Daily Archives: September 21, 2017

Shit Is Getting Serious!

Well, fuck!  Guess what?  I STILL haven’t started this fucking job!!!!!  These fuckers are going to drive me to drink!!!  Why I say WHY did they lead me to believe that I would start right after LABOR DAY and here it is many weeks later and I still haven’t started?!?!  And I quit my other jobs and have no income coming in . . . I know I sound like a great big victim here . . . and I kind of FEEL like one . . . I need to look for another job but even if I GET another job it’s going to be a long process and I’m going to go broke in the meantime.  FUCK!!!!  This is a hell of a stressful situation!!  Nothing throws me into a tailspin like precarious finances!!!!  I want to knock someone’s block off!!

I guess I need to cut the bullshit and get looking for another job.  If this one ends up working out, fine, but in the meantime I need to look for something else.  DAMN IT this chaps my hide!!  Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer but I am feeling a bit panicked.  I haven’t been sleeping well with worrying and I just did some calculations that showed me how serious my finances are.

UPDATE:  I applied for one job, contacted two recruiters, and then hid in my bed with the covers pulled up.  I had a healthy dinner of Funyuns and Butterfingers.  I hope to be asleep by 7:00 pm.  I am pitiful.  Tomorrow I will tackle the job search anew.

Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Crazy, Bipolar and Stress, Bipolar and Work, Bipolar Disorder, Psychology, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Blogging, Depression, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Sleep Deprivation to Treat Depression

Sleep deprivation, either partial (4 hours sleep allowed in a 24 hour period) or complete (no sleep allowed for 36 hours) rapidly reduces symptoms of depression!

I know that when I sleep too much, or in fact when I wake up from a night’s sleep, almost half my day is lost to very depressive and anxious thoughts. I wonder if sleeping less is the answer? And would too little sleep push me into mania? There is also that to consider for us, those who suffer from the double edged illness called bipolar disorder.

However the case may be, this is amazing. I hope they do more research about the mania question. Dear readers, please do not try this on your own, as mania could result.


Sleep deprivation – typically administered in controlled, inpatient settings – rapidly reduces symptoms of depression in roughly half of depression patients, according to the first meta-analysis on the subject in nearly 30 years, from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Partial sleep deprivation (sleep for three to four hours followed by forced wakefulness for 20-21 hours) was equally as effective as total sleep deprivation (being deprived of sleep for 36 hours), and medication did not appear to significantly influence these results. The results are published today in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Although total sleep deprivation or partial sleep deprivation can produce clinical improvement in depression symptoms within 24 hours, antidepressants are the most common treatment for depression. Such drugs typically take weeks or longer to experience results, yet 16.7 percent of 242 million U.S. adults filled one or more prescriptions for psychiatric drugs in 2013. The findings of this meta-analysis hope to provide relief for the estimated 16.1 million adults who experienced a major depressive episode in 2014.

Previous studies have shown rapid antidepressant effects from sleep deprivation for roughly 40-60 percent of individuals, yet this response rate has not been analyzed to obtain a more precise percentage since 1990 despite more than 75 studies since then on the subject.

“More than 30 years since the discovery of the antidepressant effects of sleep deprivation, we still do not have an effective grasp on precisely how effective the treatment is and how to achieve the best clinical results,” said study senior author Philip Gehrman, PhD, an associate professor of Psychiatry and member of the Penn Sleep Center, who also treats patients at the Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center. “Our analysis precisely reports how effective sleep deprivation is and in which populations it should be administered.”

Reviewing more than 2,000 studies, the team pulled data from a final group of 66 studies executed over a 36 year period to determine how response may be affected by the type and timing of sleep deprivation performed (total vs early or late partial sleep deprivation), the clinical sample (having depressive or manic episodes, or a combination of both), medication status, and age and gender of the sample. They also explored how response to sleep deprivation may differ across studies according to how “response” is defined in each study.

“These studies in our analysis show that sleep deprivation is effective for many populations,” said lead author Elaine Boland, PhD, a clinical associate and research psychologist at the Cpl. Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center. “Regardless of how the response was quantified, how the sleep deprivation was delivered, or the type of depression the subject was experiencing, we found a nearly equivalent response rate.”

The authors note that further research is needed to identify precisely how sleep deprivation causes rapid and significant reductions in depression severity. Also, future studies are needed to include a more comprehensive assessment of potential predictors of treatment outcome to identify those patients most likely to benefit from sleep deprivation.

This article has been republished from materials provided by The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

The Finite Difference Between Acute and Chronic

I still remember the first thing said at my two-month pain clinic. This could be partly due to the fact I took it twice (due to my father’s passing); however, it is mostly because of the impact that it made on all of us. “You are not here for us to help you get rid …


Another lovely day in the dish. Construction going on, sirens, birds, traffic…All the things that ensure my aggravation and anxiety and I can’t escape. To top matters off, the midwest weather gods decided “almost fall? Hey, let’s crank it back to 97 with 60% humidity!” Even in air conditioning it’s pretty miserable. And I do live in a tin box with one window AC so going home is even worse than this shop. Plus, it’s dead so basically I just alternate watching Sons Of Anarchy with smoke breaks and talking to the stray cats that congregate next door.

