Bipolar Disorder: Do You REALLY Think You Inherited a “Chemical Imbalance?”

Every once in awhile, one of my readers will ask for my input on a product, service, or system that relates to mental health. It’s usually in the holistic or alternative medicine categories. It recently occurred to me that many of the people shilling bullshit and false hope to desperate people parade the angle presented in the title: “Do you REALLY think you inherited a chemical imbalance?”

Let’s take a dive into marketing psychology really quick. This kind of open-ended question is not designed to make you think yes or no, even though it is a yes or no question. Instead, it is designed to instill doubt in your mind. What did you think when you read the title? Did you think, “Oh that’s total bullshit!” Did you think, “Wait, that does sound kind of ridiculous.” What was the reason that you clicked the link and landed on my blog? It’s not because you thought yes or no, is it?

Businesses and advertisers bet their advertising budgets on that kind of thinking every day.

I was asked to look over a book and system that a medical doctor was selling through their website. The central theme of the author’s message was “Isn’t it a little ridiculous that the establishment says you can inherit a chemical imbalance? You can fix that with diet changes, regular sleep, and natural living!” I could tell that their website copy was written by marketers and probably proofread by a lawyer because there were no solid assertions, only leading questions like the above, designed to funnel your mind down a particular path: that it’s totally ridiculous that you can inherit a chemical imbalance and you should buy my book and two month long program for a metric shit-ton of cash to get it under control!

About 80% of the information on the site was valid, useful information. The problem is that they willfully omitted a chunk of very important, relevant information that helps to clarify the entire picture. In retrospect, I realized that quite a few people selling bullshit products and services do the same thing. They sell the angle of chemical imbalance pretty hard because it doesn’t sound severe, much like “mood disorder” doesn’t sound all that severe until you understand what it is.

Do I REALLY think I inherited a chemical imbalance? No. I think I inherited a genetic predisposition for the physical differences of the brain that CAUSES Bipolar Disorder and the chemical imbalances associated with it. It is known that Bipolar Disorder is genetic and heritable. It is known that the brain of a Bipolar person is physically different.

How many Bipolar people reading this right now can think of at least one other family member who is likely Bipolar? How many supporters reading this can clearly see other examples of mental illness in their loved one’s family? I know that it is pretty damned clear in my own family history.

Why would Bipolar Disorder frolic through the family lineages of many of us? The only truly unifying thread is the genetic information being passed down. There are plenty of people who do not manifest a mental illness that runs in the family. That’s what genetic predisposition is all about. That link points to a discussion about recessive and dominant genes as related to hair color and eye color, a very common way to explain genetic predisposition.

The same is true for several mental illnesses. Just because there is a genetic predisposition for it, a potential for it to be there, doesn’t mean it will emerge. Neither of my parents or any of my siblings manifested Bipolar Disorder; but once you start jumping out to extended family then you can see evidence of it all over the place.

Con artists and the ignorant parade and tout the chemical imbalance angle without ever addressing the real question: “Why is the chemical imbalance there in the first place?” They also tend to conveniently leave out the numerous other factors associated with Bipolar Disorder; such as overworking and inhibited sections of the brain it affects, volume loss of brain matter that intensifies unwell cycles, abnormalities in the way the brain communicates between sections, and more.

“But, Dennis! You’re not a doctor or mental health professional!”

Correct. I am not. There are plenty of qualified professionals out there who are ignorant, have no idea what they’re talking about, or are just plain terrible people. A lot of people look at “Doctor” and think “trustworthy.” I once had a doctor for all of 10 minutes, right up until he revealed that he “didn’t believe in Bipolar Disorder,” and wasn’t going to re-prescribe my lithium because “I didn’t need it.” Now, for people that are unaware, lithium is not a “fun” drug. No one wants to take the shit. It doesn’t get you high or anything of the sort. I don’t take it because I like it or because it’s fun. No one does. I take it because it keeps me sane and from tearing my life to pieces on a regular basis.

And that does not mean that all doctors or mental health professionals are bad. Not at all. I’ve had some great ones. Trust, but verify.

“But, Dennis! People with Bipolar Disorder are normal just like anyone else!”

No. We’re not. And the sooner that we come to terms with that, the easier it is to swallow all of the bullshit that we have to go through to be well, balanced, and maintain it long-term. Our minds are physically different. Our thought processes are different. Our emotional reactions are different. We are not “normal.” We have to learn how to live and exist in a way that is right for us, that will allow us to find whatever happiness and peace of mind that we can find, and mitigate the destruction that can surround us due to unwell cycles.

People that push ideas like, “it’s just a chemical imbalance” are not just selling a product, they are selling false hope that we can be normal. “Just buy my books/program/services/crystals/chakra realignment/psychic healing/nutrition plan/herbal supplement and then you can be just like everyone else, too! We have a simple solution to all of the pain, misery, suffering, loss, and destruction you’ve suffered! Big Pharma just wants to turn you into a customer! Not cure you! BUY MY SHIT!”

Those products have as much chance of curing mental illness as it does of curing a gunshot wound. They don’t address the CAUSE of the symptoms, and science isn’t far enough along in it’s understanding of the brain and several mental illnesses to provide an ACTUAL cure. I may not be a doctor, but I know enough to understand how monumental and complex the task is.

“But, Dennis! Psych medication doesn’t treat the cause of the symptoms either!”

Correct. It doesn’t. Nothing that we currently have does. Many people interpret this to mean that everything is equal, but it’s not. No one’s spent millions of dollars and thousands of man-hours, research, and study on the cause and effect relationship of how chakra realignment or “purging toxins” benefits a person. And frankly, if there were anything to it, “Big Pharma” would have already bought the rights to it and produced their own products if they were as Machiavellian as the alternative health crowd would have you believe. Martin Shkreli, anyone? It’s not like we’re living in a vacuum where Big Pharma would be totally oblivious to the information and claims.

“But, Dennis! Big Pharma does x, y, z evil/shady/awful thing!”

No. “Big Pharma” does not. Humans involved in Big Pharma may or may not be doing awful things. But the same is true for anything, anywhere that humans are involved. For example, Steven Nardizzi, the CEO of Wounded Warrior Project allegedly using donation funds like a party slush fund. The Non-Profit sector didn’t do that. The Wounded Warrior Project didn’t do that. These are the alleged actions and decisions made by one person that affected a whole lot of other people, including denying wounded veterans the resources that donors were putting into their mission. Can we just write off the entire Non-Profit sector because of his actions? No. That would be stupid.

Just like we can’t write off the pharmaceutical industry because there are bad players in their number.

Be wary of anyone providing easy answers or making grand claims. In my experience, they’re either ignorant of the complexity of the problem or are con artists preying on the confused, hopeless, and desperate. I hope the few bucks in profit are worth the tax that comes with contributing to the suffering, chaos, and suicides of at-risk people and their family members.

