Bipolar disorder

Patients as Partners: Allison shares her insight on teaming up with organizations

This year’s Team of Advisors has been sharing how they use the Partnership Principles in their health journeys. Today, we hear from Allison, who’s living with bipolar II. Allison is a volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Dallas and also runs support groups for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). See what she has to say about the two principles that she relies on most in her relationships with these organizations, and what she’s learned along the way: “I realized I could use MY voice to help others.” Can you tell us a little about the different organizations you’ve partnered with? I have been working as a volunteer with NAMI Dallas. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. I was on the NAMI Dallas board of directors. NAMI has affiliates in every state. They have programs for family members and for people living with a mental illness. I am a volunteer scenario trainer for Dallas Police Department. The scenario training is part of a 40-hour class that the officers take, focused on Crisis Intervention Training. I am certified to run support groups for DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Alliance). How did you initially get involved? After being …

Patients as Partners: Allison shares her insight on teaming up with organizations Read More »

World Bipolar Day 2016 – Share how you’re #MoreThanADiagnosis

“What am I in the eyes of most people – a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person – somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then – even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.” – Vincent van Gogh Today, March 30, 2016, is World Bipolar Day, celebrated on the birthday of artist Vincent van Gogh, who’s believed to have had bipolar disorder. Sponsored by our friends at the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), this year’s theme, “More Than A Diagnosis,” focuses on how people with bipolar are many things beyond their condition. Check out the IBPF’s page for resources and ways to get involved. And if you’ve seen the conversations with new member Paul in the last month surrounding the release of his debut feature-film, Touched with Fire, then you’ve seen firsthand how someone living with this condition is capable of living a successful life full of creativity. Check out the forum where members have been sharing how they’re #MoreThanADiagnosis. And don’t forget to connect with …

World Bipolar Day 2016 – Share how you’re #MoreThanADiagnosis Read More »

Touched with fire: Reframing the dialogue of bipolar

We’ve talked a lot with new PatientsLikeMe member Paul, diving into issues like getting a diagnosis, management and coping, and overcoming stigma.  Now, Paul is sharing how he’s trying to change the conversation about bipolar through his debut feature film, Touched with Fire. Here he talks about framing Touched with Fire as a love story because in a condition defined by emotional extremes, he says that having those extremes take on the form of love “outshines any clinical label or diagnostic book that you’ll never see it in the same way again.” Watch how Paul is changing the dialogue around bipolar: Having trouble watching the video? Click the button below: Watch video Share your own experiences and connect with more than 84,000 members in the Mental Health forum on PatientsLikeMe. Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Touched with fire: Harnessing the fire of bipolar

Over the last few weeks, new PatientsLikeMe member Paul has been opening up about living with bipolar and how this condition inspires his art. Touched with Fire, a debut feature film now playing in select theaters, was written, edited, directed and scored by him and draws on his personal experiences. Discovering Kay Jamison’s book of the same name gave a new meaning to his condition when he needed it most. With the management of his bipolar now a finely tuned process, Paul says the most important thing is to “learn how to thrive in it. Not just get by in it, and not to be destroyed by it.” Here’s what Paul has to say: Having trouble watching the video? Click the button below: Share your own experiences and connect with more than 70,000 members in the Mental Health forum on PatientsLikeMe.   Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Meet Cyrena from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors

  Say hello to Cyrena, another member of your 2015-2016 Team of Advisors. Cyrena is living with bipolar II and lupus, and currently a PhD candidate in pharmacology. Cyrena describes some days with her conditions as “swimming through a vat of molasses” — which makes managing her intensive student workload along with her health a challenge. She believes there is a lack of resources in higher education to support students with chronic illnesses. Still, this hasn’t stopped her from taking control of her health. Below, Cyrena shares how she’s tracked her mood on PatientsLikeMe for over seven years, and how she prepares for every doctor visit to make sure all her questions get answered. What gives you the greatest joy and puts a smile on your face? Probably a full 24 hours with no obligations other than to play with my two cats, eat whatever I want, and hang out with my partner all day. What has been your greatest obstacle living with your condition, and what societal shifts do you think need to happen so that we’re more compassionate or understanding of these challenges? The greatest obstacle that I have faced living with chronic illness has been getting through …

Meet Cyrena from the PatientsLikeMe Team of Advisors Read More »

