Hi! My name is Carrie, I have bipolar disorder, and this is my blog. Yeah, that’s a lot to start with, but I like to lay all the cards on the table. The goal of my blog is to share my story. I hope to raise awareness about bipolar disorder and help reduce the stigma against those who struggle with mood disorders. I’m also shamelessly promoting my book, Daddy Issues: A Bipolar Memoir.
I grew up with an emotionally distant, unstable dad. He had bipolar disorder, and his illness created a huge chasm between us. I experienced what it was like to live with someone who spent thousands of dollars on luxury goods, then crashed into depression, snapping at everyone and hiding away from the world for weeks. I also know what it’s like to lose a parent to suicide. My dad killed himself in 1998, when I was 24. I had my first major depressive episode soon after, which was triggered by his death. When I was diagnosed bipolar in 2002, my heart sank. I had the same illness that killed my dad. In that moment, a bipolar diagnosis felt like a death sentence.
My story is ultimately a positive message of absolution. Accepting my own diagnosis taught me to understand and forgive both my dad and myself. Bipolar disorder took my dad away from me, but in the end, it brought us together.
I graduated with a B.A. Cum Laude in English from the University of Florida in 1996, and I was a feature article writer and website designer for BellSouth (now AT&T) for six years. I earned a Master’s Certification in Project Management in 2002. I went back to school and got a B.F.A. in Graphic Design in 2007. I ran my own graphic and web design firm for several years, working with clients as big as WebMD and as small as the neighborhood jewelry artist. I started designing graphics for movie and TV sets in the entertainment industry in 2005, and I’ve been at it ever since. My design work has been published in a college art school textbook, I’ve been interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and my artwork has been exhibited in national and international art museums. With more than 33 movie and television credits to my name, I’ve earned 2 Emmy nominations and an Art Director’s Guild award. I love designing graphics and writing copy that helps bring fictional worlds to life through film.
I’m a regular contributor to WebMD, BP Magazine; the bphope blog; the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI); the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA); Medical News Today; Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE); Stigma Free Society; and several award-winning bipolar publications.
Through my diagnosis, I’ve found a new appreciation for life. This mood disorder is a lifelong commitment that requires management and care, but it doesn’t define me. I have my ups and downs, but my self-care comes before everything else. I take my medicine every day; I get enough sleep; I eat healthy (I’m vegan); and I exercise. I’ve built a strong support network of friends and family. Above all else, I’m never alone. I’m no longer afraid to reach out for help when I need it. I’m living proof that a bipolar diagnosis is not a death sentence.
The information and opinions on this site are for educational purposes only.
This site should not be seen as a substitute for an official diagnosis or for professional health care.
Copyright © 2019 Carrie Cantwell – All Rights Reserved