Bipolar is a myth! Every symptom of Bipolar is a natural human trait which has simply been blown out of proportion to what society believes is normal. Every human being has the potential to be labelled with Bipolar and many are being labelled with it just because they don't conform to the "norm."
Mental illness is more often than not caused by trauma (both physical and mental) or actual brain damage. Bipolar is not a mental illness, it is a label given to people who find it hard to cope with themselves, need attention and are who want to be cared for and controlled by medication. People are just individuals trying to belong in a sociological system controlled by conformist who want us all not to buck their system.
When I woke up the morning after taking a prescribed sleep medication for the first time, I nearly cried with joy: it was the first good night's sleep I'd had in 20 years. So you can see that I need help to sleep properly. Without meds it can take me an hour to fall asleep, and then I wake up over and over and am unrefreshed in the morning. I love my sleep meds - BUT...
Along comes hypomania, a rare occurrence for me. It didn't last long, but at its peak, I was so full of energy that the last thing I wanted to do was take my sleepy pills and break the mood.
My doctor, not surprisingly, didn't approve. I discussed this with the Facebook community, and they had plenty to say:
When the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy reviewed a large sample of online pharmacies, it found that only 3 percent were in compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards. Worse yet, says the FDA, it isn't always easy to tell a fake site from one that is legitimate.
The consequences of purchasing drugs over the internet can be serious. The FDA says, "The drugs you receive may look real, but they could be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise unsafe. If you receive counterfeit or substandard medicines, they could keep you from getting better, make you sick or worse."
Since even approved generic drugs can sometimes cause problems to individual patients, think how much worse those problems can be from a fake or adulterated drug!
Conducted in Sweden, the study looked at more than 2 million families. The researchers compared, for example, siblings who were born before and after their fathers turned 45, to determine whether mental illnesses were more prevalent in the younger children than the older. Based on these and other findings, it became clear that the age of the father plays a significant role in the risk of mental illnesses in his children.
Photo: Nasir Khan / Morguefile
A child was almost twice as likely to have an ASD when a parent had bipolar disorder, and 1.6 times more likely if there was a sibling with bipolar.
This isn't a scientific test - it's meant to give you information you can then take to a doctor, psychiatrist, counselor or other medical or mental health professional.
Use the results wisely! Mania, or a history of mania, requires immediate contact with a doctor. And even if your score doesn't indicate mania, the presence of several symptoms is a reason to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Today Valium is still prescribed, most often as the generic version diazepam. A friend of mine is taking it for severe muscle spasms. It can indeed be effective for treating anxiety. And unfortunately, it's often sold illegally. Because abuse or prolonged use can lead to addiction, Valium is a Class 4 controlled substance in the US, and patients can't get refills - they have to have a new prescription each month.
Anxiety and muscle spasms aren't the only uses for diazepam, and there are some important cautions and warnings. Here's an in-depth look at Valium/diazepam.
Latuda, by contrast, is considered weight neutral. Read More...
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The prosecution argued that she must have known something was wrong and should have pulled over as soon as she did. Based on my experience, I know the prosecution was wrong. Read More...
The Telegraph quoted the study's authors as giving several possible explanations for these results: "First, people in a state of hypomania, a mild period of mania or elevated mood, can often be witty and inventive, and able to link ideas in innovative ways.
But close on the heels of this approval comes word from Australia that there have been 21 confirmed cases where patients taking duloxetine - already in use there - in doses from 30 to 120mg/day developed the dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome. In ten additional cases Read More...
For people with depression and bipolar disorder, there are some factors that need careful judgment and consideration. Belviq works on one of the same neurotransmitter systems as many antidepressant drugs, while Qsymia contains both a stimulant and a medication, Topamax, that is already being used by some patients as a mood stabilizer. For this reason, drug interactions may be more likely between either of these drugs and meds taken for mood disorders.
There's nothing to say that people with bipolar can't take either of these new drugs to help with weight loss, but care is needed. Find out if Belviq and Qsymia are safe for you.
The study of 267 acutely manic patients over 3 weeks found that patients with a BMI below 28.8 were quite a bit more likely to respond to Geodon than their obese counterparts. And the difference was particularly dramatic regarding the blood sugar threshold - only 16% of patients with the higher glucose level responded to Geodon, while more than half of those with the lower level responded.
Ironically, Geodon is less likely to cause weight gain than several other antipsychotics such as Seroquel, Zyprexa and Abilify. Here's where Pfizer gets something good out of the study: the company is likely to use the results in encouraging doctors to prescribe Geodon sooner in a patient's treatment - to minimize weight gain in the first place.
The results underscore the importance of weight control in patients who need psychiatric medications. Studies are now urgently needed to determine whether other antipsychotics are also less effective in patients with higher BMI and/or blood glucose levels.
