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Fight Depression with Delicious, Healthy Foods

This is a guest post from Cindy Johnson. She writes a blog at http://healthyrecap.com/. She was kind enough to offer a post on Fighting Depression with healthy foods. I thought this was a great idea and a great fit for my blog, so you will find her post below: 

Fight Depression with Delicious, Healthy Foods Image of a healthy meal, Grilled Fish and vegetables

By Cindy Johnson

Depression is virtually unknown in some countries and a growing concern in others, including the US. Can bad diets be the cause? Some scientists say yes. Small changes to your diet can make a huge difference in controlling mood disorders.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in any given year nearly 7% of the adult population in the US suffers from serious depression, and almost 17% are treated for depression at some point in their lives. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to mood disorders as well, and depression often starts early. But a growing body of scientific research points to some simple diet changes that can help stave off depression and help you or your teen maintain an even keel.

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Psych Appointment for my Youngest…

Well believe it or not it actually happened finally, the appointment that is!! 

All in all the doctor was nice, semi thorough so I am hoping things go well.  She is a bit annoying, mainly her voice, but nothing to complain about really!!  Jessi actually talked to her some answered questions once she was comfortable.  She doesn’t like doctors and doesn’t like to talk to people she doesn’t know and really doesn’t want to admit the problems she has so there is always a bit of nudging to get her to speak.. lol :)  Got the refill for her medication and of course it is more costly than with the last insurance it was 90.00 co pay for 90 days worth the pills.  Could be worse.. :) 

I was able to set an appointment for my oldest Samantha and she will go on Monday at 9am.  Not looking forward to the cost on her medication as with the other company it was over 200.00 for 90 day supply, Yikes!  Lets hope it isn’t much more than that.. :)  I still don’t think this place is equipped to really give good psychiatric care but we will do what we can to get what the kids need.  It was interesting as I told her how Jessi has been lately and how up and down she has been and she says ok I will see you back in three months.. I thought Really?! But what can you expect.. NO real attempt to see her a few times to see how she is really doing just refill the meds and send her on her way.  LOL

I must sound hard to please, well I am, where the kids are concerned.  Oh, we are also going to see about signing up for a class that will teach her some coping skills for her anxiety..  She has had some pretty good panic attacks over the last few months so I think that might be helpful.  I have heard they have decent therapy and classes that can help with certain things so we will check it out and see what it is all about.

I am thankful they finally contacted me and we were able to see a doctor and not go through all the red tape of therapy and evaluations etc..  I want the evaluations but would prefer it be by the doctor that will be treating her.  I don’t believe a report in writing is going to tell the doctor much, she needs to evaluate them herself.

Very sorry I didn’t get this done sooner, I spent the day starting to set up a blog at a different place to switch to but there are issues there.  Just so you all know I will be moving the blog as I want more functionality so watch for that to happen.. Coming Soon a new look but same address! 

Mountain Sunset

~Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
~Louisa May Alcott~

Quote from Inspirational Quotes

Image: M – Pics / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Mental Illness??? Or Another Problem??

I was talking with a friend and it made me realize that deciding if you are mentally ill or have some other issue is not easy.  I remember when I met with my psychiatrist all those years ago, the one I see now, he told me NO ONE fits into the molds of textbook Bipolar or whatever illness you may suffer from.  I think that was one of the eye-opening facts he gave me right away.  

If you look up Bipolar for instance… I never knew there are two forms and if I read the symptoms I don’t fit perfectly into that yet I am Bipolar II.  That is my diagnosis and I fully believe it.  I realized after talking to my doctor that life factors come into how your mental illness starts and progresses therefore none of us fit PERFECTLY into a diagnosis.  You maybe Bipolar but have some symptoms from other illness’ kind of related to it.  

So when you see symptoms you aren’t sure if it is actually an illness or something else, maybe a health issue or tumor etc..  Is this normal? you will ask yourself, and others, who will tell you yeah your fine..blah blah blah  There is very little understanding of Mental Illness in general society, people fear it and therefore there is a stigma.  People will deny it for years and years, maybe forever… Like my mother!   

My point here is… drum roll please…. :)  If you have any one serious symptom of any mental illness who is it going to hurt if you go see a doctor to discuss it? Also Is that symptom interfering with you living life normally? If so you need a doctor… The earlier you catch a problem the easier it is for you to learn and control it and have the doctors help you with medicines, your diet or therapy, whatever is right for YOU.  There is no Magic Pill out there that will fix you up with out some work and YOU MUST LEARN ABOUT YOUR ILLNESS.  Knowledge is power people, I know that’s cliché but it is true.   

