Daily Archives: May 10, 2013

A Blog of Many Links

Speaking of famous people with bipolar disorder, Demi Lovato is awesome.  She casually brings up her bipolar disorder when she didn’t even necessarily have to in an interview with Ellen.  And how cute is she?  And hilarious.  So proud of this girl!

On a completely unrelated note, check out this article. There was apparently a research study in which the findings suggested that Flu During Pregnancy May Trigger Bipolar Disorder in Offspring. Someone, please tell me what you think of these findings.  I find it very interesting, confusing and coincidental.  I don’t know, just…weird.  Is it only me?

On a super unrelated note, I need to share this article with you,  Mental Health Patients: Ending Stigma Must Come From Us.  For me the article took a while to get going, but I liked where the author said

“When we as patients are reticent about our disorders, when we hesitate to say what it is that we are being medicated for, or when we hide our pills and our therapy sessions from our friends and our family, we are perpetuating the idea that psychological disorders are shameful and deserving of judgment”

Then in the last paragraph;

“I don’t think everyone needs to publicize their disorders; I believe that many people need their privacy for reasons other than fear of stigmatization. But to hide it completely is to give in to the stigma and encourage its continuation.”

I agree with all of that.  Plus I’ll add, I don’t think that it’s prerequisite to “air dirty laundry” in order to get my message out there and accomplish my mission.  (And I’m not sure there will necessarily be a day where I’m like “Mission Accomplished” anyways).  I will say though, there has to be some form of balance here.  Some balance in sharing my life on the interwebs for everyone to read.  This is exactly where I am right now.  Trying to find appropriate balance in life, with my writing…basically with everything.  So I thought the article made relevant and interesting points, hence the sharing of the article.

Happy Friday, friends!

Speaking Randomly,

Mrs Biporlarity

Fun Friday: Evolution of Dance

Here’s another one that went viral, but that seems like a long time ago so I decided to bring it back. This is one very talented guy.

Emotions are evil

Yeah, I said it. Emotions are evil. Not by themselves. But throw rapid cycling cyclothymia into the mix and it just becomes this clusterfuck of confusion. I am rarely certain of how I am feeling. One day, I am fierce and feel tough. One day, I am insecure and needy. It’s exhausting. (Sounds whiny, but it’s the truth.) I don’t even have a steady baseline to know when I am cycling moods or if something just hurts my feelings. And during pms week, it’s a free for all.

I got a text this morning that just kind of pissed me off. Probably because it was in a reply to a text I sent last night. And it seemed so snotty and flippant to me. And off to the races….The anger is almost like an infection, I can literally feel it bubbling under my skin, overtaking me like a fever. It doesn’t manifest in throwing things or blowing up (usually.) But it’s insidious, like well, this pissed me off, so this person is an ass. And they’re probably using me and don’t even like me and they will throw me under the bus…Which feeds the anger…And eventually the anger slides into depression then insecurity then anxiety.

I recognize it.

I just don’t know what to do about it.

The counselor says I am failing to regulate my emotions.

I don’t even know what that means. If people could entirely rein in their emotions, would any of us choose to feel pain or loss?

It’s making me miss Lithium. I got sick of being so disconnected and anti emotional on the stuff. Now I am experiencing such rapid cycles complicated by the influx of emotions I can’t make sense of, I am yearning for numbness.

I am starting to think the lamictal is starting to fail. I should not be cycling like this on a mood stabilizer.

How does one regulate their emotions, anyway?

I mean, someone hurts my feelings and I either push it down or tell them so, isn’t that regulating? Not regulating would be smacking them in the head with a shovel.

I am confused a lot, but there are some things that just hurt me or make me mad and always have. How do I regulate that? Am I supposed to say, “Oh, wow, Joe Blow used me, but it’s okay, I was happy to help and feel good about it?” Is that what regulating emotion is? Becoming passive and lying to yourself rather than facing how you feel and trying to sort thru it?

Or is that what she means? Trying to figure out why I feel the way I do and how I can take steps not to feel that way?

