Thank you for joining us for this year’s AMA! Click below to read this year’s answers from our bipolar disorder experts.
Join us for the biggest bipolar disorder Q&A event on the internet!
For over 48 hours on March 30th 2023, we will be holding our 5th annual “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) on Reddit for World Bipolar Day. This year, we’ve gathered our largest panel of bipolar disorder experts from around the world to answer all your questions!
Date: March 30, 2022
Time: Starting 10:00AM Pacific, 1:00PM Eastern (continues for 48 hours!)
We’ll host the AMA on r/IAmA on Reddit! It’s a platform for question and answer events, where anyone with a Reddit account can ask a question. Our past events have hosted meaningful discussions not only between panelists and individuals living with bipolar disorder but also between people within the bipolar disorder community such as those with lived experience, their family and friends, and healthcare providers. Our diverse team of researchers, clinicians, and individuals who live with bipolar disorder will reply to your questions on all things bipolar disorder from our /u/CREST_BD Reddit account.
Our Bipolar Disorder Experts
As of March 1st, 66 bipolar disorder experts from around the world have confirmed their participation as panelists for this event! Read more below about who will be answering your questions on World Bipolar Day:
Actress, Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
About Alessandra / The EmotionAL Support Podcast / @alessandratorresani
I’m an actress and mental health advocate. I’ve appeared on the Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, and Caprica! I’m also an ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Health, and I host the EmotionAL Support podcast, where I talk with guests about mental health to break through stigma!
Peer Researcher, Lived experience
I live well with Bipolar 1 and have recently become involved with CREST.BD in a peer research capacity. I love spending time with my partner and friends who help keep me grounded and generally in good spirits. I also enjoy exercising, playing video games, writing, and following Combat Sports!
Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
I am a retired teacher and am a volunteer, trainer, and public speaker for a national grassroots mental health organization. I am currently writing about ways to live well with Bipolar Disorder.
Annemiek Dols, MD
Annemiek Dols is a psychiatrist working in the Netherlands. She does research on aging in bipolar disorder with a focus on cognitive and physical health. Next to that, she has set up several psychotherapies trials in older age bipolar disorder, as she believes that empowerment is most important. She is co-Chair of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders Older Adult Bipolar Disorder Task Force, and helps to lead a global study combining data on late-life bipolar disorder from studies across the world (GAGE-BD).
Anne Van Willigen
Librarian and Peer Researcher
I have over forty years lived experience with BD. I am dedicated to aging well with bipolar and use Dialectical Behavior Therapy, yoga and mindfulness and dark therapy to do so.
Benjamin Goldstein MD, PhD
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
crestbd.ca/benjamin / @bengoldstein73
My career as a psychiatrist and researcher focuses on bipolar disorder in youth. The primary theme of my research is the link between bipolar disorder and cardiovascular health, which has implications for research, treatment, and stigma-reduction. In terms of treatment research, my group focuses on DBT, exercise, and nitrous oxide.
Catherine has 23 years experience of living through the ups and downs of bipolar disorder. She is currently living well following her last manic/psychotic episode in 2018, and happy to be involved in this AMA.
Chris Gorman, MD
Member of CREST-BD since 2021, interest in Bipolar Disorder, in practice since 1986.
Colin Depp, PhD
David Miklowitz, PhD
Psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry
David Miklowitz Ph.D. is Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute in Los Angeles, CA. His work focuses on psychosocial interventions for youth and young adult with bipolar disorder, and illness management techniques.
I’m a final year PhD candidate at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre in Melbourne, Australia. I’m interested in the link between vascular risk factors and cognition in BD, with a particular interest in lifestyle risk factors like physical activity and sedentary behaviour.
Emma Morton, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Psychologist
crestbd.ca/emma / @morton_emm
I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UBC Psychiatry, as well as a psychologist. My research focuses on improving quality of life in serious mental health conditions, psychological interventions, and digital mental health tools.
Eric Youngstrom, PhD
Psychologist, Professor, Resource Sharing Advocate
crestbd.ca/eric / About Eric / Resources
I’m the cofounder and executive director of Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS.org), and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at UNC Chapel Hill. My work focuses on improving assessment, for better detection and better outcomes with bipolar disorder.
Erin Michalak, PhD
CREST.BD founder, Professor of Psychiatry
crestbd.ca/erin / @erin_michalak
I’m the founder and Network Lead of CREST.BD, and Professor at UBC Psychiatry. My work focuses on enhancing quality of life and reducing stigma for people living with bipolar disorder.
