Daily Archives: June 11, 2015

Who Likes Being Alone

I’m a guy that doesn’t really like to be taken care of. It is kinda odd because I love attention. I love to be the center of attention at a party. I love to be asked questions. I love for people to come to me for advice. I love to hear that my name was […]

Who Likes Being Alone

I’m a guy that doesn’t really like to be taken care of. It is kinda odd because I love attention....

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Healthy Again

So my middle child is back up to speed and gone to Vacation Bible School this morning with her little sister.  THe middle one helps with snacks for all the kids that go.  So she will be busy this morning and she’s getting together with friends this afternoon for games at the coffeeshop.  She missed out on a date with the boyfriend, so I’m sure they’ll reschedule that soon.  We have tutoring and dance this afternoon for the little one as well so life is returning to its normal busy self.

I feel a lot better than I did at the first of the week–the leaden feeling is gone and I’m ready to go with a list of reading to start on for my classes this fall.  Found some of the required books through the local library, so that was nice.  The others I’m going to have to order and buy later this summer when I’m down with my surgery and have time to read.  :)  Twelve books total, some novels, some poetry collections, and some essay collections.  I’ll probably donate them back to the local library when I’m finished with them unless there’s some I really like; those I’ll keep.

Sent off my next guest post for “Defying Shadows” http://www.defyingshadows.wordpress.com on applying for disability in America..  Talked about my experience applying myself and about how Social Security goes about evaluating a mental illness claim.  So we will see when that gets posted.  Hopefully they like it and will take more from me as well.

Hope everyone has a good rest of the week!

Why Patients Stop Taking Psychiatric Medication

I have this twinge every time I watch something involving mental illness and the entire plot line revolves around, “Oh, she went off her meds, she didn’t think she needed them anymore.”

I have had times where I HOPED I didn’t need them anymore. Couldn’t AFFORD them anymore. Couldn’t take them due to surgery or pregnancy. A few times I’ve gotten so confused by side effects I phase off them for a week or so, then reintroduce them gradually to get an idea of what causes what.
Never once have I thought I was cured and didn’t need them anymore.

It’s not for lack of people trying to convince me otherwise. I am surrounded by so many people who think mental illness is imaginary, they nag me incessantly about “popping happy pills.” In light of that kind of stigma and pressure to “snap out of it”, I should be the first to abandon the medication ship. But I am not. I’ve done it too many times, often simply due to lack of money, and all those professionals who told me how I HAD to be medicated…Didn’t give a damn because insurance was gone and I had no money. When the doctors do their surveys, do they even ask how often that happens? Probably not, even as they write scripts for Latuda-esque toxins that cost nearly thirty bucks a pill.

Nor do they care that you have so many side effects you’ve forgotten if that pain in your side was there before Medication X or if something is very wrong. That’s not an excuse for going off meds, that’s a cry for help to determine if something is killing you and being masked by these meds.

But, nope. People just stop psychiatric meds because we’re delusional enough to think we’re cured. Even when it’s the world around us who dictates that we should be cured, most of us who have suffered long term know it’s unlikely we will ever be anything but a work in progress to be maintained. Trial and error, the perfect cocktail elusive and something we always pursue.

Then some meds, especially the anti psychotics, fuck calling them atypicals for bipolar, cause such heinous side effects people go off them just to FEEL something. Because crying, raging, stabbing things, busting shit- after so long being in emotional Novacaine, it’s nice to feel something. Rather than be treated with compassion and worked with to find the medication that works with the fewest hindering side effects…People are castigated as irresponsible and dangerous.

Being bipolar two, outside the manic rages (which rarely happen since finding mood stabilizers) the only person I am a danger to without meds is myself. Without meds, I may experience some mania, but following is such a long crippling depression, I can’t even plan suicide. Just saying. The notion that bipolar and violence are exclusive so we should be forcefed pills as some sort of public service pisses me off. And it’s the same with schizophrenia, where most patients truly are not violent. If anything, they retreat inside themselves a lot of the time. Can unmedicated patients be violent? Yes.

I don’t think people with psychiatric disorders are any more violent than people without them. Maybe we are less so. Depression doesn’t render one full of energy and the foresight to plot an elaborate spree of violence. On the upside of a manic episode, a bipolar person might lure you into bed, steal your credit cards for shopping sprees, or raid your liquor cabinet..Very rarely, outside psychotic diagnoses, does it turn violent.

Mental illness is an inexact science and it is treated like a ball of toxic waste, no one wants to touch it, be near it, lest it infect them.With this fear comes an unwillingness to educate and learn. “He’s off his meds again, better run for the hills.” “She’s acting goofy, she must have gone off the meds.”

So the next time someone tells you to “take your happy pills, you’re grouchy”…Remind them that smiley happy person across the room is more likely to bash their skull in than you are, even without your pills.

And do NOT go off your meds because scumbag brain tries to convince you that you are cured. If you’ve suffered more than sporadically or a few months…chances are, there’s no cure. But hey, there’s no cure for lots of stuff. Doesn’t make it hopeless.

Now, stupid people…That’s hopeless.

I’m gonna get the soup ladel out and take my morning dose of pills now.



I have to write about stigma, I hear this word often in conjunction with mental illness, any kind of mental illness. People are afraid of stigma, so they won’t get treatment, they won’t take medication, they won’t see a therapist, they won’t disclose that they have a mental illness to their boss, they won’t tell anyone because people will call them crazy, people will be afraid of them. Yes, this is all the case. But why does stigma exist? Why are people called crazy? Why are others afraid of them? Why won’t they disclose that they have a mental illness? Well, when we are ill, in a severe phase of a mental illness, when we are out of touch with reality, we are indeed “crazy”. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I know that I have thought that a witch with black magic powers was trying to literally destroy my heart, and this witch lived in Eastern Europe. Yes I really did think that in the midst of a severe, full blown manic phase. I would now consider this sort of crazy… ummm…sorry but I would. So there’s that stigma, sort of correctly placed on the severely mentally ill. Also why do people fear us? Well, we are capable of doing some truly awful things in the throes of mental illness, see Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook. Of course most mentally ill people do not commit any crimes and are not violent, and most crimes and violence is committed by “normal” people, that being said, people are still not sure what to expect of people with mental illness, and uncertainty can be frightening. So there it is, the reasons for stigma.

So how do we combat stigma? We get treatment from a psychiatrist and psychologist. We take our medication, faithfully. We do all the things we know keep us in the healthy zone like exercise, yoga, meditation. We stay normal. We don’t visit the crazy place, we don’t go there, we stay away from it. And then if we tell people we have bipolar d/o or depression, or anxiety, they see that we are “normal” and they have nothing to fear from us, or be uncomfortable about. And voila! The end of stigma, at least the beginning of the end.

Study links brain inflammation triggered by chronic pain to anxiety and depression

Brain inflammation caused by chronic nerve pain alters activity in regions that regulate mood and motivation, suggesting for the first time that a direct biophysical link exists between long-term pain and the depression, anxiety and substance abuse seen in more than half of these patients, University of California (UC), Irvine and UCLA researchers report.

This breakthrough finding also points to new approaches for treating chronic pain, which is second only to bipolar disorder among illness-related causes of suicide. About a quarter of Americans suffer from chronic pain, making it the most common form of enduring illness for those under the age of 60. The Institute of Medicine estimates that this costs our society more than $635 billion per year.

In work with rodents, Catherine Cahill, associate professor of anesthesiology & perioperative care at UCI, Christopher Evans of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, and colleagues discovered that pain-derived brain inflammation causes the accelerated growth and activation of immune cells called microglia. These cells trigger chemical signals within neurons that restrict the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.

The study also reveals why opioid drugs such as morphine can be ineffective against chronic pain. Morphine and its derivatives normally stimulate the release of dopamine. But in research on mice and rats in chronic pain, Cahill and her colleagues learned that these drugs failed to stimulate a dopamine response, resulting in impaired reward-motivated behavior.

Treating these animals in chronic pain with a drug that inhibits microglial activation restored dopamine release and reward-motivated behavior, Cahill said.

‘For over 20 years, scientists have been trying to unlock the mechanisms at work that connect opioid use, pain relief, depression and addiction,’ she added. ‘Our findings represent a paradigm shift which has broad implications that are not restricted to the problem of pain and may translate to other disorders.’

The results of the five-year study appear online in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Next, Cahill and her team aim to establish that pain-derived changes in human brain circuitry can account for mood disorders. “We have a drug compound that has the potential to normalize reward-like behavior,” she said, “and subsequent clinical research could then employ imaging studies to identify how the same disruption in reward circuitry found in rodents occurs in chronic pain patients.”


Missing link found between brain, immune system — with major disease implications –

Brain lymph network

Until now, no one knew that lymphatic vessels existed in the brain. That is why the announcement from the University of Virginia School of Medicine is stunning! People in Professor Kipris’ lab have found that there are indeed lymphatic vessels. This is the missing link between the brain and the immune system. This means that the brain is connected directly to the immune system. The true significance of this discovery lies in the effect it will have on the treatment of neurological diseases. In the article below, they only talk about neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and autism. I would add mental illness to those illnesses above. After all mental illness is also a neurological disease. There are many immune symptoms associated with mental illness. People who have mental illness also, many times, have auto immune diseases like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. There is some sort of an immune component in mental illness. The finding of these lymph vessels directly in the brain may shed light on not only neurological illnesses, but mental illnesses as well. Amazing that it took this long to discover such an important discovery as the brain has lymph vessels.

