Ask Julie Fast: Julie, What do you think about changes in personal hygiene and skin rubbing and skin picking( disliking taking a shower , etc). when someone is in an episode? 

I pick off my nail polish when anxiety is around! Julie

More quotes from readers on the topic:

I am always rubbing and picking at my skin. Whether just out of the shower or a day later. Always twitching. Meds or just bipolar not sure.

I dislike mornings period but I struggle showering in the mornings but do it. It’s the only thing that wakes me up.

I feel like it’s a chore. I feel like there is not enough time in the day for it, and that I am on the go in my head and in my world that, this can take a pass, or that I can do it later, and as long as I don’t smell me, then it’s ok.

It’s a conversation I have with myself all day long [ Read More ]

BIPOLAR DISORDER MANIA 101: Do you know the difference between dysphoric and euphoric mania?

shopping cart mania 50

Julie’s cart during a manic shopping spree. She put ALL of it back when she realized she was manic. ARG!


MANIA 101: Here’s the basic info about bipolar disorder mania.

Let’s start at the beginning. There are two levels of mania: hypomania and full blown mania.

People with bipolar disorder II (two) have hypomania only. People with bipolar disorder I (one) have hyomania and the very dangerous and very life disrupting full blown mania. I have bipolar disorder two, but I’m one of the unfortunates- My type of hypomania is right on the verge of full blown mania. If I ever do move into full blown mania, I will then have a [ Read More ]

Partner of a Person with Bipolar Disorder?


Julie, how do I know if my partner really is better? He got out of the hospital last month after a massive manic and psychotic episode, but I feel like he is still sick. Julie, how long does this take and will ‘he’ ever come back? Loretta

Hello Loretta,

Yes, your partner will come back. Bipolar disorder symptoms are not permanent. With the right treatment, he will come back to homeostasis. You then need a management plan, but that is another topic!

Here is the list I use with clients when they ask how can they possibly know when someone is actually better.

Your husband is better when you see the following:

1. He acknowledges the trouble, pain and heartache he (due to his illness) caused when he was sick. “I am so sorry [ Read More ]

Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder

Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder is my foundational book. It’s the one I recommend for those who are new to bipolar disorder.

A description of the book is below. If you’re a family member or health care professional who wants to learn the basics of bipolar disorder and how the illness can be treated with a management plan, you will love this book! Take Charge was the first book to talk about having a trigger management plan for bipolar disorder. It also introduced the idea of avoiding the bipolar disorder conversation and the importance of having a team in place to help manage the illness.

Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder with Julie A. Fast: A 4-Step Management Plan for People [ Read More ]

Bipolar Disorder and Psychosis: Yes, we can have paranoid delusions!

Here is an example the Newsletter

Today’s Topic: Bipolar Disorder and Paranoid Delusions

by Julie A. Fast

Paranoia is a type of psychosis called a delusion. A delusion is a false belief.

For example, paranoia can be the belief that you have done something wrong and that a person or an organization is upset with you. This is a scary experience as it feels so real.

Paranoia used to really cause me a lot of trouble. I’ve worked hard so that I can at least recognize paranoia before it makes me do something stupid.

I often get the feeling that my friends are ignoring me and that they have met friends they [ Read More ]

Tips to Get Out of a Severe Bipolar Depression

Remind yourself that depression is an illness. The symptoms will always be the same. It is not a personal problem. It is not a weakness. It is an illness. Here are the signs of bipolar depression that remind you that bipolar depression needs to be treated in the same way you would treat pneumonia.

Bipolar Depression Symptoms:

– Lack of joy in what used to bring joy. This does NOT mean you need to change your life. It means you need to end the depression so that you can again experience joy. Many people make the mistake of leaving relationships, quitting jobs and thinking a big change is the answer to ending depression. I suggest that managing depression is a better choice.

– A sense that you will never get better. This [ Read More ]

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