Daily Archives: April 4, 2016

Missing People

I haven’t been around people for a couple of weeks and I’m not feeling very good physically, I’m depressed and anxious. It sucks.

Tonight is my nephews birthday and I just sent my husband off to a family gathering without me.  I just don’t feel well enough to even be around family. I love them but can’t handle it right now. Though I would love some one on one time with my sis-in-law, I miss her.

I’m in one of those moods where I am finding it really difficult to write or express myself.  Yet I did say I would post every day so here I am!

Blog post posted….


The Bucket

It is difficult not to think of emotions as direct responses to causes, or triggers in the mental health world. And people who are in counseling spend a great deal of time identifying triggers and trying to make them less, well, triggery. I very common response to the question: “what is making you anxious?” or […]

Good news finds it way in

Great news!  Phillip went to get checked by the school nurse and he is lice free and was able to return to school.  Thank goodness.  We feel like we can breath a little easier and the house is feeling more like a home than a source of infestation.

After a morning of getting little work done, I have moved into bed with my laptop.  While extremely cozy, this is an undoubtedly bad idea.  I think I’m making the odds a million to one that I get anything else done.  I’m not entirely sure why I’m so unproductive today.  I can’t quite distinguish the boundaries between anxiety, apathy, and a general unwillingness to work.
My performance last week is starting to feel like a predictor of this week.  Very anxious about my task for this week, have to turn some of the software upside down to do something it was not initially designed to do.  That is intimidating.  Each minute wasted feeds into the anxiety and makes it all that more overwhelming.  Nothing new there, that’s how dodging work always feels to me.  It’s never very satisfying and I can’t relax that night knowing how little I got done.

Besides anxiety and apathy, the recently discovered fun of Twitter and Feedly are a huge distraction.  I’m collecting blogs to read and people/organizations to follow.  It’s as if I’m just now discovering all that is out there on the Internet about bipolar and autism.  Unfortunately for Phillip, most of the autism content is anecdotal and will not directly help me be the best dad I can be for him. I still think it’s a good thing for me to read about other dads that have kids with autism even if there aren’t specific techniques or anything like that. It feels like an act of acceptance and one step closer to getting educated and becoming his advocate.

Mary called with more great news that APD is going to cover all of Phillip's tuition to go to camp this summer.  This is absolutely fantastic as it could cost us up to $1,250 to send him to camp for five weeks.  Now we won’t have to worry about that cost at all!  Something to be truly grateful for today!

Good news finds it way in

Great news!  Curly Jones went to get checked by the school nurse and he is lice free and was able to return to school.  Thank goodness.  We feel like we can breath a little easier and the house is feeling more like a home than a source of infestation.

After a morning of getting little work done, I have moved into bed with my laptop.  While extremely cozy, this is an undoubtedly bad idea.  I think I’m making the odds a million to one that I get anything else done.  I’m not entirely sure why I’m so unproductive today.  I can’t quite distinguish the boundaries between anxiety, apathy, and a general unwillingness to work.  My performance last week is starting to feel like a predictor of this week.  Very anxious about my task for this week, have to turn some of the software upside down to do something it was not initially designed to do.  That is intimidating.  Each minute wasted feeds into the anxiety and makes it all that more overwhelming.  Nothing new there, that’s how dodging work always feels to me.  It’s never very satisfying and I can’t relax that night knowing how little I got done.

Besides anxiety and apathy, the recently discovered fun of Twitter and Feedly are a huge distraction.  I’m collecting blogs to read and people/organizations to follow.  It’s as if I’m just now discovering all that is out there on the Internet about bipolar and autism.  Unfortunately for Curly Jones, most of the autism content is anecdotal and will not directly help me be the best dad I can be for him. I still think it’s a good thing for me to read about other dads that have kids with autism even if there aren’t specific techniques or anything like that. It feels like an act of acceptance and one step closer to getting educated and becoming his advocate.

Mary called with more great news that APD is going to cover all of Curly Jones’s tuition to go to camp this summer.  This is absolutely fantastic as it could cost us up to $1,250 to send him to camp for five weeks.  Now we won’t have to worry about that cost at all!  Something to be truly grateful for today!

Revision

So I’m working on my final essay for Nonfiction Workshop and running into my usual trouble with revision.  I’m trying to take suggestions and use them, ibut I’m not sure how useful the suggestions were.  So I’m kind of flying blind.  Worse yet, it has to be a “deep” revision, which means not leaving much of what was already there.  I sent it back to my professor for a reread to help me see what I can do on my last revision of it.  So I will wait to see what she says before revising more.

The only thing  I have planned for this week is going to a program my daughter’s fifth grade is putting on. They’re calling it a spring concert, and I know one of the song is Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy. That’s all she’s told me about it, nut that sounds intriguing, so I am looking forward to it.

My mood is pretty good today–just trying to stay busy and get things done.  I’m doing laundry and reading my assignment for the week in Nonfiction, so we will see how that goes.  I like the book we are reading and hope to learn a lot frum it–it’s called the Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. I’m hoping I can use some of what she says to make the blog more compelling as well as my writing more interesting.  SO we will see how this goes.

