Bipolar is a mood disorder that causes extreme mood swings that range from emotional highs, called mania or hypomania, to emotional lows, or depression. Mood swings may occur multiple times per year or hardly at all. Some individuals with the disorder may rarely experience "normal" moods.
Around 5.7 million adults in the United States have bipolar disorder. A healthcare professional who specializes in mental health conditions will discuss the best treatment plan, which will likely include medications and psychotherapy, for your specific symptoms.
In addition to support from healthcare professionals and family, coping mechanisms and support can be gained through blogs that focus on bipolar disorder. People who are going through similar experiences as well as experts in the bipolar field usually write these blogs. Here are Medical News Today's choices of the top 10 best bipolar blogs.
Jennifer Marshall is a mental wellness speaker and writer. Almost 12 years ago, Jennifer experienced two manic episodes, and after several doctor's appointments she was diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder.
Jennifer says that although she has bipolar disorder, it does not define her. "I want to be able to say, for the rest of whatever time I have left, that I beat bipolar disorder; that I was an inspiration to others still fighting. And that I lived my best life."
Through her blog, Jennifer openly shares her experiences of living with mental illness. Recent articles include how Jennifer started blogging and how far she has come after 6 years, how watching a Netflix series landed her in the emergency room, and how receiving her bipolar diagnosis from doctors in a different way would have made Jennifer's journey easier.
Julie A. Fast is an author, columnist, consultant, speaker, and writer of the Bipolar Happens! blog. Julie has a wealth of knowledge on bipolar disorder; her husband Ivan was diagnosed with bipolar 1 in 1994, and she was diagnosed with ultra-ultra rapid cycling bipolar 2 the year after.
Julie's goal is to help those diagnosed with bipolar disorder to manage their condition effectively, and, as a result, live a life filled with joy and happiness. By overcoming the obstacles in her treatment, Julie is living and enjoying life again, and she says that if she can do it, others can too.
Articles on Bipolar Happens! include how the stress of some activities trigger bipolar symptoms and that it is OK to quit them in order to get better, parent success stories of helping children with bipolar disorder, and tips to end severe bipolar depression.
Dennis Heil is the man behind the blog Bipolar Manifesto. He was diagnosed with bipolar 2 disorder with severe depression in 2009. Assistance from mental health professionals has enabled Dennis to help himself and reach a high degree of recovery.
He launched his blog in 2012 to offer people with bipolar disorder a place to build their knowledge and navigate the obstacles and hurdles in the way to wellness more effectively. He found much of the information available on the Internet full of misinformation.
Bipolar Manifesto provides honest accounts, such as a deconstruction of the call to action "talk to someone" after the death of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington, how self-love is the most important ingredient of compassion, and reasons why people may succeed or fail in their recovery from mental illness.
Emma White is a wife, mum to six children, and online agony aunt and dear friend to many. She runs the Jigsaw Parenting blog to support mothers with their mental health and provide a platform to give parents a voice - a place where they can blog anonymously.
Emma says that bipolar disorder tried to strip her of everything she held dear and she fought back. Through the blog's daily debates, real life topics, and confessions, Emma hopes that she can help others to turn their lives around so that no woman feels the way she did.
The latest posts on Jigsaw Parenting include what it is like being a parent with mental illness, how it feels when you do not want to live but do not want to die either, and how Emma lost all her friends due to bipolar.
International Bipolar Foundation
The International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) was founded in 2007 in San Diego, CA, by four parents with children impacted by bipolar disorder. Their experiences of how bipolar disorder affects families compelled them to do something constructive to help others facing similar challenges.
The IBPF website provides information on what to do if you are in crisis, a list of inpatient and outpatient treatment centers, support groups that you can contact if you or your family are affected by bipolar disorder, and articles to learn more about living with the condition.
The blog includes content such as Michelle's book - My Happy Sad Mummy - that portrays a young girl's emotional response to living with a mom with bipolar disorder, finding strength in Danielle's story, and Serena's thoughts on stigma and having bipolar disorder.
Charlotte Walker writes the blog purplepersuasion. Charlotte has battled with mental distress, on and off, for 25 years. She created purplepersuasion as a way to deal with her most recent relapse and bipolar disorder rediagnosis in 2011.
The blog is a space for Charlotte to explore what it is like to have a serious mental illness as well as to connect with others who are in similar situations.
Charlotte's most recent posts include an analysis of her encounters with psychiatrists and how some people find psychiatry helpful, feelings of upset when people ask what you do for a living when bipolar prevents you from working, and an analogy of how only the trees are listening when you are trapped in a dark pit and keep asking for help.
Natasha Tracy is a speaker, social media consultant, award-winning writer, and the author of Bipolar Burble. Natasha has been living with bipolar disorder since the age of 20 and created Bipolar Burble as a means to express her experiences with the condition.
Natasha aims to provide individuals with evidence-based information about mental illness and insightful and trusted details on bipolar disorder while engaging with the mental health community.
Bipolar Burbles features blog posts such as learning not to push past your limits if you have bipolar disorder, knowing how to self-soothe in the face of bipolar disorder pain, and how psychiatric terms are inadequate at explaining the feelings associated with mental illness.
The Bipolar Blogger Network
The Bipolar Blogger Network is the brainchild of two friends who felt that there was a lack of networking options for people with the various types of bipolar disorder.
The blog is intended to be a hub to share experiences of living with or being around those affected by bipolar disorder. The Bipolar Blogger Network carefully selects talented bloggers that have genuine experiences of the disorder.
Recent posts appearing on The Bipolar Blogger Network include taking on a full-time job with bipolar, when something triggers bipolar and your stability quickly evaporates, and whether you dare to dream when you have bipolar disorder.
Joel Gazis-Sax lives in Trabuco Canyon, CA, with his wife Lynn, a cat named Boadicea, and a Boston terrier named Drake. He shares honest and sometimes witty personal stories on his blog, Pax Nortona, about living, traveling, and working with bipolar disorder.
Joel is the president of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of South Orange County, which he co-founded with his wife, and he has helped to plan state mental health conferences.
Posts on Pax Nortona include being yourself in a world trying to make you like everyone else, what Joel would want to say in his next job interview, and how people reacted when first told about Joel's bipolar disorder and how he feels now about those days.
Bipolar Beat is a bipolar blog on the Psych Central website. Psych Central is an independent mental health social network run by mental health professionals. They offer trusted and reliable information and more than 250 support groups.
Psychiatrist Dr. Candida Fink and author Joe Kraynak write the articles on Bipolar Beat. Dr. Fink specializes in child and adolescent psychiatry with expertise in the areas of pediatric bipolar disorder and mental health issues in school settings. Kraynak offers his insight and experience of living with bipolar as a significant other.
Bipolar Beat covers subject matter such as the shifting perspective on bipolar drugs and weight gain, what the difference is between manic and hyperactive, and steps to sleeping better with bipolar disorder.