Bipolar Advantage

Being bipolar without disorder.

Better Awareness of Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Increased awareness results in deeper understanding, better functionality, more comfort for all involved, and recognition of value in what was once seen only as a disorder. Read More

Thank you Tom, The idea of

Thank you Tom,

The idea of asking the questions that need to be asked in order to better understand ourselves whether bipolar or not is very interesting. Can you give examples of the kind of questions that you ask.

Assessment Protocol

I wish there was a simple answer to your question. Unfortunately, what passes for assessments in the mainstream are a joke. A short list of questions serve very little purpose other than to have insurance pay for treatment.

Our assessment program takes 14 hours for someone to complete. We also have them spend three hours going over their answers with a trained expert. We train and certify licensed therapists both in-person and online. Our courses are certified for Continuing Education Units by the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE#4050)

We also allow individuals and families to take the course in a self-paced online program, but encourage them to work with a trained professional. Many family members who take our course say that it applies to people without mental conditions just as much, but our focus is on depression and bipolar.

Insight IS Key For Transforming Mental Illness Into A Blessing

Hello Friends,

I could say many things on this topic as I am embarking on a new cycle of my journey to help people re-imagine and re-create how the world perceives mental illness and mental wellness and more importantly how those of us with these experiences perceive our selves. A major component of this reformation is introducing integral methods towards leading lives beyond hope and surviving into inspiration and thriving!

Insight into my own experience through hard work and meditation (self inquiry school) has all ways proven to be the foundation of this transformation. I fully support this article's point of view for more/deeper/better awareness in every regard. I truly hope to someday work with Bipolar advantage in my unique way to share my experiences, observations and insights and serve my brothers and sisters as I wish someone would have done for me.

Thank You Bipolar Advantage for being a light and being the change and revolution that is inevitable.

Blessings,
Bret

Questions I ask...and answer...

1. Is the world ready to understand and accept that bipolar is not an illness, disease or disorder?

2. What would happen if we labeled and categorized bipolar as a consistent state of extreme states of being?

3. How do we serve people that are experiencing these extreme states of being?

4. Why should we transform our beliefs and forego the illness models and create a model based on my belief that bipolar is better suited to being recognized as a consistent state of extreme states of being?

We change the names to change the game!

Transforming mental illness into a blessing

Bret,

I saw your comment and followed up by reading your website (conveniently linked within) with great interest. When you "ask" if 'the world is ready to understand and accept that bipolar is not an illness, disease or disorder,' I'm horrified. It is a disease and an illness. Your platitudes such as "we change the names to change the game!" are red flags to me. I recently had my Bipolar II diagnosis confirmed (I've been in treatment for what I assumed was "just" Major Depressive Disorder-Moderate for more than 14 years) in the midst of being let go from a project because my client said I made their CEO uncomfortable and didn't trust to have me interact with his employees. I was shocked at first because things had been going so well. I was getting massive amounts of work done with high praise, and dug in to meet increasing work hours of up to 80 a week.

While I thought things were going so well CONSISTENTLY, I was actually entering a mixed and hypomanic state, completely unaware of the negativity. Then I dropped in energy to a depressive state, still not understanding my job was in jeopardy. I'm in a creative corporate consultative field and this lack of awareness until well after the fact has occurred several times in the past and I'm just now connecting the dots between these episodes and my illness. Not surprisingly, coming to terms with this and accepting that I may not be able to maintain the lifestyle, income and professional achievements I've "rolled with" is difficult and devastating.

I won't go on and on here, but wanted to let you know that we are unaware when in a mixed or manic state that we can actually be making people "creeped out." Calling it a blessing is minimizing a very difficult disease and I see that you are making a living out of this. Shame on you.

The Beginning of the Rest of my Life

Hello, Tom.
I remember thinking "Wow, this is the beginning of the rest of my life!" when I read your books. A paradigm-shift in me started to emerge. I've been treatment-resistant for 8-9 years, but my goal had never been 'zero symptoms', it was always to live through it to my best potential. I had found nothing that represented that belief. Your work and courses have given me the insights and direction I needed to embrace my bipolar condition, and to figure out what is happening to me. I'm an ultradian rapid cycler, and although it's harder at times to answer Bipolar In Order exercises, it has made such a positive difference in my mindset and attitude. Thank you for another great article!

Thank you Meritere, I would

Thank you Meritere,
I would love to hear about your progress and struggles. Ultra rapid cycling makes it much more difficult and slows down the progress, but as you are finding out you can still make progress in your own pace. I would love to hear more details and you can contact me directly through Psychology Today if you do not have my direct contact info.

