Uesful Bipolar Resources
Being bipolar can suck sometimes, but fortunately for us all there are so many great bipolar resources these days that can really help take the edge off of even our worst days.
Both online and offline, bipolar disorder is becoming less and less stigmatized and there are myriad places to turn when you need help, advice, or just a good laugh.
While there are countless resources out there for people with bipolar disorder and their loved ones, I’ve compiled some of the best here just for you.
Someone To Talk To
Being able to talk openly about your illness and the difficulties you face can be a real challenge. Whatever the reason, sometimes we just don’t feel like we can talk to the people in our lives. When you need to hear a friendly, understanding, non-judgmental voice, here are some folks who can help.
If I had to choose my favorite resource for people struggling with bipolar disorder and their loved ones, it would be 7 Cups of Tea. Users can talk anonymously with well-trained volunteer listeners about absolutely anything.
The site is not specifically geared toward dealing with mental illness, but I think that the idea of being able to openly and anonymously talk to a trained listener about anything you need to is ideal for bipolar patients and their friends and families.
For times of crisis, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has a comprehensive listing of suicide hotlines all over the world, organized by continent.
Monitoring and Assessment Tools
Your psychiatrist or therapist may have asked you to keep a mood diary already; if not, this may be the time to start one. If you’re not a fan of pen and paper, or are simply looking for a different approach, there are a couple of useful apps that can help.
Mr. Mood (iOS) is an easy tool for recording mood changes and is my personal favorite. Record your mood each day with a simple finger swipe; attach a short note to a day when you like. No fuss, no complicated charts.
For more in-depth mood and medication tracking, Optimism (iOS, Mac, Windows, and web browser) can be incredibly useful. All fields are customizable and can be set to yes/no, text input, or a slider with a numerical range. This allows for detailed chronicling of moods, exercise, medication, and so much more. The app also offers the option to download and save data, which you could then email to your psychiatrist or therapist.
For evaluating moods and episodes, CREST.BD has put together a comprehensive set of self-assessment scales for mania, depression, recovery, functioning, and more.