bipolar blog notes
Over 70 articles were published here on the Bipolar Burble blog in 2013. Some were hits and some not so much. So today I’d like to look back at two top 5 lists: the most-read bipolar blog articles of 2013 and the most talked-about bipolar blog articles of 2013.
Hi all. I try not to overly promote my events on this bipolar blog so the Bipolar Burble blog can focus on content, but this time I thought a couple of things deserved a word: a speaking engagement you can all attend for free and an award that I’m a little proud of.
Last night saw the launch of the Bipolar Burble blog Facebook page. In all honesty, I’ve been meaning to do this for quite a while but couch-contributed inertia slowed me down. This Facebook page is dedicated to supporting people with a mental illness and all those who love them.
Why a Bipolar Burble Blog Facebook Page?
I created this page in response to the concerns that some people had over the nastiness that was being put on my own Facebook profile. People felt it wasn’t a safe space to discuss articles or leave comments and while I try to make the Bipolar Burble blog clutter-free, that’s tougher to do on Facebook. Having a Bipolar Burble blog Facebook page, though, makes this task easier, so you can consider the Bipolar Burble blog Facebook page a safe space to comment and discuss mental health topics.
Benefits of the Bipolar Burble Blog Facebook Page
With a page I will be able to blacklist the appropriate people, use additional moderation when needed and try to keep everyone from being attacked, much like I do here. I want my readers to feel safe discussing delicate issues and I know that’s hard for some people. I hope this page can help out. The commenting rules for the Bipolar Burble blog Facebook page will be similar to the commenting rules here.
We’ll be discussing my articles from the Bipolar Burble blog, Breaking Bipolar on HealthyPlace and Bipolar Bites on Healthline, which might be particularly helpful for people as Healthline doesn’t currently have any way to leave comments directly. And, of course, anything else I think is interesting in the mental health world.
If you have any comments on or suggestions for the new page, I’m all ears.
Let’s be clear. I am not supported by pharmaceutical companies. No pharmaceutical company has ever paid me one cent. Got it? OK.
But let’s say that Pfizer or GlaxoSmithKline did advertise here, would that pharmaceutical advertisement ruin my credibility?
I have a bone to pick with the universe. Simply put, I don’t think it’s fair that people with a mental illness like bipolar disorder have to get your garden variety illnesses like colds and flus. Do you not realize that people with bipolar disorder spend a massive amount of their time sick already? Do you not realize that a large part of a bipolar’s day is devoted to managing the symptoms of an illness they already have?
Do you not get that we have enough on our plate already without coughing, sneezing, an upset stomach, aching muscles and a runny nose?
Well, like a travel writer writes about travel, I write about mental health. Perhaps my type is not as common as a travel writer, but mental health writers are out there, nonetheless.
And, I have to say, it’s not easy being a mental health writer. It means talking about unpleasant subjects on a daily basis and facing parts of yourself that you’d probably prefer to gloss over. And it means forming an opinion, standing up and standing by that opinion even when it’s very unpopular. (At least, that’s what being a mental health writer means to me.)
And making a living is hard and there are no vacations, no weekends and no sick days.
As per the usual, I’ve been a busy little beaver. I write about five mental health articles a week for blogs as well as other articles for clients. It’s the reason why I’m up on the latest research – I pretty much have to be; I spend most of my day looking at it.
And if you just hang out on the Bipolar Burble – I love you – you might miss a lot of interesting things. So here, without further ado is what has been going on at Bipolar Bites at Healthline.com and Breaking Bipolar at HealthyPlace.com.
Bipolar Bites Blog
Bipolar Bites is a blog I started writing in February for Healthine.com. It contains what I call more “sciency” articles – those with facts and figures and study references. It’s for the mental health geek in many of us.
Recently at Bipolar Bites we’ve seen:
- Medication side effect chat – antipsychotics and brain shrinkage and the danger of dry mouth.
- A companion piece to the one I did on the biological evidence of depression – the biological evidence of bipolar disorder (part one and part two). Hint: there’s lots.
