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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.
Then there's the patient who is non-compliant with treatment. In her article Doctors Reject Difficult Patients, Patient Empowerment Guide Tricia Torrey gives the example of an overweight woman with diabetes who makes no effort to lose weight, which is critical to her health. Are psychiatric patients any different?
Many of you have talked about this in our forums. You believe that a drug is not helping you, or the side effects are too difficult, and stop taking the drug without your doctor's approval. Whether you find you were right or wrong about the problems, your doctor may simply feel you are uncooperative and refuse to continue seeing you.
Some of you say that your doctor is arrogant, believing that the drugs prescribed are the only ones that are right for you, no matter what you say. Tricia has written guidelines for dealing with arrogant doctors that may help you.
But sometimes a doctor will refuse to see a patient who never understands why. Do you see yourself in any of these common doctors' complaints?
If you've had a doctor "fire" you, what was the reason? And were you better or worse off afterward? Leave a comment and tell us your story.
Our daughter got $500 a year deductible with $1500 max out of pocket for $127 a month. We have friends up the road who have preexisting conditions and their current insurance - with a $10,000 deductible - was going up to $1800 a month. They just signed up and got the gold plan with $500 deductible for $187 a month. I KNOW a lot people it's helping right now, and they weren't "uninsured." They were, like 80% of "insured" Americans, Underinsured.My premium is high, because (a) I am a tobacco user, and (b) my income is high enough that I don't qualify for any credits. So don't take MY premium to be a prime example.
Two of our community members replied in depth about their experiences as they grew older. In my own experience, I've found that with maturity came a broader sense of how I, affected as I am with bipolar II disorder, fit into the world and what I need to do to have the best possible life. I have learned to notice the world I live in.
When I was younger, all that mattered was ME. That's not a matter of depression or BP: That's a matter of being a teen and young adult. Important events took place in my home area that I didn't even know about till years later. All that mattered was my angst.
I was 28 when I finally started - with the help of a very good counselor - to find some maturity. Then it's a long process. Have I grown up altogether? No - I still know how to play, and that's a good thing.
So has life "gotten better"? In spite of my difficult struggles with depression and anxiety, yes, it has. Now see what our community members said:
A 2010 CNN article on medical conditions and TSA's screening procedures touches on several situations where people could be subject to intrusive body searches because of conditions like cancer or joint replacements. In the list the writer includes, "What about people with mental illnesses?" but doesn't address the question. Finally, the article suggests that people have a doctor's note describing their conditions.
Reading this, it burst over me just how problematic these procedures could be for a person - or a child! - with a mental illness. In addition to the fact that children are taught never to let a stranger touch them, especially on certain parts of their bodies, a child with bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, or another condition that can include rages or hysteria, could be triggered into behavior that could make them uncontrollable on a plane.
There are several lessons to be learned from my experience. First and foremost: know your meds! Whether you're starting a new drug, changing an existing med's dosage, or taking an "as needed" medication, make sure you know what the potential side effects are and be prepared for them.
Second, keep your cell phone on or near you at all times. We all take medications that can have physical side effects, and if you need to call a friend, a doctor, or 911, you need a phone right there - not in another room, as mine was.
Third - if you get dizzy or have balance trouble, sit down immediately. If you're not near a chair, a couch, a bed - even a toilet - sit down on the floor. Ignoring dizziness or loss of balance when it begins can be really dangerous. One reader told me, "My balance is off because of my meds. I face planted on my ceramic floor after tripping and ended up with 16 stitches in my head."
It all adds up to: Don't take chances with your medications. Ignoring their effects, whether it's not preparing for them before they occur, or not paying attention when they do occur, can really hurt you.
Well, that was fine with the two older cats. But then one night the youngster, Buzz, got up on my desk and started licking the pills in the tray, which I'd set out but not taken yet. ACK! I grabbed him right away and tossed him off the desk, then took the pills immediately (yes, the ones he'd licked - they're just too expensive to throw away).