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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

One Strategy You Need to Know for Bipolar Disorder

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Aug 10th 2009

binderWhile Bipolar disorder is becoming better understood in the mental health field, many mental health programs are not well coordinated. You may spend time with one doctor who is well versed in bipolar disorder and when that doctor moves on, you may move onto another who is less versed. You may switch insurance providers and now have to depend on and wait for the providers to adequately transfer your files. Sometimes you can be lucky if all of the files stay together and you always have to recount your medical history. It can be easy to feel helpless and this doesn't support mental health.

In other words: It's critical to become an advocate for your mental health.

A reader recently wrote to me and brought up an important strategy to ensure that you are in greater control:

Start Your Own Medical File!

No matter whether you struggle with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, or heart disease, this is a very smart strategy. This might take some time to actually collect your history from your previous providers and pharmacies, but if you are someone who is often in the care of doctors, this will be very helpful to have and be well worth it.

The reader who wrote to me said he made sure to include information such as weight, time and dosage charts of medications, exercise, mood charts, charted individual test readings, sleep times and med-dosing times.

While this reader could not ensure the security of the internet, he felt comfortable and even placed this file on google-docs so it can be accessed from anywhere, particularly from a doctor's computer. He has been able to update the chart on a bus from his iPhone!

This is a very good strategy to become an advocate for your mental and physical health, no matter the issues really.  Please consider doing this for yourself.

As always, please share your thoughts, questions, and stories below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

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