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Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Bipolar disorder affects approximately 6 million adults in the United States alone (National Institute of Mental Health). There is a lot of stigma around the label bipolar disorder, but what is it exactly? Is it a psychological issue or a physiological issue or both? The latest research tells us it is a genetic and chemical disorder. Prior to it being called bipolar disorder it was called manic-depressive disorder and before that it was called cyclothymic personality disorder. But what’s in a label?  

Many professionals liken bipolar disorder to diabetes. If someone with diabetes is low on blood sugar they may certainly be experienced as having psychological issues. In the same vein, some make the argument that a person may be perfectly psychologically healthy, but if they have bipolar disorder they are prone to experiencing manic and depressive episodes when the chemicals get imbalanced.

Does having bipolar disorder make you crazy? Sometimes I feel like the uneducated stigma out there supported by the insurance companies endorses this view. I’ve seen people who fall into depressive episodes and then at times seem to get very excited for a while. However, throughout these times they were able to manage life without medications and without major problems. It’s the people who end up in the hospital who we hear more about that hence the stigma for bipolar disorder.

Read Article in Full:  http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=31181&cn=4

Spotlight on a Live Journal

Kathryn Patricelli, MA

We recently came across a live journal that has some material we wanted to share with you.  The journal is written by a student mental health nurse (Darryl Cunningham) who is also a photographer, writer and cartoonist.  The entries focus on a variety of topics and include different photos and posts.

The sections that we are especially excited to see are some very nicely written and drawn comic strips from an upcoming book on mental health issues including Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, self-harm and general mental illness.

You can find the main journal page here.

The Bipolar Disorder comic strip is here.

The Schizophrenia comic strip is here.

The Self-Harm comic strip is here.

The “People with Mental Illness Enhance our Lives” strip is here.

We love to see creative approaches like this to addressing and reducing the stigma of mental illness.  Definitely worth your time to check these out.

Updated: Sep 24th 2009

Source:   http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=31176&cn=4



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