Monday, August 31, 2009

Bipolar Disorder 3

Hi Everyone I hope you are doing well, I am doing good. There is so much to learn about Bipolar Disorder that I have been braking them into parts. I hope you found this information helpful for you or a loved one. I realize now that there was so much I didn't understand about my mother's illness. Lithium did work well for her and with another family member who suffers from it today it is just a matter of finding the right combination of med's or a cocktail as some of the Doctor's call it. In the meantime life can be hell for those who suffer from this disorder. I admire each and every one of you who do and get up every morning and continue to fight. I wish for you a cure someday or a hope that you find your right combo or cocktail as they say.
Thanks for visiting my blog, Take Care, Janet :)

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
The first step in getting a proper diagnosis is to talk to a doctor, who may conduct a physical examination, an interview, and lab tests. Bipolar disorder cannot currently be identified through a blood test or a brain scan, but these tests can help rule out other contributing factors, such as a stroke or brain tumor. If the problems are not caused by other illnesses, the doctor may conduct a mental health evaluation. The doctor may also provide a referral to a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, who is experienced in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder. The doctor or mental health professional should conduct a complete diagnostic evaluation. He or she should discuss any family history of bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses and get a complete history of symptoms. The doctor or mental health professionals should also talk to the person’s close relatives or spouse and note how they describe the person’s symptoms and family medical history. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to seek help when they are depressed than when experiencing mania or hypomania. Therefore, a careful medical history is needed to assure that bipolar disorder is not mistakenly diagnosed as major depressive disorder, which is also called unipolar depression. Unlike people with bipolar disorder, people who have unipolar depression do not experience mania. Whenever possible, previous records and input from family and friends should also be included in the medical history.

How is bipolar disorder treated?
To date, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. But proper treatment helps most people with bipolar disorder gain better control of their mood swings and related symptoms. This is also true for people with the most severe forms of the illness. Because bipolar disorder is a lifelong and recurrent illness, people with the disorder need long-term treatment to maintain control of bipolar symptoms. An effective maintenance treatment plan includes medication and psychotherapy for preventing relapse and reducing symptom severity

Bipolar disorder can be diagnosed and medications prescribed by people with an M.D. (doctor of medicine). Usually, bipolar medications are prescribed by a psychiatrist. In some states, clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and advanced psychiatric nurse specialists can also prescribe medications. Check with your state’s licensing agency to find out more. Not everyone responds to medications in the same way. Several different medications may need to be tried before the best course of treatment is found. Keeping a chart of daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events can help the doctor track and treat the illness most effectively. Sometimes this is called a daily life chart. If a person’s symptoms change or if side effects become serious, the doctor may switch or add medications.
For the most up to date information on use and side effects contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at

1. Mood stabilizing medications are usually the first choice to treat bipolar disorder. In general, people with bipolar disorder continue treatment with mood stabilizers for years. Except for lithium, many of these medications are anti-convulsants. Anticonvulsant medications are usually used to treat seizures, but they also help control moods. These medications are commonly used as mood stabilizers in bipolar disorder:

Lithium (sometimes known as Eskalith or Lithobid) was the first mood-stabilizing medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1970s for treatment of mania. It is often very effective in controlling symptoms of mania and preventing the recurrence of manic and depressive episodes.

Valproic acid or divalproex sodium (Depakote), approved by the FDA in 1995 for treating mania, is a popular alternative to lithium for bipolar disorder. It is generally as effective as lithium for treating bipolar disorder. Also see the section in this booklet, “Should young women take valproic acid?”

More recently, the anticonvulsant lamotrigine (Lamictal) received FDA
approval for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.

Other anticonvulsant medications, including gabapentin (Neurontin), topi-ramate (Topamax), and oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) are sometimes prescribed. No large studies have shown that these medications are more effective than mood stabilizers.

