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bp Magazine for Bipolar

bp Magazine for Bipolar Fall 2020

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.

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United States
BP Magazine
4 Issues

in this issue

2 min
in the know

So many say that getting a bipolar diagnosis comes as a relief—finally, an explanation for the moods and behaviors that have shaped our lives. It’s also common, though, to ask: Why me? The answer, like so much else about us: the genetic roulette wheel. “Bipolar disorder is about 85 percent pure genetics,” researcher Stephen Strakowski, MD, explains in our feature “All in the Family?” Today, the silver lining is that we understand more about bipolar and can do more to manage it. Knowing our children have a higher risk of developing bipolar because of their acquired DNA puts us on alert for earlier intervention. And as we continue to educate ourselves and work toward wellness, we may become a catalyst for older relatives to seek help, too. That was the case…

7 min
we hear you!

DON’T LOSE HOPE THANKS FOR YOUR ARTICLE on bipolar depression (“It Don’t Come Easy,” Summer 2020). It was helpful. I need to keep exploring the treatment options you listed. —R.R. via bphope.com • THE STANDOUT PHRASE from this article, for me, was: “It’s like being in an abusive relationship, but with my own mind.” That speaks volumes to me. I have been in that kind of relationship with myself throughout my whole life, with many doctors and counselors trying a plethora of medications and therapies before finding something that works for me. The best advice I can give anyone new to the diagnosis is this: Don’t be afraid to try a new therapy, a new medication, a new treatment. Yes, each new thing takes time, but when you find something that works for…

1 min

AGE: 41 LOCATION: FORT COLLINS, CO OCCUPATION: AUTHOR, ADVOCATE, AND BLOGGER (THEBIPOLARBATTLE.COM) DIAGNOSIS: BIPOLAR I DISORDER (1999) • FAVORITE MOVIE: Terminator 2—I love Arnold! BEST WAY TO UNWIND: Having a family movie night in our pajamas. TOP OF MY PLAYLIST:Linkin Park [alternative rock]. Any time. Any day. HOW LOVED ONES DESCRIBE ME: Energetic, sensitive, compassionate, loving, and dedicated. MESSY OR ORGANIZED DESK: Organized. It gets messy when I am depressed. GREATEST LESSON: I always need to put my mental health first. Managing bipolar is my top priority. MOST TREASURED ITEM: My comic book collection. REAL-LIFE “SUPERPOWER”: I have the uncanny ability to find the good in any situation. IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU TO KNOW: I never thought I would live past my 30th birthday. I proved myself wrong in the best way possible. BIGGEST INDULGENCE: My electronic devices. SILLIEST MEMORY: My wife and I crack…

5 min
the pulse

Inspiring documentary looks at orchestra that empowers its musicians and breaks stigma Orchestrating Change, a moving new documentary that debuted on public television’s WORLD Channel (formerly PBS World) this fall, shines a spotlight on Me2/ Orchestra—the world’s only classical music organization created for people living with mental health conditions and the people who support them. “It’s so important to share the stories of people who are living successfully with mental illness, and not to wash over the difficult moments,” says Caroline Whiddon, Me2/ Orchestra co-founder and executive director. Filled with laughter, empathy, and efforts to maintain stability, the 90-minute film doesn’t shy away from those difficult moments. Orchestra members—including two who were hospitalized during the course of filming—are honest about their struggles living with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, and addiction. “In many ways…

6 min

Enhanced primary care helps reduce ER visits for physical complaints October 1, 2020, CHAPEL HILL, NC—Integrating primary care services and behavioral health services appears to reduce emergency room visits among people with severe psychiatric conditions such as bipolar disorder, a study suggests. American researchers, using the customary term “serious mental illness,” noted that individuals with such conditions have high rates of emergency department visits and high premature mortality rates. They analyzed results from a model of treatment known as enhanced primary care to determine its effect on emergency room visits for physical health complaints. They found that after people with serious mental illness had been enrolled in the program for three to four years, the average number of annual visits fell from 3.23 visits per person to 1.83 visits. For people with multiple…

3 min
principles to put into practice

Managing a mood disorder is an ongoing undertaking. Contrary to what some people think, you don’t just “get over it.” How you see the situation is key. Adopting the right perspective takes time, so be patient. Searching for quick fixes only makes matters worse. Let’s look at three important principles to put into practice—over time, not overnight! Accepting what I’m facing.For years, I fought a losing battle with bipolar. Instead of learning to embrace it, I was searching for a miracle cure. That led to dealing with major missteps and misgivings, spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I ultimately recognized that I had to deal with my situation head-on and focus on a realistic solution. My doctor remembers my saying that I was tired of going in circles over my cycles—which I had…