Bipolar

Shopping ‘Therapy’ Only Gets You So Far

For many people, when things get tough and they feel down, if they can afford it, they go shopping. I know I do. And because I have a mood disorder (bipolar illness), I’m especially prone to feeling bad quite often. I don’t spend an exorbitant amount of money at a time. Maybe $30.00 or $40.00. But I do spend. The last time I shopped when I was depressed I bought a nightshirt that said “Don’t Wake Me I’m Dreaming,” a coffee cup that said “Call Your Mother,” some socks and an artificial purple orchid.  All to the tune of about $45.00.  TJ Maxx to the rescue.

But I’m learning that shopping “therapy” only gets you so far.
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Bipolar

How to Let Go of the Thoughts that Cause Depression

Depression is different from other illnesses in that, in addition to the physiological symptoms (loss of appetite, nervousness, sleeplessness, fatigue), there are the accompanying thoughts that can be so incredibly painful. For example, when my Raynaud’s flares up, the numbness in my fingers can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t tell me that I am worthless, pathetic, and that things will never ever get better. During severe depressive episodes, however, these thoughts can be
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Bipolar

Bipolar Loses Its Romance

For years, I thought my mental illness was romantic. I felt I saw things clearer than people without mental illness. I felt I was somehow more real, more in touch with reality, more capable of feeling. I thought it made me more interesting.

When, a year or so ago, I tried again to take medication, I was worried it would make me bland, that it would take away the thrills I found within my highs and lows. I liked the waves of emotion, of not knowing when or where my next episode would happen. The intensity of both mania and depression was exciting. Within the past 6 months though, things have gone from entertaining to incredibly painful, and I no longer want to be this way, I no longer look down upon normal people. Now I am jealous of them.
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Addiction

Did You Take Your Meds?

My support system has earned certain rights that other people in my life do not get. The main thing that comes to mind when I speak of this is the age-old question that most people with bipolar hate being asked, “Did you take your medication?” I have got to admit at one point in my life with bipolar disorder it was a question that would boil my blood. My husband would ask me, “Honey, did you take your meds?” in the most loving, sweetest voice he possibly could and I in return would absolutely blow up at him. In my defense, we weren’t working together to keep my bipolar disorder in check yet and so he hadn’t yet earned the right to ask me the meds question.
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Bipolar

PODCAST: Hypersexuality – An Ignored and Misrepresented Symptom of Bipolar

In this episode of the Psych Central Show, hosts Gabe and Vincent address the frequently ignored and often misrepresented aspect of bipolar disorder – hypersexuality. Many seem to view this as a desirable state, believing it to be little more than having frequent sex. It is often treated as a punchline (when it is addressed at all). In reality, it is a horror of compulsion and pain, with devastating consequences, both physical and mental, that no one should wish to have.
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Addiction

7 Tips to Manage Your Weight When Taking Psychiatric Medication

Weight gain is one of the main reasons that people diagnosed with depression and other mood disorders stop taking their medication. Some people gain as much as seven percent of their body weight -- or more -- from psychiatric meds. In a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health that was published in July 2006 in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers reported that nearly one in four cases of obesity is associated with a mood or anxiety disorder.

But following a strict treatment plan that involves meds doesn’t have to mean shopping for a larger pants size. There are effective ways to manage your weight on psychiatric meds.
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Bipolar

Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, & the Microbiome

You've probably heard about the rising importance of the microbiome -- otherwise known as your gut bacteria. Researchers have started to find interesting links between the naturally occurring bacteria that live in our guts, and things we've traditionally attributed to the brain. Things like our mood, feelings, and even thoughts. We now know, for instance, that gut bacteria can influence brain function.

What has the research found linking the microbiome to serious mental illness such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder?

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Bipolar

Hypersexuality in Bipolar Disorder

The need to be desired, it is a topic many women will avoid. They think it shows weakness to express the need to have a man find them attractive. I don’t. Maybe it was the many years of being overweight, but I love when I get hit on by a man. Being bipolar I admit that my need for a man to flirt with me takes on a life of its own. I love it! I crave the attention, and don’t feel as good about myself when it isn’t happening on a regular basis. Being told I am pretty, sexy, hot all makes me feel wanted and, after feeling like the ugly duckling for most of my life, I find nothing more thrilling.
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Bipolar

How to Find Accurate, Evidence-Based Information on Mood Disorders


If I had to choose just one piece of advice to give to the person disabled by depression or any mood disorder, it would be this: Work with the right professionals and seek out accurate, evidence-based information.

In 2006, having spent years absorbing inaccurate information and working with amateurs, I needed a miracle. I was dangerously close to taking my life. I made an appointment with the
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