Daily Archives: May 30, 2017

And then there was ONE

Today it’s too hard to navigate my marriage, my job, my cat, my house, my bills, and bipolar disorder. Thoughts flash: run! End it! Just cry it out! I start to plan all those things-pack a bag, grab all my medication & head to the bridge, snot all over myself. All this planning started from under the covers well past the time I was supposed to be at work. As I begged for continuous sleep far into the day, I found myself on the couch too soon. I have so many bottles of medication I haven’t taken. Kept promising myself I would turn them into my therapist or my psychiatrist, but secretly wanting the option for days like this.
My marriage is vulnerable right now. I’ve become too much. I no longer enhance this relationship. The words my husband is using today are sharp. Truth behind his pain. Pushed up against the wall he spouts them. Not to hurt me necessarily, but release himself. The burden that I am is heavy. He is strong. Maybe too strong for 18 years. He often tells me that I have no idea how all these episodes of depression, mania, suicide attempts, battles w the bottle affect him. Truly tear at him. Not only because it hurts to see a loved one in pain, but the insurmountable amount of powerlessness that follows for him. Sometimes feeling betrayed as I reach for the liquid courage instead of him. Sometimes confused why I fall into the dark abyss with no warning. Sometimes because emotions are simply too damn hard.
Its funny because on the inside I am proud of myself when I can be “normal” what I think of as a good wife. I wonder if he notices I’m doing well. I just keep on showing him, at least in my mind, how I’m trying to rise. But, its that day my smile isn’t as big. My silence is stronger. My demeanor changed that he notices. Yesterday he asked if I was feel down. At first I denied it and said I was just tired. After all we had a great start to the weekend. He asked me again a little while later and I decided to shake my head yes. His response reminds me how hard the roller coaster is from any seat. He said we will cancel plans for tomorrow because he doesn’t want to get me “started.” Tears. Instant tears. Started? Does this mean he truly doesn’t get me?
As the sun sparkled I went back to bed under the guise of a headache. Physical pain is easier to accept and has a cure in ibuprofen. I laid me down to sleep to escape. Escape disappointment. Escape depression. Escape having to perform.
The evening didn’t end so well. More truth hit the fan and sent daggers around the room. I yelled. He tried to ask me not to yell and I yelled more. Poor poor communication and coping skills. This is not the picture of a good wife. I excused myself back to bed at 7:45 pm hurt feelings in tow.
I think the trigger to all this is loneliness. I have no support system.i have no friends. More truth to pierce my soul. And where am I now? Alone on my couch in the middle of a Tuesday when I should be at work. It fills the room and I cannot breathe. But dammit I will not cancel those plans. Red eyed. Tired. Full of self hatred. I will smile and carry on.
I feel like I am a party of one dancing around the bigger party. I don’t know how to get in. Do I deserve to be in? Can I, we, lay the burden down?


6 Ways to Break the Cycle of Bipolar’s Negative Thinking

Bipolar disorder, it’s a lot of work! But if we don’t do it, our lives can. Wet wuickly become hell. Below are some steps we can take to stop negative thinking, or at least curb it. We need reminding sometimes that these infernal places that our brains take us are not, in fact, the realist reality that exists! Best luck, bloggers!

http://www.bphope.com/bipolar-buzz/6-ways-to-break-the-cycle-of-bipolars-negative-thinking/


Since those living with bipolar spend more time depressed than elated, having the skills to manage the negative thought pattern is essential. Psychologist Elizabeth Saenger, PhD, offers these six helpful techniques:
#1 Distinguish between what you feel and what is real
Your mood can easily blur your vision. Feeling depressed often means feeling life is hopeless, but it’s important to realize these views are symptoms of bipolar and do not reflect reality. “In other words, it’s the depression talking, not an objective picture of your situation,” Saenger explains. She suggests thinking back to a time when you were optimistic about the future, and tell yourself that what you thought then about your life was more accurate.
#2 Avoid focusing on the negative
When we disregard the positive and instead concentrate on the unfortunate aspects of a situation—dwelling on soccer games lost, and forgetting our victories—we do ourselves a tremendous disservice, asserts Saenger. Instead of focusing on your limitations, think about what a friend would say to you to contradict this negative line of thinking.
#3 Ban over-generalizations
How many times have you concluded, on the basis of a single failure, that you will always fail? Don’t fall prey to overgeneralized thoughts such as “No one cares about me” and “I’m never going to be able to get a job.” Instead, let the words ‘always,’ ‘everybody’, ‘never,’ and ‘nobody’ serve as red flags that you’re probably overgeneralizing.
#4 Create alternatives to mind reading
When we’re depressed, we may be apt to misread or mind read how people feel about us. If we automatically conclude someone does not like us because he didn’t say “hello” rather than considering it was because he didn’t see us, this is mind reading. Saenger says it can help to write down the behavior which discouraged you in one column, your automatic interpretation of it in a second column, and multiple alternative explanations in a third column.
#5 Create a gray continuum when you have black-or-white thinking
Black-or-white, or all-or-nothing, thinking involves inappropriately categorizing objects, situations, or people into one extreme or another. When you are depressed, it is easy to think of yourself as a total failure, or as completely worthless. Remind yourself that the world is made of shades of gray, and people who are all good or all bad are rare.
#6 Break up catastrophizing
Catastrophizing involves noticing one unfavorable fact or unfortunate situation, and making it mushroom in your mind into a chain of hypothetical circumstances ending in disaster. Observed symptoms of a cold lead to an imagined death from pneumonia, or a minor mistake at work results in the nightmare of getting fired. When you predict calamities, ask how probable each event is, and how likely it is they could occur together.


