Daily Archives: April 12, 2016

New Canvas (a Lune)

Empty easel waits to be graced with a new canvas...

#All. These. Lessons.

(Day 12’s NaPoWriMo prompt was an index poem. Today’s poem is based, in reverse alphabetical order, on 26 entries in the “Topical Concordance” of the Holman Christian Standard Bible … with a bit of creative punctuation.)   Zeal #is sometimes wrongly directed. Youth #should be an example #with a new song! #with dance! Works #will […]

Guest Post

Beautifully Bipolar just resurrected an old piece of mine as a guest post. It’s on hiring and firing a therapist and you can find it here: https://notmydisabilities.com/2016/04/12/hired-help-janet/

Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, finding a psychiatrist, psychotherapy

NaPoWriMo 2016

Hi, all! I know I'm coming in late to National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), but I'm really enjoying reading all of your poems

Relentlessly Participate in the Manifestation of Your Own Blessings in your Life

Relentlessly participate in manifestation of your blessings!!!

Just when I was getting angry, hopeless and dejected about an issue that came up two days ago, (to do with my blog) in my life, I saw this on Instagram. Love, love, love it! You can’t just do it once and sit back and relax, you have to RELENTLESSLY participate in the manifestation of your life, your love, your own blessings! And if blessings are the end result then it is not a struggle, it is simply participation in their manifestation! Outlook matters so much, people! Participate and manifest and be relentless!

Immune Activity During Pregnancy Tied to Neuronal Defects, Anxiety, and Cognitive Impairments

Apple blossoms

I’m definitely cataloguing this in the Interesting category!

Neurons called Parvalbumin Interneurons in the brains of mice pups were underactive when their mothers had an infection while pregnant, i.e. the mother’s immune systems were ramped up due to the infection. This did not happen to mice whose mothers had no infection during pregnancy. The mice with underactive Parvalbumin Interneurons exhibited more anxiety and struggled with behavioral tests.

Also it was possible to induce these effects (anxiety and difficulty in behavioral tests) in normal mice (no infection in mother while pregnant) by shutting off the Parvalbumin Interneurons.

Parvalbumin Interneurons are neurons which send inhibitory signals to other neurons are much weaker in neurons of mice born to mothers whose immune system had been activated during pregnancy. “Parvalbumin interneurons help coordinate the activity of other cells in the brain, and are thought to be important for memory and cognitive flexibility. Reduced numbers and structural abnormalities in parvalbumin interneurons have been linked to multiple psychiatric disorders…”


Researchers are investigating the possibility that infections during pregnancy increase the likelihood that the fetus will develop into a person who will have mental illness later in life. There is evidence that immune activity in response to maternal infections may increase the offspring’s risk of schizophrenia,bipolar disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders.

In a new animal study led by Christoph Kellendonk, Ph.D., a 2002 and 2008 NARSAD Young Investigator at Columbia University Medical Center, scientists have shown that inhibitory brain cells called parvalbumin interneurons are particularly vulnerable to such maternal immune activation. These cells do not signal as they should in mice whose mothers’ immune systems are activated during pregnancy, the researchers have shown. What’s more, the signaling problems are associated with cognitive impairments and anxiety-like behavior in mice.

Activated immune system in pregnant mice linked to later cognitive impairments in their offspring. Tweet >

The research team, which included Alan Stewart Brown, M.D., M.P.H., a 1993, 1996 Young Investigator, 2000, 2004 Independent Investigator and 2015 Distinguished Investigator, 2013 Young Investigator Sarah E. Canetta, Ph.D. and BBRF Scientific Council Member and 2001, 2003 Young Investigator Joshua A. Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., all at Columbia, published its findings February 2 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

Parvalbumin interneurons help coordinate the activity of other cells in the brain, and are thought to be important for memory and cognitive flexibility. Reduced numbers and structural abnormalities in parvalbumin interneurons have been linked to multiple psychiatric disorders, but so far it has been difficult to assess how these abnormalities affect brain function.

In their mouse study, Dr. Kellendonk and colleagues determined that the inhibitory signals that parvalbumin interneurons usually send to target cells are much weaker than usual in mice whose mothers’ immune systems had been active during pregnancy. Those mice struggled with a behavioral test that involved task switching, suggesting certain cognitive impairments, and also exhibited more anxiety than mice whose mothers had no immune activation during pregnancy.

In mice whose mothers did not have activated immune systems during pregnancy, the scientists could provoke the same increase in anxiety and cognitive defects simply by artificially shutting off parvalbumin interneurons, supporting the idea that defects in the cells were responsible for the affected animals’ behavior.

Takeaway: Study in mice identifies brain cells that are vulnerable to a mother’s infection during pregnancy. Reduced signaling from these cells was associated with increased anxiety and cognitive impairments.

Diffusing Stress with a Laugh

Every week in the middle of DBT group we take a break and then come back and do a Mindfulness exercise.  Today Sierra handed out sheets of paper and told us we were going to do the one where we make smaller words out of a big phrase.  I clapped excitedly.  She warned the group […]


“She kept trying to get it right.”

That could be the epitaph of my life.  Write it on my tombstone. I kept trying, against all odds: genetics, background, raising, and education–to get it “right”.  Whatever that means.

I spent the 80’s reading “great books”, the 90’s reading self-help, writing, and decorating books, and the 2000’s reading psychology books, trying to figure out who I was and where I belonged.  I longed to be like Alexandra Stoddard, who wrote about living life imperfectly but beautifully.  But something in me rejected the imperfect part–yearning for the Martha Stewart standard instead.

I could chalk to up to my mom and  her mother-who kept perfect houses despite being poor.  Nothing was ever left out of place for very long–if you drank out of a glass in my grandmother’s kitchen, as soon as you finished it, she had it out of your hand and was squirting Dawn dishwashing liquid into it and rinsing it our in the sink.

I wanted so much growing up to be out of my childhood life–away from what I perceived as small-town small-mindedness, concerned with keeping up appearances despite us all being various degrees of broke, poor, or destitute.

But suddenly I’ve become obsessed with the thought that keeping up appearances might not be such a bad idea.  It certainly kept me out of a lot of trouble in school when peer pressure hit to drink or be “loose” became apparent among my friends.  I was more afraid of my parents’ wrath then the  opprobrium of “not fitting in” with my peers.

I sought out the other “church kids” and tried to hang out with them, knowing I might be teased but wouldn’t be expected to be sexually available or open to drinking.   But I was only playacting at being saved.  I stole money from my parents’ billfolds for the vending machine and borrowed change from people with no means or  intention of paying it back.

I tried to escape by being hyper intellectual–living in my head instead of my body.  My English teacher gave me the aforementioned list of “great books” to read and I did–all the thick  Russian books, Shakespearean plays, and  great American novels.   I graduated salutatorian and the smartest girl in my class, but that didn’t bring lasting satisfaction either.

To be continued. . .

Schizoaffective disorder – Huh?

I went to my pdocs office Friday for my monthly appointment and to get my prescriptions, and I was surprised to learn something new. He has diagnosed me with schizoaffective disorder. I don’t remember ever discussing that. Doctor Rose Before my current pdoc, I saw another one who worked under him (They work at one […]

The post Schizoaffective disorder – Huh? appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

Greta Garbled

I don’t know how better to describe my state as of late except garbled.  Physical ailments, psych ailments, cat/kitten issues (one kitten died for no reason I can discern), and oh, right, that death trap of a car that keeps flooding with gas and exhaust, causing my physical ailments, not to mention stalling in the street in a way that is gonna cause a wreck.

It’s all enough to make me want to throat punch someone. Throat punch a lot of someones.

So R made time, I cut some budget corners to have the money, and he worked on that MAF sensor Friday night.

The car has been running worse ever since. I mean, way worse. More stalling, more flooding, more dying. Driving that fucking thing is pure misery. And every time I drive it, I get a headache and during the week when she’s at school…I end up falling back to sleep. Though some of that may be the fact that it’s now April but Ickannoy weather has decided to remain cold and windy like fucking March and I don’t function well when cold. I just want my blankies.

