Every week Bipolar World gets some pretty interesting mail - so interesting in fact that we want to share it with everyone, as we're sure they will enjoy reading it too.

Whether it's a beef or a bouquet - a point of view or a bit of obscure news we'd like to see it.  You can send it personally to us at owners@bipolarworld.net   Although email addresses and personal information are left off the letters if you wish to reply to one of the writers send that to me too and I will forward it on to them

Though most of the mail considered will come to me for this purpose, don't be too surprised if you write somewhere else and I write back asking if we can print your letter.


Bipolar Parent - September 24, 2006

I was reading about the lady whose husband is Bipolar and her concerns with her
children being with a person with Bipolar. Although every situation is different,
I just wanted her to know that I am a single mother of three children between the
ages of 2 and 6 and I am bipolar. I successfully raise my children 75% of the time
on my own. I am in a regular treatment and have a safety net if something where to happen. I know my cycles well and what is coming. My children and I are great. I believe that as long as a bipolar person is in regular treatment, and has control  of their disorder, they can make great parents.

Stacy


January 17, 2006

Insomnia

Insomnia my unwanted companion,
is there no one else you can torture?
My eyes are heavy, my shoulders ache,
sleep eludes me,
and you are to blame.
Insomnia, how I hate you, you rob me of my rest, deplete my energy,
my body aches, my head hurts.
Insomnia, you thief, you stealer of life,
how can I be productive,
how can I be a good mom,
How can I smile, how can I be competent,
when no brain cells can rejuvenate,
Because of you........you thief of sleep

copyright Deborah A Roderick 2005

 


January 7, 2006 - Depression - Carol

It would be great if you would take 3 minutes and read my views on depression and bipolar. I have relatives affected with depression, including myself, and I'm drawn to dialogue intelligently on the subject.

As I understand it, cognitive therapy is the process of replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. This was meaningful to me, in that the counselor I worked with for two years discussed, listened, laughed and marveled over life, with me.

I reject an expert/patient relationship. I am a teacher and I learn from my students as they learn from me. Yes, I lead, but as a facilitator. This is my vision of health care professionals also. I take ultimate responsibility for my education and my health - not any doctor. My hunch is that the basis of 'mental illness' is in part organic, and greatly due to a high level of sensitivity in an individual see Elaine Aaron's work). I deny the validity of "bipolar" and resist it strenuously. It is unhelpful, and harmful to put the guinea pig type meds into people; and extremely damaging for people to be stigmatized and identified with any sort of mental illness label. In fact, there is an invisible no man's land between "normal" and "supernormal" mental/emotional behavior. Under stress, "normal" people can and do exhibit symptoms of mental illness. To a great extent if you believe you are okay, you are. Eccentric perhaps, but mentally ill? The matter is relative. Mood swings are in part, due to issues of esteem or inferiority/superiority complex, which can be worked on WITHOUT medication.

I am looking forward to, within 5 years, a shift in the "expert" medical community, which will have them concede that in large part, depression is organic, and can and will pass with good old fashioned time,
exercise, nutrition, emotional support, etc. Unfortunately many will be pill-dependent and despondent, perhaps deceased, by then, due to overuse of experimental medications. The intentions of physicians and psychiatrists are good, but we know where good intentions can lead. If you would feed these meds to your son or spouse, I guess you really believe in them. I prefer the road less traveled.

What it has meant for me is roughly one serious depression, lasting about 3 months, every 10 years. I am extremely bright, musical, a procrastinator, an independent thinker. In some ways my life could be nicely slotted into the bipolar II box. I choose to live and think outside the box. Once, during a serious depression 3 years ago, I was told I had to accept the "fact" that I would need lithium and meds for the rest of my life. I considered, read widely, fought bravely to make it through the depression, and did
so on my own terms, with the assistance of a good counselor. My 22 year old niece, on the other hand, is on 4 meds, lithium, effexor, a kind of speed to bring her up and a kind of sleeping pill to bring her down. She is doing her best to finish university. Granted we may be very different people (I am 41). But I'll be damned if I trust my body and mind to this kind of regimen. Thankfully, I'm doing fine with the slings and arrows and wonder of life. Good luck with your work


