Monday, December 26, 2011

Part 2: The "Unspeakable" Words: - CHILD ABUSE

"Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them"

Richard L. Evans

I want to talk to you, a friend, a little now because I know I will not be in any condition at this end of this. I'd like to say "Thank You" from the bottom of my heart to those of you who dropped me a little note of encouragement either by email, Face Book (Eagle Mind) or on various Bipolar groups and social networks I belong regarding my condition. Those words meant more to me than you will ever know!

I believe that is what all this is about - we share a common "demon" that only we can relate to. I totally admire and respect psychologist, psychiatrist, neurologist and therapists and all the specialists who have devoted their practice and lives to make us better and continually try to find a cure, but it is you and I who lives with this nightmare day and night, and we alone know what we go through. This is why it is so important that we help each other -lifting each other up - with just a note of encouragement from time to time.

I made a commitment that I was going to write about a subject that even under normal mental conditions tears my heart out. As my condition continued to get worse, this is almost impossible for me to write. This horrible subject of "child abuse" has always been a sharp pain in my heart. It has been a long time since I first mentioned to you I was going to write about it, so you can tell I had trouble with this. Now, as I allow myself to dwell on it, a sudden rush of sorrow; pity; pain; and major depression slowly builds into a uncontrollable rage that if I do not force myself to change my thoughts, I truly feel what little sanity I have left will explode. "Then why put yourself through it?" I have been asked. I can only say...I just cannot be quiet. Something inside will not rest until I get this out. It burns within my soul.

"What does this subject have to do with Bipolar, and how will it help me?" To start with, it is written by someone who has bipolar I. This illness can reach down and pull from the heart something that one fills passionate about and magnify it one hundred times until it becomes an obsession. Also, when I first published this website, my goal was to try to tell my story, and include whatever I can to the best of my ability to help someone, anyone, even if it just one person. And finally, bipolar is a mental illness, and as you will find out, this subject has mental illness written all over it.

There are thousands of articles, websites, blogs, and organizations that have written about child abuse, so I am well aware I probably do not have anything new to add regarding basic information and statics. However, there may by a slight chance I may add something here you were not aware of, but most of all, I think maybe using my illness and the ability to draw upon my deepest, darkest feelings, it may bring to light this awful subject from a different point of view. I will share couple of stories with you that will make your stomach churn. In my state of mind I hope, I Pray, I can bring this to you through my eyes. I trust when you are finished reading, you will have just a glimpse of how my heart goes out to all the little ones who never had a chance to know what "real" life is. Whatever pain I may feel here is like a drop in the ocean compared to their pain, mentally and physically. Death, in some cases, is the only release of pain they will ever have. They may survive and grow old, but these types of scars will not heal, and death here also will finally close the "mental" wounds.

ABUSE: I hate that word! For me, there is not list a word in the English language so revolting! Of all the people that breathe, I believe without a doubt child abusers are the lowest form of creatures that ever slithered on this earth. These cowards prey on those who either by strength or will, cannot fight back. Their victims are usually totally helpless, defenseless and at the mercy of one who by definition cannot relate to others as human beings, choosing instead to treat them as "objects" for whatever satisfies their own sick mind!

{Ok, I have to calm down --I am getting ahead of myself. I will get back to these abusers later}

Types of abuse:

Physical Abuse - Physical injuries is one of the most commonly observed signs of child abuse. This includes repeated hitting, beating, shaking, throwing, burning, scalding, drowning or any other forms of physical harm to a child. The child will tend to suffer more fractures than other children and bruises or marks are commonly seen or noticed on their body. All these may cause temporary or permanent disability or disfigurement to the child. In severe cases, it may lead to death too.

Sexual Abuse - Sexual abuse is one of the most disgusting and hideous ways to torture these pure and innocent children. Child sexual abuse includes engaging sexual activities with the child, displaying pornography or using the child for pornography purposes. Sexual abuse may or may not occur physical contact with the child. However, even without any physical engagement, it would have already caused the child's mind to be corrupted with these filthy thoughts, given that they are still a child.

Emotional Abuse - Emotional abuse includes words, actions, comparisons or even indifference that are always discouraging or demoralizing for the children. Emotional abuse often results in impaired psychological growth and development. The children are often rejected, ignored, belittled or even criticized by the abusers. This may occur with or without physical abuse; however, there is often an overlap. For instance, unreasonable demands on a child's performance and penalizing a child for positive behavior are forms of emotional child abuse. Any individual who is under prolonged emotional abuse often loses self-confidence and suffers from low self-esteem. Similarly, development of the abused children is often affected in terms of social, cognitive and psychological behavior. Unfortunately, it is detrimental and long-lasting.

Verbal Abuse - Verbal abuse happens when the child is being yelled at or scolded or even humiliated using harsh words. The verbally abused child may develop negative behavior, physical aggression and misbehaving at a higher rate when they are compared to others. In some cases, when they are agitated by the comparisons or comments made by the abusers, they may hit or quarrel with other children or classmates. When the child is constantly abused verbally, the child may become self-destructive and depressed and do things that may harm them.

Neglect - Neglect is a type of abuse where the child is not well taken care of. This includes parents or caregivers paying little or no attention to the child or basic requirements are not fulfilled. Basic requirements like food, proper clothing, hygiene and the attention that the child needs. In most cases, these children will suffer from emotional or mental pain.

Substance Abuse - Substance abuse is also a type of child abuse where child is exposed to illegal drug activities. This includes child being drugged so that parents or caregivers are able to control him/her, using the child as a middleman to sell or distribute the illegal drug and other substances, or manufacture of a controlled substance in premises occupied by children.

