Daily Archives: June 28, 2015

God is alive….even if you are doubting

   I just wonder where this notion came from that as Christians if we aren’t “laying down the law” or “smacking someone on the head with the Bible” that we are not true Christians and couldn’t possibly love God enough. 
Sin disgusts me, period!! 
Part of the issue for me is that while we condemn gay people some of them are also being beaten by the person that’s supposed to love them. I’m sure they deserve that because of their sin. Someone who has sex outside of marriage DESERVES to get pregnant or an STD or AIDS. They asked for their own suffering. Someone who grew up being abused and neglected deserves to spend the rest of their life in that cycle because they magically know how to act different and simply choose not to. Or that person that walks into church at 30 and knows very little about God DESERVES to have you not not judge her but make sure she knows how messed up and wrong her life is and that she should change today. After all if you love God you have peace and should change and be like Him with the snap of a finger. 
I know those thoughts probably seem ludicrous and completely off base but I fear that that is what many people get from well meaning people that truly love God. I have been thinking a lot lately about getting pregnant with Justin when I was 17. Everyone treated me like I was terrible and that the rest of my life was destroyed because I did something I wasn’t supposed to do. It has become abundantly clear in the last year that what I have always said is true. Justin SAVED me!! God may not have caused me to be pregnant but I believe with all my heart He ALLOWED it in order to SAVE me. I can clearly see now that very few if any people around me knew anything about mental health. Mom said a lady at church is the reason why she took me to be evaluated in the first place. But I choose to believe that no one knew what they were looking at, no one had the experience or reason to think that I could have Bipolar. But it is so clear to me that many of my issues during my teenage years stem directly from it. I am a sweet, kind, big hearted person. Always have been but that got hidden for years. And for that I am so so sad. But God used my son, my sin, to save me. He uses our mistakes and our broken to SAVE us and make us better if we will just allow Him to. I have always believed Justin saved me somehow, but since being diagnosed I have realized that there’s a very good chance that I am still growing with God because I had Him in my life. He changed everything and for that there is no greater reward than going to heaven. 
We as Christians should be loving and kind. We should try to show people their errors and not just call them out and condemn them. Not quote Bible verses to them. If you don’t know or believe in God how much sense does it make to use scripture as your reasoning. That works for me and other believers. But God confidently made most things with a vision of people being able to understand it, without a bunch of studying. We should definitely study and learn but ALL that is necessary to be saved is a love, need, and desire to know Him and learn His ways. We will send our whole lives learning and growing, even us “perfect” Christians. We are not perfect and never will be the sooner we can accept this and accept Gods amazing grace the better off we will all be no matter what the president, Supreme Court, or anyone else has to say. 


God is alive….even if you are doubting

   I just wonder where this notion came from that as Christians if we aren’t “laying down the law” or “smacking someone on the head with the Bible” that we are not true Christians and couldn’t possibly love God enough. 
Sin disgusts me, period!! 
Part of the issue for me is that while we condemn gay people some of them are also being beaten by the person that’s supposed to love them. I’m sure they deserve that because of their sin. Someone who has sex outside of marriage DESERVES to get pregnant or an STD or AIDS. They asked for their own suffering. Someone who grew up being abused and neglected deserves to spend the rest of their life in that cycle because they magically know how to act different and simply choose not to. Or that person that walks into church at 30 and knows very little about God DESERVES to have you not not judge her but make sure she knows how messed up and wrong her life is and that she should change today. After all if you love God you have peace and should change and be like Him with the snap of a finger. 
I know those thoughts probably seem ludicrous and completely off base but I fear that that is what many people get from well meaning people that truly love God. I have been thinking a lot lately about getting pregnant with Justin when I was 17. Everyone treated me like I was terrible and that the rest of my life was destroyed because I did something I wasn’t supposed to do. It has become abundantly clear in the last year that what I have always said is true. Justin SAVED me!! God may not have caused me to be pregnant but I believe with all my heart He ALLOWED it in order to SAVE me. I can clearly see now that very few if any people around me knew anything about mental health. Mom said a lady at church is the reason why she took me to be evaluated in the first place. But I choose to believe that no one knew what they were looking at, no one had the experience or reason to think that I could have Bipolar. But it is so clear to me that many of my issues during my teenage years stem directly from it. I am a sweet, kind, big hearted person. Always have been but that got hidden for years. And for that I am so so sad. But God used my son, my sin, to save me. He uses our mistakes and our broken to SAVE us and make us better if we will just allow Him to. I have always believed Justin saved me somehow, but since being diagnosed I have realized that there’s a very good chance that I am still growing with God because I had Him in my life. He changed everything and for that there is no greater reward than going to heaven. 
We as Christians should be loving and kind. We should try to show people their errors and not just call them out and condemn them. Not quote Bible verses to them. If you don’t know or believe in God how much sense does it make to use scripture as your reasoning. That works for me and other believers. But God confidently made most things with a vision of people being able to understand it, without a bunch of studying. We should definitely study and learn but ALL that is necessary to be saved is a love, need, and desire to know Him and learn His ways. We will send our whole lives learning and growing, even us “perfect” Christians. We are not perfect and never will be the sooner we can accept this and accept Gods amazing grace the better off we will all be no matter what the president, Supreme Court, or anyone else has to say. 


