Daily Archives: April 26, 2015

Friends Don’t Let Friends Embalm

Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA:

While I am out of commission, suffering through a bladder infection that won’t go away despite 3 different antibiotics, gallons of pure cranberry juice that require unbelievable quantities of stevia to make it drinkable, pills that make you pee fluorescent orange, and pain that better let up soon or back to the doctor I go…. May as well have a good larf, right? Oh, and I am fortunate to be camping almost around the corner from my doctor! Yay! It doesn’t get much better, right?👹

Originally posted on Problems With Infinity:

Hey there little Sarah! Watcha doing?


It looks like something!  Wait.. where are you going?


Are you hiding?  From me??  Why???


Awww, come on out cutie pie!  I won’t judge you!

IMG_7840 3

As long as you don’t do anything too weird that will mess up my future as a normal high functioning adult…

IMG_7843 2

Ok, ok, geeze!  So… is that a pharaoh you’ve got there?


Woah, that’s great!  …and strangely normal-ish!  Hehehehe normal intellectually stimulating adulthood here I come!


Hehe, I think you mean mummies *so cute!*  Why don’t you invite a friend over too play?  Eeeee this could be my ticket to normal social development!!!


Oh no.. I know that face…


What have I gotten us into???


Okay… this is okay I think…


Wait… oh no… don’t start…


This is going to be bad…


No, no, no, no, no….please no…


Please…please… stop this insanity, before it’s too late…


Bad, bad, bad…

View original 41 more words

Something New For My CV

Louis CK


The DSM (psychiatry’s Bible) came out with a revised and updated version in 2013 with oodles of controversy.  Along with weird restructuring, the Powers that Be (think Nicene Council with prescription privileges) dropped some diagnoses and added others.  One that gained full blessing of the Holy Order was Binge Eating Disorder (BED).  It came with criteria and suggested treatment.  No one paid too much attention.

But in the two years since, more and more providers are taking BED seriously.  Drugs used to treat ADD and ADHD have been somewhat successful in treating the compulsive/impulsive aspects of BED.  Cross-training has always been the drug companies’ bread and butter.

In a casual conversation last week with my nurse practitioner, I mentioned how I gave up trying to lose weight this year.  She asked a few questions, then said I met every single criteria in the BED diagnosis:

  1. Recurrent and persistent episodes of binge eating
  2. Binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
    • Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating
  3. Marked distress regarding binge eating
  4. Absence of regular compensatory behaviors (such as purging).

She knows I’ve managed bipolar disorder without medication for five years, but she wondered if I might want to try Vyvanse, the current darling drug for BED.

Vyvanse is, basically, Speed, so we both knew mania and insomnia could be side effects.  Great.  But, since I’m sensitive to medication, I’d probably know right away if the spin was more that I could handle.  We also talked briefly about self-monitoring and keeping charts (I’m boss at keeping charts).

So, what the NP and I decided was to wait until I was out of my Mean Season and more stable, then start Vyvanse mid-May.

All my life I’ve dreamed of a magic pill.  I doubt this is it.  But, what have I got to lose besides a few nights sleep and some mad spring cleaning?  At least I get official credit for something I’ve known all my life—I have little to no control over what I put in my mouth.  No diet, motivational bestseller, or cognitive therapy ever touches that wild and mindless drive.

Not that I’m looking for more craziness to add to my resume, but there’s comfort in being recognized.  I’m not lazy or lacking in willpower.  I’m not weak.  My brain just works differently than most people’s.  Funny how that keeps coming up.

I’m on an Adventure.

In Chairs


So to pick up my story of heading to the hospital…..

I was aware enough to know a few things. One was that I needed to let some people know, including YOU, my faithful blog readers. Even though you don’t know me, I figured you might get uneasy if I just dropped off the face of the earth. So I put a little post up for you. I also was able to text my good friends and let them know. I gave them my husband’s cell number in case they needed to call.

