Daily Archives: May 25, 2015

22 Veterans die by suicide EACH day!

Memorial day

Yes, lets thank them for their duty and appreciate them today, but let us also take care of them, so that this awful statistic is a thing of the past.


OCD Tendencies

lilypup:

A wonderful guest blog written for us. Thanks, River!

Originally posted on The Wacky World of River Hayden:

I have never been the type of person to discuss my issues with other people. I’ve grown up without anyone listening to me so as an adult I learned to keep my personal life to myself. Well, it’s good in theory because then no one acn say that I complain too much. On the other hand, there are people out there dealing with the same issues as I am that may be able to help me cope better with my issues. I have several diagnosed mental illnesses; depression, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ADHD, and Borderline Personality Disorder, but the ones that make it all worse is definitely the anxiety and OCD.

In recent years, I’ve been trying to open up to people. I became so desperate to share my story and try to heal from what I had been through that my boyfriend told me it seems like…

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In Memoriam: Selection From Letter To Niike ~ Nichiren Daishonin

How swiftly the days pass! It makes us realize how few are the years we have left. Friends enjoy the cherry blossoms together on spring mornings, and then they are gone, carried away like the blossoms by the winds of impermanence, leaving nothing but their names. Although the blossoms have scattered, the cherry trees will […]

all links bright and beautiful…

… okay maybe not beautiful, but bright and bipolar doesn’t sound as catchy.  Here be lots of music and a bunch of other stuff. Yey etc. People look at me sceptically when I say bipolar and its meds are fucking with mah mad word skillz, but they are – and the single redeeming factor is humour. I just read an article where clinicians became chickens every single time.

Tomorrow is South African Bipolar Awareness Day, so there’s an SA section in today’s supersized linkdump.

Sword-wielding bipolar man in elf costume stabs BMW, fights criminal charges in trial.
That is one very funny headline, but the story behind it is tragic. Perhaps that’s an effective way of maximising readership, but what about the poor guy? As if he didn’t have enough difficulties already… This editorial addresses the poor image of mental illness, written by a mental health advocate.

|| Obituaries:

RIP John Nash, Nobel Prize winning mathematician and the subject of ‘A Beautiful Mind’.

RIP Franz Wright, manic depressive and Pulitzer Prize winning poet.

II Bookish:

Review: After the Dance: my life with Marvin Gay, by Jan Gaye.
Review: Down in the River by Ryan Blackletter (YA).  “A wild ride into the mind of a mentally unstable individual who replaces his prescription meds with something a bit more “recreational.””
Headsup:Christina Bruni, author (has schizophrenia).

|| And now let us engage in wry smiles…

Manic Depressive Comics (not updated recently)
But this one has, and it’s always awesome – Beth Evans
image

Author of Psychiatric Tales, Darryl Cunningham
Colleen Butters, The Truth About Depression.

Blue is a Bipolar Color (Nicole Dawn)

Blue can be happy,
Like blue party balloons

Blue can be sad,
Like a tear down your cheek

Blue can be angry,
Like a stormy dark ocean

Blue can be frightening,
Like your piercing bright eyes

Blue can be hopeful,
Like a new day’s blue sky

Blue can be timid,
Like baby blue walls

Blue can be mysterious,
Like the oceans far depths

Blue is a bipolar color

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|| blahpolarbear diaries 

 

II Science-ish:

Bipolar disorder is often missed in people who misuse alcohol or drugs
Antipsychotic drug use in pregnant women appears to pose minimal risk, new study suggests.
Trials show efficacy of Antipsychotic in treating bipolar disorder.
Case report: Bipolar II or MDD?
Overuse of antidepressants? Let’s take a more nuanced view.

For a very small percentage of individuals, antidepressants can actually trigger a manic or hypomanic episode, causing all hell to break loose. This is possible in individuals who have a bipolar disorder. This should not be confused with the hordes of people who claim to be bipolar, but who instead simply have volatile moods.

Screening for bipolar disorder during pregnancy
Tectonic shift in the conception of bipolar disorder.
How a psychiatrist diagnoses and treats bipolar disorder.
Some people with bipolar struggle to communicate and here’s why. (definitely worth reading)

…  people with bipolar encounter ambiguous facial expressions, related auditory information is unlikely to help them identify the underlying emotional state of the person with whom they’re communicating. This could mean that the brain regions that process information from t when he senses do not communicate well in people who have this disorder.

