Bringing Back Interview Features

It has been a few weeks since I have written an interview feature. It has been the greatest thing to start sharing the stories of my fellow mental illness bloggers. I have enjoyed writing every single one of these feature articles. I thought I had everything organized but somehow I lost some of the people who wanted to be interviewed. I think I covered most of the interviews just fine but I am sure I missed some. I apologize for that, and to make it up I want to open up the opportunity again.

I want to share the stories of others much like I have shared my own experiences. I keep thinking that if I write enough of these stories down together we can make mental illnesses have a real human face, and at the same time start to change the narrative about the stigma surrounding mental illness. I talk about it a lot as it is the most important thing and it why I write.

I want to get back to that because I feel as if I have lost my way lately. I have been so lost in my own issues with social anxiety that it really feels as if I am losing parts of myself again. So, I will what I do best. Write.

If you are interested in being one of my interviewee’s let me know. Email me at jamesedgarskye24@gmail.com

If you want to see my past interviews please see what I have written so far.

Interview Features – The Series

Always Keep Fighting.

James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: unsplash-logoNik MacMillan

Are There Different Levels of Depression?

Are There Different Levels of Depression?

It’s a very interesting and intriguing question. Depression is such a hard thing to define by itself because there really are different types and varying degrees of how bad and how long depression can last.

Depression is one part of the equation that is Bipolar One disorder. It can be hard to define the different levels of depression within my own mental illness. The important question posed by a fellow blogger for this post was this. Is there was a difference between Bipolar depression and a diagnosis of severe depression? Basically are there varying levels of depression. It’s an interesting concept to consider. If someone has severe depression and then has a single mania episode it can change their diagnosis.

For my own work here on The Bipolar Writer, and in my memoir, I write from experience. I thought it was the perfect time to define the varying levels of depression associated with the Bipolar disorder. At the same time, it would be good to look at different depression diagnosis and the levels that each come with, at least the ones I have had in my own life. Depression can be so different for each person in the mental illness community so what you read hear is tailored the experience of one, The Bipolar Writer.

*DISCLAIMER* I am not a mental health expert. I talk from the position of experience only.

What are the Different Types of Depression?

It might be surprising that there are in fact many types of depression diagnosed by mental health professionals. Here is what I have found online. I can’t define what I have not lived through, but I will define the differences in what I do know. My blog posts always come from the position of experience. I will list first the most common according to my online research.

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar Depression
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Atypical Depression

Is There is Difference?

The short answer is most definitely YES, there are differences between the types of depression. I can only explain the differences from my own experience. I would love for people within the blogger community that suffer from any of these (or those not listed) to help define the types of depression which I have not experienced.

My diagnosis has changed over the years. The changes came from more information given by me, at different times in my life. In my very early twenties, my diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder.This was around 2006 to October 2007. From what I remember this means your depressed most of the time during a week. This diagnosis is usually given when the depression lasts longer than two weeks.

The subset of MDD is Persistent Depressive Disorder. This usually comes when a diagnosis of depression is longer than two years. It was never my diagnosis, though I have had “depression cycles” that have lasted more than two years. By then I was Bipolar. My depression “levels” when I was diagnosed with MDD were manageable with medication. They never hit the extreme levels that Bipolar Depression does (at least in my experience) until they finally did. It eventually became a diagnosis of Bipolar One.

Bipolar Depression is always at the “extreme” levels. The highs and lows are always a swinging pendulum of extreme depression and mania. In my personal experience, I became “Bipolar” because of my crazy mood swings into depression was very extreme. I was constantly suicidal and always on edge. I started to self-harm, but it was the fact that I had manic episodes that changed my diagnosis.

*I wanted to make a small note that after my first suicide attempt, and because I was experiencing psychosis in the ER, my original diagnosis for about a week was the schizoaffective disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is another type of depression that I have experienced. In fact, my official diagnosis as of today is Bipolar One Disorder with psychosis and a seasonal element. For me, my SAD is specific to the months of November to about March. This year has been the first year that it ended in January for me, which is through perseverance and a lot of writing. Some people only experience SAD because of a specific time of year. It’s an interesting thing to say during this months my depression gets bad considering some of my depression cycles have lasted for years.

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But, I can see major shifts in my depression during my SAD months. That is the difference in my Bipolar Depression and my SAD. These months are always the worst for me. Even with the extreme lows, I feel with my Bipolar Depression it can get more extreme for me during my “worst months.” I can tell the difference because of my experiences.

