Daily Archives: May 9, 2014

Manic-Depressive

Here’s a meme I created last summer on one of those rare occasions when I had nothing better to do:

manic-depressive

It’s certainly not the most imaginative thing I’ve ever done, but it does sort of sum things up.

There’s not really a lot to write about today. I’m just hanging out on the Internet, prowling around for jobs and listening to Will snore contentedly in the La-Z-Boy. My mood is as steady as a rock, the weather is dreary but promising to clear up by Mother’s Day, and for someone who’s inwardly freaking out about our desperate financial situation, I’m pretty mellow. The bills have been paid for this month after all, and there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about getting a job on a late Friday afternoon anyway. I’ve got an interview set up for Tuesday though, so at least there’s a foot in the door. Which is a whole lot more than I had when I woke up this morning.

Oddly enough, I’m still optimistic about finding a job fairly soon. What does a smart person do when the dream job turns out to be a nightmare? They go to Craigslist. There are actually some half-way decent positions out there, unlike a year ago when I only found employment through a stroke of plain old dumb luck. And while I still have to remind myself of my limitations—I am a late middle-aged manic-depressive after all—I also have to support Will and myself, and I can’t do that on a barista’s wages. Even though I think it would be fun to be one. :-)

 


Smartphone App Created for People with Bipolar Disorder

http://m.voanews.com/a/smartphone-app-created-for-people-with-bipolar-disorder/1910781.html

Smartphone App Created for People with Bipolar Disorder

May 08, 2014 4:00 PM
Jessica Berman
A new smartphone application can monitor the subtle changes in the voices of individuals with bipolar disorder, a serious mental illness marked by extreme highs and lows in mood. Scientists hope the app will help doctors detect early signs of mood alterations requiring immediate medical attention.

Bipolar disorder affects tens of millions of people around the world. Experts say 10 to 20 percent of them end up committing suicide.

Bipolar individuals struggle with flights of mania, during which they behave impulsively, feel invincible and often engage in high-risk activities. At the other emotional extreme, people with the mental condition battle severe depression. The disorder can ruin relationships and families.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a smartphone app designed to identify the first signs that a bipolar patient is becoming unstable.

The project, dubbed PRIORI, is aimed at picking up subtle changes in the person’s voice suggestive of mood instability, so patients can be treated promptly before they spiral out of control.

The app, which runs silently in the background as people talk on their cell phones, sends encrypted speech pattern data to a central computer that analyzes voice inflections and pacing.

Psychiatrist Melvin McInnis, part of a team at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor that is testing the experimental app, says it’s best to pick up early signs of mania since patients who advance to a full blown manic episode often refuse treatment.

“So, they are [thinking] that, ‘Hey, I am feeling great. And there’s nothing wrong with me. And don’t bother increasing my medication because I am fine,’” he said.

But they’re not fine.

Patients who are becoming manic may speak more quickly or louder than usual. McInnis says detecting early signs of a depressive episode is more difficult as individuals may try to conceal their growing sense of hopelessness.

In the yearlong study, a small group of patients also checked in weekly with a health care provider for a clinical assessment.

According to the World Health Organization, bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability worldwide. But experts say there’s a shortage of psychiatrists and mental health workers.

With billions of people now using mobile phones, McInnis believes the PRIORI app could make it easier for people in developing countries to get treatment quickly.

“When an individual has a change.. the health system can be alerted and said [told] you know, ‘Mr. Jones or Mrs. Jones is in need of an intervention and should be called to the medical center to be evaluated further for change in the need for interventions in their health,’” he said.

Researchers unveiled the smartphone application at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing meeting in Italy.


A good day

image

Daffodils in concrete

Is actually turning out to be a pretty decent day. It’s 85 degrees and slightly overcast but there’s a nice breeze that comes through once in awhile. Work was kind of non descript just a few hours at the office on Friday nothing big just passing the time really. Afterwards I headed downtown because my group therapy was rescheduled for today instead of this past Wednesday. Group was really interesting today I learned a lot about myself which I’m sure I will feel the need to talk about in another post all of its own. Afterwards I walked around downtown and finally caught one of the new little stores while it was open. I could seriously live in that little store, the space is just so amazing and it’s covered floor to ceiling with local artists’ pieces. It’s my aestetic to a T. What’s really awesome is that they also do yoga classes right there in a huge gallery room – and yes, they do offer a “gentle” class for the non-bendy beginner, which just so happens to be on my one afternoon that I’m always guaranteed to have off. And there’s painting classes too – they take care of all the supplies and you set up an easel and just do whatever. I’m really excited about possibilities of expanding my mindfulness and creativity. But now I must get OUT of the car and meander into the library (another favorite place) to return the traumatizing Oprah DVDs and pick up the elusive 4th season of Downton Abby.

Only downside is I’m feeling so overwhelmed with all this new stuff that my heart is racing, I’m sweating, and I’m just sitting in my car again. Stupid emotions.


INJUSTICE??? Call me BATMAN!!!

So I recently decided to make healthy changes for my body. I am eating right.

I didn’t sat working out… Oh no…I’m not that committed yet…(haha)

But I am watching what I eat. Keeping a food journal, smaller portions, you know. All though recently I was reading DIETING FOR DUMMIES and in one of the passages they talk about carbs being comfort food, but then they said something that kind of hit home…

“But pasta isn’t Prozac”

UGH!!!!! WHY??!?
Why do I feel so UGH about that passage? Is it because I’M ON PROZAC? I have always been a semi-sensitive person but really…a book that has nothing to do with mental illness…

I just am really feeling injustice when people talk about mental health or meds or weight or anything insulting or vague. I feel like I’m the cheerleader for our minds and bodies, but I have yet to come out with who I am or tell people that I have a mental illness.

Does that make me a poser??

If I were a poser wouldn’t Batman and other superheroes be? They are fighting bad guys in costumes, I’m behind a computer screen…


Filed under: Angry, Awareness, Ranting

Dichotomy

image

I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. I had a good day but I don’t feel anything right now. This is one of those times you just want to crawl in bed with someone’s arms around you just to tell you it’s going to be ok. But tonight its just me and the cats, just like every other night for the past year or so. I don’t think enough creedence is given to how hard it is to lie in bed alone with a reeling mind, no matter how much medication and therapy is in your system. Friends and family are great support, but there’s a reason we yearn to couple up. A constant presense, a sense of safety, a forever commitment. I had a decent day, but going to bed is so lonely. I know it has to be that way but sometimes it really gets to me. I’m too much, it’s too complicated,  but logic and reason have no place when deep loneliness takes over. I’m sure I’ll be fine tomorrow – during the day at least.