So we packed a few things and headed down to the hospital. One thing that’s important to remember is my emotional state. Every time I have entered the hospital I have been crying, sobbing, or just numb. It is a big low point in my life. Getting through the check-in can be tough.

There’s a process to getting in the hospital. You have to start with your insurance info at one desk. That went fast. I imagine me crying and blubbering made the guy type faster. It was quiet in that room, but I didn’t care. And why should I? If I am sick enough to be in a psych hospital, I am sick enough to cry in public. And should one really count a psych hospital lobby as “public”? I think not.

Once they know you are insured, they take you to a room where a social worker talks to you. They ask you a million questions. Have you ever been on drugs? Do you smoke? Does anyone in your family have MI issues? Any abuse in your history? And it goes on and on.

Now I understand they need to know this info. But they repeat exactly the same questions 5 or 6 times as you pass down the receiving line. And since you don’t feel too good to start with….this isn’t much fun.

They made my husband leave and took me to a room. The nurse asked me to take off my clothes and she gave me a set of hospital scrubs. (I honestly thought she was going to search me for drugs or something but she didn’t.) She took me to a room called the “chair” room.

The chair room is a new invention since I was last at the hospital. It’s sort of purgatory…. a place between the outside and the hospital. This is where they send you when there are no hospital beds open and you have to wait.

This doesn’t sound too bad, I guess, unless you are sobbing yourself apart and exhausted.

I get in the chair room and look around. It’s absolutely bizarre. It’s an immaculate room about half the size of a school cafeteria with no windows. Inside are rows of recliners set up like children’s desks. There were about thirty chairs in all. And there was a person sleeping in each of these chairs, except one. Mine.

There was a nurse’s station off to the side with about 10 nurses floating around. There was one doctor there all night and day. There were three “techs” at a time sitting at the back of the room. Their job was to unlock the bathroom door and generally maintain order I think. They were busy on their iPads, etc. and didn’t pay much attention to us.

They got me into a recliner and gave me some Ativan. It was weird to be tranquilized and staring around at all these other people sleeping. There was a huge TV on the front wall and we were all faced that way. They played a series called “Justified”. This was fine until you realized they were playing the same episode on repeat.

The recliner laid all the way back so you could sleep. They gave you four thin blankets: one to tie over the top back of the chair, one for the seat of it, one to serve as a pillow, and one to throw over the top of you.

Food came on a tray for each meal. I don’t remember a lot about this. All I do recall are the long nights and watching the other sleepers. It was like something out of a Robin Cook medical thriller.

I kept crying quietly and this one nurse kept coming by to ask me why I was crying. Which I mean, honest to God, is a lame ass question. Trapped in a recliner watching a repeat of Justified? Seeing more visions of things streaming out of the TV? No shower? (And you know I hate showers.)

I was there 48 hours before I got a bed.

When I got to the hospital proper, the first thing some guy asked me was “How long were you in chairs?” So now I have a new psych phrase: “in chairs”.

My next post will cover my time in the actual hospital.

As far as an update on my current situation: I am still exhausted. I am sleeping better and I did it without a Valium last night. I am planning on getting my nails done and attending my women’s support group tomorrow. I saw my pdoc on Friday and he left me on all the meds. I see him again in two weeks.

I feel better mentally but still have no energy. And boy am I hungry! I think it is the Abilify. But I have become super vigilant about what I eat. I am determined to at least not gain any weight. I got through part of a yoga DVD yesterday.

I have little interest in my blog. I don’t mean I have little interest in YOU…I appreciate each and every one of you and am glad you are here. But writing is hard. I also have had a hard time listening to my audio books. However, my husband reminded me I have not been out of the hospital that long.

I do feel restless and think once I get going, I will have more desire to go places. I already have two activities set up with good friends in the next couple of weeks. I am so determined not to cancel.

But let’s start with tomorrow…my nails and the women’s group. One day at a time, right?

So I will be back in a couple of days with another chapter of the fiction. And then the final installment of my hospital journey.

