Bipolar Mood Swings are….

I’m often asked how we can tell the difference between bipolar disorder and the typical ups and downs of everyday life.

One of the best ways to figure this out is to remember that bipolar is unexpected.

It is not… and I must emphasize this…. bipolar is NOT a reaction that makes sense.

Bipolar behavior is off kilter. Too loud. Too quiet. Too weird. Too difficult. Too open. Too closed. It is excessive.

Bipolar mood swings don’t match the mood of the room. They don’t match the mood of the event that they are reacting to. They don’t match how regular people behave.

And for the majority of the time, the moods have NOTHING to do with anything. They are what I call free form moods!

Mania is all [ Read More ]

Do Friendships Affect Your Bipolar Disorder?

Friendships can be very difficult for people with bipolar. My article from Bp Magazine can help you understand why… and how you can help yourself or a person with bipolar navigate friendships that cause mood swings….

Bipolar Disorder & the End of Friendships

Bipolar can damage, even ruin, a friendship. If it ends badly, both people are hurt—and I might experience a mood episode. So, I discuss this freely with others and acknowledge my imperfections.

Romance Fades, But Friendship Is Forever?

I’ve noticed that, in general, our attitude about and understanding of romantic relationships is quite different from our beliefs and expectations surrounding friendships. For instance, we find it natural that, sometimes, romantic relationships end, and we can usually list the reasons why:

We were not compatible. The passion is [ Read More ]

Partner with Bipolar? The Duality of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder

Julie A. Fast is the author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner. Loving was the first book written for the partner of a person with mental health concerns and is now in its second printing, It teaches partners all over the world how to love someone with bipolar disorder while also getting their personal needs met in the relationship.

Dual Feelings in Bipolar Disorder Relationships Can be Confusing… but they can also be understood and managed….

It’s possible to love someone and be upset with someone. It’s possible to love someone and be worried about someone. It’s possible to love someone and be very, very angry at someone. It’s possible (and normal) to be two places at once with your emotions when you love someone with bipolar [ Read More ]

Euphoric Mania and Narcissism


A reader recently asked me about one of my Instagram posts called How Do I Know If I’m Euphoric Manic?

The image above is from the post. She writes:

Julie, You recently wrote somewhere that when you’re in a mania you are narcissistic, but you seem empathetic can you explain?


Hello Bev!

Mania is the most narcissistic of all mood swings. Our frontal lobes are turned off and all we care about is our own pleasure. This creates the narcissistic behavior. But at the same time, euphoric manic is very upbeat, expansive and social. We give the appearance that we’re thinking of other people. In reality, we just want people to join us on our adventures.

– We don’t listen. – We [ Read More ]

How I Manage Suicidal Thoughts

I would like to share the plan I use to manage and live with psychotic, suicidal thoughts.

My first suicidal thoughts were at age 19 after a breakup. I didn’t know I had bipolar and a psychotic disorder.

The thoughts were so shocking and so different than anything I had ever experienced, I simply assumed that everyone had them and I just didn’t know how to manage it very well.

That shows you how not talking about suicidal thoughts in the general public keeps so many of us in the dark when it comes to the workings of our brains.

I remember all of my suicidal episodes. It is such a profound experience that a person can’t understand it unless they’ve been through it.

I manage these thoughts [ Read More ]

Kanye and Kim: What Can a Family or Partner Do When Someone is Sick with Bipolar Disorder?

Click on the image to play the video on the AM Northwest Website.

I did an interview with AM Northwest on Kanye West, bipolar disorder and what family members and partners can do to help a loved one who has untreated mental illness. Make sure you read underneath the video as they actually put my show notes online. I am impressed!

The questions were thoughtful and I think we can all raise a cheer for the focus on family and partner rights when a loved one is ill. I don’t presume to speak for Kanye West or Kim Kardashian, but do believe their situation shows the world what all of us with a loved one who has untreated serious mental illness experience.