Bipolar Symptoms

Articles and blog posts relating to the various symptoms of bipolar disorder- including mania, depression, impulsivity, and anger.

Blogs and Articles

Don’t Trust Everything You Think: 10 Myths I Believed about Bipolar Disorder

Carrie Cantwell
September 9, 2019

I have bipolar; my father had bipolar; my mother is a mental health professional. I couldn’t possibly have fallen for any of the myths surrounding bipolar disorder, right? Wrong! Here I identify and debunk the top 10 myths I believed about my diagnosis. I was diagnosed with bipolar 18 years ago. My dad was diagnosed...

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Taking Yourself On: Worst-Case Scenario Thinking

Debbie Jacobs
September 7, 2019

“Ugh! This is the WORST!” We’ve all said it. We’ve all thought it. But if you’re consistently thinking about how things can go wrong and expecting the worst, you might be stuck in a worst-case-scenario thought pattern. The good news: You can break this pattern and start a new one. Here’s how. Worst-case-scenario thinking is...

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The Siren Call of Bipolar Mania

Julie A. Fast
September 6, 2019

When you are in the midst of a depressive episode, mania can call to you like a Siren. Its song is alluring, promising you freedom and joy. But chasing the melody of mania is sure to lead to disaster and wreckage. I hate bipolar depression so much, I often think of taking a substance that...

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Wired and Tired: Untangling the “Mixed Features” Episode

Brooke Baron
September 2, 2019

Experiencing an episode with “mixed features” can be especially confusing. You might ask yourself, “Am I up? Or am I down?” And, sometimes, the answer is, well … BOTH. Doctors can classify particular bipolar episodes as having “mixed-features” (the jargon is “Mixed Features Specifier,” or MFS, for short). The qualifications for this distinction are to...

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Obsessive Thoughts and How I Manage Them

Lynn Rae
August 28, 2019

If you lose yourself in obsessive thought spirals or cycles, you are not alone. I have come a long way with managing my obsessive thoughts. Here is my process for dealing with those thoughts that won’t go away. I have found that bipolar disorder and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) often go hand-in-hand. What Is OCD?...

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Welcome to the Family

Brooke Baron
August 19, 2019

Having bipolar can rock your world, but take heart—there are some pros to all the cons. A diagnosis of bipolar disorder is a tough pill to swallow. From pharmaceutical decisions to disclosure decisions, it can become a crippling time of anxiety, frustration, and upheaval. That feeling of brokenness can be hard to shake, but remembering...

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Making a Living When You Have Bipolar Anxiety

Julie A. Fast
August 15, 2019

Anxiety can take your breath away and make even the smallest of tasks feel impossible. How can you try to make a living when bipolar anxiety is stealing your every breath? I have found four strategies that help me keep anxiety at bay and keep the income flowing. Anxiety is so debilitating. I can work...

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3 Ideas to Help You Control Impulsive Urges

Robin L. Flanigan
August 15, 2019

Developing strategies for dialing back impulsive urges will lead to more stability and healthier choices. Some ideas: #1 Find a lifeguard That’s what Elaina, a Vancouver counselor with bipolar disorder, calls someone who can work collaboratively with you to develop a maintenance plan for day-to-day stability and wellness—and be upfront when red flags arise. Preparation...

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Managing Impulsivity with Bipolar Disorder

Andrea Paquette
August 13, 2019

There is a significant difference between being irresponsibly impulsive and being adventurous. On the outside, they look the same. To tell the difference, I take time to reflect, recruit someone I trust, and listen to my heart. We often hear about bipolar disorder and how it can result in impulsive shopping, but what about other...

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Chasing Mania Leads To The ‘Crash’ Of Depression

Julie A. Fast
August 1, 2019

If bipolar disorder is a coin, its two sides are depression and mania. And, if you want to lead a stable life where you’re able to work and have long lasting relationships, both sides have to be managed. Bipolar disorder is a coin. It has two sides of equal weight and size. Think of it...

