Category Archive: Bipolar

Feb 08

Psychopharmacology and Psychobiology

The wonderful thing about having two blogs (www.moodsurfing.com and www.gatewaypsychiatric.com) is that there are two sets of readers for the articles that I post. The problem is that sometimes I’m much more prolific in one area or another. For whatever reason, I have been writing more regularly on the Gateway Psychiatric website, which is where …

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Jan 25

Childhood Bipolar: Mother Knows Best

Childhood bipolar

A recent blog post in Bipolar News (one of our favorite resources for up-to-date information on bipolar research) argues that mother’s evaluations of their children are more useful than teacher’s report of symptoms and than reports from the children themselves when diagnosing childhood bipolar. The article summarized research presented at the 2015 International Society for Bipolar Disorders …

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Dec 12

UCSF Psychoeducation Group for Bipolar Spring 2016

UCSF Group Psycho-Education for Bipolar Disorder The Adult Psychiatry Clinic at UCSF has released the schedules of their Group Psycho-Education for Bipolar Disorder for January 2016. This activity under the Bipolar Disorder Program of the Department of Psychiatry is aimed at providing a community resource for individuals with bipolar disorder, mental health professionals and psychiatrists. …

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Dec 01

Children at Risk for Bipolar

children at risk for bipolar

Greater Mental Health Risks For Children Of Bipolar Parents From the American Journal of Psychiatry: David Axelson and colleagues find that, within seven years, 74.2% of children of parents with bipolar disorder will receive a major (Axis 1) psychiatric diagnosis. And are themselves at risk for bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and other disorders. This same …

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Nov 26

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Bipolar

Mindfulness for Bipolar

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for bipolar may reduce anxiety and bolster emotional stability As with many psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder isn’t impossible to treat but it has its own unique and unremitting way of seriously wearing down a patient’s resolve. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for bipolar joins a handful of therapies that can help. …

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Nov 21

Poor Health Predicts Bipolar Outcomes

poor health predicts bipolar outcomes

John has not been doing well. He used to be optimistic about all challenges and, although he had ups and downs, he managed to overcome these shifts in mood and maintain a focus on achieving his life goals. For the last year and a half he seems to be having difficulty focusing on those goals. …

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Nov 07

Apps and Links Updated

Apps and Links Updated

I have just been a couple of hours updating the apps and links page on this site. There are a lot more choices for mood charting including many more that are available on both android and iPhone. I’ve also been using three different apps concurrently for the last two months to get a sense of what …

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Oct 15

Bipolar Support

Bipolar Support

I want to encourage readers of this blog to consider signing up for Bipolar Disorder Connect. It is an easy to navigate social media site devoted to helping people with chronic health conditions. It seems to have a good cadre of moderators, which is important to prevent the tendency of support groups to veer off …

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Sep 29

Cannabis and Bipolar

marijuana and bipolar

More than half of people with bipolar will qualify for a substance use disorder diagnosis at some point. In many places, the most popular drug (other than alcohol) in people with bipolar is cannabis. People with bipolar are almost 7 times as likely to use cannabis than the general population. In the United States, many states have legalized cannabis for medical indications, and two …

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Sep 05

Is It Bipolar? The “Rule of Three”

Is it bipolar

Confession time: When I was younger I used to take the women’s magazine quizzes – How to know if you have met your ideal partner? When to worry about your sex life. It turned out that all kinds of interesting and complicated life questions could be boiled down to the answers to about 6 multiple choice …

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Aug 02

DBT for Bipolar Group

DBT for Bipolar Jenifer Culver

We are very happy to pass this information on about a great group for people with bipolar being offered in the bay area by an expert in the psychosocial treatments for bipolar: Dr. Jenifer Culver. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Group for Individuals with Bipolar Disorder in Los Altos, CA. The Next group begins September 2015. …

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Aug 01

UCSF Bipolar Group

Bipolar Group

The UCSF bipolar psychoeducational group starts on September 14, 2015. This group is lead by bay area bipolar expert Descartes Li, MD.  It runs for 8 sessions, Mondays 12pm to 115pm. Most commercial insurance is accepted. Dr. Li describes this group as “an advanced class about bipolar disorder for people who have bipolar disorder.” For regular …

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Jul 22

Bipolar Types

Akiskal Bipolar Types

One of my new patients introduced herself this way, “Hello Dr. Forster, I have Bipolar 2 and a half.” Had she just finished watching Harry Potter and was thinking about the invisible platform that takes young wizards to Hogwarts? No, she was referring to a type system developed by Hajop Akiskal, probably one of the …

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Jul 20

Mindfulness for Bipolar – Eric

Could mindfulness meditation be a viable treatment for bipolar disorder? What are the aims of modern-day meditation? Transcendence? Inner peace? Maybe a sort of vague, on-and-off tingling around your body where you think your chakras should be? With mindfulness meditation, there really aren’t any guarantees. In fact, just having any expectations, or the experience of …

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Jul 11

Bipolar Depression Articles – WSJ

Bipolar Depression Artyicle WSJ

The mother of a young man with bipolar depression sent us the link to this article in the Wall Street Journal which gives a pretty balanced update on what we know about diagnosing bipolar depression (as opposed to unipolar depression). http://www.wsj.com/articles/seeking-better-ways-to-treat-the-lows-of-bipolar-disorder-1436221964 Perhaps in keeping with the overall mission of the newspaper, the discussion is heavily …

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Jul 01

Bipolar Story in New York Times

bipolar story

I ran across a fascinating article in The New York Times magazine this past week entitled “I Don’t Believe in God but I Believe in Lithium” by Jaime Lowe dated June 25th 2015. It is a remarkable story, most particularly remarkable because it deals with some of the most charged issues connected with bipolar – …

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Jun 24

Blog Recommendation

blog recommendation

A longtime reader of this blog sent us an email – “I wanted to share one of my favorite blogs. I first found out about the author and blog through his amazing article right after Robin Williams’ suicide. I feel he writes what I feel but can’t put into words on my mental health. Best, …

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Jun 11

Bipolar Depression Webinar

Bipolar Depression with Dr. Peter Forster and Dr. Kelsey Schraufnagel Please join us for a Webinar on June 24th, 2015 at 9:00 am PT. For many people with bipolar, it is depression that is the source of most of their difficulties. Considerable controversy has surrounded to the question of how to treat bipolar depression. New …

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May 13

Hypomania and Success

Hypomania and Success

During the 1990s clinical psychologist John Gartner was planning on writing a book about religious movements started by manic profits, but he began to be distracted by the energy and excitement swirling around him as people became immersed in the Internet “bubble”. He decided instead to write a book about the relationship between hypomania and success …

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Mar 30

World Bipolar Day

world bipolar day

Today, March 30, is World Bipolar Day. World Bipolar Day is a collaborative initiative of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders, the International Bipolar Foundation, and the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorders. I took advantage of the opportunity to do some web surfing and found an incredibly rich array of Twitter sites devoted to this topic. …

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