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.
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.
Hollywood depictions of mental illness usually are far off the mark. In Infinitely Polar Bear, Mark Ruffalo gives a rich, three dimensional, and deeply sympathetic performance as the bipolar father of two young girls.
New details are still emerging about the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps in March of this year. Many are focused on the fact that co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had been diagnosed with a mental illness as being his major risk factor for suicide and mass murder. Mental illness alone is NOT a risk factor for violence or mass murder.
Now that my final grades are turned in and I have found some time to sit at my computer, “if you wouldn’t mind” I wanted to first get caught up on a few overdue Thank You notes. Yes, this short blog is inspired by the always entertaining and witty Thank You Notes ritual Jimmy Fallon does on the Tonight Show every week.
There is one specialized type of knowledge that trumps all of the others during states of mania and depression, knowing how to function while in the state. While all the other types of knowledge are interesting, knowing how to function can literally be the difference between life and death.
Manic-depression left a decisive scar across generations of my family. For each of us who bears that mark, moods have conferred advantage, as well as disability. I don’t mean the energy of hypomania. That’s a fun enough ride, while it lasts. But it’s nothing compared to the unexpected and enriching gifts of depression, like patience, humility, insight, and empathy.
A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.
Yesterday there was a report on NPR about groundbreaking new research on the cerebellum from Harvard Medical School. The latest neuroscience shows that the cerebellum plays an important role in creating fluidity between our thoughts, actions, emotions, and cognitive processes.
Those diagnosed with bipolar disorder may be at the mercy of extreme mood swings, but they are not powerless. Medication, therapy and a healthy lifestyle can help them enjoy full and productive lives, especially when supplemented by the support of those closest to them.