link floyd (not freud)

Once a week, I saunter around the Internet, casually plucking interesting links about manic depression from the ether. On the whole, they’re fresh as well as freshly plucked, but from time to time I raid the dusty vaults of the past. (The stuff in italics, is me.)

If you only click one link, make it “I don’t believe in god, but I believe in lithium.”

Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015 – Knighted: Prof Pete Downes, who has been the principal and vice-chancellor of Dundee University since 2009, in recognition of his work in higher education and life sciences. Prof Downes is one of the UK’s most distinguished and cited bioscientists, and identified the role of the drug Lithium in treating manic depression. The ancient Greeks reached the same conclusion a little earlier.

I don’t believe in god, but I believe in lithium: my 20 year struggle with bipolar disorder.
When Someone You Care About Is Institutionalised – How do you navigate the legal system/policy and procedures and limitations of the institution?  How do you make it easier for your loved one?  How do you deal with the loss and grief you feel? 
What to do if you suspect someone has bipolar.
Taming my mental illness – Quite a while ago I was told that during spring and summer I would most likely be controlling underlying mania and during winter I would be fighting depression. This is because medication doesn’t work very well for me, my moods are very seasonal and I have the type of bipolar that would make me constantly unwell if I didn’t control it. This is something I still think a lot about.
Ruby Wax: What’s so funny about mental illness?

When Business Is Personal: Julie Jaye Charles rose above lupus and a bipolar disorder to win a lifetime achievement award for her work giving a lifeline to those in need.
A homeless man rides out the storm: I have manic-depression,” he said before Christmas. “I drink me a little booze, and I get happy. Then I get up the next morning, and I face it again.”
Suicide: Ending the Stigma – When Robin Williams died last year, many outlets reported responsibly, but not all of them. Some outlets reported Williams had “committed” suicide, in the same way they’d report someone “committed” an armed robbery or “committed” a murder.
Ahem… If you read the article above, please have a look at further definitions of ‘commit’ as a verb.
Sarah Bredin, mental health advocate. One in 20 of us will have a psychotic experience in our lifetimes, according to the Psychological Society of Ireland – and simple human understanding is what will then best help us to get on with our lives, according to one 35-year-old with bipolar disorder.
Processing Grief, Manic-Depression, and Adolescent Joy (audio)
Healthy 24-Year-Old to Slide Down the Slippery Slope of “Right to Die” Law As an example, take 24-year-old Laura, who is making headlines now because the Belgian authorities have approved her application to be euthanized, even though she is perfectly physically healthy.  Laura, the child of two abusive alcoholics, has struggled most of her life with depression, claiming she has had suicidal impulses since the age of six.  In high school, she used to cut herself.  A few times, she was hospitalized for mental illness. (because mentally ill people never make rational decisions, so if a physically ill person can do something, a mentally ill person probably can’t.)

Do people claim to be fine during episodes of mania or depression? Tl;dr yes.
Manic Depression Gary Bartoloni (fine art) (no it ain’t)
Training for teachers to trace early signs of disorder.
A proactive approach to mental health and wellness.
Bipolar teacher opens up about mental health stigma.
Auto bodyshop owner accused of loaning customer’s cars to friends admits he’s bipolar, not on his meds.
Mother’s anguish over son’s drowning, after he has stopped taking his bipolar medication.
Depression doesn’t discriminate. thanks to rg for this one.

Jennifer Lewis Reveals Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis at ABFF Awards – “That journey I took has given me the permission to help others,” Lewis said. “That what my life is about now, helping others. I help people wherever and whenever I can. Just don’t ask me for no money [laughs]!” uhm. How do you help then? Please don’t tell me it’s OK to be bipolar, I’ve had enough of that lie.
Amanda Bynes was spotted out for the first time in months after dining with friends at West Hollywood restaurant Craig’s on Wednesday. If the media didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.
Ernest Hemingway, his depression and suicide,

