What Bipolar Mania Really Feels Like: A First-Hand Account

After just a few weeks in Tom Wootton’s Bipolar IN Order course over at Bipolar Advantage, I have already learned so much. One important lesson I’ve realized is the difference between bipolar behaviors, which is what you see, and bipolar symptoms, which is what we experience and feel.

Let's take a look at some of the symptoms of mania as I experience them. You may be surprised at how complex they really are.

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Your Smartphone May (Or May Not) Detect Changes in Bipolar Mood

Some mainstream media outlets over this past weekend told us "How Your Smartphone Can Detect Bipolar Disorder." Based upon new research, one researcher claims to reliably detect changes in mood in people with bipolar disorder.

This must be some fantastic, robust study in which to generalize from, given how diverse the population of people with bipolar disorder is. Can smartphones really do that reliable a job of detecting mood changes in people with bipolar disorder?

Let's find out.

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World Mental Health Day 2015: We Belong Together

I’m a big fan of the singer/pianist Gavin DeGraw. As a writer, I tend toward musicians who write compelling lyrics, and he does that and puts compelling melodies with them.

World Suicide Prevention Day was about a month ago. About a month before that, I spent some time in a psych hospital, trying to recover from a mixed episode. That’s a special piece of bipolar hell where you’re manic (bouncing off the ceiling) and depressed, often suicidal, at the same time. I maxed out two credit cards -- overspending is a hallmark of mania -- and yet told the ER doctor that while driving to the hospital, I kept thinking about opening the door and playing in traffic on Highway 52. Time between checking in at the admissions desk and getting a security escort to a bed on the mood disorders unit? Two and a half hours, shortest ever.

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Psychology Around the Net: October 10, 2015

Today is World Mental Health Day 2015, and our bloggers here at Psych Central have worked tirelessly to bring you some of the most thought-provoking, enlightening mental health- and psychology-related posts around.

It's not just our job; it's our passion.

Fortunately, educating the world about mental health isn't just our passion, and today's Psychology Around the Net brings you tons of informational pieces on topics such as pop star Demi Lovato's mental health campaign, how some television shows miss the mark with mental illness, the British royals' active role in de-stigmatizing mental illness, and more.

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Bipolar Disorder and Drug Abuse

It’s very common to find people with bipolar using drugs of one kind or another. If you were to experience the constant interference, disruption and pain that bipolar brings about, you would understand why one would resort to using drugs. Bipolar disorder makes it hard to get up in the morning, hard to hold a conversation and almost impossible for many to hold down a job. With problems like these it’s no wonder that medication is abandoned in favor of street drugs.

You see, medication doesn’t always quite hit the spot. Medical teams and patients spend years trying to find the right balance of medication. In the meantime, the patient suffers emotionally and psychologically. Often there is little support during this period as the patient is half better and looks okay -- so they must be okay, right? Wrong. That’s not the case at all. We can look fine and feel horrendous.
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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: September 19, 2015

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

Although the official start of fall is rapidly approaching, we still have a few warm-weather days ahead of us. Before venturing out to enjoy yours, take a look at some of the hottest psychology-related topics we've gathered for you today!


Autumn Anxiety Is Real, and Treatable: Is your anxiety at an all-time high during the first few weeks of autumn? Try these five tips to keep it in check.

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My Mental Health Journey in Surviving Cancer

I live with bipolar disorder, OCD, and migraines, and have recovered from complex PTSD, an eating disorder, and other difficult illnesses. I've survived homelessness, domestic violence, and other traumas. Still, when my doctor gave me a cancer diagnosis last winter, it was the hardest shock yet.

First I had to wait a few weeks to see my oncologists and get a treatment plan: six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. The wait was gloomy, filled with dread and fear. I told only close family, not wanting to spread bad news.
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Psychology Around the Net: August 15, 2015

Good morning (or, afternoon!), Psych Central readers!

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers information about mood disorders and heart disease, helpful tips for pursuing happiness, a new study for preventing schizophrenia, and more.

Enjoy reading and the rest of your day!

Teens With Depression, Bipolar Disorder Should Be Screened For Heart Disease, Experts Say: There's much evidence suggesting heart disease and depression are interlinked in older adults, but now the American Heart Association has stated teens with mood disorders might be at an increased risk for heart disease, too.

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Destigmatizing Dependence in Therapy

When I wrote my first article years ago about the power of psychotherapy, I was stunned by the reaction. Seventy-five percent was positive, but a very vocal minority attacked me viciously for either not having cured the patient or promoting a pathological dependence. They reasoned that had the patient received proper therapy she would not have needed anyone to solve her problems.

I was treating a woman for bipolar disorder with mood-stabilizing medication and monthly to bi-monthly psychotherapy. Her cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist referred her because she couldn’t get out of bed. She didn’t want to need medication.
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I Am My Own Bipolar

Hi there. If you are reading this, please know everything written is coming from my brain -- which means these thoughts are all real to me, but likely unrealistic or potentially disturbing to “normal” people. I consider a “normal” person anyone that advises me not to act on everything I think and feel. How annoying is that? They must be the crazy ones, not me!

Everything my mind conjures up seems so brilliant in that moment. My feelings seem appropriate and valid in my head. How dare someone else tell me otherwise? But, alas, these nut jobs do deserve credit as they have kept me alive, stood by my side, taught me to be strong, and there is a special place in my heart and mind that loves and appreciates them more than words can say. So, thank you crazy people -- stay nuts.

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10 Tips for Living with a Bipolar Person

Living with bipolar disorder can be extremely challenging, but living with someone who has bipolar disorder can also have its difficulties. Growing up I lived with my mother and grandfather, both of whom had bipolar disorder. For years they hid it from me, I suppose hoping I would never find out. But sooner or later it all came to the surface and everything started to make sense.
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Truehope’s Confusing Message: EMPowerplus (Q96) Claims to Treat Bipolar, ADHD, Depression

I'm not impressed by any company who sells a product telling people it treats a mental illness, but has never bothered to go through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's process to have their claims validated. You cannot say, "Our product is not intended to treat any disease" then also say "EMPowerplus helps alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder." Yet that's exactly what Truehope does.

I'm even less impressed when someone takes a vitamin supplement as directed, writes about their experiences, and then receives a letter threatening to sue that person from the company who sold them the supplement. Yet that's exactly what Truehope did.

What's the story with Truehope? Do they want people to take their vitamin supplement or not? Do they treat mental disorders with it or not? And why would a company sue a blogger just for writing about their experience with EMPowerplus?

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