Bipolar Brain Biology a Bit Different

Yeah, a bit different 😉 ! Read on bloggers, it’s not all bad.

Here are some of the difference: “The study showed thinning of gray matter in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder when compared with healthy controls. The greatest deficits were found in parts of the brain that control inhibition and motivation – the frontal and temporal regions.”

But even though these changes exist, Lithium offers a protective role! “Some of the bipolar disorder patients with a history of psychosis showed greater deficits in the brain’s gray matter. The findings also showed different brain signatures in patients who took lithium, anti-psychotics and anti-epileptic treatments. Lithium treatment was associated with less thinning of gray matter, which suggests a protective effect of this medication on the brain.”
https://www.technologynetworks.com/neuroscience/news/mri-study-of-bipolar-sufferers-reveals-structural-differences-288248
Bipolar patients tend to have gray matter reductions in frontal brain regions involved in self-control (orange colors), while sensory and visual regions are normal (gray colors). Image courtesy of the ENIGMA Bipolar Consortium/Derrek Hibar et al.

A new study has found brain abnormalities in people with bipolar disorder.

In the largest MRI study to date on patients with bipolar disorder, a global consortium published new research showing that people with the condition have differences in the brain regions that control inhibition and emotion.
By revealing clear and consistent alterations in key brain regions, the findings published in Molecular Psychiatry on May 2 offer insight to the underlying mechanisms of bipolar disorder.
“We created the first global map of bipolar disorder and how it affects the brain, resolving years of uncertainty on how people’s brains differ when they have this severe illness,” said Ole A. Andreassen, senior author of the study and a professor at the Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research at the University of Oslo.
Bipolar disorder affects about 60 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. It is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with serious implications for those affected and their families. However, scientists have struggled to pinpoint neurobiological mechanisms of the disorder, partly due to the lack of sufficient brain scans.
The study was part of an international consortium led by the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine of USC: ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics Through Meta Analysis) spans 76 centers and includes 26 different research groups around the world.
Thousands of MRI scans
The researchers measured the MRI scans of 6,503 individuals, including 2,447 adults with bipolar disorder and 4,056 healthy controls. They also examined the effects of commonly used prescription medications, age of illness onset, history of psychosis, mood state, age and sex differences on cortical regions.
The study showed thinning of gray matter in the brains of patients with bipolar disorder when compared with healthy controls. The greatest deficits were found in parts of the brain that control inhibition and motivation – the frontal and temporal regions.
Some of the bipolar disorder patients with a history of psychosis showed greater deficits in the brain’s gray matter. The findings also showed different brain signatures in patients who took lithium, anti-psychotics and anti-epileptic treatments. Lithium treatment was associated with less thinning of gray matter, which suggests a protective effect of this medication on the brain.
“These are important clues as to where to look in the brain for therapeutic effects of these drugs,” said Derrek Hibar, first author of the paper and a professor at the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute when the study was conducted. He was a former visiting researcher at the University of Oslo and is now a senior scientist at Janssen Research and Development, LLC.
Early detection
Future research will test how well different medications and treatments can shift or modify these brain measures as well as improve symptoms and clinical outcomes for patients.
Mapping the affected brain regions is also important for early detection and prevention, said Paul Thompson, director of the ENIGMA consortium and co-author of the study.
“This new map of the bipolar brain gives us a roadmap of where to look for treatment effects,” said Thompson, an associate director of the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute at the Keck School of Medicine. “By bringing together psychiatrists worldwide, we now have a new source of power to discover treatments that improve patients’ lives.”
This article has been republished from materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


Interesting that Scrabble helps with anxiety!