You all could help me if you’d like. Do you have any questions about being in the hospital? If you do, put them in the comments section. This will help me have a prompt to get started by.

love and hugs to all,


Depression Hurts

You’ve probably seen those commercials where the announcer and the actress playing the part of a depressed person try to answer the question: Does depression hurt?

Once when we saw this commercial, my mother turned to me and asked whether my depression hurt me physically.

I had to say yes. I don’t think I ever took Cymbalta, the medication that the commercial was touting, but I was clear on the fact that physical pain is involved along with the psychological suffering of depression.

My head and eyes hurt from all the crying spells. My back hurt from lying in bed all day. I had painful knotted muscles from the anxiety that went with the depression. I had intestinal cramps because my overactive nerves led to irritable bowel syndrome. I had headaches and eye strain from the over sensitivity to light and noise. And I had the general flu-like malaise that is practically the hallmark of depression. You know the one. Every bone and muscle aches, but you can’t think why.

Were these aches and pains psychogenic? Undoubtedly some of them were. But others, like the irritable bowel, were all too demonstrably physical phenomena.

The mind and body and soul are inextricably intertwined. We know this to be true. Depression affects them all.

And it does hurt.

Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, bipolar type 2, depression, mother, my experiences, physical pain, psychological pain

The Disability Of Mental Illness

As I await response on whether my disability will be denied or extended (and please, no horror stories about how yours was cut off, because I know it can happen to me and it just makes it all worse, freaked out enough) I’ve come to ponder the question:
Is mental illness truly a disability?

There is a huge difference between having a singular diagnosis which responds well to one medication and stabilizing or spending 20 plus years of your life on a never ending medi go round because you have so many diagnoses none of the meds will work in concert.
You get a little better. You slide back. You go manic. You slip into a months long depression. Rinse, lather, repeat. Now toss in the fact I’m only “functional” for about four months of the year (used to be spring and summer) and there are days when the anxiety and paranoia have me literally ready to physically launch myself at someone who sets me off…
I’d call it a disability.
What does an employer want more than anything from an employee?
Stability. Half the time they don’t care if you have the IQ of pocket lint. If you show up as scheduled without fail and mimic doing a half assed job…You’re golden.
If you bounce off walls, excel, then for months sink into this slovenly tear streaked “hiding in the bathroom” trainwreck who can’t complete a simple task to par…It doesn’t matter how skilled or smart you are.
You’re unstable.
You don’t meet criteria one for employment.

With other disabilities, employers will make concessions, accessibility, compromises. If you use a wheelchair, they obviously don’t expect you to stand. If you’re diabetic and need to dash off because your blood sugar’s gone wonky, they don’t fire you for being a flake. If you have cancer and aren’t feeling well due to treatment, they won’t castigate you for calling off or throwing up on the floor.
(And no, I am not saying mental illness is worse than cancer because any chronic illness sucks equally for the person going through it.)
I’ve never had a job where I got “mental health days”.
“I can’t stop crying and I think people are going to attack me so I may need to stay home to avoid ya know, getting violent.”
“I’m manic and thinking it’d be a good idea to table dance at work while demanding dollar bills be stuffed into my bra, perhaps today is not a good day…”
“My meds make me too groggy to be coherent.”
“My others meds are making me nauseous and I have to throw up every five minutes.”

Oh, nooo, those are not legitimate reasons. It is not an illness to employers, or for that matter, the general populace.
You are weak, lazy, making excuses, you don’t want to grow up, you don’t want to take responsibility, you’re milking the system…
Anything but facing the fact that mental illness is real and it can happen to anyone, including the naysayers. If they acknowledge that it might be contagious and put them at risk.
So suck it up and quit being a baby.
(All the while your fight or flight response is on high alert, you’re terrified, and can’t think straight so you assume the fetal position in a stock room-true story)
Nope, not at a problem at all, when your mind is all fucked up. Totally capable of rational thought and reaction.
Hey, here’s an idea. Hire people drunk off their asses, stoned out of their gourds or hopped on drugs. Then see if they can do a good job.
Because like it or not, mental illness is like being under the influence. Your reactions, your thoughts processes, coping abilities…it all hinges on your brain interpreting situations correctly and sending the proper impulses to respond in kind.
No more than one can “talk” themselves sober, a mentally ill person cannot talk themselves out of imbalanced brain chemicals. We may learn techniques in therapy to minimize or at least postpone some meltdowns, but for every one of those, there are ten failures. To fail in front of others and have your intelligence questioned when the problem is illness, not a matter of smarts, is insult to injury.
If my brain processed things properly so I could respond properly, I’d hardly call it a disability. It’d be an annoyance like my allergies.
Te fact is affects every aspect of my life, including the “fun” stuff, tells me it’s no affectation, no dramatization. I have twenty years of records to prove something’s off kilter.