Asenapine may benefit people in depressive states of bipolar disorder. (If it doesn’t work for you, kindly refer to it as arsenapine tyvm.)
Mood instability common to mental health disorders and associated with poor outcomes.  KING’S COLLEGE LONDON
TORONTO ― Bipolar disorder is being detected at younger ages, but this has not led to a drop in mortality, new research shows. (it’s on Medscape, it’s well worth registering)
Emotion regulation distinguishes bipolar disorder and unipolar depression. (surprising and fascinating)
And the recurring “scientific proof that water is wet” derp award goes to… Earlier Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder is Needed, Say Researchers. Phew! Good to know. Fuckwits.

II And now for something completely hip hop:

Review: Jitta on the Track Bipolar Mixtape

II Opinion and News-ish:

Back in 2001, I experienced my longest bout with hypersexuality.  No matter how often I had sex, it wasn’t enough. I didn’t realize this was not a normal state. This was before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so I was unaware my feelings were abnormal.

BP magazine – Hypersexuality in bipolar disorder. (Yey! Secs!)
Empire Season 2: Andre Picking Up Where We Left Off
Legalised torture of prisoners.

Many of those who die in police custody are bipolar or have otherhave mental health challenges.  And while many officers of the law have not been trained to deal with people with mental health problems, the mentally ill need help, not a fatal bullet.

Often missed warning signs of mental illness.
Bipolar disorder & the balancing act of emotions.
Five Things You Should Learn About Bipolar Disorder And Depression For Mental Health Awareness Month.
Lithium for Spiritual Manic Depression – (I’d like to hear your opinion of this one please.)

Lee Gatiss, in his second address to the recent conference of Evangelicals, described a recent survey of Evangelicals in the Church of England which discovered that not only is the evangelical community divided over whether evangelicalism is having an effect on the church, but that the same division is found in individual Evangelicals—that Evangelicals are suffering from a spiritual bi-polar disorder. We can go from fervent optimism to utter despair in a matter of hours. The cure, of course, is the gospel itself.

|| Afrique du Sud 

south-africa-643456_1280Bipolar Awareness Day in South Africa May 26th 2015. The day also sees the official launch of our lived experience, the tagline is where mental illness has a story, and I was fortunate enough to be asked to write the first one. Eeeeek! Please make it look as though I have more than two friends, by following the blog etc. Thank you dankie ngiyabonga nkhosi.
Randburg Sun: Bipolar Awareness Week
Roller coaster with bipolar.

An estimated 2.5% percent of the South African population suffer from Bipolar Mood Disorder (Bipolar disorder), therefore it is only fitting that Tuesday, 26 May is set aside not only to raise awareness of the devastating effect this illness can have on both sufferers and their families, but also to bring hope that this debilitating disorder can be tamed.

The biPoLar rats are an unsigned punk band (and sadly it shows) from Cape Town.

II People-ish:

Australia – Samantha Brunskill reveals: my life with bi-polar.
‘Suffering in silence’ Family, faith help Cullman man living with bipolar disorder
What Mädchen Amick (Twin Peaks) learned from raising a son with bipolar disorder.

15647e14ceb5abc613235d07977b73445e9f7ef1
Soccer: Adebayor’s silent struggles.
dorinda-490x322-1Hostgator Dotcom wants his facial tattoos removed. Apparently he has also “recovered from bipolar disorder”. O_o also, scary eyes!
Arrrggggh cannot unsee, send mental floss and a mountie!
Australia – Jessica Marais and James Stewart confirm their split.
Nigeria: Stonebwoy is bipolar!

When your dating profile includes mental illness “Empathy and pity are very different.”
IBM – be not afraid.

|| Help wanted (be a paid guinea pig) (if you apply, please read all of the fine print)

Bipolar Disorder? (Houston/Medical Center)
DO YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE BIPOLAR DISORDER? Do you have ups and downs in your mood? Do you have times when you feel blue or depressed? Do you want to understand why by having a full psychiatric assessment? The UT Center of Excellence on Mood Disorders is looking for participants for their research studies on Bipolar Disorder.
You may qualify if you:
• Are 18-65 years old
• Are currently diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder or suspect you may have Bipolar Disorder
• Are in good physical health
• Are not using illegal drugs
• Are not currently pregnant
You will receive a free study-related psychiatric evaluation, MRI and neurocognitive evaluation.
You may be eligible for study medication.You will also be compensated for participating in the study. For more information, please call show contact info or visit: utmooddisorders.org.
THE UT CENTER OF EXCELLENCE ON MOOD DISORDERS is here to help you.