And yes, I purposefully chose not to include that doctor’s name in this blog post. Putting that person on blast is not the point. The point is to better enable you to spot any person like them that may derail and jeopardize your pursuit of wellness and happiness.

Bipolar Disorder is a manageable mental illness. But it’s hard. It’s all hard. And not everyone will succeed, for reasons too numerous to list.

Beware of anyone selling simple solutions. They do not exist.

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Bipolar Disorder: Stages of the Journey

I’ve been putting in quite a few hours to get my third eBook ready finished, polished, and ready for launch. The subject matter of my next eBook centers around tearing down the barriers that separate Bipolar people, their Supporters, and loved ones when the situation is not toxic. A big part of working to tear down those barriers is to understand where the person is at on their journey.

Many advocates and Bipolar spaces around the internet trumpet the individual nature of mental illness loudly. That’s true, to an extent. Mental illness is a very personal experience. However, as someone who spent 5 years doing internet marketing work, it is very clear to me that niches exist in our overall demographic. I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on how I analyze the situations and people I interact with as a means to best communicate with and reach people.

As a bit of a teaser let me share with you the the niches that I’m referring to as the “Stages of the Journey” with some brief notes.

Stage 1: Lost (Toxic) / Lost (Aware)

Stage 1 is divided into two categories, Lost (Toxic) and Lost (Aware). A Lost (Toxic) individual may be undiagnosed and doing all of the awful things we do to ourselves and others, diagnosed but are unaware of the severity of the problem, or simply don’t give a shit. The Lost (Aware) person has caught glimpses of understanding that there is something wrong with them that needs addressed, but does not understand how to start confronting the problem. This is where we start our journey. Many of us bounce back and forth between the two due to instability and the chaos of life.

Stage 2: Novice

Stage 2 begins when the person understands and accepts that they have a problem, at least some of the time, and they are willing to confront it. Many people do struggle with the idea of having a mental illness. It is very easy for a person at Stage 2 to fall back somewhere into Stage 1. This person needs support, encouragement, and tangible goals to keep them in Stage 2 and looking forward. At this stage, the person is beginning to learn about their mental illness and themselves.

Stage 3: Learner

These individuals don’t struggle as often with their diagnosis. People in Stage 3 are most receptive to information. These people are active participants in pursuing wellness. They not only attend their appointments, but tend to act on whatever practices their mental health professionals are telling them they need to be well. These individuals still need support from time to time, but their needs are less pronounced than previous stages.

Stage 4: Adept

Stage 4 is the last stage. Adept is defined as someone who is reasonably skilled and proficient at a thing. The mentally ill person at Stage 4 has a firm grasp on their mental illness, management, and engages in the practices required to be healthy. This person has likely been through therapy, different doctors, different medications, and more. Ideally, this individual is living a fairly typical life.

I chose Adept to describe the final Stage for a specific reason. One would assume you would end a list with something like “Expert” or “Master.” Right? Not in this case. Because even if the person is an absolute expert on their own diagnosis as it pertains to them, that does not mean that the information is applicable to the next person. I’ve had more than a handful of advocates inform me they were an “expert” on Bipolar Disorder when I pointed out that they were giving bad or misinformation. They’re not, I’m not, you’re not; and you probably won’t be unless you decide to go into psychology and study the work of the doctors that have brought us to our current understanding of a mental illness.

The Adept often suffers from one very major drawback that I’ve seen over and over. They often do not understand that just because they take their medication and go through whatever practices are required to be well now, that they will continue to be well in the future. I’ve seen more than a couple Adepts backslide because they either didn’t know or forgot that the body can grow tolerant to psych medication, which can let the Disorder and an unwell cycle creep back in. The person is often convinced they are totally fine, because they have been fine for years and regularly take their meds. So how can they possibly be unwell now? And then the Disorder further convinces them that they are totally fine and it’s everyone else that is the problem, allowing the unwell cycle to run unchecked.

But What’s the Point?

Effective communication requires understanding one’s target audience. If I’m going to write a romance story, then I need to have a reasonable understanding of how women who read those books think and what they take out of the work. Similarly, I have never had a Lost person tell me my writing was too abrasive, I shouldn’t swear, or inane bullshit like “you should refer to yourself as a person with Bipolar Disorder instead of a Bipolar person.”

On the contrary, I instead get regular feedback like, “your writing is the first that really spoke to me.” Because I’m writing in the tones and language of the way that we think, but do not express, so we don’t have to listen to people bitch at us about it.

Anyway! In my next eBook, I go over these things more in-depth, in addition to methods I use to effectively communicate and build knowledge at the various stages to help people find their way up the ladder. It is my hope that this will allow supporters and their mentally ill loved ones to better dismantle the barriers that inhibit communication; in addition to providing a clearer road map and goals for we mentally ill who are trying to find our way.

The next eBook is still a bit out, but I will keep you posted when it gets closer to release time.

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The Post-Escalation Depressive Crash and What It Means to You

I was recently asked if I could find a decent article on the Depression one can experience after a person with Bipolar Disorder crashes out of an escalation. I couldn’t find one that I was satisfied with or that addressed this matter specifically, so here we are.

About the Post-Escalation Crash

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by the mood cycles it gives us. We go up, we go down. Right? Right.

An escalated cycle (mania or hypomania) is like putting our mind into overdrive for as long as we are escalated. Sooner or later, that cycle will end. The Bipolar mind typically snaps back hard into Depression because it has been in such a severe state of overdrive for the duration of that cycle.

How severe is it? Typically, it will be a far worse and deeper depression than we normally experience. In my case specifically, I go from being reasonably intelligent to not being able to do basic math in my head. The thoughts just aren’t there. I never drive in a post-escalation crash period because my mind won’t connect thoughts and actions. As an example…

My mind crashed out of an escalated cycle while driving once. I was escalated one minute and cratered into severe depression the next. I almost ended up rear-ending someone because my brain ceased to do what it is supposed to do. Consider the process required for braking.

1. The person ahead applies brakes and their brake lights come on.

2. Your brain sees the brake lights.

3. Your brain associates the brake lights of the car ahead with a need to stop.

4. Your brain sends the signal to your legs to apply the brake pedal.

That all happens in the span of a second or two. It’s just habit for people that drive on a regular basis.

Now consider what might happen if you insert 3-15 seconds of brain lag between each of those steps with no guarantee that your brain will connect the dots properly. Consider what might happen if your brain doesn’t pull the correct information about the scenario. “What are those lights for?” “I can’t remember which one is the brake pedal!” “That car is slowing down! What do I do?!”

The Difference Between a Crash and a Depressive Cycle

I want to preface this section by noting that this is heavily opinion and theory based on my interpretation of facts. Take it with a grain of salt.

I’ve met many people who feel that this deep crash is another type of cycle. I don’t believe this to be the case and there’s no real support for that belief, that I know of, other than the person having Bipolar Disorder and the low being depression. I don’t believe it to be a cycle of its own because it is often temporary. In most of the examples I’ve seen in myself and in the several people with Bipolar Disorder I interact with on a regular basis, it’s not unusual for the person to crash hard and then float back to their normal.

