In this webinar, Dr. Jennifer Bahr, ND shares her story of personal transformation from early struggles leading to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder to living mentally well. Dr. Bahr provides a unique perspective that is rarely found in this field as both a patient and a provider with experience in both the conventional and natural fields of medicine. Through sharing of her lived experience she provides hope to those recently diagnosed or struggling for recovery that you can live very well with bipolar disorder.
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The trend that bipolar disorder tends to run in families has led to a wealth of research focusing on identifying its biological and genetic origins. In comparison, less work has been conducted on the role that social factors (e.g. life stress) play in the development of this illness.
Every person, regardless of race or ethnicity, should seek help if they have a mental health problem or symptoms of a mental disorder.
-- David Satcher, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General
Karen provides a unique perspective as a mother who, because of her biases and ignorance, was totally blindsided by her daughters’ mental illnesses. She shares what was needed to turn her feelings of isolation and helplessness into hope and recovery—for herself and for her entire family. She discusses the root of our biases, fear, and stigma. She offers insight on what is needed to let go of parental guilt and move into advocacy.
Would a Clinical Trial be Right for Me?
Sometimes, those with mood disorders may hear of a promising new drug still in clinical trials. These trials appeal to those who:
feel they are good candidates because the drug company is targeting their very symptoms
those who have annoying side effects from their current drugs and feel eager to find a different medication.
do not respond to a variety of medications they try
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder for a child can devastate parents and confuse children. And yet every year, doctors inform form thousands of parents that their child is exhibiting manic or depressive symptoms.
Because children take their clues from parents, it is important to remain upbeat and hopeful when a doctor asks you to explore the possibility that your child may have a mood disorder.
Indeed, it is reasonable to remain upbeat and hopeful.
Experts coach parents to expect the worst during the teen years: defiance, acting out, drug experimentation, even minor criminal activity. With friends moaning about their children’s attitudes and outrageous stunts, it’s easy to assume your teenager’s behavior falls in line with the norm. It may and it may not.
It can be difficult to separate teenage moodiness from a more serious mood disorder like bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
Getting the Right Diagnosis and the Best Treatment
“Once begun; half done.” If you’re at this website, you’ve begun. Discovery of your own form of a mood disorder can be daunting, but you’ve embarked on a healing journey. Congratulate yourself. You’ve begun; you’re half done.
Virtually no one gets through life without experiencing some kind of trauma. Whether it’s a violent act, a natural disaster, a divorce or a death, we all struggle to regain our footing after an initial shock.
In the past twenty years, researchers and therapists have made incredible strides in the treatment of mood disorders. Medications have gotten more specific and potent. Side effects have been minimized. The variety of medications and their use in combination have helped millions. Sometimes, however, patients do not respond to medication and/or therapy to the extent they would like. In these cases, individuals explore the possibility of technological treatments to relieve symptoms and treat the illness itself.