Home > Misc > Some thoughts on being BiPolar

Some thoughts on being BiPolar

The holidays are harder when you have depression and emotional issues.    I am not doing horrible this year, but I am more anxious and stressed, and hyper-sensitive.  I feel myself winding up and more depressed at the same time.

The tv show Homeland has been an interesting story this past year about a woman with a BiPolar condition.

If you are not familiar with the condition, read this article by Webmd.  It is a condition where you swing from highs to lows and there are a number of categories.  It used to be called Manic Depression.


A great resource is the site http://www.bipolartoday.com/

Lots of other people write about bipolar as well.  A good example is http://beautifulwreck1.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/bipolar-today/

I always introduce the subject to new people that I meet by saying that the good news about having BiPolar Disorder is that sometimes I am really, really happy!  When I am on the downswing, I don’t talk or interact with people at all, so I don’t tell them about that!

I am one of the people that is super competent when I am “up” and completely a mess when I get overwhelmed.  I don’t work anymore because of that, as well as physical medical problems as well.

My amazing friend Vicki M. Taylor first gave me the courage to get diagnosed and to share it with others.  She is a wonderful writer of woman’s fiction and was generous to be on my radio show when I was still working to discuss her background.  I highly recommend her books and Vicki as a person!  http://vickimtaylor.com/

I often research who has been identified with BiPolar disorder, because it makes me feel better.  It reminds me that we are smart, creative, talented, and everyone loves someone who is high and manic – because it is fun and inclusive.

I also like to think that I am in such stellar company!  You will see this list has some amazing and accomplished people on it.

Here are some famous people who have the diagnosis-

Ned Beatty

Jim Carey

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Rosemary Clooney, singer

Robert Downey Jr.

Patty Duke

Carrie Fisher

Connie Francis, singer and actress

Linda Hamilton

Margot Kidder

Vivien Leigh

Kevin McDonald, comedian

Ben Stiller, actor, director, writer

Lili Taylor

Tracy Ullman

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Robin Williams

Jonathon Winters, comedian

Ted Turner, media giant

Buzz Aldrin, astronaut

Ludwig van Beethoven, composer

Peter Gabriel

Jimi Hendrix

Phil Spector, musician and producer

Sting, Gordon Sumner, musician, composer

Tom Waits, musician, composer

Brian Wilson, musician, composer, arranger

Sylvia Plath, poet

Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States

Winston Churchill

Dick Cavett

Vincent  van Gogh

Jane Pauley

Mark Twain

Edgar Allen Poe

Patricia Cornwell, writer of mysteries

with some help from http://www.mental-health-today.com/bp/famous_people.htm

Some good articles:


Happy Holidays.

Sally K Witt
Social Media and Ministry

  1. December 21, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I have friends/family members in my life that are diagnosed with Bi-Polar. This is very helpful information for people without it in order to help them understand their loved ones better.

    Thank you for sharing Sally!

  2. December 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    I too am bi-polar. Thank you for this blog! It is satisfying to know that some really cool famous people also are bi-polar. I am currently struggling as I had to stop taking my old medicine due to side effects. My new medicine has not kicked in yet so to speak and I am feeling a bit crazy at the moment. I am so hopeful that this new medicine works as I want to feel ‘normal’ again. So many people think being bi-polar is like being depressed and then not depressed. They don’t understand how out of sorts we feel and the extreme up and down of it all. Anyway, thank you again. We should talk sometime! I am sure we can relate to each other. 😉

  3. December 21, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I think our culture doesn’t do enough to talk about the damaging effects of disorders like Bi-Polar. Thank you for sharing this information, as well as your personal perspective!

  4. Joan King
    December 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    You have always been an extremely bright, ceative, sensitive and thoughtful person. I am so proud of you and the way you manage to share yourself with others. You are beautiful within and without and I love you very much,

  5. December 21, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Hi Sally, thank you for sharing all this valuable information and resources for people experiencing bipolar disorder. I have a cousin that was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and she too would just lay low on her down days, as she would call them. She is a great person and so are you Sally, I am glad to be your friend : )

  6. December 21, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve only had one instance of major depression, I feel for you, good work sharing about all the other people that have experienced it. My family tends to suffer from depression at times.

  7. December 21, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing your very personal story Sally…God Bless

    • Debra Eckerling
      December 21, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      Am adding my thanks, too, to this post! Such important info to send out to the world. Thanks for lifting the curtain of mystery and sharing your story!

  8. December 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Sally, Thank you so much for sharing this. I am an advocate for education concerning brain disorders and injuries. There is so much stigma attached to them.

    You’re incredible for sharing this and I admire and praise both your resilience and courage!!

  9. December 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    It seems that many more people are being diagnosed with this lately, which is sort of the good news. Because if people can understand what they are experiencing they will be more aware of the stresses that can aggravate their situation. I think it sure helps to have friends who understand and who will be there to lean on.

  10. Cathy Leary
    December 22, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Hi Sally,

    Thank you for sharing this with me. I know a few people that suffer from bipolar disorder and you all have such courage. I am so glad to have met you and your parents and look forward to spending more time together in the future. Give Buddy a hug for me!

  11. December 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Hello Sally, please find your article translated into portuguese at
    Congratulations to your article. All the best,
    your friend in Brazil,
    Jorge Purgly

  12. December 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

    You watch too much TV. Thanks for sharing your story. Lots of time, no one knows what happened with a friend until she opened up. I’ll read the article and learn how to help my friends.


  13. December 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story, Sally. I have so much respect for those who are open about matters such as this than try to shield it and act like nothing’s amiss. Looking forward to chatting with more in 2012!

  14. December 22, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    You have helped me learn more about bipolar disorder. I’m of the belief that everyone has something…meaning that no one perfect. Fortunately, you’ve discovered yours and the disadvantage to others who have not been diagnosed is that they have flat spots in their personality but they don’t know it. Namely…me. Hugs to you this holiday season!

  15. December 22, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I often think that Bi-Polar is a normal aspect of the human brain, but if I’ve suggested that to 2 girlfriends, and they about killed me. I just see it as an adjective, with the diagnosis being “normal”.

  16. December 22, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Very interesting company, indeed, Sally! It’s very brave of you to discuss such a sensitive topic so openly. I did not know that bipolar is the new name for manic depression (a Jimi Hendrix song!). I wonder if Steve Jobs would be in this same category. Thanks for this post!

  17. December 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Sally I haad no idea We shared that connection. After my major bipolar break I became completely helpless and the family not knowing what to do put me in Geriatric homes. I was laying there waiting to die with my only joy being some Twitter Rockstars who know who they are. Along came a Nurse who at the right time got me to laugh at the absurdity of my self pity and writing again. Long story short I am living on my own again and plan to launch a blog January 3rd. So glad I joined favors or I don”’t think I would have learned about this connection We have.

  18. December 23, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Sally, you have put together a very good package of resources about bipolar disorder. To this you have added some of your own personal experiences.
    I thank you for doing so. It is the actions of people like yourself who have helped reduce the stigma attached to mental disorders in general.

  19. December 23, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Sally, you have put together a very good package of resources about bipolar disorder. To this you have added some of your own personal experiences.
    I thank you for doing so. It is the actions of people like yourself who have helped reduce the stigma attached to mental disorders in general.

  20. December 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Thanks for sharing this, Sally. If you are not familiar with DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance), they have a fantastic website that may be helpful for you. http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home God bless you, and have a very merry Christmas!

  21. December 23, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you for sharing Sally. Bipolar is one of many illnesses that can be so challenging in so many people’s lives. My thoughts and prayers are with all that are suffering, particularly during the holidays. You are an inspiration.

  22. December 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I am Bi-polar have been for years. Use to take Zoloft now take Cymbalta and I am doing much better. Last year on Christmas I had a Grand Mal seizure caused by being depressed during the holidays and ended up on life support in a coma for a few weeks. Holidays are hard but I now have a Caregiver that makes it a bit easier. Saw my doctor today and he thinks I’ll be fine this year without having another episode on Christmas but my tests show that I am in Congestive heart failure so hopefully I can get through the holidays without another heart attack!

  23. December 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks for being so open and honest Sally. Have you got a feelgood book to record the things that make you feel good (pictures, stories, thank you cards, etc?
    If you’re low, pick it up and have a browse?

    PS You’re certainly in great company!

  24. December 30, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Being bipolar or having any mental illness for that matter, has been largely in the dark until late. It’s people like yourself who take the mystery out of it, and speak out about it, that allows people to understand the difficulties people have! We should all live our lives with more sensitivity to what people are going through, I appreciate the fact that you are speaking on it! Bless you!

  25. janice haley
    December 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Sally, thank you so much for your sharing. I have bipolar disorder, too. It’s hard to explain to others the swing in moods – even to those closest to me. Yes, the meds do help, but it’s so much more than that. I appreciate knowing that you struggle with the holidays like I do. Christmas in particular is really hard for me. And yes, I agree, we all need to speak up more and break the misconceptions others have of ‘brain disorders’. I choose those words purposely, as I believe that ‘mental disorder’ implies we have control over whether or not we have our illness. We don’t! We can’t wish it away, ‘pull ourselves up by our bootstraps’ it away or ‘just be happy’. I’m just retired from the Postal Service, and believe me, that is not a good place for anyone with bipolar disorder to work! Thank you for your courage and and honesty.

  26. January 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    My son recently asked about what BiPolar means and I used this post to help explain it to him. So thanks very much for writing about it in such a frank and accessible way!

  27. March 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Hi Sally, Thanks for a great post and for sharing your story. I find it inspiring to read other’s stories and find out how they discovered they had the condition or how they cope with it. Especially those who are coping well, it’s very encoraging. I think you left Stephen Fry off your list of celebrities 😦 he not only has it, but made a great documentary about it.

  28. March 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    great posts Sally, wishing you as always all the best 🙂

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