- Something I’ve mentioned before – can people with bipolar disorder properly recognize facial emotion?
- A pet peeve of mine is the notion that some people will commit suicide no matter what you do – I don’t believe that for a second.
- An important issue and the data that supports it – do antidepressants work? And do they work as well as other medications?
Breaking Bipolar Blog
Over at Breaking Bipolar I’ve got all kinds of advice for living with bipolar disorder:
- Does Mental Illness Get Better or Worse?
- How Do I Tell My Parents I Need Mental Health Help?
- Relationships Can’t Fix Bipolar Disorder
- Do We Internalize Mental Illness Stigma – Yes, and this affects recovery. Doctors can also sabotage treatment with medication.
- What to think about when you travel – Travel Tips for the Bipolar
- Why Worrying About Medication Side Effects Won’t Really Help You and What is Medication Tolerance (when medication stops working)
- Mental illness, guilt and making amends.
- Bipolar – Attack of the Body Snatcher – written at the behest of a reader
- Power to the Crazy – Why Writing Off People with a Mental Illness Hurts You and Not Us
- Depression Symptoms – Easy to Tear
- Why It’s Ignorant to Write off Psychiatry – another shot across the bow of antipsychiatry
And while you’re perusing your articles of interest you might want to check out a series I did on mental illness and stigma or my piece for Sharecare: Succeeding with Mental Illness – Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
Oh, and did I mention I got name a mental health hero? (Thanks to Chato Stewart for the drawing seen above.)
Thanks all for your continued to support. I shall continue to do what I do as long as you keep your eyeballs facing forward.
Every six weeks or so I like to do a quick round-up of writings I’ve done elsewhere, just in case you’ve missed them. This session’s round-up include subjects like assisted outpatient treatment, self-harm and mental health stigma. Here are some of the notable articles:
- Assisted Outpatient Treatment Thoughts – I’ve previously written here about assisted outpatient treatment (AOT; also known as Laura’s Law) and I’ve written two additional pieces on Human Rights and Assisted Outpatient Treatment and Does Assisted Outpatient Treatment Work?
- Self-Harm Thoughts – I’ve been on a bit of a self-harm jag recently and I’ve written about Stress Leading to Self-Harm, created a video on Stress, Anxiety and Self-Harm and whether or not to Hide Self-Harm Scars. I’ve received some amazing and touching comments on these pieces.
- Credibility and Mental Illness – ironically, by admitting I write under a nom de plume I seem to have lost credibility with some people on a very post talking about Losing Credibility Due to a Mental Illness.
- Acceptance and Mental Health – as I wrote about Acceptance of Bipolar Disorder Being a Process, acceptance of mental illness treatment is a process also, including the idea that Taking Medication Makes you Weak. This includes information on accepting the limitations placed on us by bipolar disorder.
- “Soft” Bipolar – information on what Bipolar Not Otherwise Specified (NOS) is. Indications you might be bipolar even if not traditionally so: Soft Signs of Bipolar Disorder.
- Drug-Free Treatments – Alternative Treatments for Bipolar disorder, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Bipolar disorder and Drug-Free Products to Help you Sleep better.
- Understanding How Lithium Treats Bipolar Disorder – mice are helping us understand bipolar disorder and lithium.
Hi all. A lot happens around these parts in six weeks. As most of you know this month I launched a new blog on Healthline.com called Bipolar Bites and, of course, I still have my blog on HealthyPlace.com called Breaking Bipolar.
Bipolar Bites and Breaking Bipolar Articles
In case you haven’t kept up with your reading, here’s the best of what you might have missed in the last couple of months from both blogs:
- A discussion on the unique mental illness therapy deep brain stimulation and bipolar disorder in two parts: New Treatment for Bipolar – What is Deep Brain Stimulation? and Does Deep Brain Stimulation Work for Bipolar Disorder?
- Bipolar Disorder and Fixing Your Circadian Rhythm – The start of several article on light, darkness and your circadian rhythm in bipolar disorder.
