BIPOLAR STAR BLOG

  • Bipolar Survivors Don’t Get Standing Ovations

    My last official act as a teacher before retiring was to attend one last commencement ceremony. A popular teacher who had been out all year battling cancer spoke to the graduating class. Upon being introduced, he was received with a standing ovation. I stood. I then sat and admired his speech. I got a little tearful. And then I wondered.

    Why don’t bipolar survivors get standing ovations?

  • I'm Not Alone -- There's a Lot of Loneliness

    Loneliness is deadly.  Quite literally.  And I am alone a lot.  And lonely even more.

    I was a physically and socially awkward kid from the beginning.  But not as awkward, in retrospect, as my self image told me to be.  As I got old and fat, I wished that I hadn’t been as shy and unconfident as I had been. 

  • You Have to Worry About Your Medical Records

    In 1971, a defense analyst named Daniel Ellsberg leaked a top secret document critical of the Vietnam War to the New York Times.  This prompted men on Nixon’s payroll to break in and search Ellsberg’s file in his psychiatrist’s office in order to find anything embarrassing or discrediting. 
  • Where Did All My Money Go?

    Prominent psychiatrist Jan Fawcett has instructed spouses of those in manic episodes to “close the bank account and wait it out.”  I wish I could have had someone to close my bank account.
  • Falling Through the Cracks

    During my first trip to the hospital for my bipolar mania, I don’t recall the psychiatrist ever saying anything about bipolar, much less anything ...
  • Big Pharma, Big Money, and Support Groups

    Big Pharma. Can't live with them. Can't live without them. They gave us the covid vaccine. They also gave us the opioid crisis. Most people know t...
  • Mindfulness for Bipolar? Ummm...Well...

    My therapist gave me a book about how to live mindfully called How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Dr. Jan Chozen Bays. I certainly am a wild elephant.  And true to the concept of mindfulness, it was slow reading.  Each chapter rolled out a new challenge that was to be practiced for a week.  
  • We Shall Never Surrender (to Bipolar)

    For all the talk of those with bipolar disorder having shorter lives, Winston Churchill as well as John Adams were exceptions, each living to age 90. And for Churchill, this was despite being overweight and drinking and smoking to excess.
  • I Want to Be Purple

    Bipolar survivors are to be admired.  Bipolar is not for the weak. Carrie Fisher’s words: "At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication."

  • Theodore and the Roosevelt Bipolar Inheritance

    This post originally appeared as a guest post on the International Bipolar Foundation's blogFrom time to time, this blog will contain posts about interesting historical figures and their and their family's experiences with bipolar disorder.
  • The Importance of Humor in the Bipolar Life

    I always tried to apply humor to my teaching. Laughter is so important, as far as  I’m concerned, in both teaching and confronting mental illness. ...
  • First Family of Bipolar: The Adamses

    John Adams is believed by many to have had bipolar II disorder. Thomas Jefferson described him as “sometimes absolutely mad.” But Jefferson had a bitter and intense political rivalry with Adams.