Bipolar Laid Bare

The Link Between Heart Disease and Bipolar Disorder

Most people think of bipolar disorder as a purely psychological disorder, an illness of the mind, not the body. This is a flawed concept. Firstly, bipolar disorder is a physical disorder in and of itself as seen in changes in brain structure and function, meaning it does not just entail shifts in mood. More than that, though, bipolar disorder is linked to a number of other physical illnesses. People with bipolar disorder tend...
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Anxiety

Experiencing Anxious Depression

Depression is a part of bipolar disorder. It is, in fact, one of the poles. The question of experiencing depression is not “if” but “when.” Depression on its own is a horrible experience, but sometimes other problems pile on. More than half of people with bipolar disorder also have some form of anxiety disorder. These can include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety. When anxiety occurs...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

5 More Steps to Self-Care for Bipolar Disorder

Self-care is especially important for people with severe mental illnesses like bipolar disorder. How we take care of ourselves has a huge impact on our overall health, both physically and mentally. Knowing how to take care of yourself is not necessarily innate. We know we need food and shelter, but beyond that we have to be taught how to make sure we’re living at our best. This is especially true in the case of...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

5 Steps to Self-Care for Bipolar Disorder

Self-care is how we take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. Without self-care, it’s easy and likely to fall into bad habits that negatively affect our health. With severe mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, self-care is an essential aspect of all treatment plans in addition to medication. We have to pay meticulous attention to how we are taking care of ourselves in order to stave off possible relapse into manic or depressive episodes....
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Depression Can Be Boring

I have just entered a depressive phase only a couple of weeks after stabilizing following a manic phase. I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder. This means I experience at least four episodes a year. They can mix and match between mania and depression but are more likely to be depression. Since I had been coming off of months-long mania, a depressive episode could be expected. Going through depression after mania is a common...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

New Research Looks for Patterns of Suicidal Thought

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death with over 44,000 completed suicides in 2014 (the most recent available data). That’s more than breast cancer or colon cancer. In addition to those who died, there were 800,000 people who were hospitalized for suicide attempts or self-injury. When it comes to bipolar disorder, somewhere between 25-50% of people with the disorder attempt suicide at some point, and even more people have plans for suicide or...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Fatigue and Managing Emotions

I’m tired.

Not “I didn’t get enough sleep last night” tired. I’m fatigued to the point of not being able to function. I’ve been incredibly busy and unable to keep to my normal routine. I’ve had long periods when I haven't been able to have the downtime I need in order to keep myself from becoming overstimulated.

As a result, I’m an emotional mess relying solely on caffeine to keep me going....
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Bipolar II

What is Subthreshold Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2-8% of the population, depending on how it’s defined. People who are not familiar with bipolar disorder may only know about those who experience true mania and severe depression. This is known as bipolar I and only affects about 1% of the population. Bipolar disorder is now being characterized as a spectrum disorder, meaning there is a range of severity up to bipolar I. Part of the range of symptoms...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

When Self-Care Isn’t an Option

Practicing self-care is important for everyone, but especially those with severe mental illness. If those of us with bipolar disorder don’t take care of ourselves, our symptoms worsen and it can trigger a manic or depressive episode. Self-care requires a lot of energy, attention and no small amount of what some might view as selfishness. Alongside medication and therapy, practicing self-care can be an effective part of anyone’s treatment plan. However, it can be...
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Bipolar Laid Bare

Safety & Effectiveness of Latuda as Maintenance Therapy

Treating bipolar disorder can be difficult. Medication is the first-line treatment, but even with medication people still experience symptoms and 40%-60% experience relapse within two years. Because of this, it’s vital for patients to be prescribed the most effective medication for them. What is more effective for one person may not be as effective for another. That is why there are hundreds of possible medication combinations to treat bipolar disorder. Since combination therapy is...
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