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, with 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 blog/vlog 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
mood tracking cognitive changes bipolar disorder factors thoughts urgency ability velocity mania hypomania depression management

3 Factors for Recognizing Cognitive Changes & Mood Shifts with Bipolar

Brooke Baron
December 24, 2020

I love a good mood-tracking checklist, but to recognize and address my symptoms, I look to specific factors that provide the context of impending episodes. One thing I am currently trying to sear into my memory (and others’, too!) is that bipolar is a cognitive disorder—so the symptoms are incredibly sneaky…. And, unfortunately, undetected shifts...

READ MORE
bipolar disorder pretending coping stress anxiety depression mania stigma

Bipolar Disorder & Pretending to Be Something I Am Not

Dave Mowry
December 22, 2020

Everybody pretends sometimes—glossing over ugly truths, exaggerating, even lying. That’s different from “bipolar pretending,” where acting like you’re “okay” is a matter of survival. My bipolar disorder has impacted every part of my life. Specifically, from the time before I had my worst breakdown, which started my lost years, up until today. And I realize...

READ MORE
ringing in new year alone bipolar disorder mood management

Ringing in the New Year Alone

Julie A. Fast
December 15, 2020

It won’t be hard to say goodbye to 2020, given all the challenges it brought. But New Year’s Eve itself might be difficult, especially if—like me—you are single and anticipating an emotionally charged time with potential mood swings. That’s why I am planning ahead for what to do—I want to ring in the new year...

READ MORE
anxiety stress bipolar disorder health crisis coping skills relationships

What 2020 Has Taught Me about Life & Bipolar

Elizabeth Drucker
December 14, 2020

Living with bipolar and working toward a graduate degree in public health has given me a unique perspective on this past year. My anxiety was amplified to the extreme, and learning to live through these challenging times required me to reprioritize self-care and close relationships. From Dubious to Facing Sudden Danger As a graduate student...

READ MORE
silver linings bipolar disorder turbulent times 2020

10 Silver Linings for People with Bipolar in 2020

Brooke Baron
December 10, 2020

I choose to focus on the good and think positively—even when it comes to all that we have collectively endured this past year. Let’s consider a different perspective on our uncertain and disruptive times: How has 2020 has benefited those of us who live with bipolar? Whoo, this year is one for the record books,...

READ MORE
doom scrolling negativity social media anxiety depression healthy habits bipolar disorder

7 Ways to Avoid the Negative Consequences of “Doom Scrolling”

Anja Burcak
December 8, 2020

Are you consuming too much negative news and social media at night? Your lack of restorative sleep, mood triggers, and ramped up anxiety are good reasons to take back control! This year, I feel as if, collectively, we are glued to our screens even more than usual. From Zoom calls to social media scrolling, many of...

READ MORE
streamline simplify uncertainty stress anxiety holidays bipolar disorder

6 Strategies for Simplifying an Uncertain Holiday Season

Sasha Kildare
December 4, 2020

We are living through a stressful, complicated, and emotionally taxing time of year—all in the midst of a world health crisis. To reduce my anxiety, I streamline and simplify. Here’s how I’ve addressed the stressors of past holidays, plus what I am doing now to reduce my tension in this particular season of uncertainty. I’m...

READ MORE
holiday shopping mania financial stress strategies

Mania & Financial Stress During the Holidays

Jessica Taylor
December 3, 2020

This time of year, I actively resist the urge to overspend. I love giving gifts, going to holiday parties, and dressing up to celebrate. In the past, mania “managed” my wallet and festivities for me. It just forgot about, well, everything else. Thankfully, I’ve learned some lessons to manage my money, my moods, and the...

READ MORE
overcoming odds bipolar disorder reflecting hard work stability

Giving Myself Credit for Overcoming the Odds

Carrie Cantwell
December 1, 2020

Prior to my diagnosis of bipolar, my life was marked by constant change that elated and destroyed me over and over again. With treatment and hard work, I’ve learned how to manage my moods and find stability. It’s about time, I think, to recognize how far I’ve come. I love a good whodunit. The second...

READ MORE
bipolar disorder stress holiday coping skills

10 Strategies for Getting Through the Holiday Season

Carrie Cantwell
November 30, 2020

Times have been tough. But so are we. The end-of-year holidays can be difficult any year, and, this time around, they pose new challenges to our mood and well-being. Let’s not forget: Living with bipolar has taught us how to navigate through uncertainty. Here are the coping skills I’ve been relying on to remain stable...

