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
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...Read More
The first step is for you to recognize your son’s mania. It’s such a tricky mood swing. I write about mania and know all of my symptoms and it still catches me by surprise!
- Mania comes on quickly. Depression can slowly creep up on a person. Mania can show up in just a few hours.
I've had bipolar disorder mood swings since the age of 17. For many, many years I didn't know what was wrong. When I was finally diagnosed, I thought the medications would just take care of my problems! It wasn't that simple. I didn't respond well to medications, so I knew I had to come up with my own...Read More
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
I will answer this with a quiz.
The following is a yes/ no quiz to check on your current mood stability. It's pretty fascinating to see where you're doing well or not doing so well. If you care about someone with the illness, you can answer from your observations.
Yes or No?
- I feel in control of
A dual diagnosis means a person has a bipolar disorder diagnosis along with a drug or alcohol dependency.
One of the top reasons a person with bipolar disorder has a poor treatment outcome is due to drug and alcohol abuse.
Three Reasons for the Abuse
1. When a person lacks the insight that they...Read More
Bipolar disorder is no longer a taboo subject. I’ve heard kids in high school talk about it openly. My friend Amanda is in 11th grade, so I asked her what she knew about the illness.
Her answer surprised me.
“We talk about it at school. It’s not in a bad way. That is probably because I hang out with a lot of geeky artist types. We...Read More
Yes. In my case it is very serious. My ADD is attached to a bipolar disorder diagnosis which is not uncommon, but it does make it more difficult to treat.
ADD affects so many areas of life:
Work: It can cut your work hours drastically because you spend so much time just finding a comfortable place...Read More
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
Be honest and gauge what to say depending on the age of your child.
Six years ago when my nephew was three, we were standing next to my big lavender plant on a sunny day. I said, “David, I know you won’t understand this now, but I want to tell you about my bipolar disorder. It’s an illness that makes...Read More
The cloudy, depressed mind responds well to short, emphatic and personally tailored phrases you can use in specific situations to put an end to depressive thoughts.
I call these 'depression mantras'. I've used them for years even with my severe depression.
You can work on specific mantras that...Read More
Here is a short and sweet answer. I have massive ADD problems that get in the way of my work ability. As a writer, not being able to focus or sit down without a struggle has been an unbelievable challenge. I wrote a book on the topic: Get it Done When You're Depressed. I use and still use...Read More
The first thing to remember is that suicide is a very common symptom of bipolar disorder.
I’ve been suicidal off and on for 20 years. I used to be so scared of the symptoms and then one day I thought, wait a minute. I have these thoughts and every person I know with bipolar has these thoughts. There...Read More
Moms and dads have very different relationships with their children. I’ve learned this through years of coaching. The mother is often the one who talks about the illness, asks the child to take medications, worries out loud about his future, gets anxious and upset if the child won’t talk and is often...Read More
Sure- ask yourself these questions.
- Have I ever been depressed? If yes, then..
- Have I ever been depressed and then suddenly felt incredibly better? Like a cloud had been lifted from my life and everything was amazing? Have I been incredibly creative and felt sexy and wanted to travel and just