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3A% Disorder 3A%

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silence- & (/email-signup/)

Most family get-togethers have been an exercise ( in

with- Anxiety:
hiding in the shadows and not wanting to be noticed. God forbid someone would come up to
me and want to talk. I wouldn’t look them in the eye because I knew if they looked in my eyes
bipolar- Suffering
Research Uncovers Link they could see my soul and the pain, insecurity, embarrassment, humiliation that were there.
Between Bipolar Disorder and
disorder% in
A conversation with me would be me answering in one word sentences. I would hope that the
Handgrip Strength
interaction would be as brief as possible and I would do all I could to make that happen.
( 2F) Silence&summary=Celebrate+your+attendance+at+family+events%
uncovers-link-between- If I saw someone approaching I would become the least interesting man in the world. I would
bipolar-disorder-and- be the last guy someone would want to have2C+and+the+little+conversations+you+may+have+there%
a conversation with.
 (6/25/2018) As I hid in the shadows doing all I could toE2%
just be there and not run away and escape, my
anxiety ( would grow and panic attacks were
Why Being Left-Handed common. In my mind I knew all the people80% were staring at me and seeing my private thoughts
Matters for Mental Health of fear.
Treatment 94+it+shows+your+immense+bravery.+%
( I had to escape. I had to. I began to look for my wife to tell her I had to go to the car. She was
being-left-handed-matters-for- disappointed but understood. I looked for26nbsp%
the most inconspicuous way to leave and slip out
 (6/19/2018) 3B+Most+family+get-
Once out I felt such relief. The car was my refuge. I could recline the seats and let the anxiety
and panic slowly fade away. But it wasn’t that easy. The pain and embarrassment and guilt (/kids-teens-bipolar/)
Sleepless in Miami, Nashville togethers+have+been&source=bphope)
hung on like sticky glue.
and New York: 44 Percent of 6/26/2018
Bipolar Disorder & Anxiety: Suffering in Silence | bpHope Page 2 of 5

Professionals Often Lose Sleep I felt guilt (/bipolar-and-letting-go-of-guilt/) for having left my wife to answer the question,
Over Work “Where’s Dave?” The difference between being inside and out was only the proximity to the
people. When someone came or went I slipped lower in the seat. God forbid they saw me.
of-professionals-often-lose- The pain and embarrassment and guilt hung on like sticky
sleep-over-work/) glue.
 (6/13/2018)

Mutation links bipolar

disorder to mitochondrial Hiding in the shadows was my life for decades. The fear of people seeing into my soul was
disease constant. I took to wearing sunglasses because they hid my eyes. They gave me a sense of
calmness. People couldn’t see into my soul I thought.
This weekend we went to a barbeque. It was well attended. I talked to people I knew. I looked at
mitochondrial-disease/) them. The embarrassment and pain were gone. However, strangers were a different
 (6/12/2018)
Why Do Some Sleep-Deprived I could feel that anxiety (/the-tension-tango/) from the past. I still hid in the shadows and hoped
People Experience Worse no one talked to me. When they did I still used one word answers and ended the conversation
Cognitive Functioning than as soon as possible.
( My teaching stand-up comedy to folks with a mental illness made talking to people I knew
do-some-sleep-deprived- easier. Telling them about my experiences teaching and performing and writing my book made
people-experience-worse- me interesting and I liked that response from people.
cognitive-functioning-than- This weekend I still watched the clock to see if it was time to leave, the earlier the better. We left
others/) shortly after dinner, another escape.
 (6/4/2018)
One day I hope to stop hiding in the shadows. I hope to welcome conversations with new
people. I hope to heal my soul so I can feel ok about people looking me in the eyes.

One day I hope to just heal. I don’t know if this day will ever come. This is one more pain of
living with bipolar disorder.

And those of you with bipolar disorder (/bringing-bipolar-into-focus/) who go to these family
picnics and other events, you are very brave. Pat yourself on the back for facing your fear and
suffering in silence. Sometimes it is better to hide in public than to hide alone.

(/connect/soundoff/) Has
62 Articles (
Sometimes the smallest healthy Dave Mowry is the author of the new book, “No Really, We Want You to
habits can have a big impact when Laugh. Mental Illness and Stand-Up Comedy: Transforming Lives.” The
practiced regularly, whether getting book tells the story of Dave and five others whose lives have been
a monthly massage, adding lemon impacted by mental illness Dave has bipolar disorder and severe anxiety
slices to your water bottle to make and suffered in silence for most of his adult life Five years ago Dave took a
hydration more appealing, or stand-up comedy class and it transformed him by showing him how to
forming an intention for the next find humor in his darkest experiences. Dave now teaches stand-up
day when you go to bed. What are comedy to other folks with a mental illness and sees the same
your favorite wellness rituals transformation happen in them. Dave recently received the Community
and why? Champion Award for his work in mental illness in Oregon. He speaks
Click here to share your regularly to large and small groups and was interviewed on the Think Out Loud program on
experiences. (/connect/soundoff/) Oregon Public Radio after the Robin Williams suicide. Dave was also featured in an article by
The Oregonian newspaper in 2011. The article focused on the fact that most people with a
mental illness are not dangerous or threatening. Dave worked as a peer support specialist for
NAMI from December 2010 to December 2014. During this time he worked with well over 1200
people and this experience informs his writing, teaching, speaking and performing. Dave and
stand-up class graduates perform regularly to audiences from 50 to 500 people in Oregon and
Southwest Washington shattering stigma one joke at a time. Dave lives just outside Portland,
Oregon with his wife Heather, daughter Meghan and grandson Van.