I have explained the differences in the types of depression that I have experienced over the years. The rest of the list isn’t my area of expertise. Each type of depression has their elements in why medical experts separate the types from one another.

For those that follow my blog and have experience in the other types of depression. It would be nice to explore them further through your own experiences.

My Final Thoughts on Differing Levels of Depression

This blog post started out with the question from a fellow blogger. Is there was a difference between Bipolar depression and a diagnosis of severe depression? There are differences between the types of depression and their levels. It is impossible in my mind to say that one type has a more serious level. Depression is bad on any level. The differences seem to be in the extremeness and the length.

With that said, all depression can be treatable. I always like to leave a post such as this one piece of what I think is good advice, always seek help. Depression can be a dangerous thing. I have talked so many times about my experiences of depression leading to suicide. It happened three times in my life. It is important because depression can get worse over time if left untreated. But, with the right help, you can fight it. I have in my own life when I thought it an impossible task.

As always. Always Keep Fighting.

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James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit:
unsplash-logoTom Pumford

unsplash-logoAli Inay

unsplash-logoPete Pedroza

Looking for Contributors for The Bipolar Writer Blog

I am still looking for contributor writers.

The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog

Since day one of the inception of The Bipolar Writer blog I had a plan of how things were going to go on my blog. When I hit 2,000 followers the plan was to start a series of interviews of other members of the mental illness community. It was amazing to finally start my interview series where I feature the stories of others. It’s been successful so far.

I am close to another milestone for my blog and I am looking towards the future of my blog as I near 3,000 followers. I am looking to add contributors to blog. These contributors roles are as follows according to WordPress:

Contributor – has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published.

I am only looking for guest writers at this moment. What I do is add you to my blog as a…

View original post 135 more words

Looking for Contributors for The Bipolar Writer Blog

Since day one of the inception of The Bipolar Writer blog I had a plan of how things were going to go on my blog. When I hit 2,000 followers the plan was to start a series of interviews of other members of the mental illness community. It was amazing to finally start my interview series where I feature the stories of others. It’s been successful so far.

I am close to another milestone for my blog and I am looking towards the future of my blog as I near 3,000 followers. I am looking to add contributors to blog. These contributors roles are as follows according to WordPress:

Contributor – has no publishing or uploading capability, but can write and edit their own posts until they are published.

I am only looking for guest contributor writers at this moment. What I do is add you to my blog as a contributor. All I need is to add your email. You can write about any subject about mental illness. You pick the categories and the post must have a featured picture. I will have the final say on if it gets published. If you become a regular contributor I will change your status to the following:

Author – can write, upload photos to, edit, and publish their own posts.

If you are interested please email me at JamesEdgarSkye24@gmail.com

I am really excited to expand to allow guest writers on my blog. I think it will help to get different stories and blog posts on different topics within the mental health community. It’s an opportunity to really start to grow The Bipolar Writer brand, and really talk about the issues as we fight to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

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J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logorawpixel.com

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White Fox’s Interview Feature

How do you know that you actually have mental illness? It is a question that many of us in the mental health community seek to answer. It is one that we often question. More often than not, it is those of us new to a diagnosis. Another difficult question to answer is this. Was there was ever a time before when your diagnosis where you had symptoms that you can look back at? 

It is these questions that White Fox, a young woman from Latvia, Northern, Europe, seeks to answer on a daily basis.

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“I guess, I never had a time before my mental illness. I am still questioning if it is the illness I am diagnosed with is real. I can’t draw the line when it all started,” White Fox laments.

What White Fox can remember was when her mental state first began to worsen. It was around the age of twenty-one when she first moved to live in another country. It was the first time that White Fox faced what the term “Polar Nights” meant.

“It was a combination of feeling homesick, depressed, and lonely.” She remembers. “I started to have mixed episodes. When I returned home, there was a period of feeling okay.”

It wasn’t long before these feelings came back in her life, and White fox began to self-harm. It was time for her to seek professional help. For a long period, her diagnosis was unipolar depression. After a hospitalization for a mixed episode, she finally got the right diagnosis from her doctors. White Fox’s official diagnosis is Bipolar One with mixed episodes. It was the first time that White Fox believes she got the right treatment.

When dealing with a mental illness within the daily struggles of everyday life she looks at it in this way.