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Mission Impossible: 6 Tips To Help You Sleep While Manic

Brooke Baron
July 30, 2019

Sleep: it’s so important for mood management, but (hypo)manic energy often makes it feel like a waste of time. To make sure you get your mandated shut-eye, harness that manic energy into healthy behaviors that promote sleep. Sweet dreams! We hear it from our therapists like a broken record: Regular, adequate sleep is of utmost...

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Taking Yourself On: Moving Past Excessive Worry

Debbie Jacobs
July 13, 2019

Worry serves us no good––it consumes our thoughts to the point where we have trouble thinking of anything else. So it’s time we took it on, and stopped letting worry perpetuate in our minds. If there’s one thing I can say about worry, I would tell you not to do it. I once saw a...

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The Science On Sleep: Why Not All Sleep Is Created Equal

Milly Dawson, MS, MPH
July 12, 2019

Sleeping less than seven hours may not be the best because you miss out on hitting your ‘power sleep’ stride––where a restorative type of sleep called rapid eye movement thrives. Sleep involves several distinct stages with special functions at work. Slow wave sleep (meaning our brain waves are slow) is a time for tissue growth...

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How I Manage Bipolar Melt Downs

Julie A. Fast
July 11, 2019

Melt downs happen to everyone––even those that are careful in managing their triggers and knowledgeable about the early signs of mood episodes. So it’s extremely important to know how to deal with them. Bipolar disorder can take you from crisis to crisis if it’s not managed regularly. My goal is to think about bipolar every...

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7 Ways To Stop The Hypomania Train

Carrie Cantwell
July 10, 2019

Riding the hypomania train can feel so great that you don’t want to get off––but it’s imperative that you do in order to effectively manage your bipolar. Bipolar disorder is defined as extreme changes in mood. The thrilling highs of mania and debilitating lows of depression are easy to recognize, but what about hypomania? Hypomania...

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Taking On the Bipolar Depression Bully

Valerie Harvey
June 28, 2019

Emerging from the dark depths of bipolar depression is daunting, and it’s hard to see a way out. Let hope shine a light in the darkness. One morning about ten years ago, I woke up feeling absolutely terrible. Little did I know that would be day one of a year-long bipolar depressive episode. My head...

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Ask The Doctor: Why Sleep Is Essential For Bipolar Stability

Melvin G McInnis, MD, FRCPsych
June 28, 2019

Without restorative sleep, life is tough for anyone. Managing sleep is the absolute number-one priority in the ongoing maintenance of bipolar disorder. Most of us find stability in the predictable patterns of our daily lives. We begin our work, our studies, or our household tasks according to a routine: the children want breakfast, the dog...

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The Essential Guide To Recognizing Hypomania

Carrie Cantwell
June 26, 2019

Hypomania can be easy to dismiss––it often masquerades as joy, ambition, and productivity. Which is exactly why recognizing your hypomania ‘red flags’ is essential. Because I have bipolar disorder, I don’t experience the world like everyone else does. My highs are like a jet breaking the sound barrier. My lows are akin to detritus at...

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Finding the Way through Serious Bipolar Depression

Julie A. Fast
June 20, 2019

Don’t lose hope and give up on yourself if your depression is relentless. Hopelessness is not the path out of depression––it’s what keeps you anchored in the emotion. It’s ok to feel hopeless when bipolar depression is relentless. What else are we supposed to feel? But, we can’t live in this emotion. It isn’t the...

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How to Deal With The Financial Fallout Of A (Hypo)Manic Episode

Lisa Acuña
May 29, 2019

If you’re like me, your hypomanic episodes often spell financial trouble. Here’s how to pick up the pieces, and start rebuilding your finances. For those of us who’ve had a full-blown manic or hypomanic episode, we often find that we have done a lot of things that we wouldn’t normally have done. Whether this be...

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