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Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar is short for Bipolar Disorder, or Manic Depressive Disorder. Bipolarity is another common word to use.

Mental Illness in Children

Mental Illness In Children – Are We Too Afraid To Find Out?

Up until about 20 years ago, the idea of mental illness occurring in children was pretty much unthinkable.

Boys who were extremely active were sent outside to play.  Defiant children were punished or sent outside to play.  Irritable children were sent outside to play.  Depressed children were sent outside to play.  Get the picture?Get the Idea

Today we do know a lot more about mental illness and have a lot more medication to treat it.  As mental illness becomes more easily diagnosed in adults, it is natural that we begin to look at our children and wonder.  It is also natural that we look back on our own childhoods and wonder or even know that we were ill then too.

Even though most psychiatric diseases are not diagnosed until the teens or early adulthood, it should be fairly obvious that those diseases did not suddenly happen when the kid turned 18. Likely there were signs of existing mental disorder long before the diagnosis.  Unfortunately, some parents may be too afraid to look.

The problem with recognizing mental illness in childhood is that symptoms of mental illness are different from the symptoms in adults.  Children’s symptoms can be masked with other signs or even opposite to those in adults, so they are not obvious. In addition, the symptoms of many different psychiatric disorders are so similar that it is difficult to distinguish one disorder from another.  Some examples:

Depression in children can show as: Depression, Insomnia, Nightmares, Bedwetting, Anxiety, Combativeness, Lack of interest, Anger, Poor grades

Anxiety in children can show as: Insomnia, Nightmares, Bedwetting, Fearfulness, Depression, Poor grades, Social inadequacies, Lack of interest, Combativeness, Anger.

Mental Illness in ChildrenADHD can show as: Inattentiveness, Lack of interest, Fidgetiness, Poor grades, Irritability, Inability to make friends, Excessive anger, Lack of organization

Asperger’s can show as: Lack of interest, Poor grades, Inability to make friends, Excessive anger, Lack of organization

On the other hand normal childhood occurrences such as puberty can show as: Lack of attention, Difficulty getting along with friends, Unexpected anger, Excessive sleep, Inability to sleep, Nightmares, Irritability, Mood swings, Excessive anger, Excessive crying, Poor grades

And Sexual abuse can show as: Nightmares, Bed-wetting, Excessive anger, Anxiety, Depression, Mood swings, Irritability, Disinterest

So how can we determine if it is something that happened to the child, something that is temporary or something like a mental illness?

The best things we can do are to pay attention, know your children.  If they change, find out why.  Know your family history.  If they seem “different”, talk to their teachers.  If they are continuously exhibiting behavior outside of the range of “normal”, there may be something wrong.  Listen to your kids, if they tell you that something is wrong, it probably is.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Educate yourself.  Take the self-test quizzes.  Have your spouse or the child’s other caregivers take the tests.  Take all of this information to your healthcare provider and if that doesn’t work, find someone who will listen.

Most mental disorders are not diagnosed until the late teens or early adulthood – bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorder and schizophrenia.  There is more recognition today, but a lot of resistances to – both from parents and health professionals.  Don’t be afraid to seek help just because you are afraid of medication, knowing what is wrong and knowing your options can head off problems.

Recognizing an oncoming issue may help prevent years of anguish for your child and yourself.

Melissa Lind

Why do Bipolar Patients Quit Taking Their Meds?

Why do bipolar and schizophrenic persons quit taking medicine?

Talk to any medical professional about the trials and tribulations of dealing with bipolar patients and they will tell you that the single most bothersome thing is the frequency with which manic-depressives quit taking their meds.

This problem isn’t unique to bipolar patients, but it is more insidious and often more surprising.  Schizophrenics, who quit taking their meds, are identified fairly quickly.  Those with depression who quit taking their meds stay in their houses – this is troublesome but not a public nuisance.