What a pretty notion in theory.

Unfortunately, I am not a robot. There will NEVER be a single moment while I draw breath in which I will “regulate”  my feelings of  hatred for people who hurt kids and animals.

I will never be okay with people using me, disrespecting me, being hypocrites…I don’t know how to regulate these feelings. Because there is no way to make any of things palatable to me. They are unacceptable. I guess what she means is they are going to happen and I need to figure out a way to change the way it makes me feel?

Honestly, she is the worst therapist I have ever had. She makes things fuzzier rather than clearer.

And that depresses me, especially since the shrink says therapy is the only thing that is going to help me.

Anyway…R is at a funeral, Kenny has come and gone, and I am manning the shop alone so…my mood seems stable for the moment. The anger passed. The confusion has not. Sometimes, something can happen to me on Monday and I don’t give a damn. But then it happens on Thursday and I start coming undone. Is this bipolar or failing to regulate emotion? The fact that it happens over and over and there is never any consistent trigger would indicate that it’s the bipolar. If it were mere personality, then it would trigger me every time, would it not?

I have no idea.

Sometimes, it feels like being possessed.

I don’t have a better way to describe it.

I want an exorcism.

Let the demons find a new place to live. Fuckers don’t even pay rent.



We Are Not All Allie Brosh

I wish to preface this by stating I am a huge fan of Hyperbole and a Half, and have been since I first read her pants-pissingly funny and apt This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult. When she posted her Adventures in Depression back in October 2011, I nodded along the whole way, because I certainly could identify with her. I thought good thoughts her way, and hoped we’d hear recovery-based news.

So when I heard the day before yesterday she was transitioning to make a proper post yesterday, I sat up and waited in anticipation. It meant that she was alive, and hopefully, doing better. So when I sat down to Depression Part Two on the back of many enthusiastic friends spamming my Facebook feed about it, I hoped to be similarly charmed. Certainly, I nodded along to a point… and then I didn’t anymore. I looked back over at Facebook, and I looked back to the pictures of corn, and I looked back over at Facebook:

Person One: We are all Allie Brosh!
Person Two: We are all Allie Brosh!
Person Three: We are all Allie Brosh!

And so on. It didn’t sit right with me, because I couldn’t agree. I’ve been dealing with severe and increasingly severe depression since I was a young teenager, and I have never in my life had a corn moment. I’m currently in the middle (start?) of a depressive episode on the back of a month of mixed episode badness, and I felt even more depressed seeing that. Part of Bipolar II is knowing that one is likely to have increasingly severe depressive episodes until they either die, or off themselves. We are not all Allie Brosh. We have not all (and might never) have a corn moment.

And then I felt a bit angry — while I am definitely glad that people identify in a meaningful way, it makes me feel marginalized for not having the same experience. One thing that I have certainly not felt since getting involved with other mental health bloggers is marginalized; I feel that we do a fantastic job supporting each other and accepting that we all have our experiences, and that we certainly accept that and spread the love as we may. I certainly do not denigrate her experience — it is hers to share as she sees fit, and like us, it is wonderful if it makes folks feel better/less alone.

But the problem with where she stands is that people ARE rushing to treat her experience as -everyones’- experience, and that is simply not the case. And in that, I am wary of people trying to force her into being the role model for mental health/illness/depression. I’m probably not the only one who would be concerned by that combination. I know for me, it took a lot of hard work and effort and trying to make myself stand up and share my experience, and be able to say that my feelings are valid; I don’t want the crowd to take one person’s (whether it be mine or anyone else’s) experience and act as if it is the ‘the one’, the only one. I am sure that she would feel the same way if the roles were switched and she were in my shoes, because she is an intelligent, clever, hilarious person with a lot of good things to say and who says them very well. There is very obviously a brain working in that wonderful head.

So no, I don’t blame Allie Brosh for what is happening. I still think that she is a fantastic writer and doodler, and I admire her greatly and would happily give her hugs and chocolate and coffee (I might fight her for the Skittles though. Bitches love Skittles). Nor am I upset that people identify with her. Just remember that in your excitement, you’re telling other people that they’re wrong because their experience is different to yours (and a lot of them won’t have the spoons to tell you so). We are not all Allie Brosh, even if most of us love her too.


The post We Are Not All Allie Brosh appeared first on The Scarlet B.

Popular myths: pop rocks and soda will kill you, unicorns exist, oh and chemical imbalances

Was browsing Reddit when I stumbled on this charmer of a story.

First off, I cannot in good conscience say the writer is incorrect. There really isn’t much by way of solid scientific evidence proving or disproving the chemical imbalance theory involving mental illness and psych meds. It’s not an exact science, never has been, likely never will be. There is no blood test or urine test. And the pharma companies may not know exactly how the meds work…


I’d like to think he was debating the pharma companys’ “false” advertising and claims about how the drugs are thought to work on depression and such. I get a vibe, though, that this is a dude with a serious chip on his shoulder and his flippancy toward the end of the piece, basically saying giving us a new car as opposed to the pricy psych meds would be just as effective, backs me up in thinking he’s one of the ignorant people who view mental illness as some sort of dramatic effort millions of people indulge in, like some role playing game in which the goal is to be as miserable as possible without cause. And whoa, a new car will fix it all!

People like him are why people go off their meds and downward spiral. NONE of us want to believe we are in some way defective. We would all love to embrace the notion that we’re lazy or spoiled or have weak psyches or, well, ANYTHING other than having something wrong with our brains. People often believe in ignorance like his and quit taking meds that actually improve the quality of their lives only to stumble into a gutter and keep falling downward. I have been there. One of the medication nay sayers was a shrink and when he basically said it was all in my head and I just didn’t want the meds to work…I got it in my head that I just needed to buck up. I mean, the doctor said so, right? I spent 17 months slowly declining, downward spiraling, until one morning I woke up, realized what I had become and how my life had imploded…And it was then that I vowed to never again allow anyone to convince me I do not have an illness.

I’ve lived it for over 25 years. I have been in therapy. Therapy with meds. Meds alone. No meds. Light therapy, sound therapy, aromatherapy, hypnosis, hell I even had my damn chakras aligned! Exercise, diet, cognitive therapy…You name it, I have tried it.

I may not have a blood test to prove that it’s not all an act. I may not be able to scientifically pinpoint what the problem is. But make no mistake there IS a problem, whether it is imbalanced chemicals or hormones or some sort of birth defect in my central nervous system or deep in my brain. The way I feel at times is NOT normal. It is NOT a figment of my imagination. And having done the off/on again meds route, only to go completely off the rails…I believe in the imbalance theory. Something up there is OFF. Maybe we don’t know if it’s low serotonin or whatever. Maybe we don’t know how some drugs work for some people but not others. The fact is, people feel like they’d rather be dead, they take a pill, and they reclaim their lives.

What kind of fucking moron argues with a positive outcome?

I don’t disagree that the advent of popular anti depressants has brought about a prescribing frenzy by doctors who will basically hand Prozac or Zoloft to anyone having a bad day. It bastardizes the whole subject for people who have serious, chronic, well documented problems.

But mental illness has existed since the dawn of time.

Back in the day, barbaric methods were used to treat what they called “melancholia” and “hysteria”. Doctors became convinced sexually stimulating a woman to orgasm would alleviate the symptoms and make her all better. Then there was instant asylum status for anyone deemed mentally ill. Lobotomies, electro shock, water therapies that did more harm than good, strapping people down…

Mental illness is not new.

Methods of treating it are not new.

They are improved, though.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion but some opinions are downright dangerous. It’s the Tom Cruise disease. Scientology doesn’t believe mental illness is real, either. So ya know, I say let a violent psychotic without meds watch the kids, if you are that certain you are right.

