Bipolar blog

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

→ April 11, 2016 - 21 Comments

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs. ECT for Depression

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an option for depression treatment and may be an alternative, for some, to electroconvulsive therapy. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (when used as a treatment for depression known as repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or rTMS) is actually similar to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in that it’s also a neuromodulation technique. It does differ, though, as rTMS is much less invasive and has a very favorable side effect profile, particularly when compared to ECT. There are reasons that people aren’t flocking to rTMS as a depression treatment, though.

[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]

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In Response to the Peer Supporters Who Want Government Funding

→ April 10, 2016 - 36 Comments

In Response to the Peer Supporters Who Want Government Funding

As some of you may know, I write pieces that sometimes get a lot of hate mail in response to them. This is normal for a writer with an opinion. It happens here, it happens with newspaper pieces, it happens in response to books, it happens absolutely anywhere a writer stands out and says something others consider controversial. (Sometimes, people even threaten to sue me.)

I totally get that and pay it no mind, as a general rule. In fact, I mostly don’t talk to critics as I have very limited time and feel they are not worth it. I write for the people who respond positively to my work, not those who don’t. If you want to know my thoughts, I suggest you reread the article, as that’s where they are.

Peer-Support-Based Initiatives Funding Clarifications

However, I am making an exception today. People have so misrepresented my views and so spewed such ridiculous notions that I feel compelled to at least clarify a few things.

Here is my additional clarification on We Shouldn’t Fund Peer Support-Based Initiatives for Mental Illness.

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We Shouldn’t Fund Peer Support-Based Initiatives for Mental Illness

→ April 4, 2016 - 96 Comments

We Shouldn’t Fund Peer Support-Based Initiatives for Mental Illness

There is this growing movement of people who think that peer support is critical in the treatment of people with mental illness – but I would contend that, in spite of this movement, peer support does not treat mental illness. And, in fact, by funding these peer support-based initiatives and peer-delivered services we take away dollars that should actually be spent on the evidence-based treatment of serious mental illness.

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Is Being Bipolar Fashionable?

→ March 24, 2016 - 16 Comments

Is Being Bipolar Fashionable?

I have heard that being bipolar is “fashionable.” I have heard that “all the kids are doing it.” I have heard that it’s a fashionable, fad diagnosis. I have heard that some even want to be called bipolar because of its association with creativity. But, seriously, is this a real thing? Is it fashionable to be bipolar?

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Tips for How to Parent with Bipolar Disorder

→ March 15, 2016 - 11 Comments

Tips for How to Parent with Bipolar Disorder

Katie Perttunen is a bipolar mom and writer and she writes today’s piece. Considering how people have been crucifying me over my decision to not get pregnant, in large part, because of bipolar disorder, I thought this would be a good time to share some tips on how to parent with bipolar disorder; because, while I don’t plan on doing it, others certainly do. 

Parenting with bipolar disorder is not an easy thing. What do you do when you are a mom with bipolar type one with psychotic features? What do you tell your children, and how do you cope? These tips for how to parent with bipolar disorder might help.

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Baby of Truehope Believers Dies, Likely Due to Lack of Medical Care

→ March 8, 2016 - 23 Comments

Baby of Truehope Believers Dies, Likely Due to Lack of Medical Care

A baby of Truehope believers died of meningitis likely because they chose to use alternative remedies instead of actual medicine to treat their son. No one can say, of course, whether the baby would have lived with proper care, but what we can say is that without it, he died.

The parents of the baby are David and Collet Stephan – David being the son of Tony Stephan, one of the founders of Truehope.

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Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy: Bipolar Taking Away Choice

→ March 7, 2016 - 15 Comments

Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy: Bipolar Taking Away Choice

On the topic of pregnancy and bipolar disorder, I have said before, I would choose not to have children because of bipolar disorder. I’m not saying this is what every woman with bipolar disorder would choose, I’m saying that with my particular brand of bipolar, with my particular situation, with my inability to live off of medications, I would choose not to get pregnant because of bipolar (Medical Research on Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy). I believe that, ultimately, it would be unfair to bring a life into my mess. It would be selfish. It would be me “wanting” a child above me considering the welfare of the child. And that’s not something I would ever do.

And while I know the choice is mine entirely, it doesn’t feel that way to me at all. While I know I could get pregnant (or, at least, I assume so), and it’s me that’s choosing not to get pregnant because of bipolar, I feel like my back is against the wall on this thing and that not having children is the only thing I can do. I feel like the bipolar has taken away my choice. All the other women out there get to decide if children are right for them based on, mostly, lifestyle choices (although, of course, some other women carry genetic risks as well) and I don’t get to decide because bipolar has forced my hand. Bipolar has taken away my choice around bipolar and pregnancy.

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When a Friend, Family Member Comes to a Doctor’s Appointment

→ February 25, 2016 - 13 Comments

When a Friend, Family Member Comes to a Doctor’s Appointment

Some of us are lucky enough to have really supportive loved ones and, sometimes, a friend or family member might come to our doctors’ appointments. If this is the case for you, consider yourself lucky because it can be very helpful. I’m not suggesting that you drag someone to your psychiatrist’s appointment by his or her hair or that you invite people with whom you are not comfortable, but if a friend or family member coming to a doctor’s appointment is an option for you, I say, take it.

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Natasha Tracy Stigmatizes the Mentally Ill?

→ February 18, 2016 - 28 Comments

Natasha Tracy Stigmatizes the Mentally Ill?

So I’m on Twitter today and someone says that Natasha Tracy stigmatizes the mentally ill (paraphrasing). Specifically, Bipolar Burble is “one of the most stigmatizing things I’ve ever seen.”

Now, in case you haven’t kept up with completely uncurrent events – Natasha Tracy also has a mental illness called bipolar disorder. And while I’m sure that some people don’t like the way I express that or my opinions on it, to say I’m stigmatizing to those with a mental illness is, well, redonkulous.

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Improve Your Bipolar Quality of Life – Tools by CREST.BD

→ February 4, 2016 - 11 Comments

Improve Your Bipolar Quality of Life – Tools by CREST.BD

Bipolar quality of life has been measured in many ways but, in my experience, doctors tend to look at it like this: you can make your rent, you eat, you bathe – good enough.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I consider this extremely insulting. I mean, if doctors only measured their own quality of life in that way I think they would find that they had no “quality of life” at all. They really should understand that there is so much more to life than merely eating, showering and paying your rent.

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Most Popular ‘Bipolar Burble’ Articles of 2015

→ January 18, 2016 - 2 Comments

Most Popular ‘Bipolar Burble’ Articles of 2015

In a year I write around 50 posts for Bipolar Burble, some of which are popular bipolar or mental illness posts and some of which are not as much. If you haven’t kept up all year long, who can blame you, really? So I’ve put together a list of the top 10 bipolar posts of 2015, just in case you’ve missed one or two.

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Depression – Don’t Waste Your Pain

→ January 6, 2016 - 18 Comments

Depression – Don’t Waste Your Pain

Depression is painful but can you turn that pain into something good? I recently heard of a couple that went through extreme suffering because of losing a child and one of the pieces of advice they received was, “don’t waste your pain.” These people turned their pain into a full-fledged and extremely successful business that gives back to children’s charities. I’ve decided that was an extremely valuable piece of advice with depression – don’t waste your pain.

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