People with bipolar disorder are usually quite memorable both at the best of times and the worst of times.  They are vivacious; they are shining; they are exasperating; they are amazing, and they are irritating.  Generally in order to be diagnosed, a bipolar patient will present one of two ways – either severely depressed or psychotic but their illness has gone unnoticed or unaddressed for a long time.

To be fair, psychiatric patients of any type may quit taking their meds for a number of legitimate reasons.  Well, semi-legitimate.

Mood DisordersLegitimately, a psychiatric patient of any type will have consulted with his or her physician before quitting can be medically supervised while doing so.  Even with medical supervision, the only really legitimate reason for a psychiatric patient to quit taking their meds completely is a person who has been taking anti-depressants for a short period of time (less than one year) who has only had one episode of clinical depression.  In this case, a psychiatrist would agree that a patient who does not have a long term history of depression can taper off the medication because they may not need it forever.  This patient is rare. Once another episode of depression or mood disorder occurs, virtually everyone will agree that it is a chronic problem that should be addressed with medication.  Permanently.

One legitimate reason for temporarily discontinuing use would be pregnancy, to avoid potential harm to the fetus.  In most cases, the medication would be re-started as soon as the patient is able.

Patients may also approach their physician about discontinuing a specific medication to switch to another.  Reasons for this might be ineffectiveness, intolerable side effects or cost.

Unfortunately, for most psychiatric patients there is no legitimate reason to discontinue medication altogether.  The physician will suggest or even prescribe an alternative medication.  The patient may feel that they have been unheard by their physician and while this may be the case, for most patients who “quit”, it is actually more likely that they have not talked to the physician at all.

Bipolar patients and those with other psychiatric conditions most often quit taking their medication without medical supervision or intervention in secret.  Oddly, this is because the brain is a tricky thing – most often they quit when they are doing well.  When the medication is working, they begin to believe that they do not need the medication – that they are “OK”.

Most psychiatric patients don’t want to have a mental disorder – or more likely they don’t want to be told that they have a mental disorder.  This may be in part due to the social stigma, but it may also be because they really like the way they are.  Medication often takes away the “spark” that has made them vivacious, memorable, brilliant and even irritating or dangerous.

It is very difficult to go from “outstanding” – whether it is good or bad to normal.  Bipolar patients in particular also quit taking their medication because their brains are bored.  The brain is used to go up and down, backwards and forwards, in and out.  When medication is working, the roller coaster goes away.

This may be good for a while, after the crisis because life has gotten way out of whack, they need time to recover, rest, and breathe.  But when the fires are put out, and the dust clears, the brain begins to crave the excitement.

Again, this really means the medication is working, and they will quit, yet again, starting the cycle all over again.

So, what can a caretaker, a parent, a spouse, or a friend do?  Likely any attempt at supervision or intervention will be met with anger, avoidance or outright denial.

Bipolar CaosAs bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia most often emerges in the late teens or early adulthood, is should be predictable that they do not want supervision.  They do not want to be told that someone else knows best.

When confronted or even questioned, the bipolar will almost always say that everything is OK – even if it is far from OK.  In short, they will lie.

Again, what can a caretaker, a parent, a spouse, or a friend do?  In short, especially in the newly diagnosed (and for a bipolar or schizophrenic the definition of newly would be likely less than 10 years), there will be no opportunity for supervision.  They will be secretive and untruthful.  You must wait for the crash and be there to assist with the crisis and recovery – only to repeat it again in a few months or years.

The good news is that eventually, the periods between “the crashes” will likely lengthen. When they are thinking clearly, when the medication is working – ask them why they do it.  Encourage them to participate in therapy, join a bipolar or mental disorder group. Realize they may not always go.

Over a period of years, perhaps decades – the patient may eventually become to accept that they truly do need the medication.  Likely they will never be completely compliant but one can always hope.

