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Jun 16, 2023

Today’s episode is a bit of a lateral step from psychedelics specifically as we are going to talk about bipolar with Sara Schley, the author of the highly-acclaimed memoir BrainStorm: From Broken to Blessed on the Bipolar Spectrum. 

We talk about bipolar as a spectrum and the different variations of bipolar disorder; why it is that so many people with bipolar are misdiagnosed and the issues this presents to those individuals and their families; major triggers for bipolar episodes and why medication isn’t enough to keep people stable; the self-care system Schley has developed for living with a bipolar brain; and how to support your friends/family that are in a bipolar crisis.



For links to Schley's work, full show notes, and a link to watch this episode in video, head to




*** Extra BIG thanks to my patrons on Patreon for helping keep this podcast alive!

Especially my $23+ patrons, Andreas D, Ian C, Yvette FC, Alex F, Eliz C, Nick M, Joe A, Nanci BF, & Heartwood Mushrooms ——  and to Laurie A for their generous one-time donation.


Episode Breakdown

  • (0:00) Opening
  • (1:52) Guest bio and episode summary
  • (3:40) Patreon thanks | Support the show
  • (5:45) Interview Begins
  • (8:37) The story of Sara discovering that she has bipolar
  • (12:34) The bipolar spectrum and the different variations of bipolar disorder
  • (16:55) Traditional SSRIs do NOT work for bipolar
  • (18:21) The epidemic of misdiagnosis of bipolar
  • (21:52) How undiagnosed bipolar (and mental illness in general) can destroy your relationships and your life
  • (27:17) Why there are so many mentally ill people in our society
  • (30:25) The genetics, epigenetics, and neurology of bipolar
  • (35:34) Does life context “activate” bipolar or is it inevitable regardless of context?
  • (43:49) PECS self-care system (Physical, emotional, creative, spiritual)
  • (49:56) Pharmaceutical vs non-pharmaceutical treatment for bipolar
  • (1:00:39) Having a practical PECS moment
  • (1:02:19) Keeping bipolar stable and major triggers
  • (1:08:39) Why isn’t medication enough to keep stable?
  • (1:14:16) James’ morning practice
  • (1:16:07) How bipolar made Sara a better person
  • (1:20:41) What Sara wants you to remember from this podcast
  • (1:21:31) The emergency ally toolkit (how to support your friends/family that are in a bipolar crisis)
  • (1:23:04) Follow up links for other content, social media, and Sara’s book Brainstorm
  • (1:24:33) Closing, socials, and gratitude