Bipolar 101: What It Is and What It Isn’t with Ana Marie Cox & Dr. Ken Duckworth

Episode 12

7th June 2021

Let’s get down to understanding bipolar with someone who lives it every day and someone who understands the psychiatry of the disorder. We’ll learn some facts, dispel some myths, and know what to watch for in ourselves and others.

Episode notes

No, bipolar disorder doesn’t mean that you’re kind of cheerful one day and a little bit glum the next. Those are just moods. That’s not a disorder. The Mayo Clinic says of bipolar, “When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.”

We unpack what bipolar means from the perspective of our friend, Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Alliance. He’s a psychiatrist and also grew up with a bipolar father. Writer and pundit Ana Marie Cox is in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and she deals with what’s known as bipolar II, a variation on the disorder, that comes with symptoms that can be subtle but powerful.

Visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI here.

Visit Ana Marie Cox’s website here. Listen to her podcast With Friends Like These on the podcatcher of your choice. Follow Ana Marie Cox on Twitter @anamariecox and on Instagram @anamariecox.

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In this episode...


  • Dr. Ken Duckworth
  • Ana Marie Cox

About the show

Join host John Moe (The Hilarious World of Depression) for honest, relatable, and, yes, sometimes funny conversations about mental health. Hear from comedians, musicians, authors, actors, and other top names in entertainment and the arts about living with depression, anxiety, and many other common disorders. Find out what they’ve done to address it, what worked, and what didn’t. Depresh Mode with John Moe also features useful insights on mental health issues with experts in the field. It’s honest talk from people who have been there and know their stuff. No shame, no stigma, and maybe a few laughs.

Like this podcast? Then you’ll love John’s book, The Hilarious World of Depression.

Logo by Clarissa Hernandez.

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