So when I am feeling very anxious, I go to my Scrabble app and start playing. It’s amazing but the anxiety disappears! Really just vanishes into thin air! Of course the reason for ur is that when I’m anxious I’m in my amygdala, that is the amygdala is the region of the brain in which fear and anxiety reside. When I start playing Scrabble, I start using the prefrontal cortex or the logical part if my brain. So the amygdala is shut down and the frontal live is activated. No more anxiety.

That’s great! But lately I have noticed that my ranking in Scrabble had gone down from around 3 to 6 or 7. This is a bit disconcerting! Is the anxiety stealing my IQ points? Or is it the Lithium? Recently I had to decrease my dose of Lithium from 1200 mg to 900 mg because my hair started falling out in bunches, I became extremely clumsy, even started breaking out in my face, I also actually felt worse, mood and anxiety wise and my memory became so bad that I couldn’t remember what I had say a few minutes ago and repeated it to the annoyance of my friends and my hand tremor became so pronounced that I almost could not write legibly.  All signs of too much Lithium in my system. So I cut the dose by 25%. I feel a lot better. All the above symptoms have improved. Now I’m just wondering if Lithium may be the cause of my slipping Scrabble ratings. Does too much Lithium make you stupid? Don’t know. Will ask my psychiatrist and report back.

PS

I made GRATINEE for 131 points! 😃


Introducing Peaches & Herb!

Peaches & Herb are in da house!!!  Oh. My. God!!!  I love these little creatures!!!  You wouldn’t believe how much joy these little dolls bring to my days!!!  What a great life-enhancer!!!  Low maintenance, high-impact!!  My emotional support animals are a plus!!!  I am having a hard time doing ANYTHING because I just want to watch my birds!!!  I’m not going to talk about the status of my studies…. just please enjoy the video and have a fabulous day!!!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar Emotional Support Animals, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Blogging, Depression, Hope, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader
Peaches & Herb

Best Apps To Track Your Bipolar Moods

Originally posted on Good Content:
By Ilse Watson People with bipolar disorder experience intense high and low moods. Today, there are many highly rated apps that are designed to help…

In Vino Veritas

I have never been around people who drink very much.  But at all of our social functions people here have been drinking and it’s made me a little uncomfortable.  There’s another girl that is sober, too, so that makes me feel less of a freak.  But people say the darndest things when they’re a few drinks in.

ANother girl here is freaked out by my writing and said so last night.  SHe was much less critical than the other one, but she just kept using the words “wild stuff” and “weird”.  I didn’t feel like defending myself last night, I just kind of shrugged and let her go on.  But I was told later be someone who was there that they all agreed it was powerful writing even if it was disturbing.  And this someone stood up for me and my writing, which made me feel good.

I think I’m up for workshop again today with my piece I want to send to Creative Nonfiction.  I’m looking forward to reading it and getting feedback so I can revise it one more time and send it off before the deadline.  So we will see how it goes.

 


Chronic Illness – “Will It Go Round In Circles?”

Daily Prompt – Detonate I have always been open about the fact that my chronic illness is a mixture of physical and mental conditions. And very often they go hand in hand. For instance, with all the stress of selling … Continue reading

[Take Note Tuesdays] Demi Lovato And Bipolar: Stronger Than Ever

  [Picture of Demi Lovato by Rachel Rabkin Peachman – Article: BPHope.] This platinum-selling recording artist is on a mission to spread her message of hope: “We can get through dark […]

Depressive Demon Are Doing Their Jumping Jack

Since I am not religious and my demon are psychological…they cannot be exorcised. But oh how they love to get their exercise. Jumping jacks, sit ups, pull ups, squat thrusts, sprints, long distance runs…And my fractured mind is their gym.

My kid has been at my dad’s for two days. I didn’t mind until the jackass who donated genetic material to assist in my creation called to inform me they’d be keeping her a second day because she is having fun and wants to stay. If it had been left at that…Me time isn’t awful. But nooo, he and his redneck pseudo wife started prattling on about how they did this with her and took her out to eat and bought her this and they took her here and oh, they bought her better clothes and had her haircut so it’s all even now. Then that idiot woman of dad’s was in the background prattling about how Spook is playing with toy barns and becoming a little redneck….(I’d be less offended to learn she’d aligned with satan.) One thing after the other with those fuckers, pointing out every thing I cannot give her, right down to not having a dog for her.

