Welcome back to Smiling Through Tears! I hope you are having a nice Saturday morning. I’m not sure if I’ve ever explained what all of my diagnoses are. For those of you who follow me and those who don’t — and aren’t sure of what my particular mental health diagnoses are, I’m going to explain each one. Please bare with me since there are quite a handful.

Bipolar II Disorder

Bipolar I and bipolar II disorders can be much different. I have bipolar II disorder. According to WebMD, “Bipolar II disorder is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the “up” moods never reach full-blown mania. The less-intense elevated moods in bipolar II disorder care called hypomanic episodes, or hypomania. A person affected by bipolar II disorder has had at least one hypomanic episode in his or her life. Most people with bipolar II disorder suffer more often from episodes of depression. This where the term “manic depression” comes from.”

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

“Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and may be overly concerned about money, health, family, work, or other issues. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their worry. They may worry more than seems warranted about actual events or may expect the worst even when there is no apparent reason for concern. GAD is diagnosed when a person finds it difficult to control worry on more days than not for at least six months and has three or more symptoms. This differentiates GAD from worry that may be specific to a set of stressors or for more limited period of time…Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. People with GAD don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. (www.adaa.org)”

Panic Disorder

“People with panic disorder have sudden and repeated attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer. Panic attacks are characterized by a fear of disaster or of losing control even when there is no real danger. A person may also have a strong physical reaction during a panic attack. They can happen at any time, and many worry about and dread the possibility of having another attack. Physical symptoms during a panic attack include pounding or racing heart, sweating, chills, trembling, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, stomach pain, and nausea. There is also an intense worry about when the next panic attack will happen and sometimes even a fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past (www.nimh.nih.gov)”


According to the Mayo Clinic, “Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed. You fear an actual or anticipated situation, such as using public transportation, being in an open or enclosed spaces, standing in line, or being in a crowd.”

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

“PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault…People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people (www.psychiatry.org)”

To my new followers, welcome to Smiling Through Tears. This blog is a daily account of my struggle with mental health disorders. To all of my returning followers, thank you for supporting me and following my journey.

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