Bipolar Disorder, sometimes referred to as manic-depressive disorder, though that term is somewhat antiquated, is characterized by extreme fluctuations in mood, from euphoric highs and feelings of immortality and delusions of grandeur, to despairing lows and hopelessness. There are many known causes of the condition that involve flaws or differences in brain chemistry and environmental factors, and the lack of clarity about causes and symptoms leads bipolar disorder to be misdiagnosed frequently. Clinical depression may be an aspect of bipolar disorder, but it isn’t the same thing, and should not always be treated similarly. While clinical depression may be characterized by long periods of low moods, feelings of hopelessness, and other negative emotions, there usually isn’t a subsequent manic phase.
Because of how common these diagnoses are, anyone involved in counseling is likely to work with clients or patients who have been, or are being treated for bipolar disorder or clinical depression, and it is imperative to understand the nuances of these oft-misunderstood disorders.
Depression can affect be chronic or acute, and can affect people under a wide array of circumstances, which makes both the cause and the severity of it hard to diagnose. The depression that is experienced by people with bipolar disorder may or may not be considered clinical depression, and there are many other emotional and chemical disorders that can have depression as a corollary symptom, from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to physical disabilities like multiple sclerosis and even physical injuries resulting from trauma.
The American Psychiatric Association: Bipolar Disorder page is a great page to get more information on Bipolar Disorder. The detailed description of the symptoms and treatment information is a great source for anyone looking to gain a better understanding.
The National Institute of Mental Health is one of the most accredited organizations when it comes to mental health research and awareness. The site has in-depth explanations on causes, signs, symptoms, as well as useful information pertaining to who is at-risk.
PsychCentral: Bipolar Disorder is a source dense with helpful material aimed at helping those with Bipolar Disorder to get the support they need and live happier more fulfilling lives. The site breaks down causes, symptoms, treatment, and also has a great section of Frequently Asked Questions.
Psychiatric Times | Bipolar Disorder has an immense library of useful scientific journal entries that look at many different elements of being Bipolar. While focused more on the side of research, it can still prove useful information to anyone looking to expand their knowledge on the matter.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has a plethora of posts that relate to Bipolar Disorder and how one can better cope with living with it.
Mental Health America: Bipolar Disorder is an informative page that breaks down all the most important information concerning Bipolar Disorder. Additionally, it has great sources for treatment, support groups, and other supplementary pages designed to support others.
The Real Warriors Campaign | Dealing with Depression: Symptoms and Treatment emphasizes how much we need to work with those in the military to best understand the traumatic experiences they bring back with them from combat and the mental illness this can unveil or trigger as well.
ADDitude Magazine has great introspect into living with Bipolar Disorder and ADHD simultaneously. Those with both disorders are largely strained and the site provides great information to help assist them.
Dual Diagnosis Bipolar Disorder from The Treatment Center helps other with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders, ADD, and others to get the treatment and aid they need to lead productive, fulfilling lives.
The National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder underlines how important it is to help veterans return to civilian life and not let things like PTSD be left unhindered. Many times Bipolar Disorder or Depression may be attached to PTSD and the site details useful ways for veterans to seek help and for family members to identify symptoms.
The Defense Centers of Excellence PTSD provides treatment options for PTSD as it is also tied to depression and bipolar disorder greatly.
mindyourmind helps youth and young adults have access to useful tools that underline the important aspects of mental health. Their posts on Bipolar Disorder are particularly insightful, in part due to the hormonal fluctuations associated with being a young person.
Healing Well: Depression devotes a wealth of depression-related material to helping provide adequate support for those with depression, their family members, and friends. The site has a straightforward layout that allows others to easily access materials in a variety of forums.
The American Association of Suicidology is the most accredited institution in the country when it comes to suicide prevention and education. They provide a fantastic amount of resources, stories, and upcoming conferences to gain more information.
Alternative to Meds Center devotes their page to promoting holistic mental health treatment based on orthomolecular and naturopathic models. Through these innovative and unique methods, those with depression and Bipolar Disorder can help alleviate many symptoms.
HelpGuide Bipolar Disorder Signs & Symptoms underlines how to recognize mania, hypomania, and bipolar depression. The site itself breaks down Bipolar Disorder symptoms, so that one may be equipped to identify these in themselves and others.
Suicide Awareness Voices of Education provides valuable information about suicide and how those having suicidal thoughts can help themselves and how others can assist them as well.
