Category Archive: Bipolar

Mar 08

Mixed Depression and Anxiety or Bipolar ?

A young man who recently graduated from chiropractic school came in for a second opinion. He has had a many year history of depressive episodes with prominent anxiety symptoms. Is this mixed depression and anxiety? This past summer, he went to see a new psychiatrist to get help with another episode of depression. The psychiatrist started …

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Mar 02

Recovery from Bipolar

Recovery from Bipolar

Planning for Recovery from Bipolar I recently came across a great account from a man living with Bipolar Disorder, Steven Propst. In an insightful and direct way, he describes what recovery has looked like for him and helpful steps in finding it for yourself. By examining the importance of accepting his diagnosis, gathering information to …

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Feb 26

Factors Linked to Bipolar Cycle Acceleration – Arnrow

  Factors Linked to Bipolar Cycle Acceleration– Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim conducted a study consisting of 210 participants (53.3% women) with bipolar I (68.1%) and bipolar II (31.9%)  to identify factors linked to bipolar cycle acceleration (rapid cycling). They found the following factors (listed in order of importance): Severity of episodes …

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Feb 24

Bipolar Downshifting – Suzy B

bipolar angry parisian woman

She wakes up from a fitful sleep and within an instant knows the day will be hard. Lying on the bed for a moment she stares at the bathroom door. It’s the first port of call, but for what? Because that’s what you do. You go to the bathroom and prepare for the day before …

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Feb 18

Bipolar 101 – The Basics and Beyond

Bipolar 101, an online course hosted by Gateway Psychiatric begins March 17, 2017: Bipolar 101 – The Basics and Beyond. The class is based on the acclaimed Barcelona Bipolar Disorders Program. Bipolar 101 – An online course will cover topics such as: “What is Bipolar?” – What do we know about the causes and what are …

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Feb 11

Loving Someone Bipolar

Loving someone bipolar can seem like an overwhelming challenge at times. A quick survey of the internet combined with years of conversations with loved ones struggling to navigate the sometimes stormy waters, yields a great diversity of perspectives. Julie Fast, a well known bipolar writer, describes her experience living with her partner during a manic …

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Feb 09

Psychopharmacologist

I am not a psychopharmacologist. A patient who I have been seeing for almost a year and who has been depressed throughout that period came in to see me today and we talked about her mood over the last couple of months. She has been markedly less depressed, and I was congratulating myself on the …

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Jan 26

Dangers of Mania

A cheerful young woman comes in for a consultation and soon we come to a topic that can be remarkably frustrating for all: trying to explain the dangers of mania. She is only mildly manic. It’s true she often gets into arguments that don’t really make much sense and she has been smoking more marijuana …

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Jan 24

Darkness Treats Mania?

Bright light is one of the most rapidly effective treatments for depression and may be helpful for depression even in people without a clear seasonal pattern (winter depression). A recent study suggests that it may also be true that darkness treats mania. The portion of the light spectrum that affects circadian rhythms the most strongly …

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Jan 07

Why Do I Have To Have a Regular Schedule?

“Why do I have to have a regular schedule” was the lurking question that hung over my conversation with Ann. She didn’t actually ask me that question but I could see that there was a rebellious child hiding in the corner of the room who was making the conversation we were having about getting regular …

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Nov 20

Hamster Brain

A young woman who has been making good progress tackling the problem of severe depressive episodes suddenly is having trouble managing the opposite end of the mood spectrum.  She gets energized and is consumed with getting stuff done. She is unable to stop until she is exhausted and she crashes. I call this state of mind “hamster mind” …

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Oct 31

4 Ways You Can Help a Loved One Cope with Addiction and Mental Illness

Mental illness and addiction co-occur more than some people may think. People with a mental illness are more likely to abuse substances while those with addictions are likely to either develop the symptoms of a mental illness or a full-blown mental illness. If there is someone in your life struggling with these two problems here …

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Oct 19

Blessings of a Bipolar Crisis

A mental health crisis, once it resolves, can leave people with a sense of overwhelming anxiety that co-workers, distant friends, family, and strangers might find out about what happened. Jayson Blair, however, never really had the opportunity to worry about that… His was an extraordinarily public mental health crisis. In an article in Bipolar Hope …

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Oct 16

Lady Dynamite – Maria Bamford

Maria Bamford is Lady Dynamite in Netflix’s original comedy series which debuted in 2016. Maria Bamford is also a woman with bipolar moods whose comedic work often revolves around the experience of living with bipolar. In her work she talks frankly about being hospitalized, mania, depression and obsessive thoughts. I am indebted to the wonderful …

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Aug 23

Tricked by Mania – Bipolar Hope

I have been fortunate this past month to have been working at the Bipolar Clinic at UCSF. Chief of the clinic, Dr. Descartes Li, shared with us this article that is one of the best discussions about why it is that people who are clearly manic are unable to recognize the change in mood. It …

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Jul 10

Patrick Kennedy Talks about Bipolar and Addiction

This is a great video that talks about the powerful negative effect of stigma (not talking about mental illness) on the Kennedy family. Patrick Kennedy talks about his struggles with bipolar depression and substance use. For More Information Bipolar Hope Magazine article about Patrick Kennedy’s career and his struggles with bipolar and recovery and his …

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May 11

Children of Bipolar Parents

A series of presentations at the 2015 meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry point to the importance of helping the families of parents with bipolar disorder. Juan David Palacio reported that children of parents with bipolar I disorder are at high risk for a number of psychiatric disorders, including bipolar spectrum disorders …

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Mar 07

Touched with Fire

  I am so happy to see that bipolar is coming out of the closet. One dramatic example of that is the movie Touched with Fire. In it, filmmaker Paul Dalio tries to share the lived experience of bipolar with the world. He strives to share the beauty as well as the pain of bipolar, relying …

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Feb 16

World Bipolar Day 2016

World Bipolar Day 2016 World Bipolar Day is celebrated each year every 30th of March, the birthday of the well known post­ impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh, who was posthumously diagnosed as probably having bipolar disorder. The World Bipolar Day is the fruit of the initiative of the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) in collaboration with the …

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Feb 13

Hidden Psychosis

hidden psychosis

In the last six months I’ve had a couple of experiences that I’m still trying to make a sense of. Two very bright and personable women who seemed to have everything going for them, who both have bipolar, revealed to me that they have been suffering from severe symptoms that they had not told me about, symptoms …

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