Daily Archives: July 23, 2015

Mental Illness-Spin Class Without The Benefits

Yep, bipolar is a lot like being on a stationary bike, pedaling as fast as you can, only to get absolutely nowhere. Spin class, no health benefits. Round and round you go, muscles cramping, panting, wanting desperately to stop or at least slow down. Mental illness gives zero fucks.

Last night was…Bizarre. I got one bug bite, which set off a whole body break out. The itchiness nearly drove me nuts. I had to take a cold shower because in spite of calamine, desitin, anti itch spray, and baby powder (which IS made out of babies)…I was going insane. It helped briefly.Then I rubbed against the blanket wrong, one bite started to itch and the cycle started all over again. I was awake til almost two a.m. My mind kept spinning and no amount of therapy exercises was talking it off the ledge. After yesterday’s lethargy in the morning, I absolutely was not gonna take a melatonin. I took half a Xanax and toughed it out. Eventually slept. After hours of  “I’m hungry, I want fried eggs…I can’t be bothered.” “I can’t sleep, I should use this energy to at least do some housework.” None of it happened, of course. Except when Voodoo came in my bedroom and started headbutting me and yowling. I leapt up to fill the food dish because I didn’t want to be pissed on again. Once this week was enough.

Had awful nightmares. One was where The Donor’s obituary was in the paper. Yes, I am evil. I remember feeling relief, with an underscore of “Spook has no dad, how sad for her.” I can still feel that wash of relief that was in the dream because dead means he can never suddenly decide he wants to be a dad and try to take her from me. I should feel shitty, but damn, it was a dream. Also in the same dream, R’s obituary was in the same paper. And I was devastated. I spend all my time making him my nemesis (narcissistic personalities just set me off) but…He has become my best friend, sad as that it is. He puts up with me, I put up with him…I think the whole point of the dream was to appreciate what I have because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. I’m still gonna bitch about his bullshit, but it definitely gave me perspective. The Donor…meh. I should feel bad and yet I don’t. It’s not even about hate. It’s just apathy.

Because I was up so late with insomnia and itching, I did not want to get up this morning. I was leaden dead weight. I woke at 5 a.m., 7 a.m., and I heard Spook babbling and bouncing on the bed, torturing Absinthe (I mean, playing with the cat) but I couldn’t pry myself up. I lolled til ten a.m. And this is not my norm, not since I had a kid. It’s almost like the winter somnolence is setting in, but it’s not really somnolence if you’re up late. Makes sense you’d sleep, or loll, later. I still got less sleep than most people do. I just have the complex to feel shitty about it. (Most of which can be traced back to my eeevil former mother in law, but that’s a story for another day.)

11:21 a.m. I’ve done little except get dressed. And I don’t mean fully dressed, I mean pants and a tank top. Yes, I am a slob. Gross. Blah blah blah. Just wanted to have on pants lest my kid start parading her friends inside. Last thing I need is some parent thinking my aversion to pants during summer as some overture to be a pervert toward their snowflakes. Bras, pants, it’s all over fucking rated. Oddly, last summer when my mood was stabilized (those three whole months) I was doing nice clothes, make up, hair, pretty much daily. This isn’t me, this is an aspect of my illness. Least I showered twice yesterday. Yay me.

My ankles are itching already. I have nothing left to slather or pop or drink. I need my loratadine. 40 cents ain’t gonna buy it, though. Since I have no dish plans today, thus far, the anxiety is at a low tolerable level. All things considered, this week as far as the spawn goes, has been mild. I think it helped that she made new friends. It means I’m not her entire focus all day, I can breathe. My mood, as usual with the morning meds, seems okay. The crash is what I dread. And it comes and no amount of sunshine puking changes that.

I think next time I see the shrink, I am gonna ask him about adding Wellbutrin. He suggested it months ago. I just read all the forums and it’s contraindicated for those with even mild anxiety. But I was thinking if he’d keep me on the Cymbalta, add the Wellbutrin, see what happens. One is an SSRI, the other is an SNRI. I’ve never tried that combo. I’m willing to lick hallucinogenic toads at this point. (Thank you, Beavis and Butthead, twenty years later and that episode lingers with me.)