The Kevin Hines Story is an incredible tale that details how a failed suicide attempt from jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge turned into a life-changing experience and path to leading efforts of suicide prevention. Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Kevin Hines has been working his entire life to manage the disorder. He now regularly speaks at events around the country promoting better mental health and outreach programs.
The Center for Deployment Psychology focuses on the particular struggles those who have been deployed face upon returning from combat. This includes higher rates of depression and bipolar disorder, so the site aims to help alleviate these ailments resulting from combat.
Bipolar Lab works throughout Europe to provide diagnostic and treatment services pertaining to those with Bipolar Disorder. The lab aims to ensure the most adequate symptom monitoring systems for Bipolar Disorder to make sure every person is properly assessed and gets the help they need.
eHealth Bipolar Forum discusses different issues relevant to Bipolar Disorder through a variety of engaging forums, each going in-depth on another topic.
The Karla Smith Foundation works to commemorate the untimely death of Karla Smith by promoting Bipolar Disorder awareness and helping with research. KSF works to offer support groups, educational material, peer-to-peer coaching, and much more.
The Fountainhead Naturopathic Treatment of Bipolar Disorder combines many different treatment options, including homeopathic management, circadian balancing, thyroid imbalances, and many more. This approach is less common, but can still yield incredibly successful results.
After Deployment: Depression implements useful video stories to best paint a picture of what it’s like to live with depression, understand what it is, and also find treatment. The site also has a great library and other resources, along with personal stories.
Bipolar Aid follows Jeff Baker, a man with Bipolar Disorder, and aims to help educate others with bipolar disorder, unearth some of the less flattering stigmas attached to it, along with providing resources to support those with the disorder.
Canadian Mental Health Association: Bipolar Disorder educates others on the importance of taking depression and Bipolar Disorder seriously. The association is one of the most recognized in the world for their work.
Crazy Meds: Mood Stabilizers details all the need-to-know information on what a mood stabilizer is and what “bipolar agents” are as well. The information is great to expand knowledge pertaining to Bipolar Disorder.
Harbor of Refuge Organization, Inc. is a peer-to-peer support network for people with bipolar disorder and those who care about them. The site provides self-help advice, information on bi-polar disorder, and a very useful forum to discuss any issues people may have.
Healthline: Bipolar Disorder assists in providing innovative treatment and insightful articles on managing bipolar disorder.
Midnight Demons follows a suicide attempt survivor who recently became disabled due to the effects of post cauda equina syndrome. The blog posts chronicle the struggle to cope with suicidal thoughts and living day-to-day.
The National Association of School Psychologists has a very unique situation at the frontline of mental healthcare, many times being the very ones who are the first to identify a child who has Bipolar Disorder or depression. Their useful guide on Bipolar Disorder is incredibly in-depth and provides great perspective for how they come to the conclusions they do in mental health.
Dr. Rosalie Greenberg is a child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist in private practice in Summit, New Jersey. She has written numerous books on research that looks at Bipolar Disorder and regularly lectures to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals in the field.
Sierra Tucson’s Bipolar Treatment page looks at their own Mood and Anxiety Program and highlights how the program helps others and what friends and family members can do as well.
Suicide Prevention: Bipolar Illness/Bipolar Disorder details the most crucial information pertaining to Bipolar Disorder and presents it in a light that shows all the different ways people can find help and find stability in their lives.
Veterans Statistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, Suicide details the increasingly common mental illnesses our veterans are returning from deployment with and how the public needs to be more aware of it. The site goes in-depth on a number of important mental health facts concerning the military and is a great resource.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness confronts the aspects of Bipolar Disorder that are less known sometimes and go unchecked more often than not. The site’s great knowledge on mental health of course extends to Bipolar Disorder and how to best treat it.
The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive is a documentary that follows well-known comedian Stephen Fry who has Bipolar Disorder and discusses with other celebrities how debilitating the Bipolar Disorder can be.
Bipolar: A Narration of Manic Depression is a film that depicts both the manic and depressive stages of a man with a bipolar diagnosis by using split-screen display. The film portrays both the euphoric highs and deadening lows of bipolar disorder simultaneously. It has finished its theatrical run and will be released on DVD soon.
Research into bipolar disorder and clinical depression involves professional scientists from fields as diverse as psychology, psychology, neurobiology, and genetics. The scientific papers published on the topic, and the institutions that undertake such research, must draw from a wide pool of pre-existing knowledge and resources because of the loosely defined nature of bipolar disorder and depression.
