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Two For: Memories of a Manic Father

September 12th, 2014
A shopping spree. Retail therapy. The high of a manic episode. Call it what you will, an out-of-control buying binge, especially one with a credit card in hand, is a very dangerous thing. My father was what we then called "manic-depressive.’" ...

Bipolar Disorder Genes Uncovered

Bipolar Disorder Genes UncoveredNovel genes have been identified as possible contributors to bipolar disorder. The condition, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a chronic and devastating psychiatric illness, affecting 0.5-1.6% of the general population across their lifetime. Its causes are not yet ...

Back from the Brink: True Stories & Practical Help for Overcoming Depression & Bipolar Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
“We are lonesome animals. We spend all of our life trying to be less lonesome. One of our ancient methods is to tell a story begging the listener to say — and to feel — ‘Yes, that is the way it is, or at least that is the way I feel it. You’re not as ...

Book Review: Outside the Lines: A Novel

BOOK REVIEW.
Outside the Lines powerfully encourages readers to reexamine their perspective regarding mental illness. Amy Hatvany intricately explores the world of someone who’s mentally ill, detailing painful repercussions, stigma and societal perceptions. And alongside this narrative, we witness a beautiful, deep-seated love between a father and daughter. As a young girl, Eden observed her artistic ...

Building a Routine When You Have Bipolar Disorder

Building a Routine When You Have Bipolar DisorderHaving a routine helps people with bipolar disorder maintain stability. “Unexpected stressors can lead to episodes for me so the better I can plan things, the more stable I am,” said Elaina J. Martin, who writes Being ...

Bipolar Disorder: 6 Ways To Distinguish Between Yourself & Your Illness

person thoughts sun“The problem with bipolar disorder is that it takes away our ability to see ourselves,” said Julie A. Fast, a bestselling author of books on bipolar disorder, including Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder and Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder. For instance, you might question ...

Light Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

Light Therapy for Bipolar DisorderLight therapy for seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been studied for some time now. Usually it comes to mind with the onset of depression in winter. But more applications have been coming to the forefront. Recently, a post on Psych Central had information ...

10 Small Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Bipolar Disorder

10 Small Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Bipolar DisorderWith its swinging moods, shifting energy levels, sleep difficulties and intrusive anxiety, bipolar disorder can feel overwhelming. Managing it can feel the same. “There is so much to take care of, so there ...

Melancholy, Mania & Miracles: My Journey With Bipolar Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
I picked up this book because I have bipolar disorder and I wondered how similar or different her story is to mine. Shortly after the book came in the mail, I had surgery and my best ferret friend died. This book sat on my desk for five weeks, glaring at me and daring me to ...

Some Ideas for Handling Treatment-Resistant Bipolar Disorder

Some Ideas for Handling Treatment-Resistant Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder is being better understood each day. There is also ongoing research into its treatment. But successfully treating bipolar disorder can involve several medication trials, and it can take years to achieve remission. Even if remission is attained, ...

From Psychic to Psychotic and Beyond: A True Story About My Bipolar Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
After being admitted to hospital in 2010, following a long period of severe psychosis, Kerry Ann Jacobs was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her book, From Psychic to Psychotic and Beyond, is the compelling story of how her experience with a complex web of psychic and psychotic episodes affected her and those around her. As a sufferer ...

Hopping Roller Coasters: A Tale of Forgiveness and Healing

BOOK REVIEW.
  So many times we think we know where we’re headed; then we’re taking an unexpected turn. ~ Hopping Roller Coasters Rachel Pappas’s memoir, Hopping Roller Coasters, details the unpredictable story of a mother and daughter who must cope with their mood disorders, until they can reach a place of mutual understanding that gives way to ...

Resources for Extraordinary Healing: Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Other Serious Mental Illnesses

BOOK REVIEW.
Though uneven, Resources for Extraordinary Healing: Schizophrenia, Bipolar and Other Serious Mental Illnesses by Emma Bragdon nevertheless offers some fascinating insights into mental wellness from a perspective not normally considered by the Western psychological community: that of spiritual and holistic health. The author discusses the Spiritist healing movement of Brazil -- a model that offers ...

The 4 Keys to Managing Bipolar Disorder

The 4 Keys to Managing Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder is a complex and chronic illness. It produces major shifts in mood and energy. It impairs all areas of a person’s life, including work, relationships and daily functioning. Fortunately, however, effective treatment ...

How to Talk to Crazy People

BOOK REVIEW.
Many different types of people, for many different reasons, read memoirs about mental illness. Some may be suffering from an illness themselves and are looking for guidance or inspiration. Some may have questions as a result of their friend’s or family member’s suffering. Others may be professionals in the mental health field. Then there are ...

Reboot: A Novel of Bipolar Disorder

BOOK REVIEW.
After my girlfriend, whom we will call Elle, had her first full-blown manic episode, I began to read several books on bipolar disorder. These included books on medications and the use of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), which Elle received after being involuntarily committed by her parents. In her manic states, typically after several days with little or no sleep, she ...

A Hidden Madness

BOOK REVIEW.
Memoirs of mental illness have crowded the literary landscape for the past two decades, and many have veered toward the sensationalistic in an attempt to stand out from the pack. James T.R. Jones’s A Hidden Madness, new memoir of his decades-long struggle with bipolar disorder admirably resists this temptation, choosing to focus instead on how ...

4 of the Biggest Barriers in Bipolar Disorder

4 of the Biggest Barriers in Bipolar Disorder People with bipolar disorder can face many challenges -- from the illness’s fluctuating feelings to its destructive effects on relationships. Below, two experts reveal some of the biggest obstacles and offer strategies to overcome them. Challenge: Uncontrollability “Bipolar disorder can ...

Through the Unknowable: Family Life with Depression, Alcohol, and Love

BOOK REVIEW.
Self-help books about how to cope with loss or trauma typically tend to fall into one of two simple categories: those which are written by professionals, and those which aren’t. The former tend to be manuals put together by therapists or psychiatrists, offering tools, advice and psychological guidance, while the latter tend to be personal ...

What Everyone Needs to Know About Postpartum Psychosis

What Everyone Needs to Know About Postpartum PsychosisEven though postpartum psychosis is rare -- affecting about 1 to 2 new moms out of 1,000 ((Statistic from Postpartum Support International)) -- everyone should know about it, according to Teresa Twomey, ...

Understanding & Coping with Cyclothymia

Understanding & Coping with CyclothymiaIt’s a disorder that leaves you at the mercy of your moods, but tends to be subtle enough that you may not even understand you’re struggling with diagnosable symptoms. It’s not particularly common, and there’s not much information available. Cyclothymia affects up to ...

White Elephants

BOOK REVIEW.
As I cried, I wanted to believe it was the alcohol that induced Mom’s words.  I had to believe it was the alcohol.  I don’t want them.  The words rang in my ears.  That’s the night my heart first broke. White Elephants is the story of Chynna Laird’s childhood with an alcoholic, bipolar mother.  Not for ...

How Family and Friends Can Aid Mental Health Recovery

How Family and Friends Can Aid Mental Health RecoveryRecovering from mental illness is terrifying and exhausting, both for the person diagnosed and those who stand beside them throughout the recovery process. Sometimes, particularly when the diagnosis is new, the person suffering feels as if ...