Carrie Cantwell is a graphic artist and writer with bipolar disorder. She’s the author of Daddy Issues: A Memoir, about growing up with a volatile father who had bipolar and whom she lost to suicide, and how accepting her own diagnosis taught her to forgive him. Carrie began her career as a feature writer for an online publication. She then worked as a film and television graphic designer for 16 years. In 2021, she retired from the entertainment industry to focus on mental health advocacy and suicide prevention. Carrie writes for bpHope Blog, bp Magazine, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Medical News Today, the Stigma-Free Society, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), and WebMD. Her website is DarknessAndLight.org.

Blogs and Articles

Recognizing Impatience as a Symptom of My Mood Episodes

Carrie Cantwell
March 8, 2022

When I’m experiencing a mood episode, my patience often goes out the window. Recognizing that is key to keeping myself in recovery. Having a normal conversation with someone, which involves both talking AND listening, is sometimes impossible. I interrupt because the person I’m talking to either seems to be speaking too slowly, or I think...

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The Essential Guide to Recognizing Hypomania

Carrie Cantwell
February 27, 2022

Hypomania often masquerades as productivity or happiness, but it’s often an indication of an impending manic episode. Recognizing your warning signs is essential to prevention. Hi, this is Carrie Cantwell with bpHope’s online vlogging community, and today I’m going to talk to you about recognizing hypomania. Hypomania may feel great, but it’s dangerous because it...

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When “Helpful” Advice Doesn’t Help Bipolar Depression

Carrie Cantwell
January 3, 2022

If I could “snap out of it,” I would. Here’s why advice like that isn’t helpful—plus 5 strategies that do help me cope with bipolar depression. Unhelpful Advice for Bipolar Depression Have you ever gotten this advice when experiencing bipolar depression? “Think positive.” “It could be worse.” “Snap out of it.” I’ve heard it all,...

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How I Recognized & Recovered from Manipulation Known as “Gaslighting”

Carrie Cantwell
December 2, 2021

My bipolar disorder diagnosis was used against me in my relationship. Here’s how I recognized the manipulation and escaped. Bipolar Diagnosis & Questioning My Perceptions Years ago, I experienced my first major depressive episode, which precipitated my bipolar diagnosis. I was terrified. I had so many questions swirling around in my head: Was I broken?...

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Bipolar & Impulsivity: Why (and How) I Wait to Make Important Decisions

Carrie Cantwell
November 16, 2021

My bipolar comes with impulsivity and risk-taking. Here’s how I learned to take my time before making big decisions, so I don’t regret them. Impulsivity, a Symptom of Bipolar It’s easy to mistake impulsivity—characterized by rash decision-making and/or acting without forethought—as an aspect of personality rather than a symptom of bipolar disorder. This is especially true because...

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From Pain to Pride: How Writing Helped Me Heal

Carrie Cantwell
October 26, 2021

Journaling allowed me to come to terms with my bipolar diagnosis, understand my mood swings, accept my past, and reconcile my current self with my dreams for the future. I’ve been through some stuff. I’ve faced childhood trauma, the sudden loss of a parent, and a lifelong battle with bipolar disorder. Through everything, writing has...

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