About

My name is Julie Whitehead. To look at me, I’m no different than any other Southern girl you’d encounter in the small Mississippi city of Brandon—I’m five-foot-four with white hair down to my shoulders and hooded brown eyes, wearing brightly –colored clothes from Belk’s Department Store and shoes by SAS. I carry a PeanutsXCoach purse and have a weakness for anything made out of chocolate.  Unless you were around me long enough, you’d never know that in 2006 I had a psychotic break after the birth of my third child and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder—a disorder of moods where you swing from one extreme (mania) to another (depression)

I’ve been hospitalized for it several times for episodes of various degrees and take five psychotropic medications every day, some of them twice and three times a day. I’m on Social Security disability; I lost my career as a freelance news writer because I could no longer interact with people normally nor could I face the pressures of daily deadlines.

I don’t say any of this to make people feel sorry for me. But it’s essential that I remember where I’ve been so I can appreciate the fact that no, I did not kill myself when I desperately wanted to and no, I haven’t done anything that couldn’t be undone and no, I do not have to deal any memories of dangerous behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse and all the other associated conditions that often accompany this diagnosis.

I’m living proof that a bipolar life does not have to mean craziness on one end and enervation on the other. Let me give some insight on my bipolar life, especially as I take it day by day.

13 Comments

13 thoughts on “About

  1. I’m with you on this. A diagnosis of bipolar does not necessarily mean someone is violent, on drugs, buys out the store during manic phases, believes we’ve been kidnapped by extraterrestrials, unable to rear our children, and so on. It doesn’t mean we’re crazy. And what exactly does it mean to be crazy, anyway? That’s a catch-all phrase if I’ve ever heard one.

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  2. Thanks for visiting my blog & commenting, Julie! As a mom with bipolar disorder, I look forward to reading your archives and getting to know a little bit about you!
    all my best to you, Dyane

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  3. Julie,
    Thank you for this ministry! I’m newly diagnosed with bipolar nos. Im starting a 3rd medication trial and in therapy. It’s encouraging to read about hope as a Christian!

    Sincerely,
    JeniC

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    • JeniC, thanks for stopping by! I’m trying to reach out and give information I wish I could have seen when I was newly diagnosed. I bought out Borders on books on bipolar disorder, but they were all in the psychology section. Hopefully I can keep sharing through the blog and any other avenue God opens for me.

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  4. I really appreciate your honesty in this battle as well as your voice of hope. I have several friends who struggle with this. I know the disorder is a thief at times, but I love your voice of victory running through your truth about what it is like to live this way. Blessings for helping so many people through your own willingness to be vulnerable. May you be so richly blessed for this!

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  5. Hi Julie,

    My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.

    I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Julie Whitehead – Day by Day has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 100 Bipolar Disorder Blogs on the web.

    http://blog.feedspot.com/bipolar_disorder_blogs/

    I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 100 Bipolar Disorder Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!

    Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.