Abandonment - Many people do not know that abandonment is also considered a type of child abuse. Abandonment is when the child is being left behind and the parent's identity or their whereabouts are unknown. This may cause the child to suffer from serious harm (physical or mentally). Physical harm such as improper upbringing that causes the child to be lead astray. Mental harm such as the child will be growing up without their real parent and that might make them feel inferior to other children.


In 2009*: 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"My Christmas Wish"

    I love to watch children making their list for what they want for Christmas. It has everything you can imagine on it. See, they are smart! They know they will not get all that is on the list but they think the more they mention, there's a better chance they will get more, and it really doesn't matter because what they do get, they they are happy! I am like a child here. This is my list for Christmas. It only has two things on it, but if I just get one...I'll be happy!

1)  Because I suffer from Bipolar I,  and it consumes my life daily, it is what I concentrate on in my writing. I try to mix it up with some information and updates on my condition, hoping it will help you. One thing I found out in studying this awful illness is that what helps me the most is to read something from someone and realize I am going through that very same thing at that exact point in time! It makes me realize I am not alone. That is the problem with this disease, we sometimes feel so alone. The foundation of this blog, and my desire is this:  we all share a common "demon" that only we can relate to, and we need to be there for each other to lift each other up when one of us is down.

Some of you that know me a little by now know I never for one second think I have it worse than the next person. As bad as I have it, I know for a fact there are many who are worse off than me. There are so many other mental illnesses out there that are far worse than mine, and I wish I could find the words to stress how my heart goes out to you! You have no idea; through all my darkness and my own trials, I am thinking of you.

My wish for this Christmas is that somehow, even if it is just for this one day, you will find the Peace, Love, Joy, Comfort that you so deeply desire and deserve! I Pray instead of the fog that could come over you, the "Light" that was visible when that little child was born two-thousand years ago will shine upon you this Christmas day and take away the misery so you can feel that happiness and beauty this life has to offer. I wish this with all my heart!

2)  My next wish is this: I mentioned how we sometimes feel down and need someone to lift each other up. I could use your help. If you have read a page or article that I wrote anywhere in this blog that maybe helped you, even a little, I would appreciate it if you would drop me a line and let me know. Sometimes, even though I see the numbers of those who visit my site, I feel so alone when I am writing. If when things slow down after this holiday, you could send me an email, comment on here, or wherever you see this blog posted, that would be a treasured Christmas gift!

May He Bless you always, from the bottom of my heart!


"My Mind"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blog Malfunction -:(

Blew my top!!!

I was feeling under the weather today, so I thought it would be a good time to write, To my surprise, when I opened the blog...everything changed! The template design (background) was gone all all my photo's deleted! I have no idea how long it was like that. Every photo that I placed on every page I posted had a black square with a line through. I had to go back through since 2010 and recreate them.

I am looking into what happened but for those of you who visited my blog during that time I am very sorry. Over 5 hours of repairs...and no writing. Now THAT' is depressing.


"My Mind"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

"One Day At A Time"

I had another Dr appointment Monday. The good thing about the facility where I go, there is no waiting. Very professional and on time. I'd rather wait and hour, two, five - if she could pull something out of her hat and get this crazy unpredictable mind under control.

She looked at the usual form I feel out before she calls me in and sighs. We talked, mostly me - she writes - followed by a few questions, then at the end she will give me the news. "There is always many things that can trigger this big of a change, but I don't see anything personally that would justify you going from where you were all these years to this bad." The only thing she brought up was stress. My job has major, non-stop nine - twelve hours of phones, decisions, 120 emails, problems etc all night. I told her at the present time, there was no way I can change my career at this time in my life.

Since, like I mentioned before, all the medicines that I took faithfully and helped me "cope" does basically nothing. So here's what we ended up with (remember when you first start -trial and error? That's me all over again): We slowly took one away; added another but half a dose for 2 weeks then increase to full dose; changed the dose on another; and because of my hectic work schedule, changed the times I am to take them. Some morning, afternoon and night. I am on a total of four. One day soon I will go into more detail about my medication. I've tried so many, I'll compile a list and explain the best I can about them.

Still writing, or trying to write, the next one --Part 2.  Looks like it will be a much larger post than normal. While writing, thoughts come into my mind that I don't like, but at least I think I see an end in site.

"There are many reasons to believe that stressful events might bring on or worsen a psychiatric illness. If the underlying psychiatric illness or biological predisposition is sever enough, such events may play a role in suicide as well."

Kay Jamison

Be back soon. Until then...hang in there - don't give up! I have not yet, so don't you either!

"My Mind

Friday, December 2, 2011

I am Surviving...

It's after three in the morning, and I needed to write again - or I should say "publish" - because it has been awhile and I just needed to know that later a friend who can relate will read this.

I am still slowly making some progress on the "Child Abuse" page I mentioned would come. Most of it is outlined and typed, but unfortunately I cannot read, type, or edit the page except bits and pieces at a time, then I need a break. I have to get my mind off it awhile. I never thought it would affect me so bad, but now that it's in the final stages, it is something I just have to finish. There are times when I am sitting here typing and I know - for the most part - what is coming next, and it hits me. I have to stop or I feel I will go completely insane - if I am not there yet!

As I mentioned the last time I wrote to you, I had a doctors appointment. Well, let's just say that did not go very well. She is at a loss as to why I am, after all these years in the condition I am in, and I am aggravated because she does not have an answer. I see her again next Monday 5th.

