Daily Archives: January 21, 2016

Just Swinging

Due to an odd scheduling conflict, I have been out of meds since last week. First, I told you all that I went back on Latuda, but I don’t think I told you that I almost immediately went back off of it. In the span of about two weeks things were getting much worse and […]

Just Swinging

Due to an odd scheduling conflict, I have been out of meds since last week. First, I told you all that I went back on Latuda, but I don’t think I told you that I almost immediately went back off of it. In the span of about two weeks things were getting much worse and […]

Just Swinging

Due to an odd scheduling conflict, I have been out of meds since last week. First, I told you all that I went back on Latuda, but I don’t think I told you that I almost immediately went back off of it. In the span of about two weeks things were getting much worse and […]

L Methylfolate aka Deplin

As I was talking to my doctor about all the genetic testing I’d had done, he exclaimed that he had failed to see that I didn’t have the enzyme that converts Folic acid to Folate (Vitamin B9) , and he should have prescribed Deplin for me! That is what Nestlé Health Science calls L Methylfolate. They call it medical food.

Folate (http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/folate) is necessary in making nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) and it is the precursor of many neurotransmitters, such as Dopamine, Norepinephrine, and Serotonin! Illustrations of all are below.

Wow! I’d say that was an important omission! Ummmm Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine!? Depression much? I asked him how, without L methylfolate, how in the world was I even alive? I mean DNA and RNA are pretty necessary for cellular and organismal life! He said I’d gotten enough in my diet, (meat, chicken, fish have L Methylfolate on them) therefore I had survived. But if I took it orally, it may well reduce my level of depression by at least 10%! So of course I asked him for a prescription. I then happily went to pick up my “Deplin.” When it came time to swipe my credit card, the bill was $297.00! Medical food, huhn, pretty expensive medical food. The total bill was close to $900.00 for a 3 month supply. My insurance paid for over $500.00 and my portion was almost $300.00. Well I returned it and now I am looking for cheaper medical food online. And when I find it, I will let you know, so all of you can get it and try the L Methylfolate and see if it helps with your depression.

Egad, drug companies!

folate_figure1_v8SYNTHESIS of Folate.png

MONOAMINE synthesis


2015 in Review

From my WordPress Annual Report:

These are the posts that got the most views in 2015. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your Site Stats.

Blocked, But Why?

112 COMMENTSJune 2015


35 Symptoms of Perimenopause

43 COMMENTSMay 2015



64 COMMENTSNovember 2015


Have I Lost My Blogging Friends?

124 COMMENTSAugust 2015


Ten Year Anniversary of Hospitalization


Filed under: About Mental Health

I Said “No!”

My mother’s speech therapist (a great guy and excellent speech therapist) called me today so that I could participate in her speech therapy. Friday, when I first met with him and my parents, he told me to work with my mother daily. Afterwards, I freaked out, was bitchy and short-tempered with my husband and son, and finally called my sister who reminded me that I do not have to do what the speech therapist tells me to do. 

Tuesday when he called, I was too busy to join them. My son had school (or at least was scheduled to attend school, he got a migraine and stayed in bed). My father’s brother and sister were visiting from Chicago. And…I had psychotherapy (which I needed). So…I told him that I could not make it. 

He called again this morning. At first I agreed to meet him at my parents’ board and care. Then, I thought, no, I need to relax today. Tuesday was eventful. Wednesday, even more so. 

Yesterday I arranged for my son to Skype his morning class (I forget why he struggled yesterday. Each day is a new struggle.). Then I sat on the panel as a (former) mental health provider (I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who maintains her license but hasn’t practiced psychotherapy for over two decades) to teach NAMI’s Provider Education course (teaching it every Wednesday afternoon this month through the first week of February). Then…I had dinner with my husband, aunt and uncle. VERY BUSY day for me. Social demands stress me. I needed to recuperate. 

