Video: The Eating Season

I call the 61 days between Halloween and New Year's "the eating season," because the temptation to snack on all kinds of crap is intrusive this time of year, with boxes of Belgian chocolate coming in with every client who has paid his bill, cocktail parties with egg-nog and Yule logs, enough pumpkin pie to make you feel like a pumpkin, and trays of Christmas cookies everywhere you turn.

If your brain is as sensitive as mine -- sweets turbo charge the brain and then zap it of all its cognitive powers -- you, too, have to pull out ever trick of discipline known to man, more even than is used to train those dogs at the airport who can smell pot on a passenger.

Remember this during the eating season: Jesus' period of temptation ended after 40 days. We got 21 more to go. So don't be too hard on yourself. Remember this, too: technically, you can start over each day.

Good luck! We're in this together!

Click through to watch the video.

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Bipolar Domestic Violence

One of the most enduring posts I've ever written here is Bipolar Disorder and Dating. Comments have come in continuously, as people are very concerned about relationships with partners who have bipolar disorder. Some think it's worth it and some do not. What I've noticed is that people who love and support partners who take care of themselves too, who aren't in denial about the diagnosis and who stick with a treatment plan and want to be well, are those who want...
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Top Ten Psychology Videos

Cognitive to clinical to social, the many applications of psychology reveal profound thoughts, human frailties and strengths. These are some of the best results, framed in video players.

1. An Unquiet Mind: Personal Reflections on Manic-Depressive Illness. Kay Redfield Jamison doesn't just suffer from bipolar disorder, she literally wrote the book. She co-authored the comprehensive textbook Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression while doing research as a Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins....
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Kay Redfield Jamison Vintage Video

Fans of Kay Redfield Jamison rejoice: here's the vintage half-hour video An Unquiet Mind: Personal Reflections on Manic-Depressive Illness. A captivating speaker, she's authored many papers and books on the subjects of bipolar, manic depression and recurrent depression. She is Professor of Psychiatry at...
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Essentials of Sleep

Here's more info after John wrote about bipolar disorders and sleep patterns with Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), a treatment developed by Ellen Frank and colleagues combining psychotherapy with lifestyle management. Regulating bedtimes, routines and practicing good sleep hygiene (like no caffeine at night, use your bed only for sleep, exercise in the afternoon) prevent "relapse" into new episodes of mania or depression. Mania and hypomania are both accompanied and triggered by decreased sleep while bipolar depression usually features hypersomnia (sleeping very...
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Personal Stories

Want to hear my story? It seems that some people do. I've lately noticed notices for people with bipolar to share essays, art, demographics and videos. It smells like crowdsourcing. Get hundreds of people to make ads for free, the company gets publicity for the contest and then gives token prize money to the ad they like best. On the other hand, it can be good to examine my life and turn it into a product. That's what writing is about! Here,...
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Irritating Support

Support groups are supposed to be helpful, so how can I go into group feeling neutral and leave totally irritated? And what do I do about it?

I didn't really have a problem to discuss in my group tonight. I've been hypomanic and that's upset...
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Relaxing Sleep

There are some nice guided progressive relaxation audio files on a web site that, although it's promoting a drug, does also provide some useful tips on managing insomnia. It's important to be aware that sleeping pills can be dangerous and generally aren't helpful except short-term. Instead, sleep management establishes new behaviour instead of the behaviour of swallowing a sedative.

To stress the point, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicates that therapy, in particular CBT, is...
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Mad Pride Month

Imagine these scenarios: A woman with OCD who washes her hands raw a dozen times an hour says, "There's nothing wrong with me, it's only a damaged society that says I don't fit in. Living like this is just a variation on "normality", as...
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Meaningful Work

If you're a person in recovery from an illness like bipolar you've probably heard the phrase "meaningful work" and know it's considered to be a cornerstone of wellness. Like many of you (I read your blogs too) I've had a really hard time keeping...
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