Episode 63: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is an award-winning writer, speaker, and social media consultant who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 20. The author of The Bipolar Burble blog (named a top-10 health blog by Healthista, Health.com, Healthline, and others) and Breaking Bipolar for HealthyPlace.com, she aims to bring quality, insightful, and evidence-based information on bipolar disorder and related illnesses to the public while engaging with the mental health community. She is considered a subject-matter expert in bipolar disorder, and in 2014 was the recipient of the Beatrice Stern Media Award, an #ErasingTheStigma Leadership Award. The following year, she coauthored her first formal academic paper, Results From an Online Survey of Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Unmet Needs in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder, published in the Primary Care Companion CNS Disorders Journal. Natasha has also been named one of the top four online influencers in mental health by Sharecare.com. Her work has been featured in the Daily Mail (UK), Huffington Post, Healthline, and PsychCentral, among others. She recently released her book, Lost Marbles: Insights into my Life with Depression & Bipolar. In this interview, Natasha sat down with Lauren at HLTH 2019, where both were in attendance to receive their WEGO Health Awards — Natasha’s for Best Kept Secret.

Key links mentioned in this episode:

Natasha Tracy

The Bipolar Burble

Breaking Bipolar

Results From an Online Survey of Patient and Caregiver Perspectives on Unmet Needs in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder

Lost Marbles: Insights into my Life with Depression & Bipolar

WEGO Health Award 2019: Best Kept Secret

Mayo Clinic

HealthyPlace

MedScape

Tune in as Natasha shares…

  • that she was anti-psychiatry before she experienced a breakdown in college
  • that she uses vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) as one of the treatments for her depression
  • that she lives with bipolar type 2, which means she experiences hypo-manias, and not manias as in bipolar type 1 (both include depressive episodes, but the severity of the manic episodes distinguishes the two)
  • that her first doctor refused to properly diagnose her, telling her she had “minor depression”
  • that antidepressants can make bipolar worse, rather than better
  • that she was dismissed by a number of therapists through university health services
  • that she found community and affirmation through her university’s skydiving club
  • that coping skills take work, but become easy reflexes over time
  • that there is a difference between the brain and the mind — while we can’t control the brain, we can control our mind
  • that she has survived suicide attempts
  • that the majority of patients living with bipolar disorder experience tolerance to their treatment at certain stages — this is to be expected, and can be navigated
  • myths and realities of bipolar disorder
  • why it’s important to seek (good) help from a professional
  • that seeing a therapist AND a psychologist statistically leads to better outcomes for patients living with mental illness
  • the importance of seeking trusted information, and her recommended resources

This episode is sponsored by Embr Labs, creators of the Embr Wave.

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Transcript coming soon!

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