Category Archive: Uncategorized

May 10

Shame and Guilt After Mania – Gina

Addressing Shame and Guilt After a Manic Episode I have witnessed the immense pain caused by the shame and guilt experienced by people with bipolar disorder following a manic episode.After a manic episode, most have engaged in behaviors that they regret. The resulting shame and guilt can contribute greatly to symptoms of depression that follow …

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Apr 23

Childhood Insomnia

In an era of ever-present video and constant texting and snapchatting, many parents are trying to figure out how to deal with childhood insomnia. Here is a quick guide for busy parents of things to think about and things to do if your child is having trouble getting to sleep or getting enough sleep. Consider …

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Apr 16

The Science of Slow Breathing

In an April 5, 2017 article in the New York Times, Gretchen Reynolds reviews new research on the science of slow breathing and how this ancient technique may work to promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and prevent panic attacks. The technique of controlled breathing or pranayama (प्राणायाम) is referred to in the Bhagavad Gita, and thus …

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Apr 01

Support Groups for Bipolar

  Support groups for bipolar seem like such a good idea. There are so many questions and it is hard to find good sources of information. Family and friends can be a resource, but they may not understand the challenges of living with mood instability. Professionals (a therapist or psychiatrist) can help, but they are not …

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Mar 12

Bipolar and Creativity

Bipolar and creativity have a well known relationship. Kay Redfield Jamison eloquently described aspects of this relationship in her book, “Touched with Fire.” More recently, a movie by the same name, tells one story about two young people learning and experiencing aspects of artistic expression and bipolar. There are several aspects of bipolar that may …

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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 01

Bipolar and Success

What is the relationship between bipolar and success? This excerpt from the American Psychiatric Association’s book Understanding Mental Disorders, suggests one kind of relationship… “The symptoms of bipolar disorder can damage relationships, cause problems with work or school, and even lead to suicide. People with the disorder may feel out of control or ruled by their extreme …

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Jan 31

Social Media and Mood

Research looking at the relationship between the use of social media and mood continues to offer tantalizing hints about this new aspect of human experience. Are the effects positive or negative? There seems to be no doubt about the impact of television watching on mood. Heavy television watching is associated with depression and impaired cognitive function, even when …

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Jan 25

Frequent Lying and Biology

Frequent lying and its biology is the subject of a fascinating article in Nature Neuroscience. Scientists have shown that the brain’s fear and alarm circuitry (the amygdala) is usually triggered when one lies (even lies of omission or “white” lies). They’ve also shown that reducing this response by giving someone medications that affect the amygdala …

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Dec 03

More Happiness

We all need to be reminded about ways that we can bring more happiness into our lives. Rick Hansen has devoted his professional life to understanding the neuroscience of happiness and has created a set of tools that can help. His course “The Foundations of Wellbeing” has helped many people I know to experience more pleasure and joy …

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Nov 15

Coping with Political Uncertainty

Many of the people that I work with on a regular basis have been experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety related to the recent election results. Unfortunately, mental health professionals are no better as news analysts than the so-called professionals. I have been struggling a little bit trying to figure out what to say to …

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Nov 06

Psychotic Experiences in Normal People

Worldwide Study Finds some People without Mental Illness Report “Psychotic” Experiences Psychiatrists tend to assume that certain experiences are a clear sign of mental illness. These experiences include psychotic experiences such as hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing visions) and delusions (beliefs that are contrary to “consensual reality” for example the belief that one is being plotted against, …

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Nov 01

Anxiety and Bipolar

For many people with bipolar anxiety is a bigger problem than mood swings. It is not that unusual for someone with bipolar to report that their first “symptom” of a psychiatric nature was the onset of anxiety early in childhood. Let’s take a look at this information again… 90% of people with bipolar have an anxiety …

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Oct 02

Bipolar IN Order

Free Eight Steps To Bipolar IN Order Video Course Tom Wootton posted an announcement that should be of interest to many people who are seeking to live creatively with moods. His new Free Eight Steps To Bipolar IN Order video course is available for you to take right away. Tom’s courses have helped thousands to live better and …

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Sep 26

Fall Preparation

Northern Hemisphere Fall Preparation If you live in the northern hemisphere, and particularly if you live in the United States, this is an appropriate time to prepare for the coming fall and winter seasons.  The yellow school buses trundling through the streets taking kids to school, the commute has once again jumped up by a factor of …

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Sep 16

Surround Yourself with Happiness

We are truly blessed to have Deborahmichelle Sanders’ permission to run some abstracts from her book The Complete How to Repair Your World Toolkit. One of the ideas that she talks about in great detail is the importance of how your home is set up and decorated. Some of her ideas follow… Display as many …

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Sep 08

Instagram Photos Reveal Depression

Smartphones are collecting information about us all of the time. As we post pictures and text online what are we revealing about how we feel, our moods over time? This is a Brave New World for those who created online services that are designed to substitute for, or enhance, our everyday, in person lives. A …

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Aug 24

Predicting Depression Recurrence

For people with a history of unipolar depression (episodes in the past of clinically significant depression, but no history of periods of being energized – mania or hypomania) who are no longer experiencing a clinical depression, is it possible to predict whether they will have another episode in the near future? Noted psychiatric researchers Lewis L. …

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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 03

Depression and Inflammation Interactions

There has been a lot of interest in the last year in the idea that information or activation of the body’s immune system, might be a cause and/or consequence of depression.  One theory argues that depression might be an inflammatory disorder, more than a disorder of altered neurotransmitter levels. Certainly there’s a fair amount of …

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