Do you know what Tardive Dyskinesia is?

FDA Approves Treatment for Tardive Dyskinesia

A new drug valbenazine (trade name Ingrezza) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia.

Tardive dyskinesia, a side effect of long-term use of antipsychotic medication, consists of involuntary movements of the tongue, face, torso, arms, and legs. It can interfere with walking, talking, and breathing.

The approval followed 20 clinical trials of valbenazine that included a total of more than 1000 participants who had symptoms of tardive dyskinesia in addition to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder.

In a 2017 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researcher Robert A. Hauser and colleagues reported that patients who received 80 mg/day of valbenazine had a significant reduction in tardive dyskinesia symptoms after six weeks compared to those who received placebo. Participants who received 40 mg/day of valbenazine also had reductions in symptoms, although not as dramatic as with the higher dose.

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Have you experienced a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance abuse problem simultaneously. Dual diagnosis is a very broad category. It can range from someone developing mild depression because of binge drinking, to someone’s symptoms of bipolar disorder becoming more severe when that person abuses heroin during periods of mania.

Either substance abuse or mental illness can develop first. A person experiencing a mental health condition may turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication to improve the troubling mental health symptoms they experience.

Research shows though that drugs and alcohol only make the symptoms of mental health conditions worse. Abusing substances can also lead to mental health problems because of the effects drugs have on a person’s moods, thoughts, brain chemistry and behavior.

See more at:  NAMI.org

Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?

Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared and this article would have come in handy.  Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were any questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned. 

This article was written by: Natasha Tracy on Healthyplace.com

Recently, someone wrote me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because, essentially, people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will be asking you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?

Write Down What Concerns You Before Your Psychiatric Appointment

Many people get in front of a psychiatrist a freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Everything that has been odd and everything that you think might be odd should go down on the list, with examples.

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Can you tell if I have Bipolar Disorder?

Mental illness is surrounded by a glut of half-truths and untruths. If you tell someone that you’ve been diagnosed with, for example, bipolar disorder, they are likely to roll their eyes and say, “I don’t believe it – you don’t look mentally ill…?” What does mental illness look like then?

Which brings me to my question: Do I perchance look like I have Bipolar Disorder? I don’t think I do. Am I perhaps making something out of nothing?

Self-confidence and self-esteem slid into the basement and remained there for too many years. Trudging through the mud, and finally locating a ladder to climb up, rung by rung, I achieved the surface. An awfully scary surface.

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“High Functioning” Bipolar Disorder

45 Truths People With Bipolar Disorder Wish Others Understood:

This article was written by:  from HealthyPlace.com (Breaking Bipolar Blog)

Sometimes people don’t believe I’m particularly sick. They meet me, I look fine, I interact, I charm, I wit and all seems, if not normal, at least something reasonably normal adjacent.

And that’s fine. It’s by design. Being a high-functioning mentally ill person, I can’t really afford to run around with my hair on fire. But faking normalcy, happiness and pleasure is a tricky and very expensive bit of business.

High-Functioning Bipolar

Being a “high-functioning” bipolar doesn’t really have a definition, per se. The term indicates that I’m not in a mental hospital, and I do things like live on my own, pay rent, work, and whatnot. I would suggest that being “high-functioning” seems to indicate that I can fake not being a crazy person.

High-Functioning Weekdays

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Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?

 

Bipolar Disorder Often Misdiagnosed as Major Depression

Researchers Pinpoint 5 Factors That Can Help Improve Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

I’ve been hunting for an article just like this, perhaps info for my dilemma ‘Major Depression diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder’.

 I was diagnosed as BP II in 1997, at which time psychiatrists prescribed mood stabilizers, followed by antidepressants and a myriad of medications throughout the years. 

A number of these medications are still prescribed, so I’m puzzled by this diagnosis, considering primarily fighting off major depression for years.  Episodes of “mood swings”, “rapid cycling” or “mania”, just aren’t there.  I’m demanding a reevaluation; perhaps confirming meds that may not even be necessary.

About one in three people diagnosed with major depression may actually have bipolar disorder, researchers report.

Five characteristics, including extreme mood swings and psychiatric symptoms at a young age, may help pinpoint which patients actually have bipolar disorder, they say.

Bipolar disorder covers a spectrum of disorders in which patients may be sad and down one day and feeling on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose the next.

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Bipolar Disorder – Just The Facts

In my opinion, for years now, whenever bipolar disorder is revealed on social media it relates to some heinous, horrid crime. Mass shootings or some horrific crime such as a vicious assault, or violent murders.  Less often is anything else said about bipolar, such as research or how the average person struggling with this disorder lives.