A caregiver, a parent, a spouse, a friend can look for signs – if you are close, you may be able to keep track of their medication, physician visits, refills but you may not be able to.  You should prepare yourself when you see signs: a developing increase in communication, vivacity, anger – likely followed by erratic behavior and hiding.

Intervene as much as you can but know that your may not be able to stop them.  They quit medication when it is working because it makes them….normal.

Melissa Lind

Depression and Anxiety Disorders – Find Treatments

Demystifying Myths around Mental Health Problems

What are signs that someone is depressed?

What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder? Learn these answers to these questions and more when you view this site about types of depression and anxiety disorders.

Dealing with psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, is a daily challenge for sufferers. If you think you or someone you love may be coping with one of these ailments, you probably have many questions, including, “What are signs that someone is depressed?” or “What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder?,” you are sure to find the answers you need here.

This site features all sorts of information about various types of depression and anxiety disorders.

It is important to remember that professional treatment should be sought if you or your loved one is truly struggling. The facts you see here are merely meant to guide you through the process of understanding these disorders; they are not designed to replace actual counseling and therapy.

Best wishes as you begin the road to recovery.

What are signs that someone is depressed?

What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder?

Dealing with psychological problems, such as anxiety and depression, is a daily challenge for sufferers.

Borderline Personality DisorderIf you think you or someone you love may be coping with one of these ailments, you probably have many questions, including, “What are signs that someone is depressed?” or “What is the treatment for borderline personality disorder?

You are sure to find the answers you need here. This site features all sorts of information about various types of depression and anxiety disorders. If you or your loved one is truly struggling, it is important to remember that professional treatment should be sought. The facts you see here are merely meant to guide you through the process of understanding these disorders; they are not designed to replace actual counseling and therapy.

Best wishes as you begin the road to recovery.

Mental Health and Different Kinds of Disorders

Mental Health – Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

You Mean I’m NOT Bipolar?

It turns out that I’m NOT bipolar

Hello again, boys and girls!  I’m back, and I’ve got some news.  Take a look at the title of this article again and I’ll give you three guesses.

That’s right.  It turns out that I’m NOT bipolar.  Oh, don’t worry.  I’m still as crazy as I always was, and it’s the same kind of crazy, but different.
What do I mean by that?  Well, I still play on the old mood swing set – back and forth, back and forth – but it turns out that it’s not due to brain chemistry.  It’s just who I am.

Borderline Personality Disorder - Eternal ConflictYou want something to be depressed about?  Well, there you go.  Being told that my issues aren’t something that a couple of little pills each day can “fix,” being told that recovery is going to be a long, hard, and lonely road… well, that’s a much harder pill to swallow.

Thinking back, I can see why it was so easy to diagnose me with Bipolar Disorder.  I had the high highs and the low lows, but here’s the major difference: when I have a mood swing, there is ALWAYS a reason.  I’m never just sitting around, happy as a clam, then BOOM!  Here comes the despair.  It was always some event, or some lack of event, that set the old swing in motion.

If you’re bipolar, circumstances don’t always change the mood, though the mood can certainly change the circumstances.  Not for me.
Always a reason.  Sometimes, a legitimate one, but not always.  Sometimes, I make the reason.  If you’re Bipolar, the mood swings just happen.

That’s not the case with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Eww… just the sound of it is bad.  Personality disorder.  The words slip from the tongue like a big, fat slug.  It’s not chemistry.  It’s who I am.  There’s not a problem with my brain, but a problem with me as a person.  Talk about depressing.

But when you get right down to it, it’s all still faulty wiring.  It’s just that my wiring wasn’t messed up by God, it was messed up by other people.  It wasn’t messed up at birth, but shortly thereafter.

Well… the jury is still out on what causes Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
There may be a genetic component, but most likely, it’s caused by some childhood trauma.  And trust me, I’ve got plenty. We’ll talk about that next time.

