ex) boyfriend triggered Elaina’s anxiety disorder
  • 11.25 Elaina was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 after a suicide attempt
  • 11.50 Elaina says that Bipolar 2 means that you’re depressed more, and Bipolar I means that you’re manic equally or more than you are depressed (bipolar in general means you are living on both ends of the spectrum of being both depressed and manic at different times)
  • 14.35 Elaina sometimes has hallucinations but insists that many people living with bipolar don’t have hallucinations but some do
  • 16.09 Elaina has a hard time with some side effects from her medication and it’s a tough balance to decide to take the medication and live with the side effects (but she still takes her medicine)
  • 24.10 Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) falls under the umbrella of anxiety
  • 24.30 Elaina takes mood stabilizers, and anxiety meds and it makes managing her anxiety a lot easier
  • 28.18 It’s important to tell your therapist/counselor what you want out of your therapy sessions because if you don’t ask you probably won’t get what you want
  • 29.15 Elaina has a hard time going into Wal-Mart and with her therapist is working up the courage to go into the store
  • 34.15 Elaina’s favorite word is “hope” and is also the name of her dog who she got after her suicide attempt. “Mucus,” is her least favorite word because it’s yucky but if she got contracted to be the little green mucus from those TV commercials, she wouldn’t turn down the role! (Find out more fun facts about Elaina in the Quick Fire Round).

Key Points

  • Language is important when we talk about mental illness—e.g. don’t say “I’m so OCD,” or “the weather is so bipolar,” or “it’s a schizophrenic moment,” because it’s offensive to the person living with that mental illness
  • Advice on medication from anyone other than a medical professional should be taken with a grain of salt
  • Sometimes the things we think are detriments in our life can actually be huge gifts

Resources or Websites Mentioned

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

If outside the U.S., here is a list of crisis lines around the world: www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres

Elaina’s email address is: Elainajblog@gmail.com

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