Fats and Oils

I looked over your fine site and I have a bone to pick regarding your Fats/Oils pages. Nut oils like walnut oil and canola oil are poor sources of omega 3 and contain only about10% ALA -C18. And actually have NO omega 3 (EPA/DHA) but have ALA which the body "can" convert into EPA/DHA. However it is speculated that much of ALA is not converted into the C20 and C22 by humans. Recent studies found on Pubmed indicate that depressed rats have a high Aracahnoidonic Acid/Omega 3 levels. And actually it is the high AA  and not low levels of omega 3 levels that cause depression.

Depressed individuals should limit all foods and oils that contain LA and limit saturated fats! They should focus ONLY on oils like Flax oil, olive oil, and some fish oil. Canola contains 35%LA, and only 10% ALA, and Olive oil contains only 7% LA! Most people (like myself) think they are eating healthy yet for decades they are unwittingly getting almost all of their fats from sources high in LA and saturated fat! And it may take numerous months to turn the tide. A strict diet containing food items such as as avocado, wild salmon, sardines, talapia, flounder,green vegatables, and flax and olive oil plus fish oil followed for at least six months may lower symptoms.
 
Most people attempt this for a short time and unvariably give up, but does one really expect decades of being out of balance to be corrected in just a few weeks! After symptoms are reduced it would make sense to add a limited amount of saturated and LA oils into the diet. It has worked for me. So just adding EPA/DHA (fish oil) in even high dose without reducing Arachindonic Acid in ones diet may explain why many bipolar individuals get little if any relief! It is the lowering of AA in the diet that may be the key with adding fish oil as an added benefit that helps tip the scale. I always hear about the wonders of fish oil but little is mentioned  about the importance of limiting LA and saturated fat in bipolar treatment and  I hear tons of stuff on which fish oil and how much- while I bet 90% just keep on eating as usual. It is similar to people who takes supplements and feel they can cheat and eat garbage and they are  'more' protected. ~ Gil Rosenberg

Thank you for writing to us at Bipolar World Gil
You obviously know a whole lot more about fats and oils than I do
I am starting a new area at Bipolar World for letters we receive.  I think yours is a good one and informative.  May I reprint it?
Thanks
Colle

That would be great! I have very good results restricting my diet and adding a EPA/DHA fish oil supplement (with a bit higher EPA content) and with the addition of 800 mcg of Chromium Picolinate. All other "alternative treatments" were a waste of time and money and I have tried nearly all of them, including "True Hope" empower plus. True hope was a waste of time and money and I was refunded my money. The product cost an estimated $4 to make and sells for $148 a month! That is nearly a 4000% profit!

 I hate when people profit from the severely ill. However the exposure to true hope and the discover magazine article led me to Chromium picolinate. I read the Chromium Connection by Dr. McLeod and after corresponding with him by email he seems quit honest  (unfortunately he recommends a low dose fish oil). I questioned his financial relationship with Nutrition 21 and he told me the truth and the fact that he got involved with the co. AFTER his discovery of CP and it's relationship with depression. I was very pessimistic regarding CP but after giving it two weeks it had a big impact on the symptoms. Both these combinations CP and Nordic Naturals 7g EPA/4.5g DHA and my diet changes have led to a reduction of about 75% of my symptoms and I am medication free for now. Currently my pharmacist friend gives me the fish oil at his cost as well as the CP. this is all done with my doctors approval- which surprised me!

But for a person with bipolar (which should be called cycling illness) such changes at say a retail level would be expensive. The fish oils would cost almost $6 and the CP about 70 cents plus the wild salmon each day ($18.99/lb.) adds another $3.25. Add some flax seed oil and high end olive oil and that is $12 per day.