To say I hate them violently is an understatement. Much as I despise the donor and the other faction of my life family is no better…I do believe (in a testament to my depressive altered state) I’d rather she end up with her father than ANY of my fucked up family (except my sister but then my kid would become a stoner like her uncle in law so sorry, sis, no.) I am just so sick of being insulted and run down by these people. Least the donor has rights to Spook, whether I like it or not. His hatred of me while petty is at least half deserved and his pattern of hating everyone who wrongs him is own drama. For those who allegedly love me to make me think I should kill myself for my kid’s benefit??? These people are monsters and short of killing them, the only escape would be to move far far away. And oh, that takes money and the demons in my gym aren’t paying membership dues.

Day started out crappy. I haven’t written anything decent in days, it’s all gruel and I am blocked and the depression is just crippling..So in spite of how shitty I felt I attacked the mountain of garbage (not literal trash, just hoarder type stacks of various things) that had been in the kitchen for two years now. The more I sweat and worked and got shit done, the less tortured I felt about not being able to write and not being good enough for my kid even by my own ‘loved ones’ standards. And to my surprise, I kicked so much ass today. SO much. All laundry done, even pillows washed and fluff dried, hoarder mess stashed in the spare room instead of piled across the living room and kitchen. I cleaned the floors. I tossed out dozens of bags of stuff just to lift some of the weight from my plate.

Now I have to hope the holiday didn’t delay trash pick up tomorrow because I am pretty sure even slumlord is gonna have a problem with two full trash cans and a dozen bags piled out front. Oh, well.

I even managed a trip to Aldi for a couple of things.

I watched 9 episodes of The Originals.

I painted my nails and toe nails.

I tried to write. Tried to simply proof what was already written. TRIED but only 39 chapters and 7 weeks in and the wall has been hit.

Now my body aches from all the work I did but my brain has started to spin because tomorrow afternoon is my appt with the psych nurse. I am wishing on a thousand stars it’s not a case of her having to wait for the doctor to come back to town before I can get a fricking script. I need to start Cymbalta now before the depressive demons allow my batshit evil ass family to kill myself.

Last week my mom was carrying on about how she’s lost 22 pounds then she looked at me (because I am so no aware of my grotesque weight gain in spite of living on fricking water) and commented how ‘the meds must be making you bigger.” This after stepmonster and dad’s comments about my fat ass.

The only saving grace the last few days was an old friend with benefits surprised me with a visit from out of the blue and while I really don’t like sharing a bed and I am far too downtrodden with depression and self esteem issues to be truly…interested that way…It was needed. He didn’t insult me. He actually made me feel decent about myself, reminding me what monsters my family are and that I am beautiful the way I am. I know it was a booty call but it was what was needed at the time. Now he’s in the ether again and I can’t even play poor “I’ve been used” because only once my space was mine again did I breathe again.

I am that broken.

On a sad note, I had to bury another kitten today. Oreo. He only lived 4 weeks. His sister MyMichelle (yeah, after the G’N’R song) is doing okay, for now. I am fighting hard for these kittens with the meds and vitamins and shit. Maybe because my kid is better off without me, I am filled with so much self loathing for simply not murdering my family (ok, not that dramatic, just disowning them and shunning them)…The kitties are something I can try to help, to care for, to save and do battle for. Because right now, no one is battling for me. Some of the thoughts I’ve been having, I don’t even know I am fighting for myself right now.

Let us hope the psych nurse has 5 minutes to hear me out and will actually do something to help. Now, not when the doc returns two blood moons from now. I need help.

God knows all I get from my family is more reasons to let the depression kill me.

I’m just grateful the rebellious streak at least keeps me too pissed off to give an inch. They’ll get my kid over my festering dead corpse and they aren’t gonna be the ones to turn me into one. For all the “they mean well” bullshit…They are not worth it. They are evil in the worst way. The way that claims “we care about you” yet makes me feel more alone than I have even at my loneliest. Takes a gift of evil to make someone you claim to love feel more alone around you than when they are hiding in a closet sobbing with depressive agony.

Is it any wonder I cling to supernatural shows and books? The obvious monsters still have more humanity than that which I call family.

Ok, self pity and rant are exiting the building. Unfortunately a bunch of depressive demons are having a spin class in my head so time to do battle against them in an effort to sleep.

I worked my ass off today. I earned some rest.