When I learned of my illness I went online into chat rooms and listened and sites and read and read and did all the research I could. My husband hated it and complained about the time I spent on the computer.  That really should have been my first clue he wasn’t going to support me… LOL  Years of work and research and therapy and doctor appointments and medicines and all that goes into full treatment and finding the road to recovery.  The first step is to accept it and realize its not the end of the world its the beginning of your happy life.  Really it is.. at least it was for me. 

Image of dock going of over a lake

Peaceful Journey

Image: federico stevanin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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10 Famous People With Bipolar Disorder, The Price of Fame?

I have looked around the internet for information on Bipolar Disorder and People with Bipolar to share with you all.  There are a lot of Creative people who have Bipolar whether it be Bipolar I or Bipolar II.  I wanted to share an article that just lists 10 well-known people who have Bipolar.  I liked this article found it interesting and thought you may also… 

 

10 Famous People With Bipolar Disorder

The Price of Fame? Image of Vincent Van Gogh

 

This article is from EverydayHealth.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Aristotle

Image via EverydayHealth.com

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Life Values and Bipolar Limitations…

This is part of a comment from a blog called Thebipolarproject… and the reason for the topic of this post! I suggest you check out her blog! 

I think you have it quite tough because you have a lot of responsibilities, you have children and extra stresses and difficulties. That’s a lot to juggle, and I admire your ability to keep pushing on. I would love to know more about what you value in life, what is important to you and the limitations that you do have and how you work within them (or not!) – Maybe a topic for a post on your blog? 

I’m not sure how to answer that but here is my best try at it; I value high morals, always do the right thing, always think of others, always make up for what mistakes you make, own your actions don’t blame others, work as hard as you can to be the BEST person you possible, don’t accept less than your best and be the best parent you can, your forming adults and they must know your values!  Help others in whatever way you can but don’t accept abuse from them. You must respect yourself or you won’t be happy!

With my illness I find it important to surround myself with positive people. Those that don’t make drama out of nothing and those that care about others. That doesn’t mean I don’t help those that don’t appreciate my help but I will only do what I can and if it affects my life, my kids, my world in a negative fashion it has to be stopped.  I have been mistreated many times but I can’t usually help myself until it affects me in a negative way.  Then I realize I’m not helping anyone and just sacrificing my stable moods so I have to stop.  I don’t help anyone with any expectation of getting anything in return, except respect of my life and my feelings.  

I do my best to not judge people, I don’t know what their life is like and I am not in their shoes so I try not to judge. Am I always successful at that, NO we all have those moments that we later realize we were being unfair, we are human. 

I have severe mood swings and anger at times and I have lit into people unnecessarily but I always regret it, the rage that comes with my illness sometimes takes over.. like the incident with my neighbor that I wrote about in a earlier post.  I always apologize and I  feel horrible about it as that rage isn’t who I really am, it’s a symptom of my illness that I work hard to control.

The number one most important thing in my life is my Children.  My two girls mean the world to me and I have worked hard for years to control my illness and change my negative thought processes to a more positive way of thinking and I am hoping they will be better people for it just as I am. 

My limitations you ask.. there are many! Number one I cannot work! The stress of a job sends me over the edge every time, it undoes my stability and pushes me into a world of depression and anger. I get lost in the swirling of my Bipolar Mind.  It takes a lot out of me daily to control my symptoms and live normally. I have to watch my feelings , reactions and level of happiness constantly, because any change could mean a big mood change in my life.  It’s difficult to not be able to work, money is a huge issue. Here I am on the third of January with not enough money to pay rent, turning in my recycling and collecting it from others to attempt to make it one more month. It’s difficult with two teenage girls who also have depression issues that have to be treated. I also have to watch them and their lives and reactions and such to make sure they aren’t falling over the edge and get them to the doctor when they are.. I must have the money to buy their medicine which is quite expensive even with insurance.

When you are depressed, which we always are, its hard to get up each day and get two depressed teenagers out of bed, ready, off to school and deal with all their weird morning quirks etc. I love them and I do it because I do love them, they have to see that you can’t let the depression rule your life. Really depression is just a fact of our life and we have to set up our lives and limits around it. If our anxiety is high then we don’t go shop that day or where ever we would normally go but we will push our way out the next day.

I can’t go into big crowds most days and my oldest daughter can’t either as our anxiety is high, we have a difficult time going some where we have never been before or talking with someone we have never talked to before. The anxiety is crippling if we give into it.