Wanting to be stable and make a contribution and have some self esteem is not the same as being capable of it. It seems like a matter of positive thought and rah rah rah I CAN do this.
Until you live inside a mind with its circuits crossed.
Then you realize how futile it can be. You fight your hardest and have more failures than wins. It takes a toll on your self esteem, your motivation, even your hope for things to improve.
How is it not a disability to never be in your “right” mind?

In fact, the notion that anyone can say a long standing history of mental illness without any long periods of stability isn’t a disability only proves their own ignorance.
Big difference between being on Prozac for six months due to the blues or whatever or spending your entire life balancing a multiple diagnosis, battling your own mind, dealing with med after med that doesn’t work or quits working or has horrendous side effects. And it is truly horrendous when the very meds that “correct” what’s causing the bad input then affect other normal aspects like appetite, weight, sex drive, sleep, lucidity…It’s a constant trade off.
And it makes you want to go off the meds just to remember how you should feel, in case there is something wrong that isn’t a side effect from the meds. Not to mention the manic episodes when you’re pretty sure you’re cured and could solve world hunger while riding a pegacorn over Atlantis. The mania convinces you that you’re happy, all is better, fuck the pills.
It’s an endless cycle.

And it is not WHINING.
Mentally ill people just want what we were born without that comes standard issue for most. Normal brain wiring. There’s no fun in constantly feeling like you’re in danger and can’t breathe or that life isn’t worth living and you should kill yourself and solve it all.
We want to NOT have such thoughts constantly.
Because if someone roofie’d you and you were held accountable for your actions and called a whiner…You’d be pissed.
We are at the mercy of our disorders.We live with the fallout, even though technically, we’re generally in altered states which leads to bad choices and bad behaviors. Like being drugged.

Our brain is pretty much the epicenter around which everything stems and it is the brain that directs everything to work in concert.
If the brain itself isn’t doing its job properly, how can we be expected to perceive things properly to keep everything working right?
One bad fuse, in our case, faulty wiring, can take an entire car down.
Is it so far fetched to view humans as such?

In closing…
NONE of us with mental illness want to feel this way. We don’t want the stigma, the judgments, the “looks”, as if we’re going to eat your young and spit out the gristle or something because mental illness means “bat shit violent crazy lock them up in the rubber ramada”.
Our thoughts get distorted. Through these distorted thoughts, our bodies react, with fight or flight, terror, breathing problems, stomach problems, ability to focus.
No different than any other illness that affects your ability to function “normally”.
Except we will never be cured or in remission.
We can only keep trying to be stabilized and riding the roller coaster of that is mental illness.

Next time you want to roll your eyes and scoff as mental illness being a disability…Remember a time when you were drunk, high, on pain killers, coming out of surgery and feeling out of sorts…How would you feel, if in that altered state through no fault of your own, your entire worth and intelligence was judged based on your inability to be coherent, walk a straight line, stay awake…All things you’re perfectly capable of when not under the influence of something.

No one wants to be judged for things out of their control.
It’s not shirking responsibility, it’s just facing that due to whatever twist of fate…We do not have the level playing field others do in which to make informed choices at all times.
Cut us some slack, please.


