Archive for July, 2011

How A Simple Eye Exam Can Lead To Better Bipolar Assessments

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

One of the many traits of being bipolar is the ability to see the world in a different way. Many might say it is a curse, but it can also be a gift when looked at from a positive perspective. This change in perspective can literally help you to see with greater clarity.

From early childhood, we have been taking tests to assess our understanding of the world. These tests have had a profound impact on us in ways that we are often unaware. They have created a world view that places too much importance on passing the test and not enough on learning more about ourselves. In some ways, the tests themselves have gotten in the way of what the goal was in the first place.

I have been wearing glasses for almost thirty years. Every year or so I take a new exam to make sure my prescription is still the same. The test seems simple enough: the clinician shows me letters at different sizes and asks me to identify what letters I see. Anyone who has a driver’s license has taken a similar test as has anyone who wears glasses or contact lenses.

A few years ago I discovered a major breakthrough that has completely changed my life. It has brought my life into focus in many ways. I share it with you in hope that it will help you to see better too.


Understanding Bipolar: You Don’t Know the Half of It

Friday, July 8th, 2011

“You don’t know the half of it” is a once-common phrase that is generally applied to negative things. It usually means that you don’t really know how bad it is. It is easy to see how bipolar people can use the phrase to describe how horrible bipolar disorder is to someone who does not experience it.

image by John Forward

I imagine many people would expect this article to be a rant on how people without bipolar disorder have no idea how bad we have it. I am sorry. It is not. It is for those who already know how bad it can be. They may not know the half of it, either.

I often joke that depression is so terrible that we sometimes wish we were dead and we act so badly during mania that everyone else wishes we were. It is good for a laugh, because we all know it has some truth in it. The horrible symptoms of depression and mania that can occur when an individual is in a disordered state are well known. They include physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social and career/financial dysfunction.

Funded massively by the pharmaceutical industry, partly because it is one of their biggest profit centers, there have been countless studies about bipolar disorder and how to move people from crisis through managed stage to recovery. There are many who argue over the choice of tools to address depression and bipolar, but nearly everyone agrees on one thing: depression and bipolar are horrible mental illnesses that need to be removed from our lives. They don’t know the half of it.


Bipolar In Order
Check out Tom Wootton's new book!
Bipolar In Order:
Looking At Depression, Mania, Hallucination, and
Delusion From The Other Side

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Recent Comments
  • John Q: This sounds new-agey and pretentious. You going to educate people and they’re going to function better,...
  • SamAndOther: “We Need More Words To Describe Depression” My word: Disconnected. Not just disconnected physically....
  • samelaine: Extremely helpful for me. Something I can bring into therapy sessions with answers and maybe help out my...
  • Ali Khalil: let me be frank and say that things are not as easy as it sounds when it comes to depression, and the...
  • Pamster: Thank you for sharing that. I too have suffered all my life with bouts of deep, black depression. Just a few...
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