Evelyn Anne Clausen
Writer, Artist, Lived Experience
I began experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder as a teenager and was eventually diagnosed Bipolar 1 with psychosis. I’m a former music critic and website designer, current writer and artist living in the southern Appalachian Mountains. I believe that sharing our stories is the first step towards ending stigma and finding peace. No one is alone.
Fabiano Gomes, MD, PhD
I am an academic psychiatrist with a special interest in bipolar disorder. I am an assistant professor at McMaster University, Canada, where I work with people living with mood disorders to promote their stability and quality of life.
Neuropsychiatry PhD Candidate
I am a final year PhD Candidate at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre in Melbourne, Australia. My research explores inter-relationships between brain structure, cognition and life stress in bipolar disorder. I am super passionate about multidisciplinary research and empowering lived experiences voices in our study designs.
Mental health PhD student
About Glorianna / @glorisonne
I’m a PhD student in mental health research at the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research in Lancaster, UK. My (almost completed) PhD project looked at personal recovery in bipolar disorder. As part of this, I also analyzed Reddit posts using natural language processing methods.
Gregg Martin, PhD
Major General US Army (Retired), Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
I am a 36-year Army combat veteran, retired 2-star general, and bipolar type I survivor & thriver. Formerly President of National Defense University, am a qualified Airborne-Ranger-Engineer and Strategist. A graduate of West Point and MIT (PhD), my forthcoming book is entitled “Bipolar General: My Forever War with Mental Illness”, published by the US Naval Institute Press.
Guillermo Perez Algorta, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Mental Health
I am a clinical psychology researcher, with international experience working in bipolar disorder. I am interested in assessment, rhythms, sleep, risk-taking behaviors, and decision making.
Hailey Tremain, PhD
Psychologist and Researcher
I’m the Clinic Director of Mental Health Online at Swinburne University, and a researcher in the areas of Bipolar Disorder and technologies for mental health.
Heather O’Brien, PhD
I work at the School of Information at UBC. I have spent my career researching user engagement, specifically what makes people want to use a technology and how technologies support people’s goals. I am working with the CREST.BD team on the development of the PoLarUS app to support health self-management for people living with BD.
Ivan Torres, PhD
Neuropsychologist, Clinical Professor
crestbd.ca/ivan / About Ivan / Research
I’m a clinical neuropsychologist and clinical professor at UBC Psychiatry, and an investigator within BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. My work involves the study of cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder and psychosis and its impact on daily functioning
Ives Cavalcante Passos, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. I am the psychiatrist in chief of the bipolar disorder outpatient clinic in the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. My work focuses on the study of the longitudinal course of the disease and the use of new technologies to provide better care to patients with bipolar disorder.
Graduate student, Human-computer Interaction/Digital Health, Lived Experience
About Jeff / Twitter
I’m a graduate student with lived experience working towards a PhD in informatics. I’m focused on how digital health and fintech APIs can help support the financial stability of individuals living with BD. Before graduate school, I worked on the provider side of healthcare doing digital transformations in high-volume Medicaid pediatric groups.
Jill Murphy, PhD
Research Associate, Executive Director of the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health
I’m a Research Associate in the Dept. of Psychiatry at UBC and am the Executive Director of the APEC Digital Hub for Mental Health. I mostly work in global mental health and my research explores how to promote equitable access to e-mental health and community-based mental health mental health care worldwide.
Joanna Jiménez Pavón, MSc
Mood Disorders Psychiatrist
I am a psychiatrist specializing in mood disorders, currently working in the Department of Affective Disorders of the National Institute of Psychiatry in Mexico. In addition, I collaborate with the Broad Institute and the Stanley Center, where I investigate the treatment response, chronobiology, and genetics of bipolar disorder in Latin Americans. I like video games, board games, and cats.
John-Jose Nunez, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Psychiatrist, Clinical Research Fellow
I’m a a psychiatrist and Institute of Mental Health Marshall Fellow at UBC Mood Disorders and BC Cancer. For my research, I use artificial intelligence tools like machine learning and natural language processing to help improve mental health!
John Torous, MD, MBI
Psychiatrist & Clinical Informaticist
Josh Woolley, MD, PhD
crestbd.ca/josh / BAND Lab / @thebandlab
I am a psychiatrist who studies psychedelics as novel therapeutics for multiple conditions including bipolar disorder. I am also the director of the translational psychedelic research program at UCSF.
Jorge Cabrera, MD
Adjunt Profesor Psychiatry, Universidad de Chile
Jorge Cabrera, MD, Psychoanalyst, is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chile Santiago and President of the Chilean Society of Bipolar Disorders, (SOCHITAB), the Chilean Chapter of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD). He received his medical degree from the Universidad Austral of Chile and trained at the Psychiatric Clinic of the Free Universitat Berlin in West Berlin, Germany.
June Gruber, PhD
Associate Professor, Clinical Psychologist
June Gruber is a professor and researcher who conducts research on emotions and bipolar disorder. She is interested in better understanding experiences of positive emotion and general mental well-being, and has done recent work on young adults at risk for bipolar disorders.
Kamyar Keramatian, MD, MSc, FRCPC
I am an adolescent and adult psychiatrist and a clinical assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. My research is focused on early interventions in bipolar disorder.
Katie Douglas, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychologist and researcher
About Katie /@KMD_research
Katie is a Clinical Psychologist and researcher at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Her research focuses on development of psychological and cognitive interventions to help longer-term recovery and functioning for people with depression and bipolar disorder.
Outreach Worker & Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
I am the mother of 9 year old twin identical boys. I had children later in life because of the disruption of bipolar disorder. I have had 5 bipolar episodes including 3 hospitalizations. I have taken part in many studies. I recently presented with Catriona Hippman on Bipolar and Pregnancy with CRESTBD. It has been 15 years since my last episode. I worked as an outreach worker for 11 years for Vancouver Coastal Health and recently completed a Master of Public Policy and Administration: Social Change Leadership. I am currently working on a project to train peer advocates across BC to support mothers and families who are at risk of government intervention.
About Kristine / Research
Kristine Konz is a Psychiatric Social Worker specializing in Mood Disorders. She has special interest and clinical experience in Women’s Health including Peri and Post-natal impact of Mood Disorders.
CREST.BD Trainee, Clinical Psychology PhD Student
Laura is a trainee at CREST.BD, who led content development for the PolarUs bipolar disorder app. Laura is also a PhD student in clinical psychology at the McGill University BEEP Lab, where she researches loss of control in eating disorders under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Racine. In the future, Laura hopes to research the intersection between bipolar disorder and eating disorders, and to continue to work on projects creating meaningful, accessible mental health resources.
Marketer and Peer Researcher
I’m a digital marketer by trade and all-around creative with lived experience with bipolar disorder. I am a huge proponent of active movement (bonus for outside!) and journaling without a filter. HUGE data nerd—I make infographics out of almost everything (as a hobby!), including my power walking data.
Lisa O’Donnell, PhD, MSW
Cognitive Therapist, Social Worker
Lisa O’Donnell is an assistant professor and her work focuses on improving work outcomes for individuals living with bipolar disorder.
Louise Dwerryhouse, MSW
Retired Social Worker, Mental Health Blogger, Lived Experience
crestbd.ca/louise / Facebook
Louise is a retired social worker, who worked in Canada and the UK, is an advocate, and mental health blogger on “lived experience” living in Vancouver, BC. She was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder late in life, over 30 years ago at the age of thirty-five, and has been living well with the disorder for 10+ years. She writes to those alone, frightened and traumatized by volatile mood swings such as she had in her early days post-diagnosis. Louise tries to lead by example, by sharing her journey to recovery, showing it is possible to live well with the disorder. Her dream is to see a society centred on acceptance, inclusion and less stigma in her lifetime.
Technology Enthusiast, Lived Experience
I work for the 2nd largest domain registrar in the world specializing in Web Hosting, Email, Domains and DNS. My lived experience with bipolar disorder goes back over 20 years.
Manuel Sánchez de Carmona, MD
Professor, Anahuac University Mexico City
Manuel is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, at the Anahuac University Mexico City and founder of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) Mexican Chapter. He is past president of the ISBD and has over 25 years of clinical experience in the treatment of mood disorders.
Natasha Reaney, MEd
Counsellor, Lived Experience
I have bipolar disorder and I live a rich and full life. I work full-time as a team lead and counsellor with several mental health and substance use services with my local health authority. I am passionate and outspoken about my experiences with mental health and often won’t shut up about them if given the opportunity.
Nigila Ravichadran, MBBS, MMed
Senior Psychiatrist in Singapore
crestbd.ca/nigila / Institute of Mental Health (Singapore)
She is primarily a clinician caring for her patients with mental health conditions, particularly attending to patients presenting in crisis to the emergency department of a psychiatry hospital. In addition, she is an academician and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor teaching younger generations of medical staff on psychiatric management. She is also passionate about taking mental wellness into the community and speaks frequently on broadcasting media like radio, television, webinars, in public forums, in regional and international conferences and believes that adequate information and education on mental health awareness will take mental health into further depths in the society.
Patrick Boruett, PhD
Pharmacist, Lived Experience, Founder Bipolar Heroes Foundation
About Patrick / Facebook
I am a pharmacist with lived experience of Bipolar Disorder. I am the team leader of Bipolar Heroes Foundation based in Kenya. I got my diagnosis 12 years ago and have experienced ups and downs during this journey. I advocate for sharing of experiences through storytelling to raise awareness, help one another and reduce stigma towards mental health.
Paula Villela Nunes, MD, PhD
Psychiatrist and Counsellor
Paula is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Brazil and a Clinical Research Coordinator at UBC in Vancouver.
Rachel Hole, PhD
Dr. Raymond W. Lam
Psychiatrist and Clinical Researcher
About Raymond / @DrRaymondLam
I am a psychiatrist specializing in depression research and care. My research involves new treatments including novel medications, light therapy, ketamine, and digital health technologies. I also have projects in biomarker discovery, global mental health and measurement-based care.
Rebekah Huber, PhD
Licensed Psychologist and Researcher
I’m a licensed psychologist and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine. My research aims to identify risk factors for suicide with a specific focus on youth with bipolar disorder.
Rosemary Xinhe Hu (she/她)
Poet, Educator, Lived Experience
I am a Chinese Canadian woman, who is a poet and educator. I live well with bipolar, and am open about my experience living with this mental illness because I know from first hand experience that visible representation of mental illness (especially among visible minorities) makes people feel less alone, and more equipped to seek help. I am so proud to be part of the brilliant mentally ill community, nurturing and providing radical care for one another.
Counsellor, Lived Experience
I am a trained counsellor and work with a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Day Centre in Singapore. I live with Bipolar Disorder and will be happy to share my personal experiences.
Mental Health Advocate, Lived Experience
I’m a musician, photographer and advocate. I spent many years working in frontline trans health advocacy, disability, mental health, substance use, harm reduction & homelessness – all areas I have lived experience in. I now work as an Employment & Assistance Worker with the Ministry of Social Development & Poverty Reduction. I was diagnosed with bipolar type 2 in 2004 and am living well!
Sagar Parikh, MD
Psychiatrist, Professor of Psychiatry
As a clinician, I provide medication, psychotherapy, TMS, digital mental health tools, and ketamine for mood disorders. In addition to being a passionate educator in bipolar disorder, my research includes novel treatments, biomarkers, health system improvement, and educational research.
Samson Tse, PhD
Professor in Mental Health, Certified Counsellor
I’m a Professor with a special interest in psychosocial management of bipolar disorders. I’m a founding member of CREST.BD, a friend, and supporter of loved ones with mental health challenges.
Sara Lapsley, PhD Student
Sara is currently a PhD student in the Psychology Department at Carleton University and works for the Provincial Health Services Authority as a Crisis Intervention Specialist with the Mobile Response Team. Her research interests include: Bipolar Disorder, mental health in military and forensic populations, and community-based research methods. Sara has been working with the CREST.BD for over 15 years, in hopes of reducing stigma and sharing a message of hope and recovery.
Lived Experience, Author, Filmmaker, Speaker
About Sara / brainstormthefilm.com / @brainstormthefilm /linkedin.com/in/saraschley
I’m an author, filmmaker, and coach. I started my sustainability consulting business 30 years ago and have worked with hundreds of companies worldwide. I’ve also been living with bipolar II for over forty years. I’m presently making a documentary film with a stellar team to shine a spotlight on the bipolar spectrum.
Sarah H. Sperry, PhD
Clinical Psychologist & Researcher
I am an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan where I serve as the Associate Director of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Program. My research and clinical work focuses on understanding and developing targeted interventions for emotion dysregulation, sleep disturbances, and co-occurring alcohol and substance use in individuals with bipolar disorder.
Serge Beaulieu, MD, PhD, FRCPC
I am the Medical Chief of the Bipolar Disorders Clinic at the Douglas Mental Health Institute in Montréal and Vice-President of Revivre (now Relief: https://myrelief.ca/). I am delighted to participate in the World Bipolar Day AMA in whichever language you prefer (English or French).
‘This is Bipolar’ Podcast Host, Lived Experience
Instagram / Twitter / Tiktok
Shaley Hoogendoorn is a speaker, vlogger and mental health advocate who aims to dismantle the stigma around mental health and create a safe community for those that struggle. She lives with bipolar ll, and is passionate about educating and empowering others about mental health disorders. She has contributed to publications for Sanctuary Ministries, Psych Central and BP Hope magazine. She hosted a series interviewing women living with mental illnesses at SheLoves Magazine in a series named “Sisters in Mental Illness.” Shaley currently hosts “This is Bipolar” vlog and podcast. Shaley is also an elementary school teacher and an event planner.
CEO of Bipolar UK
About Simon / Twitter
I am the CEO of the patient organization Bipolar UK which provides a range of peer support services. I also led the work of the Bipolar Commission which in November 2023 launched a ‘state of the nation’ report on bipolar care in the UK. The Commission reports can be found here: https://www.bipolaruk.org/bipolarcommission
Steven Barnes, PhD
Co-director of CREST.BD, Senior Instructor, Artist, Lived Experience
crestbd.ca/steven / @sj_barnes / stevenjbarnes.com
I’m the deputy network lead for CREST.BD, Associate Professor of Teaching in UBC Psychology, and 3M National Teaching Fellow. I like teaching, doing research, painting, drawing, and developing novel technologies for learning and knowledge translation. I’m happy to answer questions about my experiences living with bipolar disorder!
Tamsyn Van Rheenen, PhD
Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow in Psychiatry
About Tamsyn / @TamsynVR
I’m a Principal Research Fellow/Associate Professor at the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre and the University of Melbourne in Australia. I lead the Mood and Psychosis Spectrum Research Group, and my research is focused on better understanding the cognitive symptoms of bipolar disorder and related conditions.
Mental health advocate, Lived Experience
I am a first year medical student at Queen’s University and was originally diagnosed with bipolar disorder in Grade 12. I have since become a dedicated mental health advocate and am grateful to have worked with amazing organizations including Jack.org, Step Above Stigma and the Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder at CAMH. I hope to empower others by showing them that mental illness does not limit what they can achieve!
Thomas D. Meyer, PhD
Psychologist, Researcher, and Licensed Clinical Psychologist
I started in the late 90es in Germany getting interested in psychotherapy for bipolar disorder (BD) and did there the first RCT on Cognitive Behavior Therapy for BD. I also worked closely with Prof. Angst on developing his screening measure for BD, the HCL-32. Other areas of interest have been stress, impulsivity, and neurocognition but my core interest remained psychological support for individuals experiencing BD and their loved ones. Having worked in Germany, the UK, and the US, I learned a lot about cultural differences in approaching mental health.
Clinical Psychologist, Lived Experience
About Thomas / talkbd.live/thomas / @DrTomRichardson / Instagram
Thomas is a clinical psychologist working as an associate professor at the University of Southampton, in the UK. He teaches and researches the psychology of bipolar disorder and the role of psychological therapies such as CBT. He also has lived experience of Bipolar Disorder.
Vanessa Rajamani MSW, RSW
Social Worker and Research Coordinator
I am a social worker and research coordinator at the Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder which is located at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. I provide dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for youth with bipolar disorder and am a DBT-Linehan Board of Certification, Certified Clinician™.
Serial Entrepreneur, Lived Experience
About Virginia / @virginia.marcolin
Virginia is an inventor and mom of four boys whose mania somewhat fuels her entrepreneur fire. An undiagnosed manic period in her early 40’s derailed her “perfect” life…she is rising from the ashes and learning a lot about herself and living with bipolar that she’d love to share with those suffering (or just curious).
We’ll continue to announce new AMA panelists leading up to the AMA! Check back for more!
Previous AMA Events
Our 2022 AMA was our most successful event yet! There were hundreds of questions asked and answered about bipolar disorder and over 2.6 million views! We’ve taken some of the highlights from the day and published them in a blog post here.
World Bipolar Day
World Bipolar Day was created with the intent to bring attention and awareness to bipolar disorders on a world stage and to end the social stigma surrounding the condition. It is celebrated every year on March 30th, the birthday of Vincent Van Gogh. World Bipolar Day is an initiative of the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF), the Asian Network of Bipolar Disorder (ANBD) and the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD).