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What is Bipolar?

What is Bipolar?

What is Bipolar? Bipolar disease is a mood disorder and was previously referred to as manic-depressive disease. The mood disorders are major depression and bipolar disease. What is Bipolar Depression? Major depression is defined as having five of about twenty symptoms such as feeling sad, early morning awakening, dreading the day, hopelessness, feeling worthless, suicidal […]

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Lyndon Baines Johnson – A Bipolar Presid

Lyndon Baines Johnson – A Bipolar President

Lyndon Baines Johnson – A Bipolar President                              Senate Years   The below article is  based on two books The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate written by Robert A. Caro and LBJ by Irwin Unger and Debi Unger released in 1999. They are only historical. I have gleaned out sections that suggest […]

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The History of Lithium: Part One

Lithium

Lithium—Part One—History and Function The specific reason I wrote this article is to dispel a statement at the 2018 California NAMI meeting in Monterey, CA by a psychologist speaking to a large audience. The result was much confusion, angst and anxiety among the audience. The speaker said that patients with bipolar disease (BPD) treated with […]

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The Invisible Deaths: Suicides

The Invisible Deaths: Suicides Sadly, again we have to deal with suicides, this time in prominent people. Society took a double hit this last two weeks with the suicide deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. “Forensic” history of backgrounds of their psychiatric issues and lives are now partially known. Something that is surprising to […]

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Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was a veritable recluse in her home in Amherst the town of her birth. In 1870 a family friend, Thomas Higginson asked her if she ever desired to travel outside Amherst. “I never thought of conceiving that I could ever have the slightest approach to such a want in all future time, I […]

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Loving Madness

Bipolar disease affects many people. Loving Madness is a guide for loved ones of people suffering with bipolar disease. Perhaps the most important point for all people, family member or otherwise is understanding that these disorders are physical illnesses just as are diabetes due to abnormalities of the pancreas and rheumatoid arthritis caused by the […]

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U.S. Presidents and Bipolar Disease (BPD...

U.S. Presidents and Bipolar Disease (BPD) or Major Depression Disease (MDD) It is tremendously difficult to search for reliable statistics about the incidence of BPD, MDD and Schizophrenia. After much effort on the internet the statistics that most jived were 0.8% for bipolar I, 1.8% for bipolar II and 1.0 % for schizophrenia. Looking for […]

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The Forgotten Gun Deaths—Suicides, Homic

The Forgotten Gun Deaths—Suicides, Homicides, Domestic Violence And yet again this country reels in agony of the mass shooting gun deaths of 17 high school students in Broward County, Florida. The definition of a mass shooting is four or more random deaths by gun not committed by religious zealots or terrorists. The debate is guns […]

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Puerto Vallarta—Hypomania

Puerto Vallarta—Hypomania and Second Major Depression At the end of my internship year at San Francisco General Hospital, in July of 1975, I flew off to Puerto Vallarta. The next morning I met a Canadian businesswoman and we spent the week together. We did not need two rooms. The last day I flew off to […]

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Major Depression after Traumatic Brain I...

I recently met a high school senior at a talk I gave on major depression disease (MDD) and bipolar disease (BPD). She had had a closed head injury from a motor vehicle accident four months previously. She said she might have symptoms of MDD as discussed with her primary care doctor including primarily memory and […]

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My First Depression and My First Hypoman...

My First Depression Psychotic Depression During my third year of medical school a foreboding of things to come occurred in January of 1973. To say I began to have anxiety puts it mildly. I faced issues I’d never experienced before. I’d awaken at four o’clock in the morning and lie in bed obsessing about “nothing” […]

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Bipolar Psychosis and Unipolar Major Dep...

Bipolar psychosis during mania is common and yet not so much familiar to me until I started meeting more and more peers with BPD who have had or routinely have psychosis when manic. The facts in this post are dissected from  Jamison and Goodwin’s “Manic-Depressive illness:  Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, 2nd edition 2007, Oxford […]

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Prodrome of Schizophrenia

It is commonly accepted that schizophrenia and bipolar disease are diagnosed in the third decade of life. But, what about early symptoms as far back as grade school that may predict either disorder. In this article I will address just the case of schizophrenia. The term for what I am going to review is pro […]

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Untreated Schizophrenics are America’s D

Who are America’s untreated schizophrenics? One percent of the American population have schizophrenia—3.25 million souls. Fifty percent are not aware they are sick (anosognosia). The conundrum is that this group is likely to go untreated with antipsychotics. Untreated schizophrenia (90%) and to a smaller extent severe bipolar disease are defined as the ‘Seriously Mentally Ill’ […]

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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Before getting into the subject of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) a review of the light spectrum is in order. The light we see is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) going through space.  In physics, EMR is the waves of which or oscillations of electric and magnetic fields that move at the speed of light. EMR has different […]

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More About Postpartum Depression

When parents think of the impending birth of their baby the usual emotions are excitement, joy and anxiety. The last thing on their mind is postpartum depression. The “Baby Blues” occur with the first two weeks of birth in some mothers who can be overwhelmed with the new care of a child. These include mood […]

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Robert Lowell, Bipolar Disorder and Crea...

