Daily Archives: August 30, 2016


I went to bed at 9pm last night and got out of bed at 10am this morning. Deep deep depression has set in. I kissed my husband goodbye as he left for work. Told him I was also going to work. 2 hrs later I texted my boss and let her know I couldn’t handle an office setting today.
I warmed up my coffee and checked email. I turned on the tv. Something I hate to do before 5pm. But, I need to check out. In a big way. I alternated between my email, Facebook, and writing. But honestly I tried to get lost in television. I won’t reveal the show as it’s probably not in the arena of self compassion, but holds my attention.
I sent a text to my old friend that read: so many moments come and go where a hello and goodbye are but a blimp in the day, weeks, months. I remember our first hello. I felt so bold. But now as I ponder a goodbye I feel so fragile. So alone. I don’t even know what I truly want to say. I’m thinking of you, Steve and Jerry.
These are folks who have long time sobriety and battle depression. Jerry took his life while sober unable to battle anymore.
My mind is not sound. My pain is bigger than me no matter how hard I try. I open my laptop to feel important. Answer work matters that demand my attention. Pretend I matter. Pretend I have an impact. I guess I’m trying to believe as much as pretend.
It’s not a good day. I isolate and spare me from you. I have no words. My smile and nod at a tilt. Socks don’t keep me warm. Pills don’t keep me well. Love doesn’t keep me fed. Faith may not keep me alive.
I’m hunkered down. Curtains closed. Darkness. Forever darkness barricades me. Alarms sound in my head. Warning shots fired. I’m not okay. Simple as that.

Gene hunters find rare inherited mutations linked to bipolar disorder

84 potential mutations, which are rare, seen in the most severe form of bipolar disorder, though not a single one is indicative of the disease. Well at least they are continuously working on the genetics of this illness, so there is the hope for more information and possibly a new treatment and the picture of the DNA gel is nice!


exome sequencing

DNA sequening fingerprint. Credit: FreeImages.com / Flavio Takemoto


Using so-called next-generation genome sequencing, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified 84 potential inherited gene mutations that may contribute to the most severe forms of bipolar disorder. About 5.6 million Americans are estimated to have bipolar disorder.

The investigators say their study is one of the first of rare genetic variations in people with bipolar disorder, which, in contrast to most previous studies of common variation, can provide a more direct insight into the biology underlying the susceptibility to bipolar disorder.

See Also: MRI scan sensitive to metabolic changes reveals brain differences in bipolar disorder

And the report on the work published in JAMA Psychiatry, led by Fernando Goes, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, affirms the need for DNA from a vast patient population to definitively confirm the role of rare mutations identified using the most advanced genome sequencing techniques.

“One thing we learned is that it will take genetic data from at least several thousand more people with bipolar disorder to confirm that these rare mutations do in fact directly cause the disease,” says Goes. “We are working with the Bipolar Sequencing Consortium to gather more data and collaborators so we can definitively figure out causes.”

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by periods of alternating episodes of severe depression and ecstatic mania, with the anguished person trying for a happy medium in the swinging pendulum of high and low moods.

Goes says some early genetic studies looking into the cause of the disease used genomewide association studies to search for common, single-letter DNA changes that individually turned out to have very small effects but, in combination, can explain a small proportion of the risk for bipolar disorder. Goes’ team used newer gene sequencing technology that instead can read millions of pieces of DNA at the same time to find even rarer genetic mutations that are rare but may have a more severe effect.

Initially, Goes’ team looked at eight families with a history of bipolar disorder through several generations, likely indicating a significant inherited component. Ultimately, the investigators sequenced the whole genomes of 36 family members with the disease. Examining only the portion of the genome that acts as protein blueprints, they identified 84 rare gene variations that stood out in these family members.

To further the case that these 84 variations were connected to the disease, they compared them to versions of the same genes found in 3,541 people with bipolar disease and 4,774 controls without the disease. Although many of these genetic variations were found to be overrepresented in the bipolar cases, the researchers caution that the data weren’t powerful enough to show that any specific mutation among the 84 rare mutations directly causes bipolar disorder, noting that patient sample sizes likely in excess of 10,000 cases will be necessary to pinpoint rare mutations within a specific gene. The study did find evidence that genes from this study had previously been implicated in other psychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, which provides additional support for the overlap of autism and schizophrenia risk genes with risk genes in families with bipolar disorder.

Learn More: Changes in brain connectivity protect against developing bipolar disorder

“Once we can confirm that these rare mutations are associated with bipolar disorder in other samples, our plan will then be to integrate them with the more subtle, common mutations from the earlier genomic studies to better understand the cause of bipolar disorder,” says Goes.

According to the World Health Organization, bipolar disorder overall affects more than 60 million people worldwide and about 2.6 percent of adults in the U.S.


I Wanna Be a Writer I have always had writers blood, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized it was stronger than I believed. You may remember in a previous post I shared that I suddenly had a recollection that I made a concerted effort to be a writer when I was in my 20’s. You may wonder how…

The post Erotica appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.


I was way into the day yesterday before someone posted on facebook about it being the Hurricane Katrina  anniversary.  I was very glad I had forgotten it and was able to have a good day regardless.  (Check the archives to see how deeply the hurricane affected me when it happened).

I wrote another little bit related to my “Trade-In” piece.  I don’t know if it is growing into something bigger or what.  I don’t know if I want it to or not.  I’m comfortable right now doing short little pieces and don’t know if I need to think about doing something longer.   I’m feeling my way along without a map right now, and that feels right somehow.  WE will see.

I see my psychiatrist Thursday and my therapist next Tuesday. I am going to see if I can talk Dr. Bishop into giving me a larger dose of Abilify and see if that helps get me back into remission.  It’s worth a  try right now,  I think.  Anything is worth a try to try to get better.