- Can Treatment Noncompliance be Good? – An idea that is hard to bring up without seeming to endorse treatment noncompliance. Is treatment noncompliance sometimes the right thing?
- Lack of Understanding of Mental Illness and sometimes even Hatred Towards the Bipolar Community – it’s difficult for someone without a mental illness to understand what someone with a mental illness goes through every day. Here is some of what I go through that I don’t think people understand.
- Is Bipolar a Personality Disorder? – a question that gets asked frequently along with questions about bipolar disorder and identity.
- Mental Illness as a Disability – can we handle the idea that mental illness really is a disability like any other?
- Bipolar Depression and Feeling Nothing at All – a rarely discussed part of bipolar disorder – feeling nothing at all.
- Bipolar Disorder, Depression and Psychosis – psychosis, delusions and hallucinations, isn’t just a part of schizophrenia, as many of us know too well, it’s a part of bipolar mania, and even depression, as well. Recognition of Irritation and Anxiety is also important.
- Telling Your Family You Have a Mental Illness – You’re Not OK – we all face the battle of telling others about our illness, how do we do it and what do we do if family members remain in denial anyway?
- Why Didn’t Evolution Cull Bipolar Disorder? – Bipolar Benefits – are their evolutionary benefits to having bipolar disorder?
Oh, and the mental health resources page has been updated. Check it out.
If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll see if it tickles my fancy.
Recently a couple of my posts / links / images raised eyes with some of my readers. Some complained and others requested that I put content warnings in front of them.
Well, I don’t do content warnings.*
In this case, one post was about self-harm and had a picture of a cutter’s arm. Another post contained a link to the TV-promo for a Dr. Oz show on electroconvulsive therapy, in which a person gets ECT. Images of self-harm and ECT, it was argued, are very upsetting to some people.
Nevertheless, in neither case did I think a warning was appropriate.
Here’s why: you’re an adult. Grow up.
Reader Warning on the Bipolar Burble
And just for the record, on the homepage there actually is a content warning for the whole blog. It warns that there may be graphic and disturbing subjects and elements to articles. And this is quite reasonable because if you haven’t been here before you should know what you’re in for – and it might be something you don’t like.
Why No Content Warnings?
There are no content warnings for a simple reason: I don’t think there should be any. There is no reason to warn people about an image of a cutter’s arm.
Because there is nothing shocking about seeing the evidence of a medical problem. I talked in the comments of that post about how people who self-harm should not be ashamed because what they are suffering from is an illness. By posting a warning about an image of their illness, I am suggesting there is something wrong with these people. I am doing a disservice to their reality, to something they live with every day. They don’t deserve a content warning thrust on them.
And as a writer I think it’s considerably more fitting and I refuse to post a picture of a person forelornly looking at a sunflower because it’s just so damn disingenuous.
And as for electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), yup, it’s desturbing to some people, particularly images of ECT conducted in the past. And I rather think it’s tacky for a TV promo to feature images of a procedure that is no longer conducted in that manner. But you’re watching a promo for a TV show on ECT it’s hardly unreasonable to think you might see an image of ECT.
Here’s a Content Warning
You’re an adult. You are going to see and hear things you don’t like. You need to deal with that.
If You’re Feeling Sensitive
And to be fair, I understand sensitivity, I really do. I get sensitive sometimes. Sometimes there are subjects I’m sensitive about. Sometimes I not strong enough to read about things that I might find activating.
So I do this: I don’t read / watch that stuff.
I protect myself. Because it isn’t up to the rest of the world to devine what I might find upsetting and warn me of it. It’s up to me to make the right choices for myself and understand the risks I choose to take. There are lots of things I choose not to read. That’s my choice. That’s my responsibility.
Content Warning Proviso
* I will say that there is content I would warn people about, but that would be a fairly extrardinary circumstance and it certainly wouldn’t include an international TV promo or an image pulled from Wikipedia.
Update: I’m sorry for the flurry of strong feelings. I honestly didn’t think one picture out of the hundreds over the years here would cause such a stirring. While my feelings on the matter are my feelings on the matter, I am sorry it caused so much consternation for others.