 JUNE 26, 2018

As a family member who loves an d wants to relate to our person with anxiety disorders, is
there anything that I (we among relatives) can do to make our family times easier for this
person?How can we show that we totally accept people with problems and are not judging

 JULY 1, 2017 6/26/2018
Bipolar Disorder & Anxiety: Suffering in Silence | bpHope Page 3 of 5

Perfect article, I’ve bookmarked this page!

My family used to hold gatherings once or twice a year, well over 100 people of all ages. The
anxiety and stress could be tremendous. The anxiety would frequently come out as crankiness
that could at least hold some people off so I didn’t have to interact with them.
Forget about interfacing with strangers. Parties, gatherings, even having to return/make phone
calls for work created unsurmountable anxiety and panic.
A few weeks ago my wife and I were invited to my absolute bst friends 60th birthday party, I
mean we are like brother or an old married couple. We’ve been friends for over thirty years,
woked together in our profession, even had a business together for many years. The two days
before the party I was just a ball of anxiety and panic knowing there could be 20+ people at the
party. Almost canceled out or asked my wife to go alone. Finally I took some extra meds and
faced it. Luckily (well, for me) there were only twelve people there and things went smooth this

 NOVEMBER 8, 2016

Another great article about the little things that we suffer from. I have a take an extra pill for
anxiety when I head out for a gathering. I plant myself as far off on the edge of the gathering as
I can. I take a walk, that what I do. I like nature luckily, makes my walks more believable.
Sometimes I have to take a second pill at the gathering if it’s full of strangers and a really noisy
gathering. Sadly, I have to do this even for small family gatherings too. It’s just too much energy
flying around. I’m glad to know that there are so many others out there like me. Keep up with
the fantastic articles.

 MAY 23, 2016

Now I understand why I feel like hiding at family functions. I too feel like I am on the verge of a
panic attack and I end up just leaving every one behind. Thank you for sharing your experience
with us!

 APRIL 26, 2016

Thank you for posting this article Dave. All these years I thought I was the only one who felt like
this. Unfortunately, all of my family died before I was diagnosed. Now I understand why I felt
the way I did around those I loved.

 APRIL 25, 2016

I feel that way most of the time when going to parties, especially cocktail parties, and places like
conventions. I do better when I have a “role” to play that is my armor. Funny thing is my anxiety
is rarelybspecific, but hangs over me like a cloak influencing my comfort level.
I have always been sensitive about having pressured speech, even before I was diagnosed I was
cautious about speaking because I sensed people had a hard time following me.
I wish I could change, but I am an introvert at heart and prefer one-on-one interactions to
group events.

 MARCH 5, 2016

My go to survival equipment for when I have to go ‘out there’;

Hoody (hood up)

Ear buds and phone; Spotify

It’s like being in a mobile cocoon.

And, frankly, I would rather be inside that than exchanging socially acceptable banalities in 6/26/2018
Bipolar Disorder & Anxiety: Suffering in Silence | bpHope Page 4 of 5

some futile attempt to conform myself to other people’s ‘normal’.

My condition is as much a gift as a curse; if the price of that is anxiety and introverted solitude,
then so be it.

To paraphrase a line from the utterly excellent movie The Craft:

‘Watch out for those wierdos’.

‘I am the wierdo, mister’.

 FEBRUARY 29, 2016

When I was severly depressed I thought that people could just look into my eyes and see how
sick I was. Nobody knew, couldn’t fathom my pain. Then I just put on my false face with
everyone exept my imediate relatives.

 FEBRUARY 29, 2016

It has gotten to the place that I don’t attend any functions. Birthdays, parties, and dinner with
friends and family have become too tiresome, frightening, and irritating. If I don’t want to be
there, I don’t go. Essentially, I have become a hermit. One of the few things I do is go to church,
where I can sit in the back and run out before everyone else leaves. I don’t make eye contact
with anyone. I don’t initiate conversations. If someone does talk to me, I grunt an answer and
turn away. If I have to run to the store, I look down constantly, and don’t respond to people if
they talk to me. I’d rather act deaf than have to converse with someone.

 FEBRUARY 29, 2016

You describe the world of suffering in silence perfectly. You writing this will help other

 MAY 12, 2016

Thanks Dave for sharing! It was a brave thing to do, which prompted me to
respond. You are one step above me. I can’t seem to make myself go to a
function where I know a lot of people are going to be. If it’s a small family
gathering (no strangers) I can muster up the courage to go, but then and only

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