The Challenge Of Parenting With Depression

The haze of depression and med changes as of late (or as is the norm) have impacted my parenting ability. She’s fed, she’s clothed, she gets affection and I read to her and play with her…But some things fall through the cracks. Like last Monday when we went out and I didn’t even notice her shirt was on inside out and her shoes were on the wrong feet. She had a well kids check up Wednesday and I was horrified when she stripped down and her socks were mismatched, stained, one inside out, her panties had a big stain on the booty. Even the bottoms of her feet were a little dirty and I scrambled to get a wet paper towel and clean her off before the doctor came in. I’d given her a shower the night before so I was aghast at how she’d gotten so dirty.

We had an impromptu lunch with Mrs R Friday. Of course, I’d let my kid dress herself and I didn’t even notice until the lunch proposal, with the playplace, was brought up, that Spook had failed to wear socks. Fortunately, I am a pack rat and carry bags of stuff in the car I forgot to take in at some point and I found her a pair that didn’t match her outfit and one ankle had a big hole in it. Slightly mortifying, but not fatal. Once we were there with the banshees running loose, Mrs. R pointed out a little toddler girl and said, “Look how dirty the bottoms of her feet are. There’s a mother who doesn’t care about her kid.”

Had I not doubled up my Xanax that day, I just might have started freaking out, burst into tears, and screamed I AM DOING THE FUCKING BEST I CAN, GET OFF MY BACK!

It’s true. When you juggle mental illness, things have a way of escaping your notice. Things others consider important, like appearance, become pretty low on your scale of importance. I’m at the point where making Nutella sandwiches is draining and yet, my kid is supposed to have every hair in place and not a smudge of ice cream on her face at any time? Yeah, it’s just not gonna happen. I fuck up. I miss things. But to my credit, she’s never spent a day in the hospital, never had stitches, never had a broken bone. I care for my child, keep her fed and warm and healthy.

What does polite society care about? The lopsided ponytail that mommy can’t get straight to save her life. The stain on the shirt mommy didn’t see because she has such a light sensitivity, she keeps the lighting at home minimal and doesn’t see things until in the light of day. Or God forbid I don’t stalk her as she comes out of the bathroom and make sure underwear and waist band aren’t all bunched together. THOSE are the sins in society’s eyes.

Never mind how hard I try. How well I have done, considering how many parents without mental illness just walk out on their kids rather than try. I don’t get credit for trying med after med and dealing with side effects, all in an effort to feel better and do better by my kid. Nope. Lopsided ponytails are a sign of abuse and the apocalypse. One of the harshest critics on the appearance matter is my own mother. “I never sent you girls out looking like a rag muffin!” Or when my kid got hair lice and I didn’t notice (because they were doing the checks at school and even they missed it) and my mom started screaming, “She has raw spots on her scalp, don’t you even care about your kid?They’re gonna take her away from you!”

