Blogs tend to have a short life cycle, with most lasting under two years before fading into archival heaven. Last year Psych Central compiled a list of the top ten bipolar blogs, written by people who have a bipolar spectrum disorder. We’re glad that some of our faves are still active, sad to see a few gone, and happy to discover great new writers too. We’re pleased to present you Psych Central’s Top Ten Bipolar Blogs of 2008.
1. Furious Seasons (no longer available)
There simply could not be a top bipolar blogs list without Philip Dawdy. He’s an excellent journalist whose blog has become synonymous with unrestrained investigative writing on bipolar disorder, mental health treatments and the pharma industry. He does not hesitate to call out BS when he finds it, and he digs for it harder than any other popular writer. Furious Seasons is an invaluable service to the mental health community.
Seaneen, a woman in the UK with characteristic wit and a gift for metaphors, keeps a blog that is much like the disorder: it ranges from hilarious to melancholy to very serious. Even the serious bits are wry, though, e.g. “The crappiest thing about [her recent suicide attempt] is that I lost the eBay auction for the camera that broke on me.” It’s personal without TMI, and conveys pathos without being pitiful. She’s someone you can’t help but feel affection for (unless perhaps you’re her accountant). While compiling this list I was sidetracked into reading her archives for hours, and a blog that compelling to my distractable eyes is unquestionably tops. Please stay alive and keep writing, Seaneen, we all need you.
3. Coming Out Crazy (no longer available)
Sandy Naiman is a skillful storyteller and hers is a highly readable pro blog. She uses an intimate style to share anecdotes and opinions as well as current issues. It’s like chatting with your friendly next-door neighbor — who happens to be an award-winning career journalist and prominent mental health advocate. Her posts are engrossing, sometimes tragic, and quite inspiring.
If you believe that eschewing negativity and training yourself to be reflexively positive is important to recovery, this blog is for you. If you are interested in the constructs of wellness and positive psychology, this blog is for you. If you like to learn practical day-to-day tips for improving your life, this blog is for you. If you enjoy well-crafted, thoughtful and focused writing with regular updates, this blog is for everyone.
5. The Trouble with Spikol (no longer available)
Lemon* Spikol was number one on the list last year and the only reason I’ve bumped her down is that her blog now tends to deviate from mental health into politics and cute photos (although I like puppies as much as anyone). Affable, honest and entertaining even on slow days.
6. Bipolar Beat
I didn’t add this newcomer blog to the list just because Psych Central hosts it. It’s here because it’s a super informative blog written by a doctor with clinical experience and a non-medical expert writing partner. Candida Fink and Joe Kraynak have an “ask a question” feature to prompt some of their posts, but also have no problem generating posts on hot topics like overdiagnosis, supplements, and childhood bipolar. They also maintain the similar Bipolar Blog.
7. How is Bradley? (no longer available)
Bipolar and obese, that’s how Bradley is. But he’s a good egg and this blog is his public quest to lose weight and keep mental stability. Often, medications used to treat bipolar will cause weight gain — lithium, valproate, Zyprexa/olanzapine, Seroquel/quetiapine, the list goes on — so his writing is relevant to many readers who have similar issues. This is an easy to digest personal blog with light humor about a heavy topic.
John has written about the science and history of bipolar disorder and its treatments for years via his site, e-newsletter, blog, and book. While they contain a huge amount of technical (and common sense) information beautifully interpreted for laypeople, his vlog is even more accessible. Explanations of and practical coping skills for specific situations like anger management and body clock problems. Nicely produced and edited, I’d love to see more frequent updates.
Meanwhile, Kimberly’s Bipolar Survivor Back is an articulate video series about the mental health issues she’s suffered since childhood, and getting treatment as an adult. She recently stopped posting videos due to haters. Her experience with trolls is an example of the risks of exposing a personal life complicated by mental illness, and I commend her for trying to combat stigma and educate people.
“Your neighborhood misanthropic, buxom, bondage-positive, bipolar, bisexual, flying, loquacious hedonist.” Updated: “Now with VNS capabilities.” Last year I was keen to see if an experimental vagus nerve stimulator implant would help her very severe, treatment-resistant depression. It didn’t really. She still writes extremely well, though.
10. Yoga for Bipolar (no longer available)
I love yoga! I also love substance-free treatment alternatives that genuinely help people! Here they are together in one blog, like a chocolate peanut butter cup. I am grateful that David Morgan “made the decision not to withhold information for profit” since this is a quibble I have with some alternative treatments. Random people who claim their secret blend of herbs, spices and organic bamboo socks will cure bipolar, schizophrenia and cancer all at once if you’ll pay $300 for a DVD — what a deal! (Not!) Yoga is a mainstream, time-honored practice, and it’s nice to see this blog aimed at benefiting bipolar sufferers rather than a bank account. With more frequent updates, fewer product reviews, and more specific instructions for practice, this blog would rank much higher on the list.
Honorable mentions: Bipolar Chica (for being a cool blog)(no longer available), If you’re going through hell keep going (for her sincerity and introspection), and The Bipolar Bisexual (for being topical, funny, and hot — NSFW).
Thank you to everyone in the blogosphere writing such great blogs it was hard for us to narrow our choices to just ten. Like any list of this kind we’ve probably left out a few of your faves, so please share links in the comments.