Health & Senior Living

NAMI session looks at bipolar management

By Beth Ranagan

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Living successfully with bipolar disorder is a challenge, but a challenge that Maine author Christina Solak-Goodwin meets with determination and grace. Those who attended her presentation sponsored by NAMI Piscataquis County on June 16 learned that after years in her early adulthood of several psychiatric crises and subsequent hospitalizations, she was able to stabilize so as to continue her work as an RN and a mental health clinician. Through her writing and advocacy work, she strives for improvements in mental health facilities.

lo-NAMImug-dcX-po-26    Solak-Goodwin spoke encouragingly to her audience about her journey attributing her success, firstly, to her longtime psychiatrist who is available at any time when a crisis may be imminent so as to help her avoid what might otherwise be catastrophic. He tailors her medical prescriptions every six weeks to her current need and projects a positive attitude. Solak-Goodwin uses daily walking to relieve her anxiety and to boost “feel good” endorphins. She meets her spiritual needs through woodland hiking with her husband, her greatest support along with her three children. 
    Finding joy is a personal, important goal, which Solak-Goodwin satisfies by helping others with mental illness through their own journeys. She encourages everyone to set goals, no matter how simple or small they may be, as one moves toward recovery. Remaining positive and determined to get the best care possible was suggested as well as giving oneself positive messages to avoid depressive episodes.
    Solak-Goodwin’s latest book,  “Diary of a Mental Patient:  A Journey Toward Acceptance,” provides further insights into her management of bipolar disorder. It is available through or can be ordered at any bookstore.

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