My diet is a ketogenic diet, I should add, the kind that they are testing out at Stanford University hospital on bipolar patients. But I emphasize Olive oil, some coconut oil and a bit of flax oil -something that they likely will not include. A ketogenic diet which is a high fat low protein and carbohydrate diet may have antidepressant properties. I was afraid to try this with all the " you got to have carb's so that tryptophan can enter the brain" stuff but it turns out to be nonsense. Determining what is real and PR is not easy since much of the information out there is misinformation.

I have attended a number of MSG sessions and found them to be terrible since the people who come there like to talk about how awful life is and how terrible the medication side effects are and how they were wronged. I get the feeling that many enjoy being identified as bipolar or depressed- after all it supposedly is the new fad these days. I wish there was a pro active group that would have meetings that would encourage adoption of helpful add ons that would make people have less symptoms and be symptom free bipolar. But MSG membership is about 3,500 at $45-$65 a membership not including donations and sales from books, tapes, and lectures. So just a handful of people make over $250,000 since they rely on volunteers and the space for meetings is donated. But such a positive proactive group is unlikely to happen since it is not self perpetuating- since in my concept such a group would last only 8 weeks with new members entering the next one.

One last mention on Andrew Stoll M.D. In my opinion he is unethical and amoral by pulling a bait and switch. He published that great book advising epa and dha with higher epa dosages and then makes his virtually exclusive EPA supplement which is way to expensive! what's more it may be less effective than a EPA and DHA combined dose. Yes DHA alone may be a dud alone but the data was not in for him to jump ship. Even the ethyl-EPA going through Phase III trials is looking like a dud. It is amazing what people will do for money! Clearly he wanted to profit and there were too much competition with EPA/DHA brands. I hate to think that bipolar patients are taking Omegabrite and then give up on fish oils. It happened to me and it is hard to get the money back since it may take at least 8 weeks to get the right dosage.  thanks GR 


 Stigma and More – Steve  January 1, 2006

I read through "Double Standard" and have to say, that in many ways I agree with what you are saying. There are already far to many stigmatisms associated with Bipolar, and other mental health issues. However, we have to be careful not to become so wrapped up in a push for education, understanding, and yes, appreciation from those who do not suffer the effects of these disorders, that we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves.

In Jim Carry's performance, there were many aspects that offended me. Not because of the split personality, but because they were just plain raunchy and served no point in the progression of the movie. Outside of that, the fact that people talking about the movie opens doors of conversation on the topic gives those of us who know about, and suffer from these mental health issues the ability to BALANCE the humor with the reality of the pain.

Balance is the key. The ability to not only let yourself feel the pain and work through it, but to see the humor in some of what we do and laugh. And, just as an FYI, Jim Carry suffers from mental health issues. Check around the net, you'll find multiple sites. God bless our efforts as we struggle to make the best of this world. Goof

For me, the biggest issues I face with peoples misunderstandings of BP, is not the laughter, but the fear. My life at times feels like a 35year long feature of Godzilla as played by Steve. Going through life watching the masses run from me like so many roaches when you turn on a light.

And what am I supposed to tell them... don't worry about the 6'3" irritated manic guy? I have gotten to the point where all the people in my life are given the same speech. It goes something like..."You should know I have BP" answer the Pandora’s box of questions here "It is a very difficult illness to deal with not just for me, but takes its toll on those around me.

When... not if... when the day comes that you have reached your limit, I understand. I only ask that you don't try to get in a kick or two before you exit." And how can I blame people? If it were possible, I would have left me years ago. My overall goal is to make sure that when they do leave it is with an understanding that BP doesn't mean dangerous, it doesn't mean heartless, and it doesn't mean immune to the pains associated with the illness. That BP is an illness, not a disorder (the implications of the word disorder tend to imply BP is simply a mal adjustment to societal workings) and that life with BP is hard enough, we don't need people passing and acting on judgments of our lives, especially when those judgments are founded in ignorance.

 I generally put the idea in terms like: Would you call a one armed woman a bad mother because she had to feed her child without holding them? Would you call a one legged man lazy because he couldn't race a mile without a wheelchair? Would you say a person with Epilepsy was just trying to be the center of attention? Would you say a child with Dyslexia was stupid? Well, you get the idea.