The crash is just different. It just feels and functions different than what my depression normally gives me. And it does the same thing in numerous other Bipolar people that I’ve been around. It can be frightening and intimidating, which is made worse by the depression, because we’re not used to it.

The other problem is that people who have been dealing with this for a long time often get used to how Bipolar Disorder affects them. “Well, my depression has done this for 30 years. Why would it change now?” It changes because Bipolar Disorder often gets worse with age, so it changes the way things can happen in your brain in addition to whatever other influences are at work such as stress, medication, general life situations, and more.

So, if you haven’t ever experienced it before and you suddenly are, it’s not unusual.

How do we deal with it?

As always, talk to your mental health professionals first and foremost. Communicate with them about what is going on, particularly if it persists for longer than a few weeks. In my personal experience and with other Bipolar people I’ve been around, it usually doesn’t take longer than 2 or 3 weeks to recover. If it takes longer than that, it’s very likely that a medication may need adjusted or added.

The “natural control” crowd often doesn’t want to hear that, particularly if they are in the camp of Bipolar people who aren’t so severe that they can manage with very little medical oversight. But the fallout from this type of cycle can be far, far more severe than what natural management practices can handle.

First, I would recommend revisiting the way that you look at a dominant escalated cycle. A lot of people look at it like this…

maniabelief

When really it looks more like this…

maniareality

We need to account for he possibility of that extremely deep crash. We need to have a strategy for dealing with that as well.

Rest is an important part of recovery, in my personal experience and with many of the people I interact with on a regular basis.  A lot of times I’ll sleep 12-16 hours a day for about a week after I crash and then my brain will rebalance.

Sometimes, patience is the only way you can handle these things.

But, as previously mentioned, involve your mental health professionals as much as possible so they can look at your situation specifically. If it’s lasting more than a couple weeks, we may need a medication adjustment to pull us back towards our normal baseline.

A Theory About Post-Crash Depression and Suicide

Again, pointing out that this is just a theory based on my interpretation of facts and I have no way to substantiate it. I strongly suspect that a post-manic crash is when a majority of suicide attempts driven by Bipolar Disorder occur.

Consider the following.

Ben is well and balanced for years. His body becomes acclimated to the medication and he triggers into a manic cycle that he doesn’t identify because he doesn’t realize that medication efficiency doesn’t last forever. He goes from loving husband and father to manic monster over the course of a couple weeks, unloading verbal and emotional abuse on his family until he finally decides that his family is the source of all of his misery and walks out.

He quits his career, something he went to college for, to pursue his “lifelong dream” of being a rock star even though he hasn’t picked up an instrument in 20 years, shacks up with some random woman he met, files for a divorce, and tears his life to pieces as his brain is screaming through mania.

About a year later, the manic cycle comes screeching to a halt. Ben crashes hard into depression. His mind is no longer plagued by the delusional emotions and thoughts of mania. The love for his family is back, in full force, with the knowledge of what he did to them. Everything he’s built in his career is in shambles. None of the emotions he had for this random woman are present anymore. She becomes collateral damage in the cycle because Ben probably related his delusional thoughts and feelings about his family to her. And many people in her position are convinced by the “passion” and emotional instability a person like Ben is projecting; when in reality he’s just projecting manic delusion.

And he’s in the process of being divorced from the woman he wanted to spend his life with.

On top of all of that, now he has a severe, deep depression which is an entirely new experience; a depression that he is not used to navigating. And Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar-depression, is whispering in his mind on a nearly constant basis about how badly he fucked up. Delusional, incorrect thoughts and feelings plague his mind while he is drowning in the depression with all of the lies it likes to tell us. “It’s hopeless, it’s pointless. You’ve lost everything. You’ll never be able to fix this.”

What’s left for Ben? He’s burned the bridges to the people he cares about. Hopefully, he would reach out to an emergency service or his doctor. But I’m certain plenty of people do not. I think that this time period, when a Bipolar person swaps from the “invincibility” of mania to the most fragile emotional state we will ever experience, is the most likely time that we will decide we’re done with this ride.

What can we do about it?

The only solution I can think of is to plant a seed that will hopefully blossom after they crash. I would say something to the effect of, “If ever there comes a time when you realize how awful you’ve been acting, please reach out to me so we can get you help.” And that may be a real hard thing to do with someone whose brain is screaming through insanity with all of the chaos and misery that goes along with it. Hopefully, they will remember that when their brain finally crashes out and know that they can reach out instead of seeing suicide as the only option left.

That does not mean you make them promises or welcome them back with open arms or anything. Every situation is different. Every person has limits on what they are able to deal with. But, many of the people that are faced with this decision are sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, spouses; and so on. It could be the difference between just a serious life change versus needing to explain to the kids why their parent is gone. And if they do reach out, get them in touch with an organization that can help at-risk, in-crisis people that serves your area. In the United States that would be the National Suicide Crisis LifeLine 800-273-TALK (8255) and their site also has a chat contact option, which may be good for some.

How will I know if a toxic person is just trying to manipulate me?

Given that most of the people dealing with this will know the Bipolar person very well personally, you’ll know. It’s a night and day difference. Just pay attention to ensure they are acting on trying to get help. Don’t promise that they can come home or that there won’t be repercussions. Don’t promise to forgive and definitely don’t forget. Just focus on getting that person in contact with people that can help them.

And finally…

I want to take a final moment to point out that this article specifically points at a dominant escalated cycle and the subsequent ending of it, not general instability or Rapid Cycling. I’ve known Bipolar people who never really had extremely deep lows and highs. This information may not be 100% applicable to each of us specifically. Nothing is when you’re dealing with mental illness. If you’re in doubt, talk to your mental health professional. If this resonates with you, feel free to let your professional read this, get their thoughts on it, and develop a strategy for dealing with it that makes sense for YOU.

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LGBT Bathroom Law Supporters: …What?

I’m pretty confident that many of the folks that frequent my blog are not expecting me to comment on something like the LGBT Bathroom Laws that are being thrown around these United States of America. I tend to stay away from subjects like specific political candidates and beliefs because my goal is to create work that any person struggling with Depression or Bipolar Disorder can pick up and use, whether they are a supporter and loved one or a mentally ill person themselves. But, this does happen to fall within my spectrum of interest given the fact that 41% of trans-people attempt suicide; a statistic that is pretty close to the 50% of people with Bipolar Disorder who attempt suicide.

I feel like some measure of introduction to where I stand on issues is in order. I would consider myself a political moderate that leans heavily to the Left. Would I support a politician on the Right? Sure, if they seemed sane and I identified with their thinking. Compromise is found in the center. It’s much easier to attain meaningful results when people are working from both sides of the river to build a bridge that meets in the middle.

As it comes to sexuality, I am a CIS heterosexual male. That essentially means that I am a male mind in a male body with a sexual preference for women.

