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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,...

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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...

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Climbing Back Up from Being Too Sick to Work

Susie Johnson
September 24, 2020

Naturally, my journey with bipolar has had its ups and downs. It took time, faith, family support, and a lot of persistence to come to a place of mood stability and genuine happiness. In the depths of my bipolar depression, I never could have imagined living the life I now treasure. My Lifelong Dream Since...

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My Top 3 Creative Coping Concepts for Bipolar Mood Swings

Brooke Baron
September 1, 2020

To come to terms with the up-and-down mood swings of bipolar disorder and better manage the symptoms of mania and depression, I’ve harnessed the power of metaphors and creative thinking. I’d like to share a couple of concepts that help me stay connected to my best path. For the record: my thought processes are heavily...

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Three Tips to Ease Money Mistakes with Bipolar

Julie A. Fast
June 10, 2020

In the moment, manic spending feels good and depression spending feels uplifting. It’s no wonder that we get caught out even after 20 years of managing bipolar successfully! Bipolar Disorder and Financial Fallout Is there any illness in the world that picks up and throws a person around like bipolar? I don’t think so! I’ve...

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I Won’t Let Bipolar Stop Me!

Carin Meyer
May 13, 2020

With grand leaps and crushing steps backward, I have achieved major goals, enjoyed many adventures, and overcome sizeable challenges. Bipolar may not have held me back so much as spurred me on! I have never followed a solid upward trajectory. The arc of my life consists of fits and starts, of grand leaps and crushing...

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Illustration in monochrome purple of a woman lying in bed, wide awake. An alarm clock sits on the bedside table; its face is orange and it is after 3 a.m. Represents sleep difficulties with bipolar disorder.

Wrestling My Sleep Demons for Stability & Peace

Debbie Jacobs
April 10, 2020

A lack of sleep contributed to my first manic episode and my bipolar diagnosis. To become stable, I needed to solve my sleep problems—for good. The Functional Purpose of Sleep No longer is sleep just for our beauty. It is a foundational component for our mental well-being, and we cannot take it for granted. I...

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A father sits with his son in his lap in their living room. They are video-chatting with a family member on a smart tablet. Represents finding connections during world health crisis while managing bipolar stability.

Stability, Bipolar & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Julie A. Fast
March 16, 2020

We don’t have a “social media IV” attached to our brains. It is up to us, as people with bipolar, to TURN OFF what makes us sick—then pick up our phone and CONNECT! Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, is a disease caused by our first “viral” virus, SARS-CoV-2. It’s the first time the world has...

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A middle-aged woman smiles, holding her rolled-up yoga mat after class.

Using Yoga to Calm My Manic Thoughts & Ease the Physical Pain of Bipolar Depression

Carrie Cantwell
February 14, 2020

With depression, my muscles ache and it’s hard to move. With mania, my body gets dragged along for the ride as my mind takes over. Finding the right exercise program was a trial-and-error process, until I found the missing piece. The Physical Impact of Bipolar Being depressed feels like being trapped under a heavy wool...

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A woman with long red hair leans against a wooden fence outdoors. She's facing to the right, with her face uplifted and a thoughtful expression.

The Power of Self-Talk for Mood & Symptom Management

Elizabeth Drucker
February 7, 2020

I’ve learned that talking to myself in just the right way can profoundly improve how I deal with my mood symptoms—especially depression, mania, and anxiety. And it’s something I can do anytime and anywhere. I can’t recall a single mental health professional who hasn’t stressed one thing: the way I talk to myself has a...

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A close-up of peoples hands and laps as they sit in a row at the movie theater, holding popcorn and soft drinks.

Relatable Reels: My Bipolar Life on the Big Screen

Brooke Baron
November 8, 2019

My favorite movies have nothing to do with bipolar but somehow perfectly represent my mood episodes—which helps me feel understood and gives me hope. There are a handful of movies that aim to demonstrate the experience of having bipolar disorder. To be honest, I have yet to identify strongly with any of those movies or...

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Illustration of left and right sides of brain with music notes in black-and-white or in rainbow colors, representing bipolar disorder and the siren call of mania over depression.

The Siren Call of Bipolar Mania

Julie A. Fast
September 6, 2019

In the midst of a depressive episode, mania can call to you like a Siren. Its song is alluring, promising 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 will pop me into...

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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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The Emotional Art of Derek Hess

bp Magazine
April 5, 2019

With exhibits at the GRAMMY Museum and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Derek Hess communicates his struggles with bipolar and alcohol through his drawings—and credits his dog for getting him through his darkest days. If ever there were a way to tap into the human psyche and lay it bare for all to...

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How to Cope when the Bank Account Is Spent

bp Magazine
March 19, 2019

Out-of-control spending during mania can be a destructive symptom of bipolar, and can devastate a family’s financial security; here’s how to help navigate this road: Understand the diagnosis It’s not uncommon for people without bipolar to be financially irresponsible and overspend, live beyond their means, and wind up in bankruptcy. However, as caregivers, we need...

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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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A series of five yellow smiley faces. There are arrows showing the progression from left to right, as they progress from upset to sad to neutral to happy to joyful.

5 Steps to Help You Learn from Past Manias & Avoid Future Relapses

Katherine Ponte
January 11, 2019

I was walking a tightrope, trying to stave off another episode. Then came my 4th relapse. Finally, it clicked: I needed to translate my personal history into a prevention plan. Here’s how I did it. I’ve been living with severe bipolar I disorder for over fifteen years. I’ve had five full-blown manic episodes. That’s four...

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Finding Your Financial Balance After The Holidays

Julie A. Fast
January 4, 2019

Are you in shock over holiday spending? Use these strategies to take control of your finances now and over the long term.   Do you ever look back over the past year and wish you had made better financial decisions? I do. When it comes to holiday spending, you’re not alone if you’re wondering, What...

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The Truth about the Link Between Bipolar Mania and Creativity

Donna Jackel
January 4, 2019

Recent research is yielding insights into the connections between bipolar and creativity—and not just artistic accomplishment, but also innovative thinking and entrepreneurship. Author Virginia Woolf saw her artistry and her mood extremes as being inextricably linked. In a letter to a friend in 1930, she wrote of her “madness” that “in its lava, I still...

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