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Bipolar Medication

Bipolar Medication Mindfulness

Living with bipolar disorder often means taking medications regularly. That alone is a tough pill to swallow. Finding the right medicine "cocktail" often involves a month (or longer) journey of trials and adjustments. But once you find the right medicine and dose(s), taking your medication every day, as prescribed, drives the recovery and mood maintenance engines. Missing medicine or taking it at wildly different times each day makes it hard for the medicine to do its job and for you and your doctor to get a clear picture of what's working, what's not, and which medication may be causing undesirable side effects.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Sleeping Better with Bipolar Disorder

Sleep is restorative. It heals us. It grants our brains and bodies needed downtime for recovery from the stress and demands of our waking hours. Our circadian rhythms (our sleep/wake cycles) regulate core components of our human selves. And beyond all of sleep's mechanical importance to our bodies, a good night's sleep feels amazing; it is a gift to drift off to sleep easily and to awaken refreshed.

Manic episodes disrupt sleep/wake cycles — our internal clocks. When you experience a manic episode, you typically need little to no sleep for days at a time. These sustained sleepless periods rob you of the healing and peaceful benefits of sleep. Bodies, brains, and lives suffer as a result.


Anxiety

Childhood Bipolar? Parenting Advice

When you have a child with bipolar, parenting advice is never in short supply and is understandably not very welcome. However, in my practice, I spend far more time undiagnosing “the bipolar child” than I do diagnosing bipolar in children (see my previous post,


Abuse

New Film: A Light Beneath Their Feet

We recently received an email message from Jeffrey Loeb, a film producer, announcing the release of his new film, A Light Beneath Their Feet. We haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but here are the details from Jeffrey:

A Light Beneath Their Feet stars 2016 SAG Award-winning actress Taryn Manning (Orange Is the New Black) as a young mother with bipolar disorder struggling with the looming departure of her daughter, the one force of stability in her life. Seventeen-year old Madison Davenport (Noah in From Dusk Till Dawn, and Tina Fey's daughter in Sisters), gives a breakout performance as a daughter struggling with the decision of whether to stay local for college where she can remain the stable rock in her mother's life, or to detach and go to her dream college across country. Kurt Fuller, Nora Dunn, Kali Hawk, Maddie Hasson, and Carter Jenkins give standout supporting performances.


Bipolar Medication

Body Shaming Weighing You Down?

People with bipolar disorder often struggle with weight gain, because it's a side effect of so many medications used to treat depression and mania. Compounding the issue is the fact that the more you worry about weight and try to "shed the pounds" the harder it may be to lose weight. Meanwhile, all you accomplish is feeling bad about your body.

I recommend a different approach, one that focuses on health and happiness and banishes body shaming.


Interview on Side Effects of ADHD Meds

Tune in tomorrow, Wednesday, June 8 @ 11:30 AM eastern time, when I'll be interviewed on SiriusXM Dr. Radio (Channel 110) about the side effects of ADHD meds (partnering with the nonprofit  that works to inform the public about risks and benefits of all types of medications).

It's a short interview — 30 minutes — and people will be calling in with questions.

If you're interested, check it out and let me know what you...


Lady Dynamite Hits All the Right Notes on Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder—mental illness in general—has not fared well in popular culture. "Crazy" patients and "crazier" doctors populate story lines based on stereotypes and stigma. The last few years have seen some evolution toward more realistic portrayals and narratives, including the movie Silver Linings Playbook and the Broadway musical Next to Normal, telling human stories of illness rather than just punchlines.

Add to this burgeoning cannon a new Netflix comedy, Lady Dynamite, by the comedian Maria Bamford.


Advocacy

Mental Health Care Is Health Care

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and today is Child Mental Health Awareness Day. Our goal, as healthcare providers, family members, and people living with mental illness, is to spotlight the presence of mental illness in our communities and to spread the word that these are identifiable and treatable medical and neurodevelopmental conditions which are not cause for shame.


Advocacy

Bipolar Excuse or Explanation: Does It Matter?

My wife, Cecie, has bipolar disorder. Recently, she got into some trouble at work over a policy she violated. Not that it's anyone's business, but I'd better explain what she did (with her permission, of course), so you don't imagine something worse than it is. Cecie is a teacher. She brought her new puppy to school for a couple days and had two (high school) students take it outside the school building (located in a very safe area) without signing out. She received a written reprimand over the incident, which I personally think was a little over the top, but so be it.