Valproic acid, lamotrigine, and other anticonvulsant medications have an FDA warning. The warning states that their use may increase the risk of suicidal
thoughts and behaviors. People taking anticonvulsant medications for bipolar or other illnesses should be closely monitored for new or worsening symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. People taking these medications should not make any changes without talking to their health care professional.

Lithium and Thyroid Function
People with bipolar disorder often have thyroid gland problems. Lithium treatment may also cause low thyroid levels in some people. Low thyroid function, called hypothyroidism, has been associated with rapid cycling in some people with bipolar disorder, especially women. Because too much or too little thyroid hormone can lead to mood and energy changes, it is important to have a doctor check thyroid levels carefully. A person with bipolar disorder may need to take thyroid medication, in addition to medications for bipolar disorder, to keep thyroid levels balanced.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ted Kennedy and NAMI

Hi Everyone,
I hope you are doing well. I was fortunate enough yesterday to wave goodbye to Ted Kennedy as he and his family drove by me. What a moment in time I will never forget. I am learning more and more about all he did in his life. I did not know he did this for the mentally ill. Makes me appreciate his advocacy for all of us all the more.
God Bless and Rest in Peace.
Thanks for visiting my blog
Take Care,
Janet :)

Senator Ted Kennedy: A Member of the NAMI Family
August 26, 2009
Statement of Michael J. Fitzpatrick
Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI mourns the passing of U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a true champion for individuals and families affected by serious mental illness. This is a profound loss for the NAMI family.

We do not have to struggle to remember what Senator Kennedy accomplished in seeking to improve the lives of millions of Americans. The real challenge would be to try to recall what he didn’t do. His idealism moved the country. His pragmatism and ability to work with liberals and conservatives alike enacted legislation.

A year ago, along with his son Patrick, Senator Kennedy was a driving force in the enactment of the mental health insurance parity law. The parity law is one of the most significant victories of the past 10 years for people who live with mental illness. The full list is longer. It includes:

* Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
* Family & Medical Leave Act
* Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
* Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), supporting state programs to provide health insurance to uninsured children in low-income families
* Family Opportunity Act, providing states the option to allow low and middle-income families with special needs children to purchase health care through Medicaid
* Recognition of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as a biomedical research institute and increased funding for research
* Early Intervention, Treatment and Prevention Act, providing for a range of education and training and community-based prevention and diversion services
* Civil Rights for Institutionalized Person Act (CRIPA)
* Fair Housing Act expansion to include people with disabilities
* "Ticket to work" provisions under Social Security disability programs
* Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), including restrictions on insurance limitations for pre-existing conditions
* Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act
* "Wounded Warrior" act to improve access to mental health services for National Guard and Reserve forces

For more than three decades, Senator Kennedy has been a voice for universal health care coverage and reform.

His voice, perspective and wisdom will be greatly missed in the critical health care debate that is now before the nation.

Congress could do no greater honor than to pass meaningful health care reform this year—building on his legacy.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Am I Worthy?

Hi Everyone I hope you are doing well. I am doing good. I came across this sermon from the Rev. Samuel A Trumbore and had to share it here. It brought me to tears. In my wildest thoughts of metal illness did I think we as a society somehow made them feel not worthy of God' Love? I guess I should have thought of that, If society does not love me why would I be worthy of anyone else's love on a spiritual level as well. Truly touched me. Thanks for visiting my blog. Take Care, Janet :)

First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany

"Stigma of Mental Illness"

Rev. Samuel A. Trumbore May 5, 2002

Mental illness is a disease we all recognize. We have all felt different and unacceptable attending a new school, starting a new job, visiting another part of the country or world. We have all felt awkward, not fitting in with the jocks, the cheerleaders or the brains in high school - even if you were one. We have all lost sleep obsessed with worry, our thoughts racing through our brains. Multiply those feelings by ten or a hundred and you begin to enter the world of the mentally ill.

I was scared to death, the first day of my internship at the Delaware State Mental Hospital. I kept my distance from the patients as I walked the spacious grounds and confining halls of the facility in case one of them went berserk and wanted to attack me. I'd stand near the staff in case one of the patients decided to mess with me. It took a couple of weeks before I felt comfortable sitting on a bench with a patient keeping my eyes on them and not the surroundings.

And then I started liking a few of them. I started realizing they weren't the alien creatures I expected them to be. I was attracted and repulsed by a slight fellow in his thirties I'll call Randy who had been in the hospital off and on his whole life. His anxiety, mental disorganization and vulnerability prevented him from being able to blend into society, even with medications.

He asked me, "Am I going to go to heaven Chaplain? I don't want to burn in hell. I love God. I just want God and not the devil. Am I going to heaven?" again and again. Using spiritual language, Randy was asking a deeper question. He was asking me, "Chaplain, am I worthy of God's love. Could God love a wretch like me?" He pushed me up against the limits of my theology. I wanted to comfort him but didn't know what to say or do. I felt unworthy too as I struggled to find a way to respond to him. I realized I too had my own limitations in my ability to express my feelings, which, for Randy, were right on his sleeve.

This is the challenge we all face. Relating to people just like us is easy because we share a common language and experience. Reaching another outside that zone of comfort can be scary. So just imagine the terror mentally ill people experience when people begin treating them as if they're strange; when their parents, their sisters, brothers and friends pick up the phone and begin the process of committing them to a mental hospital.

Let us open our minds and hearts to their world this morning. Some of you, I expect, will know this world from personal experience. Others will find it disturbing and disorienting. May we be touched, opened, even healed by their voices as they reach out to us.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Share Genetic Roots

Hi Everyone, I hope you are doing well, I am doing good. This is a great breakthrough for these diseases. It should lead to better treatments or possibly some day a way to prevent the diseases. Hope lives!! Thanks for visiting my blog today,Take Care, Janet :)

Chromosomal Hotspot of Immunity/Gene Expression Regulation Implicated

A trio of genome-wide studies – collectively the largest to date – has pinpointed a vast array of genetic variation that cumulatively may account for at least one third of the genetic risk for schizophrenia. One of the studies traced schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, in part, to the same chromosomal neighborhoods.

"These new results recommend a fresh look at our diagnostic categories," said Thomas R. Insel, M.D., director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), part of the National Institutes of Health. "If some of the same genetic risks underlie schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, perhaps these disorders originate from some common vulnerability in brain development."

All three studies implicate an area of Chromosome 6 (6p22.1), which is known to harbor genes involved in immunity and controlling how and when genes turn on and off. This hotspot of association might help to explain how environmental factors affect risk for schizophrenia. For example, there are hints of autoimmune involvement in schizophrenia, such as evidence that offspring of mothers with influenza while pregnant have a higher risk of developing the illness.

"Our study was unique in employing a new way of detecting the molecular signatures of genetic variations with very small effects on potential schizophrenia risk," explained Pamela Sklar, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard University and the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research, who co-led the ISC team with Harvard's Shaun Purcell, Ph.D.

"Individually, these common variants' effects do not all rise to statistical significance, but cumulatively they play a major role, accounting for at least one third – and probably much more – of disease risk," said Purcell.

Among sites showing the strongest associations with schizophrenia was a suspect area on Chromosome 22 and more than 450 variations in the suspect area on Chromosome 6. Statistical simulations confirmed that the findings could not have been accounted for by a handful of common gene variants with large effect or just rare variants. This involvement of many common gene variants suggests that schizophrenia in different people might ultimately be traceable to distinct disease processes, say the researchers.

"There was substantial overlap in the genetic risk for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder that was specific to mental disorders," added Sklar. "We saw no association between the suspect gene variants and half a dozen common non-psychiatric disorders."

Still, most of the genetic contribution to schizophrenia, which is estimated to be at least 70 percent heritable, remains unknown.

"Until this discovery, we could explain just a few percent of this contribution; now we have more than 30 percent accounted for," said Thomas Lehner, Ph.D., MPH, chief of NIMH's Genomics Research Branch. "The new findings tell us that many of these secrets have been hidden in complex neural networks, providing hints about where to look for the still elusive – and substantial – remaining genetic contribution."

