Over the years I’ve had some pretty terrible birthdays. Ones with surprise parties that flopped. Ones with unwanted presents. One when I woke up in excruciating pain from a back injury.

Usually, however, I have small, quiet birthdays, with my husband giving me thoughtful gifts that he has sometimes hidden…


Have you heard of Quora? It’s like a crowd-sourced online question and answer center, where anyone can ask questions on practically any topic and request an answer from a specific person, or leave it up to whoever wants to answer.

I’ve used it myself for answers to questions about Ireland…


When I was a teen and undiagnosed with bipolar disorder, I had a weird reaction to people around me — I would pick up their moods and personalities and found myself mimicking them. …


I have an emotional support animal. They’re a trend now — so trendy, in fact, that people are trying to certify miniature horses, pigs, and sloths as support animals so they can live with them in rentals and take them on airplanes. (I personally would not want a support horse…


I thought I had managed to avoid mania for most of my bipolar life. Brief bouts of hypomania, maybe, but never the real thing. Then I thought back on the last year and a half.

For years I had been trying to write a mystery novel, but a year and…


Carl Sagan has been damned as a popularizer of science. Carl Sagan has been praised as a popularizer of science. …


Of all the types of depression that get discussed — major depressive disorder, exogenous depression, endogenous depression, bipolar depression — there’s one type that isn’t talked about very often: dysthymia. The word comes from Greek, where it is made up of dys (bad or ill) and thymia (mind or emotions)…


I’ve traveled to a lot of places in my life, some usual and some at least a little weird. For example, while in London I went to 221B Baker Street to take a tour of the Sherlock Holmes museum. (The top floor had an ornate porcelain toilet that looked like…


We know that the body affects the mind affects the body in various ways, especially when it comes to mental illness. Many of us who live with anxiety, bipolar disorder, or another condition experience physical symptoms like tremors, nausea, hives, and diarrhea.

The last one is my particular curse, which…


I didn’t think I had a personal style, until I invented one for myself. I’ve never been a Victim of Fashion or a Fashionista. Maybe an Unfashionista, but that’s about it.

Ever since college, jeans have been my uniform. (Except when I worked at a Frisch’s and had to wear…

Janet Coburn

Author of Bipolar Me and Bipolar Us, Janet Coburn is a writer, editor, and blogger at butidigress.blog and bipolarme.blog.

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