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Archives for May, 2011

Helping Loved One

Tell Me What You’re Thinking!

I can usually tell when a loved one is upset with me. They sulk around the house, bang stuff, slam doors and drawers, avoid eye contact, and stop talking to me. Maybe I know the signs because I engage in the same behaviors when I'm upset.

Until relatively recently, however, I didn't fully grasp how abusive the silent treatment can be. A major client of mine "went dark" on me. The client...
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Bipolar Stories

New Bipolar Story Posted

We rarely post on our original blog, Bipolar Blog, anymore; we maintain it primarily as a place where people can share their stories and insights of living with bipolar or with a bipolar loved one. I just posted a new story from Steve about his journey in rebuilding his life after receiving his diagnosis.

Check out Steve's Story or visit our
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Mental Health Awareness Day: Battling Stigma through Science and Medicine

As a psychiatrist, every day I encounter families struggling with mental illness, especially in their children whose lives range from disrupted to shattered as a consequence of these challenges. In these daily battles I'm most frustrated and saddened by the jaw-dropping lack of compassion surrounding me and my patients regarding their family struggles and their child's distress.

Unfortunately, many people still view mental illness as a moral rather than a medical or...
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Self Help

Do Something for Yourself

Last week, I attended a NAMI problem-solving workshop for people who have family members with serious mental illness, including bipolar disorder. The tone of the workshop was fairly low. Many attendees were feeling the strain of dealing with some very difficult situations.

Near the end of the workshop, the leader went around the room and asked each person what they were going to do for themselves – to take a...
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Social Security Disability Claim Denied? Hire A Lawyer

If you think you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, consider taking the following steps to pursue a claim:

See a doctor for your condition if you have not done so already. Without documented medical evidence, you have little chance to qualify as disabled.
Apply for disability at your local Social Security Administration office or apply online. If you're currently unable to do it yourself, get a close friend or...
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Evidence for Abilify (Aripiprazole) in Maintenance of Bipolar Disorder Questioned

Abilify (aripiprazole) is an atypical antipsychotic medication commonly used to treat schizophrenia and acute mania. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder – to prevent the recurrence of mood episodes. Unfortunately, evidence proving the effectiveness of Abilify as a maintenance medication for bipolar disorder is scarce and questionable.

Exposing the Truth

An article published this week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine (Tsai et al) looks critically at the scientific evidence that...
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Helping Loved One

Bipolar Disorder: Blame the Illness, Not the Person

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a Stages of Emotional Responses chart that traces the emotional path people generally travel in coming to terms with their loved one's mental illness. I'm pretty much at the final stage, Stage III: Moving into Advocacy, but I'm still sort of stuck at Stage II: Learning to Cope, which is characterized by Anger/Guilt/Resentment, Recognition and Grief.

Yes, we've been living with bipolar disorder for about 12...
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