Yesterday was going along fine…then enter R and it all went to shit. I asked for a few bucks to buy baggies to pack my kid’s lunch, gas, etc. He hands me this half shredded credit card and says it works. Only to find out at the store with several items it was declined repeatedly. The 97 degree heat and going home to a steaming hot trailer with a yapping child just amped up the aggravation. Spook starts acting out, then she’s so careless and hyper she dragged a basket of 2 week old kittens across the floor by a string and they came tumbling out. And rather than say “I’m so sorry, kitties, it was an accident!”…she starts crying because I called her out on being so careless and says I’m abusive (she’s thrown that abuse word out two days in a row now) and I don’t care for her.

I was furious, livid, disgusted. The other day she grabbed my hand, and I said ouch, cos I have those knuckles busted up from tearing down TV’s…I say ouch, she squeezes harder and starts laughing maniacally. I’m not a kid expert and maybe my anxiety and moods distort my perceptions sometimes but…there is something wrong with my child. Be it behavior or chemical, there is a problem. Maybe it’s in the early stages but her reactions are just…self serving or cruel. And she has enough friends around to give me a base idea on how others her age range react to things and even the devil kids pretend to be sorry when they do wrong. Mine doesn’t pretend, just goes defensive and it’s all poor her. Hours later she asked me why I was still upset and I asked, why am I upset, and she couldn’t come up with an answer except to launch into ‘you care more about cats than your kid!”.

I care about living creatures being injured, whether it’s accidental or on purpose. This does not mean I love her any less. But yeah, hurt feelings are trumped by four tiny little baby kitties who just got the equivalent of rolled in a car down a steep hill courtesy of Miss Rambunctious. But now, I even have to feel shitty for caring about animals because it apparently means I hurt my kid’s feelings.

I can’t breathe anymore with this kid. Love love love her, but she is like an ever tightening noose around my neck. And thing is, only a fraction of it is actually her. Most of it is just me burning the candle at both ends trying to survive and not let down a friend whose help we need. All this time in the dish, the noise, the stimuli, her obsession with her friends to the neglect of all else….It’s wearing me down. And the pms is making me downright snappy. To my credit, I’ve not even given her a swat on the butt. To my chagrin, I have said some harsh things or used a harsher than intended voice. I’ve apologized, of course, but my kid’s memory is good when it comes to being wronged. She still talks about a boy who hit her when she was 4. Daily guilt servings on top of everything else…

Feels like I am starting to unravel. I am trying to do mind over matter, stay upbeat, take a breather where I can, but…I’m basically a computer running on Windows 98 trying to function in a world running Win 7 or above. My hardware and software are incompatible and critical processes are incomplete, shutting down, frozen, overheating…

This was proven last night when R stopped by to give me a different card to use (this one mangled, too, but it worked) and the cashier had me prepay for fuel…My dumb ass drove off without even putting gas in the car! Worse, I went to Aldi, got some food, and was home 20 minutes before I even realized I hadn’t put gas in the car!!! Thank God for small towns so the cashier actually remembered me and helped make it right.

A mutual friend of mine and R’s just stopped in and started carrying on about how upset I made him when I was on the phone telling him about his customers’ complaints and wanting their deposits back…Then, per her norm, she backtracks and says she likes us both and nothing bad was said. Like I’d said something bad against him. All I am doing is relaying FACTS. People don’t want to wait six months for repairs, it’s basic common sense. Then she started in on Facebook this and that, Trump’s abolishing child support, Dollar Tree is closing…

Before panicking, I did a Google search. YES, these stories are out there. FACT TIME. They are all hoaxes from a site designed for people to generate their own news stories (react365,never trust anything stemming from it and if it’s on Facebook, triple check your facts!).

What I did find was an astounding number of Facebook pages with titles such as “child support is a joke”. And thousands of followers, all parents paying support and griping that they have to pay to support their kids. Are these people serious? If you’re paying too much, you had a shit lawyer. Have the state handle it and it stays at 20% of your income and stop your fucking whining. And all the “I pay but she won’t let me see my kid(s)” set…There are remedies for that too, so shut up.t

Just makes me remember the donor’s last girlfriend going around telling people how poor donor had to pay support and I haven’t let him see his daughter in 6 years, boo hoooo. Um…same address 8 years, he used to live there so he knows where it is. You want to see her, just show an interest. I am not one of those mom nazis who wants the money out of greed or spite. I have zero desire to keep her from her father. I have 100% desire to keep im away from me, but being an adult, I know realistically I will have to deal with him. I accept that. But I am NOT okay with false accusations. 6 years, not even a birthday card in the mail? Yeah, I’m the bad guy.

On the plus side, Nancy (the mutual friend) said I am falling apart worse than is and she said I should just take a break whether he likes it or not. So I’m not malingering, I am visibly a train wreck! Yay!

Ugh. This post went sideways fast. Oh, well. Welcome to living inside my head. It’s not pretty, is it?

Bad Night

Bob is still on his Decadron prescription and didn’t sleep worth a flip last night, so neither did I.  I am so tired this morning.  It was awful to get up with them and now I’m just dragging through the day.  But I’ve lost seven pounds since Labor Day on this non-caffeine diet, substituting water for it.  So that makes me feel good. I’m still way too heavy but having some loss while enduring this makes it more bearable.

Tomorrow’s my birthday and my mother -in-law wants to take me out to eat.  So that will be fun tomorrow. I hope this draggy spell breaks after my birthday–I usually have some depressive features around it but I’ve done pretty well this year.  I think it’s also that I’m excited about the present I’m getting from Bob so that helps :).

I give another test tomorrow.  I think I made it easier on them–at least I hope I did.  I don’t really like failing people.  But we will see.  Hope everyone has a good start to the weekend.

Surviving College While Bipolar

I had two goes at college, and they were very different from each other, based on the state of my bipolar disorder at the time.

The first time I went to college, for my undergraduate degree, I was undiagnosed and unmedicated – except for self-medication. I was away from home for the first time – that was my first goal when choosing a college, being after a “geographical cure.” I ended up in the Ivy League, a scholarship student and a fish out of water. And profoundly depressed.

I did manage to hit the ground hiking, as the university sponsored backpacking trips led by juniors and seniors for entering students. We used to joke that it was meant to lose a few along the way, but really it was for orientation. Campfire chats about college life and the like.

On that hike through the Adirondacks, I met Caren, Roberta, and Cyndi, who instantly became my best friends and were my support system throughout the five years I spent there.

Yes, five, though only four of them were really at the university. After my first year, I took a year off. My depression had gotten so bad that I was given to sitting on the floor in the hallway, staring at a poster for hours at a time instead of sleeping. During my year away, I worked a dreary but educational job as an evening shift cashier at a restaurant. When I returned, I had a new major and the same old depression.

Oh, I did have fits of hypomania. I joined a sorority during one, though I deactivated later in a depressive downturn. And I went through the ups and downs exacerbated by several failed romances, including one total trainwreck.

The only help I got, aside from the support of my friends, was one brief therapy group at the campus mental health center and a brief stay at the university clinic, because of some suicidal ideation that my friends recognized.

Needless to say, I came out in no better mental shape than I went in, but I did manage to snag a B.A. degree. Now I feel that I missed a lot of opportunities along the way. It was just another occasion when I felt that my lack of mental health got in the way of what could have been a more productive time, as a well as a happier one. When I left college I was still almost as ill-prepared to function as when I went in.

By the next time I gave college a try, I was, if not mentally healthy, at least mentally healthier. And being back in the town I had been so eager to leave, I had a larger support system, now including a therapist, parents, close friends, and a husband. This time I had help.

I was still a mess, but less of one. With my depression lifting, I was able to teach introductory courses and manage my own course load. I remember my first semester teaching as a blaze of hypomania as I adored the subject and thought I was sweeping all the students along with my enthusiasm. Then one of the students gave me a bad review and I plunged again, never to recover that soaring sensation. I plodded through the next three semesters of teaching.

This time I came out with an M.A. and better job prospects. The day after I graduated I was working as a temporary editorial assistant, a job I kept for 17 years, moving up to editor along the way.

What did my experiences with college teach me (aside from modern poetry and how to swallow aspirin without water)?

  1. Making it through college is possible when you’re unmedicated and have minimal support, but I don’t recommend it.
  2.  Even with diagnosis, medication, and support, it’s still not easy. You know how hard it is to get out of bed and take a shower some days? Now think about going to a class on top of that, where your work will be critiqued. Taking a year off was one of the best things I ever did.
  3. Being bipolar isn’t your only identity, though it looms large in your life. I was also a student, a teacher, a friend, a daughter, a wife, a poet, a cashier, and so many other things. I may not have enjoyed them as I should, gotten as much from them as I could, but they were as much a part of me as bipolar was.

I can’t see myself at this point going back to college and getting a Ph.D. Which is not to say I’ve never considered it. But I like to think that, were I to try, this time I would have a better chance of getting through, sanity intact, with something more to show for it than a piece of paper to hang on the wall. This time, I tell myself, I wouldn’t let Bipolar Me take the experience away from Me.

Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar type 2, college, depression, husband, hypomania, mental health, mental illness, mutual support, my experiences, poetry, support systems