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Resources

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 988 now for immediate support.

988 is the number for the new national suicide prevention hotline in the US.

I’ve been living on the bipolar spectrum for over four decades. In seeking to deepen my understanding of how to live with health and vitality with my bipolar II brain, I find the following resources to be particularly useful. Though this is not a comprehensive list, it is an excellent place to start. 

Websites

psycheduction.org

My first go to, and the place I send folks who ask, is Dr James Phelps’ and Dr Chris Aiken’s, psycheducation.org. This is a wealth of resources and I highly encourage you to explore it in detail. 

Four links that I find particularly important are:

Bipolar Diagnostic Scale (BSDS) — Recognizing and Managing the Dynamics of bipolar II:  If you are wrestling with your brain, this is a powerful self-diagnostic which gives you data to present to your family and health care provider. Take this simple quiz to validate your hunch that you may be living on the bipolar spectrum.

Quality darkness:  I’ve been surprised to learn from Doctors like Dr Phelps that quality darkness during sleep is a major factor in mitigating and preventing bipolar flares. Fascinating research at this link. The bottom line: I sleep every night with a silk mask over my eyes. More here on limiting “blue light” from computers and more.

Diagnosis in the Mood Spectrum: This article is a very accessible exploration of the bipolar mood spectrum.

Basics of bipolar treatmentGives an overview of three most important principles in treatment. 

There is much more on this site to explore.

Bipolar Spectrum Diagnostic Test

Created by Dr. Ron Pies and Dr. Jim Phelps


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

DBSA is a highly regarded national peer to peer network. Put your zipcode in their search engine to find a support person near you. From their website, “DBSA offers peer-based, wellness-oriented support and empowering services and resources available when people need them, where they need them, and how they need to receive them—online 24/7, in local support groups, in audio and video casts, or in printed materials distributed by DBSA, our chapters, and mental health care facilities across America.” Put your zip code in their search engine to find a live support person near you.

CREST.BD

Offers the following two websites that work well in tandem – the Quality of Life Tool tells people how they are tracking across a range of wellness domains, and the Bipolar Wellness Centre offers a guide to improving quality of life across those areas.

Personal Recovery: An E-Booklet Resource

By Lancaster University 

Black Dog Institute

As the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan, our aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone.

 

Center for Clinical Interventions

By the Governement of Western Australia

Bipolarcaregivers.org

For family and friends, I often send people to this website

Relatives Education and Coping Toolkit

REACT is an online self-help package (toolkit) for relatives and friends of people with mental health problems associated with psychosis or bipolar disorder.

International Society for Bipolar Disorders

The mission of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) is to foster international collaboration in education, research and clinical care to improve the lives of those with bipolar disorder and related conditions. 

NIMH

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. 

NAMI

NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Videos

Sara Schley Youtube Channel

Podcasts, Interviews, vlogs about the bipolar II. 

What Kind of Depression Do You have?

YouTube Series by Dr James Phelps and colleagues.
Super helpful and accessible descriptions of the bipolar mood spectrum.

Books

In the Trenches: A Guide to Mental Health Defense in a Covid-19 World

By Sara Schley

Brainstorm: From Broken to Blessed on the Bipolar Spectrum

By Sara Schley

Bipolar II Disorder: Recognition, Understanding, and Treatment

By Dr Holly Swartz and Dr Trisha Suppest

Why Am I Still Depressed?

By Dr James Phelps

A Spectrum Approach to Mood Disorders

By Dr James Phelps

An Unquiet Mind

By Dr Kay Redfield Jamison