It’s Normal to Be Worn Out if You Have Bipolar Disorder


It is normal to get worn out if you have bipolar disorder. And before someone writes and says, “Everyone gets worn out Julie!” Please know that the type of WORN OUT that those of us with bipolar disorder experience is NOT experienced by the general public.

This is bipolar worn out!



PS: Click here to read my latest blog from Bp Magazine on the topic It’s Normal to Struggle if You Have Bipolar Disorder. 



Parent of a Young Child with a Mental Health Disorder?

I’m looking for three families who want to be a part of the team for my new book Hortensia and the Magical Brain: Poems for Kids with Bipolar, Anxiety, Psychosis and Depression.
Hortensia and the Magical Brain is a book of therapeutic poems for kids with symptoms of mania, depression, anxiety, psychosis, ADHD, irritation, violent behavior and so much more.
The book will be a conversation starter for parents and health care professionals to help kids talk about their symptoms when they don’t have the words to explain what is happening in their brains.
Parents on the editing team will receive poems to read to their kids to see how the child responds and what suggestions the child has for changes to the poems.
Here are the requirements for participation in the project:
1. You have a child between the ages of 4 and 12 who has diagnosed mental health symptoms that need treatment.
2. You are open to reading poems to the child and reporting what suggestions the child (and you!) have on the content. This has worked really well so far with the parents who helped me with the Kickstarter for the book. 
3. You are looking for a comprehensive plan for your child that includes medications if needed, as well as management modalities such as occupational therapy, drawing, movement, singing, writing, meditation and working with a wide range of health care professionals on a plan the whole family can use.
ALL participants in return for helping with the poems and the book will receive coaching sessions from me at NO CHARGE. I am not taking on new paying clients so that I can focus on Hortensia and the Magical Brain. The three new families I work will become my clients. I want to give as much as I receive.
The book will come out in the fall. Before writing, please make sure you have a few hours a week for the next three months to devote to the project.
For more information, please e-  mail      Julie Fast Books  at G-mail dot com with a bit about yourself and I will be in contact.
 Thank you!


Illustrations are by the incredible Kaytie Spellman.

Caught in the Borg of Depression

Hopefully, when I share my struggles with bipolar, psychosis and anxiety you can feel less alone with what you go through.

I write books on mental health management. I have all of the tools you can possibly imagine at my finger tips. I do everything you read in my books. My relationships are non contentious. I ask for help when needed. I know my symptoms and I have a plan for stability.

And I still get sick! Darn it! This nasty illness is so sneaky and like The Borg it sucks the life out of me!

That is the nature of mental illness. There are positives of course. I am 75% better than in the past.

But the 25% that remains is rough!

No matter how vigilant you are in life, mental illness can zap you. It’s not because you are weak. It is not because you have done anything wrong. It’s simply an illness.

I played music for pleasure for the first time in a few weeks this morning. I knew I was dealing with depression, but this really clarified how strong the depression has been. My ability to listen to music for pleasure always leaves me when I’m depressed.

It is ok that I was depressed. I have bipolar so this is normal.

Captain Picard escaped the Borg and I can too!


PS: If you have never seen Star Trek: The Next Generation, it’s worth watching. The topics are just as relevant today as when they show first aired!

Julie, What are the side effects of lithium? What is lithium orotate?

I want to stress that all drugs have potential side effects- even natural salts like lithium. Side effects are NOT the same for everyone. I have friends who have been on lithium for over 30 years with little to no side effects and normal kidney function.
There there are people like myself who get great relief from lithium, but can’t take it regularly due to side effects.
Common lithium side effects include a very strong thirst, lethargy and a dull feeling in the mind. It can affect reading ability and writing. Memory can be a problem as well. Weight gain and increased hunger are also side effects. The most serious side effect in my book is APATHY. This means the person on lithium loses interest in doing things that once brought pleasure. This is not depression, it is a lack of interest in life that is not about the mood.
I LOVE lithium. I would take it every day if I could. My friend and mentor Dr. Jay Carter is a big advocate for the use of lithium orotate as it is over the counter and all natural. I use it as needed, but can’t take it often due to weight gain.
Many, many people with bipolar disorder can take lithium without these side effects. The only way to know how you will react is to try lithium in small doses and go form there.
If you care about someone with bipolar disorder who refuses medications, especially if they do so as a protest against big pharma- lithium orotate is a great supplement to try. Talk with a qualified health care professional about taking 5mg of over the counter lithium orotate as a natural treatment for bipolar disorder mood swings.


Bipolar and Marijuana: What is Dabbing?

Bipolar disorder and marijuana education: What is dabbing? One of the top concerns I see in bipolar disorder management today is marijuana and dabbing.
The use of high THC pot is linked to an increase in psychosis and mania in those of us with bipolar disorder. The highest concentrate of THC when people use weed is creating wax from dabbing. The process is explained in the article linked below. 
The more we educate ourselves and keep an open mind into how we can stay safe and stable, the better we can help our sons, daughters and partners make healthy decisions around their mental health.
My bipolar disorder and marijuana education work focuses on harm reduction and the prudent use of substances when you have a mental health disorder. I have to do the same in my own life.


Julie, How do I Avoid Getting Lost Between Bipolar Mania and Staying in Real Life?

I’ve taught myself to recognize mania from the beginning.  That is the answer to how you keep from getting lost in mania. Once it is to the point that you can’t see it, it’s too late. For example, right now due to the stress of my latest project (I’m writing a children’s book), I’m going in and out of hypomania. I know the signs from my Health Cards of what this mania looks like.


When I start to talk a bit too loudly and can’t hear it. When I don’t care about seeing my nephew as much and become more selfish. These are signs.

I now know this is not natural for me. When I think about men more than usual, I don’t just let myself explain this away that it’s normal for a woman to think about men.

The only way to prevent mania is to write down your symptoms and memorize them and then make the decision that you choose stability over mania.

My mania usually feels good- really good.  People say heroin and cocaine feel good as well- but look what happens after the good is gone. It’s the same with mania.

Giving in to mania is a choice. I want to make better choices in life that living in mania.

Here is an article from BP Magazine that I wrote on the topic called Bipolar Mania: Am I Having Too Much Fun? 

I struggle regularly with the balance between wanting to get things done and not giving in to euphoric mania. I see it as my challenge in life. You are not alone!


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