Why YA fiction needs to tell stories of mental illness. Books for younger readers that include painful subjects like OCD, bipolar disorder and depression may be painful, but they are also essential. I have several to read and review, but lack the focus right now.
Book review – Autistic Blessings and Bipolar me by Emma Plows. This book is a raw, honest and bare bones account of the daily realities of living as a woman with bipolar disorder, while raising two young boys with autism, as well as running the family home and caring for a much loved father-in-law who has a terminal illness.
DON’T GO HUNGRY: ‘TRUE DETECTIVE’ DEBUTS PREDICTABLY WITH MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS What made Rust Cohle pop off the page was the juxtaposition of his introverted idiosyncrasies with Hart’s manic depression.
The Bipolar Thomas Keller Chicken + Herbed Tabbouleh a recipe for roast chicken. Listed purely for the title’s amusement value.
Denice Turner’s “Worthy” (book review) The premise of Denice Turner’s new memoir Worthy is about being raised in a Mormon household in suburban Utah, trying to find her place in the Church. But it’s also about Turner’s struggle to win the love and acceptance of her mother: a woman whose severe bipolar disorder was repeatedly misdiagnosed throughout her lifetime
Looking back: life as a bipolar composer/musician. (Martin Kolbe, Zurich) Photos and text. Starts with Musical Career and then goes into… Psychiatric Career (I lolled).
Tasha Smith Makes Directorial Debut with ‘Boxed In’ This gripping story of a mother dealing with her son’s bipolar disease and all the elements that come with it, inclusive of his girlfriend’s ability to “hang in there,” sheds light on the reality of this oft “swept under the rug” subject in the African American community.
Through The Lens Of Mental Illness: ‘Hellblade’ Video Game Shows What It’s Like To Suffer From Psychosis. I posted about this in the last linkdump, this one gives a bit more detail.

Another issue raised by Hamsun’s support for the Nazis is his mental health. An author is never identical to his narrator, but a close reading of Hamsun’s “Mysteries” (1892) suggests that Hamsun was familiar with the tendencies of both schizophrenia and manic-depression. He also had enough self-awareness and self-criticism to question these tendencies and to portray them in literary terms.
“Stop Glorifying Sorrow and Start Lending a Helping Hand to Those That Need It the Most” (Sorority Noise) In 2012, I saw a therapist for the first time. After fighting demons that expressed themselves in the many forms, from suicidal thoughts to bottomless depression to pills, I found it was time to seek help. In 2012 I was diagnosed with manic depression. It took this moment in my life to realize that the thoughts that weighed me down since I was 14 weren’t just there because I induced them, they were there because of a mental illness I had finally discovered. This knowledge both terrified me and comforted me at the same time because it made me realize that what I was feeling would be with me the rest of my life but in that it provided a reason for me to find a way to make sense of it all.

When a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is anything but – “It’s an archetype, I realized, that taps into a particular male fantasy: of being saved from depression and ennui by a fantasy woman who sweeps in like a glittery breeze to save you from yourself, then disappears once her work is done.” you can call me the depressed realist troll dyke.
The idea of clowns and comedy shadowed by mortal fears goes back way beyond that, of course, but reached a different pitch with Grimaldi, Stott suggests. “What made Grimaldi himself so fascinating though was that he did always actually seem close to death. He was constantly on the verge of breaking his neck on stage. He performed as a child with his incredibly morbid father, and suffered manic depression throughout his life. His son, also a clown, was an alcoholic and a very destructive character.
The Gods of Morning for Melrose – Looking back he was obviously bipolar – then it would have been termed manic depression. (refers to author Gavin Maxwell)
Nico Muhly takes onAlan Turing: (film) ‘No one wants a gay martyr oratorio’ Having had a manic depressive episode more than a decade ago, the composer was prescribed a cocktail of drugs which he continued to take for what he describes as “10 medically unexamined years”. I can haz gay martyr oratorio?

Spotlight on…
Spike reading his poems about depression. Listen/download.