No surprise there is a stigma with mental illness, let alone bipolar disorder or depression.  I was diagnosed with BP in the late 1990’s due to a few hypomanic episodes, however, my history shows I’m usually in the “basement”, staggering through the muck, fighting depression.  I wonder how thorough that test was for the doctor to diagnose me as Bipolar?For me, it’s a label, but I hate to even divulge I have BP.  Shame really….imagine being ashamed of an illness?

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?

Those struggling with Bipolar Disorder and substantial weight gain will be especially interested in this article!

This article appeared on a new site I found Science20.com discussing Bipolar Disorder.  The words ‘Lithium’, ‘weight gain’ and ‘olanzapine’ are mentioned which are all too familiar to me.  Having gained about 60 pounds, I never put two and two together that meds were contributing to my expanding waistline.

Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to people who experience periods of intense low mood but also periods of elation and increased energy which can lead to impaired judgement and risky behaviour. The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that around 1% of the adult population experience bipolar symptoms at some point in their life.

UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. However, more than 60% of people with the diagnosis stop taking their medication at some point. This is often because of the common and severe and unpleasant side effects that drugs such as lithium and olanzapine can produce. These include dizziness, diarrhea, slowed movement and substantial weight gain.

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Can you tell if I have Bipolar Disorder?

Face, Women, Look, Girl, Think, Eyes

Mental illness is surrounded by a glut of half-truths and untruths. If you tell someone that you’ve been diagnosed with, for example, bipolar disorder,  they are likely to roll their eyes and say, “I don’t believe it – you don’t look mentally ill…?”  What does mental illness look like then?

Which brings me to my question: Do I perchance look like I have Bipolar Disorder? I don’t think I do. Am I perhaps making something out of nothing? Self-confidence and self-esteem slid into the basement and remained there for too many years. Trudging through the mud, and finally locating a ladder to climb up, rung by rung, I achieved the surface.  An awfully scary surface.

To look at me, I hope you’d never guess I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggling with PTSD. There’s no sign around my neck, but if you worked with me, for example, you’d soon notice that I’m perhaps “different,” or a little “odd”. For one thing, I’m somewhat negative at times, having difficult moments following directions, have to write everything down or repeated. Sometimes I can’t keep focus, have mood changes and where other people find new work assignments challenging; I sit in self-doubt and bewilderment.

“My self-confidence feels in jeopardy each moment”.

I’m the one who takes their performance review to heart. If I only score nine rights on my monthly performance review and one is negative, I feel total devastation, berating myself repeatedly. A true perfectionist, at least, I try to be, however letting myself down is somewhat of a crucifixion. But, I am your dependable employee,  the one who shows up promptly for work, the gleeful one, the one who shows little anger, and the one touted as paramount in customer service. I must apply a mask for the most part.

Although I felt as if a hex was put upon me years ago, I feel slightly different now. I’m still bitter about the illness at times but realizing that THIS is ME.

Written & copyright by Deb

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: The Overlap

The two disruptive mental conditions which contribute to the ‘dysfunctionality’ of the normal human behavior, are intricately connected and often difficult to distinguish. An individual diagnosed…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: medium.com

The Mental Illness of Isaac Newton

This statue was shot outside the British Library in London, UK   Image Source:  Wikipedia

It is almost a platitude to acknowledge Isaac Newton as one of history’s greatest geniuses. In all likelihood, his intelligence level outstripped what contemporary IQ tests are even designed to measure. He articulated the law of gravitation, the three major laws of motion, made important discoveries in astronomy, optics and mathematics, making it possible to calculate distances, speeds, and weights. These discoveries laid the foundation for numerous important modern discoveries.

Nevertheless, Newton was not exactly what one would describe as mentally healthy. Exactly what was responsible for his mental suffering is controversial, but many speculate that he suffered from bipolar disorder. Beginning in early life, he was extremely reclusive and spent most of his childhood in solitude, building miniature mills, carts, and machines.

He was neurotic, arrogant, and in later life, prone to fits of explosive rage, which he discharged on family and friends. At one point, he threatened to kill his parents and burn their house down. He was particularly reactive when his work was criticized, which would be the occasion of fits of rage and withdrawal from the scientific community, refusing to speak with scientists who disagreed with him.

Indeed, he was highly introverted and rarely contributed to conversations at all. He befriended only one person at Cambridge and recorded struggles with anxiety, depression, self-loathing and suicidal ideation in his journals.