My Personal Bipolar Emotions At Work


This is a weird blog. It’s weird because I’m really writing about something I cannot share. I told you it was weird. I probably won’t be advertising this blog as much as usual for that reason, but if you do come across this blog you’ll notice how different it is from my usual blogs. This blog is mostly about me. For me.

I’ve found over the years, that those of us with bipolar disorder feel things deeper and more strongly than the average person—that’s certainly true for me. It’s harder to deal with things like grief, sadness and anger. I’ve been struggling with sadness and anger for the past year. I thought it would have subsided by now. It hasn’t. Not really. I suppose the fiery edge has been lessened but the underlying feelings have not.

They say it takes time. How much time? And who are “they” anyway? I’m trying to fight my emotions by staying busy and keeping healthy. I’ve just started editing my first fiction novella. It’s called Imagine. It is a romance tale about a woman with bipolar disorder. It’s your typical romance, but it has the added element of bipolar being woven through it. It will likely take a few months to edit and prepare it for publishing. I will be sure to let you know when it is available.

As well, I have joined yoga and line dancing at our local recreation centre. Not only are these two classes great exercise, but they also give me a chance to socialize with others—something I find very difficult. Every time I head out to a class, I feel the anxiety build. But I push through it, and so far it’s been for the better.

And finally, I spend a lot of time during the day with my Mom. We go out for breakfast or lunch and run errands together. It’s fun. We enjoy each other’s company. She’s a good outlet for my feelings—just as good as any therapist I think. I also spend time interacting with friends on Facebook and Twitter—some of which I know personally, others only on-line—either way they are friends. And you can never have too many friends. I also have a couple of real-life friends I actually visit from time to time. My evenings are generally reserved for my family—when everyone is home.

All of these activities help keep my mind off my troubles. They serve as a distraction to my sadness and anger. I wear a mask of sorts. On the outside, I’m doing well. I’m up, dressed, out of the house and interacting with the world. On the inside, I’m suffering. Anniversaries heighten feelings. They have a way of making the wounds so fresh. I sincerely hope that someday this pain will dissipate. I suppose “they” may be right. Perhaps it will only take time. I hope I have enough.

From panxiety to hypomania

Yes, after two days in paranoid anxiety living HELL…Today I find myself irritable yet my mind is racing with thoughts and in spite of the Focalin…I can’t seem to grab one idea and make sense out of it.
This is hypomania of the brain. Not the good kind where your body won’t sit still and you accomplish stuff.
NOOO, this is the hamster wheel hypomania where your hamsters in your head all climb on the wheel at once and trample each other, trying to make it spin, pushing each other aside, getting the wheel going,stopping, more trampling.
In my own head.
I have all these good ideas for posts that would actually be “good” and by that, I mean, make sense of the topic of mental health as opposed to me prattling on displaying how messed up I am.
But the ping pong balls are flying in my skull and the hamsters are trampling and it’s not looking good.

As I am entering pms week, I am wondering if all the anxiety and irritability are tied to hormones and amplifying it all.
That people can’t put together hormonal imbalance with brain chemical imbalance and think, wow, that’d definitely put you off kilter…makes me want to eat their souls.
Ha, I’d starve. They don’t have souls.
Am I being judgey again? I give what I get, lame as it sounds. I should grow up. I’ll put that on my bucket list.

Or is that the “fuck it” list?

It’s so frustrating to be filled with so many ideas and not be able to get them out. I’ve got two drafts on the same post I’ve been wanting to write for days, a “good” one, and I reread them and they are so scattered and it’s like, god, get to the point, you dumb bitch.
Finding the point when your brain is so much a crowded a freeway is easier said than done.

On the plus side of hypomania, my dad called and I didn’t blow him off or give him the “uh huh…Yep…Okay…” Ya know, where you make appropriate sounds but aren’t hearing a bleeding thing.
Have I recovered from the panxiety attacks? Am I rested up for the people overload of last week?
Or more likely, I just took my Prozac and the instant boost is giving me that false period of “I feel better” when in actuality, my chemicals aren’t leveled out.
I want to believe the pseudo happy thing.
I know I have to face reality.
Reality is not my favorite.

