just another bipolar linkdump

Read ’em before they pass their sell-by date and get booted from linkdump to rubbish dump.

Seatbelts fastened? Smokes extinguished? Taken your damn meds? Right, we’re kicking off with a look at how much of the world struggles to access help. Lack of resources and stigma affect the first world too, but not like this. And it’s first up, because it’s a passion of mine, and because I try to remind myself as often as possible, just how very fortunate I am. You guys know I’ll beat you up with a haddock if you roll your eyes and mention ‘primitive people’ or the like, right?

“… any sign of deviating from the expected and usual, emotionally and behaviourally, is viewed with a sense of horror. And so the condition festers unheeded till it spirals out of control as in the case of 44-year-old Partha De from Kolkata, who was discovered to be living with the skeletons of his sister and the family’s two pet dogs.”
* 70 mn: Approximate number of people suffering from mental illnesses in India
* 3000: Number of psychiatrists in India
* 11500: Estimated requirement of psychiatrists
* 500: Number of clinical psychologists in India
* 17250: Estimated requirement of clinical psychologists
* 400: Number of psychiatric social workers
* 23000: Estimated requirement of psychiatric social workers
Voices in their heads: How India deals with mental disorders


“The mother sits in her room past midnight, after an exhausted Sofia thankfully consumes a sleeping pill dissolved in a glass of milk without any fuss. Her eldest child’s behaviour was increasingly becoming intolerable and abnormal. She racked her brain as to what mistakes she had made raising Sofia and when this anguish would end. She was trying so hard, praying day and night, getting all sorts of amulets and visiting shrine after shrine in hope for respite, but this was of no avail.”
How Sofia, Ahmed and Aliya are silently suffering in Pakistan

“Singh lay in hospital. In his early fifties, he was a merchant with a small business that his sons were handling now. He had suffered bouts of depression in the past, which would typically last several weeks. Then he would find himself thrown to the other extreme where he would be very energetic and engulf himself in hectic activity. He would sleep less, talk more and seem overly enthusiastic about situations, both at home and work.”
India: Managing manic depression


The title of the next one would make an excellent epitaph for me.

“A manic-depressive, whose highs are really high, and the lows were very low. Not bitchy or gossipy like other women. That is why I came to “love-like” her. And the feeling was mutual.”
Uganda: Despite All the Drama, She Was a Good Soul

You’re going to wonder who the Man from Ombokolo is; he’s a Ugandan comedian. None of this is comprehensive, they’re just current items, but here’s one from the first world.

“For us, a typical day would be spent bickering with support staff in the morning over petty, ever-changing rules, followed by group therapy, doing strange artwork-cum-trust exercises with the occupational therapist and watching telly.”
UK: I came out of a teenage mental health unit worse than when I went in


I loved the title of the next one, but the content… not so much (even though safety measures are in place).

“By wearing a virtual reality headset patients can be placed in virtual environments that have the potential to cause them stress, anxiety or paranoia. The technology allows for the patient to be put in a space which may act as a trigger, like public transportation or confined and crowded spaces, but in a controlled environment.”
Virtual reality used to treat schizophrenia, psychosis and bipolar // Video: Treating Bipolar Disorder With Virtual Reality


By your friend and mine, and a South African too – Yvette! Bipolar Disorder – 5 ways to get your life on track

And some other advice. I like advice from people with bipolar, I do. I don’t always take it though.

9 Ways to Keep Bipolar Disorder Under Control You Should Know
An Insider’s Tips: How NOT To Treat Bipolar Disorder: Four Things You Should Never Do With a Bipolar Person
How to save your own life – parts one and two of an ongoing series.

You guys know me and you know I approve of labels when they’re self identified and owned, so I found this post extremely interesting…


“Specific illnesses, like bipolar disorder, have been recognized in patients for hundreds of years. They needed a way of recording that the same illnesses was being seen in different people.
Doctors need a way of speaking to each other, speaking to you and disseminating information.
Without that pesky “label” we wouldn’t know what to research or what treatments would work on that “symptom cluster.”
And, yes, doctors do have to bill insurance companies for something.
But more than all of that, being “labelled” bipolar can be positive and meaningful to the individual. So many people struggle for so many years with symptoms and have no idea why. Then, suddenly, when they are properly diagnosed, the label “bipolar” is a huge relief because then they know what is wrong and they can finally work to address it.”
Avoiding the Label of “Bipolar” — Label phobia (Natasha Tracy)

And here’s some other news and research.

GENEVA (Reuters) – “Rich and poor countries alike must invest more in mental health care, especially during economic crises when rates of depression and suicide tend to rise, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.” A bipolar self portrait

Maintenance Electroconvulsive Therapy in Severe Bipolar Disorder: A Retrospective Chart
Common Genetic Factors Found in 5 Mental Disorders.
Psychiatric Drug May Slow Progression of Osteoarthritis
Researchers are developing apps to diagnose coughs, sleep apnea, & detect bipolar episodes (Apple iPhone)


I read the following two, largely because I’m alternately amused and irritated by ‘bipolar is linked to this or that intangible thing’ claims. The dialogue goes round and around like a whirlygig and at the end of the proverbial day, what are we gaining? None of it is personally relevant pre-diagnosis and after that, we’re not really benefitting beyond the stigma assault strategy of saying, “sooo, you think you’re better than us? Well fuck that, WE are better than YOU.” Or, when the links are negative, it all turns precautionary, “oh shit, I’m bipolar, I should be careful about whatever it is we’re now linking to.” Well, numbnuts, you should be anyway. Where links are backed up by hard facts, and when they recognise the fact that stats are flawed, then I’m fascinated.

Critics say that a new study linking creativity and mental illness is lacking. Can a link exist without a proper definition for creativity?
New study reveals a fascinating relationship between bipolar disorder and earnings. Opinion //Research paper

Does bipolar boost record sales? Are there any numbers on that? Get me numbers, it’d be interesting to know. PS only one of the songs in this section is (supposedly) about bipolar.

Dallas rapper Mike Caesar wants to fight stigmas about mental health with music.

He’s one of those “praise the lord and smoke kush, motherfucker” kind of R&B rappers. I’m more into the “preys on words and smokes crack, motherfucker”, but he’s not bad nonetheless.

I am old and boring and I hate the next song.

Billboard and U.K. Music Week charting singer-songwriter Liza Fox released the bold new “I Am Not I” music video to depict her ordeal and raise awareness about bipolar disorder.

Metal mama…

Huntress’ Jill Janus Opens Up About Mental Health Issues + Cancer Bout

From the horse’s mouth… (apologies to any offended horses)


“She was actually diagnosed with chronic manic depression. I never knew about this diagnosis because she never told me about it, I only learned that she had it when I was reading her death certificate.” My mother’s suicide

My Personal Relationship with Sleep in Bipolar Disorder
Web developer Benjamin Howarth explains what bipolar disorder is, how it feels, and how to cope with it. #geekmentalhelp

Not new, still cool: Australian interview with Stephen Fry about what manic depression feels like.

Thanks, rg, for this link – prepare to be horrified.

Japan’s disposable workers – worked to the point of suicide.

Is this you?

“Do you suffer from Type II Bipolar Disorder? Boston. If you do and are a woman between the ages of 18 and 45, you may be eligible for a research study at McLean Hospital. The study involves a 2 hour interview and an MRI scan of your brain.  You will be paid up to $200 for participating in the study. If you are interested, contact Dr. Brad Reich through Craig’s List or at 617-855-2935 ”

You probably know this one already: Just Another Lab Rat (resources re volunteering for studies)


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