I will leave you with a quote:

In its severe forms, depression paralyzes all of the otherwise vital forces that make us human, leaving instead a bleak, despairing, desperate, and deadened state. . .Life is bloodless, pulseless, and yet present enough to allow a suffocating horror and pain. All bearings are lost; all things are dark and drained of feeling. The slippage into futility is first gradual, then utter. Thought, which is as pervasively affected by depression as mood, is morbid, confused, and stuporous. It is also vacillating, ruminative, indecisive, and self-castigating. The body is bone-weary; there is no will; nothing is that is not an effort, and nothing at all seems worth it. Sleep is fragmented, elusive, or all-consuming. Like an unstable, gas, an irritable exhaustion seeps into every crevice of thought and action.”

― Kay Redfield Jamison

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Thanksgiving Wish To You

It is in the very early morning hours of Thanksgiving, I just returned home from a stressful eleven hours of work, on a day where I wished I could very much stay home in my "comfort zone", but I felt compelled to write this to you.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays. Where I live, most of the leaves have already fallen off the trees leaving the ground a beautiful mixture of brown, yellow, orange and red. The mornings are real cool, but so far the sun brings a nice change in the middle of the day. We are all reminded that winter is "just around the corner" so each day the when the sun shines bright and we feel the least bit of warmth, we appreciate it that much more.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving seems to be more and more rushed - almost slipping by as Halloween is immediately turned into the Christmas spirit. Before the Halloween decorations are down, Christmas music is playing in all the stores; sales are advertised; gift wrapping supplies and cards are already on the shelves; and Thanksgiving is rushed by...almost like "lets get it over with so we can start selling gifts". Christmas is so "commercialized" now. Thanksgiving does not generate any revenue for businesses, so they advertise special sales even on Thanksgiving day. 

If you are reading this, it is no doubt you have some form of connection with Bipolar - either for yourself or a loved one. Maybe, at this minute, you are in a deep depression that you are trying so hard to come out of. I just want you to know that even as I type this, I too am in that state-of-mind right now. I can feel the heavy -grey fog laying over me as it often does. But I so much want you to realize that on this Thanksgiving day I am listing ALL the things I have to be thankful for. And do you know what? The list is longer than I realized. Here is just a few things:
  • I am First thankful to God that I am here, alive, able to write to you - trying my very best and Praying that I succeed in saying something that will give you a little word of encouragement.

  • If you can only realize how thankful I am that I have a wife who has been by my side all these years, supporting me, and not once has she complained. Even as my condition gets worse, she continues on, somehow, putting up with whatever mood or cycle I am in. She, like me, never knows what state-of-mind I will be in from one day to the next, but she somehow hangs in there. I don't know how. It has to be true love - stronger than any love known. Just to think of that makes me love her even more, and try to be better; for her. I at least owe her that much! 

  • I think of all the people, my Mom included, who are spending this Thanksgiving in the hospital. Some are in serious condition and may not make it another day.

  • For the hundreds of thousands that are homeless, I am thankful I am able write this with a roof over my head.

  • And, for all the sick, homeless, or abused sweet innocent children out there, I am thankful that my little girl is safely snuggled in her warm bed without any fear of what tomorrow may bring.
This is just a few things I am Thankful for. I hope and Pray you will stop for a little while and make your list of what you have to be thankful for. Sure, maybe it will not be long, but start with the fact that you are still here, able to read this. Remember, I promise you, somewhere there is someone who has it worse off than you do.

I hope you do this. Even if you have one item written down, I want you to add this down at the bottom of the paper: I will be thinking of you, and trusting you will be ok. We will not give up. It may be a rough road ahead for both of us, but I will meet you here another day...until then I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving from the bottom of my heart!

"My Mind"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My State of Mind....

Tomorrow, I have a - much needed - doctor appointment. Over ten years of being treated, countless of combinations of medicines tried, and as my wife advised me to tell the doctor, "Tell her to wipe the slate clean, and start over." For my wife, who never said much about my moods to come out and say this, I must be worse off than even I thought.

A Quote from Night Falls Fast by Kay Jamison fits this situation:

"Acute mental illness brings pain and dangers, and there is a chronic distress that comes from living with it and dreading its return. The anguish of depression, manic - depression, schizophrenia, and other psychiatric disorders cannot be overstated. Suffering, hopelessness, agitation, and shame mix together with a painful awareness of the often irreversible damage done by the illness to friends, family, and careers. It is a lethal mix."

This pretty much sums it all up. I could not have explained it better on my own. Quotes I share are written by those who know our illness, and most importantly can put them into words where I cannot. I will write...when I can.

"My Mind"

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Hello Note

Just wanted to send a little note... to my friends. I am having a difficult time writing - as my mind is fighting with the subject; as it does not want to dwell on it. But I promised I will write, so just please hang in there with me, think of me, and I will be back soon...

"On Earth, you lack the language to communicate with the insane. But eventually you’ll learn it. Like the Australian Aborigines, you’ll enter dreamtime. And then you’ll discover what pain, what dignity, what wisdom, and what sorrow lie within the mentally ill."

–Eugene Stein, Straitjacket and Tie

"My Mind"

Monday, October 31, 2011

Part 2 -The "Unspeakable" Word - Introduction

Coming off from writing: Part 1 "Upbringing: "The Innocence of a Child", looking at the date it was published on October 17th, I cannot believe it was that long ago. To me, my mind, it seems like yesterday for my mind still has not settled down. NOT so much because of WHAT I wrote on the page you read, but because of what I had to force my mind to think of, dwell on, all the underlying implications and variables NOT mentioned to get my point across of how critical it is for a child to have the "upbringing" this little innocent one needs and deserves. In other words, if there is "good" there has to be "evil". If there were no such thing in this mad world as "evil" then the word "good" would have no meaning. This is what my mind had to process and dwell upon while writing that. And, WORSE yet is to come.

