Family Support Groups

Hi Julie,

I wonder if there is a way to find out if other people have started support groups for teens or families who have a loved one with BP?

People rave about the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) family to family program. People also get a lot of help from DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance).  You can find more info on the web.

I just corresponded with a reader from Australia- you can look up her organization: Association for Relatives and Friends of the Emotionally and Mentally Ill.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have other suggestions!


Bipolar Mania Signs

It’s 1AM and you just really, really want to clean out your fridge. So you open the door and put everything on the counter and before you know it, the food is in the garbage, because there’s just too much in there anyway! And then you look at the clock and think- oh crap! I’m manic!

That happened to me last night. I was quite depressed the day before, so hello rapid cycling. Today is back to normal.

I love hearing the odd stories .. we all have them!


I’m not depressed!!!!

I just leaned back in my rocking chair and had the thought. “”I’m not depressed.” I’ve been having a tough time lately.   I was rapid cycling quite a bit yesterday, but today is good! Hard work pays off. I never thought I would get better, but I have. If you’re depressed or just got out of the hospital, there are millions of us out there who are going through the same things. And we are getting better!


PS:Don’t lean back too far in a rocking chair!

Bipolar Disorder Depression Symptoms

Unexpected Signs of Bipolar Depression!

      • Tripping over things/clumsiness
      • Unable to read directions as easily as you normally would
      • Sudden lack of loving feelings
      • No desire for romantic relations- IE: don’t touch me!
      • Trouble finding a comfortable place to work

And so many more!


Bipolar Disorder Struggles

I’m not doing too well today. I haven’t been doing well for a few days actually! A few days ago I had catatonic depression. My mother came over and helped me clean my room. That helped a lot!

Yesterday I was up and down. I decided to go to a movie last night so that I didn’t have to hear my depressed thoughts. That helped a lot!

Today I am fighting IT again. But it won’t win! It never does.

Bipolar depression is a scary thing, but I remind myself all day long- It’s an illness.

Today is a tough day in terms of work. I have an article due for BP Magazine and it’s a struggle. I just remind myself of what my books say. I don’t have to feel like doing something in order to GET IT DONE!

It’s 7PM. I am going to finish my article and get to bed early. As always, my plan is to go to bed feeling better than when I woke up. I will accomplish that tonight!

Bipolar disorder is an illness. You probably see yourself in what I write- because we share an illness.

I want this to go away forever- but it just hangs around sometimes! It’s an illness.

You will be able to read my magazine article in the fall. Because I’m going to finish it right now….


Newsletter: Bipolar Disorder and the Anti Psychotic Abilify (Aripiprazole)

You may have noticed that many people with bipolar disorder take Abilify.

Abilify is an antipsychotic medication- also known as a neuroleptic. It is used for treating psychosis and mania.

The generic name is Aripiprazole.

It’s a newer antipsychotic, so it’s called an atypical anti psychotic. It, along with the other atypicals such as Risperdal, Seroquel and Zyprexa has less side effects than the older drugs such as Thorazine and Haldol.  Interestingly, research has shown that the newer anti psychotics are not more effective than the old drugs. They just have a lot less side effects.

This doesn’t mean they don’t have major side effects. They still do, but they’re easier to tolerate for many people.

A plus of Abilify is that it doesn’t seem to have as many weight gain problems associated with drugs such as Zyprexa, Seroquel and Risperdal.  That is a plus.  On the down side, Abilify can be extremely sedating for some (ME!) or very agitating for others (my friend Sherri).  But…. research always comes out at first that can be disputed later. The Abilify and weight gain issue is still under scrutiny.

Abilify can help with mania and suicidal thoughts and is now being advertised as a booster medication for anti depressants.  It comes in pill and liquid form.

Many people with bipolar disorder take anti psychotics. They just aren’t talked about as much as the mood stabilizers.


PS:  I simply can’t imagine how much money Bristol Meyers Squibb  (also called Otsuka Pharmaseuticals) is making off of Abilify. There seems to be an Abilify commercial every few minutes these days. The commercials talk about Abilify as a medication for depressioin- and yet they never mention that it’s an anit psychotic.  I think they should have to.

I wish customers could get a cut of their profits. That would be nice wouldn’t it!