The MGS consortium pinpointed an association between schizophrenia and genes in the Chromosome 6 region that code for cellular components that control when genes turn on and off. For example, one of the strongest associations was seen in the vicinity of genes for proteins called histones that slap a molecular clamp on a gene's turning on in response to the environment. Genetically rooted variation in the functioning of such regulatory mechanisms could help to explain the environmental component repeatedly implicated in schizophrenia risk.

The MGS study also found an association between schizophrenia and a genetic variation on Chromosome 1 (1p22.1) which has been implicated in multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder.

"Our study results spotlight the importance not only of genes, but also the little-known DNA sequences between genes that control their expression," said Pablo Gejman, M.D., of the NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute, of Evanston, ILL, who led the MGS consortium team. "Advances in biotechnology, statistics, population genetics, and psychiatry, in combination with the ability to recruit large samples, made the new findings possible."

The SGENE consortium study pinpointed a site of variation in the suspect Chromosome 6 region that could implicate processes related to immunity and infection. It also found significant evidence of association with variation on Chromosomes 11 and 18 that could help account for the thinking and memory deficits of schizophrenia.

The new findings could eventually lead to multi-gene signatures or biomarkers for severe mental disorders. As more is learned about the implicated gene pathways, it may be possible to sort out what's shared by, or unique to, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the researchers say.

Schizophrenia/bipolar disorder genetic overlap

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder share genetic roots that appear to be specific to serious mental disorders, and are not shared by non-psychiatric illnesses. Bars representing different study samples show that the same genetic variations that account for risk in both mental disorders account for virtually none of the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD), Crohn's disease (CD), hypertension (HT), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or Type 1 (T1D) or Type 2 (T2D) diabetes.

Source: Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Human Genetic Research, Harvard University.

The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure. For more information, visit the NIMH website.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bipolar Disorder 2


Hi Everyone, I hope you are doing well. I am doing good. This is part 2 of Bipolar Disorder. I learned more about this disorder reading this information from the NAMI website. There are so many factors that can play into the development of this disorder. At the end of this post there is a sign of hope that Doctor's may some day be able to prevent this disorder is some people. They are still reachering new ways to recognize it early and new ways to treat it. There is still more to this disorder that I will be posting about. Hope this information helps anyone who needs it. Thanks for visiting my blog,
Take Care,
Janet :)

How does bipolar disorder affect someone over time?

Bipolar disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Between episodes, many people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms, but some people may have lingering symptoms.

Doctors usually diagnose mental disorders using guidelines from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. According to the DSM, there are four basic types of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person's normal behavior.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  3. Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person's normal range of behavior.
  4. Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Some people may be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This is when a person has four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a year. Some people experience more than one episode in a week, or even within one day. Rapid cycling seems to be more common in people who have severe bipolar disorder and may be more common in people who have their first episode at a younger age. One study found that people with rapid cycling had their first episode about four years earlier, during mid to late teen years, than people without rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Rapid cycling affects more women than men.

Bipolar disorder tends to worsen if it is not treated. Over time, a person may suffer more frequent and more severe episodes than when the illness first appeared. Also, delays in getting the correct diagnosis and treatment make a person more likely to experience personal, social, and work-related problems.

Proper diagnosis and treatment helps people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and productive lives. In most cases, treatment can help reduce the frequency and severity of episodes.

What illnesses often co-exist with bipolar disorder?

Substance abuse is very common among people with bipolar disorder, but the reasons for this link are unclear. Some people with bipolar disorder may try to treat their symptoms with alcohol or drugs. However, substance abuse may trigger or prolong bipolar symptoms, and the behavioral control problems associated with mania can result in a person drinking too much.

Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia, also co-occur often among people with bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder also co-occurs with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which has some symptoms that overlap with bipolar disorder, such as restlessness and being easily distracted.

