I spoke last week with a close friend who recently found out -- in an interesting way -- that she has this manic depression illness, aka bipolar disorder. Knowing that I've dealt with it myself over the years, she asked me if I have found any helpful F2F support groups here in Austin. My answer -- I have not. She's looking for a group to join, a place to meet, talk with, support and gain support from a community of people suffering this thing but willing to do the work to kick free, such as they are able to. She's open to starting a group herself, and/or even hosting it in her South Austin home, if there are not currently any good meetups available. [more inside]
Online forums/support specific to health care professionals/students with major mental health diagnoses/problems?
Are there online forums/communities for support for medical professionals/students with serious mental health diagnoses? [more inside]
I've seen The Devil and Daniel Johnston and Stephen Fry's Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and I've read The Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison. What are some other great books and films about manic depression?
I was diagnosed with bipolar a few months ago and I've been taking limotrigine ever since. Since then I've noticed that, for the past 5 years or so, even when I wasn't depressed or manic, the way I was thinking was pretty irrational. Among other things I made important decisions like which university to go to and what to study for reasons that don't make any sense to me now, and I had very unrealistic ambitions which I was convinced I would achieve even though I didn't do anything to work towards them. Does bipolar effect the way you think, even when you're not experiencing a manic or depressive episode? And if so would mood stabilizers fight that part of the illness?
I've had serious depression for bassically my entire adolescence which has steadily been getting worse. After a particularly bad episode last year I went on a high dose of venlafaxine which triggered, what I'm now realising was hypomania. It was actually a pretty great experience - it bassically just made me really high functioning. I didn't do anything irrational or dangerous and I made tons of friends and did lots of creative work. That's worn off and now I'm depressed again. Does this mean I'm bipolar? I've had depression for a long time but I've never had anything close to a manic episode that wasn't triggered by drugs. If I am bipolar, are future hypomanic episodes likely to be as pleasant or could it turn into full blown mania? My uncle's bipolar I so I know what that's like.
How can I best cope with getting back to work after an extended break due to bipolar/ depression, and how can I best explain my condition to potential employers? [more inside]
In your personal experience, do you think it's possible (or even common) to be mistakenly diagnosed as bipolar? [more inside]