Medications Articles

Misdiagnosed and the Undiagnosable

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

pillsWe rely on Doctors to scribble our life into a notebook then come up for air and say: You are Bipolar, you have Major Depressive Disorder, you are Hypo Manic, you have this, you are that.

Some of us are misdiagnosed or, we are undiagnosable. The education of mental health is not concrete. There are new illnesses being studied and formed on a constant basis. This can cause years of strain, stress, frustration, and anger. Anger, especially when you finally get a correct diagnosis, and then you have to find meds to temper that diagnosis, which is a whole other story, and an entire new battle.


Are you a med cheater?

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

I am supposed to take my mood stabilizer (Lamictal) twice a day. One pill in the morning and one and a half at night, but, sometimes I find myself cheating on my meds.  I don’t use a pill cutter and when I go to take my half pill at night, I’ll bite a fourth off.  I wonder if doing that is really going to make a difference in my mood.  Well, not right away, but eventually, it does.  You wouldn’t think biting off just a little less would cause an effect but it will.  I don’t know if it is psychological or chemical, probably both, but I still do it once and awhile and know I am not the only one.


Whole Foods Market – A Playground to Meet New People

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

supermarketcrpdIn the modern age it seems everyone is dating online.  Some of us fight it like the plague, while others of us are so accustomed to meeting people online that, as a result, we are losing sight of the old days when we would meet people out in the world head on.  Face to face.   

There are some places that we can find real time human engagement and be surrounded by actual human beings. Coffee shops, book stores (wait, we are running out of book stores, Borders is over), parks, museums…there are a plethora of places to meet people, and diversify your ability to have new experiences, and connect with others.

For example, grocery stores can be a great way to meet someone, especially stores that have turned their establishment into a full blown playground.  One example is Whole Foods.

The internet will always be a place to meet and connect with people but, don’t limit yourself to living through your computer.  There are places out there waiting for you to enjoy.

POEM: WHOLE FOODS

It’s an office for writers

Business people

Lookie-Loos.

 

A Mecca of computers

With people looking for space

And search for an outlet

 

For their dying computer.

 

You have a conversation

With your sister

And catch up on the latest gossip

 

How fat is Kim Kardashian today?


When Life Gets Hard – Your Illness and Your Loved Ones

Friday, March 1st, 2013

sadfamilycrpdSometimes life gets hard when you don’t get a break from your mental illness.  It can hang over your head.  Especially when your friends and family know you have a mental illness and use that as a reason to understand or explain your behavior.  Often, when you are having a hard time, they’ll point to your illness as the source:

“She’s in one of her moods,” or “He’s not coming to the party cause he’s being anti social.  Depression or something.”

Oh, like you’ve never been frustrated or sad or excited?!  People can have your mental illness be a go-to answer to explain your behavior when really, you are a human being just like everyone else.  It can be unfair for your mental illness to be a label that gets thrown out there to describe, explain, or justify your actions.


5 Awesome Weight Loss Tips to Get Your Body Ready for Summer, Now!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

jumpingropecrpdSummer’s just around the corner and will be here before you know it.  Start preparing for your spectacular summer body now.  Here are a some simple things you can do to get yourself ready for summer:

1. Jump Rope – I once saw Naomi Campbell on the Oprah Winfrey Show and she said jump roping is a great way to keep your face slim.  Makes sense.  You’re jumping up and down and your cheeks get a great work out.  And guess what, I’ve tried it, it works.  Go to your local sports shop and get yourself a jump rope.  It’s a quick easy way to get a workout on your face.

2. Sit on a Ball at Work – Sounds crazy but, again, I’ve tried it.  I once worked with a woman that told me her father worked for NASA and sits on an exercise ball at work all day long.  He ditched the chair, and by doing so, he was able to lose weight in his stomach.  The idea is you are forced to sit up and not sit back on a chair so your mid-section gets a work out all day and you can burn fat while you work.  It’s also good for your back and helps you work on your posture. Who cares if you look ridiculous at work.  Once you start seeing results, you’ll find others jumping on the bandwagon.

