The Most Important Thing To Know During Bipolar Episodes

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.

The Gifts of Depression

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.

Confusing How and Why Is Prolonging The Suffering in Bipolar

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.

Choosing Mania or Depression Without Disorder

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.

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The Worst Myth of Mental Illness

The diagnosis of mental illness is the most dangerous time for many of us. Overwhelmed by fear, confusion and the numbing effect of over-medication, we are vulnerable to messages that can have long-term negative consequences. It was during my first months after diagnosis that I fell victim to the messages that perpetuate the myth that we cannot change our condition.

What if the Central Premise of Bipolar Disorder Is Wrong?

Always appending disorder to the word bipolar is akin to always appending accident to the end of automobile. In other words, saying “bipolar disorder” is the same as saying “car accident” every time you mention a car.

Robin Williams' Depression and Suicide

Robin Williams killed himself yesterday. I tried to kill myself August 8th of 2005 so I know perhaps a little bit about how he felt. My best friend Santiago killed himself in November 2005 so I also know what it feels like for those who are left behind to sort it out.

X-Men: Days of Future Past Explores Bipolar Disorder

“It’s not their pain you are afraid of. It’s yours Charles. And as frightening as it may be, their pain will make you stronger. If you allow yourself to feel it. Embrace it. It will make you more powerful that you ever imagined. It’s the greatest gift we have - to bear their pain without breaking. It’s born from the most human power - Hope."

We Are the X-Men

Stan Lee has often said: "With great power comes great responsibility." It is our greatest responsibility to keep our powers under control while learning to harness them for good.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Why our problems keep following us everywhere we go.

Better Bipolar Treatment From A Simple Eye Exam

A few years ago I discovered a major breakthrough that has completely changed my life. It has brought my life into focus in many ways. I share it with you in hope that it will help you to see better too.

Movies to See While Depressed

We all mentioned that the mainstream belief is that we would be triggered into uncontrolled depression if we saw anything sad; so, we should be watching comedies to help us get out of the depression. We concluded that we prefer sad movies because it helps us to explore the richness of the experience and become more clear about it; comedies seem inappropriate for the state.

Feelings vs. Reactions

One of the main stumbling blocks to getting Bipolar In Order is the belief that we have no choice in how we react. When presented with the fact that we do, I always hear “what about the times when it is too intense?” or “what about when I go to bed happy and wake up depressed?” “Surely we have no control then." We always have control when we learn how.

Bipolar People Get Angry Too

Bipolar people who have their condition in order have learned important lessons that can be applied to most of our experiences. For example, since we understand bipolar so well that we can function highly during depression and mania, we can also handle more intense states of anger without losing control.

It Gets Better: Ending The Stigma Of Bipolar Mental Illness

When the APA finally changed their stance about homosexuality, the argument was the same one I make about bipolar: “Clearly homosexuality, per se, does not meet the requirements for a psychiatric disorder since, as noted above, many homosexuals are quite satisfied with their sexual orientation and demonstrate no generalized impairment in effectiveness or functioning.”

Are You Fighting Stigma Or Causing It?

Individuals and organizations throughout the world are dedicated to the important work of removing the stigma that affects people with depression and bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, too many of them are replacing one type of stigma with another type that is making the situation worse.

Mindfulness Does Not Lead To Happiness

Mindfulness does not lead to happiness. It sometimes leads to greater experience of the very real pains we all have: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. What mindfulness does lead to, though, is bliss. But in order to feel it you have to know the difference between happiness and bliss.

Bipolar Children of Undiagnosed Parents

We get a lot of calls from parents who are looking for help with their bipolar children. We make great progress within the first few visits, but too often run into an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. While the bipolar issues are certainly part of the problem, the family dynamics are a bigger issue.

Is Bi-Cycling Delusion Keeping Your Bipolar In Disorder?

We all know about delusions that come with intense states of depression and mania, but it is the delusion that comes with remission that holds many back the most. It fools them into thinking they have bipolar under control when in reality they are just in one of the cycles. They seek help when least capable of using it and refuse help when they could benefit the most.

Advantages in Bipolar: No Longer If, But Why and How

I attended a great presentation at the APA annual conference in San Francisco: Achievement, Innovation, and Leadership in the Affective Spectrum. Four distinguished panelists gave presentations about their research into why people with bipolar disorder tend to exhibit advantages in some parts of their lives. It was the first time ever that the APA had such a discussion.

The Eight Essential Steps to Freedom From Bipolar Disorder

This video is from the keynote presentation at the annual conference for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. It describes the eight essential steps to better outcomes for those suffering from depression or bipolar disorder, but the concepts apply to many other conditions.

Burning the Bible

It is great news that the NIMH has decided to challenge the DSM. I hope that in rethinking "mental illness" they do not make the same mistakes in confusing what the "disorder" is.

Why I Am Against Remission For Depression and Bipolar

The context of bipolarity associates the illness with the state, but the inverse is not true. Being bipolar does not mean that one is ill unless the state includes the "symptoms" of suffering or incapacitation. Getting rid of all of the "traits" and not just the "symptoms" of disorder leaves the person unprepared to face the next episode.

Accounting For Time In Depression and Bipolar Disorder

When I look at how they account for time in the DSM-V, I wonder if they know anything about bipolar. By the way they define it, you can have a very low intensity depression for 15 days and it's called depression, yet an intense depression for 14 days doesn't count. This makes no sense at all, yet is the only accounting for time they provide.

Finding Value in Depression and Mania

It gets really interesting when we look at the relationship between how much people value the experiences and how well they understand and function during them. Those who value the experiences and search for meaning in them function far better than those who only seek to make the experiences go away.

Taking Measurement of Bipolar Comfort

In any aspect of life, those who only seek comfort are consigned to mediocrity and boredom. Those who judiciously step outside their comfort zone and challenge themselves are the ones who learn and grow. This is equally as true with mania and depression.

Measuring Functionality In Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Many bipolar people say they are "high-functioning," but most of them mean they function OK when in remission and cannot function when things get too intense. How well one functions during depression or mania defines the difference between Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar IN Order.

Understanding Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Functionality-based understanding is the key to getting Bipolar IN Order.

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.