Bipolar Articles

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.

In Order to Heal, We Must Be Willing to Hear

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

In Order to Heal, We Must Be Willing to HearWhen my son was diagnosed with bipolar illness, he desperately wanted someone who would listen. Someone to acknowledge the validity of his experiences when he was manic, psychotic, depressed, someone to “meet him where he was in his illness.”

I regret that I was not always that person.

I was so scared and confused myself that he worried that speaking to me about his own fear and confusion would make things all the harder for me.

6 Famous People with Depression Who Inspire Me

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

6 Famous People With Depression Who Inspire MeWhen a famous actor/actress, politician, or prominent figure of any kind risks ridicule to discuss their mood disorder, the world stops to listen.

For as long as his or her face graces the cover of a glossy magazine or the TV interview runs, folks seem to appreciate the sweat and suffering that those with depression and bipolar disorder endure as part of their illness.

I know that for me, I certainly listen to their stories, empathize with them, and take away lessons that I can use in my own recovery from depression and anxiety. Celebrities, for better or worse, can inspire us.

Here are just six of those celebrities that inspire me.

5 Essential Remedies for Treating Depression: Coming Back from the Brink

Friday, March 7th, 2014

5 Essential Remedies for Treating Depression: Coming Back from the BrinkGraeme Cowan suffered through a five-year episode of depression that his psychiatrist described as the worst he has ever treated.

Part of his recovery involves helping people build their resilience and mental fitness as the Director of R U OK? In his book, Back From the Brink: True Stories and Practical Help for Overcoming Depression and Bipolar Disorder, he offers advice gleaned from interviews with 4,064 people who live with mood disorders.

He asked the respondents to rate the treatments they had tried and how much each had contributed to their recovery. Here’s what he found.

Treating Teen Bipolar Disorder with Medication

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Treating Teen Bipolar Disorder with MedicationIf your child has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you might have already had a discussion with his or her psychiatrist about medication. However, using psychotropic medication, although growing as a choice for treating psychological disorders, continues to carry a stigma. Often, those who take medication for their mental health are judged or looked down upon.

Despite this, research shows that the combination of medication and individual therapy are quite effective for treating most mood disorders. For bipolar disorder, specifically, medication can manage the wide swing of changing moods from depression to mania. This article will address the various forms of medication that might be used in teen bipolar disorder treatment.

Thriving with Mental Illness: Q&A with Elaina J. Martin

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Thriving with Mental Illness: Q&A with Elaina J. MartinHere’s a message we don’t hear nearly enough: Even though living with mental illness is hard — really hard — many people are successfully managing their conditions and savoring satisfying, healthy lives.

Here’s another message we need to hear more: How they do it.  

That’s why we’ve created this new interview series. Every month we’ll talk with people about everything from how they overcome the toughest challenges of their mental illness to how they’ve found treatment to their favorite resources.

In our first interview, Elaina J. Martin, who writes the popular Psych Central blog Being Beautifully Bipolar, shares her story. She reveals how she received her diagnosis along with powerful and inspiring insights into managing bipolar disorder, the importance of honesty, how loved ones can help and much, much more.

Recent Comments
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