 One thing has brought a new light to the tunnel of ignorance, is the new direction of research, and brain imaging, that are putting BP in the realm of disease. Which brings me to a final notation of this mini novel of an e-mail. There has been some recent confirmation of a study done in 2000 that found a breakdown in cells taken from the hippocampus region of BP brains postmortem. The cells are called mitochondria and exist within all cells of the human body. Mitochondria cells are responsible for the production of ATP, the energy required by all cells to exist and function. The key factor is that mitochondria have their own DNA structure. This study combined with the overwhelming evidence that electromagnetic fields can interfere with the electrical bond of DNA structures, sheds new light on the importance electromagnetic pollution (EMP) may play in the treatment of BP. I would encourage you.. if you haven't already, to take some time and research the information I have very briefly touched on.


A Brief Glimpse of a Mixed Mood – December 12, 2005 – from Lisa

I hate that you have such power over me that you can close me away so easily and not consider how it is tearing me apart.  What makes you so damned special?  I searched for you all night and couldn't find you.  I needed to talk to you.  Why are you hiding from me?  What did I do that is so bad? I'm so broken - my spirit, my soul - void of the capacity for tolerance and love. 
 
Panic is coming over me more and more even the simple ring, ring of the telephone has my skin crawling, causing explosions in my brain I can't take the pain much longer.  I curl up and cry and sweat and pray for death to overcome me. Just to be free of this agonizing pain in my brain that rolls around and around until I can't breathe.  I can't be liable for the world anymore.  Why are they all trying to make me responsible for their
happiness?  What can I do?  Sometimes I think that I shall spend the rest of my life curled up in the corner of my porch away from all of the commands and demands an reprimands of this grotesque society that sucks the light out of our souls.  People trying to drown me in their own emotional neediness. 
 
I want logical conversation of eternal truths not filled with supposition of false worth and adulation. I can't hear how good I am or should be or need to be because I am not good at anything anymore.  Stop it.  Just stop telling me lies to make yourself feel better, more worthy, more important than me,  or less so.  What the hell is all of this anyway?  The rise to the pedestal is too faulty - the steps are not steadfast or strong.  Surely I will fall from grace once I am up there and devastate your world. It is clearly not my place to be so stop pushing me to climb those steps.  I don't belong at the right hand of God dispensing judgment and penance upon those who are not better or worse than I am.  Yet this is what is expected of me - to be a goddess - a savior of those who can't stand on their own but would have me control the strings of their pathetic puppet lives. 
 
Don't ask me to give you my strength.  I have so very little of it on my own. You who listen to the wisdom of my soul but hesitate at the critical moment of truth, standing there waiting for the bells to toll and they never do.  You speak a grand game of victimization and chains of your own fears while your own flesh and blood falters sitting still in their own fears of abandonment.  Why are you waiting for me to be your rock?  I am but a
speck of dust - inconsequential in all of this I can't take you by the hand when my hand is in my glove and lead you there it is a trap you are setting for me to fail in my divine purpose yet again.  Get up or don't.  But don't lay it on me.  Tie your own shoes because frankly I would rather hang myself with the laces and leave this place of unholy unrest.  What is right or wrong in this world anyway? Is one soul worth any more to God than any other?  And if you do not see your own kids is it not your OWN fault?  They are small - the weak ones shaken from the tree of life, and you let them sit rotting on the ground while you ponder whether to get the bucket to harvest them?  They can't say what is good for them in the end so why do you listen to their screams and dreams and close your heart and eyes to the truth that is before you?   
 
