Bipolar blogger Natasha Tracy offers exclusive insight into the world of bipolar disorder.
May 22 2013
Let’s Call Stigma What It Is—Prejudice and Discrimination
There’s a lot of talk in the mental health community around stigma. Stigma, stigma, stigma. It seems to be an advocate’s favorite word. And it is both a powerful and appropriate word in the case of mental illness. Stigma is, “a mark of disg...
May 15 2013
Changes in the DSM-5 Related to Bipolar Disorders
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, version 5 (DSM-5) is due out any moment now, and in it, there are changes to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder. The changes aren’t huge, but they are worth knowing about if you have bip...
May 08 2013
Psychosis in Bipolar Disorder – Treatment Decisions
In the last article I talked about the presence of psychosis in bipolar disorder. In this article I will explore the treatment of psychosis in bipolar disorder. The classic treatment for psychosis is, of course, an antipsychotic. However, th...
May 01 2013
Psychosis in Bipolar Disorder
One of the little talked about elements of bipolar disorder is psychosis. Psychosis can be a devastating part of bipolar I and it absolutely needs to be talked about. Psychosis is the presence of hallucinations and/or delusions. Hallucinatio...
Apr 24 2013
Reaching Out to Kids about Mental Illness
One of the jobs I do is I present to teens about mental illness, mental illness stigma, and bipolar disorder. And at the end of each presentation, the kids give written feedback about the presentation. The feedback I hear the most is, “I di...
Apr 18 2013
Depression and Antidepressants in Pregnancy
I have decided not to have children, yes, in large part due to the bipolar disorder. We know people with a parent with bipolar disorder have a 50 percent chance of have another serious psychiatric disorder and first-degree relatives of peo...
Apr 10 2013
How to Switch Antipsychotic Medications – Part 2
Once you’ve decided to switch antipsychotics, there are still many things to consider. The first rule of medication switching is, whenever possible, only make one change at a time. This means that if you’re changing another medication (dosage a...
Apr 03 2013
Why and How to Switch Antipsychotic Medications – Part 1
Many people take antipsychotic medication. In fact, Abilify (aripiprazole) was the fourth highest grossing drug in 2011 at $5.2 billion. And three antipsychotics—Abilify, Seroquel (quetiapine) and Zyprexa (olanzapine)—are in the top 20 gros...
Mar 27 2013
Weight Loss and Mental Illness
Weight gain is a major problem in those with a serious mental illness. It’s thought to be one of the main contributing factors to the increased mortality in this population. Weight gain, of course, can lead to illnesses like diabetes, cardiovas...
Mar 21 2013
Why did the DSM-5 Remove the Bereavement Exclusion from Depression? Is it Bad?
The fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) is due out in May and has been in the works for 14 years. The DSM could be considered the “bible” of mental illness as it’s the book that outlines the criter...