I should do housework. Need to pick weeds out of the yard. Clean out my car, which I pretty much use as a trash can on wheels and pack shit around for six months (like when my kid sleeps over and brings her shit back, I never bring it inside.) Been like that since I was sixteen, and no amount of my dad bitching at me has changed it. Some quirks are tolerable. (Oddly, in my car, I can let the ash tray overflow, yet at home, if I get more than five butts in an ash tray, I am practically ocd about emptying it. Same with overflowing trash cans. At home, it freaks me out. In the car…IDGAF.)

Oh how I miss the days when quirks were just eccentricities rather than personality disorders.


Losing Daddy’s Girl

Storms and rejection hit hard, but not like losing a treasured pet.

Is It Depression or Is It Just Depression?

  Every week I go through at least one day that I feel depressed. Wen that happens, I always have to ask one question, “Am I suffering a depressive episode, or am I dealing with a typical day that I’m just feeling the blues? Is it just a normal depression that most people deal with […]

The post Is It Depression or Is It Just Depression? appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

welcome to bipolar street

(it’s the turnoff after manic depressive crescent) (scheduled post)

Street Art, Tags, Stickers & Stencils

Click to view slideshow.

And now, spotlight on…

We’re off to Australia, to get acquainted with bipolar graffiti man Keo Match. Keo fucking Match. What a legend. As well as the art, I like the way he thinks.

Despite being colour-blind and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Keo (his signature) has worked successfully as a muralist, illustrator, creative director and animator, though he prefers the title “creative”. source

“Grey walls (…) message is that it’s ok for this space to be without expression. People do it unknowingly. But to me, if you’ve got a wall, and you’re paying somebody a huge about of money to paint that wall a single colour, you could pay an artist the same, probably less, to go something much more elaborate and much more interesting.” Interview

And he’ll have a place in my heart forever for painting a shoebill stork (yes I am that fucking nerdy). Well it was a collab actually, Keo did the skeleton half. Shoebills, I fucking love shoebills.

Click to view slideshow.

Threw up a quick fish just off Hunter Street. You’ll throw up when you see just how cool the quick fish is.
website (a rather forlorn and sparse sort of a place)
video on vimeo

Any obstacle can be overcome with good design, innovative thinking and an eye for detail. Keo Match

How to be a Foreigner

Not originally from these parts

Not originally from these parts

Brigadier: “Well, naturally enough the only country that could be trusted with such a role was Great Britain.” The Doctor: “Well, naturally. I mean, the rest were all foreigners.”

Fancy being the square peg amongst the round ‘uns? Someone who, perhaps, did not originally use the words “amongst,” or “‘uns”?

Then let’s begin:

1) First, choose your parents: the simplest way to be a foreigner is to persuade your parents to move far, far away.

2) Alternatively, move later in life. Make sure, however, that you move far enough that you’ll look, sound, and / or behave a bit suss. Moving three blocks or even three miles from where you were before just won’t cut it.

3) On the other hand, it might. Villagers are naturally suspicious. So are small children.

I don't think we're in S Yorkshire anymore, Toto.

Zebras? Where?

4) Having moved, get ready for the long haul. As in, the rest of your life.

5) Any good at accents? Then – assuming skin colour isn’t an issue – you may be in with a chance. Try getting the expressions down first: eg, instead of verbally spelling out “sob”, consider the joys of the word for which I substitute the lesser expression “twonk”.

Mug Shot #2

Labels: Sometimes you gotta embrace ’em

6) Get ready for people to smile, comment, and even laugh the first time you swear using expressions favoured in your new country. And the second time, and the third, and the 300th.

It never gets old.

7) Re 6) above, oh yes it does: for you. Not them.

8) You may think I’m banging on about swearing, but it is a vital part of many cultures. Also, by moving countries or areas, you have an unlooked for opportunity to mine a new, rich seam of profanity.

9) Local culture is all. Eg, just because you’re used to people waving flags, and/or going on about God, doesn’t mean such behaviour won’t be viewed with suspicion in your new environment.

10) On the subject of religion, becoming a foreigner may mean you have the chance to pack in your childhood faith, and become the Jedi Knight you always wanted to be. Let’s face it, unless you’ve made the sort of half-assed move which means only the weather and your address have changed, you’re always going to be seen as a bit of weirdo.

So why not buy that light saber, get measured for some white pjs, and a brown cloak, and put out an advert for your very own Padawan?

11) Food: be prepared to be puzzled whilst the locals argue amongst themselves as to whether a certain yeast based object is a “breadcake”, “breadbun”, or “bap”.

