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Archives for January, 2011

Mood Maintenance

Have You Decompensated Lately?

Recently, I heard the term decompensate for the first time. The therapist seemed surprised that I had never heard it.

Given the definition of compensate – to reimburse – I thought decompensate might mean something along the lines of having your disability payments taken away. You might say something like "Social security just decompensated me, now what am I going to do?" or "Bipolar disorder decompensated me, and now I have no money...
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Do You Have Seasonal Bipolar Disorder?

According to an article by Debra-Lynn B. Hook entitled "How SAD Affects Bipolar Disorder," as many as 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder can expect to experience seasonal depression and/or mania or hypomania. The article distinguishes between those who experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and seasonal bipolar disorder.

Hook describes several treatment options for dealing with this seasonal component, including using light therapy in the winter and melatonin to help...
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Just a Poor Choice of Words?

Paul Heroux recently penned an op-ed piece entitled "Can we help them before they hurt us." To be fair, Heroux admits the poor choice of words in the title in his response to a reader's comment:
"I write op-eds all the time. I don't choose the titles of my op-eds, the editors do. That said, I don't think the editor meant anything malicious by it but you do raise...
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Bipolar Medication

How Long Before I Can Taper My Bipolar Meds After a Manic Episode?


I've been told that it has become increasingly the norm to only take the anti-psychotic medications and the heavier hitting mood-stabilizers for a limited period of time to get the moods and scary thoughts under control (when you feel an episode "coming on" or to recover from an episode you were unable to avoid) and then to stop them when you are stabilized.

I guess the idea

You don't have to...
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College Campuses Experiencing More Mental Health Needs

In an article in The New York Times entitled "Mental Health Needs Seen Growing at Colleges," Trip Gabriel explores the increasing demand for mental health services on college campuses across the country.

The college years have always been vulnerable to mental health issues – partially due to the stresses of academic demands and the transition to living more independently and partially because late adolescence/early adulthood is the most common...
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