Robert Lowell, Bipolar Disorder and Creativity My first article regarding Abraham Lincoln based on the biography, Lincoln, by David Herbert Donald emphasized that Lincoln’s unipolar depression disorder allowed for genius which we would like to see in all leaders. Mania of bipolar disorder adds creativity. Winston Churchill was a statesman whose bipolar disease allowed for […]

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REMI Guide

REMI Guide

This book, The REMI Guide (Response to Encounters with the Mentally Ill)  is one of many projects that have given me such satisfaction and are truly a labor of love. With my books, my website, speaking as well as meeting wonderful people in NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) and folks I have met who […]

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Abraham Lincoln and Major Depression

Abraham Lincoln and Major Depression During the Civil War: For over fifty years historians and psychiatrists have accepted the fact that Abraham Lincoln had major depression disorder. Also indicative of this Lincoln’s paternal line is rife with major depression, bipolar disorder and one cousin requiring institutionalization. It was not until the latter part of the […]

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Stanislaus Passes Laura’s Law

Why do only 18 of 58 Counties in California fund AOT, yet 46 of 50 States Do?                    8/8/2017 (My portion of rebuttal to Stanislaus County board of Supervisors) SAMHSA is the Federal Agency whose budget of $3.6 billion goes to mental illness. This Federal budget makes no mention of the SMI: 1% of the population […]

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Can Substance Abuse Cause Schizophrenia?

Can Substance Abuse Cause Schizophrenia? This has been and remains a controversial subject. Certainly the concept of “dual diagnosis” is well accepted. I am going to review several articles to answer the question. Some of the most thorough actually come from back in the 1990’s. Retrospective and prospective studies will be presented. A recent piece […]

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Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Certainly since 1980 PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome has been considered a mental illness since it was added to the Diagnostic and Statical Manual volume III (DSM III). This was as opposed to “Viet Nam Syndrome” Derek Summerfield said “the newly minted diagnosis of PTSE” was meant to shift the focus of attention from the […]

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Why California Counties Are Not Funding ...

The Little Hoover Commission  in 2012 turned over MHSA to County control with no oversight and NO mention of AOT Assisted Outpatient Treatment also known as Laura’s Law, The Counties want complete control of the money. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is the Federal Agency whose budget of $3.6 billion goes to […]

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Who Were in the Asylums of the 19th Cent...

Insane and Who Were in the Asylums of the 19th Century The “insane” of the past and the Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI) of today are different.  In the 19th Century the insane asylums also called lunatic asylums the population included largely what we now call schizophrenics. I don’t like to define folks as this or […]

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Homelessness and Mental Illness

Homelessness and Mental Illness If you walk in San Francisco’s Union Square, or along Mission or Market Street or under the Highway 580 overpass you can see homelessness is epidemic. This population is rising here and in all cities. I have seen this become a rarity to so common place as to be numb to […]

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Juvenile Delinquent or Seriously Mentall...

“Juvenile Delinquent” or Seriously Mentally Ill (SMI) I want to preface this review of the article below by saying that nowhere is the term seriously mentally ill (SMI) used which applies to schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder. Most of the money allocated by the mental health “industry” excludes the seriously mentally ill. See a recent […]

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7000 Bodies Buried Under Campus

7,000 Bodies Buried Under Campus: Who Were in the Asylums of the 19th Century? In the mid-19th century “insane asylums also called lunatic asylums” housed for sure the worst of the worst schizophrenic and subgroup catatonic persons. However, there was a huge slippery slope of a population who either had no mental illness or very […]

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My Internship at San Francisco General H...