The National Sleep Foundation highlights the incredible toll that depression can have on the amount of sleep one gets, along with useful information detailing ways to identify if you have depression.
The Black Dog Institute is an Australian organization at the forefront of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mood disorders such as depression, and bipolar disorder.
The Yale School of Medicine Mood Disorders Research Program analyzes many different mental health illnesses, particularly Bipolar Disorder and Depression. Their comprehensive program helps to bring a better understanding of these conditions to the public.
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation: Bipolar Disorder does a fantastic job of working with other research institutions and provides grants to help contribute to advancing what we know about Bipolar Disorder. Many updates are provided on different grantees and the general state of Bipolar research.
The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research aims to use the celebrity power from Sean Costello to further bipolar research and treatment.
Bipolar Disorder Research Network investigates different genetic factors and how they affect and influence Bipolar Disorder. Over 5000 people have taken part in their Bipolar Research, so they’re making large strides to have an impact in the field.
Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders is an immensely dense resource for articles concerning Bipolar Disorder and Depression. The site’s two editors, professors at Duke and Tufts University respectively, ensure the highest level of integrity for the content posted.
The Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund is based at the University of Michigan and works to do in-depth work to understand Bipolar Disorder down to a genetic level.
McLean Hospital’s Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program explains how they’re working to do research into the unique circumstances for Bipolar and Schizophrenia. The site’s dense with educational resources and details upcoming research initiatives as well.
Pharmacogenomics of Bipolar Disorder is an incredibly specific field that looks at how medications affect genes and what that means in different individuals where the effects may vary.
The University of Maryland Medical Center has a wonderful page on depression, aiding anyone looking for more information on different types, as well as less common forms.
The University of Michigan Psychiatry Bipolar Research works to identify the different causes of Bipolar Disorder to work towards finding a cure and better uniting the efforts to treatment.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai: Bipolar Disorder Research is currently developing and implementing groundbreaking techniques for care and treatment of Bipolar Disorder. The school’s unique position, often with breakthroughs in the field, affords them the resources and insight to be the most successful.
The International Mental Health Research Organization implements a number of great tools for getting to the root of Bipolar Disorder. Equipped with a large number of articles and insight pieces on the condition, the site is renowned for its work around the world.
As the stigma surrounding bipolar disorder and depression has dissipated, more communities of support have sprung up for those who suffer from it, and many professional organizations exist to promote awareness and proper treatment of depression.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is a nationwide organization promoting awareness of anxiety and depression. ADAA helps connect those who need treatment with providers, and runs fundraisers and other support events for scientific research toward a better understanding of depression and anxiety.
The Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program provides diagnostic evaluations, second opinion consultation, and short-term treatments (medication management and various forms of psychotherapy) for youth who have symptoms of significant and impairing mood disorders and their families. The Program’s focus is on pediatric bipolar disorder (extreme high and low moods).
Families for Depressiona Awareness is a nonprofit organization operating throughout the U.S. with the primary objectives of helping families cope with depression and recude the stigma that is associated with mental illness.
Bipolar UK helps those with Bipolar Disorder in the United Kingdom to be best equipped with the resources to make informed decisions, find self-help groups, and understand where the community is at in terms of research and policy.
The International Bipolar Foundation is based in San Diego and is a non-profit whose goal is to eliminate Bipolar Disorder by helping to advance research, promote support services, and educate others to help eliminate social stigmas attached to the disorder.
Started in 2008, Mental Spaghetti is a platform for sharing artwork and mental health stories with a broader readership. Implementing this site is designed to be a stepping stone where others can come together, discuss artwork, and touch on their mental illness if they’re ready to talk about how it may relate to their work.
Bipolar Scotland works throughout Scotland to ensure that those with Bipolar Disorder have all the support, care, and resources available to manage the disorder and educate others. The site also works to fund different research to better the state of medicine and care for those with Bipolar Disorder.
BPChildren looks at children with Bipolar Disorder and provides advice for them, their parents, teachers, and useful books on the subject. The site provides useful audio and visual tools through their “Intense Minds” virtual book tour.
MS Society: Depression is a highly specific page that details how people with Multiple Sclerosis many times fall prey to depression due to other circumstances. It’s a great resource to see how other factors can contribute to the onset of depression.
