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bp Magazine for Bipolar Spring 2021

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…

3 min
food for thought

The founder of the Momofuku restaurant, the culinary brand that spans three countries, says that his empire was born of his depression. His name is David Chang and if you don’t already know that, you won’t forget it. He’s also a media magnate—a popular podcast host, producer, creator and star of food and travel shows—who’s launched a much-loved food magazine, written a best-selling cookbook and is five-time winner of coveted James Beard Awards. The list goes on. Yet all of those accomplishments are only part of his story. And that’s what caught my attention when I heard his interview on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert followed by Chang’s straight-talking memoir Eat a Peach (there are no recipes). With bracing honesty and humility, the celebrity chef shares his experiences with bipolar disorder,…

7 min
we hear you!

A FIERCE BEAST THANK YOU for the article “Stopping a Bipolar Rage Rampage” (Winter 2021). It was timely and relevant after very recently experiencing my worst “rage incident.” Your advice about identifying triggers and addressing them with family in an honest way was especially helpful. After much journaling, quiet time, and reflective meditation, I was able to pinpoint the major stressor that sent me “over the top” plus the “little” ones that had slowly built up in me. I feel better equipped and supported by my husband to recognize and proactively head off future rage rampages. —A.B., GREENSBORO, NC • I FOUND the article on anger to be very meaningful. Anger is the beast of living with bipolar, and it’s always lurking nearby. I’ve discovered that my anger/irritability percolates until it finds someone…

1 min
meet kimmy

NICKNAME: Makiki—a combination of “Mama” and “Aunt Kiki.” Makikisart is the name of my business. FAVORITE DOCUMENTARY: Dolly Parton: Here I Am. MOST UNUSUAL TALENT: I can pick things up with my feet—my “finger toes.” I WISH I WERE BETTER AT: Organization! I am 100 percent creative and 0 percent organized. IT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU TO KNOW: I enjoy domestic chores like laundry, vacuuming, and dishes. I like being productive with immediate results without chaos in my head. PROUDEST OF: The Bipolar Butterfly Project—raising awareness and helping to end stigma by opening comfortable dialogue with public art installations. I’M MOTIVATED BY: Changing the future for my kids—and anyone else who may be touched by mental illness. MOST VALUABLE COPING STRATEGY: Releasing pent-up emotion by listening to sad film scores that make me cry while I paint. TO UNWIND:…

5 min
the pulse

A ‘BRAVE’ NEW WORLD: This Is My Brave goes virtual with added options What does a mental health group centered on stage performances do when a pandemic makes group gatherings impossible? For seven years, This Is My Brave put on live productions featuring people whose essays, poetry or music share what it’s like to live with a psychiatric condition. The aim is for performers to feel more empowered while giving human faces to diagnoses. Like so much else in the COVID era, This Is My Brave moved online. The nonprofit also used this period to rethink how best to bring personal stories to audiences across the country. Jennifer Marshall, who has bipolar I disorder, launched This Is My Brave in the Washington, DC, area with the late Anne Marie Ames. Their first show in…

6 min

Postpartum onset linked to more favorable course April 1, 2021, PARIS, France—Women whose bipolar disorder presents as a postpartum depressive episode after giving birth appear to have a more favorable course of bipolar than women whose onset occurs at some other time, a new study suggests. French researchers noted the nearly 13 percent of women whose bipolar emerged as a major depressive episode experienced their first episode postpartum. Furthermore, the postpartum period is associated with an increased risk of bipolar disorder diagnosis and relapse, mainly related to depressive episodes. In looking at 750 women whose bipolar emerged as a major depressive episode, they found those with postpartum onset tended to have an older age of onset, more likelihood of a bipolar II disorder diagnosis, less history of suicide attempts, fewer past depressive episodes,…