With that in mind, and in regards to the LGBT Bathroom “Controversy”…

What are you people thinking?

Seriously. I don’t get it. Legislation that requires a person to use the bathroom of the sex that appeared on their birth certificate. Has anyone given even a second of thought to how you would actually enforce this and what the ramifications would be? Fantastic. Let’s go ahead and have the cops check our birth certificates and crotch now. I’m sure they have nothing in the world better to do.

And how is anyone going to pick up on that anyway unless the person “looks” a certain way? Oh, you’re not aesthetically pleasing so I’m going to need to see a birth certificate and your junk if you want to pee. Can’t see what would possibly go wrong with that!

But sexual predators can use it as a means to find victims!

Let’s take a quick trip out of knee-jerk fear and into reality for a minute. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the United States. Their statistics on sexual assault are derived from Department of Justice data.

And according to actual data 82% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger and 50% of those occurred at the person’s home or within a mile of their home. Well, gee. I wonder why that is?

Let me step into the mind of a pervert for a moment. (I mean a dangerous pervert, not the pervert I normally am.) It seems like sexually assaulting someone in a Target bathroom is a really stupid idea if I want to get my rocks off, what with the cameras in the store, dozens of people that are within loud talking distance, and constant in and out traffic. Seems like if I tried that, I might just get caught and wind up in prison for a long time.

Criminals may not always be educated, but most aren’t stupid. And in the case of some criminals, they are most definitely educated. So why does society act like they are stupid? People have this image of what a predator is in their mind. People think of tropes like disheveled homeless looking dudes, vans, candy. Jerry Sandusky didn’t much “look” like a predator. Neither did Jared Fogle or Earl Bradley. Neither did many of the friends, family members, and professionals that have victimized your own friends and family members.

Vipers hide behind charisma, bright smiles, and the illusion of normalcy. And frankly, as a dude that looks disheveled and homeless a lot of the time, I don’t much appreciate the association.

But we need to protect the women and children!

The cry of conservative religious and political figures. Quick question. Where were you people when it started to come to light that the Catholic Church is essentially playing a shell game with sexual predators among their priests? Where’s the outrage that the Catholic Church kept extensive records on these predators and did little to nothing about it? Also – if you believe the Pope talks to God, I have to wonder how okay God is with molesting kids because it seems like something that would have come up by now.

Hey, Pope! You know that thing where you’re protecting predators that are destroying the happiness, well being, and ability to function of hundreds of kids per predator for the rest of their lives? You might want to turn the mountain of evidence you’ve collected over to authorities and get those people out of my churches.” I can’t speak for God, but I feel like his representatives molesting kids might have been at least a small blip on his radar. But, what do I know?

I think that it is more likely that we outcasts are just a convenient and easy target. Trans-people, gay people, the mentally ill, the poor, criminals that aren’t genuinely awful people; we all have something in common. We all have politicians and leaders who are making decisions for the direction of our lives, not for our benefit or from our perspective, but from their own perspective and what’s best for their bottom line.

And it all boils down to the almighty dollar. Institutions like the church have trillions, we outcasts hopefully have enough money for rent and to eat.

Do we really want to protect women and children?

I have been engaged in mental health advocacy work through this website and more for the past four years. I’ve heard a lot of stories from a lot of different people. I’ve been privileged to be the first person that several of these people shared their story with. I never talk about these peoples’ stories with anyone else. I use their trust to try and get them to seek professional help where they can make meaningful gains for their well-being. And I have reported active situations to relevant authorities and will continue to do so as needed.

Let me share with you some commonalities I’ve noticed in many of these stories.

I can’t tell you the number of women I’ve talked to who wanted to come forward but did not because they were afraid of losing one of their relatives to prison for assaulting or killing the accused. Then there are the women who think they won’t be believed. Also the women who blame themselves for it happening or think they somehow deserved it. All of these women are suffering in silence, every day, oftentimes right next to you. They are your sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers; not some random person that you don’t know. And many of them were victimized by people they knew and trusted.

The child abuse histories are worse. Prior to starting on this path, I very firmly bought into the typical belief that evil was the cause of most suffering in the world. But it’s not. It’s apathy. A small percentage of people are good or evil, the rest just don’t care unless it directly affects them. And even when it does? They still do nothing.

In no place is this more evident in the number of times I’ve heard from adult survivors of sexual abuse, “XYZ relative walked in on him doing what he did to me and they didn’t do anything to help me.” Over. And over. And over. And over. I’ve thought “why?” about a thousand times, but it really doesn’t matter why. The point is that there are many direct witnesses who do nothing.

Trans-people are the true, real, and existing victims in all of this. I linked this earlier as a reference, and I’m linking it again. Go there. Read the second page, the “Executive Summary.” Read it and tell me with a straight face that it is acceptable to further discriminate against a group people because of an imagined problem with ZERO evidence of existing.

An important lesson I’ve learned is that many people want to have the peace of mind of thinking that they are doing the right thing and helping, but don’t have the stomach to deal with what is actually required to do it. It’s easy to listen to the sewage spewing from the mouths of the media and politicians and think, “Oh, yeah. This is a real problem!” But, it’s not. It never was.

The real problems are far dirtier, unpleasant, and difficult to deal with let alone try to fix.

But I’m afraid/anxious/uncomfortable!”

Yeah, so are trans-people. What makes your comfort so special? Go to a therapist and deal with your anxiety and fears if it’s that much of a problem.

And a disclaimer…

I am a moderate. I believe in the basic tenets of America’s Bill of Rights, including the freedom for people to hold whatever religious beliefs they have and freedom of speech. I’m not anti-religion. I’m also not that personally invested in the LGBT crusade either. I don’t have the emotional energy to fight every war that I think needs to be fought. I look at them as brothers and sisters, even though our challenges are different, but you won’t see me at any pride rallies or protests (largely because I think it’s a pointless waste of time.)

There are limitations to everything. And in this particular case, I have a very negative opinion of conservative lawmakers and religious figures using the fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding as a thinly veiled means of stripping away the rights of at-risk people under the premise of “protecting children” when they’ve done little to address the very real problems that exist: such as social worker burnout, underfunding in social programs like Children’s Protection Services, and the massive amount of secrecy and corruption surrounding institutionalized abuse.

They don’t care about protecting children. Their actions are evidence enough of that.

The people who are supporting laws like the bathroom laws are essentially standing in a gang, beating a person who have been abused and battered for centuries at this point. You’re not protecting women and children. You’re oppressing a group of people you don’t understand, that may frighten or confuse you, so you can FEEL LIKE you’re protecting women and children. Meanwhile, the women and children who actually do need help can’t get it because you, yes YOU, are wasting your time on this arbitrary bullshit.

YOU could be meaningfully helping people that really need it by thinking for yourself, looking at the facts, and acting accordingly. I have news for you. Bathroom laws aren’t going to do ANYTHING to meaningfully prevent sexual assault any more than the regular laws against sexual assault prevents it.

