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Psych Byte: Does the Media Romanticize Bipolar Disorder?

Psych Bytes is our new series of shorter, 15-20 minute webinars.

Christine discusses how bipolar disorder is depicted in movies, tv, and other media, and how the media can sometimes romanticize bipolar and other mental illnesses. She gives examples and shares what she thinks can be improved and how you can help.

Do you have a question to ask Christine about this webinar? Email your question to Heather at and we will post the answer here.

Does Putin have Aspergers?

A piece by Pete Etchells in The Guardian, entitled, “Putin has Asperger’s” (1) story highlights the danger of psychological diagnosis from a distance is startlingly correct in its assertion. Not only is diagnosis from a distance is incredibly problematic in terms of identifying diagnostic standards established by professionals, but it is a poignant representation of the growing difficulty that people living with neurodiverse conditions face in a society that is increasingly afraid of diversity.

Not Backing Down

The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Blogs are written based on the author’s personal experience and may differ for other individuals. 

I wrote an article on this before but it's so important to me I need to speak up about it again. The same article managed to make its way back on my Facebook feed and I am seriously worried people are buying into this stigma. It comes from such an ignorant place that I am honestly scared for society and can only hope most of you use the power of critical thinking. 

How Closely Do You Follow The News?

For a number of years I worked in the financial industry and HAD to closely follow the news to be well-informed.  Near the end of that time I started taking various self-improvement courses and started having different sessions with various non-traditional medical professionals.  The topic of negative input going into my mind came up consistently.  News was always one of the major culprits being near or at the top of the list.  In one of the courses we were asked to not follow the news for 30 go on a “news fast”.  When I first heard that I thought doing so would

Media and Mental Illness

            I recently read a blog post from the Huffington Post by a Ms. Natasha Tracy (1). Her post centered around a claim that portrayals of people with neurodiverse conditions in the media tends to focus on overly polarized characteristics which, she claims, have the effect of attributing a sort of “superpower” to the characters with these conditions. She makes note of several characters from popular television in series which I am not familiar with: “Black Box” and “Perception”.

Muffy Walker Accepts Public Education Award

Muffy Walker (Co-Founder & President, Board of Directors, International Bipolar Foundation) accepts the Public Education award at the 2014 National Council Awards of Excellence celebration.


On April 14th 2011, Catherine Zeta Jones came out to the world that
she suffered from Bipolar II Disorder. Merely a year later, on June
15, 2012, Jones made an appearance on ABC’s The View and Joy Behar
inquired about her experience of Bipolar Disorder. Zeta briefly
responded to the query then moved onto promoting her upcoming film.

Let’s Stop This Charade

I write a lot about Hollywood. Why? Well, I think it's because I love t.v. shows and movies, or maybe because I have friends and relatives living in L.A. and work in the entertainment industry. Or maybe it started because as a baby, I was exposed to movie projectors and movie theaters because my dad was a projectionist (before the days that all of that stuff was automated). I would sit up in the projectioner's booth with him as he worked, and as I got older I would watch classic old movies (and cheesy ones), that were of course in black and white, with him too.