Daily Archives: June 4, 2017

Limited Time Only

With bipolar axis two (I can’t speak for bipolar axis one), functionality comes and goes. When the energy is *there* you use it for all its worth. When it *goes MIA*, it’s like someone swinging an axe and cutting off an extremity only to leave you to bleed out. Of course, others who are ignorant of the disorder will consider this dramatic and theatric but it’s the real deal.

Five days I was under the surface, functioning at minimal, seeing the sink of dishes, feeling shitty about it, but totally incapable of dealing with it.

Today, again, I woke before 6 a.m. cos it was light outside. Stayed in bed til 7:30 when the spawn rose. It was church day. Thankfully, they didn’t forget to pick her up like they did last Sunday. Once up and she was out, I washed rugs, then a load of clothes, I did three sinkloads of dishes (I have to do them that way, everything in small increments), I cleaned all the cat boxes then put in clean litter and hauled out the bad stuff. I went Aldi for some fresh veggies, went to the dollar store for anti stick spray (I think the proper term is anti perspirant deodorant but with my anxiety which induces sweat even on the coldest day…it’s not always effective. Yeah, gross, whatever.) I DID shower first before going out into the dish. Humidity’s so high, just the cat litter dust was clinging to my moist skin. Nasty.

Since Spook got home from church…PEACE, no friends. I appreciate the respite.

Then my dad calls to darken my doorstep because I dared to tell him I was eating leftover pizza and he demanded how did I afford carry out and I said, ten dollar any deal at pizza hut and it’s made a meal for two days now….That man may mean well, but he is a dick. Maybe even a cockweasel, the way he carries on about my stepmom working 16 hours a week (my mom worked 48 swing shift while raising us when he was on the road 6 days a week) and oh, my brother who is almost 22 and got a legit high school diploma even though he has the emotional IQ of a 9 year old…

Everyone thinks it’s ego or jealousy making me bitter. Nope. I just don’t like dickbags.

I even mowed the lawn today even if my allergies were in full force due to the thick humidity. I kicked ass. Forgot to take names. Because frankly, the meds make me forget my own name sometimes. Actually, I know my name but there are times I struggle for my or my kid’s birthdate and I blame the meds for delayed access to that particular memory file. It’s like I’m running Windows ME and it is indeed migraine edition.

Now…I am thinking a second shower because two fans in 85 degrees with 69% humidity means Spook and I probably have more cat hair sticking to us than to the cats. Two fans ain’t cutting it, the central air don’t work, and the window unit makes the circuit blow. (Landlord finds that, my broken oven, and my caving floors of zero priority.)

At least, even if limited time only, I got stuff accomplished before going down the rabbit hole again.

Tomorrow, I think I am gonna rant about how even the professionals can’t tell bipolar and borderline personality disorder apart. The THINK they can, but they often cannot. Since having that label tossed at me a few years back (FIRST time in 25 years, from a therapist younger than my diagnosis)…I’ve been soul searching, researching, looking long and hard at myself, for better or worse.

A show I watched today, fictional as it is, sparked something inside me that further convinces me Yoyo counselor was dead wrong and the shrink lumping bipolar patients in with a borderline support group is plain negligent.

Borderlines always feel like a victim.

Bipolar sometimes make us feel ten feet tall and bulletproof, thus not a victim.

Then again, I may be in tears and begging the flying spaghetti monster to smite me tomorrow.

As I said, functionality, limited time only. Same goes for lucidity.


I’d not heard of this artist until I saw Wonder Woman yesterday.  A little Florence and the Machine, a little Halsey—I like it.

Not Just a State of Mind: Scientists Locate the Physical Source of Depression in the Brain

So the area of the brain involved in reward is under active, and the area that of the brain that is involved in non reward and punishment is overactive. Therefore the symptoms is depression 😪 Didn’t all of us people with mood disorders already know this? That depression is a real disease with real physical reasons! Well here’s the proof!

https://futurism.com/not-just-a-state-of-mind-scientists-locate-the-physical-source-of-depression-in-the-brain/IN BRIEF

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year.
Researchers have found that feelings of loss and low self-esteem are directly linked to two sides the OFC — the medial OFC and the lateral OFC.


Depression is a mental illness many people still dismiss as a matter of mindset. An international team of researchers from UK’s University of Warwick and Fudan University in China may just have proven that depression is more than just that – and pinned down where it originates in the brain.
“More than one in ten people in their life time suffer from depression, a disease which is so common in modern society and we can even find the remains of Prozac (a common drug used to treat depression) in the tap water in London,” explains Jianfeng Feng, a member of the research team and professor at both Warwick and Fudan.
According to their research published in the neurology journal Brain, depression results from connection pattern changes in a key area of the brain called the orbifrontal cortex (OFC). The researchers used a high-precision MRI to scan the brains of more than 900 people, of which 421 were patients with major depressive disorder. They found that feelings of loss and low self-esteem are directly linked to two sides the OFC — the medial OFC and the lateral OFC.


