The Bipolar Parents Newsletter

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Fall Online Edition.

This newsletter has been created entirely by parents for parents, and is in not intended to take the place of advice from a medical or other professional.


From the Editor
Feature Article: Bipolar Heroes
Book Club News
Live Chats: Visitors Welcome

Opinion: "Disordered" & "Suffering"
Per-Sefa-What? Our Newsletter's Name
Net News
Subscription Information
Submission Guidelines

From the Editor

Welcome to the first edition of Persephone: The BipolarParents Newsletter. The motto of the BipolarParents mailing list is, "You are not alone," and we hope to extend that camaraderie beyond the confines of the mailing list and into the larger bipolar community. It was Jessi, the RosesAndThorns mailing list manager, who first suggested that we have a newsletter. Newsletters are great networking devices, and that is what this newsletter was originally intended to be. As time went on, Jessi's little seed grew into a plan of greater proportions. Maryann, a professional writer and activist, saw great potential for a BipolarParents newsletter. Krista, a website designer, saw no reason why our endeavors should not be counted among the best. And so we have Persephone, mostly written by me this first time, but a publication whose potential to serve the bipolar community is virtually unlimited. In fact, Persephone has already broken though the virtual window! It is available in a print edition, as an email edition, and on the BipolarParents website. Here we hope to provide a forum that explores positive approaches to the challenges we and our loved ones face, whether it is we, our children, or both who are bipolar.

This newsletter would not be possible without the support, encouragement, and friendship of all those who are a part of the BipolarParents group. It is my hope that this newsletter will provide support and encouragement to all those without access to the internet, as well as to those who are one with us, but living in silence. No matter who or where you are, remember: you are not alone!

Bridgett Garrahy

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Bipolar Heroes

"Before I joined this list and started hearing from some of you who are adults and are bipolar, I did not know there was any hope for my child."

Yes, there is hope for our children! Our kids may be bipolar, but most of them are also unusually gifted and talented. There are a lot of successful bipolar adults out there to serve as role models for our children. There is Buzz Aldrin, the astronaut, better known to the kids as the doll from the animated film, Toy Story. Francis Ford Coppola is bipolar. There are bipolar doctors (Mark Vonnegut), Judges (Sol Wachtler), and Politicians (Thomas Eagleton, Lynn Rivers). In fact, bipolar people can be found in most any profession. Of course, our kids don't usually chose judges and politicians as heroes, but how about actors, authors, musicians and athletes? You bet! Famous Bipolars include:

Actors! Ned Beatty, Eric Douglas, Patty Duke, Carrie Fisher, Connie Francis, Shecky Greene, Linda Hamilton, Margot Kidder, Kristy McNichol, Spike Milligan, Nicola Pagett, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and Jonathan Winters.

Authors! Art Buchwald, Dick Cavett, C.E. Chaffin, Patricia Cornwell, Kaye Gibbons, Kay Redfield Jamison, Peter Nolan Lawrence, Jay Marvin, Kate Millet, Margo Orum, Abigail Padgett, Lori Schiller, Frances Sherwood, Scott Simmie, Mark Vonnegut, and Sol Wachtler.

Musicians! Rosemary Clooney, Ray Davies, Kristin Hersh, Daniel Johnston, Charley Pride, Jeannie C. Riley, Alys Robi, Axl Rose, Gordon Summer (Sting), and Brian Wilson (Beach Boys).

Athletes! Ilie Nastase (tennis), Jimmie Piersall (baseball), Muffin Spencer-Devlin (pro golf), and Luther Wright (basketball).

And these are just a few! For a more extensive listing, check out Joy's Famous Living Bipolars webpage. The list is updated often, and celebrity website links are provided. Thanks, Joy!


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Book Club News

Note: The Book Club was discontinued as of 1/1/00.  We found that no one has much time to read.  All information was transferred to our book recommendations page.


In June, the BipolarParents discussed The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, "Chronically Inflexible" Children by Ross W. Greene, Ph.D. This book came highly recommended by several members. Overall, The Explosive Child got excellent reviews from our members; there seemed to be something for everyone in this book.

The July reading selection is His Bright Light by Danielle Steel. This is the story of Steel's son, Nick Traina, and his battle with Bipolar Disorder, which ended tragically in suicide at the age of 19. We are all looking forward to discussing this book.

As always, these and other books can be ordered through our Bipolar Parents website, in association with When you place an order through our website, a percentage of the books cost is given to Bipolar Parents. These proceeds are used to help defray the cost of mailing this newsletter (print edition), with any extra being donated to other bipolar non-profit organizations. We thank you for your support.

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Live Chats
Visitors Welcome

Feel free to join us at our internet chats! Chats are casual, so there is no need to dress up. Just bring yourself, a good attitude, and be prepared to make new friends. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Check the current Chat schedule.
See if anyone is in the chat room now.