International Society for Bipolar Disorders has a chief mission of furthering the awareness, education, and research of Bipolar Disorder. Through many different channels, the site has furthered the aid concerning Bipolar Disorder.
The Northwest Association for Postpartum Support has a fantastic section on Postpartum Doulas and their role in care around the house following the birth of a child. The information is great to see how they can contribute to the prevention of Postpartum Depression and make sure the family is not stressed when having a child.
The Balanced Mind Foundation works to give families the resources they need to care for children with mood disorders and to understand what situations they may confront in the future. The site’s informative content is great for parents largely unfamiliar with Bipolar Disorder.
Freedom From Fear is a non-profit mental illness advocacy organization that was established in 1984 and helps with many different mental health issues relating to anxiety and depression. An easy to navigate layout makes for intuitive ways for others to attain the information they’re looking for.
Individuals sharing their experiences of bipolar disorder honestly provide a great support network for those suffering in silence. Because of the long standing stigma surrounding bipolar disorder and depression, it hasn’t always been easier to find people frankly explaining their circumstances, but the internet has made it much easier for those with bipolar disorder and depression to share stories and find others with similar experiences.
Time to Change is devoted to helping reduce the stigma attached to mental health discrimination. Bipolar disorder is one condition that is hard to control, due to fluctuations in mood. The site’s useful resources explain how we can all work together to reduce discrimination surrounding the disorder.
Craig Hamilton is one of the leading voices in mental health, often speaking at some of the most high-profile events in the country. Mr. Hamilton was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2000 and has travelled Australia extensively to deliver speeches and presentations on the disorder, along with promoting mental health education.
James & Jax is a personal blog by a mother who calls blogging about postpartum depression a a “cheap form of therapy.” Her lighthearted but insightful posts would be a great read for someone who may be suffering from depression and isn’t sure how to figure it out.
The Job Accommodation Network: Employees with Bipolar Disorder section works to show how employers can best assist employees with Bipolar Disorder and how to look for signs of it to ensure they are treated accordingly.
The Secret Life of a Manic follows Seaneen, a comedian and mental health writer who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2006. The posts are great because of her unique blend of humor with mental health information.
EEOC Enforcement Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Psychiatric Disabilities provides great information on how different institutions manage those with physical and psychiatric disabilities.
Mad in America looks to reframe how psychiatric care is viewed in the United States and abroad by providing readers with useful news, recovery stories, and great access to resources.
All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something is a great blog that highlights a woman who was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression and then more recently Bipolar Disorder. The site’s useful posts show how normalcy can be achieved again in terms of routine and emotions.
Multitasking Mumma shows how intensely Post Partum Depression can affect individuals. This blog shows the unique circumstances that surround having a child and the stresses that can be imposed.
Weathering The Storm: Overcoming Bipolar Disorder is great because it highlights all the ways that Bipolar Disorder affects others and the best course of action for approaching it. The site is great because it helps convey a real understanding of what it’s like to be Bipolar and how to work the condition.
Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies, & Suicide is a blog written by Stephanie Schroeder, a mental illness activist and author of the book, Beautiful Wreck. The posts look at different ways that those with Bipolar Disorder must sometimes confront situations and how they can best work through the issues they’re confronted with.
My Meddling Mind is run by a woman named Madison who uses the site as an outlet for her depression and anxiety, also using it to engage others to discuss mental illness as it affects them.
How To Juggle Glass: Surviving Mental Illness at University is one of the only blogs to specifically address the unique circumstances surrounding being Bipolar or Depressed while attending college. The well-needed perspective provides great tools that make it relatable for anyone in college.
KatGalaxyBlog is written from the perspective of Kat, a 24-year-old woman with Bipolar Disorder. She has a BA in English, so the blog is well-written and her ability to really paint pictures of different emotions and how one feels with Bipolar is unparalleled.
There’s Always a Light at the End of the Tunnel is an incredibly optimistic take on the plight that those with mental illness face to reduce the stigma associated with having depression or Bipolar Disorder. The great content is regularly updated and can be found to be very uplifting and motivational.
All the Avenues Look Ugly aims to paint the most realistic picture of what it’s like to live with depression and doesn’t sugarcoat any situation the author faces. Sean’s ability to be incredibly candid with the audience is very crucial to gaining pragmatic insight as to what it’s like to live with depression on a day-to-day basis.
