New to the Site? Start Here…

If you are here, then chances are that there’s stuff going wrong in your life. It could be that you were just diagnosed with mood swings, or with bipolar disorder, or depression, and you are thinking “What happens next? What do I do next?”

Or it could be you feel that something is wrong with you, that you might suffer from depression or some other kind of mood stuff, but you aren’t really sure what is going on, or if even it is all in your head. Does this Sound like you…

Or it could be that your boyfriend, or partner, or spouse, or friend has odd patterns of behaviour or has stopped communicating with you, or has been diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder, and you aren’t sure what is going on or what to do next.

Welcome. You are not alone.

Navigation tips…

The website is pretty darned large and contains lots of information. Some of the ways of finding the information your are looking for are:

  1. Use the main menu on the top of each page. It’s the fastest way to get to an exact page or topic.
  2. Use the tag cloud (list of words) in the right column to look for specific words. This will bring up a collection of all the pages where the tagged word is relevant. Check here if you can’t find an item in the main menu.
  3. Use the search box in the right column just above the tag cloud. This will bring up a collection of pages where the search word exists. This may be less valuable than the tag cloud because words like ‘depression’ and ‘mania’ exist on every page, but handy if you can’t find an item elsewhere.
  4. At the end of each article, there are links to other related articles (this is just being done, so not all pages have it).

What’s actually on the website?

The Symptoms Menu

The Symptoms menu lists the signs of depression and mania. The Eighteen Symptoms of Depression and the Thirty Symptoms of Mania list the symptoms in plain, easy to understand English. This is what it’s really like to be depressed or manic. You can also find the official symptoms of bipolar disorder.

An important step in gaining control of your life is knowing when things are going wrong. If you know the symptoms of depression and mania, you can train yourself to monitor and recognise when you are exhibiting them, so you can know when you need to take action.

The Coping Menu

The Coping menu contains the strategies I use for dealing directly with mania or depression symptoms. I also include the coping mechanisms where I step back and look at the big picture. This includes things like how to organise and destress my life, and how to increase the quality of my life.

There is also information about what you can do if you’ve just been diagnosed as bipolar. There’s also information on things that can cause or trigger manic episodes – you’ll understand why you don’t like the holiday seasons so much.

A lot of coping requires that the family and close friends get involved. Check under the Family / Friends menu for additional coping strategies.

The Drugs Menu

Should you take medications? Do you wonder if they will work, or what the side effects might be like? Should I just do counselling? The Drugs menu has my ideas on all this, as well as my experiences with specific drugs and side effects.

The Doctors Menu

The Doctors menu contains information about how you might get over the embarrassment of going to a psychiatrist, and why you should see one. Or if you wonder if your diagnosis is correct (we all wonder). Or if you’ve started seeing one – here’s what to expect, what to ask for, and what not to put up with. Contains ideas on how to get your child or spouse to a psychiatrist as well.

The Family / Friends Menu

If your child, spouse, sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, parent or friend is bipolar, you suffer almost as much as they do. This section contains an insight on what it’s like for us and also things you can do to help us, and yourself. The most read post on this site is Relationship falling Apart? Do Not give your Partner Space.

The Diary Menu

The Bipolar Diary describes a span of my life from about 1997 to 2003, from diagnosis to relative stability, and is a blog before blogs even existed.  The Diary is the core of this website, and I’ve been told many times that there is nothing else like it on the web. You can start reading the Diary here.

last updated 10 Jan 19

6 thoughts on “New to the Site? Start Here…

Add yours

  1. I remember reading this on your Diary. That story makes me remember that being diagnosed could be a loooong journey. I went to 4~5 different psychiatrists, and 3 psychologists (and I am not counting all the blood tests, EEG, MRI, etc. that doctors made me take), since I was 16 (now I am 26), before getting the Bipolar II diagnosis last year… not a very nice diagnosis, but it was the only one that made sense and the only medications that had worked for me. Sometimes I want to make a website or blog just like yours, there’s so many things one could share with other people with the disorder, or friends or family of those people.


    1. Well if I’m going to get started on this “Journey shaped by Circumstance” I guess this is a good place to start. Any tips for a rookie?


      1. Bruce,

        Sorry, about the delay.

        Tips for rookies.

        Step 1: If your life is currently in a mess, stop stressing.

        Well, yeah, it’ll still be a mess, but the only way you can sort it out is piece by piece. You will probably have about 5-10 things which have gone critical and you need to deal with, but you’ll STILL only be able to sort them out one by one.

        Make a list of the critical items, start with item 1, then stop fussing about the ones you aren’t doing. You’ll get to them.

        Great. I’ve said this, but it is surprisingly hard to do. But try.

        Step 2: Start plotting your moods. If you don’t know what is happening to you, you can’t fix it.

        You’ll need either (a) An appointment book which has 1 day per page or (b) a notepad. Either works. I used to use an appointment book, but now I use a notepad.

        If you haven’t already, see these links Setting up a Mood Chart: Signs of Mania: Signs of Depression:

        Yes, the stuff will be scrappy and messy. Yes there will be days with no entries or partial entries. That’s normal.

        It will take anywhere from about 2 weeks to about 1 month to get data that is useful in allowing you to make decisions or choices. Persevere.

        Step 3: Tell your family to lay off your back!!! Just because you are diagnosed, you will not magically get better.

        Assume it will take you the better part of 2-3 months to at put a stop to the process of your life unravelling. And then it will take more months to get things back onto something like an even keel.

        This sounds like a damper, but that’s how it is. It can be annoying to have friends and family members assume that things will be all hunky dory and normal now that you are diagnosed and taking the meds.

        Your response should be something like “I’ve am really ill and I’m recovering. My research indicates that having a depression episode (meltdown, nervous breakdown, etc.) is like have a major injury and takes months to heal. I may look physically ok, but that doesn’t show the real problems. Would appreciate if you could stop assuming that I am back to normal.”

        Step 4: Take your meds. They may or may not work, but it’s a good place to start.

        Step 5: You are in charge. Now that you know that things are wrong, it’s gonna be up to you to steer your course. The doctors and psychiatrists and others are going to be resource people along the way, offering good advice and experience, but you are going to have to be the one deciding what to do.

        I’ll see if I can start writing a primer for you. My project for the next 6 months. Feel free to ask questions or make comments as I go along. (ps: a variant of this comment is going to become my next posting).


        On 7 January 2013 19:57, LivingManicDepressive


  2. Thanks so much for this site. I just found it and am finding it quite useful. Could you please post something on women with bipolar disorder and PMS. This is something I struggle a great deal with – being very down with terrible symptoms and unable to take appropriate painkillers because they trigger mania.


  3. Thanks so much for this site, and sorry for my english, I’m new and I feel similarities with your statement and posts, 2011 has been diagnosed bipolar and as I got older that my symptoms are more pronounced, I feel that I need help, and I’m trying to get back to start therapy.


  4. Wow thanks for this site ,I thought I was going crazy. .a piece u write about eppilum increase and side effects is just me I’m right there and battling along sick nausea and very sensitive to meds and a dr that won’t really listen..or I’m embarrassed to say again it’s not working as i just had to stop increase in quitiapine because it paralyzed me physically. ..any more suggestions?
    I’d much appreciate it


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