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Living Bold With Bipolar
Living Better with Bipolar
Bipolar and Loneliness
The Psychology of Authority
Feeling Like You Don't Belong Here: The Bipolar Question of the Week
Actually, this is the bipolar question of the month. For a number of years, we ran a question of the week. Now is a good time to revive this feature … The question concerns the sense of disconnect most of us tend to feel in our lives. People invariably describe this in terms of being an outsider or not fitting in or not feeling they belong on this planet. The feeling is often accompanied by an unexplained longing to find their true home, a place of safety and comfort in their own minds. Certainly, this would describe me Let’s see if we can make a question out of this: Do you regularly experience a sense of disconnect, a feeling that you do not belong here? If so, would you like to speculate on where this feeling may come from? Fire away. Comments below …
When Resolutions Fail: What Next?
It’s the end of January. No doubt, you have given up on your New Year Resolutions. If you haven’t, in all probably, a long time ago, you gave up on making them. A year ago, I came up with a better option. I call it my counter-intuitive guide to surviving. Following is a review, with new commentary: It’s okay to give up completely … We all admire true grit and determination, but we also need to acknowledge the wisdom in knowing when to quit. The process of surrender can yield some unexpected rewards. At the very least, you are no longer bearing the burden of unrealistic expectations. The release can be liberating. Personal note: Seventeen years ago, I surrendered to a killer depression. In the act of surrender, the depression lost its force. Paradoxically, I was no longer powerless. Yes, I was still depressed. But in the act of surrender, I had won a major battle. If this sounds Taoist to you, I’m still learning. It’s okay to let go … Too often, we invest far too much time and energy in projects with minimal payoff. Bad investors and gamblers are notorious for this. In hopes of salvaging their investment or recovering their losses, they will pour good money after bad. What they fail to recognize is opportunity costs - that their good money is better used elsewhere.
Did Evolution Take a Wrong Turn? Is This Why We Feel So Disconnected?
I’m hard on work on my next book in The Bipolar Expert Series. This book will focus on behavior. I just completed four draft chapters that will comprise my part one. They are not the chapters I expected to write. Let’s investigate … Ever since I could remember, I have always felt like I was an outsider. I’ve written on this numerous times. I even joke that I wish aliens would abduct me and kindly return me to the planet of my birth. Funny thing, when I bring this up with other people with my diagnosis, no one rolls their eyes. Instead, I find a lot of nodding heads. Indeed, I find people eager to share their own stories. So it wasn’t just me. More recently, I have observed this in those outside my bipolar tribe. Nodding heads, wanting to share their stories. These are people who tend to take the road less traveled, mind you, but still - it wasn’t just us. Two pages into my draft and it became clear that the purpose for my book was an entirely different one than the one I started out to write. Namely: I needed to answer the enduring question of why so many of us felt so disconnected with the world around us. Our diagnosis didn’t explain it. Nor did our personality traits. Could it be that our evolution somehow took a wrong turn around the time we walked off the job as hunter-gatherers and starting living in cities? What
Why Relationships are the Key to Happiness
Here's what we've learned from the longest running psychiatric study on lasting happiness.
Paranoia, Helping Your Loved One, A Word to the Young: Three Questions, Three Answers
Several days ago, I presented a webinar, The Five Faces of Normal, hosted by the International Bipolar Foundation. My talk ran 35 minutes, question time a lot longer. My audience came up with extremely intelligent (and often challenging) questions. Here are the first three, together with my replies … How do you feel about the word, “paranoia”? Is paranoia a “state” or a “trait”. This is why I love audience questions. This one took me totally by surprise. But after a lot of um’s and ah’s, I was able to fashion a reasonably credible answer that went something like this: In my talk, I referred to mood states as opposed to personality traits. The two are separate, but influence the other. Paranoia is associated with psychosis, which in a bipolar context tends to hitch a ride on depression and mania. The implication is that when the state passes, the paranoia goes away. But if paranoia is bundled in our personality traits, then the world is going to be a frightening place just about all the time. Walking out the door for a coffee and donut in the daytime is going to be as terrifying as stepping into a dark alley in a bad neighborhood at night. If the world looks scary to you while you’re feeling “norma
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