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Three Bipolar Disorder Symptoms No One Wants to Talk About

3 Symptoms Of Bipolar, by Julie Fast

By Julie A. Fast, 1 Apr 2020

The three symptoms below represent the side of bipolar disorder we all know is there but rarely want to let the public know exists.
Woman Shushing – Three Bipolar Disorder Symptoms No One Wants to Talk About

I know how important it is to protect the reputation of bipolar disorder in the general public. We don’t want people thinking we are dangerous, scary, crazy people who can’t be trusted. But I do feel we need to own up to the fact that certain mood swings DO cause the behaviors we want to sweep under the carpet. The three symptoms below represent the side of bipolar disorder we all know is there but rarely want to let the public know exists. This is only an opinion, of course, but I’m truly interested to know if you feel the same. Read more

Stephen Fry Spits in Stigma’s Eye with Honest Talk on Tough Subjects

Stephen Fry, Bipolar

With a new memoir out, More Fool Me, the iconic British comedian and actor, Stephen Fry, continues to speak honestly and openly about living with bipolar disorder.

The 2006 documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive has a somewhat misleading title, because Stephen Fry himself is incredibly open about his bipolar—and pretty much everything else he is and does.

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15 Lies People Tell While Manic

15 Lies People Tell While Manic

Most people, at one point or another, have lied about how they’re feeling. From “white lies” that spare the feelings of others, to not telling the truth because you’re afraid of the reaction you’ll get, we’ve all told a lie before. When you live with bipolar disorder, explaining your moods to others can be tough. Maybe they don’t really understand the high highs of mania or the low lows of depression, or maybe you haven’t told them you have bipolar disorder.

You might tell a lie to those who don’t “get” bipolar disorder, as a way to explain your moods or actions — especially during a manic episode where you might feel wired and not need to sleep or buy things you can’t afford. You might say things like:

“I’ve just had a lot of sugar and it’s making me feel hyper.”

“I slept enough last night.”

“I really needed these new pairs of shoes.”

While it might be difficult, being open and honest with others about your struggles can help them better understand the condition and support you. If you have trouble explaining how you feel, try coming up with a system that lets you share how you are doing without explicitly having to state what your mood is. For example, this color chart below, can help you communicate your bipolar disorder symptoms by sharing “today’s color.” Each color is linked to a different symptom, making it easier to communicate how you’re feeling on a day where you may not have the words or ability to do so otherwise.

15 Lies People Tell While Manic

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Experts Urge for Better Initial Care for First-Time Manic-Episodes

A recent study published by experts studying the diagnosis of patients with bipolar disorder examines the reasons why it takes excessive lengths of time for these individuals to attain a proper diagnosis. As a result, many are left to lead lower qualities of life and suffer from their symptoms for longer than necessary. 


The Lancet Psychiatry paper reveals that patients with bipolar disorder frequently do not get proper care in an appropriate time frame. This finding is particularly dangerous for those who are suffering in silence from a mental health condition. Fortunately, these experts are urging for more timely initial care. 


Although a bipolar disorder diagnosis requires a person to have experienced only one manic episode, many do not receive their diagnosis when the symptoms initially begin to show themselves. In addition, they frequently don’t get the care they need after their first manic episode. Failure to recognize and treat these symptoms when they first arise can be a dangerous thing, as mania can make individuals feel like they are far more powerful than they are, which often promotes risk-taking behavior. In the study, experts found that individuals with bipolar disorder are twice as likely to self-harm and have a greater risk of suicidal thoughts and attempts. Aside from risky behaviors, individuals with bipolar disorders are also more likely to begin using drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms, putting them at high risk for suffering from a co-occurring substance use disorder.


In addition, close to 50% of people with bipolar disorder begin exhibiting symptoms before the age of 21, it can take nearly 6 years for a physician to diagnose and treat the condition. In the Lancet Psychiatry study, specialists describe that there is inadequate research providing for the appropriate treatment for first-time manic episodes, which leads to longer time periods of those with bipolar disorder going untreated. 


Identifying initial manic episodes and offering treatment at an early stage can help those struggling with their mental health to better manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Getting a diagnosis and successful treatment as soon as possible can prevent years of undiagnosed suffering. 


When it comes to physical health conditions, health care professionals are often in a hurry to figure out what the problem is and how to treat it. However, it takes much longer for people suffering from bipolar disorder to attain the correct diagnosis and begin treatment. Mental health should be treated equally as is physical health, as no one deserves to suffer in silence with an untreated mental illness. Hopefully, this study will shed light on the importance of identifying and treating mental illness in a timely manner. After all, it can mean life or death for many. 


If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, don’t give up. Keep speaking out and keep looking for help. Whether it means multiple opinions, counselors, or symptom management techniques – there is a way out. Don’t let the stigma that surrounds mental illness stop you from living the quality life you deserve.

Should We Bring Back Public Psychiatric Hospitals?

Should we bring back public Psychiatric Hospitals?

What a panel of experts recently said about the issue.

Consider for a moment this situation: Your adult daughter suffers from a serious mental illness. You have tried to get help for her, but it has not worked out, and you were told that unless she’s a danger to herself or someone else, she can’t be hospitalized. Now she’s living on the street and you have no idea how she is faring. You worry constantly and dread getting a certain phone call. You wish desperately there was some sort of safe haven for her, but you know you cannot afford a private care facility. Maybe at this point, a publicly funded psychiatric hospital sounds like a good idea — as long as it isn’t what they were known for back in the 1950s and 1960s.

The closing of psychiatric hospitals began during those decades and has continued since; today, there are very few left, with about 11 state psychiatric hospital beds per 100,000 people. That’s the same ratio we had in 1850, according to a 2012 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center. Do we need more public psychiatric hospitals?

This question recently drew a standing-room-only crowd at Fountain House, a nonprofit community and social services center for the seriously mentally ill in New York City, where a panel of experts discussed the issue. (Watch a video of the discussion here.) The question exists within the context of a mental health crisis in the United States, and the related statistics are disturbing:

Having serious mental illness, such as bipolar disease or schizophrenia, will shorten your lifespan by 25 years. This is not because of suicide, but because many health issues (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, smoking) go untreated in the mentally ill, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
In nearly every U.S. state, people with serious mental illness are more likely to be jailed than sent to a hospital. In 2014, the number of mentally ill people behind bars was 10 times that of patients in state psychiatric hospitals, according to a study by the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit based in Arlington, Va. New Hampshire is currently facing a backlash for placing into jails seriously mentally ill people who haven’t been arrested.
Some jails are inhumane for mentally ill people, and they are extremely costly. Incarceration can cost $100,000 per person per year, according to a 2014 Washington state survey.
One quarter of mentally ill people are homeless, according to NAMI. Some are discharged directly from jails, emergency rooms and mental hospitals to the streets.
Only about 63 percent of adults with serious mental illness received mental health services in the past year, NAMI says.

Bring Back Public Psychiatric Hospitals? Read more.

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