Bipolar Articles

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?In the wake of yet another mass school shooting, we mourn. We are angry. Why is this happening in our country? What is going on? And yet, as I flip on my television — what do I see? It’s certainly not anything about gun control or raising children properly, but alas, mental illness.

No one is disputing that our mental health system is a wreck. I know from firsthand experience that it is a travesty. I must admit, however, that the media’s portrayal of these shooters is uncomfortable and offensive.

Depressed or Anxious? Check Your Thyroid

Friday, June 27th, 2014

holisticsolutionsdoc.comSix weeks ago I woke up tired and depressed, like I have so often in the last year. All I wanted to do is go back to bed.

The negative intrusive thoughts began before my feet touched the floor.

You are so lazy, I thought to myself. You could never hold a REAL job. You can barely string together three sentences.

The Funeral

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The FuneralMy aunt — my mother´s youngest sister — left a chilling message on my cousin´s voicemail.

“Suzanne has to be institutionalized,” she pronounced without conscience or hesitation. “Don’t enable her delusions.”

Just like that. Suzanne was bipolar so she should be committed; lose her freedom, her rights. My aunt, whose exact qualifications elude me, was now a self-anointed/appointed psychiatrist.

3 Myths about Managing Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

3 Myths about Managing Bipolar DisorderA common myth about bipolar disorder is that you need to experience a depressive episode in order to be diagnosed with the illness, according to Kelli Hyland, M.D., a psychiatrist in outpatient private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.

However, a person only needs to experience a hypomanic or manic episode, she said.

Many other myths abound – misconceptions that can jeopardize how you manage and live with the disorder. Below are three such myths.

The Other Person Behind a Chronic Illness

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

aamft.orgMy husband asked me this morning how I slept.

I wasn’t sure if I should tell him the truth.

Yesterday was a bad day in a string of good days, which feels like a blizzard the first week of April. Aren’t we done with this?

Bipolar & Mood Detection on a Smartphone

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Bipolar & Mood Detection on a SmartphonePeople who know me know that very little in the tech world gets me excited. I’ve seen so many tech ideas constantly recycled and repackaged from the 2000s, it makes me, well — I hate to admit it — but I’m a little jaded.

So a few years ago, when I first caught whiff of apps for monitoring your happiness in a completely passive manner, I was intrigued.

More researchers are jumping on this bandwagon, and it’s one of the few innovations in smartphone apps worthy of a mention.

Introducing Bipolar Parenting

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Introducing Bipolar Parenting

Parenting is hard work. Ask any parent and they’ll admit as much (if they’re being honest!).

Imagine, however, parenting with an invisible handicap that many people don’t understand. Yet that’s what millions of parents face every day when they have a mental health concern like bipolar disorder or depression, and still have to be the best parent possible to their children.

Strategies for Reducing Signs of Mania in Bipolar Disorder

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Strategies for Reducing Signs of Mania in Bipolar DisorderEffectively managing bipolar disorder includes knowing the early signs of an episode. It also means having a plan to address these signs before they escalate into hypomania, mania or depression.

According to authors Janelle M. Caponigro, MA, Eric H. Lee, MA, Sheri L. Johnson, Ph.D, and Ann M. Kring, Ph.D, in their book Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, common warning signs of mania or hypomania include: feeling irritable, sleeping less, having more energy, driving faster, talking faster, starting new projects, feeling more self-confident, dressing differently, having increased sexual feelings and feeling impatient.

When People Are Dismissive of Your Mood Disorder

Friday, May 9th, 2014

When People are Dismissive of Your Mood DisorderBefore she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, blogger Elaina J. Martin was prescribed an antidepressant in college. Someone laughed and called her medication “happy pills.”

When she’s experienced a depressive episode, people have said things like “There is nothing to be upset about” or “Think how lucky you are. You are way better off than some people.”

Is This Mindfulness Thing Working?

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Is This Mindfulness Thing Working?I haven’t been mindful at all lately. I chewed up my daughter’s Elmo fork in the garbage disposal. I keep making trips to the basement for things I forgot to get the last time I was down there. I drove off with my lunch bag containing my phone, wallet, and lunch sitting on the roof of the car.

It seems I spend a half hour each day meditating and the rest of the day overlooking things. Meditating is difficult and often boring work. At times it can be very unsettling. So why do I bother?

Judgment, Low Expectations and Mindfulness

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Judgment, Low Expectations and MindfulnessCertainly, the people closest to you want what’s best for you. They want you to be safe, secure, and, if possible, happy. Sometimes they want these things for us even more than we want them for ourselves. This is loving, caring, and compassionate. And it can be a burden that holds us back from our true potential.

After a year of not working due to the difficulties of my bipolar disorder, I abandoned hope of returning to the executive ranks I had belonged to. I took a job in human services, supporting people with developmental disabilities. It was challenging, rewarding, and important work. It paid very little.

I was back in the workforce and establishing my independence just as I was 40 and back living with my parents. My passion for business and economics became hobbies, stuff I read about, and I lowered my expectations of what I could accomplish. So did the people around me.

Why Your Depression Treatment Efforts Aren’t Working

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Why Your Depression Treatment Efforts Aren't WorkingTackling depression or bipolar sometimes feels like an endless battle against an external invading force in your mind.

Almost everyone I know who suffers from either illness has — at some point or another — come up against the two greatest fighting forces it deploys against anybody seeking to bounce back and thrive: anticipation and inertia.

These powerful forces target your arsenal of depression- or bipolar-fighting strategies. But you can defend yourself and prevail. Here’s a field guide to knowing thy enemy and exploiting their weaknesses.

Anticipation hits when you are in the planning stages of your depression or bipolar battle master plan.

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