Vulnerability – Nancy

Vulnerability!  If your first response is “Ummm, no, thanks”, you’re not alone.  Vulnerability sounds like something we want to get away from, not something to cultivate.  Yet researcher Dr. Brené Brown of the University of Houston has done considerable study of this topic and her findings are that being or becoming vulnerable to risk, to emotional upset, to shame and …

Demi Lovato March for Our Lives

Demi Lovato Encourages Us to Be Vocal – Nancy

Recording artist Demi Lovato is supporting a project called Be Vocal that enables and encourages people living with mental illness to speak out and make their stories heard in the wider world.  Lovato, a platinum-selling artist who has been performing and recording since the age of ten, received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 2010. “When I finally got diagnosed …

Bipolar at Work

Bipolar at Work – Nancy

Bipolar At Work: Disclosure and Accommodation Federal law provides important protections for workers who are coping with disabling mental or physical illnesses in the workplace.  Know your rights, and plan carefully for whether, when and how to request accommodations and disclose special needs at work. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against anyone with a health-realted disablitiy in …

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 …

Blog for Mental Health 2014

One of the benefits of blogging is that you run into interesting people and ideas. If you blog on WordPress you also get regular information about others who are doing the same thing. This past week I learned about a group of bloggers who are all working to reduce stigma and increase understanding of mental health – the Blog for …

Shame and Self-Disclosure

There is a lively discussion in our forum about self-disclosure. A couple of forum members are pushing the boundaries by talking honestly about their bipolar when the topic comes up in conversation. So far their experiences are largely positive. The interchange on the forum reminded me of a book I bought for my son when he was being teased. The …

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Depression is Something We Don’t Talk About

Here is a very thought provoking piece in the TED series about depression and stigma. Share it with others and tell me what you think. “If there is one thing that we need to do it is to accept that it is OK.” “We live in a world where if you break your arm everyone runs over to sign your …

Should I Tell My Boss?

One of the hottest topics on our forum is when, and how, to tell people about your depression or bipolar. The question of telling an employer is a particularly tricky one since, on the one hand, sharing information about a “chronic medical condition” allows you to claim certain benefits that are guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and on …

Escape from Depression

I met a young woman yesterday who got me thinking about the reasons why I feel so strongly about the work I do as a psychiatrist, helping people with chronic mood problems. She came in for help with what she described as a “mild but chronic depression.” She had already seen one psychiatrist, and he had not been terribly helpful; …

Compulsions, Addictions and Secrecy

I got an urgent call yesterday from somebody that I’ve been seeing for several years.  His fiancee had just left him.  They had been having problems for several months, problems mostly rooted in his ambivalence about commitment.  She went on his cell phone and found evidence that he had been having flirtatious conversations with seven different woman over the last …

Drug Companies

This blog has mostly not dealt with questions related to medications for treating mood disorders.  When we looked around to see what was out there on the Internet, it seemed to us that there was no dearth of information about medications.  The problem was finding reliable information about non-medication approaches to living with moods. This morning I met with an …

Coming Out Can Help Your Health

We saw this article and thought it probably has a lot to say about the reasons to be direct with others about moods, and how they affect you. It is from Psychiatric News, January 29, 2013. The same reductions in stress hormone levels have been shown in a number of studies about disclosing potentially stigmatizing conditions. For more on the …

Coming Out Bipolar

When and whether to tell people about a mood disorder is a topic of great interest to readers of this blog. Disorderly Chickadee is a very personal, and very well written, blog about living with bipolar. Yesterday’s post was all about coming out about bipolar – in this case it was about telling your boss. We think many of you …

Coming Out

Coming out– One of the topics that has generated the most interest on this site has to do with whether to tell others about the challenges you have to deal with as the result of moods, especially whether to tell people that you have a diagnosis of a mood disorder. I have written a bit about this topic in a …

To Tell or Not – Part 2

In another post, we talked about the question of whether or not to tell friends and family about the challenges of living with mood disorders and, in particular, whether or not to share a diagnosis (such as bipolar). The discussions there about the many misunderstandings and misconceptions about moods and mood disorders that are commonplace in our society is relevant …