A Quandary: Mental Illness, Public Safety

Angel
Due to quite a few recent tragedies, debates about mental illness have been prominent in the public eye. Perhaps they aren’t as visible as, say, gun control laws or Lance Armstrong’s shadiness, but they have quite a presence.

The debate is couched in terms that express “concern” for people who are mentally ill, and no doubt many commentators do feel concerned about people with mental illness. Continue reading

A Pictorial History of My Bipolar Meds

DeeDee newMedications are a major part of managing many mental illnesses, but something the general population has a hard time understanding. I’m not even talking about the issues of stigma, accepting “meds for life”, or side effects. I’m just talking about the process of finding the right cocktail to function as normally as possible. It’s hard to grasp without a good example, so here’s the history of my meds over the last two years (keeping in mind that I’ve been on psych meds for over 20 years!) Continue reading

Is It Really a Mood Disorder?

DeeDee newI recently had some lab testing to rule out polycystic ovary syndrome, a condition that produces a variety of symptoms, some of which overlap with bipolar symptoms. This brought up even more questions about the quality of care I had been receiving. I already knew it wasn’t great, but the fact that the first thing the new psychiatrist did was order more testing to rule out alternate causes of mood swings was a bit of an eye-opener.

When I first went in to a psychiatrist (several of them, actually) for diagnosis and treatment, no lab work was ordered despite my 20-year history of psychoactive medications. Continue reading

Mission Impossible

Sarah Ellen newA mother recently asked for my help regarding my personal experiences living with bipolar disorder as well as some hopeful thoughts as though I am some sort of model for recovery.

You see, her daughter has recently been diagnosed with the illness and is having difficulty accepting treatment.  Such as blowing off her therapist, resisting medication (while attending appointments and still taking the meds, just met with much resentment).  Jordan, the daughter, I have never directly talked to as she is very hesitant to talk to me and has never met or talked to anyone with a mental illness. Continue reading