bpHope Blog: Dedicated to Living Well with Bipolar Disorder

Our award-winning bpHope Blog is a collection of posts written with heartfelt honesty by a group of bloggers from around the world, each providing their own unique perspectives on living with bipolar disorder. Our bloggers write on issues that reflect their experiences and knowledge of living with bipolar disorder and address a range of topics including: relationships, treatment, symptoms (mania, depression, anger, hypersexuality, impulsivity, sleep), stigma, parenting and more. Our diverse and eclectic group of authors offer information, inspiration, practical guidance – and HOPE, no matter what your needs are. Whether you have bipolar disorder or have a loved one who does, the bpHope Blog is a trusted community for you to connect with.

Blogs and Articles

4 Strategies for Managing Bipolar Anger and Irritability

Andrea Paquette
April 9, 2019

Bipolar causes extreme emotions, which are detrimental to our relationships and ourselves. But we can manage our irritability and anger, even when they seem uncontrollable. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for the last 17 years. It’s been so long that I often forget that I have a mental illness. I have a successful...

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Taking Yourself On: Abandonment Issues

Debbie Jacobs
April 6, 2019

When you’re feeling like you’ve been abandoned, it’s important to remember that you are your own best source of validation. Abandonment issues, in my experience, can stem from just the fear of being abandoned or not having our needs met. So that doesn’t mean abandonment needs to be experienced or threatened. I lived with abandonment...

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Who Do You Need on Your Bipolar Care Team?

Valerie Harvey
April 5, 2019

Assembling a care team comprised of trained professionals, family, and friends is crucial to building the support system you’ll need while navigating bipolar The first reactions of someone just recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder often include denial, horror, shame, fear, anger and a host of other negative feelings. Shame and denial have been the strongest...

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4 Things Not to Do when Your Therapist Retires

Julie A. Fast
April 4, 2019

When you’ve come to depend on your therapist, learning they’re retiring can be devastating. While searching for a new one, avoid these common behaviors. I thought I would be fine when my therapist retired after almost 13 years together. After all, I didn’t really need a therapist, right? I know how to manage my bipolar....

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7 Things to Keep in Mind when Thinking About Returning to Work

Katherine Ponte
April 2, 2019

If you’ve been unemployed because of your bipolar, you might be hesitant to try returning to work. Here are some things to keep in mind: Returning to work after an absence due to mental illness requires a great deal of courage and strength. It may be the most difficult thing you do in your recovery...

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When Words Wound: Using Mental Health Terminology Incorrectly Hurts

JB Burrage
April 1, 2019

Sometimes people are unaware that using mental health terms to describe everyday situations can cause harm to people by trivializing those mental health issues. Back in my days of mental health ignorance, when I didn’t know the difference between different disorders and thought everyone with a mental health issue was just “crazy,” certain things didn’t...

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3 Things to Do to Avoid the Flu

Lisa Acuña
March 31, 2019

If you’re dealing with mental health concerns, the last thing you want is to get physically sick too. Here are ways to help avoid the flu. Getting sick is an unpleasant but expected part of life. A couple months ago, I came down with the flu, despite having gotten a flu shot. It was frustrating...

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Taking Yourself On: Inferiority Complexes

Debbie Jacobs
March 30, 2019

Feeling inferior can contribute to negative self-image and distorted thinking. It’s time to tackle your inferiority complex and see yourself for who you truly are. You will never know the powerful person you were meant to be if you keep perpetuating your inferiority complex. An inferiority complex is a cultivated behavior that develops out of...

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Rock Bottom: Is It Time to Schedule an Intervention?

Julie Joyce
March 29, 2019

An adult child’s behavior may become more than you can handle. If so, you might want to consider a professional intervention. My son will be turning 26 this month. When he was younger, I honestly thought things would get easier as he got older. I thought things would be easier now. However, I know bipolar...

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Do I Really Have Bipolar?