These series I am trying to write is so important to me. However, even if I had above average writing skills -which I do not- even if without the illness that handicaps me trying to find the right words to get my point across, there is no way I could do this subject justice in just a couple of pages in a blog. I would love to write a book on it, but I do not think there is an editor out there ready to tackle my writing!

I have always had the blessing of being able to look at other peoples trials or illnesses, then comparing them to my own - I am not so bad off. My dad used to have a saying "it can usually get better, but it can Always get worse!" (There's a clue here somewhere on upbringing). If you go back and read the page I published in May entitled: "It Can Always Be Worse" --My Recent Experience, it will give you an example of what I am talking about.

However, as my illness has changed course in the last few years, that blessing I refer to comes with a price, and it is not pleasant. My condition has changed to the point that any diagnosis we (my doctor and I) had established in the beginning is in the trash can. If my mind dwells on the horribleness of this cruel world when it applies to this subject for any length of time, unconsciously I always gradually change from whatever mood or phase I may be in, and feel the pressure inside me build up, slowly climbing, until I am in such a condition I honestly believe if I do not change my direction of thought I will loose it! Now, "loose it" has many implications. Mentally and I believe physically, this body or mind could not stand it. I feel rage; uncontrollable rage and hatred; horrific pity; pain; hurt...and on and on. Just as it is now, I feel my heart beating harder in my chest, I am getting short of breath, my chest feels like 30 pounds is sitting on top of it, the skin on my entire body is tingling...maybe all these symptoms are not real, just my imagination. Some may say "they're just in your mind"...don't forget what the title of this blog is! Ok?

No, I have not been diagnosed as being Schizophrenia, but this is exactly what I am describing. The above is me in these certain conditions. I have to stop now.

 Here is what is next: Part 2: The "Unspeakable" Word: ABUSE

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fighting a Loosing Battle Here...

I just have a couple of minutes but wanted to say a couple of things.

Ok, I'm loosing it! For years I have been settled in and comfortable in a "routine" daily schedule. That is now history. The manic-depression in me that I could understand and almost live with is a thing of the past. The cycles that came and went are now constant with NO chance of a break. Without warning I switch back and forth: in the middle, instant irritability, rage, out of control; then deep depression. The problem we (my doctor and myself) are facing is at times I have all of these at once - going back and forth.

As you can tell, one of the many, many symptoms that comes with this "wonderful" illness is obsessive behavior. Instead of what some do, I feel I have to change the appearance of this blog, over and over. I believe I had it looking half way decient, then I changed it and now I am not so sure.

Then, comes my time. I am second shift Supervisor where I work. I have to leave the house at 2:30 pm for a meeting by 3:00pm. I usually get home about 1:00 am. In the middle of this, I am on here changing things, reading 4 books, reading a dozen or so emails from various newsletters I get on bipolar, reading and answering emails from readers, interacting on many bipolar groups on FB under Eagle Mind, and then, with no time left...home life. That makes me feel turn...makes me depressed.

Writing the next main subject comes into play here also. It is hard. Here is a photo that has arrows showing the gauge from severe mania - severe depression. When I am attempting to write about the next main subject, the meter goes near the the red...then to the bottom... while I am typing. Why write it then? I can only answer by saying...I have to.

I will try to write a note sometime in the morning hours. Sorry but I have to cut this short.

"My Mind"

Friday, October 21, 2011

I Can Feel it Coming...

Sometimes it comes fast and unexpectedly. Other times I can recognize it, and even though I know it's there and what is coming, I have not found a way yet to stop it. Depression is creeping inside me. Each hour, it is worse than the one before. How severe it will be is always unknown.

With that comes the fear of what might follow. Consulting with my doctor, we have some "thoughts" of the reasons why after all these years the manic-depression has changed, but basically she is as baffled as I am. The mania cycles that come with manic-depression are more severe than ever before and it is scares me. Like I mentioned in the last post, it could be that my mind is thinking of different things that it really had rather leave alone. I don't know. My hope for today is it will be a medium depression followed by a nothing else.

"Others imply they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But theses experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: your irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You're frightened, and you're frightening, and you're "not at all like yourself but will be soon," but you know you won't."

K Jamison

Be back as soon as I can...

"My Mind"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Part 1 "Upbringing: The Innocence of a Child"

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."
Proverbs 22:6

I have tried to keep this short. I have cut 6 pages off already. As my hero John Wayne would say "I am the one that goes around the mountain when ya could have cut through the pass." Sometimes it takes me eight pages to say what most could say in a paragraph. There is so much I want to say about this subject that touches my heart. 

When I was thinking upon this subject the title kept coming into my mind. The word "upbringing" is to me more of an old fashion word, but when I looked it up, it was exactly what I was thinking:

Upbringing: "The way the child is raised: care and teaching given to a child by parents or other people."

Synonyms: Actions, atmosphere, aura, backdrop, cultivation, culture, education, environment, framework, grounding, history, preparation, qualification, rearing, seasoning, tradition, training.

Of course everyone agrees genetics makes us who we are. Our beloved parents gave us our eyes, hair color, bone structure and much more. From them we also inherited some "traits" that, like it or not, this is who we are. In the one of my posts a few weeks ago "Bipolar - It's In The Genes" I quoted Dr. McMahon as saying: "It has been known for a long time that bipolar disorder and manic depression are the most genetic of all illnesses."