He would also have periods of intense remorse over his rage, during which time he would list the wrongdoings of which he had become guilty during these periods. With the exception of his niece, Catherine Barton, and the Swiss mathematician Fatio de Duillier, he does not seem to have developed meaningful or deep interpersonal relationships at all.

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Guest Post: There’s Nothing Funny About Being Bipolar

This thought provoking article was written by Rebecca Lombardo author of “It’s Not Your Journey” describing both mental illness stigma and bipolar disorder.

When I have to look at a person and say, “I’m bipolar,” they get a bemused expression on their face as if they’re waiting for the punchline. That’s all there is to it, and believe me, this is not a joke my friend.

I can’t think of many more things as infuriating as someone using a mental illness as an insult. You’re going to hear, “Oh my God! Don’t be so bipolar!” much more than you’re going to get, “Wow, do you have to act so diabetic all the time?”

The truth is that there are many people that are bipolar and have done horrible things. Things like theft, murder, even rape. That does not mean that all of us are capable of such unspeakable acts. Hollywood doesn’t help matters at all. Have you ever been using one of the movie streaming services and caught a glimpse of a film that might be interesting? Sure, many people have. How many times have you clicked on the description of that film and discovered that the lead in the story is a horribly insane person, and you guessed it…bipolar.

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Why I Created “Living in Stigma” and 9 Ways We Need To Stop Mental Illness Stigma

stigma_2

When I activated my first blog in 2005, it focused on humorous articles only.  During that time I was struggling with major depression, yet amazingly I was competent enough to write posts, and surprisingly these articles were a remarkable success.

I continued on and gathered many followers, all the time questioning whether to write about my mental illness, yet frankly, I was very embarrassed and uncomfortable to share my thoughts and life of hell with any of my blogging buddies, the blogging world, or should if anyone in my circle of “personal people” were ever to uncover my ‘secret’, I’d be devastated.

I eventually mentioned it to two trusted blogging friends my apprehension, and them replying, “why are you so embarrassed, it not your fault you were ill, write about it, who cares if people don’t like it, go by ‘anonymous’, not using your real name this time”.  And so I did, in 2007, I began this blog.  It’s been an enormous success from day one, with so much support from the blogging community and it was the stigma that held me back from starting this blog sooner.