 


Revision

So I’m working on my final essay for Nonfiction Workshop and running into my usual trouble with revision.  I’m trying to take suggestions and use them, ibut I’m not sure how useful the suggestions were.  So I’m kind of flying blind.  Worse yet, it has to be a “deep” revision, which means not leaving much of what was already there.  I sent it back to my professor for a reread to help me see what I can do on my last revision of it.  So I will wait to see what she says before revising more.

The only thing  I have planned for this week is going to a program my daughter’s fifth grade is putting on. They’re calling it a spring concert, and I know one of the song is Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy. That’s all she’s told me about it, nut that sounds intriguing, so I am looking forward to it.

My mood is pretty good today–just trying to stay busy and get things done.  I’m doing laundry and reading my assignment for the week in Nonfiction, so we will see how that goes.  I like the book we are reading and hope to learn a lot frum it–it’s called the Art of Memoir by Mary Karr. I’m hoping I can use some of what she says to make the blog more compelling as well as my writing more interesting.  SO we will see how this goes.

 


Bipolar Disorder and Neurocounseling

My experience with psychotherapy supports the findings that we can “rewire our brains.” In cognitive therapy, I learned to stop negative thoughts and suicidal ideation, rewrite those thoughts and replace them with more accurate ones. In therapy I’ve learned to reframe my life experiences as meaningful – as preparing me to be a better mother, wife, and daughter, and effective mental health advocate. Today I use the skills and insight I’ve gained in psychotherapy and medication to maintain my mental health.

Understanding Causes and the Impact of Therapy

by Tim Wayne for Bradley University Online

As it turns out, the idea that therapy helps us ‘rewire our brains’ may be more literal than we once believed.

Mental illness is often attributed to factors which can seem completely out of our control, like genetics, environmental conditions, and even the physiological differences in our brains. Bipolar disorder, for instance, is associated with biochemical abnormalities and differences in the brain’s structure, including a smaller prefrontal cortex (a part of the brain involved in decision-making.)

While the causes and symptoms are complex and can vary from individual to individual, there is growing evidence that our lifestyle choices can impact how severe the symptoms of bipolar disorder are. Therapy and treatment can reduce symptoms and help us self-regulate. And in fact, they can even physically change our brains due to a principle called neuroplasticity (which is defined in the graphic below.)

Practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been proven in their ability to help patients with bipolar disorder regulate suicidal thoughts and actions. Similarly, others have benefitted in regulating their emotional state through practices like mindfulness meditation and neurofeedback. Essentially, all of these practices help us reduce symptoms by encouraging greater regularity in our emotional and physiological states.

As we learn more about the causes of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder through brain imaging technology, knowledge of how treatment can change the brain can help clinicians use this technology to create and measure the efficacy of treatment plans. This approach to counseling, called neurocounseling, is being studied today as a way to help those with bipolar disorder in addition to a broad range of other conditions like depression, substance abuse, and ADHD.

The infographic below, created for Bradley University’s Online Counseling Program, illustrates what neurocounseling is, how it’s being used to help patients today, and how it may change mental healthcare in the future.

Gap of Brain and Behavior


Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychotherapy Tagged: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, neurocounseling

Bipolar Disorder and Neurocounseling

My experience with psychotherapy supports the findings that we can “rewire our brains.” In cognitive therapy, I learned to stop negative thoughts and suicidal ideation, rewrite those thoughts and replace them with more accurate ones. In therapy I’ve learned to reframe my life experiences as meaningful – as preparing me to be a better mother, wife, and daughter, and effective mental health advocate. Today I use the skills and insight I’ve gained in psychotherapy and medication to maintain my mental health.

Understanding Causes and the Impact of Therapy

by Tim Wayne for Bradley University Online

As it turns out, the idea that therapy helps us ‘rewire our brains’ may be more literal than we once believed.

Mental illness is often attributed to factors which can seem completely out of our control, like genetics, environmental conditions, and even the physiological differences in our brains. Bipolar disorder, for instance, is associated with biochemical abnormalities and differences in the brain’s structure, including a smaller prefrontal cortex (a part of the brain involved in decision-making.)

While the causes and symptoms are complex and can vary from individual to individual, there is growing evidence that our lifestyle choices can impact how severe the symptoms of bipolar disorder are. Therapy and treatment can reduce symptoms and help us self-regulate. And in fact, they can even physically change our brains due to a principle called neuroplasticity (which is defined in the graphic below.)

Practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have been proven in their ability to help patients with bipolar disorder regulate suicidal thoughts and actions. Similarly, others have benefitted in regulating their emotional state through practices like mindfulness meditation and neurofeedback. Essentially, all of these practices help us reduce symptoms by encouraging greater regularity in our emotional and physiological states.

As we learn more about the causes of mental illnesses like bipolar disorder through brain imaging technology, knowledge of how treatment can change the brain can help clinicians use this technology to create and measure the efficacy of treatment plans. This approach to counseling, called neurocounseling, is being studied today as a way to help those with bipolar disorder in addition to a broad range of other conditions like depression, substance abuse, and ADHD.