That's a powerful statement. A very sad statement for most of us. But for this page regarding the environment of a child growing up, I am taking all mental illness out of the equation. For this one setting, for arguments sake let's assume both parent(s) and children are mentally normal.

I've combed over sites for weeks reading various researcher's views on what is THE MOST determining factor on how we become who we are: Genetics or Upraising. The results will shock you...many contradict each other. So, I'm going to give you just a little bit of information, and a LOT to think about.

"The nurse gently places the tightly wrapped bundle into my wife's exhausted, but waiting arms. Her forehead was wet with perspiration. She looked down at the little girl she carried inside for almost nine months. There is a "glow" about my wife's face that I have only seen at childbirth. It's indescribable. She softly whispers the little girl's name for the first time outside the womb." 

Scientist have always concluded that before birth the infant learns the "melody" of the mother's voice. Now that melody was reinforced by the actual sound, in the same tone, for the first time outside of the womb. I don't think even scientists can measure the significance of this!

 From that very moment forward begins the process of shaping who the child will become. Even the smallest of things- positive or negative- can result in the make-up and therefore the possible outcome of this child into adulthood. When you think of it that way, it is a HUGE responsibility! Through genes, this little child is a by-product of the mother and father. That part is already completed. Now, the infant's little mind is already starting to build based on the information it is fed.

I would like to quote a segment from the piece: "From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development:

"Like constructing a house, brains are built upon a strong foundation. This starts before birth, and is very important during the first three years of life. Brain cells are the "raw materials" and a child's experience and interactions help build the structure. Heredity determines the basic number of "neurons" (brain nerve cells) the child is born with."

"Before birth, the baby forms trillions neurons and "synapses" (connections between the brain cells) then it needs. At birth, a baby's brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are in the Milky Way." 

{Below is one of the points I want to make}

"A child's experience, good or bad, influences the wiring of his/her brain and the connection in their nervous system. Loving interactions with caring adults strongly stimulate a child's brain, causing synapses to grow and existing connections to get stronger. Connections that are used become permanent. If a child receives little stimulation early on, the synapses will not develop, and the brain will make fewer connections."

"Stress can become toxic when a child has frequent or prolonged experiences like abuse or neglect. High levels can cause brain cells to die and reduces the connections between the cells and certain areas of the brain, harming the vital circuits. In other words, the wiring of the house can be severely damaged or wired wrong if a child is exposed to repeated and longtime stress without the assistance of a caring adult."

I hope we get this! It is not hard then for us to come to the conclusion that like a computer, the adage "garbage-in-garbage-out" applies to a child's mind a million times over. What you program in that little but powerful computer as he/she grows up, will give you the results "you" entered. 

I have said many times over a child's mind is like a sponge. It is so true. A sponge will absorb any type of liquid it comes into contact with - good or bad. If you pour a small puddle of pure bottled water down, the sponge absorbs it completely. If you pour a little puddle of toxic poison down, it will absorb it just the same. It does not know the difference. 

As is with the mind of a child. The young mind will absorb, take in, quickly analyze, categorize, and file and label  EVERYTHING it comes into contact with in newly built storage cabinets. At this stage, it has no reason to think "wait a minute, this is not right" because it does not have anything to "compare it to."

If you ever had a computer you have used for years, you know by experience that over time there are so many programs running in the background, the computer's speed gradually slows down. You have thousands of megabytes used from everything you created and saved, file downloads, videos, junk that has been downloaded and not been purged, and all kind of programs that you do not even know about running from sites you have visited. Suddenly, you decide you can do one of two things, First - if you have the savvy to really do it right, you can basically wipe the drive clean and start fresh. Or, you go and buy a new computer - one that has the software, hard drive, programs already loaded - but no information.

Remember when you got the "brand new" computer and turn it on for the first time? It's so exciting! You hurriedly set up new files, download all fresh data, adjusted the settings just the way you like it, put a new favorite screensaver on that you like - it's all new and even has more memory then the "old" one!

Unfortunately, we cannot do that to children's our minds! WE adults; parents or guardians, are totally responsible for what data or images are entered into that precious child's mind. Nothing, no matter how bad we want can undo what has been done. Doctors and scientists have proven that everything felt, seen, and witnessed by a small child may be forgotten as they grow up - hidden so deep the memory may never retrieve - but it can never be erased. It was the material used to build the little structures foundation and will subconsciously be used to grow into a young child, teenager, and adult. 

Think of it this way. I'm in my early 50's. While not considered old by any means think of all the things I have witnessed in just 50 years! Look around at all the changes in history, technology, politics, economy, religion, family values, social values and acceptance... think of all the feelings and emotions I have dealt with: Love, happiness, security, sadness, life, death, decisions, turmoil, success, failures, feelings from safe to threatened; health, pain, loneliness, evil, destruction...think of the millions upon millions of information has entered my mind through the years of what I saw, read and studied. Think of ALL of this and STOP!

You are 9 years old. What of the above have you felt or witnesses? You probably do not remember back before you were five, so your memory is about 4 years long. What is your mind cluttered with? It is fresh...innocent and pure. Empty of all of the above. This it how it should be.

Myself included, what are we putting in our little child's mind? More importantly though - who is feeding it? If a child is out of bed at , and goes to bed at , how much time is spent with just ONE of the parents? Six hours (unlikely), three hours? Whatever it is, subtract that from the 13 hours the child is up and going and then that is your answer as to who is programming the mind of our child. Where was he/she? What type of person(s) was he or she with? Do we REALLY know what they believe, what they are saying to them, teaching them with not only words, but with actions; their perspective of raising children; values; morals and the list goes on and on.