    Best,
    Anuj

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  6. Hi Julie. My name is Sarah, I am 39 with 2 daughters ( 6 & almost 16). I am diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, Anxiety Disorder, and unfortunately I fell prey to drug addiction ( pretty much any kind of drug I could get but Opiates, Meth, and Benzodiazepines were the 3 that took major hold of me). I am happy to say I have been clean and sober for almost 7 years now. I too have been hospitalized about 5 or so times and am currently on disability due to my mental illness. I was 21 when everything changed mentally for me and I was about 25 or so when I was finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and BPD. I have obviously struggled parenting my oldest when she was younger due to me going off my prescription meds and self medicating with drugs. Due to this my mother had guardianship of her for about 4 years, 4 years of milestones and memories I missed and 4 years of confusion for her. I’m happy to say she has been back with me for about 6 years now. It took till about 9 months ago for me to gain her trust and be able to build a close relationship with her. I am super happy to be able to have her trust and forgiveness and everything else she gives me. About 3 or so years ago she was diagnosed with 2 mood disorders, PTSD, and anxiety disorder. This was a major set back for us, whereas I blamed myself and she blamed me as well. We are currently dealing with trying to get her stabilized and okay. She has gone off her meds about 4 times and she’s had about 9 or more therapists but only 2 that she has liked and felt comfortable with. Of course the 2 she liked moved on to other company’s and so we are right now waiting to see the med doctor to get her back on meds and hopefully find a therapist that she likes. My 6 6 year old has just recently been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and Hyperactivity which she sees an occupational therapist for. She also has shown some major anxiety and we currently have an appointment coming up with a therapist for that. I am so overwhelmed with all of our diagnosis and my boyfriend ( father of my 6 year old) has kind of mentally checked out. I don’t know if he is just overwhelmed with the 3 ladies in his life that probably to him seem to have some major issues. I do know that he will not talk with me about ANYTHING to do with our daughters diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder and Hyperactivity. So I am feeling completely alone with all of this and it is ALOT to even think about… I’m sorry for the novel but it feels good to get all that out and especially to someone who I’m sure understands how hard it is. I’m glad to read everything you share, it is comforting I guess is how I could explain it. Thank you…

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    • You certainly have been through a lot, as have many of us that cope with bipolar disorder. I’m glad you reached out to me and
      hope you can soon find more peace within to deal with these turbulent moments in your life. Please know you are not alone and you are welcome to come here and read and comment whenever you want. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Hello my name is John Hitchens and I am the Founder and Board President of His will Homes (HWH) a small nonprofit 501(c)3. I have been reading some of your articles on Hope to Cope. I find them and believe others do too not only extremely well written but very helpful. I am not a sufferer but the way you write about your faith and your struggles aligns with how we at HWH believe someone can thrive, instead of just surviving. We are currently looking to add to our team someone who has your abilities, passion, and faith background.
    Let me explain:
    HWH is in the process of building a platform to bring everything mental health to one area. As you know the mental health system is fragmented and broken. Housing is scarce, care and information is hard to find and sometimes takes years to figure out. All the while many are isolated, feel alone, have no idea where to start, loose hope and give up. We believe we have an out of box solution that can change this.
    The platform will have many capabilities, some of which are the ability to check your mental health every day, journal, form groups of your choosing, listen to blogs, forums (create your own), podcast, eLearning courses, information on each diagnosis, places to find care and housing, a dashboard to keep your choices in easy reach, rewards, notifications and more.
    I am writing to you because we have a team of sufferers and caregivers who are developing training to help sufferers and their loved ones who are caregivers. The team we are putting together are people who have a faith background, have lived experience, and love to write. We are focusing on creating proactive training. Training people can use at any phase of the diagnosis to include early signs but mainly to help them stay stable and thrive. We are all volunteers. No one gets paid. We are doing this to help others avoid what many on the team have experienced from the early stages of acceptance to the battles they still fight. The platform, training, and any revenue streams we can build from all this will be used to help build housing for the people who live on the streets, the jails, and the horrible homes available. The platform and the resources on it will have immediate impact on 4/5 barriers to helping people who suffer; Stigma, Aloneness, Care, and Knowledge. We believe from the community of people we help; we can then eliminate the hardest and biggest barrier; Housing.
    We meet online. We have a person in NY, New Jersey, Kentucky, and 2 in Ohio. We are recruiting people like you and plan on meeting as a team when we can. For people who miss the meeting we update them with an email containing the information discussed. We are just starting. We would love to discuss with you the opportunity to use your amazing talents to help us, help others like yourself. If you are at all interested, I’m sure you have questions. I can either answer the initial ones over the phone or a zoom call with myself and or some of the team. If you want more information about who we are and what we are trying to accomplish you can check us out at https://hiswillhomes.org. We are also on FB/IG/LI/TikTok/and Snap chat.
    Hopefully you will consider our mission and ignore my writing skills in your decision. 😉
    Sincerely,
    John Hitchens
    513-562-0802
    Jhitchens@hiswillhomes.org

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