Every year the entrants for the Best of the Web awards multiply. In 2009, veterans stood tough as new kids dazzled. It was difficult to narrow the list to just ten (and some more faves we want to mention), but here are our picks for the top blogs written by people who have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.
1. The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive
Do’s and Don’ts for the Mentally Interesting was a BBC Radio play based on Seaneen’s blog produced last May and just nominated for a Mind Mental Health Media Award. Always a compelling and honest read, it was no fluke or sympathy vote that caused us to place this blog near the top of our list last year – it deserves many accolades. Well done.
2. The Trouble With Spikol
Another great year for Liz Spikol, a stellar writer and enduring fave. Highlights from 2009: Liveblogging Primetime Outsiders, Maia Campbell’s story, Dr. Fred Goodwin, celeb depression confessions, and the streaming kitten cam. A mashup of adorable with hard-hitting, the puppies make the grim stories a bit easier to take in. Check out her cool video series, too.
3. Coming Out Crazy
Sandy Naiman is fierce and fabulous. With a background in print journalism, her blog was new to the net last year and it’s been fun to see her adapt to the medium – and vice-versa. Some of the perennial trolls have been buzzing around her blog, smelling fresh blood, but she deftly slaps them down with precise words soaked in reality and wisdom. Sandy is a dynamo who is an offline mental health advocate and speaker. In Coming Out Crazy, she’s making gorgeous jewelry from her goldmine of experience as a person living with bipolar.
4. Pax Nortana
Joel Sax has built a small new media empire for himself with a blog, Twitter feeds, vlogs and social networking profiles. Outspoken and productive, he’s a great activist (livetweeting the 2009 DBSA conference) and a chatty blogger who writes about more than the labels he’s been given. Joel also manages @Bipolar_Blogs, which aggregates fresh links to posts from many blogs by people who have been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder (add your blog here).
5. All About Bipolar
Amy (@torturedsoul) is a woman from Tennessee who writes thoughtfully about all aspects of experiencing bipolar disorder, but I especially like that she writes humor. Bonus points for a not-too-cluttered layout with useful links and widgets.
6. In a tie: Furious Seasons and Knowledge is Necessity. Apples and oranges, Phil Dawdy and John McManamy have been among the best on the web for years, but 2009 saw them devolve into public feuding so they’re both bumped down the list together. Hopefully next year will bring a renewed focus on what they each do very well, and a truce.
7. Raw Writing for the Real World of Bipolar
Intimate, absorbing and moving, this is a diary-style blog by Cristina Fender that has mushroomed since she began. She’s now welcoming guest posts and building community, and has self-published a book as well. Energetic.
8. Caught in my Bipolar Burble.
She’s been blogging since 2003 and is consistently brilliant. Intimate and raw, very descriptive and at times hard to read. She’s been through a lot and her treatment-resistant disorder is still not responding to treatments, including a recent failed attempt at ECT (which led to the spin-off blog ECT: Electro-Convulsive Terror). Harrowing.
9. Time for your Meds
“Crazy Tracy” is triumphantly healthy, blogging once again and newly returned to work as a nurse. Her recovery is as dramatic as her dark moments have been. It’s great to see her back, a hopeful example to others who suffer severe bipolar episodes.
10. Crazy Black Woman
“My oddball behavior has been a badge of honor for me to wear,” says Dr. Gina, and I honor her for that behavior too. Her blog has aggressive, hypomanic uproar posts that are fun to read, with extra energy devoted to The Ariafya Universe, a mental health and wellness forum for diverse women. Phew! It’s impressive. Lots to read.
Honorable mentions: Victoria Maxwell’s Crazy for Life, Wellness Writer, Gus Greeper, Bipolar Happens, If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going, Bipolar: Crazy Mermaid’s Blog, and Patient Anonymous. Cheers to all!
Enjoy the blogs above, and please leave more links with your comments.