Sunday, January 15, 2006

The secret is out...finally!

This is a nice story written special to the Chicago Tribune, by Irene Levine a well-respected freelance journalist. Click through the site above to read it, with free registration required.

(brief excerpt here)

..."A recent addition to the landscape is a new quarterly glossy magazine bp (bipolar) Magazine (www.bphope.com) with the tag line: "the healthy living magazine for bipolar." Tucked between its covers are celebrity profiles, tips for coping and research updates.

In her own effort to tackle the stigma and misinformation that keep many from seeking help, Duke has just launched a Web log and an Online Center for Mental Wellness . And with the availability of improved treatments for mental illnesses, both pharmacological and psychosocial, Duke's timing couldn't be any better.

"For people with bipolar disorder who are shy or embarrassed about their illness, a blog or message board can literally be a lifesaver," said Karen Sheaffer, 41, of Ephrata, Pa. Sheaffer has been able to work as a psychiatric technician at the same hospital for 17 years, but she has had plenty of ups and downs. "Every day I struggle with issues related to being bipolar. What I'm learning is that many of those issues: work conflicts, relationship issues and problems with sleep are things that every other person deals with at some time," Sheaffer said. "The difference is one of degree."

Jessica Lynn Gimeno, 21, of Des Plaines is in her junior year at Northwestern University. She was only 14 when she was diagnosed. "I had a strong intuition that my emotions were erratic," Gimeno said. "I had done some research on bipolar disorder. Even when I lost friends due to the illness, I refused to get help," she said.

"The Web site gives people the privacy to ask burning questions without being subjected to stigma," Gimeno said. "Patty makes it clear that bipolar disorder is a real illness, a chemical imbalance.""