During my Medical Internship about fifteen of us rotated through San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH). The cases and anecdotes below all were from SFGH, the County Hospital for all of San Francisco. It was the blood and guts hospital and like County Hospitals the patients were indigents except for those who came through the ER […]

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Does Marijuana Cause Mental Illness

Does marijuana cause mental illness? Of course we all know that alcohol, marijuana, prescription and street drugs worsen major depression, bipolar depression and schizophrenia.  What about marijuana, in particular, CAUSING these disorders. I was surprised and dismayed at a recent Laura’s Law meeting at NAMI here in Modesto that one city council person upon hearing […]

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Teenage Suicide in America

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the leading advocacy group for suicide awareness and prevention, has published some disturbing statistics regarding teenage suicide in America as of 2015. While suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., it is the third leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 24 […]

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Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression is a major depression occurring during or more likely within four weeks after a pregnancy. The incidence is approximately 10% of pregnancies. Postpartum depression may last up to a year (20%). This is not to be confused with “the baby blues” which peak at 2 to 5 days after delivery consisting of weeping, […]

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Laura’s Law II

First some background on the law and where it stood between conception in 2002 to 2010. Then an update to 2015. The law is intended to allow for an alternative to hospitalization and police incarceration for the seriously mentally ill (SMI). Its purpose is to direct such people to outpatient intensive treatment. It adds other […]

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Paul on Lets Talk Radio

Paul Golden MD is interviewed by Atlanta’s Let’s Talk radios host Alecia Hill. Listen to Paul’s story and his many years of dealing with bipolar disease while a practicing physician.   Click Here to listen to Paul Golden’s interview on Let’s Talk radio.

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Mad Dog

“Mad Dog” Winston Churchill called his episodes of depression  Mad Dog. So what happens when I get what I call the Big D. I awoke one day in 1976 in my studio apartment in San Francisco. I would have been twenty-eight years old. I was single. I lived in the Marina at Laguna and Chestnut. […]

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Leonard Cohen

The death of Cohen was one of several iconic singer/song writers in the latter half of 2016. I will be drawing on a wonderful and huge biography of Leonard written by Sylvie Simmons and released in 2012. She does him great justice and no biography need ever be written again. Why do I “get into […]

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Holiday Depression

I attended an event hosted by the head nurse of the three dialysis units that I used for my patients during my practice. It was a “meet and greet” and there to my surprise were eight health care professionals still working and with whom I had worked closely. There were RNs, LVNS, Techs, Social Workers, […]

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My First Depression

My First Depression

My First Depression A foreboding of things to come occurred in the summer of 1973. I was 25 years old and in my third year of medical school. To say I began to have anxiety puts it mildly. I faced issues I’d never experienced before. For example, I’d awaken at four o’clock in the morning […]

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Laura’s Law

Laura’s Law (Also Called Assisted Outpatient Treatment or AOT) How do we prevent a seriously mentally ill (SMI) person from ending in the morass that is County mental facilities? The answer is 5150. Voluntary incarceration is uncommon. A 5150 means a “consumer” (a euphemism for folks with any mental illness) is a danger to himself […]

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How Pets Help Bipolar Disease

How Pets Help Bipolar Disease Pets and Mindfulness   I grew up in an apartment in Arlington, Virginia across the Potomac from D.C. Pets were not allowed and my father being basically an immigrant and old school did not want anything to do with cats or dogs anyway. We next moved to NYC when I was […]

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Meeting Patch Adams

When I was invited by the Physicians Organization Committee based in San Francisco to attend a lecture by Patch Adams at UCSF medical center,  I was ignorant as are many people of the real man. Most of us think of the movie Patch Adams released in 1998 starring Robin Williams. Robin and Patch were good […]

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Bipolar MD: My Life As a Physician with ...

 Bipolar MD: My Life As a Physician with Bipolar Disorder An authentic journey into darkness and light, Bipolar MD: My Life As a Physician with Bipolar Disease by Paul Golden, MD delves into what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder every day but still carry on a full and satisfying life. Speaking from personal […]

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What are Personality Disorders and are t...

What are Personality Disorders and are they Mental Illnesses? By virtue of their being called disorders I guess they are. I feel that they are only disorders if they interfere with one’s daily life. There is nothing genetic or hereditary about them nor are there neurotransmitter imbalances as in major depression or bipolar disorder. To […]

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Nephrology

It occurred to me that I have been writing about the last four years about bipolar disorder. My memoir, Bipolar MD: My Life As a Physician with Bipolar Disorder, will be released in September and a large part, as the name implies, will be about my thirty-nine year career as a physician. After medical school […]

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What is Rapid Cycling?

What is Rapid Cycling?