Clown shoes.

I doubt my energy will remain chaotic for long. My kid came out of the gate swinging, screaming at me because I wouldn’t let her use the good hair brush on her doll. She actually began whacking herself in the face with the doll, I made her so mad by saying “no.” Then I asked her to put her dirty clothes in the laundry and she screamed YOU WANT ME TO DO ALL YOUR WORK FOR YOU.
Oh and the Sunday morning pre bible school, “Mommy, you are sin” speech.
I’ve been up two hours, with uzi child hammering at my brain it feels like ten.
I swear there is something off in her brain chemistry, the way she swings from loving to angry to sad. It seems so familiar.
And yet she’s not yet six so I can’t go transferring my issues onto her. She could just be a moody kid. Or maybe I am toxic. Or…
I think my biggest fear is there being an actual problem and chalking it up to “normal childhood” like my parents did to me. If my kid needs help, I’ll move heaven and earth to see she gets it. God knows no one ever helped me.
At the same time, I don’t want to label her simply because I have a label.
Parenting is confusing.
I just don’t want her to end up on Deadly Women as the first eight year old to murder her mother.
I need to stop watching that show.

Today is the day.
While she goes and learns about more negative biblical terms to call me, I am going to force myself into a shower. That I have to force myself into the shower is sad beyond words. It’s such a normal thing. Why is it so hard for me?
Oh, right. Depression.

I see the shrink tomorrow. I’m glad they called to remind me, even if it gave me the whole weekend to anticipate and panic over it.
I’m not sure what to say to him.
The Focalin worked for the first two weeks and I’m still clearer but not quite there yet?
The depression isn’t letting up, what can we do about that since you don’t want to up the prozac?
I’ve gotten to the point of fear of a “uncooperative” mark in my file for not bowing down to the doctors that I’m afraid to be honest.
And of course, if I admit I had one good day out 30, well, obviously I am cured.
Feck. Fuck. Clown shoes.

I wanna ride a pegacorn off into the sunset.
I mean, INTO the sun.
No, wait, I want to ride it to Vegas and go on those rides on top of the Stratosphere tower.

I don’t know what I want, my brain won’t make up its mind.
Another day in paradise.

Then we start another week. My kid has a school carnival Thursday. Unfamiliar place, full of loud children and stuck up parents. UGHHHHHHHHHH.
I should view it as fun. And I am going to take her even if I throw up the whole time and have to come home and call R to bring me a bottle of liquor so I can calm down.
But her fun is my misery.
My fun is my misery.

I should just draft this. Stop posting stupid random spewage.
That too is on the bucket list.
Feck it.
(R got me on Mrs Brown’s boys and now I’m talking like a foreigner, geesh.)

April is the Arsiest Month

Waving? Drowning?

Waving? Drowning? Who the hell knows?

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land …”

– TS Eliot, “The Waste Land”

Warning: bad language, questionable photographic skills, and self pity.

I’m home, on a week’s leave. Because I didn’t want unpaid, or to go off sick. Those were my options.

*Sigh*, as Charlie Brown would say.

What is it with April? I just can’t seem to get the hang of it.

2015-01-18 13.59.21

Cusworth Park, January 2015. I *get* January.

April is when people close to me – Mosu; my father-in-law; Mom – die. Plus people I wasn’t so close to, like my cousin, whose sudden death at 50-something, a fortnight or so after Dad’s, shook me.

One 1st April – although American, I do understand simple irony – I went off sick. And, for the first time, actually took it easy, rather than driving myself even further down. A bit of a mixed memory, that.

It’s also the month when, last year, I injured my knee after tripping over my own goddamn shoelaces. (Yes, I am aware I’m an idiot, ta very muchly.)

April is also when something happened which ultimately resulted in my going for counselling. That “something” is a big part of why I’m home writing this, rather than at work, or preparing for a shift.

The Spook and Daffodil: sounds like a trendy pub.

