Bio

Julie A. Fast is the bestselling author of Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder: Understanding and Helping Your Partner,  Take Charge of Bipolar Disorder: A Four Step Plan to Help You and  Your Loved Ones Manage the Illness and Find Lasting Stability and Get it Done When You’re Depressed: 50 Strategies for Keeping Your Life on Track. Julie won the Mental Health America Journalism Award for her columnist work in BP Magazine and the Eli Lilly Reintegration Award for her work in the bipolar disorder management field. Julie is a regular speaker for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). Julie’s frequent coauthor, Dr. John Preston specializes in the medications used to treat adult onset bipolar disorder as well as pediatric bipolar disorder and guides Julie in all of her writing and advice regarding medications. Julie is a coach for partners and family members of people with bipolar disorder and has one of the top bipolar disorder blogs on the web at www.BipolarHappens.com/bhblog. For more information about Julie’s work, please visit www.JulieFast.com

Specialties:

Affiliation:

  • Bipolar Disorder and Depression, Teen Mental Health, Author

Location:

  • Portland, OR

Activity

  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Have you been manic? It’s that easy.

    If you have not had an obvious manic episode, you can’t have bipolar disorder.

    It’s possible to be moody and anxious, excitable and agitated, but that’s not mania. You may have had days where sleeping is difficult, but if you woke up tired, grumpy and your...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Here is how I define psychosis:
    Psychosis is a break with reality that causes confusion, lack of functioning, communication difficulties and when full blown, hospitalization.
    Facts about psychosis:
    Psychosis is disruptive. People who are psychotic don’t fit
    in because they are ‘odd’ in what they...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:

    I recently met my friend Diana for happy hour. It was very noisy and bright outside. It felt good. My friend is a lot of fun and we are in the same publishing field.

    When she sat down, I tried so hard to be a good listener. But I started talking and talking. I could feel myself going on and on.

    ...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Here are some tips to help your partner with bipolar disorder:
    • You will need a solid knowledge of bipolar disorder and how it affects your partner so that you can differentiate bipolar disorder behavior from what you consider normal behavior.
    • Sympathy and insight play an important role.
    ...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    The #1 management tool (outside of medications) is getting your teen and yourself to discover and write down the very first symptoms of a mood swing- especially for mania, depression, anxiety and psychosis. It you catch the small signs that a mood swing is coming on, you can stop it before it goes...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    It’s hard to understand mania unless you have seen it and heard it personally.  There are two types of mania: full blown and hypomania. Even though hypomania is the milder form of mania, it’s still very concerning and can wreak havoc on a life. Many mistakes around sex and money are made when a person...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Yes, with some caution.
    Generics, especially when they first come on the market can differ significantly from brand medications and here is why.
    It’s an FDA law that all generic medications include the same active ingredients as those used in the original brand. You may think that the pills would...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Great question. Relapse means that bipolar disorder creeps up on you and takes over your life once again. This illness is so sneaky.
    Luckily, if you’re aware of the very, very basic beginnings of a mood swing, you can often catch the illness before it goes too far. This is what prevents relapse....Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Type I Diabetes and bipolar disorder are complicated and demanding illnesses.  It makes sense that managing both of them at once would be a challenge, but it is possible. Bipolar disorder is a genetic illness that affects a person’s ability to regulate their moods. Type I diabetes is an auto immune illness...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Hello!
    I believe that bipolar is 100% genetic. This doesn't mean it isn't triggered by many things. For example, anti-depressants can bring out latent bipolar and relationship troubles can lead to serious mood swings.
    Drug and alcohol abuse, work troubles and travel, just to name a few can also trigger mood...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Bipolar disorder is an episodic illness. This means that the
    mood swings come and go with discrete beginnings and ends. Mood swings can be very long and seem like they go on forever, but they do end at some point.
    For example, a full blown manic episode will eventually burn itself out after a period...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    It’s often hard to miss the beginning signs of bipolar euphoric mania because it feels so good! 

    Here is a quiz to spot the signs of feeling a bit TOO good which means you must get help before the euphoric mania turns into grandiose, out of control mania.

    **

    As compared to how you are when...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    I think it's quite easy to diagnose bipolar disorder once you know the basics of the illness. Bipolar Disorder doesn't change much in terms of symptoms- what changes is the severity and frequency of the symptoms.
    There are four basic mood swing categories I write about in my bipolar disorder work: Depression,...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    A bit of background: There are two types of mania: a dysphoric (agitated mania) that is really awful and an euphoric mania that can feel like true extreme happiness! Woo hoo! (but untrue).
    I was manic for over 20 years and though it was the real me. I was just so much happier when I was manic.
    Then I faced...Read More
  • Julie A. Fast - Portland, OR - Mental Health
    Julie A. Fast answered:
    Bipolar disorder, along with depression is a mood disorder. It’s an illness that affects brain chemicals and causes changes in moods that are 'non average' responses to outside events. This is why it’s so hard for those of us with the illness to handle change and stressful life events. This includes life...Read More