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Bipolar

Bipolar Disorder: Stuck in a Moment

“You’ve got to get yourself together, you’ve got stuck in a moment, and you can’t get out of it.” –U2, Stuck in a Moment

One of the most annoying parts of bipolar disorder, for me anyway, is feeling like I’m stuck in a mood that I can’t get out of.

Example: I had a long day this past Sunday, traveling four hours round trip. While not in the car, I was surrounded by crowds of people. It was exhausting, and both my husband and I were, let’s say, a bit sensitive by end of day.

There was some confusion of how to get back on the highway, and I felt he was a little too snippy with me.

I was offended and annoyed.



Affordable Care Act

Making American Mental Health Care a Priority

In the wake of several recent violent attacks across America, including three people killed at Jewish faith and community centers, the stabbing of high school students in Pennsylvania, and the shooting of soldiers at Fort Hood, it’s that time again for the media to question and explore gun control, the root of violence, and even adequate mental health care across the country.

Last post, I discussed the unwillingness of government authorities in the state of Florida to take an educated look at the needs of patients and consumers in the mental health system.

This is an unfortunate trend, locally and federally.

While most people with mental health disorders do not engage in violence, and are actually more often the victims of violent acts, it is clear, through the nearly periodic news of deadly shootings and stabbings, family tragedies, and lost lives, that we, as a society, are failing those that are mentally troubled.



Baker Act

Florida’s Disinterest in Caring for the Mentally Ill

Another proposed law that does not match up to the name Sunshine State—SB 1726 would dramatically change how the state pays for crisis stabilization units that treat mentally ill patients under the Baker Act. Mental health leaders in Florida believe it will have a devastating effect on suicidal or violent patients that need to be admitted to a hospital.
I’ve experienced psychiatric units first-hand in Florida, and it is no surprise to me, both as a consumer with experience both inpatient and outpatient, that Florida is ranked 49th in the country in mental health funding.

This proposed law makes mental health care in Florida even more difficult to obtain. A disgrace.



Bipolar

Bipolar Disorder and the Common Cold

First off, I would like to say thank you to all of you who had such kind words to say about my last post. I appreciate all of you. -Kat 

I've been sick for five days.

What first seemed like allergies turned into the common cold.

I don't get sick very often. I forgot how defeating something like a cold can be.

I was nearly useless at work on Friday. All weekend, I've either been in bed or half-asleep, wanting to get back into bed.

Besides the physical symptoms, my depression and irritability kicks up a notch during a bout with a cold or flu.

My bipolar is amplified.



Bipolar

Her Bipolar Life: In the Throes of Depression

Please excuse my silence for the past 10 days. I am back and ready to keep going, no matter what.

Depression is a disgusting thing. Right now I'm in the throes of it.

I don't know if I've ever wrote a blog post like this on Her Bipolar Life.

In the midst of confusion and sadness.

I told a loved one, "I am near rock bottom, emotionally". It's that feeling I've had more than once, where my exhaustion mixes with horror.



Bipolar

Who’s the Bigger Expert: Psychiatrist or Patient?


Pondering again:

Who should have a bigger influence on treatment decisions: the bipolar patient, or the psychiatrist?

Should it be equal?

If you've been reading this blog lately, you know I am firing my psychiatrist currently looking for a new one.

Brief synopsis: I've been seeing her for a long time. Our medical relationship has grown uncomfortable. She thinks she knows what is right for me, and I do not feel she respects my input. We disagree about my treatment plan, and she, as the clinician, refuses to budge.

Listen, I know that psychiatrists know psycho-pharmacology and general medicine much more than I do, in terms of studying and clinical practice.

I am not suggesting that I don't need a doctor.



Antidepressants

The Effects of Spring and Sunlight on My Bipolar Symptoms

Spring will be here in four days.

Here in Florida, the weather is nearly perfect. The flowers, insects, and snakes (!) have already sprung.

Others are not so lucky. This week, my family members in western New York had a severe snow storm, and more snow is expected throughout the United States.

Although we didn't feel it as much here, Winter 2013-2014 was bitter for most.

We were the only state in the lower 48 that didn't get snow this year. However, we still noticed the colder temperatures and the inclement weather that created cloudy skies for days.

In Florida, we definitely notice when it is dark for more than 24 hours.



Bipolar

What Does Mental Health Look Like?

Mental illness causes me to question myself.

Am I being irrational? Do I have the right to think this way?

Am I crazy, or just human?

I have doubted myself so much, dissected the illness so much, that I don’t know up from down.

I often can’t discern whether I am mentally sick or just going through a tough life change like anyone else.



Bipolar

Mental Illness, Faith, and Rick Warren

I guess I'd call myself spiritual, not exactly religious.

My parents were raised in Roman Catholic families; my mother left the Church in her 30's.

I was baptized Catholic, and even though I didn't go through the full "process" of Catholicism, I still attended mass with my grandparents on hundreds of Sundays.

I observed Lent and was often guilt-ed using The 10 Commandments.

During my battle with mental illness, my personal relationship with God has been tumultuous. There are some years when I can't live without talking to God daily; other years I have completely abandoned Him.