I miss stuff. I admit it. I am flawed, imperfect, often apathetic or too goddamned depressed to see what’s in front of me. I get the important stuff right, or half ass right. She gets registered and put into school. Gets school pictures, goes to some of the functions provided mommy isn’t in her paranoid “can’t leave the house” state. I let her have friends over and go to playdates.

But lopsided ponytails and shoes on the wrong feet…I don’t think it makes me  a monster of a mom. I think society is so hung up on appearances that it overshadows the important stuff. Her homework gets done. We write her letters and read together. We have our own silly little games we play, catch phrases we use. I am an involved parent. I’m just not PTA soccer mom. And it’s okay. I still feel like shit when I drop the ball, of course. It’s just not the end of the world like some think it is.

I remember my pre-mom days, when I was so arrogant and snotty and judgmental. I’d see a kid in public with a snotty nose or schmutz all over their face and think, “I’d never let my kid look like that, it’s just lazy.” And for some parents, perhaps it is apathy. For me…It’s just a juggling act and I do my best. Because I’m a single mom and I don’t have a choice but to do what I can and if it’s not all perfect and pretty…So be it. Provided she doesn’t have hair ferrets (inside joke) or smell like feet…I think I am doing okay. I just have more realistic standards than others.

My mother tells me my imperfection when it comes to my kid’s appearance is going to result in Spook being teased and treated like the poor scuzzy kid. Guess what? Growing up, WE were treated like the poor scuzzy kids no matter how clean we were because our parents couldn’t afford brand name clothes, we didn’t have a “good” last name, our house was ramshackle, our cars were old. Kids are going to be judged no matter how pretty they look. My mom, of course, has a different memory of the past and somehow thinks me raising my kid in a trailer park is the kiss of death for her socially. Oddly, at my kid’s age, WE lived in a trailer.

Obviously, insanity runs in the family because my mom is mad as a hatter.

I was watching a show and this white couple adopted an African baby. The dad thought people were staring because their baby was black and he went off on them. Turned out the other parents were glaring because the baby’s hair was a mess, lopsided pigtails and frizz. And I just sat here, shaking my head. It’s one thing to look presentable. But this insistence on high fashion even for grubby handed little kids who’d just as soon shampoo with their food than eat it…It’s so asinine it’s humorous.

I also get a little uncomfortable when I hear stuff like, “I’ve never even raised my voice with my child.” I raise my voice all the time. Sometimes because she’s down the hall and half deaf.Other times because the first six times I’ve spoken softly have had zero impact and the satan voice gets shit done. There are worse things than raising your voice to a child. Besides, I can’t help it if my authoritative voice sounds like I’m channeling satan.

There’s so much pressure, even for parents without mental illness, to be some kind of wonder parents who gets everything just right. Life isn’t flawless. Life is messy and ugly and full of lopsided ponytails and ice cream smeared faces and raised voices and stained clothes.

For me, each day I am able to drag myself out of bed, tend to her needs, and get done what has to be done even though I am drowning in depression or anxiety…I consider myself wonder parent. I wish society would stop with the parent shaming. There’s an enormous difference between your kid looking a little worse for the wear or your kid being filthy, sickly, and malnourished. I’m doing my best, even if some days it’s not good enough for me. I keep trying, no matter what my failures are.

I have depression. I am a mom.

And quite honestly…my own ponytail is pretty lopsided and I simply don’t give a damn. I brushed my hair at least.

 

 


The Short Miles

Last time out I wrote about how little cycling I actually do. A few utilitarian miles from A to B. To the shops, or the station. The more miles I do, the better I am, right? Yes, that’s true; but it’s not the whole story.

The short miles do help, though. First and foremost they help because they get me from one place to another. They get me out of the house. They are urban. They are full of stops at traffic lights, and keeping away from lorries. They are not breathless, and they are certainly not sweaty. These short miles have a purpose greater than their distance. They mean that I can do things that – mostly – are good for me.

Image result for one mile sign posts

Other things help, too. And they don’t have to take all day. Getting out of bed. In the morning. The short miles to my toothbrush, the kettle, the toaster and the radio.

These places – the bathroom, the kitchen – rarely, if ever, feature in a Wellness Recovery Action Plan. It tends to be the noisy days of activity, the breezy decision – making and the Connecting with People parts that catch the eye, and fuel the professional satisfaction of oh so many mental health workers.