I was living in stigma (shame) thus the name “Living in Stigma” –Deb

~~~~

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Don’t Give Up ~~ For all of us with Mental Illness, as we struggle each day

One of my Twitter followerers, @Edelheizer_48 sent this to me, an inspiring song that touched my heart and I thought of all people who struggle with mental illness (including stigma), here’s to you….

Memory Tips for Bipolar Disorder

image: google.ca

Memory is a problem for me and if I find any article with tips I will take notes.  This one appeared in Bipolar Network News for Bipolar Disorder, yet may apply to anyone to sharpen their memory.

Like cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients with bipolar disorder often have memory problems, particularly if they have had many prior episodes. Some memory tips from CancerCare’s Chemobrain Information Series may also help patients with bipolar disorder remember things better and keep their memory sharp. Here are some of their tips:

  • Make lists. Carry a notepad with you, or use a smartphone to keep track of errands, shopping lists, daily tasks, and when you should take your medications.
  • Use a paper or electronic day planner or a personal organizer to keep track of appointments and special days like birthdays or anniversaries.
  • Use a wall calendar and hang it in a place that you will see it multiple times per day.
  • Carry a notebook and record everything you need to remember, including to-do lists; the dates, times, and addresses of appointments; important telephone numbers; and the names of people you meet and a brief description of them. You can also use the notebook to keep track of medical information: your medication schedule, any symptoms or side effects you are having, or questions to ask your doctor. You can also do this using an app like What’s My M3 or by downloading a personal mood charting calendar from our website.
  • Leave yourself a voicemail message to remember something important. When you listen to it later, write down the information.
  • Organize your home or office. Keep things in familiar places so you always know where to find them.
  • Avoid distractions. Find a quiet, uncluttered place to work or think where you can focus your attention for longer.
  • Have conversations in quiet places. This will help you concentrate better on what the other person is saying.
  • Repeat information aloud, and write down important points. If someone gives you information about an appointment, you might repeat the time, date, and location of the appointment out loud while righting it down.
  • Keep your mind active. You can use crossword puzzles, word or math games, or attend events about topics that interest you.
  • When writing, proofread. Double-check whether you’ve used the correct words and spellings.
  • Train yourself to focus through mindfulness. For example, if you keep misplacing your keys, pay extra attention each time you set down your keys. You may say aloud, “I’m putting my keys down on the counter.” Hearing the auditory cue can boost your memory.
  • Exercise, eat well and get plenty of rest and sleep. These habits will help your memory work best.
  • Tell your loved ones that you are having memory problems, so that they’ll understand that you may forget things you may normally be able to remember. They can help you or encourage you.

Two tips that have helped me are:

  • Quit multitasking
  • Master a new skill (crafts, Mandala coloring)

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication

This article appeared on a new site I found Science20.com discussing Bipolar Disorder.  The words ‘Lithium’, ‘weight gain’ and ‘olanzapine’ are mentioned which are all too familiar to me.

Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to people who experience periods of intense low mood but also periods of elation and increased energy which can lead to impaired judgement and risky behaviour. The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that around 1% of the adult population experience bipolar symptoms at some point in their life.

UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. However, more than 60% of people with the diagnosis stop taking their medication at some point. This is often because of the common and severe and unpleasant side effects that drugs such as lithium and olanzapine can produce. These include dizziness, diarrhea, slowed movement and substantial weight gain.

A recent review also suggested that medication only helps a small proportion of those it is prescribed to. The review looked at 12 different medication regimes used under several different circumstances and found the highest success rate was just 33%. And lithium, a drug that NICE recommends as the “first-line, long-term pharmacological treatment for bipolar disorder” was found to benefit only about one in seven patients. It is also a very toxic drug.Recent research has found that around one in three of those taking lithium over many years will go on to suffer from chronic renal failure.

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9 Things People In Therapy Want You To Know

I found this article informative, for one I would never tell anyone I was attending therapy and two, it’s none of their business.  I would imagine they’d be picturing me laying on a couch while a male/female psychologist was taking notes saying “ah-hum” repeatedly.  

Written by: Lindsay Holmes Healthy Living Editor, The Huffington Post

Therapy can be a loaded word. Misunderstandings about mental health mean this treatment, which has helped millions of people, is sometimes judged and stigmatized — and that can stand in the way of healing.

So here’s a PSA to the entire world: Therapy is not a bad thing.

Seeing a mental health professional is no different than seeing a specialist for any other illness. Research shows therapy is one of the best ways to treat mental health disorders. Period. And for those without a mental illness, it’s a great way to simply work through pressing life issues that may be causing some stress.

Therapists can give a person the tools they need to successfully manage their condition. It’s perfectly reasonable to go to a clinician for a physical illness. Shouldn’t the same expectation apply to a clinician for a mental illness?

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Does Diabetes Complicate Bipolar Disorder?

People with bipolar disorder are three times more likely than the general population to develop type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes typically occurs in adulthood and is associated with insulin resistance, as opposed to type 1, which is usually diagnosed in childhood and is associated with insulin deficiency.

