Archive for October, 2010

When Anger is Mistaken for Mania

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

anger mistaken for maniaFrom Kate:

On a recent admission to hospital I felt more anger than mania. I felt angry over an involuntary admission. As I vented my feelings of anger, they were perceived as symptomatic of a manic episode. Where does that “fine line” exist? Please tell.

We expect that situations like these occur more often than most professionals would like to admit. Although therapists often point out that “Nobody can make you angry,” sometimes people have very good reason to feel angry, and an involuntary admission certainly qualifies as one of these reasons.

Unfortunately, any expression of that anger is likely to be perceived as a symptom of mania. It’s like being suspected of a violent crime you didn’t commit. The more vehemently you protest, the more your captors suspect you of being a violent person capable of committing such a crime.

Shorter Sleep Duration Linked to Mental Distress

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Staring at the clockWe all know how important sleep is in maintaining mental health and mood stability. Results from a recent study confirm this and serve as a caution to parents and mental health professionals alike not to overlook sleep anomalies as early warning signs of depression, bipolar, or anxiety disorders in teenagers and young adults.

The lead author of the study is Nick Glozier, MBBS, MRCPsych, PhD, associate professor of psychological medicine at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Centre for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (CIRUS) at the University of Sydney in Australia.

The study found that young adults (17-24 years of age) who get fewer than eight hours of sleep per night are at greater risk of experiencing psychological distress – a combination of high levels of depression and anxiety. The study showed a 14% increase for each hour of sleep less than eight hours.

Bipolar Stories

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

more bipolar storiesSorry we haven’t posted this week. I’ve been swamped with other projects and Dr. Fink has been busy with her practice. I did want to take some time to let you know that a couple individuals have recently shared their bipolar stories on our original blog, Bipolar Blog.

We rarely post on Bipolar Blog anymore, investing more effort right here, but we continue to maintain the stories and insights area on Bipolar Blog. We feel it’s therapeutic for people to share their stories, and reading the stories may help you feel a little less alone in your own experiences in living with bipolar disorder.

Blood Test for Bipolar Disorder Research

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

October 13, 2010, J.K. Wall of the Indianapolis Business Journal posted an article entitled “IU Shrink explores mental health blood tests.” According to Wall:

“Dr. Alexander B. Niculescu, a psychiatrist at the IU School of Medicine, has won a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to hunt for the presence of certain proteins in the blood that would indicate that a person suffers from a mood disorder, which afflicts one in five Americans.”

A blood test for bipolar disorder is one of the holy grails of psychiatry right now. Patients often ask me if there is such a test, and unfortunately, as of now, no such test exists. Even with ongoing research, it will be a very long time before a blood test is a realistic part of everyday clinical practice.

“No Kidding Me 2,” Documentary on Mental Illness

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

mental illness needs discussionOver the weekend, my wife and I watched actor/filmmaker Joe Pantoliano’s documentary on mental illness No Kidding, Me 2! He made the documentary as a way to help fight the stigma and shame of mental illness (mental dis-ease, as it’s described in the film). His belief, and the belief of many others, is that the more people know about and understand these brain conditions, the more understanding and empathetic they will be. Hopefully, by putting a face on the fear, it becomes less daunting.

AACAP Releases Parents’ Medication Guide for Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

medication for bipolar childrenOn August 4, 2010, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) released its new Parents’ Medication Guide for Bipolar Disorder in Children & Adolescents.

“Medication decisions for children with bipolar disorder are complex and difficult for many parents. AACAP’s Parents’ Medication Guide for Bipolar Disorder in Children & Adolescents compiles the very best information and helps parents decipher the daunting decision-making process. I consider it required reading for any parent of a child with bipolar disorder.”
Susan Resko, Executive Director Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

This is another resource that parents of children and adolescents who have been diagnosed as having bipolar disorder may want to investigate.

A Step Closer to Confirming Genetic Link to Bipolar Disorder

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Researchers in Germany may have come closer to confirming one of the possible genetic components that contribute to a vulnerability to bipolar disorder. For some time, we have known two things about bipolar disorder:

  • It’s a brain illness, a neurological disorder.
  • It has a strong genetic component.

The unknown, until now, was the link between the genetic component and the actual neural abnormalities. Relatively recently, several studies have implicated a variant on chromosome 12, the CACNA1C gene, as increasing the risk for bipolar disorder. So researchers wanted to find out whether this gene variant could be traced to a particular region of the brain.

Bipolar Beat

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Candida Fink, M.D. and Joe Kraynak are authors of
Bipolar Disorder for Dummies.

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