But what about the million signature petition to boycott Target?

Oh, and one last thing before I wrap this up. You know that million signature petition the American Family Association claimed to have about people willing to boycott Target because of their stance? Allow me to point out some discrepancies.

1. Why did we not hear about this petition before it hit a million signatures? Did you hear about it at all through social media or mainstream media? If not, how did they get a million signatures if people didn’t know the petition existed?

2. Their “petition” is hosted on their domain and ran by their organization. In other words, there is no way to actually verify where those million signatures came from, including whether or not those people actually exist, whether or not they just cut and pasted an electronic phone book and called it their petition.

3. A million signatures, eh? That’s pretty amazing. Especially since the AFA also founded two groups called One Million Moms and One Million Dads as a means to mobilize regressive conservatives and their ideology. What an interesting “coincidence.”

Well, let’s see. Twitter is pretty much the social media outlet of choice for activism because of how quickly you can mobilize people through it. So, perhaps they tapped their massive support base through the internet to make it happen. Hmm… the AFA groups @1milmoms has 3500 followers and @onemildads has 360. That’s remarkably less than a million, as have been the populations of both groups since they were created by a bigot to influence public opinion.

In my mind, it’s pretty clear that this is solely propaganda designed to deceive and mislead.

In conclusion…

If you support this garbage, you are facilitating and enabling the suffering and oppression of not only LGBT people, but the women and children society is so adamant about protecting. If you’re silent, then you might as well be holding the victim down for their abuser.

Say something. Call your politicians. Talk to your religious leaders in your churches. Let them know that this fear, manipulation, and hatemongering is unacceptable. Vote with your wallet. Shop at and support businesses like Target who are working to combat bigotry and ignorance in their own way.

I am a High-Functioning Autistic with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder and severe Bipolar-Depression, a CIS heterosexual male. I don’t know the struggles of LGBT people and don’t pretend to. I work to support these people in my own way. What I do understand are the 41% who decided that suicide was the only option left because of who they were, what their life was, and not having hope for anything better. That is a struggle I understand all too well.

And to my Right Wing, conservative, and religious readers that think God has a negative opinion of LGBT people; I implore you to do more research on the matter or actually spend some time with them. You’ll find they are far less scary and alien than religious leaders, politicians, and the media would have you believe.

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Want My Bipolar Disorder eBooks FREE?

Want my eBooks for FREE? Of course you do. Who doesn’t want free stuff?

I am pleased to announce a significant expansion in the way I distribute my eBooks. I am now incorporating a digital goods service provider called SendOwl. SendOwl is set up so that their customers can easily distribute digital goods, such as eBooks, in a very simple and efficient way. Furthermore, they offer a functionality that I was looking for back when I first embarked on this trek. Namely, to offer my eBooks on a “Pay What You Want” basis instead of the hard limits that are required with Amazon.

The Big Change

I have had my readers ask me numerous times how they could get additional copies of my eBooks to give to friends or family members. Now, doing that is simple. I have purchased the domain www.freebipolarbooks.com and it points directly to my eBook distribution page. No need to go through complicated processes or try to remember how to spell my last name.

Just send them to www.freebipolarbooks.com and they can download my eBooks in PDF, AZW3 (Kindle Compatible), or EPUB formats. Thanks to SendOwl, you can also “Gift” copies of the eBooks directly to others during the confirmation process and send download links straight to their email address!

(Note: I don’t own any Apple devices so was unable to test if these files would work correctly on them. They should be alright, but let me know if there are any problems.)

What about DRM, limited copies, and distribution limitations?

There are none. Digital Rights Management and copy protections of eBooks are mostly just an annoyance to anyone that really wants to remove it. DRM tends to inconvenience the customer far more than providing meaningful protection. Plus, I’m a gamer, and I hate intrusive DRM to the point where I actively avoid buying any products from companies that use it.

All I can really do is respectfully request that you leave my work as you found it. Though SendOwl limits downloads per transaction to three, you can always go back to www.freebipolarbooks.com and just grab it again whenever you want.

What’s the catch?

There is no catch.

No, seriously. What’s the catch? There’s always a catch…

Seriously, there is no catch.

My Marketing Strategy

My strategy is pretty simple. Each of my eBooks are packed full of relevant information pertaining to the title. I strive to create meaningful work that anyone, whether they are mentally ill or the loved one of a mentally ill person, can pick up, understand, and use. There is no false hope, fluff, or BS.

I work to instill hope by producing work aimed at enabling you to get tangible, positive results for yourself. I don’t want you to walk my path or live my story; I want to enable you to succeed on yours. I’m not a mental health professional of any kind and I do not strive or pretend to be. I am a mental health consumer who knows enough to understand he doesn’t know anything.

That being said, your doctor isn’t going to be able to tell you when your doctor has dangerous or stupid opinions about mental illness; such as the doctor I had right up until he revealed he didn’t believe in Bipolar Disorder.

Don’t know if my work is worth spending money on? Download it for FREE and read it for yourself.

But Dennis, what angle are you playing?

I know. Cynicism and skepticism abound. I’d be suspicious, too. To make a long story very short, the combination of High-Functioning Autism and Bipolar Disorder with severe Bipolar-Depression in my brain creates an environment where I feel very emotionally and socially isolated a majority of the time. Early in my history, I spent a lot of time alone in my mind, unable to express what was going on to the people that loved, cared, and would have helped me had I been able to.

Every writer has a target audience. Though I feel my work can be equally beneficial to anyone that picks it up, my writing is really aimed towards reaching those people still sitting alone in the darkness, offering realistic hope, and giving them the knowledge they need to find their way out of it.

I am making my work “Pay What You Want” because I want it to be available to anyone that can benefit from it. And if life isn’t being kind to you and resources are tight, don’t worry about it. Maybe you’ll think of me further down the road when things are better for you, maybe you won’t. Either way, I did my part and what was best for my soul.

You see, I don’t want the money of the homeless Bipolar guy who emailed me from a library computer. Or of the terrified spouse whose Bipolar loved one, swung manic, cleaned out their bank accounts and bailed on their family. Or of the people choosing between buying medication and food. Or of the unwell whose lives are crumbling around them with suicide looking like the only option left. Or of the people stuck in abusive relationships because they can’t find a balance between compassion for their mentally ill loved one and personal boundaries. Or of the parent who has been dealing with the abuse of a toxic child for decades and has nothing left. Or the people who feel like they don’t have a friend in the world that can understand them.

People have reached out to me about these situations and far more since I started my website, advocacy, and outreach efforts. I’m only one person. I don’t have the time or emotional energy to give the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired to everyone personally. I can, however, compile that information in an easy to distribute format that anyone can pick up and use on their own volition.

The decisions I make in how I do what I do are not necessarily what’s best for my bottom line, they are what’s best for my soul. A lot of my work is aimed at helping to clarify confusion and instill hope by providing road maps through the chaos that surrounds the mental health industry, mental illness, and loving a person with mental illness. Preying on the desperate, afraid, at-risk, and vulnerable is one of the most morally repugnant things I can think of.

