Julie A. Fast talks with her 14 year old nephew David about bipolar disorder. She started the conversations when he was four.
A note from Julie: It amazes me how easily David and I can talk about such a serious illness. I started off by educating him on my own depression, mania, anxiety and psychosis symptoms so that he could better understand my behavior. Now he is one of the greatest minds I know on the topic! He has so much insight. We can teach young people how to talk about and manage this illness. David doesn’t currently have bipolar disorder, but we have talked about the genetics of having it in the family. I hope you enjoy our discussion on how to talk about bipolar disorder in an open and relaxed way.
This podcast is on Soundcloud. You can listen to it from your computer. Please download the Soundcloud app to listen on your phone. You can also download this video and use it to start a conversation with your own family. Health care professionals have permission to use the podcast as well.
I recently spoke at Oxford University in England at the Oxford Union
The event The Student Mental Health Crisis – What Next? was a great success.
“25% of adults suffer from mental health conditions; this figure doubles among Oxford students. Many believe that drastic action is needed to respond to this crisis in care, engaging with both the general stigma and failing institutions.”
As a person who flunked out of my first college due to my untreated bipolar disorder, I’m passionately committed to helping students succeed in school. I eventually received a degree eight years after I started. It doesn’t have to be this hard. Universities, parents, students, health care professionals and teachers can band together and create a system that works for those of us who need extra assistance to get our degrees. I also want to encourage those of us who have experienced weight gain or other physical changes to get out there and shine. We can lose the weight eventually, but we can’t get the experience again. Words to live by!
PS: I used my travel plan for bipolar disorder in order to take the trip and still dealt with daily mood swings. We can get things done when we have bipolar disorder, but it definitely takes a lot of planing and recovery time when the event is over.
Bipolar disorder scatters my thoughts, causes panic attacks, makes me restless, leads to worry and basically disrupts my life on a regular basis. But, I still have to and want to work. Right now, I’m sitting down with a plan and would love for you to join me. For the next two hours, I am going to finish the work I need to do. I want to stand up, go to a movie, watch a video, read a book, talk with someone, eat junk food and pretty much anything else that would keep me from working. This makes little sense, but it’s my life with #moodswings.
Here is my list of what I will do in the next two hours. Please join me on my Julie A. Fast Facebook page and share your list. Make it a realistic list. My list is very realistic. For each project I finish, I will explain my process and will check back in. I’m using the strategies from my book Get it Done When You’re Depressed. My first strategy- put yourself in a place you can work. I have done that. Now, I am going to work. It’s 11:45. I am going to time my work to keep myself on track. Oh, I hate this work anxiety, but I want to move forward in life. There is a way to get things done- it shifts around, but we can catch it and use it.
1. Send out email to people who listened to the Avoid the Bp Magazine Coaching call.
2. Send coaching homework to my much loved clients.
3. Answer coaching inquiries.
4. Put Rudy Caseres interview on Soundcloud.
That is a basic list. I will keep you posted.
What is yours?
The minute I wrote the list I wanted to run away. Nothing new. But, I know I will not feel GOOD about myself if I put off this very important work. I am committed to getting things done, no matter how painful it feels.
Your list might look like this.
1. Put on regular clothes.
2. Get bills in one pile.
3. Organize bills.
4. Pay one bill and then the next if I have time.
My list looks like this on MANY days. Today, I’m a big more high functioning and hope to stick to my regular work.
From Bp Magazine. Here is one of the best posts I have read in a LONG time. By Demitri Papolos, MD who wrote The Bipolar Child.
A very common symptom of bipolar disorder— hypersexuality — is one that particularly affects and disturbs the families of children who have the illness, and yet is rarely talked about.
By Demitri Papolos, MD
Hypersexuality in children is rarely openly discussed for two reasons: one is that sexuality in children (bipolar or not) is simply not spoken about in public; and the other, sadly, is that parents of hypersexual children are afraid to mention the subject. They are petrified that child protective service agencies will find out and wrongly assume that a hypersexual child is an over stimulated child, and that overstimulation stems from sexual abuse in the home. Few people—even the professionals at child protective service agencies— realize that hypersexualityis very common during the manic or hypomanic stages of bipolar disorder in adults and in children.
What is the definition of hypersexuality?
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary describes “hypersexual” as “unusually or excessively interested in or concerned with sexual activity.” It is an accepted fact that hypersexuality hypersexuality is a symptom of hypomania or mania in an adult who has bipolar disorder.
In children, the symptom may manifest as a fascination with private parts and an increase in self-stimulatory behaviors, a precocious interest in things of a sexual nature, and language laced with highly sexual words or phrases.
What if you just did IT anyway, no matter how sacred you feel?
Oh, I love this autocorrect! I meant to type, no matter how SCARED you feel, but sacred is better. Fear is often our way of protecting ourselves. How about if you just did IT anyway, no matter how SCARRED you feel?
That is a good question as well.
I got a yes on a big, scary project today. I spent the morning doing everything possible not to more forward with the project.
I examined myself.
What scares me? Why do I want something and then when it arrives, I’m scared to do it fully? What is the meaning of self sabotage? Why try if I’m not going to follow through?
This isn’t only bipolar disorder. This is personal. This is walking into the world that I say I want instead of just talking about the world I say I want.
I said to myself, “Julie, this is a pattern you said you wanted to END. You want success in what you do. You want to share your ideas with the world. You say you want this for yourself and for the people you can help. Now, you are getting a hair cut, taking the car into get it washed and driving around Portland instead of sitting down and fulfilling a dream. Make the change today Julie. No more talk.”
I then thought of what I needed to do and used the ideas in Get it Done When You’re Depressed. I have to use these ideas as my brain isn’t always reliable! I chose Put Yourself in a Place You Can Work and got to it.
I will share the project once it is done. I was scared. I had thoughts that said it was no good and would not get published. But I kept writing.
We can do this.
We are a team.
What would life be like if you just sat down and did what makes you scared?
I was recently interviewed about #Kanye West and bipolar disorder. A link to the article from Good Magazine is below. It is very well done. I always find it interesting to see how my words are used in print. I offered a lot of back up information on why I feel Kanye has bipolar disorder. This is not in the article as much as I would like due to the length, but I do feel he has the classic signs of bipolar disorder and possible schizo affective disorder and hopefully he will get the help he needs this time. I have been where Kim is right now, and it’s scary. She is hurting and he is hurting and my compassion is with them.
Kristin Marguerite Doidge did an excellent job, especially considering the complication that fame always puts on mental health symptoms!
I have no interest in being an arm chair diagnostician. I do believe in carefully watching a person’s behavior, what they say and what those around them say as well. Kanye has shown signs of episodic depression, hypomania, full blown mania with psychosis and anxiety for many years. It’s simply an illness.