Listen, this sounds like I am saying "we" are not good parents because we are not with our children 24/7, and that's not true because there is no way we can be. Trust me, with raising four daughters I have always said I want to move on 500 acres, put a 20 foot security fence around the entire place and raise them safe. Not only is it impossible, but it would not be fair to them because they deserve to live and enjoy life as we did.

History has proven there are no guarantees that a child raised in a loving, warm, caring home they will turn out "good". I am just saying we have ideas, values, dreams, hopes and prayers that our children will be well, healthy and happy when they are grown up. It's OUR responsibility - or rather our Love - that we give them the start they so richly deserve. 

They are innocent of evil. The cruel, inhumane world as we know does not exist in their world, unless someone, usually the one they look up to or trust the most, lets the poison in. Their minds are getting closer now to the teen years and still like sponges they absorb all their surroundings. They are now more and more surrounded by outside influences. Still not seasoned to recognize true harm and danger, they are susceptible to more than we realize. Hurt, danger, poison can come in the form of many disguises. But they are not aware of them all. Sometimes by instinct they "smell" danger, but may not listen to their heart. Unfortunately, the abuse or neglect often comes from the parents, or a person they trust or look up to. The abuse, once done, can never be repaired.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.
-- Charles R. Swindoll

Coming Next: Part 2: The "Unspeakable" Word  
I may post a few short titles that will be easy on my mind, or quotes that may help you (they always do me) while I am waiting on my mind clear. The all unpredictable manic cycles that come without warning and vary in degree may prolong the next main post. Writing it will surely affect it, pretty much no doubt will trigger it. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blog Construction Continues...

Well, I changed it. The compulsiveness in me just has to do it! (crazy illness!).  I'm not sure if I like it because I am having to go back to old "posts" and fix the format.

Still, not sure if I like how it looks.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blog Design Under Construction?

If you arrive here and it looks different here's why:

As common with manic depressive people like myself, once something gets in my head, I'm not satisfied until it's done, and as soon as possible. For sometime now way in the back of my mind I contemplated changing the looks of the blog. Now, it's all I can think about. The flip side to this compulsive symptom is many times after you are finished, you wander why you had to change it in the first place.

I just hope if I do, it turns out ok.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Note - I Needed a Break

 I just have to take another break from my subjects I am working on and just sit down and type whatever I feel. I need this. I have missed it because it is kind of therapeutic for me instead of concentrating and "forcing" something that does not seem to want to come out. How do you manage to organize your thoughts about something so important to you, when you are manic, and as you type your mind goes beyond what your fingers are typing to levels of memory and feelings you are not there yet on the keyboard, and that triggers a higher mania making it even more difficult to write, which causes you to become so aggravated and mentally drained you close the computer down? This wasn't really a question I guess, just venting.

The sudden explosion of a new form of madness - if you want to call it that - many months ago has still not settled down. My semi predictable mind that the current medication I was taking for years and worked like magic is gone. New manic swings I have never dealt with change so fast I never know from one minute to the next what I will be, and the degree of all symptoms - major depression, hyper, racing thoughts, irritable, rage, unable to focus on one thing, uneasy thoughts - and on and on until I could fill a page are at a degree I have not had to deal with before. This is still after the change in some of the medicines. I try to accomplish 5 things at once in my mind, but succeed in none. I bought a journal to keep tract of my thoughts and moods daily, but ended up having 3 running at the same time for different purposes.

But, the good news is I have at least worked out some things in my mind and am making progress on how I am going to brake down the topics into three parts - four if I need a break.  Even though each may not be extremely long there is NO way in this world I could sit at one setting and write it. It would be too much on me and I would go over the edge.

I will leave you with another partial quote from a great author, Professor, and manic-depressive patient herself K Jamison. So much she writes I can relate to:

"...the ideas are far too fast, and there are far too many; overwhelming confusion replaces clarity. Memory goes. Humor and absorption on friends' faces are replaced by fear and concern. Everything previously moving with the grain is now against--you are irritable, angry, frightened, uncontrollable, and enmeshed totally in the blackest caves of the mind. You never new those caves were there. It will never end, for madness carves its own reality."

It seemed as though she new what I am going to write about.

Until then...

"My Mind"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mental Technical Difficulties

Regarding the next few subjects I strongly want to share with you, I have never had so much trouble writing! I have typed, deleted, and typed again until I am back to almost where I was at the beginning.

Playing the role of my own therapist I have analyzed it and I realize I have several stumbling blocks standing in my way. First, I am the type of person who, by nature, takes the long way around to say what could have been said in a shorter, more precise nature. Then, there's the subject matter. I could myself write a book on each of the subjects that I want to bring up, so I am having a real hard time condensing it in a blog form and be able for you to actually "feel" what I am feeling as I wrote it and understand the condition of my mind on the date that the page was posted.

Then, last but most important, has to do with "what state of mind" I am in when writing. I cannot, yet anyway, get to the point of explaining explicitly my mind's condition and how my thought process changes drastically on certain topics when the manic phases start building into a raging volcano, when I am in the deep depression stage.

Well, just wanted you to know I am still here. Going through a few tough weeks, but have hope it will change back to almost normal. {Bipolar--we don't know really what normal is!}

I will leave you with a quote on a subject that has been on my mind. I really like this one!

        "A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood." ~Rachel Carson

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bipolar Made Another Appearance:

I am having a lot of trouble, but I am working on it. Told you before about me announcing what was coming next and how that never worked, but I still am going to do it. The question is with my frame of mind how it will turn out. It has been a rough few days for me so that does not help.