Though it's difficult, it's not impossible to lose weight while taking psychiatric medications. Read my review of two studies that found similar methods of managing diet and exercise were quite effective.
Picture: Hisayoshi Osawa / Getty Images
But Eagleton had a secret - he'd been hospitalized for depression and treated with ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Later he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
His secret didn't stay hidden for long after he was chosen as McGovern's running mate. Here's Eagleton's thought-provoking story. Read it and ask yourself - at what point does a mental illness become too much of a liability? Did his condition cross that line?
Why are people with bipolar more likely to have metabolic syndrome? Read More...
I have my own definition of "mental illness" and you probably do, too. Read what I've found out on the subject and take the opportunity to share your own thoughts at the end. Throwing Out the Concept of Mental Illness. Healthy Living NYC. 2010
Those responses show just how differently each person who has bipolar sees things. I was particularly struck by one person who said some days she'd find it funny, other days she'd be offended, depending on her mood. It's also apparent that personal experiences color people's reactions.
I compiled those responses, made a couple of similar images (the one on FB had a copyrighted source), and here present the results to you. Take a look, then come back here and give your own feelings in the comments.
"If you check the side effects of your medications," she said, "you'll see that many of them can cause dry mouth. Suppose three of them do - then you have dry mouth times three." She went on, "Every time you drink or eat something sugary, you have a 15-30 minute acid attack in your mouth. Add dry mouth, and that attack could last an hour. Rinsing with plain old water will restore the pH balance in your mouth faster."
I was really embarrassed. I'd written here about the causes and dangers of dry mouth, but Read More...
In 2010 I reported on a study looking for links between cannabis and the development of psychosis and bipolar. And back in 2005 a Dutch study found that marijuana use doubled the risk of developing schizophrenia.
Since both bipolar depression and mania can have psychotic features, there is at least some evidence that even medical marijuana use might increase the likelihood of hallucinations and delusions.
As McManamy says, substance abuse is quite prevalent among those with bipolar disorder. People have used alcohol and drugs to try to control their systems in great numbers. When the "cure" is the disease, it's called dual diagnosis.
What do you think?
Photo: Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Several readers shared their stories, including:
- My injury brought on mania and panic
- Journaling helped me cope
- Head injuries and bipolar disorder
- Planned surgery - prepare in advance
- Bad reactions to anesthesia
- Shoulder surgery has me feeling helpless
Photo: Kurhan, Stock.xchng
Suicide is a very real issue for those with bipolar disorder. Some estimates put the rate high as twenty percent of those with bipolar disorder who will kill themselves. That's one out of every five! And as many as thirty percent of all people with this disorder may attempt suicide at least once in their lives. So, the subject of suicide is not something we can ignore. Each of us needs to know the warnings signs, the red flags, of suicide so we may be prepared to help a friend in crisis, prepared to see the cry for help from a loved one, prepared to seek help when our own resources for coping have worn thin.
I did some research and found that the term brittle may be used when there is a history of easy relapse or when symptoms associated with the illness fluctuate unpredictably. When applied to bipolar disorder, brittle usually denotes that your mood swings are easily triggered and quickly switch between the poles of depression and mania.
What terms has your doctor used to describe your diagnosis?
But how can you tell when your experiences are normal and when they've pushed into the extremes of depression or mania associated with bipolar disorder? Should you consider scheduling an appointment to be evaluated by a psychiatrist? Here are Consider three basic rules of thumb that can help you decide if you need to seek professional help for what you are experiencing.
"I have an update on my personal use of the stuff. I think maybe people don't know how to properly swallow pills - at least to my knowledge, I was never really 'taught' how to do so. I had a huge problem with the things sticking in my throat and making me gag, but I never do anymore. You just need to get plenty of water in your mouth and tilt your head back. I think you will no longer have any trouble taking the stuff or any other pill if you do so. Simply tilting my head all the way back so it goes straight down my throat has allowed me to not only have it go down smooth, but I can now take 6 or 7 of my medication pills in a single swallow with this method."
I've tried it, and it works for me. For example, I take four huge fish oil capsules a day. Since they're slick, sometimes I don't have a problem, but some days they do make me gag. The method of swallowing pills Nicholas gave works every time with these monster capsules. I just have to make sure I'm not about to cough to avoid the danger of inhaling liquid (or pills). (I haven't tried multiple pills at one time because too many of my pills are very large.)
Do you have tricks that help you get your meds down? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
This made me wonder about the women in our community who have had children. Did you experience postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis? If so, how was it treated - and do you think it was the right treatment?
Sharma, V, et al. Bipolar II Postpartum Depression: Detection, Diagnosis, and Treatment. American Journal of Psychiatry 166.11 (2009): 1271. Web. 2 Nov 2009.
Friedman, S.H. Postpartum Mood Disorders: Genetic Progress and Treatment Paradigms. American Journal of Psychiatry 166.11 (2009): 1201. Web. 2 Nov 2009.