The antidepressant black box warning was issued to reduce suicide in youth but has the antidepressant black box warning actually increased suicides?

In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning (the most serious type of warning) on antidepressants advising of the risk of suicide in children taking antidepressants. In 2006, the FDA expanded this warning to include youth under the age of 24. The goal of these black box warnings was to reduce suicides in these populations. Unfortunately, the antidepressant black box warnings appear to have had unintended consequences. The antidepressant black box warnings appear to have actually increased the rate of suicide. Keep reading »

There are a significant number of people diagnosed with depression who don’t get better because they actually have bipolar disorder and have been misdiagnosed or have a mild form of bipolar. I was one of those people. Luckily for me, it only took about 6-9 months to correct the misdiagnosis but for many people, it takes much, much longer. Many people sit with a misdiagnosis of depression for, literally, years. And what doctors (and patients) should be thinking about is if a patient has been diagnosed with depression but isn’t getting better, does he or she really have mild bipolar disorder? Keep reading »

When working with bipolar, there are definite dos and don’ts. These dos and don’ts can help predict just how successful you can be with bipolar at work because you can work with bipolar but that’s a much easier goal to achieve if you keep certain rules in mind. Keep reading »

Do you know how the United States treats psychosis — a condition that affects millions of Americans? I am not an expert in psychosis, nor have I, personally, experienced psychosis, but one thing I’m pretty sure about is how the United States treats psychosis is all wrong. Keep reading »

Bipolar symptoms can get out of control and sometimes we need to consider safety tips for bipolar. These safety tips can apply during a bipolar mania, hypomania or depression.  When we implement a series of these bipolar safety tips, I call it being on a self-imposed “bipolar lockdown.” Keep reading »

Have you ever heard of mental illness being a cause of death? Cause of death: schizophrenia or cause of death: bipolar or cause of death: anorexia? No? Me neither. That’s in spite of the fact that for some mental illnesses, like depression and bipolar, suicide attempts are an actual symptom of the illness. In other words, if a person dies by suicide and they’re bipolar, really, the cause of death is bipolar. So why don’t we popularly recognize mental illness as a cause of death? Keep reading »

In multiple studies, exercise has been shown to improve unipolar depression, but can exercise really help bipolar depression? Some doctors think so but this is mostly because they are generalizing the data from that on unipolar depression. Evidence for the usefulness of exercise in bipolar depression is scant. Keep reading »

Have you ever considered that sometimes what looks like bipolar anger is really bipolar passion? I am a person with bipolar and I am a person who is intense and passionate (Bipolar and Displays of Emotion). In fact, it is my opinion that people with bipolar are frequently passionate people. We feel things more strongly than others so this makes sense. I don’t mean romantically (although, perhaps, there too), I just mean passionate about ideas, creations, art and so on. But, in my experience, this bipolar passion can be interpreted by others as bipolar anger. Keep reading »

Let’s face it, side effects happen to almost everyone who takes medication for bipolar disorder. Bipolar medication side effects can range from annoying, to painful, to downright intolerable. But how does one deal with bipolar medication side effects? Keep reading »

Sometimes “crying out” the pain of an emotional situation works. I just did it with a friend. She, lovingly, sat across from me as I cried about a situation that I find hard. And it worked. I did, actually, feel better after crying out my emotions. But once, a therapist told me to “cry out” my bipolar depression. Instead of fighting the depression and pushing away the feelings, he told me my bipolar depression should be cried out. Keep reading »