This morning, and so far into the early afternoon ranks up there pretty high in the "bad day" category. The >>manic phase << is hitting right now. But on a scale of 1 - 10 with ten being the worse I am only about a 4. So far here are the traits as I type this:

Confusion, irritability, high anger, bad thoughts feeding this anger ---immediately switching to deep depression, worthless, chest feels heavy, wanting to close door and hide---switching again---going around in a circle. My medication has done nothing for me this morning.

As you can see I am not able to write anything else. What brought this on? Is it the subject matter I have been constantly thinking about? I do not know. What I DO know is most of the time, no matter where I am, my mind is on writing, and in doing this, things that did cause severe episodes just thinking about them are floating around and around in my mind. I catch myself and force the direction of my thoughts away because I can feel the heart starting to beat faster; my breaths are shorter....

Even feeling the way I am this very minute, I have to go into the office and I will start a meeting at , then it's non-stop work until about . I have to try to concentrate. Decisions will have to be made all night. I will probably talk to over 50 or more of our employees either on the phone, or in person. It's going to be a long night. I will say a quiet Prayer for help. I'll try to find a song that makes me feel good and hum it in my mind all night...

I have to close and leave you with this quote:

"That's the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it's impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key."

Elizabeth Wurtzel
From Book Prozac Nation

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Just Buying a Little Time

As I pointed out in the last post:  "Bipolar--Genes - Plus much More" I want to share some information and ideas concerning some topics that helped me have a clearer perspective on how Bipolar is passed down to my generation and on down the line to my grandchildren. I became overwhelmed with the idea in my mind of genes passing from generation to generation for thousands of years, ever so slightly changing characteristics as they duplicate, but even then having some of the same original DNA.

After I hit the publish button, I closed down the computer got in the car and drove to my coffee shop. This is when I outlined what I wanted to say next. I want to discuss ideas and give you some information that may help you while tying it all together with my theme, AND at the same time it gives me a great way to "show" you more about me--the "real" me under certain circumstances.

Each of us, if we have any feelings at all have certain "interests" that touches our hearts. We all have deep convictions or "causes" we support because it is very important to us. We also have a major "pet peeve" that just eats at us.

 I am no different except the fact I have 1 major "pet peeve" (can be broken down into categories) that has become, at times, an obsession with me and having Bipolar I -- this subject ignites the manic attack that is at times almost impossible to put out.

What I am trying to say, I know in my mind that the next several posts will eventually lead to that subject and the closer I get, my heart races, I feel the rage slowly starting to creep up....

I am determined to finish though...I just cannot mentally do it all at once.

"My Mind"       

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bipolar--Genes - Plus Much More

I just touched briefly - very briefly - the important role of the genes of our family tree has regarding passing on Bipolar to the next generation. The reason I said briefly, is because I have seen 35 page explanations with diagrams; DNA broke down; genes tracing and scientific names, facts and theories and words I will never remember if I saw them again, just to say what I said--by first hand experience--in one page.

What I failed to mention is that although we, the inheritors of these genes by our beloved relatives have an 80% greater chance of getting bipolar, there are MANY who have bipolar and it was never diagnosed in their family at all. So I guess about now if you passed the first test - bipolar genes not in you- you might be sweating again. Sorry.

Now, as you will read the last post, this one, and the ones which I hope with all my heart to be able to follow these up with, you might see a change in the "tone" of my voice I mentioned that comes from time to time. Don't ask me why, I don't know. I still feel the unstable moods that come and go during the day. Hopefully, my mind is letting me say some things I have been wanting to say, and have tried, for some time now.

What I am doing now is actually playing the game of chess. I love that game! I used to be real good at it until my memory and concentration started go fade. To be a master of chess, you have think (actually picture in your mind) several moves ahead of time. Between now and "checkmate" I am looking forward to providing you with information that I hope will help you and give you "food-for-thought" on other ideas. "Checkmate" will come when deep within here you will see a side of me that I don't think I could just come out and type it and hit the publish button. "Checkmate" will be the answer to a few questions about me that my doctor has not even asked.

Now, I just did once again what I said over and over again I said I will not do...tell you what was coming next...then my mind will not let me finish it. I feel different about this process though.

If I have had a stumbling block in my mind on writing about certain topics or expressing my feelings it is because I feel so inferior. I did not graduate from college and whether it's because of my illness or lack of education, I have a hard time "spitting" out what I really want to say. There are thousands of writers and can take my subject and polish it up and it better. OK...hang on to you chair....

SO WHAT? Hey, I do not write for Psychology Today or New York Times, I write a blog. It is my blog. I suffer from Bipolar I and the Manic Depression - Mania - (and little drip of Schizophrenia once in a while) in the middle of all that and I really think I doing pretty good...considering...what my thoughts are at the time!

Oh, there may be another little change. If able, I may through in some other subjects such as politics, religion, science, world events and so on. Just because as you read more and more about me and think maybe I should be locked up, does not mean I have my opinion on life on the outside also. Scan the news, read some of the horrible stories out there and tell me who is really insane...them...or me?

