For many people with bipolar disorder, there comes a point where they look at their lives and realize: their lives are so messed up. Often employment, family, friends, hobbies, financial welfare and many other things have been harmed by an uncontrolled mental illness. I often hear from people in times like these and they want to throw up their hands and just give up. I can understand this. Sometimes a mess seems so big that we will never clean it up. But I’m here to tell you that no matter how messy your life may be, you can make it better. Keep reading »

People with bipolar display emotion perhaps more than most. For example, there are few places in this small city in which I haven’t cried. And some of those displays of emotion are entirely linked to bipolar disorder. If I wasn’t bipolar, I wouldn’t have had them. However, some displays of emotion are not tied to bipolar at all, and yet, no one seems to understand this. Keep reading »

I have this thing, and I don’t know if it’s the bipolar, specifically, but I get wired and tired at the same time and it sure feels bipolar-y to me. Keep reading »

About a month ago the news was awash with headlines like: This Blood Test Can Predict Suicide Risk, Scientists Say (thank you, Time.com) suggesting that, well, there was now a blood test to find out if you’re at risk for suicide.

When I heard this I thought it was so outrageous that I dismissed it out of hand. But the major news organizations reported headlines like this and people, amazingly, bought into it.

Now, I’m not saying there wasn’t a kernel of truth there, there was, but suggesting there’s a blood test for suicide is like saying there’s a blood test for people who can’t parallel park. Keep reading »

Stress and bipolar don’t mix. In fact, stress and illness, in general, don’t mix. It pretty much doesn’t matter why you’re sick, it’s well known that your illness can get worse when you’re put under stress.

What does this mean for bipolar? Well, when I’m stressed I have experienced greater symptoms of hypomania and/or greater symptoms of depression depending on the type of stress. Keep reading »

If there’s one thing that affects my bipolar moods above all else it is sleep. I consider getting the right amount of sleep to be critical in maintaining or achieving wellness. It’s also critical that this sleep happen at exactly the same time every night.

In short, being a control freak about sleep is a good thing. Keep reading »

A while back, I wrote a post on making unimportant decisions when you have bipolar disorder. I was talking about things like deciding on what socks to wear or what to eat for dinner because even those types of decisions can baffle people with bipolar and cause great anxiety. But what about when you have to make the big decisions? How can you make life choices when you have bipolar disorder? Keep reading »

Yesterday I talked about how to predict who is at risk for a suicide/suicide attempt. Today I want to talk about how to use that information to prevent suicide and what to do if you see the signs of someone experiencing suicidal thoughts. Keep reading »

In the United States, one person every 13.3 minutes dies of suicide. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people (15-24). More people are killed by suicide than by homicide and yet it’s never suicide that people fear.

Some people say that no matter what we do, there will always be suicide so efforts to stem the tide of deaths are pretty much useless.

I say that’s poppycock.

I say we should aim for zero suicides. I believe that not one more life should be lost.

And suicidologists (yes, that’s a thing) would agree with me. September 10th is International World Suicide Prevention Day. Here’s what you need to know about predicting and preventing suicides. Keep reading »

Living with bipolar disorder has its ups and downs. Okay, I guess that goes without saying, but in this case, I’m not talking about hypo/manias and depressions, I’m just talking about good days and bad days. Everyone has them, although, for people with bipolar disorder they are more exaggerated.

Likely, if you’re in treatment, your down days are lessened, but I think for everyone they still occur. But what happens when you seem to just have downs? Keep reading »