Chats can be canceled without notice. New chats are being added all the time, so check the schedule often! Would you like to host a chat? Email Bridgett and Krista at:

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"Disordered" & "Suffering"

Words are powerful. Have you ever considered the words you use when discussing Bipolar Disorder? First is the term "disorder" itself. It is certainly correct in a medical sense, but the implications of the term are highly negative. It implies that something is wrong with a person, that they are not normal. Wrong and Abnormal are not nice labels to place upon people. The truth is, genetic diversity is normal, and so are genetic mutations. The moods and accompanying behaviors which challenge you or your child may not fit within the average spectrum, but they do fit within the human spectrum. Perhaps we ought to think of Bipolar people as having Mood Differences, rather than a disorder.

How about the term "suffering"? I cringe every time I hear someone say that they or their child is suffering from Bipolar Disorder. How on earth can a person be happy if they are suffering? Yes, Bipolar people often experience deep emotional pain, but they do not spend their entire lives suffering. I'd rather think that Bipolar people are challenged by their differences. A challenge can be actively met and overcome or accommodated. Suffering is much too passive, and does not come close to describing most of the Bipolar people I know.

Why all this nit picking about semantics? Consider this: Once a person has been diagnosed Bipolar, they must live with that knowledge each and everyday of their lives. There is no escaping this knowledge once it is had. Would you rather spend your life disordered and suffering? Or would you rather acknowledge the fact that you are different, and face the challenges those differences bring? And more to the point, do you want your children to spend their lives disordered and suffering? Think about it. It may just be a matter of semantics, but words have the power to shape our lives.


The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the BipolarParents group.

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Our Newsletter's Name

Persephone (pur-sef-uh-nee) is a Greek goddess, daughter of Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. Persephone was a beautiful girl and loved by everyone, including Hades, the god of the underworld. One day, Hades abducted Persephone while she was picking flowers. Distraught over her =0 daughter's disappearance, Demeter wandered the earth in search of her until Helios, the All Seeing, revealed the tale of abduction. Demeter retreated into grief and loneliness, and the earth became barren. Zeus finally intervened and sent Hermes down to secure Persephone's release. Hades relented, but gave Persephone a pomegranate to eat before her return. Persephone's taste of the fruit forever tied her to the underworld. Thus, Persephone now spends most of her time with her mother, but must return to the underworld for one third of the year. While Persephone is gone, Demeter grieves, and winter is upon us.

This myth is a metaphor for the cycle of the seasons, but I also find it to be an apt metaphor for the bipolar cycle.


Interested in mythology? One of the best, most reliable mythology resources on the internet is the Encyclopedia Mythica.

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Net News

Pendulum Resources, one of the web's best bipolar websites, has a new webmaster. Doug, the former webmaster, has long been an outstanding member of the online bipolar community, and he will be greatly missed. The good news is that the new webmaster, daedalus, is doing a fantastic job! Plans for the future include a page of resources for parents of bipolar children and teens.

Colleen's Psychiatric Medication & Weight Control web pages have long been popular in the bipolar community. Now Colleen has unveiled a new, improved website called Bipolar World. One of the most innovative features of this expanded website is a Suicide Memory Wall (like the Vietnam Memorial) where anyone can post memorials to their loved ones. Keep your eyes on Bipolar World; it is fantastic!

The MiningCo has changed its domain name to Their excellent bipolar resources can now be found at Be sure to check out their information on Children and Adolescents! They have some great links there, especially pertaining to ADHD and BP.

Have you found a great new bipolar web site? A fantastic new bipolar document? Share it with us! Send your Net News to:

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 Subscription Information

Persephone: The Bipolar Parents Newsletter, is FREE and may be freely distributed, so long as it is done so in its entirety.

Persephone is available in three slightly different formats:

1) It can be viewed on the Bipolar Parents site

2) You can subscribe to the email version by going to Onelist.

3) You can subscribe to the print edition by emailing or by writing to:

Bipolar Parents

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Submission Guidelines

Letters, opinions, first person stories, informational articles, bipolar poetry, and Net News are all welcome! There is no monetary compensation for accepted articles; however, we will be happy to promote guest authors in all editions of Persephone. Articles, opinions, and stories should be less than 500 words (about a page), but longer submissions will be considered. Email submissions are preferred and can be sent to No attached files, please. Typed manuscripts can be mailed to:

Bipolar Parents

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All graphics the exclusive property of Bipolar Parents and not to be used without express written permission.
All contents copyright 1999, 2000 by Bridgett Garrahy and Krista Long jointly unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.
This web site has been created entirely by parents for parents, and is in not intended to take the place of advice from a medical or other professional.