The Spook and Daffodil: sounds like a trendy pub.

Today is my first day off. So the inner dialogue is still quite shouty:

“No one wants to know!”
“Shut the fuck up!”
“Who cares? No one sodding cares, that’s who!”

Because when I’m unwell – and I’ve been a lot worse than this – that’s how my conversations with myself often go.

Is this helpful? Is it hell. But neither are people who tell me to “move on”.

Except, of course, maybe they aren’t. Maybe that’s just my particular flavour of bipolar-coloured paranoia.

“Oh, hell…” I can hear my mother say.


Mom didn’t teach me to swear. The passage of time, and shite happening, did.

Wild violets against an old brick wall.

Wild violets against an old brick wall.

don’t think, link

Bless me bloggers for I have linked; it has been 11 days since my last linkdump … blahblahfuckthepopeblah en so aan und so weiter etc. And today’s soundtrack is all Krizz Kaliko, who is bipolar; there’s an interview somewhere down there too. I’ve spammed you guys with his song about bipolar a lot, frequently, often – but now you’re getting spammed harder. I looove this guy. Before we get all neurobiological and philosophical, and by way of introduction …

Mental Illness NOS

Digital Dog Research, under the auspices of the Black Dog Institute, which does R&D relating to mental illness and suicide prevention. Although a fair bit of it is specifically for use by Australians, it’s well worth a look wherever you are.

Thanks to RoughGhosts for this fascinating one … Madness and Meaning (Paris Review) Depictions of insanity throughout history. “Modern psychiatry seems determined to rob madness of its meanings, insisting that its depredations can be reduced to biology and nothing but biology. One must doubt it. The social and cultural dimensions of mental disorders, so indispensable a part of the story of madness and civilization over the centuries, are unlikely to melt away, or to prove no more than an epiphenomenal feature of so universal a feature of human existence. Madness indeed has its meanings, elusive and evanescent as our attempts to capture them have been.”


For those who have dwelt in depression’s dark wood…their return from the abyss is not unlike the ascent of the poet, trudging upward and upward out of hell’s black depths and at last emerging into what he saw as “the shining world.”

—William Styron, Darkness Visible

‘My life feels bleak, but should I dig up a painful past with counselling?’ – answered by an agony aunt called Virginia and some of her readers.
Depression affects children too.
Australia: When your bloke needs to ask for help“Admitting you need help is not weak, it’s brave. Far too many people suffer in silence and it’s time everybody stood up and helped each other.”
Facebook can both improve and worsen symptoms.


BipolArt & so forth

Film: The Chest is a dramatic short about three dysfunctional siblings battling over their father’s possessions after his death. Elias plays Oliver, whose manic depression is worsened by his egotistical brother’s taunts.
Theatre: Next to Normal – Chicago: Elgin Summer Theatre Auditions – May 18-20, 2015
Music: Mary Lambert and a New Generation of Musicians – erasing the stigma of mental illness.
Music: Passion Pit’s Michael Angelak “I was really pretty lost.”
Memoir: See Saw by Yasaman ZadehIt imparts a simple, yet profound, message regarding bipolar disorder: bipolar disorder is real and painful, but there is a way to live with it and control it so that it does not overtake your life.
Textbook: Aysegul Yildiz and Pedro Ruiz, “The Bipolar Book: History, Neurobiology, and Treatment”