Make a plan and stick to it.  Stop wavering and wandering around in the mud complaining that your shoes are not clean and therefore you can't go into the valley.  Wipe your face and your tears and quit tearing at my heartstrings to help you when you clearly want to sit on your ass and wait for me to do it all for you so you can blame me in the end when everything falls apart and nothing is as it seems or as it should be.  Stop talking to me and watching me waiting for some signal that isn't going to come.  Go away. Get away from me and leave me the hell alone.  I don't want you in my life.  Any of you.  I don't want to be responsible for all that is wrong with this world anymore.  I just want to whither here.  I just want to shrink away and not be anyone to anyone to anyone else.  Do you SEE now?  Do you SEE?  You are not special. I am not special. We are all worthless -nothingness.  You love my "REALNESS".  What is REAL?  Feelings, thoughts, aren't we all a part of some big illusion? 
 
There is no pure good.  Nothing worth remembering or fighting for. No you would love me just to see me trip and in tripping you would be disgusted that I could fall when you are already lower than me to begin with by your own choosing.  What is THAT?  Why do you want to strip me down to my bare bones like that?  Can you hear the voices reverberating in my head?  They point out your truth to me.  They are laughing at all of us at how pathetic we all are.  They want me to pull you in so I can squish you and leave you bleeding like I have bled on the threshold of nothingness.  They tell me the truth even when you would lie to me.  They know I am no good.  They know that I am a lie - even when I do not.  They promise me relief, but deliver me to pain.  Just like you do.  Acting like you care about me when you really just want to take what little strength I have and absorb it as your own. 
 
Dispensing wisdom in a world where I don't fit lost in my own abyss of empty memories no joy - no sparks - just numbness that encompasses me – binds me and gags me.  People walking all around me in a frenzy of life that I cannot feel or touch or taste.  I see more than they will ever realize – the truth of our utter and complete meaninglessness I can't even pretend to feel anymore even that has gone from me  - isolated in a crowd of pretenders.  It's all so pathetic really and then the ghosts….the ghosts creep around me with taunts of their own.  "HA HA” they moan.  You aren't even real.  See how everyone just walks by?  They don't even see you.  You are invisible like us.  You are nothing and no one. A void of meaningless space.  A person without a soul, only a face, .a place for your ugly mask to hang."

December 18, 2005 

I just want to be normal.  To FEEL normal.  Not this messed up bullshit where I am continuously worried about whether I am too happy or too sad or if other people are going to think that I am crazy and taking all of these damned drugs is driving me crazy too.  Reaction here, reaction there oh now I’m fat – now I can’t eat now I have a fucking rash all over my body and I have to dump more drugs in to stop the itching.  I can’t keep worrying about all of this stuff.  And therapy – why do we open boxes that should stay closed?  I don’t want to know that my father doesn’t love me.  I want to pretend that he does and feel okay with that.  I have so much rage inside of me.  Cutting away the pain was my only solution Wednesday night.  I don’t want to know anything anymore.  I want to be blissful in my delusion that I actually have any worth.  But everyone wants something from me.  The world is full of takers, fakers, insanity makers.  So what if I go manic again?  I spend so much time depressed.  Can’t a girl have fun?  There is no relief from these damned drugs.  Not when we have to fight the effects.  Take this to go to sleep, take that to wake up, take something else to bring you down….oh, too far down….take this to bring you up although it will SEDATE you and you won’t know if  you are up or down or anything because the whole world is revolving around the multitude of drugs that you have to pump into your body just to have some sort of stamp on your forehead from society that you are okay.  This all sucks.  It’s way too much work.  Way too much worry and mood manipulation.  And none of the drugs do what they really SHOULD do which is change the stupid assholes OUT THERE!  No, they are to make me a conformist to all of THOSE people OUT THERE. 

A sheep in wolves clothing is what I am.  My tender spirit far exceeds that of everyone else.  They are not enlightened – so I have to change?  They can’t behave themselves and be nice to each other – and I am just supposed to bend over and take their crap without a word or thought or deed?  These drugs are poison…poisoning my mind, body and spirit.  I can’t believe that any of this is real.  Going down the list of very poor choices for my future.  Do I want a deadly skin rash or do I want to feel disoriented and have visual hallucinations?  Hmmmmmmmm?  And here is THE question of the day…will any of this MAKE MY DAD LOVE ME?  When is he going to love me?

I would take all of the drugs in the world for just that ONE thing.

 












 

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