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breakdown of the middle ground.

I pretty much stay away from my twin sister all through the fall months

(photo from online, women in pic are not bipolar)

“When I say twins you probably think of matching clothes.”

1.9% of the world’s population is comprised of twins. In America for every 1000 live births, approximately 32 are twins.

“I have countless people come up to me with a dreamy look in their eyes saying, “I wish I had a twin—I would love to have someone my own age to play with.” ”

Monozygotic twins are identical twins, meaning after conception one fertilized egg split. Dizygotic twins are made when two separate eggs are fertilized at the same time, therefore creating fraternal twins. Fifty percent of fraternal twins are of the boy/ girl combination. Next in birth popularity are boy/boy fraternal, girl/girl fraternal, girl/girl identical, and the least common twin combo is boy/boy identical.

Multiple births are rare the world over, but they’re presence provides medical researchers excellent opportunities for genetic comparisons. Twin studies are used to determine how much of certain traits are genetic or environmentally related. (The never ending nature versus nurture) They are compared for various medical and psychological characteristics as well.

Bipolar disorder is a mood disease that runs in the family. It’s a proven hereditary disease. Within first degree relatives, such as parents and siblings, the risks are relatively high regarding development. If both parents have a mood disorder, their children almost all the time will as well. If one parent does, then typically a quarter of the time their children do too. Previous research has indicated in identical twins pairings if one has it, the other has a 70% chance of developing it later in life. And fraternal twins have 23% odds. (The real life incident rates have statics of 40% of identical twins both developing and less than 10% from fraternal cases) Since research has failed to locate a single gene as the disorders’ cause, it’s assumed that multiple genes are involved, and therefore the reason why all both twin counterparts aren’t always affected.

And this lovely un-located cause gene is still without a cure. In case you forgot… (read further to learn what twin studies have revealed about this disorder)

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , , ,

Coming out of an entirely different closet…the one of mental illness

Unfortunately as prevalent as mental health disorders are the nation (50+ million diagnosed in the US alone) and world wide, it still tops the ranks as the most difficult to admit.

Higher than revealing to be a victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or molestation, harder than confessing a drinking problem or previous bankruptcy; surveys have even shown it to more difficult than admitting ones gender identity or homosexuality. Sufferers face significant social taboos. And it doesn’t affect just one type of person. Mental illness knows nothing of age, race, gender, or economic background.

You don’t have to personally admit it yourself to believe the notion the reality that people are more likely to break off, or not even start, a relationship with someone with mental issues -which I for one find particularly interesting because members of society are more likely to stay with someone with a physical disability. People with mental disorders tend to prefer to hide their illness like major depression and anxiety, because unlike people with physical illnesses, people with mental disorders must also fear being rejected by family & friends, harassed, fired or not hired, or denied child custody—just for starters.

Please check out this personal blog discussing the Price of being Bipolar in Public)

Last week I had an entire conversation with a friend about them being practically afraid to admit their Christian faith at their workplace because of the negative assumptions his non-same faith based peers might think about his character or behavior.

Once you know someone’s religious preference it changes your whole personality to people who don’t agree with you. Sometimes it’s like every negative image or thought they have about it becomes who I am as a person- even though I haven’t changed. It’s their behavior towards me that has.

I’ve read more than a few articles of a biracial person attempting, or enjoying the ability to pass for one race over another—not because they have a problem with it necessarily themselves, but because other people do.

Sometimes it’s like every negative stereotype or prejudice they have against a race I share membership of encompasses who I am as a person. Granted racism is an ongoing issue for those of one race, but it is just as prevalent towards those of plural heritage.

Sexual orientation discrimination —don’t even get me started.

(great message board discussion here coming coming out as gay with coming out as bipolar)

Mental illness sufferers are also victims of discrimination and the issue continually needs to be recognized.

“I’m Asian, I’m gay, and I have faced discrimination – but not for the reasons most people think; it was actually when I got depression that I faced most discrimination.”

(Quote from an article in the Guardian)

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , , ,

I like to read books where the main character has the same name as me? What you don’t??

Such blogging slackers we are–on my!!

