Depression Getaway

encouragement, information, inspiration and hope

Category: diagnosis

Julie Fast – One Woman Bipolar Boot Camp

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Diagnosing Bipolar


A mental health HERO to me is someone who platforms their suffering to inspire and teach others. Julie Fast is such a person. The attention is not on herself. The purpose is not to inflate the illness or glorify it. The whole point is helping others who suffer in the same way. 

Once I discovered I had bipolar depression I began my journey to find out as much as I could about it. I didn't have to go much farther than Julie Fast. She is like a one woman bipolar boot camp.

She has broken down this disease into strategic steps for coping. You can find that in her 'health card' system. Or maybe you would get something out of one of her many books. Or possibly you could just start with her newsletters and see if you like the way she communicates. She has a blog too!

This woman has built a career, not despite her bipolar, but around that very condition. She is making lemons out of lemonade. You see for most people with bipolar, and lots of others with mental illness, it's hard to hold down a full time job. Let's face it, we're not always reliable. But Julie took her writing ability and built a business.

She proves that it's possible to live a full productive life with this complicated mental disorder. The point to my short series on Bipolar Disorder was just to mention it in case some of you out there have not considered it yet as a piece of the puzzle of your own journey.

I created my own 'Bipolar Boot Camp' awhile ago if you would like to do a little more reading about this complicated mood disorder.

There are so many more ways to deal with depression, with mental illness besides the usual medication, therapy and lifestyle changes.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Is there any possibility that you should take a look at this bipolar disorder?

Next time I am go ing to talk to you about another piece of my own puzzle, maybe this piece will complete your puzzle too!

Just for fun, here's another hero for you.


I'm so glad you droppped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you!

Wendy Love

‘Bipolar Disorder’ or ‘Quick Change Artist’?

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Diagnosing Bipolar

jl4Bipolar Disorder has a lot in common with a 'quick change artist'.

Just for fun, here is a YouTube of a Quick Change Artist at work:

Have you ever had an experience where everything is going along just fine? You are on top of the world, totally in control. You feel as though you could do anything and then it all changes in a moment.

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Bipolar? Not Me!

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Diagnosing Bipolar


It took eight long years of depression to figure out that I had a form of mental illness called Bipolar Disorder. The difference is significant in the treatment and so this was an important step in my progress.

Why did it take so long to figure it out?

Bipolar involves both good moods and bad moods. It affects two poles of the brain, not just one. I have Bipolar 2, which some refer to as 'mild bipolar'.

The only time I went to see my doctor was when I was in the depths of despair, experiencing the low moods of bipolar which was depression.

When I was on top of the world, experiencing the high side of bipolar, hypomania, I was too busy being 'not depressed' to go to the doctor. I assumed those good feelings were normal. I assumed that was how everybody felt who didn't have depression.

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Diagnosis + Discovery = Depression Recovery

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Diagnosing Bipolar


'Discovery' can mean different things to different people. Certainly Columbus thought that he 'discovered' America. The truth is, America was already there. The natives probably had a much different point of view. When I found this poster I was surprised at how many other rather critical jokes there are out there of Christopher Columbus!

When you 'discovered' that the symptoms you were experiencing might indicate that you had depression, that was your first step toward recovery. But there are so many more very important steps.

The symptoms of depression could also be associated with other mental disorders such as ADHD, OCD, PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, personality disorder and more. After all, those conditions would make anyone depressed to a certain extent. If your depressive symptoms were just a side effect of one of these conditions, it would help you to know, wouldn't it?

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Depression Review: #1 Keyword is Diagnosis

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Depression Review with Eight Keywords

set-of-keys-vectorFor the next 8 posts, we are going to review some of the basics in depression recovery. Yes, I said recovery! Lots of people recover from depression. You may as well be one of them! But it isn’t easy and you will need to work as hard as your doctors to even get the right diagnosis.

Have you got the right diagnosis? This is key. There is no point in going any further until you have the right diagnosis. Don’t get discouraged, the first step is often the hardest. It is all worth it. Keep thinking about recovery and how wonderful that would be.

I wrote a four part series on Journaling for the Right Diagnosis awhile back. Maybe you will find it helpful.

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Depression Review: Eight Keywords

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Depression Review with Eight Keywords


‘Keywords’, did that word even exist before we had internet? Well, I checked and yes it did. It simply means a word that unlocks the meaning.

If we are going to do a good depression review, we need to get down to basics.

Here are my eight keywords for the depression journey:

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Reading for Recovery, Books that Help, Part II

I love books and I love research, so searching out books on depression was a natural step for me. Maybe you don’t share my passion, if not, I can give you a summary of what I have learned.

One of the things I have done over the past years, whenever I hit another episode of depression is to go to ‘Chapters’ and spend some time browsing through their books about mental illness. Almost every time I find one little tidbit that helps me put yet another piece of the puzzle in place.

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Journaling for the Right Diagnosis: Part Four

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Journaling for the Right Diagnosis

working in garden

I remember my first few attempts at a vegetable garden. I had no clue and didn’t realize I was planting in hard clay! My second garden was better, the soil was excellent and I grew some great stuff, but I not only had not realized how much work there was but also didn’t face the fact that I just didn’t have the time to do it. There were more weeds than produce. By the time I attempted my third vegetable garden, I had done a lot of reading, I had more time and went into it informed and ready. It was beautiful to look at, a joy to work in and I took a lot of wonderful vegetables out of it.  

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Journaling for the Right Diagnosis: Part Two

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Journaling for the Right Diagnosis

woman on computerWhat do journaling and getting the right diagnosis have to do with each other?

Depression is an illness. It is an illness of the thoughts. The thoughts are usually irrational.

If we make some kind of attempt to record our thoughts, both good and bad, we may be able to find some information in there that could help the doctors to help us.

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Journaling for the Right Diagnosis: Part One

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Journaling for the Right Diagnosis

daydreaming1 Do you remember when you first realized you had some symptoms of depression? Here was my initial experience. 

I was going through a stressful time in my life (divorce), but coping, or so I thought. One of the ways I dealt with stress was through exercise, especially walking. One day, while on my walk, I felt like I could not walk as fast as usual. The only other time I remembered feeling that awful was when I had anemia. So, assuming that it was the same thing this time, I went to my doctor.

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