Meet you back here soon,

"My Mind"   

Bipolar--It's In The Genes

With all the uncertainties of bipolar, one thing most professionals agree on is manic -depressive (that's me) is hereditary. At least we are onto something here, I thought, until I read the caption of a recent article by a renown Doctor "Bipolar disorder runs in the family. However, scientists still cannot pinpoint it to one specific gene since there are many other factors that may lead to the manic-depressive illness."
Dr. Francis McMahon, chief of the Genetics Unit of the Mood Anxiety Disorders Program at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Bethesda, Md., said "it has been known for a long time that bipolar disorder and manic depression are the most genetic of all illnesses. There have been three kinds of studies, including family studies that show that bipolar disorder definitely runs in families. The other studies were conducted on twins, identical and fraternal."

"If you have a close family member, you have a 10-fold chance of getting bipolar disorder,” said McMahon. “If you do the math, there is about an 80 percent difference of risk of bipolar, which leaves about a 20 percent chance for other factors, and we know even less about what those are.
Once a psychiatrist goes over the family history with them, there may have been some illness that occurred in adolescence. People can go months and years being undiagnosed and continue to get a number of episodes down the line. “Bipolar is episodic,” he said. “A lot of studies are about what triggers the episode, but there’s very little evidence of why people get it.” if you didn't think you have bipolar, but now are starting to think of an Aunt, Grandma, or someone else in your family who have bipolar, you might be sweating about now. Take it easy for a little while and listen to me.
In my case, the above is absolutely true! Bipolar, to one degree or another can be traced back generations in my family. does not mean every person "in line" of that family tree WILL have bipolar. And, I have seen it in my life and read of dozens of examples that even if a great grandchild has bipolar, he/she may have only a mild depression while the sibling may have full blown bipolar1 manic-depression. As I said, I am a witness to this.
Bipolar runs on my Moms side of the family. (Read the page about my Mom "Having a Loved One Committed - -My Experience"  6/26/11.)  What I want to do is try my best to outline my Family History of Bipolar. I will list the ones who I have seen first hand or have heard of:
Grandfather: 8 Children
There is a mystery regarding the early years of my Grandfather. This was before he became a Christian. As very, very small child, I can remember bits and pieces of "hush" talk. Maybe all the details of the talk is blocked out of my mind. I know there is one Aunt who could probably tell me. But what lays deep in my mind, I do not want her to relive any horror memories. I remember he had a temper that almost got him in trouble several times. I witnessed it. When I was with him, I could see a mood change instantly. Not only a mood change, but a totally different person.
Aunt #1
Referred to her above. Of them all, I was the closest to her. We were around each other a lot. She had a rough personal life. I wish I could remember what she commented on about Grandpa, but I cannot. She talked of suicide off and on during the breakup of her and my Uncle. I know she went to a doctor for awhile. We now live thousands of miles apart, so I don't know to what extent she is suffering. Once in awhile when I talk to her, we joke around, discuss business and then she says she is doing "fairly well."
Uncle # 1
My Uncle is, and has been in bad shape for many years. I would list him as Bipolar--with hallucinations and schizophrenia. We tried to get him help, lasted for awhile, then nothing. My Aunt stands behind him and helps when she can. I know he sold 2 fairly new mint condition Lincoln automobiles in a short span of time because he told my Aunt someone placed a monitoring device in them and listens to everything he says. They also watch him. My Aunt tells me I would not believe what she goes through, the only thing she has going for her is he is a Christian. I cannot do anything for him, but Pray with my Aunt.
Uncle # 1 -Above -(2 Children)
Cousin # 1
Second time he has been in trouble with the law. Drug abuse. As recent as a few months ago, was making Meth when the lab exploded and burned over 60% of his body. Girl he was with is in prison, and he is still recovering. The other Cousin as far as I know has a good family and doing fine.
Mom: (You can read about her here) 3 Sons
**From my Grandpa, there are 3 out of 8 children who has bipolar, or worse. Unless they mask it better than me, I have not seen or heard of any other Aunts or Uncles who has Bipolar.**
ME I am.
Brother #1
He is not as bad as I am, by any means, but he needs help. We are three years apart. I shared a room with him, worked with him for years. He knows about my problem, and his subject came up and he mentioned "maybe I should go to the doctor." My Sister-in Law agrees. I know him though. He will never go. Don't get me wrong, I talk to him everyday. We joke a lot as brothers do, but he will never go to the doctor. He is a miserable human being. I could go on for hours, but my brother is generally unhappy about everything, and I think he thrives on making everyone around him unhappy also. he is not suicidal at all. Maybe bipolar 2-3 and will no doubt be ok. But those around him will suffer because he is "too good" to go to a doctor.. (I intend on discussing the two of us more at a later date)
My 4 Daughters:
Daughter #1

My oldest -mild bipolar traits has seen a doctor, but had to quit because of no insurance. She is special though. Her bubbly personality and outlook on life in general gets her through for the most part. I hear some of the problems she goes through, and I see the traits, and it hurts. She is special in so many ways. Her family is her life, and I think they pull each other through. What contributes the most though is she is very close to her mother, and I know without a doubt my wife helps her. She wants help so bad but cannot afford it.
The rest of daughters, including my youngest who will soon be 10,  suffer from some form of symptom or another. My wife can list probably in detail some of the symptoms more than I. But I recognize certain quirks, or behavior that throws up a red flag. I remember when I was that age. My only hope and Prayer for my girls is that as they get older, the illness will not get worse. I cannot tell you how many days I see myself at their age and then see my life as I get older get worse and worse.
Looking at this, the above doctors were right. The point I am also trying to make is it does not mean each and everyone within that family will be diagnosed with Bipolar. There are no rules, no standards, no predictability. It's anyone's guess. If you have blood relatives who has bipolar and you seem to be doing fine, then feel very, very fortunate the gene passed you up. From my grandfather all the way down to me, look at how many made it through! 
"My Mind"