Some days, even this many words can be enough.

An Expedition

Down to the end of the garden in the night.

With cigarette and glass of cold milk.

I pick my way over heaps of builders’ rubble.

Light from the new kitchen window comes along too.

Peter Didsbury (1946 – )


The Short Miles

Last time out I wrote about how little cycling I actually do. A few utilitarian miles from A to B. To the shops, or the station. The more miles I do, the better I am, right? Yes, that’s true; but it’s not the whole story.

The short miles do help, though. First and foremost they help because they get me from one place to another. They get me out of the house. They are urban. They are full of stops at traffic lights, and keeping away from lorries. They are not breathless, and they are certainly not sweaty. These short miles have a purpose greater than their distance. They mean that I can do things that – mostly – are good for me.

Image result for one mile sign posts

Other things help, too. And they don’t have to take all day. Getting out of bed. In the morning. The short miles to my toothbrush, the kettle, the toaster and the radio.

These places – the bathroom, the kitchen – rarely, if ever, feature in a Wellness Recovery Action Plan. It tends to be the noisy days of activity, the breezy decision – making and the Connecting with People parts that catch the eye, and fuel the professional satisfaction of oh so many mental health workers.

Some days, even this many words can be enough.

An Expedition

Down to the end of the garden in the night.

With cigarette and glass of cold milk.

I pick my way over heaps of builders’ rubble.

Light from the new kitchen window comes along too.

Peter Didsbury (1946 – )


We’ve Got Demons in Our Heads

The media don’t say it in so many words, but that’s what they mean when they talk about “mental illness” after a tragedy, especially one that involves gun violence and mass murder.

Demons are responsible. And those demons are the mentally ill (and/or) their medications (or lack of medications). Any way you look at it, we are the demons.

Here’s one of my favorite examples lately:

“It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they’re used.”

This was from Rick Perry, Daily Kos reminds us, “the fellow who destroyed his last presidential bid after a bizarre debate performance that he later blamed on prescription painkillers he had taken beforehand.”

(Don’t you love that part about speaking without having the details?)

And this, from Mike Adams, who calls himself “The Health Ranger” and Editor of NaturalNews.com:

The headline is “Every mass shooting over last 20 years has one thing in common… and it’s not guns.” The article is actually a reprint of “an important article written by Dan Roberts from AmmoLand.com.”

(NaturalNews sounds maybe okay, but when the source is AmmoLand, you’ve got to wonder about bias.)

Here goes:

“The overwhelming evidence points to the signal [sic] largest common factor in all of these incidents is the fact that all of the perpetrators were either actively taking powerful psychotropic drugs or had been at some point in the immediate past before they committed their crimes.”

Then follows a list of people, crimes, and drug names. The list was compiled and published to Facebook by “John Noveske, founder and owner of Noveske Rifleworks just days before he was mysteriously killed in a single car accident.”

(Again note the source and possible bias, plus the hint of conspiracy theory. Gotta love it.)

Want something more mainstream? How about Newsweek?

“Charleston Massacre: Mental Illness Common Thread for Mass Shootings,” by Matthew Lysiak:

“…. If history is any indication, the shooter most likely has a history of severe mental health issues that have either gone untreated or undiagnosed.”

He then provides a list of crimes and psychiatric diagnoses with a number of the same instances as the AmmoLand account, though not a listing of medications.

The author goes on to say that the “rise [in mass shootings] correlates directly with the closure of the mental health institutions in 1969, according to mental health experts.”

(Correlates with – not caused – please note. That’s important. I’ll have more to say about that, probably next week.)

Lysiak goes on to say that the requirements for civil commitment (read: involuntary) are too loose. He quotes Liza Gold, a forensic psychiatrist in Arlington, Virginia: “The commitment requirement needs to be less strict. Today it currently requires both mental illness and dangerousness to have someone committed. I think we need to focus more on the dangerousness and keep these people from getting guns.”