And that’s exactly why I haven’t gone the traditional route. I’m not going to put on a plastic smile, pretend like I’m a socially well-adjusted person, and spin how my book is totally an inspirational reflection of my personal journey that is totally going to change your life so you should totally buy it so I can totally validate myself and appear like one of the totally normal people!

I’m not an inspirational person. I’m not an author who is trying to sell books. I am a mental patient serving as a Quartermaster, trying to equip other people with the weapons and armor of knowledge to more effectively fight their personal battles against mental illness, whether they are mentally ill themselves or a supporter who has no idea what’s going on in the mind of their loved one.

I don’t know if my writing will resonate with you or benefit you in any way. I also know that I don’t want to spend hours of my time trying to convince people why they should spend money on my eBooks when I could be creating new work to benefit others instead. So, take it. Decide for yourself.

In Closing…

I’ve made a good faith effort to create practical, meaningful work that will help others deal with the many challenges surrounding the pursuit of mental wellness, dealing with mental illness, and bettering their situations. I believe that if I am passionate about helping others, others will want to help me. And if not, it doesn’t matter, because I’m not doing this to get rich.

If you feel that my work is worthwhile, consider kicking me a couple of dollars. If not, don’t worry about it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my work, even if you hate it. I appreciate your giving me your time.

You can grab my eBooks through www.freebipolarbooks.com.

Your Bipolar Friend,

-Dennis

High-Functioning Autistic with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder and severe Bipolar-Depression

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Want My Input? Your Bipolar Friend Consulting

Hello. Dennis here. A standard sales marketing page would immediately launch into a dialogue about how great a service is and why you should buy it. I can’t do that because what I’m trying to accomplish is pretty different. If you don’t have an understanding of who I am and what I am about, I would encourage you to explore my eBooks, website, blog, and blog comments. I already know that most people who would consider my service have already read a lot of my content, so I’m not going to rehash it here. By the end of this page, you should understand what I’m offering, asking, and the relevant details. Please, read it all. It’s important.

For those of you that already know all of this information, here is a simple button. Everyone else, please read the following text!

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Should you want to share this information page with a friend, it is directly accessible via the URL www.yourbipolarfriend.com .

Your Bipolar Friend Consulting

I launched my website in February of 2012 with the goal of providing meaningful, actionable information to people struggling with Bipolar Disorder and Depression to help them on their own individual path of wellness. That quickly grew to accommodate supporters as well.

As of the fourth anniversary of the launch of my website, February of 2016, I have personally answered over 7500 emails, 750 blog comments, and have had God knows how many conversations with people who are struggling with mental illness in some way.

What do you actually do?

I branded as “Your Bipolar Friend” because it literally represents what I do for others. It is not my goal to be a stand-in for a mental health professional. What I do is walk in the gray, confusing area that surrounds mental health where so many people find themselves lost and alone.

I am a strong believer in utilizing mental health professionals and systems to combat mental illness. I am also a strong believer that a majority of mentally ill people do not understand how they should view the mental health industry. They do not fix us or make us well. We make ourselves well with their assistance. Mental health professionals cannot help us if we lie to them, withhold information, and refuse to comply with treatment.

A lot of people need someone to talk who understands what they’re going through. The supporter who loves a mentally ill person often does not find understanding with their friends and family. Friends and family just tend to see the suffering of the supporter with the mentally ill person as the cause. The supporter may find that the attitudes of their friends and family toward mental illness are rooted in ignorance, stigma, or plain stupidity. I’ve seen many occasions where these beliefs make things far worse.

And then you have the mentally ill who have stopped talking about their perspectives as well. We may not talk to our friends and family because they don’t necessarily understand our path. Or, maybe we’ve been struggling for so long that we just don’t want to feel like we are burdening anyone else with our problems. People often don’t tell us what we need to hear out of fear of our mental illness. That often prevents us from making meaningful gains for our wellness.

I don’t tell people what they want to hear, I tell people what they need to hear. I help clear up their misconceptions, smooth out their fears, and push towards solutions that have been known to work for others. I help people develop strategies to confront and deal with whatever issue they may be facing, help keep them on their path, and provide honest feedback on what they are considering.

Nice sales pitch. What are you charging for your “help?”

My target audiences are a very diverse group of people.

I’ve helped mental health and medical professionals better understand the problems they were facing with a mentally ill loved one. I’ve helped people with multiple college degrees, a politician, financiers, lawyers, and people with flourishing professional careers.

I’ve had homeless people write to me from a library computer. I’ve talked to Bipolar people who are sitting in their ashes of their life, lost and confused, ready to make a change for the better but without the knowledge on how. I’ve also talked to the terrified spouses of toxic mentally ill people. Suffering spouses who were trapped in abusive relationships. Terrified people whose Bipolar spouse swung Manic, cleaned out the bank accounts, and bailed on their family.

How can I possibly set a price that respects both sides of this equation? I am perfectly comfortable with asking for compensation for my time from people with stable lives and means. I am absolutely not okay with asking for money from someone who is at-risk, unstable, or trying to figure out how to keep a roof over the heads of their children.

I thought about this problem for weeks before I had an epiphany. I can’t set a price point. It’s impossible. There is no middle ground that I am comfortable with.

I then went back to the problem with a different perspective. I asked myself the question that has driven my work since I started it.

What is best for my soul? That had a simple answer.

I will not be setting a price point. I’m going to leave it up to you because you’re the one that best knows your situation and life. I’m only going to leave you with a suggested amount. If you want to contribute more or less than that, I’ll leave that to your discretion. I appreciate any and all support people are willing to offer.

About Priority

As an additional benefit to the people who will provide a financial contribution for my time, effort, and body of knowledge, I will be offering Priority.

I have traditionally answered all correspondence in the order that I have received it. Priority means that you will be placed at the front of the line for responses. With Priority, you can expect a response from me within 48 hours of your correspondence (usually within hours.) This way, I can provide an additional benefit for your contribution.

The rule of thumb I will be following is a week of Priority per $25.00 of contribution. That will land me at an average of about $8-$10 an hour versus the time I give to the people I interact with.

That doesn’t seem like much for what you’re doing…

Correct. I’ve run into a lot of skepticism since I started doing this because I’ve never really asked for anything for what I’ve offered. I spent 15 years undiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I remember how alone I felt when I was at my worst. Everything I’m working toward building is being setup to be accessible to anyone that can benefit from it, regardless of their economic status.

Does a financial contribution improve quality of service?

No. It only determines the order in which I am replying to communications. This is not a subject matter where quality should be compromised. I don’t care if you’re the President of the United States or homeless. I will do the best I can to help you find your path.

Are you a mental health professional, Coach, or certified in anything?

No. I am not a mental health professional nor do I provide any kind of clinical services. Nothing of what I provide is meant to replace clinical therapy, medical, or mental health care. Nothing of what I provide should be viewed as medical, mental health, or legal advice. I am not trained in Crisis response. If you are in crisis or in danger, contact local authorities immediately for help.

