Julie A. Fast Interview about Kanye West and Bipolar Disorder Symptoms

I was recently interviewed about #Kanye West and bipolar disorder. A link to the article from Good Magazine is below. It is very well done. I always find it interesting to see how my words are used in print. I offered a lot of back up information on why I feel Kanye has bipolar disorder. This is not in the article as much as I would like due to the length, but I do feel he has the classic signs of bipolar disorder and possible schizo affective disorder and hopefully he will get the help he needs this time. I have been where Kim is right now, and it’s scary. She is hurting and he is hurting and my compassion is with them.
Kristin Marguerite Doidge did an excellent job, especially considering the complication that fame always puts on mental health symptoms!
I have no interest in being an arm chair diagnostician. I do believe in carefully watching a person’s behavior, what they say and what those around them say as well. Kanye has shown signs of episodic depression, hypomania, full blown mania with psychosis and anxiety for many years. It’s simply an illness.


Bipolar Disorder Psychosis: Sneaky, Sneaky Hallucinations!


Here is an excerpt from a blog I wrote for Bp Magazine on the topic of bipolar disorder and psychosis. Enjoy! A link to the full article is at the end of the blog.


Hello! Please know that this blog talks about a very vivid topic- psychotic hallucinations. I describe what I experience in detail and don’t want anyone to be upset by reading my blog.  I would like to encourage you to keep reading as the hallucinations I describe didn’t harm me at all and the story has a good ending. I talk about these experiences openly in order to help others who might be struggling with undiagnosed bipolar psychosis.

Sneaky, sneaky hallucinations………!  I had my first depression hallucination at age 19. It was so vivid it felt real. My gorgeous Canadian boyfriend broke up with me and I had to move back in with my parents as I had nowhere to live. I flunked out of school the year before (I now know it was because of bipolar disorder, but was truly confused at the time. My parents had NO idea what was going on!)  I was despondent over the breakup to the point that I had trouble functioning…..

Click here to visit the Bp Magazine webpage and read the rest of the blog. 

It’s normal to have psychosis if you have bipolar disorder. Do you see signs of psychosis in yourself or someone you care about?


I Believe in You


I believe in me too.

We can do it.

We can survive.

We can get better

We can reach our dreams.

I’m going to do this.

We can do it together.


Free Call with Julie: Avoid The Bipolar Conversation.. for Parents, Partners and Health Care Professionals



Avoid The Bipolar Conversation:

3 Strategies for Successful Communication When Your Loved One or Client is in a Mood Swing

A Free Phone-In Event with bestselling author and coach Julie A. Fast.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

2:00 PM PST

5:00 PM EST/10:00 PM London, England GMT

What if you could learn to recognize a loved one’s or client’s mood swings from the beginning and create a communication plan that works even when a person is ill? It is possible when you use the strategies from Julie’s books Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder and Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder.

In this complimentary call, Julie will show you how to not only recognize a mood swing before it goes too far, but how to STOP the looping, pointless conversations where bipolar disorder is always in control.

Avoiding the Bipolar Conversation is a method you can learn quickly and use forever.

During this FREE phone call, you will:

–  Learn Julie’s strategy to spot the symptoms of a mood swing before it goes too far. 

– Learn to recognize the signs of the dreaded Bipolar Conversation and make an immediate change in your interactions when a person is ill. 

– Receive the exact words to use when a person is in a mood swing in order to have a effective conversation instead of an argument. 

 – Discover how to avoid the frustrating loops and damaging conversations we all have when bipolar disorder takes over a person’s life. 

If you’re a fan of Julie’s books, this is your chance to hear her explain how she creates her strategies and uses them in her own life.

One hour can change your life and your relationships. There is hope.

Please note that Julie will not use your sign up information for anything other than this call. If you are a current client of Julie, this is a great refresher call. If you love Julie’s books, this is a great chance to learn her techniques from the source.


(It can take a few minutes for your registration emails to arrive in your inbox. You will receive an order email and an email with call in directions. Please write {comments at gmail dot com} if you do not receive the call-in directions.)

A note from Julie:  Join me LIVE and learn exactly what to say and do when a person with bipolar disorder is depressed, manic, anxious or psychotic. It can be so confusing as a parent, partner or health care professional when a person with bipolar disorder is talking and you have to ask yourself, “Wait a minute. He seems happy, but he sounds manic. Do I say something?” Or. “I can tell she’s paranoid right now and I have no idea what to say. Should I just agree with her? Should I call the doctor?” And most importantly, how to talk to someone who is suicidal, the most difficult conversation of all. You can learn what to say. Participants in this FREE call can send in questions for Julie to answer. Details for sending questions are in the registration email you will receive after signing up. 

This complimentary event airs Sunday, November 20th at 2:30 PM PDT. See you there!

rainbow phoenix

Guest Blogger: Dr. Fred Von Gunten on Bipolar Disorder and the Power of Positivity


Dr. Fred Von Guten Shares His Personal Story of Dealing with and Overcoming Bipolar Disorder

The following is a guest post by Dr. Fred Von Gunten, a retired Optometrist specializing in developmental and behavioral vision for more than 33 years, and the author of The Power of Positivity for Bipolar and Anyone Else, a book in which he explores the challenges of living with bipolar disorder and his ultimate achievement of episode-free stability.  Dr. Von Gunten can be reached at fvongunten2@gmail.com and invites readers to follow him on Facebook at Promoting the Power of Positivity  and his Personal Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/fred.vongunten.

