The United Brain Association is hugging Caitlin, a 31-year-old living with Bipolar II disorder. She was diagnosed in 2012 and has been living successfully in treatment.  Caitlin is a high school teacher currently studying to become a counselor. She realized two years ago when she became healthy, she wanted to help others live healthy who deal with mental illness.

In addition to her disorder, Caitlin is very open about the accompanying anxiety she experiences, as she relays that anxiety is not always talked about as a symptom.  “In the past two years, I’ve learned to manage my bipolar disorder and accompanying anxiety better through various forms of therapy.  I also use coping skills daily, such as mindfulness practices and journaling. These skills have allowed me to release pent up feelings on a regular basis.”

Her mindfulness practices include deep breathing as a way to center herself and manage her anxiety.  She feels it’s important to address the symptom of anxiety. No longer feeling consumed by anxiety attacks, she shares, “There are many treatment options out there and there is hope. Now that I’ve received proper treatment, I rarely have full-blown attacks anymore. I no longer live with that river rising in me, desperately feeling the need to gasp for air. I breathe freely every day enjoying what life has to offer.”

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