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

Lubitz Likely Practiced Mass Murder by Airplane

By Kathryn Seifert on May 18, 2015 in Stop The Cycle
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.

I Have To Leave My Kids:Help

What To Do When You Feel Trapped At Home

Thank You Notes

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.

An Opportunity to Think Upstream

By Paul Gionfriddo on May 09, 2015 in Finding Tim
B4Stage4 changes the equation for people with mental illnesses. It gets us focused on what we can do early, before a crisis occurs, to change trajectories of lives.

Bipolar Disorder and Failure to Launch Syndrome

How does bipolar disorder present as failure to launch syndrome in a young adult? Read on...

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 Will Boost Your 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.

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.