Bipolar Disorder

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On The Death Of Carrie Fisher And Anti-Psychiatry Trolls

When someone dies unexpectedly from something like sudden cardiac arrest as appears to be the case with Carrie Fisher, it is a tragedy. And it is more of a tragedy when the person is young like Ms Fisher was at age 60. But what is an unconscionable travesty, are the blogs being written about her by the anti-psychiatry people who are using her death to promote their beliefs.
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When Psychiatry Gets It Right

I've been waiting a long time for a book like"How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist." Written by psychiatrists David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden, this book is the most thorough account I have seen of the thinking process, or what should be the thinking process, of contemporary psychiatrists. And it can change the entire way you go about asking for, and receiving, help from a mental health professional.
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What Causes Mental Illness? It's Complicated.

I tell my patients, "Mental illnesses are medical illnesses, like diabetes or heart disease." Most of them struggle to believe me because they know that many people, even people who love them, think they can just "get over" their illnesses. And they're equally as hard on themselves. So let's talk about what causes mental illness, and why that question (and answer) are pretty complicated.
Linda Monteith Gardiner

On Being Crazy: An Excerpt

In my family, the incidence of mental health problems runs high. My mother and her twin sister are both bipolar. On my father's side, one of my aunts was bipolar and two of my cousins are schizophrenic. While some people dispute the idea that mental illness can be hereditary -- and I, too, believe in the importance of social and environmental causes -- you can nonetheless see that the odds were pretty high that someone else in my immediate family might get hit over the head with it, too
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Peer Mental Health Workers Need Better Training

A growing trend in the delivery of mental health services is the use of peer support workers. Peers, who have themselves experienced some kind of mental illness, can help meet some of the many needs that people with the most severe mental illnesses have. However, various ideological agendas have led the internationally powerful peer support movement in questionable directions.

Mental Illness Is Blind to Socioeconomic Class Distinctions

Before any social progress can be made, mental illness has to be acknowledged as a real and powerful determinant of health which affects all social classes, but plays a greater role not only in the lives of those who are displaced, but in some cases also contributes to their displacement and state of living. It is those living on the streets who are the most affected by the stigma associated with mental illness. Yet the stigma is alive and well for those of us who are fortunate enough to continue working or have a strong support system advocating for us while we too struggle to climb the walls of our own personal hell.
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Mental Health Awareness Needs the Support of a Powerful Movement

As a society, we are comfortable with what we know and see. Mental illness is not often seen and too few know about it. Those who are mentally ill and seeking treatment are not only dealing with the signs and symptoms of the disease attacking their mind, but also the rejection from the teams of mental health professionals, themselves drowning beneath the paralyzing weight of bureaucracy. Unfortunately, this leaves families alone, scared, overworked, and dejected by a lack of commitment and compassion from the department of Canadian health care that is most knowledgeable about their respective illnesses.
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These Psychiatrists Dare to Set the Record Straight on Mental Illness

Two recent books by high profile psychiatrists provide readers with background knowledge that is essential in shaping our own responses to one of the biggest social problems of our times: severe mental illnesses. Now that psychiatrists are increasingly willing to enter into the messy public arena, it's up to the public to see what we can do with the information they are providing.
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Mental Illnesses Are Pack Animals

Mental illnesses are like pack animals. There is never just one without others lurking behind corners waiting to jump on us -- their weight holding us down; their teeth ripping through the flesh of our throat until we are too weak to fight back. As we lay bleeding and broken, available treatment is more difficult to reach.
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I Devalue Mental Illness When I Call Myself Crazy

In order to further be part of a movement which strives to promote the existence of mental illnesses, I have to be able to speak my truth. Not just write it. Not hide behind my laptop. But say it out loud, and not say it with a smirk and a wink, and a jolly, "I'm crazy." This isn't helping anyone. I'm only further promoting the notion that mental illness needs to remain in the closet. Until people can accept that there is stigma, those of us who do suffer in silence; those of us who are too embarrassed to say out loud that we have an illness -- we need to refrain from using a vocabulary which only serves to further set back the progress.
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I Hate Being Bipolar - It's Awesome!

I've been diagnosed as having Bipolar II Disorder. And although I spent hours, days, weeks, even months huddled under the covers wishing for a quick, tidy end to the pain, there were moments when a thought would make me throw the blankets off. The thought could be minor, like the sudden desire to make cupcakes for my kids. Or it could be extravagant and expensive like the remodeling of an entire bathroom.
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No Pill Can Cure Mental Health Stigma

If you are among the lucky population who does react well to medication, taking a pill may allow you to work through the problems you're facing in therapy and hopefully you won't have to be on medication for the rest of your life. But the reality is that for some of us suffering from chronic mental illness, therapy isn't enough.
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The Future of People with Severe Mental Illnesses is in the Wrong Hands

Planning for the future presents serious problems for parents of people with significant disabilities; when those families are dealing with psychotic illnesses, the future is especially frightening. While it is impossible to deny that progress is being made, the simple fact is that our world, as it stands, has little desire to label people with mental illness as anything but crazy and dangerous.
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Mental Illness Education Still Gets a Fail

Almost 4 per cent of the population develops schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and these disorders mostly appear in youth and young adults. The families who this year will discover the agony of psychotic illnesses need to know that genuine help is available. The path to that help is just much more treacherous than it should be.