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Bipolar Treatment

Is This Mindfulness Thing Working?


I haven’t been mindful at all lately. I chewed up a fork in the garbage disposal, I keep making trips to the basement for things I forgot to get the last time I was down there, and I drove off with my lunch bag containing my phone, wallet, and lunch sitting on the roof of the car.

It seems I spend a half-hour each day meditating and the rest of the day overlooking things. Meditating is difficult and often boring work. At times it can be very unsettling. So why do I bother?



Bipolar Treatment

The Two Week Rule


I have spent an awful lot of money while manic. Almost all of it on things I later regretted buying.

When I was younger, before bipolar disorder roared into my life, I had a successful career in business and saved a ton. Then came the rapidly changing moods and periods when I thought I needed the craziest stuff.



Coping Skills

When to Fight the Stigma (and how)


If you’re going to write content for the public in a forum with open comments, you’d better have thick skin.

In my last post I wrote about the financial impact of bipolar disorder on employers, and advised people working hard to manage the disease not to disclose it to their manager.

While I only received one negative comment, it was acerbic. Several people contacted me through my website about the post, and I got an earful from some people I know.

It’s likely that more people then I heard from disagreed with my stance and thought that people managing mental illness well have a duty to come out and fight the stigma.



cost

Mental Illness is Expensive to Employers


I remember one job I had where I was open about my bipolar disorder. After being passed over for a supervisor position three times despite getting excellent reviews, I scheduled a meeting with my manager.

The moment I sat down to speak with her about not even being considered for a promotion she sad, “this has nothing to do with your problem.” Obviously, it did. But even excellent performance cannot mask the fact that the chronically ill employee may be very expensive.



Aging

Bipolar Disorder and Osteoporosis


I share a lot of things with my parents. One I didn’t anticipate sharing was bone density. Yet here I am at 55 with advanced osteoporosis.

Many physical diseases are co-morbid with bipolar disorder. 60% of the early mortality attributed to the disorder is due to co-morbid chronic physical illnesses. But bone density? Really?



Bipolar Treatment

My Phone Tells Me I’m Manic


Technology can be both empowering and enabling. It provides us with more information than we can ever use. Our cell phones bring all of this wonder to our fingertips.

But armed with all of this information we may feel more qualified to make decisions that may take more expert, informed knowledge than our smart phones first deliver.



Bipolar Treatment

Is Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed?


The young man jumped up and yelled, “You’re not bipolar! Look at you, you’re fine! My sister is bipolar and right now she’s in the hospital recovering from a suicide attempt!”

If I told him that I spent a day in the ICU after a suicide attempt and had been hospitalized several times, went through a period when I couldn’t work, emptied every bank account I ever had and wrecked a bunch of relationships it wouldn’t have made any difference.

His experience with his sister’s bipolar disorder was present, and desperate.