The brain actually has it’s own immune cells, the microglia, which are the resident macrophages of the brain (they clean up cellular debris if there is a brain injury or illness) and astrorocytes which secrete neutrotrophic factors after a brain injury to help neurons grow and recover and survive.

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs made up of lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymph that drain lymph fluid (a fluid containing white blood cells, water, proteins, salts and lipids) from all over the body. This fluid is then returned to the bloodstream.

Until this article came out, no one knew lymph vessels existed in the brain. Now that we know they do, it can be studied as to how they work and exactly what their function is. It can also be studied whether they are involved in diseases such as Alzheimer’s. A very exciting time, the beginning. It always is :-)


Stop, drop, and roll won’t work in hell

I am NOT a big fan of the church whiteboard signs, especially the one that declares DNA some sort of blasphemy for God is the father of every human…But the “stop drop and roll won’t work in hell” one…Ok, that made me laugh a little. Thing is, my hell is on Earth and the flames scorch during summer months. Hard to believe in a merciful deity when your innards are boiling.

It hit 94 today. No air conditioning. My skin is MEEELLTING. My pancreas is even sweating. Normally  by this time it’s cooled off enough for me to need a blanket or sleeves. One, two, summer’s coming for you…Still a week or so off…Jebus. But after tomorrow we’re allegedly looking at a week of nothing higher than upper 80’s so that’s a good thing. (If you thought the whole “how’s the weather” thing was a stereotype for the midwest…It’s really a thing, we discuss summer more than winter here.)

Only thing I did today was run to Aldi for a frozen bake at home pizza. I had a craving and they are only $4.99. What the hell, ya know. For awhile, I was doing okay with no air, little humid and sweaty but not miserable…the higher the humidity climbs the worse it gets. And I’ve proven this to myself because there were lots of 90 degree days when I visited California but the humidity was low so it didn’t feel that hot. Here…It feels twenty degrees warmer in summer and ten degrees colder in summer. What the actual fuck.

My kid tested me again today, though I am not sure if she was more irritating or if the heat just made me more irritable. I bought her blueberries after she begged and groveled cos the school gave them to the kids…Then she screamed bloody murder because they weren’t like the ones the school gave her…I was the best mom ever. I was the meanest stupidest mom ever who ruins everything. Her friends kept punching her in the stomach, yet I confronted them about it, they denied it, and my own kid called me a liar. THIS is why summer sucks for me even if winter brings the worst depressions. Think I handle the depressions with more grace than the anxiety. I had one brief moment today when my anger just boiled over and I felt my face turning beet red and it would have been so easy to just LOSE it.

I didn’t. It passed. But in that moment…It was almost like demonic possession, I just felt so…outside myself. It sounds insane but it’s the truth.

R has beckoned me for tomorrow. I made sure to line up a sitter before I even responded, lest he have a tantrum. He is, of course, sending texts about “hope your mood is better now” which makes me want to bash his skull in with a shovel. But in my true coping style, I replied, “I promise to leave the stabby objects at home.”

Idget. But truthfully, I need a break from my kid and if I can at least get a pack of smokes or a bag of cat food out of it…I’m game. The shop has AC. (Is my spoiled brat side showing????)

Earlier I had it in my head that I was going to force myself to WRITE. Turn on  music, open Abiword, and force myself to write even if it was fucking drivel. Anything to make me feel alive, even if it was with self disgust. Now…I have to go sleep to reserve all my strength for the dish. People are my kryptonite, they suck the life out of me so I can’t even enjoy that which I love. It may seem like some lame excuse but it’s not. I can’t juggle. I cannot adapt to perform the smiley face act in the dish AND dissolve into my fictional happy world. Multi tasking when the dish is involved is not my thing. Give me a computer, I can watch a show, listen to music, play a game, send instant messages, check email and write a story, all simultaneously. Throw in the petri dish…It flies apart and shrapnel embeds in flesh. It is what it is.

Bedtime. Which means sweat, tossing, turning, mind racing, and terrified to take another Xanax lest it render me to comatose come morning. Anyone who thinks this is the good life is a moron. Stop, drop, and roll doesn’t work with mental illness anymore than it works in hell.

devil choke unicorn