Guest Blog: My Uncle is Bipolar

The other day, my 18-year-old niece and I were chatting and the topic of me living with bipolar disorder came up. It wasn’t a particularly involved conversation, but her responses fascinated me.

As a writer and speaker, I discuss living with mental illness with hundreds of people every month. Whether they be one-on-one conversations, comments on blogs, or private messages I receive, I spend an incredible amount of time discussing this subject.

And her take on this subject may well be one of my favorites. Everyone, please welcome Nikki Howard to Don't Call Me Crazy.


How Does Depression Make Me Feel?

I don’t want to be depressed. It feels weird that I need to say that, but sometimes I have to remind people, myself included, that I didn’t choose this feeling -- if “feeling” is even the right word.

“Disorder” or “disease” would be more accurate,...


Bipolar Disorder and Pregnancy (Part 1 of 2)

Today, I am publishing the first of a two-part interview with Dr. Amanda Itzkoff, MD, about bipolar disorder and pregnancy. I am often asked about this subject and, since I am not a doctor nor a woman, I decided it was a good idea to seek the knowledge of a trained medical professional.

How do you advise women when they ask about the possibility of passing bipolar disorder on to their children?

Bipolar disorder is heritable (passed on in genes) to some degree. But inheritance...


How To Handle a Teen’s Dramatic or Manipulative Suicide Threat

Teenagers have a tendency to be dramatic. Many of us don’t like to admit it, but we were dramatic at that age, too, at least to some extent. Now that we’re parents (or other relatives, mentors, caregivers, or friends) to a teenager, the universe is giving us a taste of it from the other side. Most teenage angst is typical. I remember the first time my mom insulted my favorite band. What she said was, “I don’t like this band.”

What I heard was, “You’re stupid for listening to them and you have awful taste in music.”

When teenagers get angry, watch out. We’ve all said things we regret when angry and the minds of teenagers aren’t fully formed. Many life lessons that we adults take for granted have not yet been experienced by the average teen. When angry, they lash out and will say whatever it is they feel will hurt you.

Threatening to “commit suicide” is a fairly typical escalation point for an upset teenager looking to lash out.


The Bipolar Hot Mess Who Isn’t

When I was but a young bipolar blogger, I met a woman named Christina. Actually, I met a woman named 'Bipolar Hot Mess.' She was cool and fun and passionate and she made me feel like I could do anything. I read her blogs and she gave me some advice along the way and then, one day, she nominated me for an award. Specifically, the Psych Central Mental Health Hero Award. And then I won. (Christina was a mental health hero in 2013.)

The momentum from that award propelled me to new heights, gave me bursts of energy, and filled my entire being with confidence. I owe her a lot. She's an awesome advocate and a better person. I'm excited to share blog space with her. Please welcome The Bipolar Hot Mess.


3 Commons Myths About Depression

Depression is one of those things that everyone has heard about, but few understand. I often joke that depression is like panda bears in that everyone is familiar with them, but most people have never seen one in real life and even fewer have touched one. Yet, we all feel as if they are commonplace. Because of misconception, stereotype, and just plain old lack of education, our society knows precious little about depression. Sadly, this doesn’t stop people from believing that they know all about it.


Guest Blog: Biological Markers for Mental Illness

By: Vincent M. Wales

I am a person who lives with mental illness. I’m also a bit of a science geek. And I’m a writer, which means I’m also a researcher, by necessity. Put these all together, and you end up with a guy who likes to keep up with the science of mental illness – the causes, the symptoms, the treatments.

I’m also a person who is frustrated by the stigma surrounding mental illness and infuriated by those who deny that it exists....