Touched with fire: A meaning behind the suffering

We’ve been talking with new PatientsLikeMe member Paul, whose debut feature-film, Touched with Fire – inspired by his experiences living with bipolar – opened last week in select theaters.  For Paul, the road to diagnosis was more like being on a rollercoaster. Years of using marijuana seemed to stimulate his creativity at film school, but culminated in the manic episode that would shape the rest of his life. His diagnosis was not the divine revelation he interpreted it as, but the triggering of a lifelong disease: bipolar disorder. Here’s how Paul describes this time in his life: Having trouble watching the video? Click the button below:     Share your own experiences and connect with more than 70,000 members in the Mental Health forum on PatientsLikeMe.  Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Meet Paul, an artist “touched with fire”

“I’m a filmmaker, husband of my NYU film school classmate, father of two children and bipolar. Of these labels, the one I’m certain stands out in your mind is bipolar – and not in a good way.” Being bipolar is not something that new PatientsLikeMe member Paul has ever tried to hide. On the contrary, he sees it as a gift that has fueled his creativity. Paul has written, directed, edited and scored a feature-film debut inspired by his experiences with bipolar disorder. Touched with Fire, starring Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby, opens tomorrow, February 12, 2016, in select theaters. Paul received his diagnosis at age 24 when he thought a manic episode was a divine revelation. What happened after that illuminated the path his life would take. “I was thrown into a hospital, pumped full of drugs and came down only to be told that I wasn’t experiencing anything divine; I just triggered a lifelong illness that would swing me from psychotic manias to suicidal depressions with progressive intensity until I would most likely fall into the 1-in-4 suicide statistic – unless I took my meds, which made me feel no emotion.” Refusing to accept what every medical text …

Meet Paul, an artist “touched with fire” Read More »

Allison’s story

Last month we introduced Allison, a member of your 2015-2016 Team of Advisors living with bipolar II. She recently opened up in a video about how sharing her data on the site helped her recognize when she might have an episode, and partner better with her doctor to prevent new episodes from happening. You can see how much good data can do. During the month of December, we’re celebrating #24DaysofGiving. Any data you share on the site will go toward a donation of up to $20,000 by PatientsLikeMe to Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island to help fund life-affirming wishes for seriously ill children. Data for you. For others. For good.     Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

The highs and lows of bipolar disorder

Since it’s still Mental Illness Awareness Week, we thought we’d share some facts on bipolar disorders, found in this dynamic infographic. Read our previous post for more information on how to get involved during this year’s awareness week – and all year long.  Did you know bipolar disorder is a worldwide condition? In Australia there are around 238,957 people with bipolar disorder. In the UK: 723,248 people. Germany: 989,095 Canada: 390,094 Iran: 810,038 India and China, each have 12 – 15 million people who are bipolar By the numbers… 5.7 million: number of adult Americans affected by bipolar disorder (or 2.6% of population) today 25: average age for beginning of bipolar disorder 50/50: men and women get bipolar equally 3X: But women are 3 times more likely to experience rapid cycling with B.D. 6: Bipolar disorder is 6th leading cause of disability in the world. For more facts about bipolar disorder, visit the full infographic. And don’t forget to share your experiences with bipolar disorder with the PatientsLikeMe bipolar community. Share this post on Twitter and help spread the word.

Recapping with our Team of Advisors!

Many of you will remember meeting our inaugural Team of Advisors from when we first shared about this exciting team last year! This group of 14 were selected from over 500 applicants in the community and have been incredible in their dedication and desire to bring the patient voice directly to PatientsLikeMe. As the team is wrapping up their year-long term as advisors, we wanted to make sure we update the community on all the hard work they’ve done on your behalf! First Ever In-Person Patient Summit in Cambridge Your team of patient advisors travelled from all over the country to join us for 2 days here in Cambridge. They met with PatientsLikeMe staff, got a tour of the offices and began their collaboration together as a team! Blog Series The advisors have also been connecting with the broader community as part of an ongoing series here on the blog! This is an impressive group and we hope you’ll read through to learn more about the team.  Some of the interviews featured so far include profiles on Becky, Lisa, Dana, Emilie, Karla, Deb, Amy, Steve, Charles, Letitia and Kitty. If you haven’t had the chance to read their stories and what they’re passionate about yet, feel …

Recapping with our Team of Advisors! Read More »

Scroll to Top