Being Bipolar is a podcast series that helps breakdown all the different ways those with Bipolar Disorder can help themselves and also provide advice for those who aim to assist those with the disorder. The site also has a blog that is popular, due to its fantastic content pertaining to the disorder.
My Son Has 2 Brains: A Mood Disorder Blog she’s how a mother of three has managed her oldest son, now 12, who has Bipolar Disorder. The interesting insight just increases over time, showing all the different developments with her son over time.
Mrs. Bipolarity was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2002 and aims to fight off the stigmas associated with mental illness through advocating for worthy causes and raising awareness. The awesome blog posts highlight some of the things she’s working on, as well as shining light on different issues.
Kathy Brandt is a writer and mental health advocate whose son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at 20 years old while attending college. The site explores Kathy’s struggle to keep her family together and help her son, eventually surmounting with a memoir she wrote with her son.
1 Boring Old Man is a blog the details how one man has grown and matured while overcoming depression. The blog’s posts, while not exclusively depression-related, emphasize how to still lead a regular life in the midst of depression.
Asylum 13 Riots! Provides a place where those with mental illness can come to have a place of refuge, the idea being that those with depression and bipolar disorder and unjustly stigmatized in society and from those around them. The posts are very engaging, ranging from book reviews to pieces that prompt conversation in enlightening ways.
Bi[polar] Curious follows Sarah Sullivan and her journey of living with Bipolar Disorder. She details her unique circumstances that involve her allergic reactions to certain medicines and how it’s forced her to create different methods for managing Bipolar Disorder, namely trying to control “The External Variables”.
Bipolar and Me is a blog run by a woman based in the Midwest who aims to not be defined by mental illness and strives to still lead a regular life not hindered by the impositions of Bipolar Disorder. The posts are great because of their depth and their length underlines a great storytelling arc that details her feelings, but doesn’t drag on.
Depression Getaway sheds light on the unique challenges depression imposes on individuals and shows how one can still find solace from depression and work to better lead a happy life.
Disability and Representation: Changing the Cultural Conversation focuses is run by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg, an academic whose interest in Disability Studies has led her not only to work on a 2nd Master’s Degree, but also to run this blog that looks at how different representations of disability in the media are harmful.
Draw That Beast is an interesting blog that sees the author illustrate different materializations of her depression, depicting different ways she sees the embodiment of her depression.
Fighting the Darkness: My Secret Battle with Depression is run by Jamie, a woman who has had a lengthy and turbulent battle with depression over her life. The blog attempts to bring to light depression in a may that has not been done before. This is largely due to the stigma associated with depression that it must be kept a “secret” and others urging those with the disorder to tackle it alone.
Living Manic Depressive details pragmatic tips for managing Bipolar Disorder, Depression, and Mania. The different posts show what people can expect at all sorts of feelings on the spectrum.
Running Naked with Scissors is run by a mother of 6 with Bipolar Disorder who details what it’s like for her to get by with the disorder. Liz explains how finding acceptance has allowed her to find more stability and lead a more rewarding life and the posts are refreshing and highlight some of the better aspects of life with Bipolar Disorder as well.
Working Minds focuses on suicide prevention in the workplace and the best ways we can go about helping others through the struggles they may face when coming to work.
Natasha Tracy runs Bipolar Burble and has Type 2 Bipolar Disorder. Her blog’s posts are great because of their ability to be candid, yet still incredibly informative and to-the-point.
Bipolar Out Loud is run by Nellie-Jean Goldsmith who has Type 1 Bipolar Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The blog details the unique circumstances surrounding her life and how she copes with the disorders on a day-to-day basis.
Disorderly Chickadee is run by a woman with a PhD in Information Science and Technology who was diagnosed with various conditions in 2011. The blog functions as an outlet for her to become comfortable in her own skin, using the internet as a nice segway into being comfortable in real life.
Mood Garden is a forum for those with depression and Bipolar Disorder to meet and discuss related conditions. The site’s message board is particularly notable.
Ask a Bipolar gives people the option to discuss with someone who actually has Bipolar Disorder and it’s great for those who also have it to understand what to expect. Additionally, for those without Bipolar Disorder, it provides insight as to what you can expect to be a family member or friend of someone with the condition.
The Bipolar Project is run by a 23 year old graduate student named Sara who Is working towards her graduate degree in Psychology and as a result, has incredible insight into her own Bipolar Disorder and what has worked and what hasn’t. The posts are great because of their contemporary tone and Sara’s ability to relate with young people on what they may be feeling.
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