The infographic below, created for Bradley University’s Online Counseling Program, illustrates what neurocounseling is, how it’s being used to help patients today, and how it may change mental healthcare in the future.

Gap of Brain and Behavior


Filed under: About Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Illness, Psychotherapy Tagged: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, neurocounseling

Weekly Wrap-Up April 4, 2016

Mood One of the worst weeks in long while. The depression was a massive dark hole. In many ways it felt like the worst I’ve ever had, but logically I know it’s far from it. It only felt like the worst because I’ve been mostly stable for awhile. Maurice and I went to our regular […]

The post Weekly Wrap-Up April 4, 2016 appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Are You Unhappy? Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Now.

  Pretty great article about assessing what you are doing in your life, who you have in your life and whether you are happy by my Twitter friend Brenda Della Casa. 

http://www.badassliving.com/2016/03/28/are-you-unhappy-ask-yourself-these-10-questions-now/
Are You Unhappy? Ask Yourself These 10 Questions Now.
March 28, 2016 by BRENDA DELLA CASA

We all know that no one can make us happy which means that you (and only you) can put a perpetual smile on your face. Read below for 10 questions to ask to bring serenity now! Ok, maybe not right now but soon.
1 | Do I seek to add value?
One of the things I always advise my interns to do is to sit down and think about the ways they have added value to the jobs and organizations they have worked in. No one wants to hire someone who does the bare minimum. This check-in can be used in every area of our lives. Do we offer support, kindness, understanding and constructive feedback or are we stirring up negativity with gossip, complaints, unnecessary criticism and not carrying our weight? When we think about the ways we are adding and subtracting to a situation our entire approach can change.
2 | Do I surround myself with people who enhance my life experience?
Remember your clubbing days? You never wanted to spend your evening with the riff-raff in some sketchy club. Why would you want to spend your life with them? While some of us may feel guilty for letting go of relationships that no longer fit into the lives we have now, it’s vital to edit our lives now and then. If you can’t trust or count on the people around you, you’ll not only constantly feel insecure, but you’ll expel valuable energy.
3 | When was the last time I learned/tried something new?
It sounds like a silly cliché but knowledge is power and experience does give you an edge — but only if you use it to your advantage. Learning a new word each day is only effective when you use these words to create a better daily vocabulary. Skimming headlines is a great way to memorize topics but doing deeper research allow you to form an educated opinion that can be shared in much more interesting conversations. Best of all, since anxiety and fear are based on uncertainty and ignorance, you will feel a boost in confidence and walk into the client dinner, boardroom or Happn date feeling much more prepared.
4 | How much consideration do I give myself in my own life?
We can’t always do exactly what we want to do in every situation but if you’re focused more on pleasing those around you than honoring your own vision, dreams and desires, then it’s time to make changes. As we grow older, we learn that it’s OK to not always do what your friends, family members and partner feel is best for you. Unless you are doing something truly destructive or disrespectful, there’s zero reason to feel guilty or be sent on guilt trips. Sit down and think about the life you would be living if you didn’t have to worry about being judged. That is what you need to work toward.
5 | Do I get swayed by feelings or react to facts?
Feelings are notoriously misleading. Facts are reliable. It’s not always easy to redirect your attention to what really is happening and not what you want to happen (or fear might happen) but making an effort to do so can really change how you act, react and how others act and react toward you.
6 | Am I impatient or productive?
Just because you are being offered something you want or will enjoy does not mean you should “reach out and grab it” the second it appears. The reality is, that “once in a lifetime opportunity” will likely not evaporate in the 24-48 hours. Sit down and really think about the decisions you are making. Saying “yes” to a last minute weekend trip is fine but signing contracts, rushing to their door to profess your undying love or moving house last-minute are decisions worth spending time to ponder. Follow your heart, use your head.
7 | Do I own my behavior or simply judge it?
You said you would go to the gym. You didn’t. You went to have margaritas and nachos with your friends instead. Congratulations, you now have a memory (and maybe a hangover). Instead of beating yourself up, accept that we are in full control of our choices. When we choose short-term gratification over our long-term goals, it’s a sign to prioritize. The more we do this, the easier it will be to choose toning over tacos and vice versa without feeling as though we are missing out or messing up.
8 | Can people count on me?
We often think about the people in our lives who are there for us and get mad at the ones who are not. But how do you measure up? Do you say what you mean, do what you say and are you where you say you will be (and are you fully present) when you’re supposed to be there?
9 | Am I appreciative?
That dog that annoys you every morning when he needs to go out also greets you with love and forgiveness every time you open the door. That coworker who takes time out of his day to read over your email or grab you a water? He doesn’t have to do that. Start paying attention to the gifts people give you each day in terms of time, understanding, kindness and assistance and your life will expand instantly.
10 | Is it really that important?
That sink will get fixed. That email was not that serious. Your boss is human. Everyone’s job is stressful. Your jeans will fit again. Now what?
How often do you feel unhappy? What are three things you can do to change it?