The medial OFC, which fires up when we receive rewards, showed reduced functional connectivity in depression. This explains why people with depression feel a sense of loss, disappointment, and low self-esteem. Furthermore, this also leads to weaker memory system functional connectivity in the hippocampus (the brain’s memory center).
The lateral OFC, on the other hand, exhibited stronger functional connectivity in persons with depression. This sector of the OFC is involved in non-reward and punishing events. The lateral OFC displayed strong connections with the precuneus (related with the sense of self) and the angular gyrus (responsible for memory retrieval and attention), making it difficult for depressed persons to feel good about themselves due to easy recall of negative experiences.
This study could allow us to dramatically improve the lives of millions around the world, and could lead to treatment better than the current hit-and-miss approach.
This is a fascinating reminder to us. As we develop better artificial intelligence (AI) technology, it’s worth remembering that we have yet to fully understand how our own brains work.
References: ScienceAlert – Latest, Brain, Warwick University

Dom Galeon October 20, 2016


Sarah Marquart


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What I Learned About Ketamine and Depression

Trigger Warning – Meds

Note that I’m not a doctor or a pharmacist or any kind of medical personnel. Do not consider this post to be advice on what you should do. If the subject interests you, ask a licensed physician for more information.

What did I know about ketamine before I started doing some research?

Not much.

I knew that as a street and “club” drug it was known as “Special K.”

Then I heard that it was being used for treatment-resistant depression. Here’s what I found.

First, you can’t just go down to Brown Street and buy a few pills. That’s illegal. And what you get may include other substances that you didn’t intend to take.

So, you need a prescription for it. Once you get that prescription, usually after a consult with a psychiatrist, you need to find a treatment center that will administer the drug. Clinic operators may be anesthesiologists, as ketamine is primarily used as an anesthetic.

The treatment is delivered via IV or injections. No simple pills to take. It’s a course of treatments, each lasting 45 minutes to an hour, with a rest of an hour afterward. The treatment may be delivered for as many as six doses over the course of 12 days. (There may also be a nasal spray option, but the IV version seems more typical.)

You have to have someone who can drive you. The possible side effects include confusion and blurry vision. You can’t drive for 24 hours after the treatment, which basically means you can’t drive for two weeks, since the treatments are roughly every other day.

They don’t know how it works. I don’t find this surprising, since every time I’ve asked my psychiatrist how a medication works, I’ve been told, “They don’t really know, blah blah blah, neurotransmitters, blah blah blah, serotonin, blah blah blah.”

It’s expensive. The initial treatment may cost $500–$1,000, and a full course of treatments may cost as much as $3,800, which insurance won’t cover. These are estimated costs, based on treatment in various regions of the country. (The wholesale cost is approximately $.32 per dose, by the way.)

The results don’t last. They give relief for as little as a few hours to as much as nine months, after which a $600 booster shot is required.

You may still need regular antidepressants and psychotherapy. Ketamine may get you “over the hump” until your regular antidepressant kicks in, but is not a stand-alone treatment.

There are side effects. Confusion, hallucinations, and high blood pressure are among them, along with something called “lucid daydreaming.”

More research is needed. Duh.

The FDA has also approved trials of MDMA (Ecstasy) for treating PTSD. It is also being researched for effects on OCD, depression, and other conditions.

So, assuming that I could afford it, would I try ketamine? There’s not one easy answer to that.

Back in the days when my depression was drug-resistant, when I had spent years trying different combinations of psychotropics, when I was considering electroshock, I might well have seen ketamine as something to consider before I took that step. It should be noted that, at the time, my psychiatrist did not recommend or even mention it, so it might not have been appropriate for me whether I wanted to try it or not. And anyway, a combination of meds and therapy finally kicked in and made the subject moot.

Nowadays, I would not try ketamine (or MDMA, for that matter). My bipolar depression has moved from drug-resistant to drug-alleviated, at least for the most part. And that “most part” is enough for me. I have no need to be driven 45 minutes to the nearest clinic or to try to find a psychiatrist and anesthesiologist willing to go off-label. I am satisfied as I am.

As always, Your Mileage May Vary.








Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, depression, drug side effects, Ecstasy, ketamine, MDMA, mental health, mental illness, psychotropic drugs, Special K, trigger warning

June update

I’m relatively stable at the moment, hence the reason I’ve not written anything here in a while. The sole reason for this stability is my meds. After all, I don’t have any other help or input – in this respect I’m where I was three years ago, before therapy and starting on quetiapine + fluoxetine. I am theoretically in the care of my GP though I never see my GP.

After having so much time off work last year (several months) my main objective this academic year was to have no time off at all. That’s how stubborn I am! But here we are, seven weeks from the end of the school year and I have 100% attendance.

It doesn’t mean I’m “better”. I’m not; there’s no cure for bipolar. No cure for anxiety. No cure for OCD. No cure for the dissociation (DID). There’s just medication; damage limitation.

I still, of course, get intrusive suicidal thoughts. I still don’t sleep well. Surely 550mg quetiapine + 20mg fluoxetine daily should be knocking me out all night? But no, I’ve not slept through the night in decades, if I ever did at all. My short term memory has taken a severe hit (I suspect some of this is memory lapses linked to the DID symptoms) though my long-term memory in many respects would put your average elephant to shame.

Quetiapine continues to function in making me fat. It’s a straight either / or choice with these meds: Fat or Mad. I’ve opted for the former, somewhat reluctantly.

There’s a blog piece to be written about the DID symptoms I’ve experienced through my life and I’ll write than when I’m able to collect those thoughts together.