READ MORE
holiday stress triggers trauma traditions coping skills mood manage substance abuse alcohol abstinence

5 Strategies for Handling Holiday Triggers

Tiffany Romito
November 26, 2020

For me, the holidays usually bring not only traditions and gatherings but also stress and strong triggers. Difficult memories arise as the season changes and the holidays are upon us. In the years since my bipolar diagnosis and sobriety, I’ve learned how to navigate these months and maintain a stable mood. Holidays & Memories—for Better...

READ MORE
gratitude journal power mood management bipolar disorder anxiety coping skill joy

The Power of Gratitude for Finding Joy & Managing Bipolar

Sasha Kildare
November 25, 2020

With the current challenges of daily living, I’ve grown to appreciate my gratitude practice even more. Every small joy makes a difference, and creating my daily list helps me to be mindful, stay present, and monitor my anxiety. Gratitude Brings Me Back to the Moment Eighteen years ago, my first Overeater’s Anonymous sponsor suggested that...

READ MORE
loneliness holidays depression bipolar disorder strategies

Coping with Loneliness During the Holidays

Debbie Jacobs
November 24, 2020

This past year has been challenging, and the upcoming holiday season is likely to be no different—especially when we’re feeling isolated. To stay out of the holiday blues or bipolar depression, I am approaching this season proactively, tackling loneliness directly and finding ways to be festive and joyful. Feeling Lonely & Isolated During the Holidays...

READ MORE
holiday blues opportunity for personal growth and happiness with bipolar depression and anxiety

Thanksgiving & the Holiday Season—An Opportunity for Growth

Debbie Jacobs
November 20, 2020

My anxiety at the family dinner table often made me “check out” during gatherings like Thanksgiving. I got lost in my head, where I felt safer. But I also missed out on all the fun. Here is how I set an intention to stay in a healthy mindset, escape the holiday blues, and learned to...

READ MORE
disclosure exposure writing bipolar disorder personal story memoir

Crossing the Line? Disclosure versus Self-Exposure When Writing about Bipolar

Julie Whitehead
November 19, 2020

Those of us who write about our lives with bipolar have different motivations: enhancing public awareness, sharing information, combating stigma, providing hope and inspiration… While composing my memoir, I’m wondering about what to share and how—intention vs. impact, social value vs. personal risk. And when is it “too much”? Writing about Bipolar & Being an...

READ MORE
manic depression versus bipolar disorder name problematic mood spectrum

3 Reasons I Take Issue with “Bipolar Disorder”

Brooke Baron
November 18, 2020

As we learn more about our cognitive disorder, the brain/mind, and mood, it’s natural that the names of various diagnoses will evolve, or change. But I am not convinced that “bipolar disorder” is a good representation of what I (and others with this diagnosis) experience. Here’s why. In 1980, the DSM-III changed the name of...

READ MORE
impulsivity, shame, bipolar disorder, mania, finances, money, holidays, family

Mania and My $10,000 Christmas Tree

Dave Mowry
November 16, 2020

It can be easy to forget that our actions during a mood episode are the symptoms of bipolar—they’re not true representations of our personality and decision-making when stable. Especially after the more “outrageous” behaviors associated with mania, the guilt and shame we feel can keep us from taking stock of what we’ve done and even...

READ MORE
supportive partner spouse bipolar disorder

The Importance of a Supportive Partner When Living with Bipolar

Andrea Paquette
November 12, 2020

One of the most important decisions we make is the person we trust with our hearts and choose to spend our lives with. For a relationship to not just survive but also thrive when one partner lives with bipolar, there are a few foundational requirements. Here is what I have learned so far … We...

READ MORE
creative pursuits coping skills mood management bipolar disorder anxiety depression

Using Creative Pursuits to Cope with Bipolar Symptoms

Elizabeth Drucker
November 11, 2020

After years of finding new ways to tackle my mood episodes before they take over my day, I’ve noticed that those I turn to most are the strategies that allow me to be creative. Art, music, dance, and more … the creative arts help with distraction, self-soothing, and even relief from the anxiety and depression...

READ MORE
holiday loneliness coping skills bipolar disorder

How I Keep Loneliness at Bay During the Holidays

Carrie Cantwell
November 10, 2020

I’ve found that the holiday season can stir up strong feelings of loneliness. With so much emphasis on family, I’m repeatedly reminded of personal losses and how bipolar has disrupted my past. Now, I turn to specific coping strategies that allow me to experience the holidays with more gratitude and cheer. I often find myself...

READ MORE