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"Older. With Bipolar" is the cover story of bp Magazine's spring 2008 issue. The article looks at bipolar disorder through the lens of mature adults and the physicians who treat them. From the challenges of confronting the illness during the second half of life to the lessons they've learned, those interviewed offer sage advice for living and aging.

Read their words of wisdom below. 

Older. With bipolar.

A new medical specialty emerges

By Stephanie Stephens

No sour grapes for David Zagorsky—the acronym GRAPES means something quite the opposite for this vibrant 63-year-old living in seaside Del Mar, California.bp Magazine Spring 2008 Cover Image

Zagorsky participated several times in a cognitive program that taught him to incorporate these words into his daily life: 'Gentle, Relaxation, Accomplishment, Pleasure, Exercise, and Social.' GRAPES, he says, are great motivation. "Just do a little of each. For example, walking to the local convenience store accomplishes both the exercise and social components."

Sometimes you'll need to dig deeper, Zagorsky admits. "When you're really down, challenge yourself, and say, 'I'm going to get up at a certain time and move on with my day. I've just got to do it.' You give in to this illness, and you're done." He knows that maturity means being able to handle what is often a full plate. "Go to work on behalf of other people to escape your own misery."

The determined and reflective Zagorsky, diagnosed with bipolar I at age 24, is a dedicated facilitator at the peer-to-peer Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), San Diego chapter. He relies upon his "three-legged stool"—medical management, a skilled therapist whom he trusts, and his family and friends. These friends include his DBSA group, which meets each Monday "because illness does not know vacation and it's not a walk-in-the-park illness, but one that is chronic and cyclical," he says. "You never know when it's going to sneak up on you again, so be aware of 'gradations,' those subtle changes."

Continue reading Older. With bipolar. from bp Magazine.


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