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 heavily on the imagery of Vincent …

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 International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and International …

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 which suggest that they really …

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 I post articles related to …

Childhood Bipolar: Mother Knows Best

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 by Eric Youngstrom. Eric Youngstrom, Ph.D., is …

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. Headed by Dr. Descartes Li, …

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 group of offspring carries a …

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy 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. A kind of yo-yoing of …

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 it’s like with different mood …

Cannabis 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 states have legalized its recreational use. …

Is It Bipolar? The “Rule of Three”

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 questions. Of course it was …

DBT for Bipolar Group

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. This group focuses on teaching …

UCSF 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 readers of this blog it …

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 “anticipation,” runs counter to the …

Bipolar Story in New York Times

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 – inpatient and involuntary treatment, medications …

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, Geraldine.” http://letsqueerthingsup.com/2015/06/22/mental-health-recovery-isnt-always-daisies-puppies-and-rainbows-and-thats-ok/ Geraldine has bipolar …

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 medications offer the hope of …

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 in the business world (The Hypomanic …