Your brother in arms,

Bruce

Read more from Bruce Anderson here: How I Became the Freak in the Corner

(A page that tells his story from the beginning and has links to several of his articles)

More about BPD here: Borderline Videos”

How to Deal with Stress and Cope in the 21st Century

Every one of us faces situations of stress quite commonly given the type of lives we lead in the 21st century.

StressWhile some of us might have stressful situations at the workplace, others might be experiencing such situations at home. Given the kind of recession and economic downturn we are facing, it is quite common to see people under stress quite frequently.

Stress is common for many people; the way each one reacts to the situation of stress varies. When a person is not able to manage stress levels rationally, it can cause adverse effects on health, both mentally and physically.

When a person is under stress, the quality of life goes down. The functionality of the body goes down, and it creates a strained situation wherever the person goes. It can lead to friction with other people they encounter. It can cause a downward spiral to relationships.

For this reason, it is vital to understand how to cope with stress and treat it before it has deleterious effects on the person`s life and the lives of people around them.

Talk It Out

One way to deal with stress is to try and talk to someone close to you and discuss your problems and what is causing the stress. By talking it out, you are relieving your mind of many tensions. You also get to rationalize and see if you are unnecessarily stressing your mind and body with the particular problem you are facing. Many a times, you might even find an effective solution to your problem while you are communicating with the other person regarding your stress.

Get Adequate Exercise and Eating Right

ExcerciceExercise frees up your body of many tensions. It also helps you become healthier and be physically able to take much more. Exercise causes many positive and helpful reactions that are helpful in combating stress more effectively. Exercise and you will not only be able to cope up with stress better, but you will be more fit too.
Along with exercise, it is also essential to eat right to help you get your body the essential nutrients to stay healthy, and to be in a position to fight stress effectively.

Think Positive

The Law of Attraction states that what you think and perceive is what you get. If you have positive thoughts running in your mind, the action that follows will also be positive. For this reason, you should try and incorporate positive thinking habits so that the action plan that you will initiate will also be positive and be helpful in eliminating the cause of stress. Positive thinking also helps get rid of worrying too much about many situations that would have caused stress.

Stress Management Techniques

Progressive muscle relaxing is a method where you are alternating between tensing and relaxing some muscles of your body in order to relieve you of stress. Some examples of this method are the use of a soft ball or a spring loaded device that you use in the palm of your hand to tense and relax.

Apart from this, use of relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation have also benefited many a person in getting rid of stress and changing the way they react to pressure. Stress can be a huge problem if you allow it to go beyond control. By incorporating right techniques, you can help solve problems associated with stress by combating and changing the way you handle stress.

Beyond Bipolar Disorder Videos

Bipolar Disorder Videos Updated Regularly

Comment to the video (What is Borderline Personality Disorder) on the page: Bipolar Disorder Videos

Bordeline Personality DisorderAs said in this video; Borderline Personality Disorder comes particularly together with bipolarity, depression and anxiety. This announcement brings me to another of the videos, where they talk about the types of Bipolar Disorder. They mention 5 types of bipolarity, but Bipolar Disorder is more complex than that.

I have written about earlier on my blog; bipolarity is a combination of several health conditions. In addition to the five types they mention in the video, bipolar people also might be (and often are) suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, depression and anxiety.
(As well as a lot of other mental health medical terms in use – mania, delirium, hypomania etc.)

This brings up the question: are there more than 5 types of bipolarity? All these conditions somehow seem to be connected.

Everybody can be depressed from time to time, so depression as such, isn`t an illness, a disorder or a defect, but both borderline personality and anxiety have their own diagnoses as disorders. If one is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, then I wonder if Borderline Personality Disorder and Anxiety Disorder also can be considered to be a part of bipolarity.Eternal Conflict

If someone out there can enlighten me (and others) about these issues, please do write on my blog! (Any comment is welcome as long as it`s not written in a “spammed” manner.) 😉

Gust writers are welcome on my blog! (I will check the quality and uniqueness before articles can be published though!) 😉