The closest thing to what I do would falls on the relatively same continent of “Life” or “Wellness” Coaching. Like Coaches, my goal is to help you help yourself or find a way to encourage your loved one to help themselves. Unlike Coaches, my chosen domains are Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and mental illness. Most Coaches will not touch anything related to mental illness because of the potential harm and complex nature of mental health.

I have no specific certifications, nor will I. The funny thing about the Coaching/Consulting industry is that there are no legal requirements on who can call themselves a Coach or a Consultant. Any random jerk can brand and market themselves as a Coach or a Consultant. Certification is not legally required.

And if you look closer at Coaches, their rates tend to run upwards of $150+ per hour of phone call, $250+ for e-coaching, and $400+ for monthly retainers. That number can go into the thousands depending on the experience and success of the Coach.

How does what you do differ from what Coaches do?

Visit a Coach’s website and you will usually find a bright smile and a bunch of positive, upbeat web copy about how their systems, insight, and your hard work will help bring results. Consultants typically market themselves on their ability to get tangible results that they can offer as concrete proof to potential clients.

I can’t do those things because mental health is not that consistent or clean. It’s not uncommon for a choice to boil down to picking the least worst option out of nothing but bad choices. I can’t promise positive results. I can’t promise that things will get better. No one can know that.

The only real promise I can make is the one I uphold through my work; to do my very best to help you find a way to help yourself. I can promise that I will leave no stone unturned in trying to find a way to help you better understand the situation you’re facing and help you work towards a positive outcome.

Do you offer Phone or Skype consulting?

No. I’ve already tried it and it is a sub-par experience.

A lot of information gets passed when I am trying to help someone understand or find their path. It’s usually not digestible in just one sitting. The person will often re-read what I provide them multiple times or go back to it as reference.

Email can be written at your convenience, in the privacy of your home and away from the eyes of others. It gives you time to get everything that you want to say out of your mind. It provides you a greater means to express yourself. Furthermore, people tend to reveal details they don’t realize are important rather than editing themselves to fit into a scheduled window of time.

Email is the superior communication option and provides the best value.

About Privacy

I do my best to respect the privacy of the people I interact with. Even when I deal with people who know each other, I do not share information back and forth. I will not distribute any information that you provide to me. Please be aware that I am NOT a medical or mental health professional, thus I am not legally bound by the protections afforded by HIPPA. The only exception to this are matters of mandatory reporting. I will report child abuse or emergency situations. If you are in danger or in crisis, contact relevant authorities for assistance immediately.

About Refunds

I will not be providing refunds for this service. The compensation you are providing is for Priority on my time, not for success or failure. I do not, cannot, and will not guarantee success or failure because it’s impossible.

About My Mental Wellness

There is always the possibility that there is an interruption of service as a result of my own mental health. Should this situation occur, we will address it as necessary and find an adequate resolution for it. Again, it’s something that will need to be handled on a per case basis because who knows what the details will be. Regardless of the service I provide, my mental health must come first. I am no use to anyone dead or institutionalized. I will also point out that I’ve been providing a service similar to this since 2012 without any real interruption.

Disclaimer

I am not a mental health or medical professional. I am not accredited in any way, by any organization. I do not prescribe, tell people how to take their medication, recommend medications, provide therapy, provide diagnosis, or provide any kind of clinical medical or mental health services. No information I provide should be constituted as medical, mental health, or legal advice.

Any decisions for your care should be made with the assistance of a licensed mental health professional. You are the only one that can make the right decisions for your own care. My goals are to ensure that people are making these decisions from a place of knowledge, fact, and reality. By using any of my services, information, or content, you agree to not hold me or anyone related to my work liable for your decisions. If you do not agree, do not utilize this service, website, or information.

I walk in the massive gray areas surrounding the mental health industry and mental illness. My goals are to build bridges between supporters and the mentally ill, the mentally ill and the mental health industry by working against the stigma and misinformation that drives so many incorrect decisions. Many people simply do not know which questions they should be asking. You should not take my word for anything. You should not blindly trust ANYONE’S word. Trust, but verify. Question everything until you understand. Question your professionals until you understand. Question me until you understand. IT’S YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND LIFE.

I reserve the right to discontinue or refuse service for any reason.

I am not affiliated with nor do I represent any non-profit organization.

Still with me?

As much as I would love to do what I do for free, good intentions don’t pay bills.

I’m not trying to buy a mansion or fancy cars here. I am only trying to cover basic bills, keep my vehicle running, insurance, food, rent, and so forth. Additionally, I want to further expand on how I help the mentally ill and their loved ones. That all requires money.

Help me help you. Help support me, my work, and my quest to help others and expand on what I do. I want to continue to devote my time to helping people just like you. Your willingness to compensate me for my time and support my work will allow me to do that.

And if life isn’t being kind to you right now and resources are tight? Don’t worry about it. Write anyway. I’ll respond as soon as I can. And if things are decent for you and you want to contribute more, let me know and we can work out a way to ensure you get value for your contribution.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Your Bipolar Friend,

-Dennis Heil

High-Functioning Autistic with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder with severe Bipolar-Depression

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Note: After you make a payment, you can either feel free to compose your email and contact me at yourbipolarfriend@gmail.com or dennis@bipolarmanifesto.com  

I will contact you within 48 hours of receiving payment (usually much sooner.)

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A Book Review of Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies

As you may or may not know, I don’t do many review posts. The primary reason is that my website, my e-books, my work is designed to help people elevate and help themselves with realistic, actionable information. Most memoirs don’t do that. Most “alternative” anything books are poorly written or are fantasy. I don’t engage in the practice of trading reviews or promotion. Building trust with you, the reader, is a very important facet of what I’m trying to accomplish.

With that in mind, I was recently contacted by author William Jiang, MLS. William served as a Columbia University/New York State Psychiatry Institute Medical Library Chief for 7 years. He is the author of Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies. He is also waging a personal battle against Schizophrenia.

In the interest of disclosure, William did read one of my books and positively reviewed it before I read his. I made clear to William that I didn’t do any kind of positive for positive exchanges; that I would read his book and provide an honest review of it. Regardless of his actions, I would still be writing this blog post and review because I believe William created a fantastic resource that will be very beneficial to anyone who is interested in complementary means of better managing mental illness.

The Basic Gist of a Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies

The internet is absolutely flooded with garbage, misrepresented information on the treatment and management of mental illness. People regularly speak about subjects that they should not without any consideration to the consequences for the people reading them. William’s background appears to be that of a researcher and his book reflects that.

William describes this book as (paraphrased), “an annotated bibliography that picks from the “best” information from medical literature, including commentary, as well as the source, title, and abstract of the article from MEDLINE.” MEDLINE is a compilation of abstracts and citations regarding medical research.