These things are important.


Don't know what you're smiling about, mate: you're sat next to a Dalek.

Don’t know what you’re smiling about, mate: you’re sat next to a Dalek.



Woke up with a perfect story in my head.  I had a dream and it supplied plot, a zany cast of characters, setting, and other wonderful things to include.  I’ve been having dreams like this recently but this one was really realistic and entirely plausible.  (Well, except for one part.  But I can leave it out and not hurt the essential story.)  It’s based on my bipolar episodes and will be told from the point of view of the detective assigned to find out exactly who the bipolar character is after she rolls over her car in his jurisdiction.  I wrote a synopsis this morning and can hopefully hold on to the magic to start outlining. writing, etc. tomorrow.

Anyway.  I feel much better today.  I’m still under restrictions but really feel about back to normal after my surgery.  So we will see how I can make it next week when the restrictions loosen up.  The little one goes for the first time to church camp and we’re hoping she has fun/  It’s been a busy summer, but church camp ends it.  Then it’s time to get ready for school

The big girl gets to go back to work today after her stomach bug and the middle one is at band camp for all day except lunch, so they will be busy.  We will see how everything goes for them as we wind down the summer.

Hope everyone had a good rest of the week!

Secrets (video)

“They tell us from the time we’re young to hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves inside ourselves…”Filed under: quoth Tagged: Bipolar Disorder, Mary Lambert, music video, secrets



Bipolar Disorder Discovery at the Nano Level



Chicago, Illinois – A nano-sized discovery by Northwestern Medicine® scientists helps explain how bipolar disorder affects the brain and could one day lead to new drug therapies to treat the mental illness.

Scientists used a new super-resolution imaging method – the same method recognized with the 2014 Nobel Prize in chemistry – to peer deep into brain tissue from mice with bipolar-like behaviors. In the synapses (where communication between brain cells occurs), they discovered tiny “nanodomain” structures with concentrated levels of ANK3 – the gene most strongly associated with bipolar disorder risk. ANK3 is coding for the protein ankyrin-G.

“We knew that ankyrin-G played an important role in bipolar disease, but we didn’t know how,” said Northwestern Medicine scientist Peter Penzes, corresponding author of the paper. “Through this imaging method we found the gene formed in nanodomain structures in the synapses, and we determined that these structures control or regulate the behavior of synapses.”

Penzes is a professor in physiology and psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The results were published October 22 in the journal Neuron.

High-profile cases, including actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and politician Jesse Jackson, Jr., have brought attention to bipolar disorder. The illness causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. About 3 percent of Americans experience bipolar disorder symptoms, and there is no cure.

Recent large-scale human genetic studies have shown that genes can contribute to disease risk along with stress and other environmental factors. However, how these risk genes affect the brain is not known.

This is the first time any psychiatric risk gene has been analyzed at such a detailed level of resolution. As explained in the paper, Penzes used the Nikon Structured Illumination Super-resolution Microscope to study a mouse model of bipolar disorder. The microscope realizes resolution of up to 115 nanometers. To put that size in perspective, there are 1,000 nanometers in a micron, and there are 25,400 microns in one inch. Very few of these microscopes exist worldwide.

“There is important information about genes and diseases that can only been seen at this level of resolution,” Penzes said. “We provide a neurobiological explanation of the function of the leading risk gene, and this might provide insight into the abnormalities in bipolar disorder.”

The biological framework presented in this paper could be used in human studies of bipolar disorder in the future, with the goal of developing therapeutic approaches to target these genes.

Other authors include Katharine R. Smith, Katherine J. Kopeikina, Jessica M. Fawcett-Patel, Katherine Leaderbrand, Ruoqi Gao, Britta Schurmann, Kristoffer Myczek, Jelena Radulovic and Geoffrey T. Swanson, all of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels

This is quite amazing. The brain has a heretofore undiscovered lymphatic system. That means that the immune cells and the brain are in much closer contact than was ever before imagined. That opens up many more possibilities of brain immune system interaction. Many more possibilities for immune cells to affect the development of psychiatric illnesses. Who knows, lol as I hypothesized in one of my manic phases, mental illness could be an autoimmune disease. Well we’ll just have to wait and see exactly what the implications of this discovery are. At the moment, it just shows us that the brain and the immune system are much more intimately associated than was previously known.