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Patty Duke was the first major celebrity to talk openly about her manic depression/bipolar disorder, and how finally getting a diagnosis and treatment for it saved her life.

We all are indebted to Patty Duke for her work in making bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses something that not only could be talked about, but be talked about.

It’s important for you to stay healthy emotionally and physically. Stay involved with other people you’re close to -- social support and those relationships mean a lot.

For almost twenty years, until she was correctly diagnosed at age 35, she went between periods of extreme euphoria and crippling depression.

In 1997, Duke, along with medical reporter Gloria Hochman, wrote , a book that told what it was really like to have bipolar disorder.

They say they would rather be in jail than be on medication for their mental illness. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to a person with a mental illness. This mental illness reality is unbearably painful as it will shortly result in his having nowhere to live. I’m not mean, uncaring, inflexible, unhelpful or cruel.

They can’t take care of themselves and they are going to end up on the street. Sometimes you have to cut a person with mental illness out of your life. I’m telling people to save themselves from the gosh darn Titanic.

Bipolar disorder is more than just good and bad moods.

When Patty Duke passed away recently, we lost more than a talented actress or a likable personality — we lost an advocate for bipolar disorder awareness.

Dating can often be a challenge for singles — especially online dating — but dating when you have a mental, physical, or emotional disability can make it that much more troublesome.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a disabled single looking for a great date or a long-term relationship — you’ve got to find the right site first.

Although there's no easy solution, these tips may help. Read information from reputable web sites, books, and articles that explain the condition. Someone with bipolar disorder may still have valid points. Your love one needs to take their bipolar medication and get regular checkups or counseling. They may not be able to see it as clearly as you do when their bipolar symptoms are active. When you see the warning signs of mania or depression, you can try to make sure they get help ASAP. People who are depressed often pull away from others. The person will still need medicine and counseling, but look for everyday things, like exercise and a healthy diet, that supports their overall health. Since your loved one's behavior can have a huge effect on you, it’s OK to discuss.

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