If that’s so, we should be worried more about “sane” people such as abusive partners with histories of violence and restraining orders than about the mentally disordered, shouldn’t we? Comments revealing that “most people who commit acts of violence don’t exhibit signs of mental illness, and most people who are mentally ill are not violent” are buried near the end of the article.

Fortunately, not all the media are demonizing the mentally ill, though the dissent doesn’t seem to be coming from the major media. Business Insider and Salon have published articles that question the automatic connection.

The article in Business Insider, by Anne Skomorowsky, is long, and refers to the Germanwings airplane deaths, but it’s thoughtful reading and well worth the time.

“Because Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz killed himself when he purposefully drove a plane carrying 149 other people into a mountain in the Alps, there has been an assumption that he suffered from “depression” — an assumption strengthened by the discovery of antidepressants in his home and reports that he had been treated in psychiatry and neurology clinics.” She adds, “Lubitz did not die quietly at home. He maliciously engineered a spectacular plane crash and killed 150 people. Suicidal thoughts can be a hallmark of depression, but mass murder is another beast entirely.”

And the take-away: “Many patients and other interested parties are rightly concerned that Lubitz’s murderous behavior will further stigmatize the mentally ill.”

Salon’s Arthur Chu talked about the more recent Charleston, SC, shootings and other incidents in “It’s not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males.”

“I get really really tired of hearing the phrase ‘mental illness’ thrown around as a way to avoid saying other terms like ‘toxic masculinity,’ ‘white supremacy,’ ‘misogyny’ or ‘racism.’

“’The real issue is mental illness’ is a goddamn cop-out. I almost never hear it from actual mental health professionals, or advocates working in the mental health sphere….Seeking medical help for depression or anxiety is apparently stronger evidence of violent tendencies than going out and purchasing a weapon….Doing the former is something we’re OK with stigmatizing but not the latter.”

I’ll let that be the last word, fellow demons. Until the next time, that is. Until the next time.

Here are the references for the articles cited, in order:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/19/1394713/-Rick-Perry-says-guns-aren-t-to-blame-for-Charleston-accident-it-was-prescription-drugs

http://www.naturalnews.com/039752_mass_shootings_psychiatric_drugs_antidepressants.html

http://www.newsweek.com/charleston-massacre-mental-illness-common-thread-mass-shootings-344789

http://www.businessinsider.com/depression-didnt-make-the-germanwings-co-pilot-murder-149-people-2015-3?utm_content=buffera4ef4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/18/its_not_about_mental_illness_the_big_lie_that_always_follows_mass_shootings_by_white_males/


Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: Charleston shootings, depression, media and mental illness, mental health, mental illness, mental illness in the news, news stories, psychotropic drugs, public perception, stigma

The Battle Is Over But The War Is Not Yet Won (warning: potential trigger)

Thursday, I had my Disability Hearing. I really hope that I impressed upon the woman doing the hearing that I am too sick to work, and I am not malingering or lazy. Quite the opposite, I have a hard time finding enough things to keep me from going nuts. If I am not doing something, […]

Istanbul

DSCN6033 DSCN6036DSCN6040 DSCN6063 DSCN6069   DSCN6067DSCN6070 DSCN6105 DSCN6118 DSCN6027

In Istanbul. What an amazing city, every time I come here I am still amazed, at its size, modernity, ancient history, architecture and scenery, not to mention the food.

The first day, had anxiety attacks, almost to the point of panic. Ah yes, you can leave the place behind, but you cannot leave your brain behind. powered through them though, after spending all morning sobbing in my room, went about the rest of the day with aplomb, hahaha.

Today, I feel fine. Maybe it was the time change that brought on the anxiety. Still have many periods of dizziness, that’s how I manifest jet lag. oh and I have a sinus infection, rare for me, and luckily I was able to get Zithromax without a prescription, don’t need one in Turkey. So, I am hoping that my sinus headache will be gone in a day or two.

On the positive side, Istanbul is beautiful, the Bosphorus is a deep blue, the weather is perfect and it is lovely to be with my family here, in this gorgeous city.


Sink

Amazing how quickly you can go from feeling pretty good to being downright despondent. Rotten bipolar. There’s a good reason I’m feeling down, but I know I’m beating myself up too much. There’s nothing more I could have done to have changed how things went.