Puget Sound Psychiatric Centre
Adolescent Bipolar Disorder (NEW)
Bipolar Disorder is a chronic and disabling mental health with challenging treatment course due its complex overlapping symptoms of high(mania) and low mood( depression)Overly high mood with episodes of overly low moodDistractibility and easy frustrationIrritability and aggression. Restlessness and Hyperactivity. Trouble sleeping. Fast and pressured talking. If your loved has been previously diagnosed Bipolar Disorder, please call at 425-949-5779 ext 108 or e-mail us: [email protected] WHO CAN PARTICIPATE? Children 10-17 yrs  of age. Been previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.  CONTACT US TO ENROLL Your information will not be shared with any one without your permission.There is no additional cost to you to participation the study, nor you have to pay for the study drug, visits, or procedure that are part of clinical trial. In fact you will be compensated for your time and travel to be a part of this study.

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Research Participants Needed for Bipolar Disorder Study ($$) (250 College Street)
Bipolar Depression Brain Imaging and Genetic Study
We are looking for participants with Bipolar Disorder who are currently Depressed
Do you experience some of the following?
• Low Mood
• Low Motivation
• Poor Sleep
• Change in Appetite
• Poor Concentration
• Low Energy
Have you had any of the following in the past?
• Really High Energy
• Not Sleeping for Days
• Talking Really Fast
• Racing Thoughts
• Self-Destructive Behavior
• Hearing Voices
If so, you may be eligible to participate in a brain imaging and genetic study of bipolar depression at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Eligibility:
• Age 18-60 years
• Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type I
• Currently Depressed
• Not Taking any Street Drugs
• Not Currently Taking any Medication
• Non-smoker
Compensation is Provided.

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|| Whut!?

Bipolar Barbie

There was this
Barbie-doll girl I knew
who grew
into a Barbie-doll woman.

She battled some
bipolar disorders
and cocks dressed
in suits, until
one day

it got too much.
She tried gassing
herself in her
car – hose-pipe in
the window affair –

but realized her
car was made
from plastic. Not
to mention that
plastic lungs
can’t do
much in the first place.

I guess plastic
brains don’t
think up
great
ideas.

I have no idea…

ok but……… bipolar anders though

bipolar anders not sleeping for days at a time, writing his manifesto and talking to himself, driving himself mad while hawke watches him warily
bipolar anders finally falling asleep and hawke tucking him in and patting his head like a babybipolar anders withdrawing suddenly and refusing to go anywhere unless hawke drags him out on missionsbipolar anders crying alone in his empty clinic until hawke drags him back to their home for some proper carebipolar anders being fed cookies and such by a concerned hawkebipolar anders having symptoms 100x worse after the events at the gallows, having lost all self control and motivation, his self esteem plummeted – and hawke sticking by him, giving him annoying pep talks full of bad puns, and sneaking flowers to his bedside at random moments out of a desperate need to remind anders that he is loved, despite everything, and that even he deserves to be cared for

Source: kinkyfenris

Old Friends

We’re going to meet some longtime friends tonight for dinner–their son graduated high school this year and we need to deliver him a graduation present.  We’re going to a spiffy burger place where they live, so that should be fun.

We’ve been friends since college–Brian was a friend of Bob’s, and once he started dating Mary, me and her hit it off as well.  We got married a week apart, our kids are really close in age, we almost picked the same china patterns for our weddings, and now Mary and I are both having hysterectomies this summer :).  We’ve been through a lot together–my illness, Mary’s breast cancer fight, being SAHM’s, and going back to work teaching.

It’s so nice having friends you don’t have to explain yourselves to.  We have a lot of the same interests and have so much fun talking when we get together–about any and everything.  Brian shares Bob’s comic book hobby, except he doesn’t collect like Bob does.  Mary and I love to talk cooking and teaching stories.  We have the same taste in TV and movies, and all our kids are smart as whips.  So we have a lot in common that’s kept us together all these years.

SO we renew the friendship tonight and get to talk and have fun.  Hope everyone has a blessed Memorial Day!


I Am A Walking Sleep Disturbance

Another night of sleep and wake. And my kid wasn’t even here so she’s not to blame. I cannot stay asleep and it’s irritating. Though it was almost humorous when I had to get up the second time because Absinthe was gnawing on my fingertips letting me know she was hungry so I had to get up and get out the moist food and stand guard so the big cats didn’t take it from her and Alchemy.

