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 »

People judge others. It’s just what we do. It’s basic human psychology. We judge them as beautiful or not. We judge them as happy or not. And fairly frequently, we judge them as being successful or not.

And this goes for people with bipolar disorder too. Often people look at the lives of others with bipolar disorder and determine whether they are “well” or “sick” and how successful that person with bipolar disorder really is.

There’s just one problem with this: looking at a person with bipolar from the outside only tells half the story (if that). Keep reading »

I eat too much ice cream. I admit it. Häagen-Dazs and I have far too close a relationship.

And the fact that this close relationship exists indicates that I’m losing a battle with my bipolar brain. Keep reading »

If you haven’t heard the tragic news, I’m very sorry to tell you that Robin Williams died by apparent suicide, Monday, August 11, 2014. He was 63 years old. Williams suffered from substance abuse issues and likely bipolar disorder (his depression was confirmed recently by his publicist, bipolar not as much).

In other words, we lost one of us. We lost one of the bipolar/depression community at large. And the stark reality of losing a person with a mental illness who is so incredibly brilliant, talented and outwardly happy can easily bring about feelings of depression, anxiety and even our own thoughts of suicide. All of us, myself included, need to react to this tragically genuinely, but without allowing it to make our own mental health or depression worse. Keep reading »

I’ve been writing about bipolar disorder for 11 years and I’ve been a professional in the field of mental illness for about four. In other words, I’ve been thinking about bipolar disorder, a lot, for a very long time.

And I’m not the only one. Whether you happen to write about bipolar or just suffer from it, bipolar can easily inhabit your life 24/7. There’s the bipolar routine, medications, sleep cycle worries and many, many other things that, when dealing with bipolar, creep into your daily life.

But sometimes it’s really important to forget about bipolar disorder for a while. Keep reading »

In a traditional model of bipolar disorder, a mood episode (depression/mania/hypomania) lasts (untreated) for a prolonged period of time. Typically, an episode will last from weeks to months. In a traditional model, people with untreated bipolar disorder only experience three or fewer mood episodes per year.

To many people that actually sounds like a great blessing because, for many people, mood changes come far more rapidly. People who experience more than three mood episodes per year have what’s known as rapid cycling bipolar disorder. People who have moods that only last days have ultra-rapid cycling bipolar disorder.

And people whose bipolar moods last less than that? That’s known as ultradian cycling bipolar disorder. Keep reading »

I have commented in my writings that, sometimes, I use dissociation as a coping technique. Now, I’m not saying this is the best thing to do nor am I suggesting that it’s professional-recommended, I’m just saying it’s what I do to get through the day at times.

So, people have asked me, what is dissociation? Does dissociation help or hurt someone with bipolar disorder? Keep reading »