Needing moral support, I talked to my son who agreed I should cancel (not his job to offer me moral support, but he was handy). He, after all, is sick again today, and he is my primary responsibility (yes, I know, I’m not his responsibility, but I need him to help out more now). So…I called the speech therapist back and told him I couldn’t participate in my mother’s speech therapy due to my need to take care of myself (as I have bipolar disorder) and my son (as he has chronic health issues). He was very understanding. Afterwards, I called my sister for congratulations which she enthusiastically gave me. Yay!

Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Parenting, Family, Hypomania, NAMI, Triggers to Mood Cycling Tagged: Dementia, eldercare, Sandwich Generation, self care, speech therapy, stroke rehabilitation

Xanax Hangover

I’ve taken Xanax now for a couple of days and can’t keep my eyes open.  I think I will go to PRN on it, which means taking it only when I need it.  I’m scared to try to do any course work for fear that it won’t make sense.  SO I will wait  another day on it and see how I feel.

My oldest had to come back and get her Microbiology for Dummies book as she started her Micro class Wednesday. SO I took her out to lunch and we had a pretty good visit.  She’s already headed back to class  so it was a short visit. But all right.

I think I will go to sleep until my youngest comes home then go to the grocery store.  I can’t keep my eyes open another second.  GOod bye.



Researchers Trace Anxiety Control to Specific Brain Region


In animal research reported in the November 12 issue of the journal Nature, scientists have identified a specific region of the brain that helps regulate behaviors and physiological changes associated with anxiety. Cells in this area, known as the basomedial amygdala, differentiate between safe and potentially threatening environments, and work together to suppress anxiety when conditions seem safe.

Better understanding of how the brain regulates fear and anxiety is likely to help researchers develop more effective treatments for anxiety disorders.
The new work was conducted in the lab of BBRF Scientific Council member and 2005, 2007 NARSAD Young Investigator Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Stanford University. Avishek Adhikari, Ph.D., a NARSAD 2014 Young Investigator, led the work together with Talia Lerner, Ph.D., and Joel Finkelstein.
In their study, the scientists examined connections between the brain’s medial prefrontal cortex and the amygdala, regions known to be involved in regulating fear and anxiety. Connections between these regions have been found to be disrupted in people with anxiety disorders.
Using powerful technologies, the team traced connections in the mouse brain from the medial prefrontal cortex to a specific part of the amygdala, its basomedial region, and showed that artificially activating these connections reduced anxiety-related behaviors in the mice. When the connections were switched on by the experimenters – using a method Dr. Deisseroth and colleagues invented called optogenetics — the animals were more likely to explore open spaces. What’s more, the increase in breathing rate usually associated with anxiety was not seen, even when the animals were in an exposed environment, which mice usually perceive as threatening.
The opposite effects were seen when the researchers experimentally inhibited the same connections: mice exhibited signs of anxiety even in a safe and familiar environment.
Many of the cells in the basomedial amygdala fire more actively when a mouse is in a safe environment, suggesting that these cells differentiate between safety and potential threats.
The scientists further showed that connections between the medial prefrontal cortex and the basomedial amygdala are important for extinguishing learned fears – that is, learning through experience to dissociate a feared stimulus from expectation of a negative outcome. Mice that had been trained to fear an auditory tone overcame these fears more quickly when the researchers artificially stimulated medial prefrontal cortex-basomedial amygdala connections.


I am a bit of a wreck right now.

Why? Because I had to try to use a phone. I… I really, really, really don’t get on with phones, and I haven’t since about 2002. It gets worse with each passing year, so I just don’t. I think it’s primarily an ADHD thing, ’cause like, I can’t see what they’re saying so I can’t try to connect the sounds up properly. Even being able to do that on say, Skype, is really hard for me. We generally always have captions on the television because otherwise I have a hard time following along there.