3. Dumbbells at commercial breaks – Get yourself a set of dumbbells.  It’s a great way to get a work out on your arms and, let’s face it, arms are hard to slim down.  So, when you sit down to enjoy an episode of your favorite show, make it a habit to pick up your dumbbell during commercial breaks.  You have two minutes to squeeze in a work out and it’s better than taking a trip to the fridge.  A few sets of weights per arm on your commercial breaks helps.


4 Weight Gain Worries – When Enough is Enough

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

weightcrpdWe all suffer weight gain, and weigh loss.  Particularly when we have to face side effects that alter our comfortable body weight.  Sometimes the meds we take for depression can cause weight gain which can back fire on you and cause you more depression.  Often times the weight seems to appear overnight.  The side effects seem to hit instantaneously and you wake up to a new body.  And it can happen with or without side effects from meds.

I’ve suffered weight gain from lithium and it was rough.  I told my shrink I’d rather be skinny and crazy then fat and sane, and I meant it.  I think back to that time and laugh at the signs that drove me over the edge. We all have areas in our body that we know will gain weight.  Stomach, thighs, hips, ass.  Depending on where you tend to carry your weight, we can be used to knowing what certain areas are at risk.  But, sometimes other unknown areas are affected and it can be troubling, or scary.  You are swimming in unchartered waters which can be hard.  Hard fat is hard knocks.

Here are some signs to consider when enough is enough: Hands, Feet, Neck and Face.


NOS – Not Otherwise Specified

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

depressedcrpdRecently I’ve been rethinking my stance on diagnosis that tag on NOS, for example, Paranoid Schizophrenia NOS or Major Depression Disorder NOS. 

When I used to work in psych wards in Los Angeles County, it used to irk me that the treatment team would throw out diagnosis left and right with NOS for either they didn’t have to time to properly diagnose patients cause the hospital was a rotating door, OR, they don’t know enough about mental illness to properly diagnose someone so stick on the NOS to be safe.  It annoyed me on multiple levels cause once a person has an Axis I diagnosis it’s documented in a system.  Patients would come and go and float from hospital to hospital and when I would pull up their name in the system the patient would have several different diagnosis NOS…NOS…NOS. 


Poem Of A Bipolar Child

Monday, February 18th, 2013

dirtyfacecrpd

This is a poem from a bipolar child looking back on the work of a remarkable mother (1984).

Without a deep internal burst of

Emotion

That makes a poem.

 

Or

A brief moment

In time

 

Across the page of humanity.

 

There is memory.

 

An incident in the past

Pastness of time.

 

And I walk into a coffee shop

With my mother

And she points to the silver jar

With chocolate fingers of dessert secrets

And I point before

A breath of time

Can register a point

To the chocolate cookie tunneled finger.

 

And it gets passed down

To my dirty fingers

Scarfing and ready

At the grasp of

Pleasure.

 

And I walk home

In the streets of Westwood

With my mother and her stroller.

 

And a cookie

Crumbled

 

In my face.

Happy child photo available from Shutterstock


Choices – Living in Your Bipolar Relationship

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

decidingcrpdWe’re on, we’re off, we’re together, we’re broken up, we’re up and down, and up and down, just like my disease.

There is no pill for the choices you make in your relationships.  We can’t blame our mental illness on our inability to stand by our word.  You want to break up?  Do it.  Period.  Done. Next.  You don’t?  Then stop playing the tug and pull game with your mind.  Don’t find yourself going back and forth and back and forth cause your meds will do what they can to monitor your moods but ultimately, it is up to you to monitor your behavior and stand by the choices you make.

It… is… not… easy.


LAPD Showdown – Dorner, Trauma and Whistleblowing

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

policecrpdWithout getting too tangled in the web of issues that have come to fruition during Christopher Dorner’s showdown, I’d like to point out a personal story.  Whistleblowing has and will always play a factor in the ongoing dialogue surrounding this tragedy.  Here is a true story to share:

I am a woman currently living in downtown Los Angeles.  Ten months ago my neighbor was blasting NWA’s “F*** the Police” and LAPD rushed the building looking for the source.  I was playing my own music, Guns n Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” when cops banged on my door, pulled out their guns, rushed my apartment, locked themselves in my place while they did a search for what? Bose Speakers! The source of their rampage was a civilian playing rap music that they found offensive.


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