22nd April 2011 - Present day - Blogging using Wordpress: Rethinking Bipolar Blog
16th April 2011 - I have decided to start a blog. It is going to be called 'eliminating bipolar disorder'.
8th April 2011 - After 13 years accepting the diagnosis that I was given, I have decided it is time to question it. Why should I have to keep saying I have bipolar disorder when I do not have a disorder? That is a big decision and is going to change what I do and how I do it.
8th March 2011 - Charlie Sheen seems to be suffering from mood disorder. Is he getting the help he needs? See what Julie Fast says about this.
1st March 2011 - Looking forward to clocks going forward at the end of the month. I am waking up before 6am and exhausted by 9pm. I used to be told this was an illness. Is going to bed 3 or 4 hours after sunset really an illness - surely this is what most of our ancesters did prior to electric lighting.
Feb 2011 - Started using MailChimp to distribute much of my written work.
27th Dec 2010 - Coldest December on record in UK. Spent a lot of the month with cold feet working on bipolar textbook for publication in 2011.
30th Nov 2010 - Have facilitated last 2 courses for this year. Now it is time to focus on writing and publication.
18th Nov 2010 - Facilitated 'Understanding Mood and Bipolar' course today. That is 14 of these this year. It continues to evolve each time. Today's was for 17 students in Lincoln.
6th Nov 2010 - Met with Dr Liz Miller and team for further development of Mood Mapping
31st Oct 2010 - Put clocks back one hour. Of course most people cope with this so easily. Takes me a few days to adjust. Changing clocks twice a year is not good for a lot of us with mood issues. Besides... see note at bottom of page...
8th Oct 2010 - I am continuing with a simple set of exercises that seem to reduce the abdominal pain and so allow me to sleep better. This is good news for my moods and I am achieving more now.
24th Sept 2010 - The long breaks between writing here are due to chronic abdominal pain. It has made it difficult for me to keep up with everything. GP has recommended I see a psychiatrist about the abdominal pain. With a bipolar diagnosis I wonder if my physical health is ever taken seriously.
17th Sept 2010 - Yesterday I met Jacqui Dillon who came to speak to our local bipolar group on the topic of, "Recovery and Beyond". It was very entertaining and educational.
5th August 2010 - The WRAP web site at www.mentalhealthrecovery.com is very well known. If you accidentally type www.mentalhealthrecovery.org there is a very different mental heath recovery web site. I didn't know it was there. Did you?
15th July 2010 - I listened to Rufus May talking in Sleaford. He is well known for a documentary about helping a doctor to cope with hearing voices (auditory hallucinations). He told us, "Living with voices is like living with difficult neighbours - we have got to get on with." www.rufusmay.com
Rufus also said about needing a network of like-minded people. This is a good idea.
23rd June 2010 - Here is one of the many 'FREE HUGS' films on uTube. What has it got to do with moods? Well, did your mood change when you watched it? Did you smile? Did you get tears in your eyes?
27th May 2010 Film of Professor John Geddes explaining his view of bipolar disorder. Near the end he says "Recovery does happen in bipolar disorder", then outlines his view of recovery. bipolar disorder video
21st May 2010 - I have created: www.wraptraining.co.uk because people tell me that it is difficult to find WRAP training in England.
8th May 2010 - I was surprised to read that Bill Oddie (Comedian / Actor / TV presenter / Writer / Song-writer / Musician / 1970's Pop-star / Conservationist / ex-'Goodie') was not diagnosed with bipolar until he was 65. Do psychiatrists not watch TV? Or maybe they thought Bill's sudden changes in mood were part of his acting? The article is reproduced in full here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1270002/Bill-Oddie-I-wanted-end-I-I-Bipolar.html
Anyone able to introduce me to Bill Oddie?
2nd May 2010 - On the BBC this morning there was a discussion about the idea of the 'green gym'. This is about people who exercise outdoors generally being healthier and happier than those who either exercise indoors only or do no exercise at all. They were saying how effective the exercise outdoors idea is for beating depression. It is very true.
29th April 2010 - Noticed this interesting list of books to do with bipolar disorder
26th april 2010 - Been in London assisting with the first Training for Mood Mapping Trainers event.
7th April 2010 - Read an article dated 30th March. It says that "being a bit bipolar" is like "being a bit pregnant". This is the view of two psychiatrists who disagree with the DSM definition of a spectrum of mood disorder. It was this black and white view of bipolar that made my life so difficult around the time of diagnosis. It is a view like, "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus and bipolars are from Pluto" - It is so obviously wrong. People can be a little bit bipolar. One doctor says in the article that he turns these worried people away! It is these people who need urgent help before their condition worsens. It is OK to be bipolar. It is awful to let this bipolarity turn into a disorder.