It’s actually distressing how bad I feel right now, just full blown “hate myselfs”. Feeling lonely and angry and I just want to crawl in my bed and hide. I’m tired of feeling misunderstood, left out and alone. No amount of yoga or meditating or supplements can help me tonight. I just need to honor the sadness and start again tomorrow.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: bipolar, depression, loneliness, sadness

link floyd (not freud)

Once a week, I saunter around the Internet, casually plucking interesting links about manic depression from the ether. On the whole, they’re fresh as well as freshly plucked, but from time to time I raid the dusty vaults of the past. (The stuff in italics, is me.)

If you only click one link, make it “I don’t believe in god, but I believe in lithium.”

News!
Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015 – Knighted: Prof Pete Downes, who has been the principal and vice-chancellor of Dundee University since 2009, in recognition of his work in higher education and life sciences. Prof Downes is one of the UK’s most distinguished and cited bioscientists, and identified the role of the drug Lithium in treating manic depression. The ancient Greeks reached the same conclusion a little earlier.

Opinionatas
I don’t believe in god, but I believe in lithium: my 20 year struggle with bipolar disorder.
When Someone You Care About Is Institutionalised – How do you navigate the legal system/policy and procedures and limitations of the institution?  How do you make it easier for your loved one?  How do you deal with the loss and grief you feel? 
What to do if you suspect someone has bipolar.
Taming my mental illness – Quite a while ago I was told that during spring and summer I would most likely be controlling underlying mania and during winter I would be fighting depression. This is because medication doesn’t work very well for me, my moods are very seasonal and I have the type of bipolar that would make me constantly unwell if I didn’t control it. This is something I still think a lot about.
Ruby Wax: What’s so funny about mental illness?

When Business Is Personal: Julie Jaye Charles rose above lupus and a bipolar disorder to win a lifetime achievement award for her work giving a lifeline to those in need.
A homeless man rides out the storm: I have manic-depression,” he said before Christmas. “I drink me a little booze, and I get happy. Then I get up the next morning, and I face it again.”
Suicide: Ending the Stigma – When Robin Williams died last year, many outlets reported responsibly, but not all of them. Some outlets reported Williams had “committed” suicide, in the same way they’d report someone “committed” an armed robbery or “committed” a murder.
Ahem… If you read the article above, please have a look at further definitions of ‘commit’ as a verb.
Sarah Bredin, mental health advocate. One in 20 of us will have a psychotic experience in our lifetimes, according to the Psychological Society of Ireland – and simple human understanding is what will then best help us to get on with our lives, according to one 35-year-old with bipolar disorder.
Processing Grief, Manic-Depression, and Adolescent Joy (audio)
Healthy 24-Year-Old to Slide Down the Slippery Slope of “Right to Die” Law As an example, take 24-year-old Laura, who is making headlines now because the Belgian authorities have approved her application to be euthanized, even though she is perfectly physically healthy.  Laura, the child of two abusive alcoholics, has struggled most of her life with depression, claiming she has had suicidal impulses since the age of six.  In high school, she used to cut herself.  A few times, she was hospitalized for mental illness. (because mentally ill people never make rational decisions, so if a physically ill person can do something, a mentally ill person probably can’t.)
image

Do people claim to be fine during episodes of mania or depression? Tl;dr yes.
Manic Depression Gary Bartoloni (fine art) (no it ain’t)
Training for teachers to trace early signs of disorder.
A proactive approach to mental health and wellness.
Bipolar teacher opens up about mental health stigma.
Auto bodyshop owner accused of loaning customer’s cars to friends admits he’s bipolar, not on his meds.
Mother’s anguish over son’s drowning, after he has stopped taking his bipolar medication.
Depression doesn’t discriminate. thanks to rg for this one.

Celebripolar
Jennifer Lewis Reveals Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis at ABFF Awards – “That journey I took has given me the permission to help others,” Lewis said. “That what my life is about now, helping others. I help people wherever and whenever I can. Just don’t ask me for no money [laughs]!” uhm. How do you help then? Please don’t tell me it’s OK to be bipolar, I’ve had enough of that lie.
Amanda Bynes was spotted out for the first time in months after dining with friends at West Hollywood restaurant Craig’s on Wednesday. If the media didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.
Ernest Hemingway, his depression and suicide,

Bipolart
Why YA fiction needs to tell stories of mental illness. Books for younger readers that include painful subjects like OCD, bipolar disorder and depression may be painful, but they are also essential. I have several to read and review, but lack the focus right now.
Book review – Autistic Blessings and Bipolar me by Emma Plows. This book is a raw, honest and bare bones account of the daily realities of living as a woman with bipolar disorder, while raising two young boys with autism, as well as running the family home and caring for a much loved father-in-law who has a terminal illness.
DON’T GO HUNGRY: ‘TRUE DETECTIVE’ DEBUTS PREDICTABLY WITH MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS What made Rust Cohle pop off the page was the juxtaposition of his introverted idiosyncrasies with Hart’s manic depression.
The Bipolar Thomas Keller Chicken + Herbed Tabbouleh a recipe for roast chicken. Listed purely for the title’s amusement value.
Denice Turner’s “Worthy” (book review) The premise of Denice Turner’s new memoir Worthy is about being raised in a Mormon household in suburban Utah, trying to find her place in the Church. But it’s also about Turner’s struggle to win the love and acceptance of her mother: a woman whose severe bipolar disorder was repeatedly misdiagnosed throughout her lifetime
Looking back: life as a bipolar composer/musician. (Martin Kolbe, Zurich) Photos and text. Starts with Musical Career and then goes into… Psychiatric Career (I lolled).
Tasha Smith Makes Directorial Debut with ‘Boxed In’ This gripping story of a mother dealing with her son’s bipolar disease and all the elements that come with it, inclusive of his girlfriend’s ability to “hang in there,” sheds light on the reality of this oft “swept under the rug” subject in the African American community.
Through The Lens Of Mental Illness: ‘Hellblade’ Video Game Shows What It’s Like To Suffer From Psychosis. I posted about this in the last linkdump, this one gives a bit more detail.

Another issue raised by Hamsun’s support for the Nazis is his mental health. An author is never identical to his narrator, but a close reading of Hamsun’s “Mysteries” (1892) suggests that Hamsun was familiar with the tendencies of both schizophrenia and manic-depression. He also had enough self-awareness and self-criticism to question these tendencies and to portray them in literary terms.
“Stop Glorifying Sorrow and Start Lending a Helping Hand to Those That Need It the Most” (Sorority Noise) In 2012, I saw a therapist for the first time. After fighting demons that expressed themselves in the many forms, from suicidal thoughts to bottomless depression to pills, I found it was time to seek help. In 2012 I was diagnosed with manic depression. It took this moment in my life to realize that the thoughts that weighed me down since I was 14 weren’t just there because I induced them, they were there because of a mental illness I had finally discovered. This knowledge both terrified me and comforted me at the same time because it made me realize that what I was feeling would be with me the rest of my life but in that it provided a reason for me to find a way to make sense of it all.

When a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is anything but – “It’s an archetype, I realized, that taps into a particular male fantasy: of being saved from depression and ennui by a fantasy woman who sweeps in like a glittery breeze to save you from yourself, then disappears once her work is done.” you can call me the depressed realist troll dyke.
The idea of clowns and comedy shadowed by mortal fears goes back way beyond that, of course, but reached a different pitch with Grimaldi, Stott suggests. “What made Grimaldi himself so fascinating though was that he did always actually seem close to death. He was constantly on the verge of breaking his neck on stage. He performed as a child with his incredibly morbid father, and suffered manic depression throughout his life. His son, also a clown, was an alcoholic and a very destructive character.
The Gods of Morning for Melrose – Looking back he was obviously bipolar – then it would have been termed manic depression. (refers to author Gavin Maxwell)
Nico Muhly takes onAlan Turing: (film) ‘No one wants a gay martyr oratorio’ Having had a manic depressive episode more than a decade ago, the composer was prescribed a cocktail of drugs which he continued to take for what he describes as “10 medically unexamined years”. I can haz gay martyr oratorio?

Spotlight on…
Spike reading his poems about depression. Listen/download.