I wrote this article to help others understand what bipolar is like and that living episode-free is possible using my own experiences with both.  At 74, I have gained the knowledge and experience from which others may benefit when it comes to dealing with Bipolar Disorder. I lived with over 50 years of Bipolar I, and for the first 25 years, I dealt with five episodes. Since then, I have transformed my life by changing my thoughts (cognitive-behavioral) and committing to a consistent supply of Lithium (physical-psychiatric-mood stabilizer).

I was one of the first to receive Lithium when the FDA approved it in 1971.

I have maintained 32 years of “episode-free emotional stability.” Some would classify this as being a “Functional Bipolar,” but I like to view it as “Functionally Cured.”

Self Medicating My Bipolar With Alcohol

The term “self-medication, is defined as “the process by which some individuals may abuse substances in attempting to use them to relieve other problems such as anxiety, pain, sleeplessness or other symptoms of bipolar disorder.” Obviously this is a very serious and widespread issue, but why? What makes those with bipolar disorder turn to alcohol?

Research and theories about this abound, but for the most part it is generally believed that a biological or physiological cause may be the root. There is an “underlying vulnerability of the individual that precipitates both mental illness and substance abuse.”

When I entered my beginning manic episodes, I felt like overnight, I was in high gear—getting by on three hours of sleep. There were nights I would go to the bar for a couple of drinks before heading home from my office hours. Looking back, I now acknowledge I was self-medicating. “When Fred was manic, he became a person I didn’t know and who was hard to live with,” says my wife, Linda. “It was lonely, it was difficult, and there were long hours not knowing where he was.”

Co-occurring Disorders | Dual Diagnosis – Bipolar and Substance Misuse

I then needed to consider the comorbidity of bipolar disorder and substance use illness, including its prevalence in my daily life. There was an impact on the course and presentation with this bipolar disorder, and the associated diagnostic and treatment difficulties I experienced; along with the pharmacologic approaches to my treatment. I discovered that dealing with bipolar disorder is very likely to co-occur with alcohol or drug abuse, and that bipolar patients who also abuse drugs or alcohol have an earlier onset and worse course of illness compared with those who do not. I need to also warn that those of us with bipolar who also abuse substances are more likely to experience irritable and dysphoric mood states, increased treatment resistance, and a greater need for hospitalization.

It was seventeen years ago that I started a new phase of my life (since January 1999). It included retirement, contentment and enhancement of stability with bipolar disorder. And I have to thank my wife, Linda, who for 52 years and counting has supported me during my episodes – I owe her my life.


In terms of retirement, I wonder whether the retired mind frees us from the constant biochemical changes that cause bipolar disorder? Perhaps it is the changes in environment that relaxes the mind in retirement. I don’t know for certain, but in my opinion, therein lays a possible answer to enhancing stability. To answer the questions why I feel it is so important to maintain a positive attitude with bipolar disorder, I felt that I needed to “change” so many areas in my life. The negative symptoms with bipolar required a positive change in dealing with everyday demands.

And it was the practice of using the power of positive thinking to overcome the many challenges of living with Bipolar Disorder that prompted me to write my book. I share these in my book as well as what it took for me to ultimately achieved episode-free stability. I hope it can help others achieve long-term stability, to encourage “positive thinking”… to inspire…to motivate…to give hope…to answer questions or concerns regarding bipolar disorder.


Dr. Von Gunten can be reached at fvongunten2@gmail.com and invites readers to follow him on Facebook at Promoting the Power of Positivity and his Personal Facebook Page  https://www.facebook.com/fred.vongunten.




A Note from Julie: I also call this post Growing Older with Bipolar Disorder- Fred and I are past our early years with this illness and as we age, we learn more ways to successfully manage our symptoms. We do get better with age.

Post Election Emotions: Treat Bipolar Disorder First



Take care of yourself today. Take care of your mental health. No matter what happened in the election, there is one thing that does not need to happen today. You do not have to get sick.

If you have a mental health disorder,  sleep is paramount. Make sure you sleep tonight no matter what. If you have a tendency towards psychosis as I do, watch for signs of paranoia and do something about the signs now.  If you’re depressed, anxious and worried about our future, focus on yourself and staying stable.

Change is a part of life. Sometimes we like the change and sometimes we don’t. Half of our country is deliriously happy and the other half is completely devastated. 

I’m not going to read too much about any of it. I know what obsessive reading and checking does to my brain. I know that I did my part and now I have to be respectful of what has happened. I believe in democracy and this is a big wake up call for many of us who assumed our path was the one that would be chosen.

I accept what has happened and will now do what I can to stay stable.

Treat bipolar first.

If you’re obsessively checking the internet, you can turn it off.

If you’re itching for a fight- looking for answers or raging with a feeling of injustice, talk with your therapist.  Wanting to do something doesn’t mean you can. Bipolar often decides for you. It does for me.

If you’re elated at what happened, please respect the deep fear that others feel and talk with them about it.

Our mental health community is a team. We can’t be divided.

Do everything it takes to stay stable. This is not a political issue for me. My mental health goes way beyond politics.

I can focus on outward change in the world only if I’m stable.


I originally posted this on my Julie A. Fast Facebook page. Please join me there for more regular updates. I also love to hear from readers in the comments section.

PS: When I have a tough day, I remind myself to do the things that make me happy. This morning I worked on my hair art. I feel better when I take care of my physical appearance. This is always a challenge when my mood is low and my anxiety is high. You can also see my noise cancelling earphones!


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