Together at the Poles

Daniel Bader, Ph.D.

Book Review: "An Unquiet Mind" by Kay Redfield Jamison

I thought I’d try something new today, and write a book review. There are a lot of books about bipolar disorder that I really like, and a few that I really don’t, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to share some of the excellent resources and stories that are available. This review contains spoilers, if one can really spoil a memoir, but I wanted to go through the various parts of the book to show the themes she touches on. Continue reading

The Enchantment of a Bipolar Life

Sometimes I’ll hear people say that people with bipolar disorder are “addicted” to mania and hypomania. I prefer to think of it as the “enchantment” of a bipolar life. Don’t get me wrong. Bipolar disorder often, even usually, can be disruptive and terrible experience. However, there are moments where it’s like the world is just crackling with magic. I don’t think that we should have to apologize for sometimes enjoying ourselves. Continue reading

Two Lesser-Known Forms of Bipolar Disorder: Cyclothymia and Bipolar Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified

Please do not use the following article for self-diagnosis or the diagnosis of others. Even mental health professionals cannot diagnose themselves. It is intended instead for information and to provide useful subject matter to discuss with a psychiatrist or therapist.

The distinction between bipolar I and bipolar II is confusing enough (I have written another article on that subject), but sometimes people receive even less-known diagnoses, which are “cyclothymia” and “bipolar disorder, not otherwise specified.” When people receive these diagnoses, they are often even more confused by what is going on. Continue reading

What’s In a Name?: Language and Mental Illness

Today, I was initially going to write my post about the definition of mental “health.” I still plan to write that post, but I realized that before I write anything about the definition of “health,” “illness” and “disease,” I needed to write something about what it means to define something at all.

As someone with a mental illness, how words are used is very important to me. It affects the way that I think about mental illness, and the way that my condition is communicated to other people. Continue reading

The Fine Art of Hiding Bipolar Disorder and Why It Kinda Sucks

I’ve gotten very good at what my psychiatrist calls “presenting well.” What this basically means is that, under normal circumstances, it’s not obvious that I have bipolar disorder, even when I’m having a moderate episode (more severe ones are another story). While none of my friends were especially surprised when I disclosed my bipolar disorder, on a day-to-day basis, I’ve gotten pretty good at hiding what is going on. Continue reading

Doing Unto Others: How Bipolar Disorder Can Make Us More Accepting of Other People

A couple of months ago, I was having a discussion with one of the women from my bipolar support group. We were going over some of the ways in which bipolar disorder has actually improved our lives, and I said something like, “I think it can make us a little more accepting of other people.” She looked at me and responded, “It makes us incredibly accepting of other people.” Continue reading

A Reason To Get Better: Lessons as a Bipolar Husband and Father

I’ve been a bipolar husband for almost six years now, and a bipolar father for just over five. Being a bipolar husband and father has been a real challenge in a lot of ways, but it has also been an incredible experience and opportunity. It has really taught me a lot about myself, my condition and relationships in general. In this article, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve learned. Continue reading

If I Could Push a Button and Get Rid of Bipolar Disorder, Would I?

In his fascinating documentary, “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive,” Stephen Fry asks a number of people with bipolar disorder whether or not they would get rid of bipolar disorder, if they could simply push a button. Almost everyone answers, “No.” Stephen Fry himself says that he wouldn’t, and he ends the documentary on that note.

This question really got me thinking. Would I be willing to push that button if I had the opportunity? Continue reading

Rings of Power: Is the Social Media Beneficial for People with Bipolar Disorder?

The social media has exploded in the last ten years. Millions if not billions of people spend hours online every month, catching up with people, updating their status, and looking at the latest viral images, stories and videos.

A someone with bipolar disorder, I’ve noticed that social media has some positive and negative effects. After all, I’m engaging in it right now :). Overall, I think it is a very positive thing for people with mental illnesses, as I will discuss below. However, social media carries with it some dangers for people with bipolar disorder that are difficult to prevent. Continue reading

Guest Post: My Bipolar – A Journey Toward Grace

Maz writes us from Australia, and runs the blog “My Bipolar – A Journey Toward Grace“. Today she writes about her experiences on that journey.

I’ve been diagnosed bipolar 1 disorder for 33 years. I am a 57-year-old female , divorced, two kids in their 30s, one granddaughter. I live on the Gold Coast, Australia. I love music, my family and friends, a home-loving Cancerian.

It’s not that I haven’t got many stories of being up, down and everything in between, screwed by the system, used as a guinea pig with medications. It’s not that I haven’t totally researched my bipolar experience to the point of doctors saying I am the most knowledgeable patient they have met with this disorder (of course this is very disputable). 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.