Hope & Harmony Headlines

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Blogs and Articles
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New Year, New Perspective

Robin L. Flanigan
December 15, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeDecember 31, 2020  •  Volume 13, Issue 52 Abraham Lincoln, who lived with deep depression, used his personal struggle to galvanize the spirit of a nation—to turn the source of his anguish into an invitation to do things differently. To set new priorities. On the cusp of a new year, we get the...

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Coping with Loneliness During the Holidays

Robin L. Flanigan
December 10, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeDecember 10, 2020  •  Volume 13, Issue 49 Coping with Loneliness & A Holiday Slump For many, this time of year has always evoked feelings of joy and has been an occasion for celebrating with loved ones. Yet for many others, it marks a time of loneliness and psychological distress. Truly, this holiday...

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The Gift of Hope Is the Gift of Resilience

Robin L. Flanigan
December 5, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeDecember 10, 2020  •  Volume 13, Issue 51 Poet Alfred Lord Tennyson once penned: “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.’” Said another way, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what possibilities lay ahead of us. For many, on this eve of Christmas—either the...

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Taking a Sober Look at Our Decision to Drink

Robin L. Flanigan
December 2, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeDecember 17, 2020  •  Volume 13, Issue 49 The decision to drink alcohol can have sober consequences. We know that decision is more significant when living with bipolar, a diagnosis that has a close relationship with substance use—alcohol use in particular. Despite the glamorization of holiday cheer, with celebratory ads and social media’s...

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Giving Thanks For Progress with Bipolar, Not Perfection

Robin L. Flanigan
November 23, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeNovember 26, 2020 • Volume 13, Issue 48 Being Thankful for Our Enduring Resiliency “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero Every Thanksgiving allows us an opportunity to reflect on the things that make us most grateful. And this year—through...

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Holiday Foods & Moods

Robin L. Flanigan
November 19, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeDecember 3, 2020  •  Volume 13, Issue 48 May the holiday season bring you joy and anticipation—even if traditions must be tweaked in these challenging times. We know that the season also brings colder, darker days that can be filled with high expectations, loneliness, and lower moods. According to a 2014 survey by...

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2020 Holiday Spending Frenzy & Remembering My $10,000 Christmas Tree

Robin L. Flanigan
October 28, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeNovember 19, 2020 • Volume 13, Issue 47 During the holiday season, it seems that everyone wants our money—with retailers making it easier for us to spend—and a lot sooner! This year, the holiday online spending frenzy kicked off in mid-October—about 10 weeks from Christmas and six weeks before Black Friday—with...

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Keeping Love Alive in Marriage and Other Romantic Partnerships

Robin L. Flanigan
October 22, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeNovember 12, 2020 • Volume 13, Issue 46 Numerous factors go into the success or failure of a marriage—any marriage. The narrative that in divorce, the spouse with bipolar must be responsible is unwarranted. And because marriage is a two-way street, both partners need to be respectful, understanding, and accountable for...

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Confronting and Clearing Away Bipolar Confusion

Robin L. Flanigan
October 14, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeNovember 5, 2020 • Volume 13, Issue 45 While manic or hypomanic, thoughts can arrive and pass so quickly, it’s difficult to process them clearly. While depressed, thoughts can come so slowly, it’s challenging to keep up with our surroundings. With bipolar, cognitive impairments—particularly verbal and working memory, executive function/reasoning, and...

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Shining a Light on Seasonal Depression

Robin L. Flanigan
October 9, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeOctober 29, 2020 • Volume 13, Issue 44 Gorgeous leaves, hot apple cider, and other aspects of autumnal glory aside, fall can bring darker days in more than one sense of the word. With November 1 being the end of daylight saving time, we’ll have one less hour of sunlight each...

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Preventing and Recognizing Relapse

Robin L. Flanigan
October 2, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeOctober 22, 2020 • Volume 13, Issue 43 Stability is what we aim for. And, sometimes, no matter how hard we work at it or how long we’ve felt anchored, a relapse can happen. In fact, relapses—defined as the return of depression or a manic or hypomanic episode after a period...

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How to Ask for Forgiveness from Others—and Forgive Yourself

Robin L. Flanigan
October 1, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeOctober 15, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 42 The choices—and subsequent mistakes—we may make while in the throes of mania can topple relationships, which is why it’s helpful to look to one of the world’s leading scholars on forgiveness research. Everett L. Worthington Jr., PhD, a professor of psychology...

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Unmasking and Managing Bipolar Depression

Robin L. Flanigan
September 23, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeOctober 8, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 41 Today is National Depression Screening Day, an important opportunity for receiving a diagnosis and getting appropriate treatment and support services. It’s equally important to know that people who actually have bipolar depression frequently wind up with a label of major depressive...

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Shedding Labels & Celebrating Our Strength

Robin L. Flanigan
September 10, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeOctober 1, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 40 Thirty years ago, Congress officially established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week. An annual event ever since, mental health advocates use the time—this year, from October 4th to the 10th—to ramp up efforts across three main...

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Learning the Art of Patience

Robin L. Flanigan
September 3, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeSeptember 24, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 39 We all know patience is a virtue. But high moral standards aside, science says we’ll be happier in the long run if we learn the art of pausing before reacting. And because impatience can be an early indicator we’re headed toward...

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Critical Conversations for Positive Relationships

Robin L. Flanigan
August 26, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeSeptember 17, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 38 Everyone has “hot buttons” or triggers that cause mood shifts. It just so happens that depression and mania make our mood shifts more severe. Instead of taking a short break to be alone, we isolate. Instead of brushing off a comment,...

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Finding Motivation in the Face of Depression

Robin L. Flanigan
August 19, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeSeptember 10, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 37 It’s undeniably tough to go from mania’s productive energy to depression’s fatigue and listlessness. Trying to find the motivation for even the smallest of tasks can be fraught with frustration. Let’s not mistake the lack of motivation we feel while depressed...

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The Role of Sleep in Bipolar Management

Robin L. Flanigan
August 11, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeSeptember 3, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 36 Sleep affects everything from our breathing and immune system to stress hormones and cardiovascular health. “There does not seem to be one major organ within the body, or process within the brain, that isn’t optimally enhanced by sleep (and detrimentally impaired...

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Defeating Anger and Rage

Robin L. Flanigan
August 5, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeAugust 27, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 35 Decoding and Defeating Anger and Rage Bipolar can unleash a torrent of unwanted consequences in its wake. Yet, one single emotion can be responsible for sabotaging relationships, careers, or simply ruining plans for the day. Anger or full-blown rage, when hurled...

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How to Distinguish Bipolar Mania from Joy

Robin L. Flanigan
July 29, 2020

Hope & Harmony Headlines  •  SubscribeAugust 13, 2020   •   Volume 13, Issue 33 Shed the Fear, Embrace the Joy We don’t seek stability on a slippery slope, so given that conventional euphoria can cross into clinical mania, it makes sense that fear comes into play when feeling like everything’s wondrous with the world. It’s...

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