bpHope Blog: Dedicated to Living Well with Bipolar Disorder

Our award-winning bpHope Blog is a collection of posts written with heartfelt honesty by a group of bloggers from around the world, with each providing their own unique perspectives on living with bipolar disorder. Our bloggers write on issues that reflect their experiences and knowledge of living with bipolar disorder and address a range of topics, including relationships, treatment, symptoms (mania, depression, anger, hypersexuality, impulsivity, sleep), stigma, parenting, and more. Our diverse and eclectic group of blog/vlog authors offer information, inspiration, practical guidance—and HOPE, no matter what your needs are. Whether you have bipolar disorder or have a loved one who does, the bpHope Blog is a trusted community for you to connect with.

Blogs and Articles
social media bipolar disorder anxiety depression mania isolation

Social Media Benefits & Drawbacks with Bipolar

JB Burrage
February 28, 2022

Social media sites and apps can provide necessary connections and offer entertainment; they can also enable isolation and masking stability while denying bipolar depression or mania. Social Media Status: Complicated I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On one hand, I’ve found plenty of old acquaintances and reconnected with them—even met for the first...

READ MORE
preventing bipolar depression boredom mania seeking thrills healthy

Seeking Healthy Thrills to Prevent Bipolar Depression

Sasha Kildare
February 22, 2022

Newness is exciting; boredom feels painful. It took a while for me to realize that boredom is a personal risk factor for depressive episodes. Not everyone understands this. As it turns out, there’s plenty of research regarding how learning new things influences your brain, including creating new connections between your neurons (neuroplasticity). This is, in...

READ MORE
stress mood anxiety management bipolar disorder schedule routine

Routine Problems with Bipolar

Brooke Baron
February 14, 2022

I recognize the importance of a consistent routine for managing bipolar. I also know that maintaining my stability depends on having free time for spontaneity. The Necessity of Routine We hear it all the time: Routine is so important for people with bipolar! Keep a steady routine to combat your bipolar symptoms! Do things the...

READ MORE
work job employment bipolar disorder anger self-control fear stigma focus self-improvement

Managing Bipolar in the Workplace

Debbie Jacobs
February 7, 2022

I worried my bipolar diagnosis would hold me back professionally. In time, I learned that bipolar could propel me to better self-management and career success. Diagnosed & Doubting My Life Dreams When I was diagnosed with bipolar, years ago, I was working full-time and pursuing my graduate degree. It was my last semester of school,...

READ MORE
relationship bipolar disorder diagnosis sharing disclosure dating

Relationships & Bipolar Disclosure—Finding the Right Time to Share

Julie Whitehead
January 31, 2022

Revealing your diagnosis in a relationship can be difficult and feel risky. I prioritize honesty and try to separate reactions from my self-worth. Romance & Revelations Starting a new romantic relationship is often an exciting time. Experiencing new feelings, stretching horizons, and learning about each other is often thrilling, with exciting dates, a longing to...

READ MORE
stress challenges life self-care health bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disorder & Dealing with Life’s “Curveballs”

Andrea Paquette
January 24, 2022

Everyone faces challenges in life. And bipolar disorder can certainly add new and unexpected complications. It’s how we face them that matters. Seeking Wisdom in Challenges with Bipolar We are going to face challenging situations, people, and barriers in our lives, but we have control over how we deal with them. We can decide to...

READ MORE
bipolar diagnosis acceptance

Why Bipolar Is Like Getting a New Horse

Brooke Baron
January 18, 2022

What does acceptance of a bipolar diagnosis look like? What does it feel like? Turns out, it’s a lot like getting to know a new horse. What Is Bipolar Acceptance? There isn’t a trophy for achieving bipolar acceptance. There isn’t a list of requirements, a deadline, or a competition. But still, many of us see...

READ MORE
comparison bipolar disorder expectations life identity social medi

Bipolar & the Comparison Game

Elizabeth Drucker
January 10, 2022

With bipolar, sometimes we need to rewrite the “rules” of life and follow our own timelines instead of others’ newsfeeds and social media stories. Over the years, I’ve learned something very important about living with bipolar disorder: never compare yourself to others. It’s just about the easiest thing in the world to do, especially with...

READ MORE

When “Helpful” Advice Doesn’t Help Bipolar Depression

Carrie Cantwell
January 3, 2022

If I could “snap out of it,” I would. Here’s why advice like that isn’t helpful—plus 5 strategies that do help me cope with bipolar depression. Unhelpful Advice for Bipolar Depression Have you ever gotten this advice when experiencing bipolar depression? “Think positive.” “It could be worse.” “Snap out of it.” I’ve heard it all,...