So, what the hell does that mean in layman’s terms? You know how you can find information all over the internet about things like Omega-3 being good to combat depression, yoga and physical activity being helpful at reducing the severity of mental illness symptoms, and parasites in cat feces contributing to mental illness? William’s book is a collection of these complementary ideas with excerpts from the medical studies that help establish them as fact.

That is invaluable information to have. It is a helpful, compiled collection of realistic information that does not make false promises or aggrandize these concepts as THE SOLUTION. They are presented as neutral points of information that may or may not be beneficial as a pillar in your wellness plans and efforts.

How Should You Use a Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies?

William organized this book by subcategories. His words are italicized to differentiate it from the excerpts. Many important points are bolded to call attention to them.

Since this book does contain excerpts from studies, written by researchers and medical professionals, many people are going to have a hard time figuring out exactly what they are talking about in the excerpts. That’s okay though! Don’t be put off by the medical terminology. While informative and interesting, the actual text is not as important to a mental health consumer. What is important is that each of these points comes from accredited, verified resources where money, time, and energy was invested into analyzing them.

If you don’t understand the actual excerpts from the research, don’t worry about it. Gloss past it and keep reading; but do make sure to critically read bolded and italicized text. It’s okay if you don’t “understand.” People dedicate decades of their lives to understanding this stuff. It’s not reasonable to think that you will after reading a book or two.

How Should I Use the Information Presented Therein?

There’s a lot of good, complementary practices presented in this book. If any resonate with you that you want to try, the first step is to discuss the practice with your prescribing mental health professional. That way they can discuss it with you and identify any potential problems it might cause with your current treatment. I would also recommend making a call to your pharmacist to double check on potential interactions. Any discrepancy should be worked out with your professionals to ensure you don’t accidentally destabilize yourself. Do not just do whatever without talking to your mental health professional first.

About the Value of the Book

Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies is listed on Amazon, at the time of this writing, for $9.99 for the e-Book and $35.00 for the paperback. It’s about 130ish pages of quality information.

I know a lot of you are going to balk at the paperback price for William’s book. I know I did. What you need to bear in mind is that the knowledge needed to build this kind of resource is the result of years of education, experience, time, effort, and research. That is why textbooks and books like this do tend to run on the expensive side. Having read this book, I would spend $35.00 on it for a paperback if I had the $35.00 to spend on it.

The information is not only worthwhile, but it is worthwhile to me to support authors like William who are creating meaningful work for our mutual benefit. That being said, you’re going to know what you’re comfortable with spending on this work. Either way, I highly recommend adding Guide to Natural Mental Health: Anxiety, Bipolar, Depression, Schizophrenia, and Digital Addiction: Nutrition, and Complementary Therapies to your library. You can also find William on his website at www.mentalhealthbooks.net

And remember, a lot of people don’t know that you don’t need to own a Kindle to read e-books off of Amazon. Just look up “Kindle Reader” on Play Store, Apple Store, or Google. Amazon offers a free reader so you can read your e-books on other devices if you would like to go that route.

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Bipolar Disorder and the Complicated Nature of Management

Misconceptions about the treatment and management of mental illness stem from incorrectly associating it with traditional treatments. That causes mentally ill people and their supporters to draw poor conclusions on how treatment will progress and what benefits management can provide.

As an example, consider a headache. You can down a couple over-the-counter pain relievers and it’s normally gone within a half hour. It’s pretty consistent for most people. Psychiatric medication, on the other hand, can be very random in the benefits it provides because it is dealing with a much more complicated problem.

A majority of mentally ill people that take psychiatric medication will not have a “perfect” experience with it. It may include side effects that are difficult to manage. It may make the person too numb to function or unable to think, essentially mirroring the effects of severe depression. It may only control a limited number of symptoms or not have as powerful an affect as needed. There are so many factors that influence how well psychiatric medication works that it’s just not possible to know ahead of time what exactly it will do from person to person. Brain and body chemistry are incredibly complicated.

Just swallowing the pills doesn’t mean they are going to fix everything or even eliminate it completely. Effective mood disorder management usually includes several other facets, like reducing stress, changing diet, giving up other chemical substances, exercise, and a consistent sleep schedule. And even after all of that, the person can still have bad reactions to certain situations and triggers.

Balance is an important choice as well. Some of us choose to stay on medications that provide a great deal of benefit with minimal side effects rather than pushing for an ideal solution that may bring more severe side effects with it. Why? Because there is no guarantee that we will ever reach that ideal place with our medication.

It’s all trade offs. Are these side effects worth the benefits I’m receiving? Should I keep pushing for something better or settle for how I feel now?

Mental health wellness can be a very messy affair. Even when taking medication, the person may still experiences symptoms of their mental illness that can be disruptive to their life. It’s rarely as simple as just taking a pill.

It’s important to maintain reasonable expectations. We, as mentally ill people, cannot just assume that our mental state and the damage resulting from it is going to be fixed with medication cocktail. Supporters and loved ones of mentally ill people need to understand that wellness is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a long-term endeavor in which there can be many obstacles and bumps in the road.

There are times when the only choice you have is to ride out mental unwellness, whether you’re on medication or not. And for a supporter, that may mean needing to have a bit more patience as the waters calm in the mind of their mentally ill loved one, even if they are taking medication.

Sometimes all you can do is have patience.

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Enjoyed my writing? Check out my ebooks!

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Should you have thoughts or questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email directly at dennis@bipolarmanifesto.com . I read and reply to everything that I’m sent. I also have many more original articles available on my main website www.bipolarmanifesto.com .

Liking and Sharing my content and website on your favorite social media platforms is another great way to help me towards my goal of reaching other people that suffer their mental illness in silence like I did for so many years.

Thank you for reading my work. Have a great day!

-Dennis

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Updating My Bipolar Manifesto Blog

Just a short note, don’t be concerned with changes you’re seeing in my blog. I’m working on getting a better mobile experience set up for visitors as well as streamlining some things I view as inefficiencies.

Thank you for your patience!

Posted in Slider, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

(Video) Sorting Through Bad Information on Bipolar Disorder and Mental Health

The video today is me running my mouth about how I sift through the massive amount of bad and non-information that is around on the internet and books. The good news is that I think a found a better lighting spot and cleaned up my editing and speaking further. Additionally, this is subject matter I’ve thought about a lot so I’m not thinking about it as much as I shoot the video, unlike the update which was very much stream of consciousness.

Enjoy! And Subscribe if you enjoy listening to my rambling on this subject matter!

-Dennis

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Enjoyed my writing? Check out my ebooks!

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Should you have thoughts or questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email directly at dennis@bipolarmanifesto.com . I read and reply to everything that I’m sent. I also have many more original articles available on my main website www.bipolarmanifesto.com .

Liking and Sharing my content and website on your favorite social media platforms is another great way to help me towards my goal of reaching other people that suffer their mental illness in silence like I did for so many years.

Thank you for reading my work. Have a great day!

-Dennis

Posted in Slider, Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments