World Bipolar Day "Ask Me Anything" AMA 2024 CRESTBD talkBD

World Bipolar Day “Ask Me Anything” 2024

The Biggest Bipolar Disorder Event on the Internet

For over 48 hours on March 19th 2024, the CREST.BD network hosted our 6th annual “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit in honour of World Bipolar Day.

The 2024 AMA

When: March 19, 2024 (for more than 48 hours!)
Read the AMA: r/IAmA on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1bioniw/we_are_70_bipolar_disorder_experts_scientists/

Our 6th annual AMA took place place on r/IAmA on Reddit! It’s a platform for question and answer events, where anyone with a Reddit account can ask a question. Since 2019, our World Bipolar Day AMAs have hosted meaningful discussions not only between panelists and individuals with bipolar disorder, but also with people within the bipolar disorder community such as family, friends, and healthcare providers. Our diverse team of researchers, clinicians, and people who live with bipolar disorder, and their family members gathered to answer your questions on all things bipolar disorder from our u/CREST_BD Reddit account.

Our team of 70 panelists

🇺🇸🇨🇦🇧🇷🇳🇱🇦🇺🇬🇧🇲🇽🇫🇷🇺🇾🇳🇿🇸🇬🇩🇪🇭🇰
Meet the international team bipolar disorder experts from around the world who answered questions from across multiple different time zones during this World Bipolar Day gathering:

Dr. Adrienne Benediktsson 🇨🇦

Neuroscientist, Mother, Wife, Professor, Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
Dr. Adrienne Benediktsson was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (Type 1) while a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D in Neuroscience. She is now an Associate Professor in the Biology department at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Adrienne is currently working on a novel outlining her experience with bipolar and the neuroscience behind bipolar in the hopes that sharing her story and knowledge will help reduce stigma and ensure acceptance of bipolar as a brain disorder.

Alessandra Torresani 🇺🇸

Actress & Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
talkBD.live/alessandra
@alessandratorresani
@emotionalsupportpod
imdb.com
I’m an actress and mental health advocate. I’ve appeared on the Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, and Caprica! I’m also an ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Health, and I host the EmotionAL Support podcast, where I talk with guests about mental health to break through stigma!

Andrea Paquette 🇨🇦

Stigma-Free Society President, Lived Experience
stigmafreesociety.com
Andrea Paquette, also known as the Bipolar Babe, is a celebrated mental health speaker, author, and changemaker. She founded the Bipolar Babe project in 2009 and is the President and Co-Founder of the Stigma-Free Society. Andrea’s advocacy work has touched the lives of thousands, as she shares her personal journey with bipolar disorder to inspire hope and break down stigma.

Dr. Andrea Vassilev 🇺🇸

Doctor of Psychology, Advocate, Lived Experience
@best.life.bipolar
I am a doctor of psychology, a registered psychological associate, and the creator of an original program for self-stigma in bipolar disorder. I am a writer, a speaker, and a passionate mental health advocate. In everything, I am someone who lives with bipolar disorder and aims to better the lives of my peers through outreach, clinical, and academic efforts.

Anne Van Willigen 🇺🇸

Librarian & Peer Researcher, Lived Experience
I have over forty years lived experience with BD. I am dedicated to aging well with bipolar and use Dialectical Behavior Therapy, yoga and mindfulness and dark therapy to do so.

Dr. Annemiek Dols 🇳🇱

Psychiatrist
Annemiek Dols is a psychiatrist working at an acute inpatient clinic in the university medical center of Utrecht. Her research is closely linked to her clinic work with a focus on mood disorders complicated by somatic or cognitive symptoms, neuropsychiatry and electroconvulsive therapy.

Dr. Benjamin Goldstein 🇨🇦

Psychiatrist & Researcher
@bengoldstein73 / @CYBDatCAMH
Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder
Dr. Ben Goldstein is a child-adolescent psychiatrist and Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto. He is Director of the Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder at CAMH. Dr. Goldstein’s efforts focus on bipolar disorder in youth. His team seeks to generate insights regarding the link between bipolar disorder and cardiovascular disorders, and to identify and implement innovative prevention and treatment strategies that focus simultaneously on physical and mental health.

Catherine Simmons 🇨🇦

Peer Researcher, Lived Experience
@cat_simmons
crestbd.ca/catherine
Diagnosed with Bipolar I in 2002 shortly after immigrating to Canada from the UK, Catherine has known the ups and downs of bipolar with occasional periods of psychosis. Living well since 2018.

Dr. Chris Gorman 🇨🇦

Psychiatrist
Bed Head Cast (Podcast)
Clinical work in outpatient care. Consultant at Centre for Sleep and Human Performance, Calgary Dermatology, and Harrisons Health Care. Special interest in mood disorders.

Chris Parsons 🇨🇦

Lived Experience
Lives well with Bipolar I. Loves to spend time with family and close friends. Enjoys outdoor pursuits and getting some exercise.

Christa McDiarmid 🇨🇦

Peer Support Worker at Coastal EPI (Early Psychosis Intervention) Team & Group Facilitator for Bipolar Support Group, Lived Experience
@christamcdiarmid
linkedin.com/in/christamcdiarmid
I use my lived experience of mania, depression, psychosis, hospitalization & recovery in my work with youth and adults going through the recovery process. I have the unique experience of being able to share my story, listen to others’ stories, and offer insight based on my lived experience, and my background in psychology. I believe those of us with lived experience are in a unique position to relate and normalize the condition – and even celebrate its gifts!

Dr. David Miklowitz 🇺🇸

Psychologist & Researcher
UCLA Child and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program
The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide
Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA; clinician and researcher. I have been working in bipolar disorder research and treatment since 1982. I direct a child and adolescent mood disorders clinic and research program. Bipolar disorder is my passion!

Debbie Sesula 🇨🇦

Peer Support Coordinator, Lived Experience
debbie.sesula
I have been living successfully with bipolar disorder for over 20 years. Really rough going to begin with and all my hard work to be at my best paid off. My work as coordinator in peer support is my passion.

Dr. Delphine Raucher-Chéné 🇫🇷🇨🇦

Psychiatrist & Clinician-Researcher
crispdouglas.ca
mcgill.ca
Dr. Delphine Raucher-Chéné is a psychiatrist who has been caring for people with severe mental illness for over ten years, and is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). She currently works in the Bipolar Clinic at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute. Her research program focuses on the development of a comprehensive understanding of the cognitive psychopathology of severe mental illness, across stages, from neuroimaging to remediation.

Dr. Devika Bhushan 🇺🇸🇮🇳🇵🇭

Pediatrician & Public Health Leader, Lived Experience
devikabhushan.com
linkedin.com/in/devika-bhushan-md
askdrdevikab.substack.com
youtube.com/@drdevikab
@drdevikab
Dr. Devika Bhushan is a pediatrician and public health leader — and serves as senior advisor to entities advancing equity and resilience, ranging from non-profits to a venture capital fund, as an adjunct faculty member at Stanford, and on the Boards for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the California Partners Project. She lives openly with bipolar disorder, first disclosed publicly while serving as Acting Surgeon General for California. She leads a newsletter community (askdrdevikab.substack.com) and YouTube channel/podcast (youtube.com/@drdevikab) to share evidence-based insights for well-being.

Dr. Elvira Boere 🇳🇱

Psychiatrist
linkedin.com/in/elvira-boere
Elvira Boere is a psychiatrist, specialized in bipolar disorders. Her research focuses on neuroimaging and lithium. She is a member of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Early Mid Career Committee.

Dr. Emma Morton 🇦🇺

Senior Lecturer, Psychologist
talkBD.live/emma
@morton_emm
I am a Senior Lecturer (Teaching and Research) in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University. My research focuses on improving quality of life in serious mental health conditions, psychological interventions, and digital mental health tools.

Dr. Eric Youngstrom 🇺🇸

Psychologist, Professor, Resource Sharing Advocate
hgaps.org
ericyoungstrom.web.unc.edu
I am a professor of psychology and neuroscience who teaches at the University of North Carolina and Korea University in Seoul. My extended family has had many members affected by mood disorder. I am passionate about sharing information and resources, and co-founded and direct Helping Give Away Psychological Science — a charity dedicated to bringing the best mental health information and tools to the people who would benefit.

Dr. Erin Michalak 🇨🇦

Researcher & CREST.BD founder
talkBD.live/erin
@erin_michalak
I’m the founder and Network Lead of CREST.BD, and Professor at UBC Psychiatry. My work focuses on enhancing quality of life and reducing stigma for people living with bipolar disorder.

Eve Mair 🇬🇧

Bipolar UK Senior Public Policy Officer, Lived Experience
bipolaruk.org
Eve is a Senior Public Policy Officer working for Bipolar UK. She is looking to create connections with decision makers to promote the cause of Bipolar UK, with an aim to shift mental health policy. Her current focus is on reducing the average time to diagnosis (after first telling a clinician about symptoms) from 9.5 years to 5 years within 5 years. Eve was diagnosed with bipolar at 19 when she was a student at university. She worked as a researcher in the advertising industry before moving to Bipolar UK. She is a writer in her spare time.

Evelyn Anne Clausen 🇺🇸

Writer, Artist, Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
@evelynanne.bsky.social (Bluesky)
I began experiencing symptoms of Bipolar Disorder as a teenager and was eventually diagnosed as having Bipolar 1 with psychosis. I believe in the importance of sharing our stories to end stigma and help those who are struggling know they aren’t alone.

Dr. Fabiano Gomes 🇨🇦

Psychiatrist
@fagomes1981
@dr.fabianogomes
I am an academic psychiatrist at the St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Mood Disorders Treatment and Research Clinic/ McMaster University, Canada, where I work with people living with mood disorders to promote their stability and quality of life.

Prof. Fiona Lobban 🇬🇧

Clinical Psychologist & Academic
lancaster.ac.uk
I have been working in mental health for many years, and particularly interested in how we can learn from the vast amount of lived expertise out there. I love the AMA as it generates an debate, ensures wide range of views get shared, and we all learn something new.

Georgia Caruana 🇦🇺

Neuropsychiatry PhD Candidate
linktr.ee/gfcaruana
@georgiacaruana
I am a senior PhD Candidate from the University of Melbourne, Australia. My research explores inter-relationships between brain structure, cognition and life stress in bipolar disorder. I am super passionate about multidisciplinary research and empowering lived experiences voices in our study designs.

Dr. Georgina Hosang 🇬🇧

Research Psychologist
qmul.ac.uk
@DrHosang
I am an Associate Professor at Wolfson Institute of Population Health, Queen Mary, University of London (UK). My work focuses on the impact of life stress (childhood trauma and recent life events) on the onset and course (including physical health outcomes) of bipolar disorder. I am also interested in the developmental pathway from adolescent hypomania to bipolar disorder.

Dr. Glorianna Jagfeld 🇬🇧

PhD Graduate
@glorisonne
linkedin.com/in/organizationtalent
I completed my PhD research on personal recovery in bipolar disorder at the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research in Lancaster, UK last year. As part of this, I developed the POETIC conceptual framework for personal recovery in bipolar and analysed Reddit posts using natural language processing methods.

Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin 🇺🇸

U.S. Army retired, Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
talkBD.live/gregg
generalgreggmartin.com
36-year Army combat veteran, retired 2-star general, and bipolar type I survivor & thriver. Formerly President of National Defense University, am a qualified Airborne-Ranger-Engineer and Strategist. A graduate of West Point and MIT (PhD), my new book is now available: “Bipolar General: My Forever War with Mental Illness”.

Dr. Guillermo Perez Algorta 🇺🇾🇬🇧

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health
lucianico.github.io/bipolarvirtual
@Guillermo_inUK
lancaster.ac.uk
LinkedIn
crestbd.ca/guillermo
Uruguayan, living and working in the UK since 2014. Clinical psychologist as a background, doing research on the Experience of Serious Risk-Taking Behaviors in Bipolar Disorders, Exploring Co-Designed Resources within Community Support Groups.

Heather Stewart 🇨🇦

Sewist, Lived Experience
@heathersewist
Diagnosed with Bipolar I 20 years ago, I can now be found #SewingWithBipolarDisorder most days

Dr. Ivan Torres 🇨🇦

Neuropsychologist
UBC Mood Disorders
BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services
talkBD.live/ivan
I’m a clinical neuropsychologist and clinical professor at UBC Psychiatry, and an investigator within BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. My research involves the study of cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder and psychosis, and its impact on daily functioning.

Dr. Jasmine Noble 🇨🇦

Researcher
linkedin.com/in/jasminemnoble
Mood Disorders Society of Canada
Dr. Jasmine Noble is the National Sustainability Director for Mood Disorders Society of Canada. This role aligns with her work as a scholar and researcher in the intersection of public health, psychiatry, and computing science. She is also a friend and colleague of individuals with Lived Experience in managing Bipolar Disorder.

Jean-Rémy Provost 🇨🇦

Executive Director of Relief, Spouse of a Person with Lived Experience
linkedin.com/in/revivre
Relief.ca
I am extremely proud to have been part of the Relief team since 1994, where I was successively a mental health worker, coordinator of support groups and services and program director – a position through which I have set up the youth program. I have been leading the organization since 2001. Also proud to be the partner in life of a wonderful woman who live with bipolar disorder, who shares with me the desire to break the taboos surrounding mental illness. My professional commitment is positively colored by my personal experience by having such a beautiful model: she is the perfect example that it is not only possible but above all necessary to regain power over our health and thus live serenely on a daily basis.

Jeff Brozena 🇺🇸

Human-computer Interaction/Digital Health PhD Student, Lived Experience
brozena.net
I’m a graduate student with lived experience working towards a PhD in informatics. I’m focused on how digital health and fintech APIs can help support the financial stability of individuals living with BD. Before graduate school, I worked on the provider side of healthcare doing digital transformations in high-volume Medicaid pediatric groups.

Dr. Joanna Jarecki 🇨🇦

Psychiatrist, Advocate, Lived Experience
talkBD.live/joanna
I am a Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University. I live with Bipolar Type I condition. I have learned that a healthy and meaningful life is absolutely possible for individuals with this condition. My passions include empowering individuals with bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions to achieve optimal health, and advocacy about this condition to reduce stigma, inspire hope and to demonstrate that positive outcomes are possible.

Dra. Joanna Jiménez Pavón 🇲🇽

Mood Disorders Psychiatrist
@bipolarologa
I am a psychiatrist specializing in mood disorders, currently working in the Department of Affective Disorders of the National Institute of Psychiatry in Mexico. In addition, I collaborate with the Broad Institute and the Stanley Center, where I investigate the treatment response, chronobiology, and genetics of bipolar disorder in Latin Americans. I like video games, board games, and cats.

Dr. John-Jose Nunez 🇨🇦

Psychiatrist & Computational Researcher
@johnjosenunez
I’m a a psychiatrist and Institute of Mental Health Marshall Fellow at UBC Mood Disorders and BC Cancer. For my research, I use artificial intelligence tools like machine learning and natural language processing to help improve mental health!