6th April 2010 - I have added a simple a page with 31 mini Mood Maps for use with Bipolar Recovery Bite-size©
5th April 2010 - I have added a simple black and white mood chart for use with Bipolar Recovery Bite-size©
31st March 2010 - I met David Mariant through Linked In. His company web site looks impressive... www.survivingbipolar.com
27th March 2010 - Added a new page with discussion of causes of mood disorder.
2nd Jan 2010 - Over Christmas and New Year I have been writing about hope & positive thinking, the importance of quality sleep, self sabotage and a whole lot of other things. I even had some time not thinking quite so much about moods - a little holiday.
15th Dec 2009 - Talked with John McManamy, Mental health journalist, author, and advocate. This is just one of his web sites: McMan's Depression and Bipolar Web at: www.mcmanweb.com I hadn't realised that John is the author of 'Living Well with Depression and Bipolar Disorder: What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You...That You Need to Know' - have you read this book?
4th Dec 2009 - Talked with Gregory Montgomery (G Hugh Montgomery Jr) today about his blog called, 'The Art of Surviving Bipolar Disorder' at http://bpwellness.blogspot.com
25th Oct 2009 - Talked with Kathryn who set up The Cyclothymia Collective in 2002. Cyclothymia is a form of bipolar disorder. It is not talked about much in the UK. Are most people with cyclothymia being told they have Bipolar II? www.thecyclothymiacollective.blogspot.com
14th Oct 2009 - I have read all "Mood Mapping" and am very impressed. There is a lot more to the book than I first thought there would be. I am particularly interested in Dr Miller's description of the "5 keys to mood".
25th Sept 2009 - I received my copy of "Mood Mapping" by Dr Liz Miller from Amazon today. Pretty good going as it is not due out until 2nd Oct. (Surprisingly bright orange cover!)
7th Sept 2009 - A journalist asked me for some comments on Dr Liz Miller's Mood Mapping...
"Liz presented Mood Mapping to our bipolar self help group just over a year ago. The idea that moods have two major components matched the way I had been thinking for years. The idea of putting these as axes on the same chart was totally new to me. That evening I created and printed a page with 31 little mood maps so that I could record my moods over the next month. I found it was very easy to plot points on the charts.
I had previously found that using a traditional (up/down) mood scale was useful in knowing how to control moods. Using the mood map simplified this process of knowing what to do in response to an undesirable mood. I used the charts on paper for 2 months then found that I was carrying the image of the mood map in my head such that I could say where my mood was at any time should I ask myself or want to tell people how I was feeling.
I facilitate training in Mental Health Awareness, Understanding Mood Disorder and Food & Mood. Mood Mapping has become an integral component of all 3 courses meaning that I have now shared mood mapping with people from many walks of life. Workshop participants are amazed that feelings and moods can be explained so simply and they find they can be using the mood map to describe their own feelings just moments after seeing it for the first time.
I see mood mapping as the greatest breakthrough ever in understanding mood disorder! For the first time we have a way beyond words that accurately says where our moods are and also where we want our moods to be. In my workshops new ideas are coming forward all the time as to the ways mood mapping can be used by those in distress, carers and professionals."
17th Aug 2009 - Dave tells me, "My book, `Bipolar Shoes', regarding my experience with bipolar disorder will be released on September 17th.
14th Aug 2009 - Linda says, "I was told that there is no recovery only remission. How do they know? Optimism is very healing.
13th Aug 2009 - Carolyn says, "I felt so sad... for all the people like us who were never offered any hope of recovery. My life, as I saw it, was to keeping swallowing my pills and wait for the next episode to occur to take me back into the loathsome psychiatric hospital. And then a miracle happened - one day someone at my local mental health centre started talking about recovery and running recovery groups. It was like a light bulb going off in my head. I attended the recovery groups and I spent hours and hours on the internet researching bipolar disorder and mental illness and I discovered that lots of other people were talking about recovery. It is a hard journey because you have to begin to know yourself inside out and you have to stay so positive but it has worked for me. I have not taken any medication for a year now and I have been completely signed off by my psychiatrist. ...there is most definitely light at the end of the tunnel."
Grumble about putting clocks back one hour in autumn. The 1968 to 1971 experiment with not changing UK clocks greatly decreased deaths due to road accidents. Accidents involving school children dropped most as these tend to occur during the dark hour created by the clock change. Accident prevention organisations have campaigned for 29 years to stop the government killing children by putting the clocks back. Isn't it time to stop this carnage?