Bipolar Disorder and Society

Bipolar disorder, like many mental illnesses, is sometimes a controversial diagnosis. While most sufferers consider the disorder to be a hardship, some appreciate its role in their lives, and others even link it to greater creative output.

Recent Posts on Bipolar Disorder

How Depression Prepared Me For A Death In The Family

By Tom Wootton on November 17, 2015 Bipolar Advantage
If I did not understand how to function during depression or, worse yet, still clung to the notion that it is not possible, I would have been a burden to my family instead of an asset. Most people fear they will break down and become a burden on those around them or that their bipolar loved ones will break down and add to the already difficult situation.

Creativity and Psychiatric Illnesses

Small effects of many genes may increase the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Some of these same genes may also contribute to creativity. Increased creativity may be helpful in terms of human evolution.

A Mother’s Nightmare

Read about H.R. 2646 a bill working through its way through Congress, introduced by Tim Murphy, Ph.D., the only psychologist in Congress, that aims to provide real solutions for America’s broken mental health system.

The You Can Recover Project

The You Can Recover Project’s mission is to give HOPE to people struggling with mental health issues around the world, and inspire them with personal insights on how to recover and rebuild a healthy, meaningful, productive life.

What Clifford Beers Wanted

Jared Loughner wouldn’t have shot and severely injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. James Holmes wouldn’t have walked into an Aurora movie theater, killing 12 and wounding 70. Adam Lanza wouldn’t have murdered 20 first graders at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I Am A Narcissist. That's A Good Thing.

By Tom Wootton on October 13, 2015 Bipolar Advantage
Chock full of eminently practical advice on how to cope with the dangers of narcissism, in ourselves and others, Rethinking Narcissism brings much needed compassion and clarity to one of the most vexing problems in mental health without ever resorting to false hopes or naivete. In that way, the book itself is special. I consider it a ‘must read’ for everyone.

No Longer at the Mercy of Our Moods

By Tom Wootton on October 08, 2015 Bipolar Advantage
As a culture, we are learning to separate thought from action and stimulus from response. This makes it less likely, less acceptable, and less necessary that any of us be at "the mercy of our moods."

Medications and Weight Gain: We Need Support

Have you gained weight from taking medications for bipolar disorder? Are you getting support or feeling stigmatized?

One Potential Cause of Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a serious disorder that can be treated effectively. A recent study demonstrates that about 4% of persons with postpartum psychosis may have an illness known as autoimmune encephalitis.

Jonny Hawkins Explains Why Mental Illness is a Family Affair

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on October 07, 2015 Brick by Brick
Johnny Hawkins of the band Nothing More shares his family's story of mental illness and how he is working to raise awareness for mental health.

Can Your Birthday Predict Your Mental Health?

Despite debunking the myth of astrology, however, scientists have found that a person’s projected health can be linked to his or her birthday. The month in which people are born can influence their future, from their longevity to their future profession.

The Marketing of an Antipsychotic

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on October 05, 2015 Side Effects
Ghostwriters, massaged data, tiny print, and children’s toys—all part of Big Pharma's arsenal of "defeat devices," outlined in Steven Brill's book, America's Most Admired Lawbreaker.

5 Reasons Suffering People Don’t Want to Try Medication

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on October 04, 2015 Full Living
While it is true that we live in a world that too quickly turns to medication, it doesn't mean people with anxiety and depressive disorders should go without. This may be our one and only life; it is worth removing barriers to our contentment.

Not Going with the Bipolar Flow

Discussion of the challenges inherent in having to acquire self-observing capacities for the late adolescent/young adult with bipolar disorder..

The Pope Would Like H.R. 2646

Whether Pope Francis’ visit is a pastoral one or a political one, his messages of inclusiveness and humanity must be heeded. It’s long past time to demand that our federal legislators pay attention to the needs of citizens with serious mental illness.

What Makes Someone a Master Manipulator?

Among those afflicted with certain personality disorders, there are many who are master manipulators. Do personality disorders cause people to develop into master manipulators? The connection may not be as you expect.

Jill Janus’ New Beginning

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on September 17, 2015 Brick by Brick
Jill Janus, lead singer of Huntress, shares her battle with mental illness and recovery.

The Many Names of Bipolar Disorder

By Neel Burton M.D. on September 16, 2015 Hide and Seek
A short history of bipolar disorder.

Family Reality and Bipolar Research: Today There Is Hope

By Rita Watson MPH on September 13, 2015 With Love and Gratitude
Although there is some hopeful news on bipolar disorder, author G. D. Spilsbury shows how family became the bridge between research and reality.

On World Suicide Prevention Day - Can Your Words Kill You?

One study focusing on eminent people from the 20th Century found a suicide rate of 5%, hundreds of times higher than the suicide rate in the UK's general population.

Mental Health Care Reform Requires Families to Speak Up

Now, after decades without meaningful reform, Congress is paying attention. Several bills that can improve care for people with mental illness have been introduced.

Bipolar Disorder Makes For Up-and-Down Friendships

Dealing with the confusion of not knowing how to help a friend with bipolar disorder.

Longing for Mania

Why do patients with bipolar depression so often go off their meds?

A Mother Battles Suicide

In the midst of a suicidal depression, a psychologist is coaxed back to life in a way she never imagined.

Mood Disorders and Creativity

There is an enduring belief that creativity in the arts is associated with psychological disturbance and even “madness”

Why Governor Abbott was Wrong

Texas law is particularly important to me, as Texas has been home to my adopted daughter since 2011.

Mental Illness and Families: Realigning Laws & Science

As the mother of a 22-year old daughter diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, I have to scratch my head. With an 11-year old son who tried to commit suicide and later, as a teenager, reported hearing voices urging him to kill, Arlene and Robert had to have known James was ill and needed treatment.

Creativity and Intelligence Leading to Psychosis and Autism

Creativity and intelligence, though related, are opposites on a continuum. The same type of dichotomy exists between psychosis and autism and the underlying processes are surmised to be similar.

The Criminal's Highs and Lows: Not a "Mood Disorder"

Do not confuse thinking errors with an "Axis 1" mental illness

Difficult Choices Following Bipolar Destabilization

Medical withdrawal from enrollment can be a painful but necessary choice sometimes encountered by university students with bipolar disorder. This blog post discuses the importance of carefully managing ones recovery during the time away from school in order to maximize chances of success upon return to the university environment.