"Didn't anyone understand? I'M NORMAL! I wanted to shout. I've always been normal." To Madness and Back
Knowledge is Necessity. Recovery starts with knowledge. I can't emphasize this enough.
My name is John McManamy. I am an award-winning mental health journalist and author. I have dedicated the last 13 years of my life to researching and writing on depression and bipolar disorder for people like yourself - patients and loved ones. I know where you are coming from. I am also a patient, as well as a loved one.
Here, you will find nearly 250 articles (plus videos) that will give you greater insight into your thoughts and feelings and behaviors and help you make your own choices in getting well and staying well. Thanks for stopping by. Jump in wherever you like ...
Depression Information, Bipolar Disorder Information
|MOOD. What we need to know about feeling bad, good, or too good for our own good - or stessed or anxious or not thinking right. The stuff your doctors tell you, plus the stuff you really need to know.|
|BEHAVIOR. The things that are right and wrong with us, what holds us back and what makes us shine. Introversion, creativity, exuberance, anger, love, lust, and much more.|
|THE DSM-5. The next edition of psychiatry's diagnostic bible is due out in 2013. The new version of mood disorders looks very much like the old version. These articles will tell you what it should have looked like.|
|TREATMENT. Smart meds strategies, talking therapies, ECT, and supplements.|
|RECOVERY. Strategies for leading a disciplined life in order to achieve a satisfying life. Mindfulness, diet, excercise, sleep, spirituality, yoga, meditation, and more.|
|SCIENCE. We open up the hood to see what makes us tick and tock. Genes, biology, environment, plus all your favorite neurons.|
|ISSUES. There are things we need to change and things we need to accept. We need to be talking about all of them.|
|FAMOUS. All your favorites, from Marilyn to Van Gogh to Lincoln to Beethoven to - uh - Hitler.|
|STORIES. My own personal narrative of coping with life on a planet not of my choosing.|
|POPULATIONS. How age, gender, income, family, work, and school impact our mental health.|
|RELATIONSHIPS. Mental illness poses serious challenges in our relationships. So does chronically normal.|
What will your verse be?
"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
Dead Poets Society, 1989
Robin Williams: 1951-2014
Featured Video: Mindfulness - Living in the Present
McMan's Four Rules for Living with Perspective
- Remember, Hannibal never won a battle with his elephants.
- Caviar is fine, but peanut butter will always be your friend.
- We elude happiness far more than happiness eludes us.
- God has a sense of humor. Trust me, every day you will do something to make Him snort milk out His nose.
Three articles on facing and treating trauma, added Sept 1, 2012:
Facing Trauma in Depression and Bipolar
Your major challenge may be resolving your own traumas.
PTSD and Trauma
Just because you haven't experienced combat doesn't mean your trauma isn't real.
Timing may be everything.
Also: An important new article on ADD and attention issues, added Sept 17, 2012:
ADD or Bipolar - Paying Attention to Attention
Are you being treated for the wrong condition?
Check It Out
I have completely updated the content in my Mood and Behavior and Treatment sections, with new articles replacing old ones to reflect (and attempt to reconcile) current thinking on matters vital to managing depression and bipolar disorder and all its add-ons. Sample:
Bipolar - Really a Cycling Illness
Episodes get all the attention, but ...
The Problem with Bipolar Meds
You have a cycling illness. Your doctor thinks you have an episodic illness.
Antidepressants - The Bad News First
No one in their right mind would take one, but what if you're depressed?
Placing Depression in Context
Your depression didn't just come out of nowhere.
What the hell is it? Who knows?
Borderline Personality Disorder
A mood disorder may be the least of your problems.
Anxiety in Depression and Bipolar
Managing your anxiety is crucial to managing your mood.
Mood Meets Alcohol and Substance Use
Are we talking about a craving or self-medication or both?
Plus some comic relief ...
Landmark Gorilla Suit Day Study
Nerds aren't smart enough to be geeks, theta males, and other amazing findings.
I have added an new section on Relationships. Latest article:
The Whole Bipolar Sex Thing
Why bipolars may make the best lovers - or worst.
Desert lilies, Anza-Borrego Desert, 2010