In a talk at the 2015 meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry, researcher Tomas Hajek reported that in a large group of bipolar patients, 13% reported a history of type 2 diabetes, 21% were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes upon laboratory evaluation, and 32.2% had pre-diabetes without realizing it. Thus, about half of these patients with bipolar disorder were either affected by diabetes or at risk for it, many without knowing it.

The Bad News

Diabetes complicates the course of bipolar illness. Type 2 diabetes is associated with poorer response to treatment, atrophy of the hippocampus, cognitive impairment, and higher rates of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to full-blown dementia.

The main effect of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance. The body produces enough insulin, but insulin’s effects at its receptors are impaired. Diabetes also causes deficits in growth factors, increases in the enzyme GSK3B, decreases in mitochondria and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, which protects neurons), and glucose toxicity.
Recent research by Hajek and colleagues shows that diabetes has several other detrimental effects on the brain in bipolar disorder.

On magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) scans, people with type 2 diabetes had lower levels of NAA, a marker of neuronal integrity, in the prefrontal cortex. This can indicate impaired functioning. People with type 2 diabetes also had lower levels of creatine, indicating impaired energy metabolism. In addition, hippocampal volume decreases with aging, and type 2 diabetes accelerated this age-related decline.

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Doc, should I be on this many psych meds?

image: The 104 Homestead

I have the luxury of a blister pack now which is filled by the pharmacist for all of my medications.  It also provides me with a record of all medication prescribed, when to take them, dosages, repeats etc., and as I gaze at the list I shudder questioning “ should I be on this myriad of medications, and for how many years now?”  According to my psychiatrist, I should.

Maybe it’s time to reexamine just what I’m taking, but need to ensure there would be no huge regrets.  Previously, at my appointments, it was considered, yet over the years I’ve struggled with some very dark times and meds required adjusting. I’m coping better now, so perhaps time to reassess the meds and also my psychiatric diagnosis from 1994.

An article on PsychologyToday.com talks about this subject, written by Eugene Rubin, M.D., Ph.D.

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Obesity & Bipolar Disorder

This article was on PsychCentral.com. 

If you’re like half the population of the United States, you’ve been worried about your weight at some point recently. That stands to reason as 39% of adults in the U.S. are overweight and 13% are obese. I am one of those people. In fact, when I came across the research on bipolar disorder and obesity, I didn’t want to write about it. It’s too personal.

I spend a lot of time worried about my weight. It’s not just vanity. Let’s be real, vanity is at least one factor for most of us who want to lose weight. I tell myself that if I were thinner people would respect me more, that my weight makes them think I have no self-control or self-worth. Well, the latter happens to be true sometimes because I have bipolar disorder; so there’s that. My focus is also on my health. I just want to feel better overall.

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The time has come

time has come1 - chuchy5-deviantart-com

Pieces of Bipolar

I’m terrified! It’s back to work tomorrow after an absence of almost 2 months.

Firstly, do I still have my job? That is, either a job within the company or my job as it was before I left. My concern is valid. On my return to work after a previous hospitalisation 5 years ago, I began my first day back learning a new job. Ya get my drift, right. I’m worried…. very, very worried.

And secondly there’s the curiosity factor. The surprise to see me, the little-bit-frightened to see me (‘cos ignorance) and can’t quite make eye contact, the questions, the gossiping and ultimately the judgment.

Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in ages? I heard you were sick, what was wrong with you?

Oooohmehgod! I’m bipolar for godness sake. I’ll rattle off the truth, social boundaries be damned:
Well, ….. suicidal ………. psych hospital ……. suicide…

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16 Ways Life Would Change in a World Without Mental Illness Stigma

This article was well written and appeared in The Mighty.  It contains quotes from people who have experienced stigma and how they feel their life would change if only they were free to be who they are.

I wrote a similar post that would set me free from the stigma of mental illness called “Stigma – What Would Your Life Be Like?” that I would like to share.  As some of you who have also experienced hell with this illness, I remain in the same boat.  It’s unfair, but we must remain strong while still getting the word out about STIGMA.

https://cherished79.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/no-stigma-what-would-your-life-be-like/

The Mighty Article

http://themighty.com/2015/10/16-ways-life-would-change-in-a-world-without-mental-illness-stigma/

How would a stigma-free world look like for you?

Having Bipolar, does this make me a Genius?

New study claims to find genetic link between creativity and mental illness

Results imply creative people are 25% more likely to carry genes that raise risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But others argue the evidence is flimsy

In a large study published, scientists in Iceland report that genetic factors that raise the risk of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are found more often in people in creative professions. Painters, musicians, writers and dancers were, on average, 25% more likely to carry the gene variants than professions the scientists judged to be less creative, among which were farmers, manual labourers and salespeople.

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BIPOLAR – Hey, Is this a lifelong illness?

bi-polar bears      

Bipolar Disorder: Forms of Bipolar Disorder

There are several types of bipolar disorder; all involve episodes of depression and mania to a degree.

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness

Episodes of mania and depression eventually can occur again, if you don’t get treatment. A small percentage of people will continue to have symptoms, even after getting treatment.

Bipolar I disorder involves episodes of severe mood swings, from mania and depression.

Bipolar II disorder is a milder form, involving milder episodes of hypomania that alternate with depression.

 Cyclothymic disorder describes even milder mood changes.

With mixed bipolar disorder, there is both mania and depression at the same time. “The person feels grandiose, with racing thoughts, all this energy — but is also irritable, angry, moody, feeling bad,” says Michael Aronson, MD, a clinical psychiatrist and consultant for WebMD. “This can be a dangerous mix.”

