Bipolar Disorder Q&A

Please check out "Q&A: Dr. Candida Fink on Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder" conducted by writer Suelain Moy for MedShadow Foundation.
Do more women than men suffer from Bipolar Disorder? At what age is it diagnosed? Can it be faked? We asked psychiatrist Dr. Candida Fink, a leading expert on Bipolar Disorder and the co-author of The Ups and Downs of Raising a Bipolar Child and Bipolar Disorder for Dummies these questions and more.
Please check it out and let us know what you think.

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Opinion

Normalize and Normative

In our NAMI support group and Family-to-Family Education Program, we use two interesting words that I never gave much thought to before: normative and normalize. As I was preparing to co-teach Class 1, these two words sounded like jargon to me. Why not just use the word normal instead? I wondered what these words meant, so I looked them up in my Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, and here's what I found:

normalizeto make conform to or reduce to a norm or standardnormativeof, relating to, or determining norms or standardsI was not enlightened.
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Advocacy

Supporting a Loved One Who’s in Prison

From Joe Kraynak, co-host of Bipolar Beat: I have been corresponding with a young man who is currently being held in a federal detention center (FDC). I asked him to share his insights and advice for how friends and family members can support a loved one with bipolar or another serious mental illness who is in prison. He wrote this post.
Everyone knows the importance of communication in maintaining one's emotional and psychological well-being. Communication is even more essential for those with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses who may be confused about where they are and why and may even be experiencing paranoia and psychosis.
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Arrest

Psychiatric Medications in Prison

About ten years ago, I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder I. To qualify for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder I, you must have experienced at least one manic episode that was not triggered by medication or substance abuse. Most people with bipolar I experience depression, as well, but depression is not required for a diagnosis of bipolar I.

I have been in a Federal Detention Center (FDC) for the past five months. In accordance with my attorney's advice, I cannot discuss any details of the case. Recently, I have started corresponding with Joe Kraynak, coauthor of Bipolar Disorder For Dummies. He requested that I share my insights from inside the criminal justice system regarding the way medications are prescribed and administered.
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