READ MORE
loneliness holidays depression bipolar disorder strategies

Coping with Loneliness During the Holidays

Debbie Jacobs
December 20, 2021

Holidays can be challenging, especially when we feel isolated. To avoid bipolar depression, I’m taking a proactive approach—tackling loneliness directly and finding ways to feel joyful. Feeling Lonely & Isolated During the Holidays The holidays can often be the hardest time of the year for dealing with loneliness and the potential mood shift that can...

READ MORE
bipolar disorder holiday stability depression mania mood stress yes no family gathering gifts

How to Create a Stable & Joyful Holiday Season with Bipolar Disorder

Julie A. Fast
December 20, 2021

It starts with identifying our needs and communicating them clearly, so we can keep our mood stable and enjoy the festivities. We can create a holiday plan that serves us for years to come, starting now. Let’s focus on what we need and how we want to feel during every holiday season. It’s possible to...

READ MORE
bipolar disorder holidays Christmas test stability

Do the Holidays Feel Like a “Test” of Your Bipolar Stability?

Lynda Williams
December 13, 2021

Navigating the holidays in a healthy way means admitting some of the things I enjoy most about Christmas are actually bad for me. The Christmas Conspiracy Sometimes I feel like Christmas is a conspiracy to test my recovery. The gatherings that interfere with my sleep schedule, the baked goods promising a sugar high (and crash),...

READ MORE
holidays christmas bipolar disorder hospital inpatient

All I Wanted for Christmas

Karl Shallowhorn
December 13, 2021

Years ago, I was hospitalized for bipolar during the holiday season. It was a particularly challenging time that taught me about the power of hope. Hospitalized for the Holiday It was Christmas Day 1981.  I was hospitalized as a result of a bipolar episode I’d had earlier in the month. On that particular day, I...

READ MORE
holiday expectations bipolar disorder

Too Many Holiday Expectations?

Brad Hoefs
December 6, 2021

Entering the holiday season without any expectations—positive or negative—helps me avoid triggers and appreciate moments of kindness and cheer. Expectations & Disappointments This time of the year, what is called the “most wonderful time of the year,” can be filled with a lot of expectations. Expectations that set up you and me for a whole...

READ MORE
holiday shopping mania financial stress strategies

Mania & Financial Stress During the Holidays

Jessica Walker
December 6, 2021

I love giving gifts and celebrating. Mania used to “manage” my wallet and holiday festivities for me. Now, I actively resist the urge to overspend, managing my money, moods, and seasonal stress. Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to shop for gifts for others, buy food for parties—and don’t forget about new outfits...

READ MORE
gaslighting crazy self-doubt perspective bipolar disorder diagnosis relationships marriage dating partner

How I Recognized & Recovered from Manipulation Known as “Gaslighting”

Carrie Cantwell
December 2, 2021

My bipolar disorder diagnosis was used against me in my relationship. Here’s how I recognized the manipulation and escaped. Bipolar Diagnosis & Questioning My Perceptions Years ago, I experienced my first major depressive episode, which precipitated my bipolar diagnosis. I was terrified. I had so many questions swirling around in my head: Was I broken?...

READ MORE
staycation family holiday new year bipolar disorder

A Soothing “Staycation” to Usher in the New Year

Sasha Kildare
December 2, 2021

After two years of “too much,” I need some downtime. I am keeping it simple: enjoying blank spaces in my calendar and face time with my family. Craving “White Space” When I really couldn’t go anywhere, being home all the time became exhausting for me. Too much stimulation can drain my energy, but too little...

READ MORE
psychosis kindness violence religious mania bipolar disorder

Psychosis Made Me Kinder, Not Violent

Andrea Paquette
November 30, 2021

Because they associate it with violence, some people fear the psychosis that can accompany bipolar manic episodes. But my experience of psychosis made me a better person. A Changed Perspective on Psychosis Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging and confusing, and some find themselves at the mercy of one particular symptom: psychosis. There is...

READ MORE
holiday mania bipolar disorder symptoms rush hypomania prevention strategies family

Avoiding Holiday Mania

Julie Whitehead
November 25, 2021

In a world that rewards overdoing it, especially around the holidays, it is easy to be tempted into mania. Here is how I stay stable throughout the season. While we are in the thick of the “holiday season”—which, to me, begins with Halloween in October and doesn’t end until Valentine’s Day in February—I have to...

READ MORE
Thanksgiving bipolar depression service volunteering strategies blessings gratitude

Bipolar Depression & Counting My Blessings on Thanksgiving

Susie Johnson
November 23, 2021

Years ago, I learned firsthand that serving others in need can also help alleviate the heaviness of a long episode of bipolar depression. Bipolar Depression on Thanksgiving Years ago, when I was a 20-year-old with a new diagnosis of bipolar disorder, my parents had dragged me—kicking and screaming—from my native land of California to the...

READ MORE