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Aging

Bipolar Disorder and the Elderly


I’d like to present the research about how to treat bipolar disorder in the elderly. Unfortunately, there isn’t any.

In 10% of patients with bipolar disorder, the illness develops after age 50, and 5% of all admissions to geropsychiatric inpatient units are for bipolar disorder.

But when doctors seek guidance on how to treat geriatric patients with BP, whether the patients have had the disorder for years or are newly diagnosed, they find that no treatment algorithms specific to the elderly have been devised.



Aging

Why Can’t I Get Life Insurance?


If I die tomorrow, my family is going to face some financial hardship. Oh, I tried to get life insurance. I wasn’t able to.

I have a long history with bipolar disorder. I’ve been well, high functioning and without any episodes that required hospitalization, or even medication changes, for years. I’m married with a child, and can hold a job and pay my bills. I’ve never smoked, am not over weight, and do well in my annual physicals. Life insurance should be a cinch.

But in the past I was a mess.



Bipolar Treatment

Crazy from the Cold?


The temperature is predicted to hit 62 degrees today, but last Thursday it was so cold that I swear it shocked me into a manic episode when I stepped outside to walk the dog.

It was 6 degrees out, with a wind-chill of -10. We are not used to temperatures that cold in Philadelphia, so when I opened the door and slipped into the frigid air my body tensed up and soon, before the dog did her...


Bipolar Treatment

The Decision to Have a Child When You Have a Mental Illness


I’m 55 years old and I have an 8 year-old daughter, which is crazy enough. But getting to this point, being a parent with a mental illness, was a journey even crazier.

In my mania riddled early twenties I ended up married to an older woman named Sharon who I barely knew. I proceeded to tear the relationship apart with reckless behavior, and soon we were set to divorce. But Sharon was pregnant.



Aging

Should I Call Myself Bipolar?


Language can powerfully influence self-definition, revelation, and healing. The way we describe ourselves and our condition speaks volumes about our outlook and our outcomes. I was diagnosed decades ago with bipolar disorder, still adhere to treatment, and still suffer mood changes. Yet I strongly maintain that I am not bipolar.