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.”
Ok...now 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. BUT...it 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 --well...here 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"

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In Submission



Tonight I am submissive of my mind. Yesterday and today - up until this afternoon - I was excited what I was going to post next. It was a project concerning a series that would have covered four different posts. This afternoon, I could feel "the change" coming and no matter how I tried, I could not complete the first phase.

I have brought this up before. How do I make you understand? I type a couple of words and then I am blank. I look at the outline, notes, research, and as I try to type, something inside fights it. That feeling is so strong I can feel the resistance building up in every cell of my body. Picture an accomplished artist that has planned a beautiful landscape in his mind he wants to paint. He can see it, feel it, almost smell the fresh air and as the brush touched the canvas, it does not come out the way he wants. Even the easiest strokes of the brush does not give him the results he "sees". Suddenly, he does not want to paint the landscape scene so instead, he pains a potted plant sitting on a stool. Perhaps, it is not a bad painting, not at all a masterpiece, but worse of all the artist is not happy with it because it was NOT what HE wanted to paint!

So, then if the above be the case, I am totally controlled by my mind. Think about that. This is what scares me, if after all these years I have come through with treatments, medicine, tests after tests and I have no more control over my mind then that, what about the future? Will I get worse? Will my mind control me to something bad? What if it turns to the worse...again...only this time actually over the cliff I was at one time standing on looking down?

There are many who wander if treated bipolar I patients still go through the cycles. Well, I have started keeping a journal. I start in a line or two in the morning and add to it later, OR if there is a sudden change. Here's an example of the results of a few days.

From Sept 9th to Sept 15th, there was a calm "not-to-bad period," then it suddenly changed. No particular order. It could start out bad, change to good or reverse. Some were minor, just mood changes, others were more severe. On the good days, there were  one or two changes. On the bad days, one especially, I went through 5 different experiences of feelings, mental thoughts, and mood changes in one day alone.

*Everyday, I went through a change*

Anyway, I'll sign off. Suddenly my mind is tired. I will try to write this weekend. My mind is usually tired after a fighting all the above and stressful work also.

Be back soon....

"My Mind"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tribute to America 9/11/2001






September 11, 2001






When Our Great Nation Pulled Together! May we NEVER Forget That Feeling!!

* Repost * - Where I was on September 11, 2001 (9/11

I posted this last year on this date. It is hard for me to believe that another year has come and gone. The realazation has just come over me I am in a different condition then a year ago, but none for the better.

Just for a little background, while the world watched in fear our Great Nation being under attack, my mind was under attack from a dreadful illness known as Bipolar I. Tears streamed down my face, NOT because of what what happening to my beloved Country, because I was at the end. Looking back now, I realize that I was within a heartbeat of life - or suicide. I was so close!

****************************************************




Today all across this great country millions of Americans are reflecting what they were doing when our country was under attack by terrorist. Where were you and what was you doing the moment the news spread?


I remember all to well where I was. I was in a two room office in the downtown area of the small city where I live. Although the city is dwarfed by a major city across a river it is one of those towns that is built of character. Narrow streets downtown where buildings and business date back to the early 1900"s. There are many old stately churches all around the town, and looking back I remember now that all at once all the church bells were ringing non-stop.


I was alone on the second floor of the offices I leased. The main door downstairs that led to my office was locked so no one could come up from the street. Even the door that led to my office from the hallway was locked all morning. The phones that rang throughout the day went unanswered. Throughout the office all the lights were off. My emails that were waiting for me were sitting there unopened. Papers that came over on the fax machine were still there from the night before, not even touched. What was I doing?


I was curled up in a fetal position in the corner on a mat I placed because of the many hours I spent there; some working and some as a quiet haven where I could be alone. A blanket was over my shoulders. Sad, lonely music played on the stereo. I laid there thinking about my life, the mistakes I made, all the times I failed, how awful I was as a child how disappointing I was as a father, parent and provider. Whether any of this was actually true made no difference to me because in my mind it was true. My mind was telling me what's the use of going on because the future was going to be the same as the past. I was not thinking of the terrific supportive wife and children that I was so blessed with because that and God was the most positive thing in my life! I did not, just could not even if I wanted to, dwell on the positive, I fed on all the negative my mind could come up with.


If you could believe this, that was not even the darkest point in my life. It was several months to maybe a year before with the encouragement of my family, and me knowing that I needed help or the ultimate would happen that I walked into the doctors off and was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 (Manic Depression).


That was where I was on 9/11. Where were you and what were you doing?

"My Mind"

Thursday, September 8, 2011

“The Pain is Unrelenting..."

The pain is unrelenting, and what makes the condition intolerable is the foreknowledge that no remedy will come--not in a day, an hour, a month, or a minute. If there is mild relief, one knows that it is only temporary; more pain will follow. It is hopelessness even more than pain that crushes the soul. So the decision-making of daily life involves not, as in normal affairs, shifting from one annoying situation to another less annoying--or from discomfort to relative comfort, or from boredom to activity--but moving from pain to pain. One does not abandon, even briefly, one’s bed of nails, but is attached to it wherever one goes.” William Styron (novelist)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Quote From Kay Redfield Jamison's Book

"Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these 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 that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are 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."