lrg_p19jojgulvsehc6m1umhl9e15du91429976187Bipolar NOS
USA: Katie’s Story“Her cellphone was making odd noises and her radio was talking to her, addressing her by a whispered name. A high-pitched sound sometimes pierced her right ear. She heard Italian music and voices in her head. After dreaming her mother was about to die, she rushed to warn her. In another dream, a voice told her she was Jesus.” Part 1 of 3.
USA: Weld County couple rides the bipolar roller coaster
“Rebecca remembers lying in bed, crying and saying “please” over and over again while in the throws of the depressive phase of her bipolar disorder.”
Throws. Not throes?
South Africa: How I learned to love life with bipolar disorder
“My confession is this: I have bipolar. Two and a half years ago, at the age of 29, I was hospitalised while in the throes of what is known as a manic episode. It was my first, and will hopefully be my last.”
Throes. Lekker my bru.
Micronesia: Mindful Musings – coping with bipolar disorder.
“I am a normally fast talker but in this current state I can talk so fast it’ll make your head spin and spin, you’ll think your head might actually spin right off your neck.”
USA Call Me Crazy – Quaker Valley grad has unusual approach to bipolar disorder awareness.
UK Bipolar Disorder – a young person a story.
Australia Bipolar bears less of a stigma for Peter (I wonder how he rates polar bears).
Canada: Death spurs mental health project (Saskatoon)
USA: Living hippie, oops I mean healthy with bipolar disorder – actually it’s a sensible bit of writing, I just couldn’t (and by that I mean didn’t want to) resist the cheap jokes. Cuz cheap is how I feel. Um. That’s not true either, the song title just crawled unbidden from the memory palace.


d12377b9fda8db0768d0fc3395cd59c0Everything is (still) Bipolar
Self Care Warfare – stop saying that about the weather.
Bank of Canada Governor Poloz – is downright bipolar.
Alex Olson Pro Spotlight“Since Jay Adams officially set the mold, skateboarders have been a flock of bipolar misfits. They have been the weird kids, the fuck-ups, the awkward …”
Illustrator Maira Kalman on democracy and happiness.
Statoil doesn’t want to be bipolar. (I don’t want to be bopolar either.)
Why a Bipolar World Seems Inevitable (They mean the USA vs China.)
Most Bipolar ft Polaris (house/emd).

What the actual fuck?
Nigeria: Ada’s gang-rape hoax : A case of bipolar disorder? This one is wrong on so many levels, it’s tough to know where to start. The supportive paragraphs at the end really don’t compensate for all the shit spewed before them. Kill it with fire.
USA: Another family tells the police that their suspect is bipolar, only for the police to shoot him anyway. And then the cop doesn’t get indicted. This seems to happen seriously frequently in the land of the free. The UK chucks their loonies out on to the streets, America shoots ’em. You first worlders will reach the ‘uncivilised’ levels of my own country if things keep going the way they are. I’m not having a go at you, I’m dissing your last 50 years worth of governments.

Apocalypse 2:Humanity: 0

Roll credits … and here’s a song for us all.

Why Do So Many Women Have Anxiety Disorders? A Hormone Hypothesis (NPR.com)

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Hmmm, why do so many women suffer from anxiety? Is there a hormone connection? This researcher found that when women were in a menstrual phase in which their estrogen levels were high, their “fear extinction capacity” was much better, in other words “they were able to control their fear, or express much less fear, compared to the women that came in in the early phase of their cycle… when they had low estrogen.”

Since men have very low estrogen levels, why aren’t they really anxious? Because testosterone is converted to estrogen in the brains of mean by am enzyme!

Gosh, I have Premarin sitting in my cabinet, my psychiatrist prescribed it saying that low estrogen levels cause anxiety. I have not taken a single pill because the last time I used a hormone replacement therapy patch, it actually gave me panic attacks :-( But the hormone replacement patch has progesterone and other components in it. Therefore the panic attacks may have been from the combination or from one of the other hormones.

Hormones are one of the fundamental substances in human development. Most importantly they are involved in the development of secondary sexual characteristics such as genitals, and body development. They are also involved in the development of the male and female reproductive systems. They are surely involved in trans gender individuals’ development. Therefore, they are of primal importance.

As in seen in PMS, PMDD, postpartum depression and mood and anxiety level changes after menopause, hormones are intimately associated with mood.

Sex hormones affect mood. Thyroid hormones affect mood. Mood disorders affect moods. Neurotransmitters affect moods and are affected by mood disorders as well. Complicated? Ummm Yes! Women, are we Effed? Umm yes!

Maybe I’ll try the Premarin one of these days. Just don’t want anything bad to happen, moodwise…