Bipolar blog

Bipolar: No Amount of Pain Can Kill You – Power Over Suicide

→ May 17, 2017 - 6 Comments

Bipolar: No Amount of Pain Can Kill You – Power Over Suicide

There is no amount of bipolar pain that can kill you; we have the ultimate power over suicide. I have suffered and suffered and suffered for so long that I know this to be true. Yes, people attempt/commit suicide, I know. But it isn’t because of the amount of pain, per se, it’s because they don’t see a way out of it. Because emotionally, I can hit you and hit you and hit you and you just won’t, cannot, die. Some days I wish this weren’t true. Some days I wish that the extreme pain would just kill me, that I would just get walloped that one last time and die. Like running into the final brick wall that bipolar offers only to find it really took my head clean off. I have learned, though, that I have the ultimate power over a death by suicide.

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What Is It Like to Be Hospitalized for a Suicidal Crisis? – A Survey

→ May 7, 2017 - 9 Comments

What Is It Like to Be Hospitalized for a Suicidal Crisis? – A Survey

Bipolar disorder is a deadly illness – make no mistake about it. Approximately 11% of those with bipolar die of suicide while up to 50% attempt suicide. This is something to be taken very, very seriously. I am one of those who have attempted suicide and I know about the importance of treating a suicidal crisis the right way, the humane way, the way that actually works to make people better.

I also know how infrequently this happens. I also know how people find going to the hospital a negative experience. I also know how some people have experienced dehumanizing treatment after experiencing a suicidal crisis. It seems that healthcare professionals forget that suicidal crises are a symptom of a serious illness and not a behavior simply committed to inconvenience them.

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How Bipolar Disorder Has Changed Me for Life

→ April 24, 2017 - 15 Comments

How Bipolar Disorder Has Changed Me for Life

Bipolar disorder has changed me forever. When I was first diagnosed with a mood disorder, they said this wouldn’t happen. When I was first diagnosed with a mood disorder, they said I would go back to who I was before it started. When I was first diagnosed with a mood disorder, every question they asked what about comparing my medicated self to my old self. But they were wrong and their questions were irrelevant, bipolar disorder has changed me for life and no medication is going to change that.

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Bipolar Disorder and Mood Self-Monitoring

→ April 17, 2017 - 14 Comments

Bipolar Disorder and Mood Self-Monitoring

I’ve talked about mood tracking before but, really, mood tracking starts with mood self-monitoring. In other words, there is nothing to track if you don’t know what’s going on in the first place. If you can’t say that you’re anxious, for example, then how are you going to track how anxious you are? But mood self-monitoring sucks because it’s a 24-hour-a day, seven-days-a-week kind-of-a-thing. With bipolar disorder, you never get a break from mood self-monitoring.

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If a Person with Mental Illness Won’t Accept His or Her Illness or Help

→ April 11, 2017 - 8 Comments

If a Person with Mental Illness Won’t Accept His or Her Illness or Help

I answer this question all the time: “How do I help someone with mental illness who denies their mental illness and won’t accept help?” It’s a constant problem for loved ones. People with mental illness frequently won’t accept their mental illness and won’t accept mental illness help because of it. And, not surprisingly, friends and family members don’t know what to do. If you love someone with a mental illness who won’t accept it, here are some suggestions of what to do.

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What Bipolar Mixed Moods Really Feel Like

→ April 4, 2017 - 14 Comments

What Bipolar Mixed Moods Really Feel Like

I’ve written a lot about bipolar mixed moods but not necessarily what bipolar mixed moods actually feel like. While it’s true mixed moods exist in bipolar I and bipolar II and it’s true mixed moods tend to worsen psychomotor agitation and increase the risk of suicide, this doesn’t tell you how bipolar mixed moods actually feel. This is different for everyone, but here is a window into how I experience mixed moods.

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Bipolar Myth-Busting on World Bipolar Day

→ March 30, 2017 - 8 Comments

Bipolar Myth-Busting on World Bipolar Day

On this World Bipolar Day, I thought I’d focus on some of the most popular posts that tell people what they need to know about bipolar disorder. These are posts that thousands have searched for and read spanning seven years. And what’s more is I think these posts are bipolar myth-busting. Share one or more on social media to help bust bipolar myths (not to mention stigma).

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Turmeric – Possible New, Inexpensive, Depression and Anxiety Treatment

→ March 19, 2017 - 4 Comments

Turmeric – Possible New, Inexpensive, Depression and Anxiety Treatment

Turmeric (curcumin) may be a new, inexpensive depression and anxiety treatment. It’s early days on this one, but it’s worth noting because it is so available and inexpensive. Here is where the research is on turmeric as a treatment for depression and anxiety.

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Headaches, Migraines and Bipolar Disorder

→ March 14, 2017 - 9 Comments

Headaches, Migraines and Bipolar Disorder

I get nasty headaches with bipolar disorder. I don’t think they’re migraines, but I do have to take medication and typically have to lie down for the headaches to go away. They tend to happen about two hours after I get up in the morning (meaning medication side effects may play a part, certainly). And I know that I’m not the only person with bipolar disorder suffering with headaches or even migraines – there is, actually, a known link.

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The Torture of Earworms (When a Song Is Stuck in Your Head)

→ March 5, 2017 - 8 Comments

The Torture of Earworms (When a Song Is Stuck in Your Head)

Earworms are torture. If you’re not familiar with earworms – lucky you – they are like when a song gets stuck in your head. Over and over and over you hear the same thing. An earworm doesn’t have to be music, but from my experience, it typically is. And If I were to torture someone, I would make them listen to four lines of a song for days and days. I’m fairly certain it would break a person. I feel like earworms almost break me.

I wrote an article on earworms years ago and people still email me about it. This is because people get earworms for days, weeks, months or even years. Some people truly do feel tortured by earworms and would do anything to get rid of them. I completely understand where these people are coming from.

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I’m Tired of Lying to Myself About My Bipolar Disorder

→ February 15, 2017 - 19 Comments

I’m Tired of Lying to Myself About My Bipolar Disorder

I lie to myself about bipolar. I lie to myself about everything being fine. I lie to myself about the next day being a clean slate and possibly a beautiful one. I lie to myself about the possibility of falling in love. I lie to myself that the bipolar isn’t that bad. I just lie and lie and lie and lie.

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Antipsychotics Should Be Used for Non-Psychotic Depression Treatment

→ February 6, 2017 - 11 Comments

Antipsychotics Should Be Used for Non-Psychotic Depression Treatment

While some disagree, it’s important that people understand that antipsychotics need to be used for non-psychotic depression treatment, when appropriate.

At any one time, 14 million people suffer from depression but only 60-70% of these people respond to antidepressant treatment. Of those who do not respond, 10-30% exhibit treatment-resistant symptoms including “difficulties in social and occupational function, decline of physical health, suicidal thoughts, and increased health care utilization.” Treating these people presents a huge issue for healthcare practitioners and one of the options they consider is the use of a medication class known as antipsychotics.

Recently, a group called the Therapeutics Initiative wrote a letter entitled Antipsychotics should not be used for non-psychotic depression. Their conclusions are as the title suggests: this body found little evidence to support the use of antipsychotics in the treatment of non-psychotic major depressive disorder.

And while I respect the work of this body and while they have considered some evidence (in the case of quetiapine [Seroquel], an antipsychotic), there is more to consider on the issue.

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