People with bipolar disorder are also at higher risk for thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other physical illnesses. These illnesses may cause symptoms of mania or depression. They may also result from treatment for bipolar disorder.

Other illnesses can make it hard to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder should monitor their physical and mental health. If a symptom does not get better with treatment, they should tell their doctor.

What are the risk factors for bipolar disorder?

Scientists are learning about the possible causes of bipolar disorder. Most scientists agree that there is no single cause. Rather, many factors likely act together to produce the illness or increase risk.


Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, so researchers are looking for genes that may increase a person's chance of developing the illness. Genes are the "building blocks" of heredity. They help control how the body and brain work and grow. Genes are contained inside a person's cells that are passed down from parents to children.

Children with a parent or sibling who has bipolar disorder are four to six times more likely to develop the illness, compared with children who do not have a family history of bipolar disorder. However, most children with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness.

Genetic research on bipolar disorder is being helped by advances in technology. This type of research is now much quicker and more far-reaching than in the past. One example is the launch of the Bipolar Disorder Phenome Database, funded in part by NIMH. Using the database, scientists will be able to link visible signs of the disorder with the genes that may influence them. So far, researchers using this database found that most people with bipolar disorder had:

  • Missed work because of their illness
  • Other illnesses at the same time, especially alcohol and/or substance abuse and panic disorders
  • Been treated or hospitalized for bipolar disorder.

The researchers also identified certain traits that appeared to run in families, including:

  • History of psychiatric hospitalization
  • Co-occurring obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Age at first manic episode
  • Number and frequency of manic episodes.

Scientists continue to study these traits, which may help them find the genes that cause bipolar disorder some day.

But genes are not the only risk factor for bipolar disorder. Studies of identical twins have shown that the twin of a person with bipolar illness does not always develop the disorder. This is important because identical twins share all of the same genes. The study results suggest factors besides genes are also at work. Rather, it is likely that many different genes and a person's environment are involved. However, scientists do not yet fully understand how these factors interact to cause bipolar disorder.

Brain structure and functioning

Brain-imaging studies are helping scientists learn what happens in the brain of a person with bipolar disorder. Newer brain-imaging tools, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), allow researchers to take pictures of the living brain at work. These tools help scientists study the brain's structure and activity.

Some imaging studies show how the brains of people with bipolar disorder may differ from the brains of healthy people or people with other mental disorders. For example, one study using MRI found that the pattern of brain development in children with bipolar disorder was similar to that in children with "multi-dimensional impairment," a disorder that causes symptoms that overlap somewhat with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This suggests that the common pattern of brain development may be linked to general risk for unstable moods.

Learning more about these differences, along with information gained from genetic studies, helps scientists better understand bipolar disorder. Someday scientists may be able to predict which types of treatment will work most effectively. They may even find ways to prevent bipolar disorder.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bipolar Disorder


Hi Everyone,
I hope you are doing well. Today I want to share with you information on Bipolar Disorder. I feel maybe the more we understand about mental illness the less we will fear it. I think fear is the main reason there is still a stigma today. Even growing up with it in my house, nobody talked about it. I was always told, your Mother needs to go for a rest. A child views the world around them in a self centered manner, not that they mean to but it is part of their development. So when my mother would go away for a rest, I often felt I did something to make her sick. After therapy as I got older I never thought that way again. There is so much information to share on this disorder I will have to do it in a few posts. As I wrote in my post about my mother this part of the information confirms to me what I felt happened to her. "People with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms are sometimes wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia, another severe mental illness that is linked with hallucinations and delusions." I have never seen a person with schizophrenia respond so well to Lithium the way that she did. I am so thankful to this day that at least in the last 20 years of her life she never went into a mental hospital again and I got to know her in a whole new way. I hope this helps anyone out there who may know someone with this disorder to better understand them.
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Take Care,
Janet :)

Bipolar Disorder

* Introduction: Bipolar Disorder
* What is bipolar disorder?
* What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

This booklet discusses bipolar disorder in adults. For information on bipolar disorder in children and adolescents, see the NIMH booklet, “Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens: A Parent’s Guide.”
What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.