“I don’t know what its like to not have one. The diagnosis makes it easier for other people to know what is going on with me. How to act when I am at my worst. I have always been myself. I feel like its only the outside world that is trying to convince me I am not right. I am ill because we can never be sure what is right”

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White Fox asked an interesting question in her interview. How do we know that the majority is right and normal? She looks at living with a diagnosis as another part of life. If we lived in a world with no eyes, “a human being that could see would be the disabled and not normal. For me, being Bipolar is my normal state of mind,” according to White Fox.

The philosophy that White Fox uses in her own life is simple and effective. In this moment she knows no other way to exist. She has never been another person. In the end, White Fox is true to who she is and not to her diagnosis.

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The daily struggles of being Bipolar doesn’t bother White Fox. She chooses to keep on living. She would rather do things in her life, and moving on. Her reasons? If she let being Bipolar run her life, White Fox would always find herself in a place she doesn’t like.

“I would be standing in a puddle feeling bad about being there. It would be as if there is no other way out of it than making a step or jump out. I would stay numb, there would be no chance to improve my situation.”

The area that being Bipolar affects White Fox’s life is in her personal relationships. She admits that when she is down she can be very cruel with her words. It affects those around her. To her people get tired of her drama.

In her life, it is the little things that make life worth living that oppose the negatives of a diagnosis. White Fox chooses to focus on the happiness of her daughter and the people she cares most about in this world.

“Life is short. I think how much I have to manage my daughter, give her everything, and make changes in the world. So that, when I die, I would have left a footprint, and my life would not be in vain.”

White Fox considers her blog as not a mental health blog exactly. It is more an LGBTQ blog that focuses on her own daily struggles and thoughts. White fox likes to read the blogs of others so that she feels less alone when she is seeking comfort in her own life. When her mind goes to the bad places that depression takes a person, and when she feels like she has to self-harm, she can read the stories of others to bring herself back to center.

At times its hard for White Fox to think logically, something we can all relate to in our own lives. White Fox has high expectations of herself. In her need for nothing less than excellence, it often leads to self-judging. This can lead to negative thoughts. These feelings often make her feel like a failure.

“I know that suicide doesn’t end suffering,” she explains. “It passes it to someone else. But at these moments, even trying my best, I can’t always find the right frame of mind. So, sometimes looking ar the writings of others with a similar state of mind can help my mind move back to logical thinking.”

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There is something each of us would like to share with the mental health community. White Fox reminds people to not focus so much on their illness, and to not let it become a label in their life.

“I noticed that people tend to concentrate on their illness so often that they forget about life. They start to limit themselves or use their illness as an excuse.”

White Fox wants the mental illness community to know that sometimes you need to take a break. It is important in her mind to go and do other things outside your diagnosis. It can’t be the most important thing in your life.

Writing the story of White Fox journey was a great pleasure. She allows me to show my readers a different side of Bipolar Disorder. How the right state of mind can be helpful in your mental health. It is important that we understand every story and see the wisdom of what each of us bring to the table. White Fox offers real wisdom to those that need it.

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There is one last thing that White Fox wanted to add to this piece, and it is better in her own words:

“I would like to touch a little bit to the topic called “postpartum depression” because I have had it as well. I know that young mother that is being judged terribly. And they are not lazy, spoiled and thinking only about themselves. They are actually doing their best and trying to be the best they can! It is so wrong that this judging starts from the hospital with this all breastfeeding hype. If something happens and this girl and she can not breastfeed because of having a history of sexual abuse in past. Or the milk is not there no matter how hard she tries, all she hears is how bad mother she is and how egotistical. How formula harms the health of newborn etc. Without even paying attention to the psychological theories that say that in the first year of life the most important thing for the baby is to feel comfortable, in harmony and safe. And when the mother is going through depression, she can not give it to him or her. And this is more important than nutrients and immunity that breastfeeding gives. Breastfeeding is good, but it shouldn’t be forced.”

“And this constant judging continues home, at the general practitioner, from friends, relatives etc.”

You can find White Fox on her blog, https://madhatterer.wordpress.com

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Interviewee: White Fox

Author: James Edgar Skye

Photo Credit: Some pictures from White Fox’s blog site. The rest from Unsplash.com

unsplash-logoJonatan Pie

unsplash-logoNikita Kachanovsky

unsplash-logoCaleb Frith

unsplash-logoJerry Kiesewetter

unsplash-logoHanny Naibaho