Rapid-cycling bipolar disorder is characterized by four or more mood episodes that occur within a 12-month period. Some people experience multiple episodes within a single week, or even within a single day. Rapid cycling tends to develop later in the course of illness. Women are more likely than men to have rapid cycling. A rapid-cycling pattern increases risk for severe depression and suicide attempts.

Antidepressants are thought to trigger and prolong rapid cycling. However, that theory is controversial and is still being studied.

WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic.   You can read full article @

http://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/guide/bipolar-disorder-forms

I was a guest on a Radio Talk Show!

 

Yesterday, on “Hot off the Press” @Wordpress.com, they posted an article: “WordPressers Making a Splash

We read hundreds of blogs and websites every day, from up-and-coming voices and established pros alike. We love visiting those sites on WordPress.com, but it’s just as rewarding to see other platforms embrace the work of writers, journalists, and artists who regularly publish here, introducing it to new audiences.

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Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?

Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared and this article would have come in handy.  Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were any questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned. 

This article was written by: Natasha Tracy on Healthyplace.com

Recently, someone wrote me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because, essentially, people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will be asking you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?

Write Down What Concerns You Before Your Psychiatric Appointment

Many people get in front of a psychiatrist a freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Everything that has been odd and everything that you think might be odd should go down on the list, with examples.

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Living with Bipolar, living with a short fuse

Image source: refinery29.com

This was written on a PsychCentral.com blog by :

Ever wonder how many people living with bipolar disorder, live with anger and rage issues? I know for myself, I had the proverbial “Short Fuse” in my past.

Yet, having such a short line to my anger and rage caused me more stress, and less productivity. Being angry all the time, I truly believe, it has shorten my life!

I still have bouts with anger, mostly it is at myself.  I think it will be something I’ll always work on.  I’m happy to report the anger and rage that once consumed me years ago is no longer a “short fuse.”

 

What has helped me the most is the simplest of all techniques. This could be based on the concept of Dr. Richard Carlson, Ph.D, he was the “foremost expert on happiness and stress reduction.” If you don’t know him by name you, surely must of heard of his book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s All Small Stuff.”.

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Which psych meds could be causing your weight gain?

You watch what you eat and fit regular workouts into your schedule. So why is the number on your scale going up instead of down? The reason might lie in your bathroom cabinet.“As many as 10% to 15% of weight issues are related to medications,” says Louis Aronne, MD, director of the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Medical College.Some meds can make you feel hungrier. Others slow your body’s ability to burn calories or cause you to hold onto extra fluids.The effects aren’t the same for everybody, though. “One person might gain 15 pounds on one drug. Another might not gain anything,” Aronne says.If you suspect the medicines that you take are behind your weight gain, don’t go off them before you talk to your doctor. “You might need to be on that drug to save your life,” says Donald Waldrep, MD, co-director of The Center for Weight Loss Surgery at Los Robles Hospital. You may be able to switch to another medication, including one that can even help you shed pounds. If not, your doctor can suggest what you should do to offset the weight gain.

“There’s evidence that a low-carb diet and more exercise may help,” says Sue DeCotiis, MD, a board-certified internist who specializes in medical weight loss.

Below are some types of medicines that may be the cause of your expanding waistline. It’s not a complete list, so speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about your prescriptions.

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WHY…..and mental illness

 WHYAnd Mental Illness

        *       Why will we always have to accept that mental illness stigma will exist in our society, and we must continue to remain tight-lipped about this illness.  The outside world cannot fathom to the degree of the stamina, strength and what we have sacrificed in our lives.  Yet, we must live under a veil of secrecy for fear of reprisal in society and especially in the real working world.  Somewhat of a prejudice, for if another major illness was presented, there would be no problem.

 *       Why are we perceived as having a character flaw; what does that have to do with the illness?

 *       Why do people with mental illness, namely bipolar disorder, stop taking their medications when they begin to feel better?  It’s comparable to someone with heart disease, and whose blood pressure is finally under control.  Would he/she then stop taking the heart meds?  This doesn’t make sense.

 *       Why do some psychiatrists think they know everything, yet prove otherwise when we continue to remain unwell for years and years?

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Obesity & Bipolar Disorder

This article was on PsychCentral.com via Twitter this morning:

If you’re like half the population of the United States, you’ve been worried about your weight at some point recently. That stands to reason as 39% of adults in the U.S. are overweight and 13% are obese. I am one of those people. In fact, when I came across the research on bipolar disorder and obesity, I didn’t want to write about it. It’s too personal.

I spend a lot of time worried about my weight. It’s not just vanity. Let’s be real, vanity is at least one factor for most of us who want to lose weight. I tell myself that if I were thinner people would respect me more, that my weight makes them think I have no self-control or self-worth. Well, the latter happens to be true sometimes because I have bipolar disorder; so there’s that. My focus is also on my health. I just want to feel better overall.

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