Bipolar disorder is a condition that can make life extremely difficult to navigate. With days where you can do anything and everything to days where you can’t get out of bed, it can seem like you’re constantly at the mercy of whatever your mind wants to do. Taking back control of your own self is not easy to do, though. It takes time, medication, and therapy to learn how to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder in a way that will help you live your best life.
While you may feel as though you’re alone in the struggle with bipolar, you’re not. Actually, 5.7 million American adults live with it every single day. Some of these people are getting treatment, while others are simply riding the waves of their mania and depression alone when they really don’t need to. Bipolar is a disorder that millions of people share, and some have successfully found a way to live with it. These are the people that others need to follow and learn from to also find peace with their mental illness.
If you’re battling bipolar disorder, don’t go it alone. The following are some of the best resources to help you get through it.
If you are feeling alone with your bipolar, don’t forget - books written by people with it are available. Books can be like therapy for the mind and soul. Reading the words of someone who is experiencing bipolar in their life can comfort you and help you see that there is hope. You can even use their tips and advice in your own life to see if they help you. The following books have been reviewed by thousands of people as being the best ones for people with the disorder.
This book was on the New York Times best-seller list because of the insight into the mind of someone who suffers from mental illness. The author, Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, was a psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, wrote a textbook, and then decided to reveal she suffered from the disorder with this book.
For a light, humorous read about bipolar, alcohol and drug abuse, and failed relationships, read Carrie Fisher’s book. It will make you laugh, but in a good way, as she tells the story of her tumultuous life.
The woman who wrote this book has been suffering from the symptoms of bipolar disorder since she was a toddler. Since she wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her 20's, she struggled with alcohol, drugs, self-mutilation, and promiscuity through adolescence.
For those who experience more of the manic side of bipolar disorder, this is for you. Terri Cheney shows how she can go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in her memoir. From promiscuous behavior to suicide attempts, readers often feel as though they are on a roller coaster of moods and some even relate to it.
Every year, the government works on programs and resources to help people who suffer from mental illness. As they make changes and create new programs, they update their websites with the information. The following are some of the sites that the government uses to disseminate information about their programs and resources.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. SAMHSA provides information on the disorder, treatment, and funding for community support programs. Use the site to learn more about the disorder and find treatment in your local area.
National Institute of Mental Health | 866-615-6464
This organization is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and provides support for all mental illnesses. Professionals, people suffering from mental illness, and their loved ones visit this site regularly to learn about new advancements, locate resources offline and online, and seek answers to questions.
Also part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services based in Washington DC, this site serves to not only provide information, but also resources online and in communities to seek support and treatment.
A number of organizations support people and their loved ones who deal with the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Some of them are for profit while others are simply trying to do good in the world by helping as many people as possible reduce their symptoms to live a better life. When looking for information and resources, take a minute to look over these organizations that are trying to help spread awareness, information, and treatment options.
American Psychiatric Association (APA) - Help with Bipolar Disorders | 888-357-7924
The website is for people suffering with the disorder and professionals who are treating it. You can find research, treatment options, and a list of professionals on the site. If it’s easier, they are available by phone for assistance.
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation (BBR Foundation) |800-829-8289
This foundation funds research to identify more causes and possible treatments for the disorder. They often report on new studies they have completed. Go to this website for the latest in bipolar news.
National Alliance on Mental Illness - Find Support (NAMI) | 800-950-6264
This website seeks to raise awareness for mental illness and reduce the stigma associated with it. There is a lot of information pertaining to mental health in the Lean More section, and you can find support in their Find Support section.
These numbers should be placed in an easily accessible place and highly visible for times of need. Since suicidal thoughts is a symptom of bipolar disorder, it is important to reach out if you start to feel death is the only answer. This hotlines can help you save your life.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 1-800-273-8255
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. When you call, someone who is trained and has experienced helping people with suicidal thoughts will talk with you and help you get through this difficult time. The phone call is free and it is confidential.
If you would rather chat with someone, you can go to their website and do that. It is also available all the time.
Crisis Text Line | Text DBSA to 741-741
You can also text a crisis line to get some help. The texts are free, and again, completely confidential. The person responding is a volunteer who is also trained and has experience either with the disorder or helping people suffering from it.
This is a website that has people who are available all of the time to help. All you have to do is go to the website, and click on the “Chat Now” icon. You can then start talking to someone who knows how to help.
You can connect with people one-on-one online whenever you feel as though you need to find someone who understand. Blogs are great ways to connect with other people who are suffering with the same symptoms. You can read about their feelings, thoughts, and life. You can also comment on the blogs and follow the writers on social media.
Deborah shares her life with the disorder. She had it for 15 years and didn’t even know it. She tells you all about her life and how her condition affects it in this relatable and sometimes funny blog.
If you’re a mom and have bipolar disorder, this is for you. This mom not only tell you about her condition, but also how she deals with it as a parent. She started a nonprofit organization called This Is My Brave, which encourages people to share their stories about mental illness.
This husband, father, and blogger with bipolar disorder shares his experiences. From the good to the really bad, you’ll see how he’s been able to get through it all with the help of his faith. In addition to his posts, he often has mental health advocates share information.
This blog is written by Julie A. Fast. Her husband was diagnosed with bipolar 1, and then she was bipolar 2 a year later. Even though it was difficult to get her symptoms under control, she is now on the right treatment and shares all of her challenges and successes in her blog.
Social media is made up of millions of people, and many of them have a mental illness. It’s possible to join the community on social media simply by searching for hashtags on Instagram or Twitter.
Many people discuss their bipolar disorder on social media. Follow these people to stay up to date on what is going on in their life.
Hannah Blum: She’s a vlogger on YouTube and has some great videos on how to cope with the symptoms.
@the_bipolar_barbie: This woman’s feed does a great job busting stigma surrounding mental illness. She shares her life and images with her followers. People love how relatable she is, and how powerful her posts are when it comes to opening people’s eyes and minds to mental illness.
Jenn Marshall: This is the same person who was mentioned above for her blog - Bipolar Mom Life. Her feed is filled with images of her family and days as she deals with them and her symptoms.
Armando Aguilar - Bipolar Depression Power: His posts are uplifting and encouraging as he tries to not only help people who suffer from the same symptoms as he does, but also their loved ones. He shares images and motivational videos regularly, so he’s a great person to follow when you need some guidance and support.
If you’re looking for ways to connect with a group of people privately, you may want to consider online support groups. There are many available that require you to set up an account with a username and password, and you can remain anonymous.
This organization has real-time meetings for people with bipolar disorder. You can create an account, log in at the time of the meeting, and engage with people. The leader of the group is someone who is battling the condition.
bp Magazine also has support groups available that require an account that is protected with a password. It is a highly active community. The bonus is that while you’re on the site, you can read all of the articles they have on the site that pertain to symptoms, treatment, relationships, pets, kids, and news.