Of course, that meant I was awake at 3 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. Just as I started to, I had a monstrous coughing fit that resulted in agonizing side pain. Which added to my cramps and back pain and kept me tossing and turning and sitting up off and on til nearly five a.m. I eventually took a Xanax just so I could relax enough to drift off eventually. The sun was peeking out by then and the birds were doing their “This is my branch, it is not your branch” chirp.

Sleep disturbance has been a part of my life since I was about ten years old. I’d go to bed and lay there for an hour, two, three. My brain wouldn’t slow down. I’d concoct these stories in my head, like soap operas, and continue them every night because eventually, I’d nod off though had I written it all down I’d have an encyclopedia.

Following that I went into a period where I didn’t want to sleep, at all, and even took truck stop speed to keep awake, for my job, as well as to have enough energy left to do what I enjoyed. Of course, come winter, this would fall to the wayside and I’d become somnolent and never want to be awake. I’d force myself up before nine and be in bed before ten, the depressive lure of sleep that strong. Then would come spring and I’d go manic and run, run, run, until I burned the candle at both ends and zonked out.

It was lather, rinse, repeat, right up until my diagnosis changed and the mood stabilizers were introduced. My Xanax was lowered and that was when the insomnia started. I literally could not sleep. When I did sleep, I’d miss appointments because I couldn’t wake up with three alarms. Then came the 400mg Trazadone, 300mg Seroquel comas. But it was my choice, unlike when Serzone and Risperdal knocked me out for days at a time. I’d “serve” my 12 to 14 hours of consciousness, then take my pills, and embrace my coma. For four years, I did this. Until one day I woke up and realized…I was sleeping my life away. That’s not coping, that’s avoiding. So I weaned myself off of them and for awhile, I started to sleep semi normally.

Occasionally, I’d take Melatonin and it helped. But I kept having to raise the dose and the higher the dose, the worse the morning “hangover” so I even swore that off. I had my daughter and well, fuck all the perfect parents who put babies on  a schedule. My kid would have no part of it, she slept in three hours spurts and would slap herself to stay awake as a newborn. Sleep was in spurts and sometimes I was even too exhausted to nod off when she napped. By the time she was a year old, she was sleeping better and so was I. I thought, oh finally, I’m a normal person who sleeps normally…

Didn’t last long. By age 3, my kid was back to waking up multiple times a night. I was doing it on my own so that meant I woke multiple times a night. And here we are, almost three years later, and it’s the norm rather than the exception. I can’t take sleeping pills because they render me comatose and non functional, not to mention the hangovers. They won’t raise my Xanax. I’m told drinking is eevil. So I run at a sleep deficit daily.

Frustrating doesn’t begin to cover it. Irritating. Exhausting. I’d just like to know why it’s been such a life long problem. Wait, I know the answer. Anxiety. Or I drank a soda last week and the caffeine is keeping me awake this week. Or I watched something stimulating. It is always my own fault somehow. Even though it’s been thirty plus years of some sort of dysfunction.

Since the Latarda Incident, my dreams have been fifty shades of fucked up. That doesn’t help me sleep. If dreams are some sort of subconscious thing then apparently, I am still hung up on an apartment I used to live in almost ten years ago. (Which I do not miss and actually look back on as being a prison because it was enclosed in a building with other units and I couldn’t come and go without tiptoeing to avoid making noise.) There are other bizarre dreams that linger for awhile, but then they’re gone from my memory. I just remember how disturbing they are, the vibe lingers. I’m not prone to vivid dreams (aside from the occasional sleep paralysis nightmare which I’ve had since I was a child) so it would seem the meds are tied to it. Fucking Latarda.

On the plus side, now that shark week has arrived, maybe things will start to level out by next week. Hormonal fluctuations with bipolar disorder is a big bucket of imbalanced fucked upness. That, combined with more time passing after going off Latuda…There could be some normalcy in sight. Just worried about this lack of joy in everything, it reeks of depression, not hypomania. The trileptal doesn’t seem to be doing anything harmful or good. I see him Friday. I’m wondering if the Prozac has just conked out. The doctors don’t like to admit this happens with medication but it does, and some of us are prone to it. I suspect on my part it was 12 years of being given nothing but anti depressants which sparked the manic episodes. My body probably just adapted and my chemicals stopped responding. But what do I know, I’m just the crazy patient.

Thing is, mental health care professionals and society at large, mental illness does not mean lack of intelligence. We the patients are probably more well informed on side effects than the doctors are. I learned more from reading the pharmacy insert than my doctor told me. When even the big pharma monster is willing to list a top ten of most common side effects (suicide being number one) yet your doctor says “may make you sleepy and gain  weight.” Then you end up with twenty side effects, want to die, and oopsy. You know what the drug companies call those small numbers of people who have bad reactions? Statistically insignificant. And hey, I am open minded enough to know, okay, three people went suicidal or homicidal but a thousand people are being helped…Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. BUT–EDUCATION AND INFORMATION SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE AND NOT JUST BY PHARMACY INSERTS. Doctors are supposed to first do no harm. By discounting possible side effects, especially without taking into account a person’s medical history, they are doing much harm.

Anyway, that may seem like a diatribe but it’s related because Latuda gave me bad bad dreams, the likes of which I haven’t known since Seroquel and Trazadone. If your medicine that is supposed to make you well makes sleep a nightmarish thing…That’s harm.

I don’t know what the answer to my sleep disturbance is. I wish they’d just give my back my 3mg of Xanax per day. I have a six month stash, which proves I’m not popping them like Tic Tacs. For me, they’re more like Tylenol. I take them when the condition calls for it. And there is no denying my sleep, my anxiety, the paranoia, it all started when the xanax was lowered. Instead, I’ll push myself for days on end until I crack and lower myself to a couple of glasses of wine a night or two a week so I can sleep more than an hour at a time.

Thank you mental health professionals. My life is so much better because you view me as a possible addict rather than an individual.


Happiness is…the flowers that bloom.

  When writing my blogs on my journey living with bipolar, I had to draw inward to the depths of my disease and the havoc its created. It has put me in a place of inner contemplation, shame, unparalleled hurt, and remorse. An article written in Huff Post by New Harbor, talked about “monkey mind”. I never heard of this description of the mind but, it is called “autopilot scripting”. New defines autopilot scripts as “ when the mind takes off on its own, replaying the past or worrying about the future.” It can prevent us from experiencing joy or happiness. I had to get out of my head and into the present. I decided to focus on the things that bring me joy. I think my intervention should be writing those things that make me happy on a post-it and sticking the post-it into a jar. So when moments of despair consumes me, I can look back and remind myself of the things that bring me joy.  

There is much I can be grateful for. It is like my latest venture of gardening that best describes my happiness. Preparing the land by weeding and lifting the dirt below. The planting of new life within the depths of the darkness. My daily care by constant watering and feeding that ensures the flowers will bloom to their fullest. The spray of pesticide to prevent any harm comes to them. More weeding when necessary. To finally, taking in the beauty that they produce by the team effort that was given.

Allow me to share what brings me happiness.  

Happiness is…Identifying that I choose to get better. Bringing new life into the old one. 

Happiness is…Preparing the land recognizing that my illness is a lifelong treatment. Weeding out my old behaviors, coming face to face with my darkness from within and seeking the treatment required. 

Happiness is.. My daily care. Maintaining my treatment plan designed by my pMD is an essential part of my everyday life. I have been successfully in a natural state of mind for 2 ½ years and this has greatly enriched my life and my families. 

Happiness is…taking my illness less seriously. More compassion for myself.  

Happiness is…an abrupt course to retirement that helped give me a new look on handling my illness. And quality time spent with my husband and family. 

Happiness is…aspiring new hobbies and old. A new set of golf clubs and cart. A newly decorated crafts room to expand upon my love for sewing and crochet. A renew love for gardening. 

Happiness is…Taking in the beauty that surrounds me. The beauty of the flowers that are beginning to bloom. The puppies that fill our lives with so much joy and laughter. 

  Spraying the pesticides and weeding when necessary by being mindful. Yet, can sometimes lead me to autopilot scripting. Staying focused on the present and of those who love me most. I am “thankful for the difficult people in my life, for they have shown me exactly who I don’t want to be.” Leaving the past behind me. Looking forward that all the progress I’ve made is not in vain. Putting to rest the relationships damaged by gossip and stigma. The circumstances beyond my control will no longer taunt me.

This is the beauty of my illness that continues to blossom. 