Dr. Jim Phelps 🇺🇸

Mood Specialist Psychiatrist
DepressionEducation.org
30 years of practice, 20+ of them focused on complex mood disorders. Author of 3 books on bipolar disorder for patients and families, and professionals. Founder of PsychEducation.org and recently also DepressionEducation.org which focuses on information that should precede treatment decisions. On the BrainstormTheFilm team including an upcoming podcast series with author Sara Schley.

Dr. Jill Murphy 🇨🇦

Researcher, Executive Director of the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health
mentalhealth.apec.org
I’m a Research Associate in the Dept. of Psychiatry at UBC and am the Executive Director of the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health. I mostly work in global mental health and my research explores how to promote equitable access to e-mental health and community-based mental health mental health care worldwide.

Dr. June Gruber 🇺🇸

Psychologist & Researcher
gruberpeplab.com
June Gruber is a professor and researcher who conducts research on emotions and bipolar disorder. She is interested in better understanding experiences of positive emotion and general mental well-being, and has done recent work on young adults at risk for bipolar disorders.

Dr. Kamyar Keramatian 🇨🇦

Psychiatrist & Researcher
centreforbrainhealth.ca
crestbd.ca/kamyar
I am an adolescent and adult psychiatrist and an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia (UBC). My research is focused on early interventions in bipolar disorder.

Dr. Katie Douglas 🇳🇿

Psychologist & Researcher
@KMD_research
otago.ac.nz
Katie is a Clinical Psychologist and researcher at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her research focuses on development of psychological and cognitive interventions to help longer-term recovery and functioning for people with depression and bipolar disorder.

Dr. Lauren Yang 🇺🇸

Clinical Psychologist, Lived Experience
@dr.laurenyang
I am a registered psychological associate at Kaiser Permanente with lived experience of bipolar disorder. I also serve as Associate Board President for Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance and Co-Chair of the Education and Training Council for Asian American Psychological Association. I am passionate about advocacy, education, and mentorship especially for Asian Americans, BIPOC, and other marginalized groups.

Leslie Robertson 🇺🇸

Marketer, Peer Researcher, Lived Experience
Leslie is a digital marketer and devoted cat mom. Besides managing her bipolar disorder, she also lives with multiple comorbid conditions and has knowledge about navigating affordable healthcare in the US. In the last few years, she has committed to daily wellness practices and enjoys gamifying her healthy habits.

Dr. Lisa O’Donnell 🇺🇸

Cognitive Therapist, Social Worker
talkBD.live/lisa
crestbd.ca/lisa
Lisa O’Donnell is an assistant professor and her work focuses on improving work outcomes for individuals living with bipolar disorder.

Dr. Madelaine Gierc 🇨🇦

Psychologist & Researcher
@mshgierc
Dr. Gierc is a postdoctoral fellow in the Population Physical Lab at UBC, and works in health psychology in Vancouver. Her research looks at the connection between exercise, health, and psychology; and strategies to promote physical activity in people with depression.

Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona 🇲🇽

Psychiatrist
talkBD.live/manuel
bipolarhistory.com
Manuel is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry,  at the Anahuac University Mexico City and founder of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) Mexican Chapter. He is past president of the ISBD and has over 25 years of clinical experience in the treatment of mood disorders.

Maryam Momen 🇨🇦

Dentistry Student (DMD candidate), Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
@ballllanced
bballanced.tumblr.com
I am a dentistry student and a mental health advocate with lived experience. I am grateful for where I am today and wish to pass on the message that things can get better! In my spare time, I like going on walks, yoga, photography and spending time with my loved ones.

Dr. Maya Schumer 🇺🇸

Psychiatric Neuroscientist Researcher, Lived Experience
@SchumerMaya
Postdoctoral research fellow in psychiatry and neuroscience at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School studying the neurobiology of bipolar disorder and psychosis using multi-modal neuroimaging, with specific interests in mania/hypomania and mixed episodes. I received my PhD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I also have lived experience with bipolar disorder.

Dr. Meghan DellaCrosse 🇺🇸

Researcher & Clinical Psychologist
talkBD.live/meghan
Center for Psychedelic Drug Research & Education
Meghan is a strengths-oriented clinical psychologist specializing in working with people with serious mental illness and applying acceptance- and mindfulness-based interventions. She is a post-doctoral scholar at the Center for Psychedelic Drug Research & Education at the Ohio State University where she is exploring subjective experiences and therapeutic impact of psychedelic drugs in the contexts of understudied populations, including bipolar disorder. Meghan is motivated by her interests in trauma-informed and culturally sensitive approaches, as well as her lifetime research goal to advance our understanding of body/mind relationships in mental health care.

Melissa Howard 🇨🇦

Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
@mindful_movement_for_mania
I live well with bipolar 1 disorder. I have lived with mental illness for the better part of my life and received my bipolar diagnosis at 19 years of age. I am a proud mother of two, wife and stay at home mom. I have fundraised for institutions that provide care and on going research for those who live with mental illness, volunteered for events that support children’s mental health initiatives within Toronto and I am excited to contribute my writing to the International Bipolar Foundation’s website. I am currently in the process of publishing a memoir that entails my childhood and teen years filled with trauma, child adversity and many mental illness markers that led to my bd 1 diagnosis.

Dr. Nigila Ravichandran 🇸🇬

Psychiatrist
talkBD.live/nigila
crestbd.ca/nigila
Dr. Nigila Ravichandran is a senior consultant psychiatrist in Singapore providing clinical care to patients attending emergency services. She mentors and teaches junior medical staff and students and is actively involved in taking mental health awareness to the community and regularly gives talks on radio, television, in public events and is currently also producing videos about child mental health together with a paediatrician friend.

Dr. Paula Villela Nunes 🇧🇷🇨🇦

Psychiatrist
LinkedIn
Paula Nunes is a psychiatrist working in Brazil and Canada. She does research on aging in bipolar disorder with a focus on cognitive health and the role of family members on care. Next to that, she works as a clinical psychiatrist and psychotherapist. She is part of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Older Adult Bipolar Disorder Task Force, and helps to lead a global study combining data on late-life bipolar disorder from studies across the world (GAGE-BD).

Pepe Bakshi 🇨🇦

Lived Experience
Hi, I am a retired corporate executive and financial consultant. I have been on the board of directors of two charities, and volunteer with another. I’ve lived (mostly) well with BP2 for 20 years alongside other chronic conditions. I live with a very supportive wife and two goofy dogs.

Dr. Rebekah Huber 🇺🇸

Psychologist & Researcher
@RebekahHuberPhD
ohsu.edu
I’m a licensed psychologist and a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Center for Mental Health Innovation at Oregon Health & Science University. My research aims to inform evidence-based care and suicide prevention in youth with bipolar disorder.

Robert “Coach V” Villanueva 🇺🇸

International Mental Advocate, NAMI National Trainer of Trainers, Retired Garbageman, Lived Experience
a2aalliance.org
LinkedIn
@robertsvoice
Current Chair of the ”Healthy Eating for Bipolar Disorder” research at University of California at Berkeley. My first love is reducing stigma at the student level. I have fun speaking about my journey with Bipolar, in classrooms, medical facilities, psychiatric hospital, and were we can communicate and have an open conversation . I drive big rigs for fun and play with grandkid when I see them.

Dr. Roumen Milev 🇨🇦

Psychologist
milevlab.ca
Grandfather and father, husband and traveller, professor of psychiatry and psychology, amateur chef and opera lover, researcher of stigma, psychopharmacology and neurostimulation.

Ruth Komathi 🇸🇬

Mental Health Counsellor, Lived Experience
I’m a mental health counsellor and a mental health advocate. More recently I have added gymming and eating better to the routine of things that keep me well. I am happy to share my lived experiences and also my professional experience with you!

Prof. Samson Tse 🇭🇰

Counsellor, Academic & Researcher
crestbd.ca/samson
hku.hk
Samson is a founding member of CREST.BD, completed his PhD training and worked in New Zealand for 20 years. He dedicated his efforts to the implementation of a recovery approach for individuals with bipolar disorder. Currently he’s residing in Hong Kong. In addition to his academic and research pursuits, he also serves as a caregiver/ supporter for family members and friends facing mental health challenges.

Sara Schley 🇺🇸

Author, Filmmaker, Speaker, Lived Experience
saraschley.com / brainstormthefilm.com
@brainstormthefilm
LinkedIn
I’m an author, filmmaker, and and business owner. I started my sustainability consulting company in 1994 and have worked with hundreds of companies worldwide. I’ve also been living with bipolar II for over forty years as depicted in my memoir, BrainStorm: From Broken to Blessed on the Bipolar Spectrum. I’m presently making a documentary inspired by the book with a stellar team to shine a spotlight on the bipolar spectrum.

Dr. Sarah H. Sperry 🇺🇸

Clinical Psychologist & Researcher
@DrSarahSperry
sperry.lab.medicine.umich.edu
I am an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan where I serve as the Associate Director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program. My research and clinical work focuses on understanding and developing targeted interventions for emotion dysregulation, sleep disturbances, and co-occurring alcohol and substance use in individuals with bipolar disorder.

Shaley Hoogendoorn 🇨🇦

Speaker, Content Creator, Mental Illness Advocate, Lived Experience
@this.is.bipolar
this.is.bipolar
thisisbipolar
Shaley Hoogendoorn is a speaker, content creator and mental health advocate who aims to dismantle the stigma around mental illness and create a safe community for those that struggle. She lives with bipolar ll, and is passionate about educating and empowering others about mental health disorders. She has contributed to publications for Sanctuary Ministries, Psych Central and BP Hope magazine. She hosted a series interviewing women living with mental illnesses at SheLoves Magazine in a series named “Sisters in Mental Illness.” Shaley currently hosts “This is Bipolar” vlog and podcast. Shaley is also an elementary school teacher and an event planner. 

Dr. Tamsyn Van Rheenen 🇦🇺

Researcher, Associate Professor
@TamsynVR
tamsynvanrheenen.com
Tamsyn is an Associate Professor and Head of the Mood-Psychosis Spectrum Research Group in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on understanding the brain and behaviour in severe mental illness, with a focus on bipolar disorder. Tamsyn’s work has advanced our understanding of the cognitive (thinking skill) symptoms of bipolar disorder. She hopes her research will inform the development of strategies to help people to cope with or alleviate these symptoms.

Dr. Thomas D. Meyer 🇺🇸🇩🇪

Clinical Psychologist & Researcher
 med.uth.edu
I am a Professor at UT Health Houston, TX, but I trained originally in Germany and also worked for several years at Newcastle University, UK. My special interest has also always psychosocial treatments for individuals with bipolar disorders and their loved ones, but I was also involved in work on screening for and assessment of mood disorders, cognition, impulsivity and other potential risk factors. Recently I developed an interest in the potential of psychedelics for mental health.

Dr. Thomas Richardson 🇬🇧

Clinical Psychologist, Academic, Lived Experience
talkBD.live/thomas
@DrTomRichardson
@DrTomRichardson
@DrThomasRichardson
Thomas is a UK based Clinical Psychologist specializing in Bipolar disorder. He worked in the UK National Health Service before joining the University of Southampton as an Associate Professor. He also has lived experience of Bipolar.

Twyla Spoke 🇨🇦

Registered Nurse, Lived Experience
I’m a mom of 3 fantastic kiddos, and a Registered Nurse. With a critical care background, I am now working in cardiac sciences (my happy place). I was diagnosed late; only 5 years ago after a very challenging time. A correct diagnosis has changed everything, and I have so much gratitude for the calm & optimism proper treatment and care has brought to my life.

The full list

  1. Dr. Adrienne Benediktsson, 🇨🇦 Neuroscientist & Mental Health Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  2. Alessandra Torresani, 🇺🇸 Actress & Mental Health Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  3. Andrea Paquette, 🇨🇦 Mental Health Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  4. Dr. Andrea Vassilev, 🇺🇸 Doctor of Psychology, Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  5. Anne Van Willigen, 🇺🇸 Librarian & Peer Researcher (Lives w/ bipolar)
  6. Dr. Annemiek Dols, 🇳🇱 Psychiatrist & Researcher
  7. Dr. Benjamin Goldstein, 🇨🇦 Child-Adolescent Psychiatrist
  8. Catherine Simmons, 🇨🇦 Peer Researcher (Lives w/ bipolar)
  9. Dr. Chris Gorman, 🇨🇦 Psychiatrist
  10. Chris Parsons, 🇨🇦 Lived Experience (Lives w/ bipolar)
  11. Christa McDiarmid, 🇨🇦 EPI Peer Support Worker & Bipolar Support Group Facilitator (Lives w/ bipolar)
  12. Dr. David Miklowitz, 🇺🇸 Psychologist & Researcher
  13. Debbie Sesula, 🇨🇦 Peer Support Coordinator (Lives w/ bipolar)
  14. Dr. Delphine Raucher-Chéné, 🇫🇷🇨🇦 Psychiatrist & Clinician-Researcher
  15. Dr. Devika Bhushan,  🇺🇸🇮🇳🇵🇭 Pediatrician, Public Health Leader (Lives w/ bipolar)
  16. Dr. Elizabeth Tyler, 🇬🇧 Clinical Psychologist
  17. Dr. Elvira Boere, 🇳🇱 Psychiatrist & Researcher
  18. Dr. Emma Morton, 🇦🇺 Senior Lecturer & Psychologist
  19. Dr. Eric Youngstrom, 🇺🇸 Psychologist & Researcher
  20. Dr. Erin Michalak, 🇨🇦 Researcher & CREST.BD founder
  21. Eve Mair, 🇬🇧 Bipolar UK Senior Public Policy Officer (Lives w/bipolar)
  22. Evelyn Anne Clausen, 🇺🇸 Writer & Artist (Lives w/ bipolar)
  23. Dr. Fabiano Gomes, 🇨🇦 Psychiatrist
  24. Prof. Fiona Lobban, 🇬🇧 Clinical Psychologist & Academic
  25. Georgia Caruana, 🇦🇺 Neuropsychiatry PhD Candidate
  26. Dr. Georgina Hosang, 🇬🇧 Research Psychologist
  27. Dr. Glorianna Jagfeld, 🇬🇧 PhD Graduate
  28. Prof. Greg Murray, 🇦🇺 Psychologist & Researcher
  29. Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin, 🇺🇸 U.S. Army retired, Mental Health Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  30. Dr. Guillermo Perez Algorta, 🇺🇾🇬🇧 Senior Lecturer in Mental Health
  31. Heather Stewart, 🇨🇦 Sewist (Lives w/ bipolar)
  32. Dr. Ivan Torres, 🇨🇦 Neuropsychologist
  33. Dr. Jasmine Noble, 🇨🇦 Researcher & National Sustainability Director of Mood Disorders Society of Canada
  34. Jean-Rémy Provos, 🇨🇦 Executive Director of Relief (formerly Revivre)
  35. Jeff Brozena, 🇺🇸 Human-computer Interaction/Digital Health PhD Student (Lives w/ bipolar)
  36. Dr. Joanna Jarecki, 🇨🇦 Psychiatrist & Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  37. Dra. Joanna Jiménez Pavón, 🇲🇽 Mood Disorders Psychiatrist
  38. Dr. John-Jose Nunez, 🇨🇦 Psychiatrist & Clinical Research Fellow
  39. Dr. Josh Woolley, 🇺🇸 Psychiatrist & Researcher
  40. Dr. Jill Murphy, 🇨🇦 Global Mental Health Researcher  
  41. Dr. Jim Phelps, 🇺🇸 Mood Specialist Psychiatrist
  42. Dr. June Gruber, 🇺🇸 Psychologist & Researcher
  43. Dr. Kamyar Keramatian, 🇨🇦 Psychiatrist & Researcher
  44. Dr. Katie Douglas, 🇳🇿 Psychologist & Researcher
  45. Laura Lapadat, 🇨🇦 CREST.BD Trainee & Psychology PhD student
  46. Dr. Lauren Yang, 🇺🇸 Clinical Psychologist (Lives w/ bipolar)
  47. Leslie Robertson, 🇺🇸 Marketer & Peer Researcher (Lives w/ bipolar) 
  48. Dr. Lisa O’Donnell, 🇺🇸 Social Worker & Researcher
  49. Dr. Madelaine Gierc, 🇨🇦 Psychologist & Researcher
  50. Dr. Manuel Sánchez de Carmona, 🇲🇽 Psychiatrist 
  51. Maryam Momen, 🇨🇦 Dentistry student (DMD candidate) & Mental health advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  52. Dr. Maya Schumer, 🇺🇸 Psychiatric Neuroscientist Researcher (Lives w/ bipolar)
  53. Dr. Meghan DellaCrosse, 🇺🇸 Researcher & Clinical Psychologist
  54. Melissa Howard, 🇨🇦 Mental Health Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  55. Dr. Nigila Ravichandran, 🇸🇬 Psychiatrist
  56. Dr. Paula Villela Nunes, 🇧🇷🇨🇦 Psychiatrist
  57. Pepe Bakshi, 🇨🇦 Lived Experience (Lives w/ bipolar)
  58. Dr. Rebekah Huber, 🇺🇸 Psychologist & Researcher
  59. Robert Villanueva, 🇺🇸 International Mental Health Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar)
  60. Dr. Roumen Milev, 🇨🇦 Psychiatrist
  61. Ruth Komathi, 🇸🇬 Mental Health Counsellor (Lives w/ bipolar) 
  62. Prof. Samson Tse, 🇭🇰 Counsellor, Academic and Researcher
  63. Sara Schley, 🇺🇸 Author, Filmmaker, Speaker (Lives w/ bipolar)
  64. Dr. Sarah H. Sperry, 🇺🇸 Researcher
  65. Shaley Hoogendoorn, 🇨🇦 Speaker, Content Creator, Mental Illness Advocate (Lives w/ bipolar) 
  66. Dr. Steven Barnes, 🇨🇦 Instructor & Artist (Lives w/ bipolar)  
  67. Dr. Tamsyn Van Rheenen, 🇦🇺 Researcher
  68. Dr. Thomas D. Meyer, 🇺🇸🇩🇪 Clinical Psychologist & Researcher
  69. Dr. Thomas Richardson, 🇬🇧 Clinical Psychologist (Lives w/ bipolar)
  70. Twyla Spoke, 🇨🇦 Registered Nurse (Lives w/ bipolar)

What is World Bipolar Day

World Bipolar Day was created with the intent to bring attention and awareness to bipolar disorders on a world stage and to end the social stigma surrounding the condition. It is celebrated every year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh. Learn more about the untold story of the history of bipolar disorder:

Our World Bipolar Day AMAs

World Bipolar Day AMA 2019-2021
We’ve been gathering people from around the world for World Bipolar Day annually since 2019!

CREST.BD has held World Bipolar Day AMAs on Reddit annually since 2019. Over the years, these AMAs have grown to become the biggest international events on bipolar disorder ever held!

The 2023 World Bipolar Day AMA was a massive success – with 68 expert panelists, over 550 questions, over 1.6k comments, and 1.1 million views. Read our AMA recap here: talkBD.live/world-bipolar-day-2023

A team of 68 panelists joined us for the 2023 World Bipolar Day AMA
Dr. Steven Barnes & Dr. Erin Michalak at our first World Bipolar Day AMA in 2019

Stay in touch with us!

We hold Q&A events all year round through our talkBD Bipolar Disorder Podcast and other community and research projects. Sign up for our CREST.BD newsletter to stay updated as soon as we announce new events and our next AMA!


talkBD is also available on all streaming platforms – subscribe now:

            
Questions and comments?

24 comments
  • I appreciate how well-researched and informative each post is It’s obvious how much effort you put into your work

  • Hello, my 27-year-old-son doesn’t take the regular medicines for bipolar disorder, instead he takes psilocybin and sertralin and he thinks these medicines are helping him to get better. He doesn’t like doctors and psychologists. He studied a bunch about several therapies. He isn’t able to work and he gets really upset for this. Sometimes, I don’t know how to help him. Any advices?

    • Hi, please post your question in our main AMA post, thank you: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1bioniw/we_are_70_bipolar_disorder_experts_scientists/

      • 82 % Rapid cyclers type one BP are resistant or low respondents to Lithium. My son has low tolerance for Lithium toxicity even after a very short time so they reduced the level but was supposed to be effective which obviously may have not been effective because he became rapid cycles after only on Lithium prior was diagnosed as Psyzsoaffective and was stable for almost 4 years on Abilify 10 mg but stop using then developed psychosis a second time but when change to Lithium only after diagnosed as 100% Bipolar and went on Lithium he became rapid cycles
        He is still on lithium and Olanzapine depot which has kept him from mania but delusional
        Now add Abilify 10 mg which helps a little from his very low motivation still bad delusional but otherwise ok except does not appreciate well being just smoking all day refusing to contact all friends unlike before Lithium
        Question should he be taken off lithium and back Abilify and Olanzapine depot for my son after 5 years on and off lithium at various

      • 82 % Rapid cyclers type one BP are resistant or low respondents to Lithium. My son has low tolerance for Lithium toxicity even after a very short time so they reduced the level but was supposed to be effective which obviously may have not been effective because he became rapid cycles after only on Lithium prior was diagnosed as Psyzsoaffective and was stable for almost 4 years on Abilify 10 mg but stop using then developed psychosis a second time but when change to Lithium only after diagnosed as 100% Bipolar and went on Lithium he became rapid cycles
        He is still on lithium and Olanzapine depot which has kept him from mania but delusional
        Now add Abilify 10 mg which helps a little from his very low motivation still bad delusional but otherwise ok except does not appreciate well being just smoking all day refusing to contact all friends unlike before Lithium
        Question should he be taken off lithium and back Abilify and Olanzapine depot for my son after 5 years on and off lithium at various time

  • 82 % Rapid cyclers type one BP are resistant or low respondents to Lithium. My son has low tolerance for Lithium toxicity even after a very short time so they reduced the level but was supposed to be effective which obviously may have not been effective because he became rapid cycles after only on Lithium prior was diagnosed as Psyzsoaffective and was stable for almost 4 years on Abilify 10 mg but stop using then developed psychosis a second time but when change to Lithium only after diagnosed as 100% Bipolar and went on Lithium he became rapid cycles
    He is still on lithium and Olanzapine depot which has kept him from mania but delusional
    Now add Abilify 10 mg which helps a little from his very low motivation still bad delusional but otherwise ok except does not appreciate well being just smoking all day refusing to contact all friends unlike before Lithium
    Question should he be taken off lithium and back Abilify and Olanzapine depot for my son after 5 years on and off lithium at various time

    • Hi Ali, please post your question on our AMA post on Reddit. Our panelists are there, thanks!: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1bioniw/we_are_70_bipolar_disorder_experts_scientists/

  • Have just found this! What an amazing line up of people! Well done for having this Q and A. I am trying to work out how it works and wondering if it is possible to see the answers to other people’s questions and if you email the answers to questions or post them?
    My son was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 1 when he was 24 years old and he is now 31. He has not had a manic episode since the end of 2020 and has become more and more stable in the last 2 years. The symptoms that he finds the most difficult to live with at the moment are: some brain fog, tiredness, poor memory, weight gain. He remains on 4 medications: Lithium 450g twice a day, Olanzapine 5mg once a day, Abilify 30mg once a day and lamotrigine 100mg once a day. This regime has stayed the same since he was quite unwell and we are incredibly grateful that it has kept him relatively well.
    I have a few questions so not sure if that is OK!
    1) how often should meds be reviewed and tweaked when in a longer term well phase or is that just playing with fire? I know that all of these meds have side effects and long term health effects. It is hard to know if what he struggles with now are more side effects of the drugs than his BD.
    2) Is Lithium still gold standard as a mood stabiliser for BD? I have read mixed things especially about long term effects. Where is the best place to find good information on recent pharmacological research/breakthroughs for BD? Sadly the psychiatrist my son is seeing does not specialise in BD and it is very hard to get in to see someone else.
    3)Can you direct me to the best diet for BD? Also ways to overcome sugar/salt cravings when on Olanzapine? I have read a bit from Felice Jackman from the Food Mood Institute but find it hard to find the time to search through research.
    4) is anyone working in the area of improving social skills/socical confidence for young adults with BD? It seems that some very common side effects of depression/medication are flat affect (expression), stooped posture and many flow on effects from tiredness, poor memory, brain fog, lack of confidence, that effect socialising/dating etc.

    • Hi Debbie, the Q&A or “AMA” is taking place on Reddit: r/IAmA on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1bioniw/we_are_70_bipolar_disorder_experts_scientists/

      Would you be able to post your questions there so all of our panelists will get a chance to see it and chime in?

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