Julie A. Fast
March 28, 2019

What if someone is telling you that you have bipolar, but you don’t think that the diagnosis is correct? A reader asked a really good question on my blog post “Dealing with Bipolar Disorder Denial.” She wanted to know what to do if someone in your life—a friend, loved one, coworker—tells you that they believe...

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I’m not “Sick,” but I Am Sick of People Treating Me Like I’m Incompetent

Lynn Rae
March 27, 2019

I am so much more than my diagnosis. Yet as soon as people find out I have bipolar, their perception—and their behavior toward me—change. According to Forbes magazine, we have 7 seconds to make a first impression, good or bad.  Imagine that—being judged based on so little time.  When I tell someone who doesn’t know...

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8 Things to Consider when College Is Around the Corner—and You Have Bipolar

Anja Burcak
March 26, 2019

Heading off to college is a daunting time, made even more uncertain when you have bipolar. Keep these tips in mind to smooth your path to graduation. As a first-year student preparing for my transition to a new college, living situation, and city, mental illness was not even something on my radar. As someone who...

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4 Tips for Challenging Yourself While Nurturing Your Stability

Emily Allen
March 25, 2019

You’re full of ideas and thrive on challenges, but know a stable lifestyle is essential. Fortunately, you can satisfy your desire for challenges, and still maintain balance. If you’re like me, you’re chock-full of bright ideas. You’ve got tons of inspiration. You love the new, new, new—and get bored easily. You’re always looking to shake...

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Acute Unfinished Projects Syndrome: Incomplete Tasks Can Be a Sign of an Impending Bipolar Episode

Lynda Williams
March 24, 2019

When you’re having trouble finishing tasks or meeting deadlines, it’s not your to-do list you need to check, it’s your bipolar stability. Sometimes I find writing difficult in the most basic sense: the act of stringing words together to form a sentence can become impossible for me. My mind is so scattered that by the...

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Looking at Bipolar Through a Rearview Mirror: The Peril of Living in the Past

Karl Shallowhorn
March 20, 2019

Getting stuck in the past prevents you from living in the present. While you can’t ignore your past, you can keep it in perspective while moving forward. I’m 56 years old. Well into middle-age and pushing the envelope on the later part of life. I’m certainly closer to the end than the beginning. But that’s...

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Becoming Your Own Bipolar Advocate

Carol Borrelli
March 19, 2019

There are times in life when we must be our own best advocate. This can be difficult when depressed or manic; however, it is doable. Countless times, I have thought to myself, “All persons with bipolar disorder should have some type of advocate.” Not only the sort of advocate you’d find in a lobbyist group...

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When Completing Tasks Becomes Too Much to Manage

JB Burrage
March 18, 2019

With bipolar disorder, the inability to complete tasks is not a sign of laziness. It’s your mind going so fast that you can’t focus, or because you’re depressed and feel too tired. How many people have started something, but not completed it? Pretty much everyone. I’m definitely guilty of not completing tasks. There are many...

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Do You Really Want to End Bipolar Disorder Mood Swings?

Julie A. Fast
March 14, 2019

Bipolar consists of mania and depression. Sometimes mania gets a pass because of perceived “benefits,” but ignoring your mania means you aren’t fully addressing your condition. Do you really want to end your mood swings? I ask this question honestly. Many of us want to end depression. It’s a terrible, vicious and life-threatening experience for...

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Spectator Sports Therapy

Susie Johnson
March 13, 2019

Watching sports can thrill us, or make us want to throw things. It can also bring stability and stress-relief. Here’s how: I lived in southern CA when I was in high school and became quite the LA Kings hockey fan. I had all the gear and loved collecting it. There was a fan sport shop...

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Staying Hopeful with Bipolar Disorder

Andrea Paquette
March 12, 2019

Living with bipolar disorder is an extremely difficult journey, but it is vital to never give up. We must realize that our circumstances change over time, which affords us hope and gratitude. There have been times throughout my existence when I believed my fate was sealed—a sad life with an unfortunate ending. I had been...

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