[New Story]: Welcome Blahpolar Diaries!

blahpolar:

Here is a thing I wrote for a new South African bipolar blog – a much needed resource for my country (yes, I am the King of SA). Please make my ego’s day by reading it, and my id’s day by following the blog and letting any South African friends know about it too. It’d be great to get its hits, comments etc up as soon as possible, so that it gets ranked by Google and reaches as many bipolar sufferers here as possible. Then come back here and I will bestow rank and title upon you.

Go forth, loyal subjects, and make me proud. Wait, I mean us; the monarchy gets plurals eh. Oops.

King Blahpolar of Blahfrica

BRB, just reread my words and now doing an Internet quiz diagnosis to check whether I’m psychotic this morning.

*** rg, you have to get involved, because I fully intend to induct you into the dishonourable honorary South African tribe while you’re here ***

Originally posted on our lived experience:

Greetings, Bipolar South Africans!

Sanibonani, Molo, Hallo, Thobela, Dumela, Lumela, Abusheni, Sanibona, Avuwani, Salibonani, Hello!

Friends, humans, bipolar South Africans (and their global groupies), lend me your ears. We are gathered here today at the launch of Our Lived Experience, to bust a bottle of Grapetiser joyfully against her hull and then, in an accent vaguely reminiscent of Queen Elizabeth II, utter the following, “may blog bless her and all who sail in her”.

*eminem voice* Hi, my name is blahpolar, I’m a bipolar blogger…

Seriously though, if you’ve googled for South African bipolar stuff, you may have been as disappointed as I was. I love having access to the entire planet online, but I want local info too. No actually, I need it. You guys know what it’s like; in general we don’t get handed a diagnosis and any psycheducation and help with it. Bam, you’re walking out of…

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hypomixed allsorts

(scheduled post)

I plundered my mood and pillaged my past…

No sad, pretty boys with guitars for a change. It’s almost 3am, max dose of sleep and anxiety meds haven’t touched sides.

This is gonna fuck my reputation right up.

Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
  He chortled in his joy
clicketty

Fast forward with a squeaky noise to the following day and after a couple of days of high-po-mania, of course there’s the inevitable
C
R
A
S
H

to six feet under the runway. Almost said landing strip and then realised the term has been hijacked by insecure women and indoctrinated men. Grumble. Ja no doubt the contrast between this post and the last mood update is of the diurnal/nocturnal variety.

The high wasn’t too high, it slowed before it got chaotic and risky. And I enjoyed it and got a fair bit of stuff done – which as you lot know very well, is good, since some things will screech to an unhappy standstill soon enough. It’s all so fucking symbolic here today. I got the washing machine going while zooming around earlier, now I’m sitting with my head spinning gently and gentle pins and needles in my hands and a dull ache in my guts and a sharp one at the base of my skull and ja here we go, I’m whiny. Fractious as a two year old with a full nappy and an empty stomach. The washing machine halts and by then I’m sitting looking stunned, wondering how to work up enough energy to hang the laundry of listlessness on the dryer of despair. (heheheh)

I’ve become good at routine and distraction – is that a life? If I had at least one goal, I’m sure it would be; as it is, I don’t even have a try. I plod along, following rules and faking it for the locals. I still make people laugh and sometimes I’m glad and other times it all makes me feel like a peevish, damp crow. Good old bipolar eh. The depression is shit and so is the agitation. Happiness becomes untrustworthy and the far reaches of mania are pure, destructive hell. What a bleak fucking disorder. I’m beginning to envy people with MDD and cyclothymia and so on. Ja ja ja, I do realise that is a stupid thing to say. Goddamn pity party at the suffering olympics is what I am today.

Catharsis, blog, you’re supposed to be all cathartic and stuff, not just a reality TV show following the travels and travails of a ping pong ball in a wind tunnel.

I will hang the fecking laundry out and breathe a sigh of relief over the washed dishes and the vacuumed floor – and then I’m going to make like a tortoise for the rest of the day.

image

By Julie Paschkis

Yup that’s me, leaving the hare to hightail it, while I go and find somewhere safe to hibernate. My bones ache and my heart hurts and I want to hide. I’ve eaten, taken my meds, gone for a walk, done the chores – blah blah fucking blah. Ja well no fine.