Bipolar disorder often develops in a person's late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25.1 Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.

Bipolar disorder is not easy to spot when it starts. The symptoms may seem like separate problems, not recognized as parts of a larger problem. Some people suffer for years before they are properly diagnosed and treated. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

People with bipolar disorder experience unusually intense emotional states that occur in distinct periods called "mood episodes." An overly joyful or overexcited state is called a manic episode, and an extremely sad or hopeless state is called a depressive episode. Sometimes, a mood episode includes symptoms of both mania and depression. This is called a mixed state. People with bipolar disorder also may be explosive and irritable during a mood episode.

Extreme changes in energy, activity, sleep, and behavior go along with these changes in mood. It is possible for someone with bipolar disorder to experience a long-lasting period of unstable moods rather than discrete episodes of depression or mania.

A person may be having an episode of bipolar disorder if he or she has a number of manic or depressive symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least one or two weeks. Sometimes symptoms are so severe that the person cannot function normally at work, school, or home.

Symptoms of mania or a manic episode include:
Mood Changes

* A long period of feeling "high," or an overly happy or outgoing mood
* Extremely irritable mood, agitation, feeling "jumpy" or "wired."

Behavioral Changes

* Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another, having racing thoughts
* Being easily distracted
* Increasing goal-directed activities, such as taking on new projects
* Being restless
* Sleeping little
* Having an unrealistic belief in one's abilities
* Behaving impulsively and taking part in a lot of pleasurable,
high-risk behaviors, such as spending sprees, impulsive sex, and impulsive business investments.

Symptoms of depression or a depressive episode include:
Mood Changes

* A long period of feeling worried or empty
* Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed, including sex.

Behavioral Changes

* Feeling tired or "slowed down"
* Having problems concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
* Being restless or irritable
* Changing eating, sleeping, or other habits
* Thinking of death or suicide, or attempting suicide.

In addition to mania and depression, bipolar disorder can cause a range of moods, as shown on the scale. Scale of Severe Depression, Moderate Depression, and Mild Low Mood

One side of the scale includes severe depression, moderate depression, and mild low mood. Moderate depression may cause less extreme symptoms, and mild low mood is called dysthymia when it is chronic or long-term. In the middle of the scale is normal or balanced mood.

At the other end of the scale are hypomania and severe mania. Some people with bipolar disorder experience hypomania. During hypomanic episodes, a person may have increased energy and activity levels that are not as severe as typical mania, or he or she may have episodes that last less than a week and do not require emergency care. A person having a hypomanic episode may feel very good, be highly productive, and function well. This person may not feel that anything is wrong even as family and friends recognize the mood swings as possible bipolar disorder. Without proper treatment, however, people with hypomania may develop severe mania or depression.

During a mixed state, symptoms often include agitation, trouble sleeping, major changes in appetite, and suicidal thinking. People in a mixed state may feel very sad or hopeless while feeling extremely energized.

Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression has psychotic symptoms too, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to reflect the person's extreme mood. For example, psychotic symptoms for a person having a manic episode may include believing he or she is famous, has a lot of money, or has special powers. In the same way, a person having a depressive episode may believe he or she is ruined and penniless, or has committed a crime. As a result, people with bipolar disorder who have psychotic symptoms are sometimes wrongly diagnosed as having schizophrenia, another severe mental illness that is linked with hallucinations and delusions.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Music Monday Ooh Child by The Five Stairsteps!

Hi Everyone,
I hope you are all doing well. I am doing good, I almost forgot about Music Monday!!! Today I heard a clip of this song on a program. It reminded me of when I was a young girl in the 70's. When I would listen to this song it gave me hope in my darkest days when my mom was suffering with her mental illness. I hope this song inspires all of you are still suffering from a mental illness and the loved ones around you. This is a true classic and still is inspirational.
Thanks for visiting my blog,
Take Care,
Janet :)

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.