All I am certain of is that I am bipolar. There is something wrong deep in my brain, something that sends the wrong signals, something that just isn’t right. But even without scientific proof, I believe whole heartedly that it is some sort of imbalance, be it chemicals or a birth defect or something else. I remember how crazy I was when pregnant and when I got depo provera. Hormones can fuck you up that bad when they are out of whack. Who’s to say other things going on in the human body can’t do it as well even if they aren’t sure how to prove it yet?

Millions of people believe in a religious deity because they have faith, not scientific evidence. Yet people are allowed their religious beliefs without being told outside of scientific proof their believes are invalid.

So apparently any illness that cannot be explained in entirety by hard science is not at all an illness. That is what I took away from this article.

And I am gonna have to play the bullshit card, because for some of us, this is not some tiny little cross to bear. It is our entire lives, day in day out, riding the medi go round, talking to doctors and therapists and trying everything we can to occupy a mental space that doesn’t make death seem like a wonderful thing.

Now, I want to close by linking to a blog by a girl who is pretty much my blogging idol. She is funny, but she is real. When I read this earlier, I couldn’t help but envy her ability to put into words all the things I feel yet cannot seem to string together. If you want to read a real take on depression complete with funny pictures and total realism…Check it out.

In the Public Eye

Please don’t get me started on Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Ok it’s too late, I’ve already started.

She came out in 2012 to Good Morning America saying, rather smugly (in my opinion) that she doesn’t want to be the “poster-child” for bipolar disorder.

Watch the clip here

Regardless of her wishes (probably) she is splashed all over the internet, magazines and papers and at some level I believe she has become the poster child for the disorder anyways. They’re posting beautiful pictures of her face and complimentary headlines. Championing her. I guess, in searching my heart and thinking about why I’m not impressed or proud of her AT ALL and wondering why everyone else is… Maybe I’ve got a jealousy that thinks about how I’d do it differently if I had her reach, her platform. What I’m saying is, I just wish she would use her celebrity status for fighting stigma a little less passively. And for crying out loud, no one asked her to be a “victim” as she references in her GMA interview. In fact, the more I watch it the more annoyed I get.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Image Credit: Wikipedia

In her own way, she is standing up for bipolar disorder by being— as her publicist called it— “pro-active” about her mental health care. In her own passive way she is being a good example by publicly (whether she wants it public or not) going to get treatment for her bipolar disorder. By doing something that has so much stigma attached to it, such as going to a mental health facility, she is showing it’s more than just okay for others to do the same. She’s actually encouraging it. Whether she means to or not. And I hope other people who need help can indeed learn from her. I hope people see how successful and beautiful she is, and follow this example she is setting.

Read the article here, about her treatment.

Everyone with bipolar disorder has different layers of need, different experiences and levels of bipolarity and everyone has their own troubles. Who the hell am I to judge her? I’m no one. No one. I have absolutely Zero. Room. To. Judge. And indeed, I will openly admit how nice it really is to have someone in the media and public eye (if you will) who isn’t a complete, utter mess and, well, an embarrassment representing the bipolar people of the world. And she’s beautiful. That’s just a bonus. And she’s super successful. That’s awesome.

By the way, I’m not saying every other person in the public eye has been an embarrassment or total, utter mess…but there’s been MORE than a FAIR SHARE of it. And that’s ok too. Really. Well…except when it comes to that dern stigma where they make every bipolar person look like a freak-show and total lunatic.

Humbly I say…goodness gracious, if I’d been some form of famous or had any type of spotlight on me in my teens and early twenties…I literally cringe AND shudder AND think about having a mild panic-attack, at the thought of literally everyone knowing my business, my set-backs, my failures and all of my shortcomings.

So don’t take me for being hard on the non Catherine Zeta-Jones’ of the world. Or on the real Catherine Zeta-Jones herself.

I know, at nineteen years old, in my deepest darkest pit, I was not Catherine Zeta-Jones-esque at all.

More like Britney Spears, circa the-year-she-shaved-her-head, maybe.

Just Sayin’,

Mrs Bipolarity