Coming Out Proud – Disclosure

Coming Out Proud is the name of a program that was developed Patrick Corrigan to help people with a “mental illness” think through the risks and benefits of disclosure, and come up with a strategy that not only fits their values but avoids some of the many pitfalls of greater honesty about bipolar or depression. The full program takes you …

Depression Is Often Untreated

Depression is often untreated, according to the results from the federal government’s National Health and Nutrition Examination study. The vast majority of Americans with depression didn’t seek help from a mental health professional Only 35% of people with severe depression and 20% of those with moderate depression said they had sought help from a mental health professional, according to the report …

Celebrating World Bipolar Day 2017

  On March 30, 2017 we will be celebrating World Bipolar Day as a platform to provide global education, open dialogue and improved sensitivity about bipolar disorder. Stigma can play a huge role in access to care, and the way an illness can impact our relationships, work and engagement in the world. World Bipolar Day is about battling stigma and …

Where is the Outrage about Suicide?

Imagine a world where a silent epidemic was cutting short the lives of young, otherwise healthy people. Imagine that, that deaths in this epidemic were rapidly increasing, while deaths from cancer, heart disease, HIV, and stroke were decreasing. Now imagine that there was no public outrage, not even any clear recognition in the media of what was happening. And imagine that …

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 efforts to galvanize the mental …

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 …

Depression Screening Recommended

Although it seems like nothing more than common sense, we were very pleased to see that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which is the major organization responsible for guidelines for public health interventions in the United States, added depression screening for adults, in particular for pregnant women and women who recently given birth, to its short list of …

Mental Health Awareness Week

It is Mental Health Awareness Week in the US. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has announced a “Go Green for Mental Health” campaign (although I am still pretty fond of the sliver ribbon campaign to fight stigma). Meanwhile, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has just put out a video called “I’m Here” that makes the point that there …

Parity is What We Want

An overwhelming majority of Americans want parity. A large study found that almost 90% of Americans reported that mental health and non-mental health care were equally important to them in terms of their overall well-being. At the same time nearly a third of those Americans surveyed felt that mental health care was inaccessible and 40% felt that it was something that …

Self Injury is the 8th Leading Cause of Death

An article just published online in the prestigious journal JAMA Psychiatry makes us drawn case that our fascination with trying to come up with clear  answers to questions that may ultimately be impossible to answer (what a person’s intent was when they injured themselves) is obscuring the fact that self-injury is now the eighth leading cause of death in this …

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 …

Mental Health Problems and Physical Health

An incredibly well researched article in the journal JAMA Psychiatry summarized a body of research on the impact of mental health conditions on overall mortality in the world population and concluded that roughly 10% of all mortality was related to mental health problems. As I’ve recently been wrestling with problems helping people get access to treatment I thought it might …

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. Bipolar World. Bipolar Blogs. Julie …

Keith O’Neil Fights Stigma

Keith O’Neil is a former Super Bowl champion and the founder of the Forever Foundation, an organization whose mission is to educate the public about bipolar disorder and to de-stigmatize the illness. In September he spoke at the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (formerly NARSAD) meeting in Washington, DC. From time to time I like to share information about people …

Employment Rights and Bipolar

What are your employment rights if you have bipolar? Do you need to tell your employer? Should you tell your employer? What if you’re looking for a job, when can your potential employer ask you about bipolar? We ran across a nice summary with some very useful links on the Bipolar Network News website. Attorney Katharine Gordon writes – It …

Medical Model

The medical model is something that many people with depression or mood swings feel frustrated about. The whole doctor-patient relationship with its power dynamics can seem exasperating, and at the same time, having an “illness” can seem as though it must be a source of stigma and shame. I’m not going to talk about the topic of the doctor-patient relationship, …

Stigma and Depression

Robin William’s death seemed to unleash a new level of openness to discussing depression and the ways that it affects the lives of so many of us. A Nature editorial (Nature is perhaps the premier scientific journal in the world) got me thinking about next steps… What would it take to eliminate the impact of stigma, and shame, and therefore …

Mind Body Dualism

A wonderful woman who has been meeting with me off and on for a couple of years, and who initially came in to see me for some fairly classic symptoms of bipolar type 2, just sent me a “goodbye” e-mail.  In it, she noted that she has uncovered the strong likelihood that she has Lupus. Lupus is one of those rare medical conditions that …