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BOOK REVIEW / In sooth we know not why he’s sad: ‘Depression and how to Survive it’ – Spike Milligan and Anthony Claremont (1993)
Spike Milligan the (serious) poet read/listen.
Poesie Brut series: Spike Milligan Poet
Video: (watch/download) Spike Milligan speaks frankly about his experience of depression and its impact on his life. His brother Desmond and his daughter Jane reflect on the use of medication to treat mental illness. Milligan explains the relationship between his writing and depression, describing his writing as something that he had to do and which tempered some of his emotional turbulence. He reads from his poem Hope, written about suicide.

BBC – a history of the madhouse (full documentary)

 Infopolar
Study: Drug combination offers hope for bipolar depression.
(Bio)marking Mental Illness A study by the department of psychiatry at UC San Diego has found a biomarker in women with bipolar disorder or major depression that could potentially lead to early detection and treatment.
Discontinue Antidepressants in Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder – “Any history of rapid cycling or antidepressant-induced mania is a very good predictor of doing poorly with long-term antidepressant treatment,” Dr El-Mallakh told Medscape Medical News. “This population should be given nonantidepressant alternatives when they are depressed, or the antidepressants should be discontinued as soon as symptoms normalize.”
Key Redfield James on – download videos of various talks.
A common genetic basis for creativity and psychosis? Though the link between creative genius and mental illness is often accepted as conventional wisdom, a new study presents evidence that the association has a genetic basis.
6 psychiatry updates to know. Transcript and video.
‘Bipolar Disorder’ in other languages.
‘Manic Depression’ in other languages.
The Body and Mind Connection: The Latest Evidence Dr McIntyre began by noting that from 1999 to 2009, mortality in bipolar illness and depression increased rather than decreased. Cognitive impairment may be an important barrier to health outcomes in mood illnesses.
Bipolar disorder during the menopausal transition and its endocrinilogical changes
Ingenuity Health Study Reveals Potential Non-Adherence to Antipsychotic Medications Differs Based on Diagnosis
An exploratory randomised controlled trial of a web-based integrated bipolar parenting intervention (IBPI) for bipolar parents of young children (aged 3–10)
‘Hospital psychosis,’ depression after surgery common.

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Another spotlight…
Melancholic depression: this is far from being a new concept, but it interests me. It’s an extreme level of depression and I definitely experience it. Also, I chortled at the term ‘functional melancholia’.

Symptoms of Melancholic Depression
Anhedonia (distinct loss of pleasure in usual interests and activities)
Non-reactive mood
Mood and energy worse in the morning (Usually worse in the mornings: Signs tend to fluctuate during the course of the day. This is best observed first hand by the general practitioner. Family and friends may report change in behaviour, but not be aware of the significance of this feature).
Profound and uncharacteristic inanition – ‘emptiness and inactivity’ (eg. unable to ‘fire-up’ and get out of bed and have a shower).
Observable psychomotor disturbance is a very important and specific diagnostic feature of melancholic depression. It includes cognitive processing problems (poor concentration, inattention) and motor signs: retardation and agitation affecting the face, speech and body mechanisms and age of onset. source

Bipolar Disorder or Depression with Melancholic Features.
The specifier “with melancholic features” is generally applied when, during the most severe stage of the depressive episode, there is a near-complete absence of the capacity for pleasure. A general lack of reactivity to positive stimuli is also common. A guideline for evaluating the lack of reactivity of mood is that even highly desired events are not associated with notable positive change to mood. Either mood does not brighten at all, or it brightens only partially (e.g., up to 20%–40% of normal and for only minutes at a time).
The melancholic features must be qualitatively different from those that occur during a nonmelancholic depressive state. In other words, a sustained depressed mood that is described as merely more severe, longer lasting, or present without a reason is not considered to be of melancholic quality. Changes in the rate and energy level with which the person moves or talks are nearly always present and are observable by others.
Melancholic features exhibit only a modest tendency to repeat across episodes in the same individual. They are more frequent in inpatients, as opposed to outpatients; are less likely to occur in milder than in more severe major depressive episodes; and are more likely to occur in those with psychotic features. source

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