What is Rapid Cycling? Most people with bipolar disorder will have between 0.7 and 0.9 episodes of depression or mania per year lasting three to six months. Between episodes euthymia or remission occurs. However there are some who have rapid cycling. Just as the name suggests rapid cycling is a form of bipolar disorder in […]

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness The concept of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was developed by Dr. Jon Kabal-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in 1979. This method is used as a complement to traditional medicine for relieving stress from a multitude of maladies. By putting the mind/body continuum at rest so to speak not only are […]

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Police Encounters with the Mentally Ill

Police Encounters with the Mentally Ill When there are police encounters with the mentally ill, the new normal for those with mental illness during a crisis (defined as a danger to self or others) is no longer hospital emergency rooms or calls to psychiatrists of record. First responders such as police officers, EMTs or fire […]

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Bipolar Dictionary

Bipolar Dictionary of Psychiatric Terms This is a bipolar dictionary of common psychiatric terms. Agoraphobia: one of the anxiety disorders characterized by feelings the environment to be unsafe, usually include unfamiliar places. The home is the only comfort zone. Age of onset is in the third decade and women outnumber men. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder […]

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Electric Shock Therapy

Electric Shock Therapy or Electro-Convulsant Therapy – Commonly referred to as Electric Shock Therapy, ECT or electroconvulsant therapy, contrary to belief, is still very much part of therapy in the treatment of affective disorders. Even some primary care physicians have said to me that they did not think this treatment was used anymore. It is […]

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How Does Bipolar Feel?

How Does Bipolar Feel? While having bipolar disease does not mean a person is always either feeling depressed (depressing) or feeling high (mania), people often ask, “How does bipolar feel?” Here is how the episodes of depression and mania can feel: How Does Depression Feel? The author William Styron (Sophie’s Choice) describes his bout of […]

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Suicide, Major Depression Disorder, and ...

Suicide has to be talked about particularly in this country and this world in these difficult times both locally and geopolitically. In 2014 there were over 42 thousand thus making suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. That computes to 13 suicides per 100,000 population. In 2005 the rate was 10. Another way […]

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Mental Health and Mass Shootings

Mental Health and Mass Shootings How is mental health related to the epidemic of mass shootings in recent years? Mass shooting, stabbing, clubbing, etc. is defined as victims of three or more not counting the perpetrator that are committed at random but usually premeditated. What are not considered mass shootings? Serial killings Terrorist acts either […]

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How is Bipolar Diagnosed?

How is bipolar diagnosed? Bipolar disease is a clinical diagnosis made on the basis of a series of diagnostic criteria, psychiatric evaluation, self-questionnaires, mood charts and individual retrospective evaluation at the onset of a first major depression episode. In the last three years the use of various brain imaging methods are now being added to […]

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Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Depression ...

Bipolar Disorder and Bipolar Depression Treatment This article discusses the treatment of bipolar disorder, mania, hypomania and bipolar depression. The treatment of major depression is a topic for a separate discussion. Lithium is still the mainstay of treatment when bipolar disease is first diagnosed. Lithium was the first in the class of mood stabilizers. The […]

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Famous People with Bipolar Disease

Famous People with Bipolar Disease

Famous People with Bipolar Disease People with bipolar disease and major depression can take some solace in the highly intelligent, creative artists, leaders, philosophers, writers and politicians who have been or have been diagnosed with either of the above diseases. There is evidence that these diseases go back to the Greek playwright, Aeschylus who, born […]

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Bipolar Mania

Bipolar Mania: Manic versus Enthusiastic For individuals who suffer with bipolar mania the onset of the first manic or hypomanic episode is very difficult to recognize. Sometimes even after multiple episodes it’s hard to recognize the seriousness of the problem. Often a spouse or good friend is the first to alert you that you are […]

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An Insider’s View of Bipolar Disease

An Insider’s View of Bipolar Disease Do you wonder if you – or someone you love – could be suffering from bipolar disease? Do you want some straightforward information on treatments? Are you worried about how to handle the social stigma associated with this and other mental illnesses? Answers to these and other questions can […]

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Audio interview

Audio interview

Interview with the author of An Insider’s View of Bipolar Disease July 27, 2015 Created: Gail Woodard Gail Woodard interviews our newest author Dr. Paul Golden about his new book An Insider’s View of Bipolar Disease.Paul discusses how to recognize bipolar symptoms, understand the treatment and solve the challenges it brings to life, relationships, and career.

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The Bipolar Physician – A Story of Strug

“The Bipolar Physician – A Story of Struggle, Survival and Success” This is the story of Paul Golden’s journey though Bipolar Disease. Beginning with his first mysterious bout of depression during medical school he takes us along on a roller coaster ride during his medical internship, residency, and practice. Sometimes humorous and at other times […]

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What is Depression?

What is Depression? Depression versus the Blues—In a nutshell: What is the difference between major depression and the blues? Everyone feels blue or sad many times. These feelings are usually short-lived and pass within several days. Major depression interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Major […]

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