A 1997 National Mental Health Association survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans had limited or no knowledge of the disease; almost a decade later, eight out of ten Americans think they know what bipolar disorder is.Everyone from disgraced New York Times reporter Jayson Blair to Debra La Fave, the high-school teacher convicted of seducing her fourteen-year-old student, has employed the bipolar defense.WELLNESS RITUALS Sometimes the smallest healthy habits can have a big impact when practiced regularly, whether getting a monthly massage, adding lemon slices to your water bottle to make hydration more appealing, or forming an intention for the next day when you go to bed. At the end of my first date with Sara, she moved in with me. Until that night, we'd only spoken on the phone a few times. By the time the ice in my soda had melted, I'd fallen in love.For instance, hypomania, which is a mild form of mania characterized by enviable productivity, can lead to what is called a "mixed state," in which the bipolar individual is both miserable and energetic enough to do something about it.
This is partially thanks to the ubiquity of advertisements for medications like Abilify and Zyprexa, and partially due to diagnoses, which have doubled over the last decade.Keith Ablow all but diagnosed Britney Spears on air this month."I would put on the list of possibilities a mood disorder like bipolar," he said, further cementing it as the official catch-all for crazy people."There is never a story or scene with healthy, happy bipolars because even though that type comprises the bulk of the population, it doesn't sell and isn't exciting," says a bipolar woman who maintains a blog about bipolar disorder called Weird Cake.She could recount every failed Everest expedition in mesmerizing detail -- the sort of a talent I would expect of a rock climber, not someone who'd never gone camping. Then I found out."There's something you should know about me," she said, a couple of hours into the date. I tried to remember if I'd sipped from her drink."I'm bipolar," she said."Good," I replied."I hope it doesn't scare you off."Panicked thoughts raced through my mind. This was the odd humor Sara and I had already established, but I wasn't entirely joking.With both Nyla and Sara, I never knew what sort of response my advances would receive.And after sex, when I thought we'd both enjoyed ourselves, sometimes S would burst into tears. " I'd whisper, to which she'd cryptically reply, "I feel overwhelmed."Sara's life was a constant battle against entropy.Our relationship became defined by obsessive routine, something that might normally have made me feel antsy and restless.But because Sara clung to the structure so fervently, I followed her lead. The parameters of our life together drew further and further inward, until we were living in a tiny, airtight box created by the quirks of her disorder.And if they don't trumpet it as the explanation for their misdeeds, media experts are happy to do so on their behalf.Without ever having met her, Fox News contributor Dr.