Oh but you’re in a different country from where you came from and…

Yeah, but I’ve been here for eight and a half years. I’m used to the various British accents. If anything, Americans sound kind of vulgar to me if I don’t already know them. That probably makes me sound snobby, doesn’t it. I guess it’s more that it just sounds weird when I’m used to hearing other on the daily. I don’t find it hard to listen to accents, to include on the phone. But I do find it stressful when they can’t understand me for having an American accent when my anxiety levels for phone usage are so high as to make me physically ill.

Terrible <3

Terrible <3

And that’s the thing — I felt that I had to make a phone call today. Even after five attempts to find and call the right number for my purposes, I was shaking viciously and trying to not start sobbing. And then the little one was being annoying and it was making me stress harder, and I just… ugh. In the end, my best-husband completed the phone call for me, even though it’s just about as hard for him, and he’s got a stutter to boot.

So why did I feel the need to use the phone? Because I hadn’t heard shit from my psych in ages, and haven’t had an appointment since Mid-September. Yeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, let that sink in. Mid September. When I had been put on an upgraded dose of a new medication (the first one that has given me serious side effects). Mid September, when I reported having minor hallucinations when I don’t have hallucinations as a general rule of thumb.I was also waiting to hear more on my psych’s attempt to get me the ADHD referral I want and need, so yanno… didn’t expect it to take so long.

I was terrified that I had fallen out of the system, if I’m honest. I had been dropped back in 2011 because someone recorded me as not in attendance of an appointment I was assuredly in attendance of. That ended with a ‘diagnosis’ of anxious personality and it took me a year to try again. We also moved last year, and I know that my address wasn’t correct in all places; though I watched my doctor correct it, I was still worried. While I don’t have to worry about fighting for refills and all my prescriptions are on repeat, it’s still only so far without having my doctor in the picture to make sure we’re doing the best course of treatment at the right time.

The long and the short is that my husband was able to get in touch with my psychiatrist’s secretary (ironically, the first number I tried and couldn’t get through on). She confirmed our address, and said that she was going to send an appointment card. I will believe it when I see it, but I am feeling a bit better about that much, at least. I’m still a wreck for having to try to use a phone.

‘Call me if you need anything,’ my doctor has said many times. And I’ve had to explain many times that no, using a phone is stressful for me and makes me iller. I know that to be true of many of my friends; even the ‘healthy’ ones have expressed a preference for text-based communications. I keep meaning to ask her for her email address, but I don’t know if that would be too far. I mean, surely, she has one for work issues. Hopefully I’ll remember whenever the appointment occurs… and hopefully, sooner rather than later. Appointments tend to be 2-3 months after the card comes through, which of course has added further concern and stress to my waiting. Fingers crossed, eh?

And now, I direly need a coffee or something of the like. Caffeine cures all wounds, right? Hope y’all are having a better day of it all!



((I should add as an aside that I generally love the NHS, and blame the vast majority of its current flaws on the current government being such a nasty shitshow of rich boys sucking off their rich friends rather than strengthening the social safety net))

Brain Training for Anxiety, Depression and Other Mental Conditions


 This seems like an effective way to train your brain to do or not do what it is doing. And there are no medications involved here. Could this really work? No medications, simply training your brain to feel desired emotions and not feel the undesirable ones. Here are encouraging results shown in this article: “In results from a more recent study, Dr. Young says that after two sessions of neurofeedback, depression scores dropped 50%. In the control group, they dropped 10%. These results are not yet published, but were presented at the Society of Biological Psychiatry annual meeting in 2015.”
Sounds promising. I would give it a try. 


Excerpt from article: 

In neurofeedback, patients lie in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. In general, they are told to conjure memories or look at pictures while their brains are scanned. The activity of certain brain regions related to subjects’ illnesses is analyzed via computer. Patients see visual representations of their brain activity almost in real time—often presented in the form of a thermometer or colored bar.Based on what their brains are doing, subjects are told to enhance or suppress that activity. Patients “need to train their brain like they train their muscles when they want to be fit,” says Anna Zilverstand, a postdoctoral researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and lead author of a 2015 study using neurofeedback to treat women with a phobia of spiders.