Proof it’s not just me but in fact the weather was when he did work on the car that night and even he was freezing between the wind and temp. This shit sucks. Sucking worse is the money I just put into that car and it didn’t change a fucking thing and now I am on hold until he gets more time and I miraculously happen upon more money. Meanwhile…driving that car is a living hell. I want to blow it up. I want to set it on fire.

Mostly I just want the problems fixed so it will run reliably. Is that so unrealistic and bratty?

According to my asshole father it is. He was on last night about some old Chevy for sale down the street for nine hundred bucks so if I really hate this car, I should sell it and put the money towards that one. HUH?

For whatever reason the assholes around me think “child support” means lump payments every month rather than dividing seventy bucks between two weeks for all that might arise. If I had nine hundred cash laying about I’d take the fucking car to an actual mechanic and pay to get it all worked out. R is brilliant with cars, don’t get me wrong. His free time to work on them is limited and meanwhile, for all I know, I could be driving this death trap and poisoning myself and my child all the while my dad thinks it’s some sort of spoiled brat  issue.


Of course, talking to my dad is pointless. In fact, the whole time I was trying to explain the car’s issue he reverted back to telling me how bad my old Caprice was and how it was all my fault because I don’t drive properly and I am too rough on cars. I mean, that old lady slamming into the front fender and knocking everything out of alignment years ago probably didn’t do as much damage as me hitting pot holes, right?

About the ONLY thing in my life I’m not having much trouble with is my child. She hasn’t seen my mother in a week and I started a new reward system thing that she seems to respond to, so one screaming mimi in a week…My mom is apparently the devil even if well intentioned. Or my kid knows she can play us against each other and grandma will yell at me thus making me more likely to let her have her own way. I am proud to say I have grown a spine and it is made of cast iron. I said one month, no sleepovers with grandma, then she can have one. IF she throws another fit upon coming home, back to a month of nope.

I like to think I am trying to teach her the lesson of consequences to behavior. I have also been trying to undo what my mom instilled in her that everything is disposable and if you break it or ask for more, you will get it handed to you.

This is proving to be a fail, thanks to well meaning people. We were at the store last night and she has her little wallet so when she found I toy, I told her the price and to count her money to see if she had enough. She came up short so I said, no, find something you can afford. To my chagrin some perfect stranger decides she feels sorry for my poor deprived child and gives her a dollar bill. As she walked by me she said, “I remember what it was like to be a kid and not have enough money.”

Well meaning, but completely usurping my parental authority and the very lesson I was trying to teach my daughter. This is what I mean when I say nothing good ever comes from the petri dish.

R is on a downward spiral with taxes eating him alive and business dwindling so I can’t even earn my car parts by helping him out. Which means I am probably gonna get killed in this death trap before I have enough excess cash for whatever its many ailments are. He can’t help out and I guess he asked his wife to help and she didn’t speak to him for a day because well, her six figure income is hers and his low income is hers, too.

Yet he wants to spew venom at me for getting disability income.

I have another computer his cousin brought in that I need to go through. It’s XP at least and I know Maggie will proffer up some sort of payment. Which will go into my gas tank cos this car is so fucked up it’s only getting ten miles a gallon. For a V-6. Goblins must be eating it.

I told him I’d come in today to keep him company. I don’t want to. I am PMS-y and my digestive issues have been kicked up the last week, all I want is to stay home near a bathroom and bottle of Tylenol.

I called the dr office as I said and they got back to me. Raised the lithium to 1200  a day when what I wanted was my prozac increased. I don’t care what their propaganda says, mood stabilizers have never once helped me with a depression. Certainly not one that’s been going on this long. And him  seeing me every two months but making me jump through hoops for med refills or to talk to his staff is pissing me the fuck off. I tell him I’m about to break down, he decided to see me in two months. Sounds logical.


Okay. Back to binge watching Judging Amy. (Don’t you judge me, ha ha.) Fiction’s the only world I have left that doesn’t give me ulcers or hives.

Sad but true.