“Life goes on, they say. But that is not always true, sometimes life doesn’t go on, sometimes the days just pass by. ” (Pablo Neruda)

{Sidenote: I know I’ve spammed you hard with Pablo Neruda stuff, but there is so very much that he says better than anyone. For a politician, he was an amazing poet; for a poet, he was an amazing politician.}

Updownupdownupdown down down down – mixed episodes are the nastiest, sneakiest little fuckers this side of Gollum. Ughhhhhgnnnnnng! I’m starting to feel incredibly woozy, no idea why. BRB going to glare at the washing machine to hurry it up so I can stick my head under a pillow.

Seeing a Psychologist

DSCN3353

I’ve seen a few psychologists, some good and some so bad that under their influence, my life took a huge hit! The good ones tried to make me understand my problems, and come to a solution, resolution, or answer myself. I think that’s what a psychologist is supposed to do. You go to them, for a specific problem, a whole set of problems, or for your whole giant messed up life. They talk with you, ask question, make you come to your own realizations, your own answers to your questions.

Once I had a therapist, she did not have a PhD in Psychology, she was a sexologist and had absolutely no business treating someone with bipolar disorder. She was referred to me by someone I knew. She listened to me talk about my problems and then she directed me as to how to solve them. She told me what to email whom, and how often. She told me to call her when I got up during a depression so she could then talk to me about exercising, showering, working, basically my whole day. She decided what was good for me and what was bad for me. This was the worst kind of therapist, she had basically taken over my life and was trying to make me so dependent on her that I couldn’t function without her. Some of the advice she gave me had dire consequences, almost destroying my life! Actually, I lost about 5 years of my life, came off Lithium, was constantly in a hypomanic phase due to being on Lamictal (not meant for bipolar 1 at all) my illness got much worse, and I was finally hospitalized for the 2nd time in 2009, all pretty much due to this therapists influence! She failed starting with the very first tenet: Do no harm! Oy ve! Luckily, I found good doctors, went back on Lithium, and have got things more under control now than I have had since 2002!

This is absolutely NOT the way to counsel someone. You never tell them what to do, you never dictate emails for them, you do not try to make them dependent on you.

Also if a psychologist’s own issues are triggered by talking to a client about their problem, the ethical thing to do is to refer them to someone else. Because if you are personally emotionally involved in an issue, you certainly cannot, in a unbiased fashion, counsel somebody else about it.

Here are the general APA ethical guidelines:

This section consists of General Principles. General Principles, as opposed to Ethical Standards, are aspirational in nature. Their intent is to guide and inspire psychologists toward the very highest ethical ideals of the profession. General Principles, in contrast to Ethical Standards, do not represent obligations and should not form the basis for imposing sanctions. Relying upon General Principles for either of these reasons distorts both their meaning and purpose.

Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. In their professional actions, psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons and the welfare of animal subjects of research. When conflicts occur among psychologists’ obligations or concerns, they attempt to resolve these conflicts in a responsible fashion that avoids or minimizes harm. Because psychologists’ scientific and professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence. Psychologists strive to be aware of the possible effect of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work.

Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility
Psychologists establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work. They are aware of their professional and scientific responsibilities to society and to the specific communities in which they work. Psychologists uphold professional standards of conduct, clarify their professional roles and obligations, accept appropriate responsibility for their behavior and seek to manage conflicts of interest that could lead to exploitation or harm. Psychologists consult with, refer to, or cooperate with other professionals and institutions to the extent needed to serve the best interests of those with whom they work. They are concerned about the ethical compliance of their colleagues’ scientific and professional conduct. Psychologists strive to contribute a portion of their professional time for little or no compensation or personal advantage.

Principle C: Integrity
Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty and truthfulness in the science, teaching and practice of psychology. In these activities psychologists do not steal, cheat or engage in fraud, subterfuge or intentional misrepresentation of fact. Psychologists strive to keep their promises and to avoid unwise or unclear commitments. In situations in which deception may be ethically justifiable to maximize benefits and minimize harm, psychologists have a serious obligation to consider the need for, the possible consequences of, and their responsibility to correct any resulting mistrust or other harmful effects that arise from the use of such techniques.

Principle D: Justice
Psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures and services being conducted by psychologists. Psychologists exercise reasonable judgment and take precautions to ensure that their potential biases, the boundaries of their competence and the limitations of their expertise do not lead to or condone unjust practices.

Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity
Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making. Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups. Psychologists try to eliminate the effect on their work of biases based on those factors, and they do not knowingly participate in or condone activities of others based upon such prejudices.

Here is a link to the APA Ethics Code:

http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/