My post actually has to do with a website update. I work at a bookstore and the other day as one of my co-workers and I were talking about the latest books we’d read she starting gushing about the new (crazy popular!) young adult title Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan (author of the Last Olympian series as well). I tend to steer clear of that genre myself, but what grabbed me the description of the main two characters. The fast paced plot follows two biracial children on this crazy magical quest.

So first I’m like awesome—the main characters are biracial.

Double score was the fact that as a twist of fate, each child looks only like the race of one of their parents. RING ANY BELLS HERE?? Immediately I’m like hey that reminds me of the article I wrote here about biracial twins born favoring only one parent in skin tone. I note to myself, put this on the topical book list asap!!

Doing that, then reminded me that here at BiFactor we’ve really slacked on getting our topical books put up. So I really wanted all of us to really get cracking on that. We’re been a bit off on it because we really want a variety of books. Not just like self help style books—but books of all styles and formats. I know when I read I am super drawn to what I like for particular reasons. I’m a budding journalist and I love reading mystery books about other women pursuing reporting positions as well. I’m a girly girl, and my heroines half the time are too. I like stories where the character has the same name as me, and if I’m lucky—also lives in Los Angeles, or Florida (my favorite vacation destination!) we like what we like right?! Now mind you I’m quite a huge time reader who simply loves written word, so granted that’s not all I read you get what I mean right? Who doesn’t like reading about something they can personally relate to?

I read this recently on a biracial themed blog, and I couldn’t agree more:

Recently, a reader asked me if I had any recommendations for books with biracial children as the characters.  I’ve always had trouble finding books like that, and it is also why long ago I decided that I would write a series of children’s books with my little Moriah as the main character–from board book to chapter book, then adding her little brother as he comes along (he’ll also have his own books).  The reader’s question confirmed the notion that there is a market for these books, and that I am not the only person having trouble finding books that are based on interracial families. Typically, most books are related to adoption, or have animals as the characters. These books also tend to focus on an issue (e.g. hair or skin color), rather than just being a “normal” children’s story with a character/family that is biracial/interracial. I think its best not to make race the central theme.

Scouring online data bases, lists, and recommendations we’ve all compiled starter lists of books I hope you will enjoy. Fiction books with bipolar protagonists, complex romances that explore the dynamics of bisexual relationships, and plenty of memoirs, and biographies to boot as well. So please refer to the right side of your screen folks, because each sub-category has a topical books link, where I hope you’ll find something enjoyable to read. More to come! We welcome additional titles you know of as well!!

–Posted by Maggie Barnes

Filed under: bi-polar, bi-racial, bi-sexual, Maggie Barnes, , , , ,

When is it okay to joke?

In language it’s become sort of common place for people to use serious mental illness terms as adjectives in discussions. However you feel about that, I’m sure you’ve heard it.

Someone refers to a well organized person, as being so OCD. Or joking that a busy multitasker has gone all ADD or something. The term bipolar, has been used so out of its original context as related to a mental diagnose, more or less its good for a laugh to describe a situation.

When is it okay? Is it okay for the sufferer themselves to be lighthearted? Its something they didn’t bring about from their own accord, so is it okay to embrace it for what it is?

On this website we are all about representation for what you are. If you’re biracial-holla! Comfortable bisexual—be proud and open. But are some topics worthy of a limit? Let’s discuss! Theses bipolar people are having some fun with their disorder, and maintaining the position that even though they have this illness— they aren’t the illness.

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , , , , ,

Why should I keep trying to fix something that just stays broken?

This is how I feel.

It’s like I’ve dropped a priceless vase and every piece that I attempt to glue back together  falls again into another dozen pieces and I’m back right where I started, only it’s gotten worse.

I wish I were talking about a vase though, but I’m not. I’m talking about my mother. I called her today to just talk. We aren’t close. She doesn’t live nearby. She’s manic depressive bipolar. For every six months of downer moods, there are maybe 8 days collective of upper ones.

I don’t call, she’s sad.

I call she’s sad and mad.

So I don’t call.

Time, time, time goes by. I want to call. I don’t. More time, time, time goes by. I call. I cross my fingers; I take a deep breath, hello?

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Filed under: bi-polar, Eliza Barnett, , ,

in the past but not forgotten

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