Bipolar blog

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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Hating My Life with Bipolar Disorder

→ January 25, 2017 - 18 Comments

Hating My Life with Bipolar Disorder

Recently, I wrote a Facebook post and someone said it indicated that I hate my life. This is not something I said, but hating a life with bipolar disorder is a pretty easy thing to do. But I have to be clear on something: I don’t just have one life – none of us do. So saying “I hate my life,” is a blanket statement that just isn’t true. It’s a judgment, and it’s not fair.

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Bipolar – Our Feelings Are Too Big

→ January 9, 2017 - 13 Comments

Bipolar – Our Feelings Are Too Big

The issue with bipolar disorder isn’t that we have feelings, it’s that our feelings are too big. Emotions are normal, even big emotions at certain times are normal but people with bipolar have feelings that are too big far too much of the time.

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Parents of the Mentally Ill Get Blamed for Mental Illness

→ December 28, 2016 - 19 Comments

Parents of the Mentally Ill Get Blamed for Mental Illness

I am not a parent, let alone a parent of someone with mental illness, nevertheless, but it is still clear to me that parents of the mentally ill get blamed for their child’s mental illness. I honestly don’t know if my mother has ever experienced this, but I know of other parents who have. One woman I know comes to mind. Her daughter has schizophrenia and requires a lot of help to successfully maintain her wellness and live on her own. Her mother provides everything she can to make this happen – and it’s a lot. And yet, this mother has been blamed for her daughter’s schizophrenia. But parents aren’t to blame for their child’s mental illness.

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