Living Well

Bipolar disorder can wreak havoc on a person's goals and relationships.  But in conjunction with proper medical care, sufferers of bipolar disorder can learn coping skills and strategies in order to keep their lives on track.

Recent Posts on Bipolar Disorder

The Most Important Thing To Know During Bipolar Episodes

By Tom Wootton on April 23, 2015 in Bipolar Advantage
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.

4 Lifestyle Changes That Boost Mental Health

When we seek help for a mental health condition, we can expect to hear about various medications and treatment options, but what’s often missing from the conversation is any talk of lifestyle changes.

10 Tips to Change From Reactive to Proactive in Situations

All of us encounter experiences in life when we may be temporally overwhelmed by a negative emotion, be it anger, pressure, nervousness, despair, or confusion. In these situations, how we choose to “master the moment” can make the difference between proactive versus reactive, and confidence versus insecurity. Here are ten ways to be less reactive in difficult situations...

Faulty Reporting on ADHD

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on April 11, 2015 in Side Effects
Newspaper of record criticized for its tardy response to overmedicalization.

The Gifts of Depression

By Tom Wootton on April 07, 2015 in Bipolar Advantage
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.

8 Signs You're in a Relationship with a Sexual Narcissist

Sexual narcissism can be defined as a grandiose sense of one’s sexual prowess which, in the mind of the sexual narcissist, entitles him or her to engage in acts of emotional and physical manipulation at the partner’s expense. How do you know when your partner may be a sexual narcissist? Here are eight telltale signs...

How Young Is Too Young?

Do you remember feeling pressure as a child to do better at school, fit in socially, or behave more appropriately? Making the right decision was not always as easy as adults and cheerful children's books sometimes painted it. Luckily, stumbling slow motion through a decade or so of dysfunctional days (aka natural childhood development) was an expected and accepted part...

Advocacy or Privacy?

By Liza Long on March 30, 2015 in The Accidental Advocate
Is it oversharing to talk about your child's mental illness? What if your child has cancer?

One Pilot’s Suicide Prompts a Call for Common Sense

By Julie K Hersh on March 29, 2015 in Struck By Living
The Germanwings crash causes a new look at regulations for pilots. Do current FAA regulations cause pilots to hide depression and bipolar disease, resulting in more severe illness?

Changing the ‘No Casserole’ Response to Mental Illness

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.

Recovering From Seasonal Shifts in Mood in Bipolar Disorder

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on March 26, 2015 in Take Control
For people who have bipolar disorder, seasonal changes in mood can disrupt your health and well being. You can learn to recognize and address these seasonal shifts before they cause harm. We examine the effects of these shifts on motivation, thinking and identity. Early recognition can help you gain better control of bipolar spectrum disorder.

The Cerebellum Deeply Influences Our Thoughts and Emotions

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.

4 Ways To Be A More Authentic Person

People are attracted to authenticity. Here are four techniques that help you be your most authentic self, even in uncomfortable situations.

Who Am I? The Effects of Bipolar Disorder on Identity

By Elizabeth Brondolo Ph.D. on March 09, 2015 in Take Control
Do you often feel like you don't know who you are? Do your attitudes towards life and work change without much warning? Are your friends and family puzzled by these changes in your opinions and your motivation? Learn more about the ways bipolar spectrum disorder can affect your identity.

Empire: A New Model for Bipolar Disorder on TV

By Ruth C. White Ph.D. on February 23, 2015 in Culture in Mind
Empire is a new hit TV show on the Fox Network that not only breaks ground as a black family drama based in hip-hop culture, but it shows a rare character with bipolar disorder who is not falling apart at the seams. Andre, the eldest son of a family music dynasty, has a degree from an elite school and (so far) successfully runs the family's multi-faceted business empire.

Confusing How and Why Is Prolonging The Suffering in Bipolar

By Tom Wootton on February 23, 2015 in Bipolar Advantage
If you want to end all suffering you need to understand the difference between why and how. The reason so many people are still suffering is because this difference has not been made clear enough.

The Diagnostic Swamp of Childhood Bipolar Disorder NOS

Just published in one of the world’s leading psychiatric journals is a study documenting the dramatic change in bipolar disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) diagnosed in children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years from 1999 to 2010.

Welcoming the Mentally Ill Back into Our Community

By Allen J Frances M.D. on February 02, 2015 in DSM5 in Distress
It has been my life’s passion to help the victims of mental illness discover that they can again be loveable, loving, purposeful people with the ability no longer to be overwhelmed by their illness.

Bring Back the Asylum?

By Rachel Pruchno Ph.D. on January 30, 2015 in All in the Family
The Penn scholars may as well have encouraged us to build more “Funny Farms” or “Loony Bins.” These bioethicists should recognize the harm in their cavalier choice of words. Couldn’t they have chosen a less provocative term?

Cognitive Deficit in Bipolar Disorder

By Russ Federman Ph.D., A.B.P.P. on December 20, 2014 in Bipolar You
An exploration of the role of cognitive deficit symptoms for those living with bipolar disorder

How Mad was Hitler?

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on December 20, 2014 in Evil Deeds
What do we really know about Hitler's personality? Today, in a troubled world of political and religious leaders like the late Osama bin Laden, messianic ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and enigmatic North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, it is more important than ever to understand the underlying psychology of such dangerous individuals.

A Rose in December

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 16, 2014 in How To Do Life
A Christmas story that happened today.

Sandy Hook Shooting Report Missed One Critical Issue

By Rachel Pruchno Ph.D. on December 11, 2014 in All in the Family
Using hindsight to identify inadequacies in the family’s and educational system’s responses to young Lanza, the report calls for better training and workforce development, increased family support, bolstered education, and more comprehensive services. But the report fails in one significant respect.

Choosing Mania or Depression Without Disorder

By Tom Wootton on November 21, 2014 in Bipolar Advantage
Do you have bipolar disorder or know somebody who does? What would change if you could learn how to turn depression and mania on and off whenever you wanted to? The entire way we look at bipolar disorder would change in profound ways. Some are beyond most people’s imagination, but a simple illustration will help you to see why some of us say bipolar is an advantage.

The Case Against Family Secrets

Every family has at least one secret, and some have many more than that. As difficult as it may be to do so, reaching out for help when your family’s secret involves mental illness may be the one best way to cope.

Winston Churchill’s Brilliant But Troubled Son, Randolph

By Thomas Maier on October 30, 2014 in Uncovering Great Minds
Churchill's son Randolph was viewed as a future leader of Great Britain, just like his father. However, this brilliant but self-destructive young man appears to have suffered from a bi-polar disorder, with psychological behavior that Winston was ill equipped to understand or do anything about it.

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By Tom Wootton on October 29, 2014 in Bipolar Advantage
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The Making of a Lone Wolf Terrorist

By Liah Greenfeld Ph.D. on October 26, 2014 in The Modern Mind
Why insanity defense may be appropriate for school shooters but not appropriate for home-grown jihadis

Treatment Resistant Depression and Borderline Personality

A debate between two academics about whether personality disorders or hidden "bipolarity" is the major cause of depression that responds poorly to antidepressants is dissected in this post. Many doctors seem to accept the absurd assumption that everyone who is moody must have an underlying manic depressive illness. They also seem to think that all depression is the same.