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bp Magazine for Bipolar Spring 2019

bp Magazine empowers people with bipolar disorder to live healthy, fulfilling lives. bp delivers success stories of people living with bipolar, including celebrities. It also includes features on building healthy lifestyles—with topics like sleep, exercise, stress, treatments, relationships, and employment—and offers cutting edge news and research.

United States
BP Magazine
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min
what is bipolar?

Bipolar disorder is a treatable illness marked by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy, and behavior. Bipolar disorder is also known as manic depression because a person’s mood can alternate between the “poles”—mania (highs) and depression (lows). The change in mood can last for hours, days, weeks, or months. What bipolar is not Bipolar disorder is not a character flaw or sign of personal weakness. Whom bipolar disorder affects Bipolar disorder affects more than 5.7 million adult Americans and 440,000 adult Canadians. It usually begins in late adolescence, often appearing as depression during teen years, although it can start in early childhood or later in life. An equal number of men and women develop this illness. Men tend to begin with a manic episode, women with a depressive episode. Bipolar disorder is found among all…

1 min
making our mark

Stigma. There’s that word again. But instead of continuing to pretend it’s all about our “differences,” let’s talk about what is really going on: prejudice and discrimination. Unfair beliefs acted out as unjust treatment. It’s the “labelers” (and yes, I’m labeling) that put stigma into play by avoiding, rejecting and even blaming us for our bipolar disorder. Originally a Greek word of the same spelling, “stigma” meant a physical “mark” or “sign.” Now it’s an invisible mark that sets us apart, leaving us feeling judged and misunderstood—often by the very people we count on most: our family, friends and community members. In our cover story, “When Stigma Strikes Close to Home,” you told us how fear feeds your inner circle’s negative attitude, which shatters your stability and keeps you from taking…

6 min
we hear you!

CREATIVE CONNECTION I DEFINITELY think there is a correlation between increased brain activity and creativity (“Creative Thinking,” Winter 2019). For me, when hypomania starts, I don’t stop ramping up and I eventually become psychotic. It’s an arduous process finding the right medication cocktail, especially when many combinations leave me feeling “flat,” but I think the trauma to my brain and resulting (long-lasting) crash of a manic episode warrant staying medicated. —Maria W., LONGMONT, CO LEARNING ABOUT the link between creativity and bipolar can be depressing. I wish the article had mentioned something I hear in my bipolar group. When people are asked, “Would you trade your creativity away if it meant no bipolar?” they invariably say they would in a heartbeat. I thought the article glamorized creativity, as if being creative…

1 min
meet aaron

AGE: 42 LOCATION: HILLSBORO, OR OCCUPATION: PEER PROGRAM MANAGER AT NAMI WASHINGTON COUNTY DIAGNOSES: BIPOLAR DISORDER NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED (2012), PTSD (1998) * * * * * IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU TO KNOW: I have tattoos and a scruffy beard, but I do not own a motorcycle. FAVORITE BOOK: Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss. GAME I LIKE TO PLAY: Baseball. MY MOST VALUABLE COPING STRATEGY: Taking a deep breath can quiet everything and everyone around me. PETS: I have two cats and a dog: O’Malley, Beans, and Bessie Lou. FAVORITE HOLIDAY: Halloween. No stress and limited expectations. I’M MOTIVATED BY: The belief that I am not the same person I was an hour ago. I am constantly evolving. FAVORITE SPORTS TEAMS: Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. FRIENDS WOULD DESCRIBE ME AS: Kind.…

6 min
mental health headlines

Greece criticized for poor care February 19, 2019, ATHENS, Greece—A Council of Europe committee strongly criticized Greece after inspectors found a critical lack of staff, over-reliance on psychiatric medication and widespread use of mechanical restraints at psychiatric departments of state-run hospitals. The Greek government proposes new legislation to increase the safeguarding of patient rights. Walk-in clinic launches in Lagos February 18, 2019, LAGOS, Nigeria—Chude Jideonwo, founder of Joy, Inc., which invests in charities, launched a new walk-in clinic where young people suffering from mental health issues can access help in a non-discriminatory setting. A new mental health phone line was also launched. Liberia faces acute challenges February 17, 2019, JOHANNESBURG, South Africa—Representatives of Liberia at an international meeting on mental health said their nation continues to face acute challenges in providing mental health services, with…

8 min
new research in mental health

Antidepressants increase mania risk in young people March 1, 2019, CLEVELAND, OH—Young people with depression who are at high risk for bipolar disorder should be monitored when they begin antidepressant medication, a new study suggests. Researchers said their study compared illness and antidepressant response of medication-free teens and young adults with major depression—who were at low risk or high risk for developing bipolar disorder —with peers who have bipolar and young people with neither condition. While the rate of young people with major depression switching to mania or hypomania was infrequent, the higher-risk group showed a higher occurrence in mania symptoms, increasing about 25 percent. The authors said the higher-risk people should be watched for development of bipolar if they are treated with antidepressants. The study, “Sub-threshold bipolar disorder in medication-free young subjects with major…