The Mindful Addict

Perhaps, in breaking an addiction, we should first consider the positive things the addict gets from the drug.

Although the mindfulness methods I practice are firmly set in the meditative tradition, it’s refreshing to encounter an approach to mindfulness not grounded in positioning meditation as the only route to the benefits of mindfulness.

I found this in Ellen Langer’s book, Mindfulness.  Langer’s comments about ageing, education, creativity and work are original and thought provoking, with little mention of meditation.  I’d like to point out some ideas she brings to the treatment of substance abuse.


Amazon is Developing a Wearable Device That Can Read Your Emotions

When I was a kid we used to get mood rings at the arcade on the boardwalk.  We boys would give them to the girls we liked, stand close to them, and hope the rings would turn violet.  Violet meant passion.  If the ring turned blue, for cool and calm, we didn’t stand a chance.

The rings would change colors for a few days, prompted by changes in body temperature.  Eventually they would just go black.  We tossed them into the trash.

Now the word is out that Amazon is working on a 21stcentury mood ring.

Bipolar Treatment

Informed Consent is a Myth

We ask people with impaired reason to consent to treatment to try to re-establish their sanity.  Are they even capable of making such a decision?

I was psychotically manic, suicidal, and engaging in self-injury when my doctor decided I needed electro-convulsive therapy.  I got it. I received a couple dozen treatments that messed with my memory but did stop the episode that nearly killed me.

Somehow, at this time in my life when I was a raving lunatic, I was asked to consent to treatment and, apparently, I did.

Bipolar Treatment

ECT Really Does Cause Significant Memory Loss

There’s a three-year hole in my life in which I remember almost nothing.  Toward the end of that period I had a course of 21 Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT) treatments administered over five months.

I lived in Phoenix and I couldn’t even tell you where my apartment was.  I was married during that time, and the few pictures I have fire no recognition.

Bipolar Treatment

Hypomania is a New Puppy

Few things feel more like hypomania than the five-month old brindle pit that has taken over the house. She romps with joy over beds and couches and up and down the stairs.  She has chewed a hole in the comforter, and we can’t get her to stop using the back patio as a bathroom.

At every moment, at any time, she could spin completely out of control.  Hypomania is like that.


CBD Will Replace Mindfulness

I’m not into making bold predictions, and I don’t mean to be cynical, but fads are always replaced by new fads.  Unfortunately, for many, I fear mindfulness practice is about to fall to CBD as the "in" means of stress relief.


Is Bipolar Disorder an Autoimmune Disease?

A subset of bipolar disorder is strongly linked to inflammation, and a treatable immune system condition could be mistaken for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Researchers at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute believe that many people diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia actually have a form of encephalitis that interferes with brain receptors.  This autoimmune disease is called anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis.