BipolarConnect has launched an internet first, an "Ask the Expert Patient" feature. Twice a month, award-winning mental health journalist, author, advocate, and public speaker John McManamy will answer your submitted questions.
All you have to do is write your question in a SharePost - be sure to select "Question" from the drop-down menu when you categorize your post - and await a response.
John McManamy is a strong believer in patients forming constructive partnerships with their clinicians, but he also recognizes that when it comes to our illness, doctors and patients tend to have very different ideas as to what may be best for us.
Hence the reason for this Ask the Expert Patient feature.
John believes that our illness is far more complex than meds down the hatch. Merely being stable with our illness is not good enough. A more appropriate goal is living well. The patient decides what living well involves.
Living well begins with knowledge, and the onus is on each of us to become our own expert patient, from appreciating the workings of our brains to identifying our triggers to knowing how to talk to our doctors to making smart lifestyle choices to learning effective illness-management techniques to working with our strengths to acknowledging our vulnerabilities.
Lead Expert Patient John McManamy is the editor and publisher of the leading newsletter in the field, "McMan's Depression and Bipolar Report." His website, "McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web," features more than 300 articles.
In 2006, HarperCollins published his highly-acclaimed "Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You That You Need to Know," the only book on these illnesses written by a patient dealing in depth with the clinical and scientific (and other) issues.
In 2007, in recognition of his mental health journalism, John McManamy received the prestigious Mogens Schou Award for Public Service.
John is looking forward to hearing from you on matters all and sundry, but with this proviso:
John is not a medical practitioner or therapist or any other kind of health care professional. He does not claim expertise in any area of treatment or therapy, medical or alternative. He is happy to provide information in the context of you having something to discuss with your clinician, but nothing he says is to be construed as medical advice.
Looking forward to hearing from you ...
Living With It in Bipolar