Together at the Poles

Daniel Bader, Ph.D.

City Mouse and Country Mouse: Slowing Down a Bipolar Life

Over these past three weeks, I’ve managed to get out of the city for three interrupted vacations. Why they were interrupted is kind of a long story, but the experience of popping out of and back into the city really gave me the chance to see the contrast between my life in the city and the way that I could live if I really put my mind to it. Since my vacations have kept me away from the site for a while, I thought I’d at least take the opportunity to share what I’d learned in the last few weeks. Continue reading

Frequency, Duration, Stability and Intensity: Four Ways of Improving Bipolar Symptoms

Occasionally, I’m asked whether or not my medication is working, or whether or not my bipolar disorder has gotten better (or worse) over time. Having tried to answer this question a couple of dozen times, I’ve realized that the answer is actually quite complicated. My moods don’t just “improve.” Rather, there are different ways in which bipolar symptoms can change, some of which are more important than others. Continue reading

Documentary Review: "The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive" by Stephen Fry

One of the most important films in my own experience of bipolar disorder was the film The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which is about actor Stephen Fry and his experience with the disorder. It is an interesting film, which first traces Fry’s own experience with the disorder and then interviews a number of people who also are bipolar.

The film has a unique approach that is not found in other documentaries. It interviews not only ordinary people, but also celebrities that have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This has both its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, we get to see some people whom we sorta know and learn about their experiences. On the other hand, we encounter a group of people that don’t really share our ordinary experiences. Continue reading

Managing Bipolar Disorder Versus Muscling Through It: Lessons From a Recent Episode

As those of you from the Facebook page probably know, I’ve recently taken a medical leave for a mixed hypomanic episode that started at the beginning of July. It was in many ways a frustrating experience, and in no ways a pleasant one (though I did have some ideas at the end that I’ll be using in some future writing). I decided this time to really keep a watch on what was going on in the episode, and see what I could learn from it. I did pick up a few things, so I thought I would share them today. Continue reading

Community and Identity: Three Questions About the Mad Pride Movement

Last week, I had the opportunity to host a table at the “Mad Market” at Toronto’s “Mad Pride” festival. It was a great experience, as it gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of other people with mental illnesses and to see some of the excellent artwork that people had produced. Among other things, I really came to appreciate just how creative people with mental illnesses can be. Continue reading

A Thousand Natural Shocks: Functioning as a Bipolar Person

When I first heard the term “functioning”, I was actually rather annoyed by it. As it was explained to me, “functioning” meant something like “able to hold down a job.” The reason I was annoyed by it was that it seemed to me that it only represented society’s, specifically the economy’s, interest in my health. It reminded me of the time that the provincial government backed down and funded the flu shot, but only on the grounds that the flu stopped people from working, not just because having the flu, well, sucks. Continue reading

Taking Advice From My Cat: Bipolar Disorder and Self-Doubt

Because bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, it can have an important effect on our lives. Moods aren’t just things that are pleasant and painful. They shape both what we want and what we believe. This creates a problem for people with mood disorders. A mood disorder can make it difficult to know which of our desires and even beliefs we should trust. In this article, I will discuss this issue some of the tricks I have picked up for handling this self-doubt. Continue reading

Not Fighting the World: Handling Injustices as a Bipolar Person

I wanted to talk today about a topic that’s been concerning me a lot lately, which is how to handle injustices with bipolar disorder. By injustices, I simply mean when someone is doing something that is genuinely wrong, especially when those injustices affect us personally. This could include anything from someone spreading a harmful rumor to someone actively discriminating against me because of my bipolar disorder (or any other reason). Like everyone else, we often have people do unjust things to us. Continue reading

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Counselling from Daniel
Daniel Bader, Ph.D., RSW, CCC
Daniel Bader, Ph.D., RSW, CCC is a Registered Social Worker and Canadian Certified Counsellor with a private practice operating out of Kitchener, Ontario. He provides in-person counselling in Kitchener and email, video or telephone counselling within Canada.

To find out more, please visit the website for his private practice, Bader Mediation & Counselling Services.