BOOK REVIEW / In sooth we know not why he’s sad: ‘Depression and how to Survive it’ – Spike Milligan and Anthony Claremont (1993)
Spike Milligan the (serious) poet read/listen.
Poesie Brut series: Spike Milligan Poet
Video: (watch/download) Spike Milligan speaks frankly about his experience of depression and its impact on his life. His brother Desmond and his daughter Jane reflect on the use of medication to treat mental illness. Milligan explains the relationship between his writing and depression, describing his writing as something that he had to do and which tempered some of his emotional turbulence. He reads from his poem Hope, written about suicide.

BBC – a history of the madhouse (full documentary)

Study: Drug combination offers hope for bipolar depression.
(Bio)marking Mental Illness A study by the department of psychiatry at UC San Diego has found a biomarker in women with bipolar disorder or major depression that could potentially lead to early detection and treatment.
Discontinue Antidepressants in Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder – “Any history of rapid cycling or antidepressant-induced mania is a very good predictor of doing poorly with long-term antidepressant treatment,” Dr El-Mallakh told Medscape Medical News. “This population should be given nonantidepressant alternatives when they are depressed, or the antidepressants should be discontinued as soon as symptoms normalize.”
Key Redfield James on – download videos of various talks.
A common genetic basis for creativity and psychosis? Though the link between creative genius and mental illness is often accepted as conventional wisdom, a new study presents evidence that the association has a genetic basis.
6 psychiatry updates to know. Transcript and video.
‘Bipolar Disorder’ in other languages.
‘Manic Depression’ in other languages.
The Body and Mind Connection: The Latest Evidence Dr McIntyre began by noting that from 1999 to 2009, mortality in bipolar illness and depression increased rather than decreased. Cognitive impairment may be an important barrier to health outcomes in mood illnesses.
Bipolar disorder during the menopausal transition and its endocrinilogical changes
Ingenuity Health Study Reveals Potential Non-Adherence to Antipsychotic Medications Differs Based on Diagnosis
An exploratory randomised controlled trial of a web-based integrated bipolar parenting intervention (IBPI) for bipolar parents of young children (aged 3–10)
‘Hospital psychosis,’ depression after surgery common.


Another spotlight…
Melancholic depression: this is far from being a new concept, but it interests me. It’s an extreme level of depression and I definitely experience it. Also, I chortled at the term ‘functional melancholia’.

Symptoms of Melancholic Depression
Anhedonia (distinct loss of pleasure in usual interests and activities)
Non-reactive mood
Mood and energy worse in the morning (Usually worse in the mornings: Signs tend to fluctuate during the course of the day. This is best observed first hand by the general practitioner. Family and friends may report change in behaviour, but not be aware of the significance of this feature).
Profound and uncharacteristic inanition – ‘emptiness and inactivity’ (eg. unable to ‘fire-up’ and get out of bed and have a shower).
Observable psychomotor disturbance is a very important and specific diagnostic feature of melancholic depression. It includes cognitive processing problems (poor concentration, inattention) and motor signs: retardation and agitation affecting the face, speech and body mechanisms and age of onset. source

Bipolar Disorder or Depression with Melancholic Features.
The specifier “with melancholic features” is generally applied when, during the most severe stage of the depressive episode, there is a near-complete absence of the capacity for pleasure. A general lack of reactivity to positive stimuli is also common. A guideline for evaluating the lack of reactivity of mood is that even highly desired events are not associated with notable positive change to mood. Either mood does not brighten at all, or it brightens only partially (e.g., up to 20%–40% of normal and for only minutes at a time).
The melancholic features must be qualitatively different from those that occur during a nonmelancholic depressive state. In other words, a sustained depressed mood that is described as merely more severe, longer lasting, or present without a reason is not considered to be of melancholic quality. Changes in the rate and energy level with which the person moves or talks are nearly always present and are observable by others.
Melancholic features exhibit only a modest tendency to repeat across episodes in the same individual. They are more frequent in inpatients, as opposed to outpatients; are less likely to occur in milder than in more severe major depressive episodes; and are more likely to occur in those with psychotic features. source


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