Thanks

I really appreciate that! I'll send you a message.

trying to remain well

Hi Tom,
Over the last 11 years, I've gone from psychosis to depression to being diagnosed with bipolar to having experiencing them all again in one episode and hearing voices, and hallucinating, on top of it all.
Psychosis got me in a phase where I needed to watch myself as my thoughts got the better of me. It caused me to double and triple check reality again and again to make sure I wont fool myself and be ridiculed by others around me as during my episodes I would get very prayerful and gather people around me to pray with me. It's not normal but I felt I needed to.
Depression got me so deep into holes never thought would get out of. Eventually do end up out of the holes and when I am, the relief feels so good where as the first time it seemed such a long time before I felt any relief. I was depressed for months until I joined cultural performance group and did sports.
I've recently experienced episodes to the point where my head literally felt like something was going to happen to it under pressure I was feeling. The only relief I had was with my faith as my only source of remedy and comfort.
I am Catholic and have received so much consolation through the faith and a lot of prayer I cannot imagine being well without.
Over the last two years I have been having intense episodes that have got me into awkward realities that I still question weather they were real. Once where I have literally heard people rush up behind me loading guns pointed at me whilst in church praying, I live in nz and stuff like that just doesn't happen.
I have heard my own voice checking up on me whilst in hospital and hearing my own voice at the same time saying multiple requiems one after the other. To me all these experiences are new to me but probably a common occurrence to people like you.
I have not spoken to a doctor about them as I have had enough being parked into the category of bipolar. Just as well though because it has spurred me to figure what I need to do to keep me well by being sensitive to my bodies responses be it mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. These sensitivities have made me more aware of how I operate as a person but have recently been challenged with these recent episodes.
I am now at the stage where I need the best of my recovery strategies operating at all times where for me they have been, prayer, exercise and enough sleep. I am currently lacking in one - exercise; where I am getting slumped into feeling low. I double up on prayer to get me even and back into feeling myself again. When I talk about feeling myself, I have come from a place where I didn't even feel comfortable with aunties, uncles and cousins being around me; now that I have grown, I don't mind who I am around. Tho now, when I am feeling low, I need more time alone to get me feeling where I need to be and functioning better. For me it is rest and proper prayer time that gets me back to where I need to be.
Tho recently being challenged with these recent experiences I am feeling more lows than normal. I am aware of how I feel and I know it will all get better but now it's a matter of when I will be getting better. For example, this morning I was feeling quite low and with the rate I have been feeling this week I thought I would be feeling low still this evening but early this afternoon I felt my mood clear. Over the weeks I have been assessing what has been getting me feeling better and what has been getting me feeling low. I don't know what gets me low but I think I am getting closer to the answer of what I can do get me feeling better. I just hope it is the sustainable answer to get me through another good year maybe a couple with no worries.
I have been diagnosed with bipolar since 2005 I probably would be labeled as schizophrenic if I got a doctor to assess me. I have recently been discharged from hospital after a recent episode and am now working with an occupational therapist. I have asked her to watch your recent video upload as the questions you have set strike the iron while its hot especially with what I know too is directly relevant and progressing with bipolar and depression to remain well in order.

Hi Noel, I am glad that my

Hi Noel,
I am glad that my writings have inspired you. It sounds like you have been making the effort to improve and have found it to be paying off. Working with a therapist is great and I am glad to hear you are doing that.

You mentioned my videos and wanting to share them with your therapist. Might I suggest the one at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4mTW-3mpMM as the best place to start?

Self-awareness and BP

Increasing self-awareness of one's mood state, ability to function, and level of "comfort" is an important goal. Developing more sensitive assessment tools, as Bipolar Advantage strives to do, is of potential benefit to those dealing with mood instability and its challenges.

Ronald Pies MD

bipolar and hep c

All of my teen years I was a risk taker, not a mean kid but refused to go to school, and could not wake up if my life depended on it. M poor parents adopted me at birth and they had no idea what to do with me, after many doctors even one who saw me telling them i had been doing drugs I was asleep (sleep walking) I awoke hearing him tell my parents this I had never seen drugs I was 11 years old my mother though i was a horrible child after that, and soon i became one. That doctor ruined my life and relationship with my mother and me she believed him of course. They began taking me to psychologist who said there was nothing wrong with me.
My 3rd husband had hep c I was very careful with razors or anything to do with blood. I never got it I left him in 2000 and my last test in 2001 was negative I meet someone who I was with for almost 5 years claiming he was clean and he gave it to me. I hit a low he said I was a hypochondriac I was in bed for 2 months crying uncontrollably I also hit menopause at that time. Well 9 years later after flipping out running and I finally found a doctor who knew what was wrong with me I felt relieved to know I was not crazy but overwhelmed when the meds I take affected my liver I had been on lamictal and vyvance but now just the vyvance it’s the only thing that gets me out of bed and I went to the doctor because I failed anatomy 3 times and wondered if I had adhd which I do but the bipolar is what keeps me down. I have gambled been married 3 times and threw anything I ever had away. I lost it all we ended up in another state homeless and I had owned a 450k home it was paid for. I am now 53 with no one in a town I barely know anyone I am miserable and wonder where I am headed?? I can’t take meds for hep c because of bipolar and vise versa so I am in limbo there are no support groups here in the area which I really need. I think bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain it causes a wide variety of symptoms in people. Not just behavioral problems I have seen it in my children too down to food allergies I mean its amazing what it controls. With so many strides that science has made I hope they can understand what causes bipolar and how it can be better controlled.

I'm curious about the

I'm curious about the questioans that can be asked that can lead to better treatment.

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Tom Wootton founded Bipolar Advantage with the mission to help people with mental conditions shift their thinking and behavior so that they can lead extraordinary lives.

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