Since this post is getting so long I think I will stop there… Maybe I can expand on things further in another post.  There are so many accepted limitations that it isn’t easy to know what mine are in comparison to others anymore. :)

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New Relationship and Bipolar…

Do you wonder how a new relationship survives the mood issues I have had lately? Me too!!  

Today I’m sharing more on my relationship with Carl.  When I met Carl I was a mess he was my neighbor at the first apartment I moved into after my husband and I separated. We said Hi to each other and general niceties but never really spent any time together.  I thought he was a nice man the moment I saw him but I didn’t feel good about myself and wasnt looking for a relationship.  We lived there 3 yrs as neighbors until he moved out to move in with his girl friend.  I wished him the best and went on my way.  A year after he moved, I ran into him at a local park and we chatted for a while.  No big deal really.  I was pretty stable at the time and was happy open to a relationship.  Well as it turned out he had just moved out of his girlfriends house, I told him how sorry I was it didn’t work out etc.

 Then a few weeks later two days before I went to court for my divorce, he tracked me down at a local store and asked me out.  He proceeded to tell me that he always regretted not asking me out and he has looked for me to ask me out for a week or so.  He said he was frequenting the areas my kids went to school in hoping to run into me. He assured me he wasn’t a stalker.. haha   I was shocked had no idea he wanted to date, I accepted his invite to dinner without hesitation and we have dated more than a year now.

We see each other daily with a few exceptions.  He has experienced some of my weird moods and he is still here.  So I guess he hasn’t been scared off as of yet.  I have never actually told him what my diagnosis is because he hasn’t asked.  I have told him about my experience with moods and depression he knows I have had some bad years with it and this last 6 months he has experienced those moods, not the worst ones but some not so good ones.  He gives me the space I need and is not offended by my moods.

I have told him that I have depression and mood issues and have talked about a lot of those and listened to him about some of my different moods that he has noticed.  He knows the doctor took me out of work and that I take several medications daily for the depression.  I really don’t know how he feels about all that as we haven’t discussed it yet, but he is still around and we still have a great time together, even doing nothing. 

This man is amazing, he is easy to be with, easy to talk to about everything, he isn’t perfect mind you but he is funny, friendly, outgoing and loving.  He respects me and all women, he is a bit opinionated on politics so that’s not a good topic. haha  He is the kind of guy that opens doors for you and offers to help with anything and everything, although he doesn’t like me helping him with stuff.  It’s a man thing I think.. :)  I help anyway, sometimes. :) He worries about me being under too much stress but he doesn’t push his opinion on me, he respects my choices.  He has supported me in helping my friend who was having marital issues even though he felt I was being taken advantage of, he voiced that but not disrespectfully.  He then let me realize it all on my time.  He never puts me down in any way!   To me he is nearly the perfect man.  He is good to my kids too and they both like him. He doesn’t overstep boundaries with them though, he respects them. 

So as time goes on and we get to talk more about feelings etc I’m sure I will be posting more about this wonderful man.  Wish us luck!! :)

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Deciding to Medicate my Child…

There are a lot of parents that don’t believe in medicating their children.  I am in two minds about it really.  I think it depends on the illness and what the side effects will be.  

Here is the scoop, when my daughter started having serious issues with her moods and anxiety I took her to a doctor.  Actually we went through several doctors before we trusted one to give us medicine for her.  They didn’t, right away, suggest medication, we wanted to make sure there really was something wrong and not that she was reacting to something we didn’t know etc.  

I was desperate to help her, she was so full of anxiety and getting more and more angry for no reason.  She seemed so unhappy and unable to control of her emotions.  We went to the doctor weekly and then he thought she might benefit from an anti-depressant.  Together over time we had decided she had some type of depression/anxiety disorder.   Nothing we tried worked for her so what choice did we have?? We talked to the doctor about what medication he may suggest and what the side effects were.  We wanted to give her as little as possible and the doctor agreed.  

We talked at length with the doctor about the possible side effects and once we started the medicine we kept in close touch with him, seeing him weekly and discussing all possible side effects.  

I had to ask myself, can she go on like this at this age?, she was 6.  She went from a happy child to a very emotional confused child. She was always sensitive but this was similar to what I imagined went on with me as a child and if you have read my other posts you know I was actively looking for a diagnosis and help for myself. I remembered as a child feeling so sad and not having any idea why, then it got to where I didn’t really feel much at all, I didn’t want that for her.  I swore my child would not suffer the life I did, the life of depression.  I knew this was likely to be more than a stage.  There are medications that I would not give a child due to the side effects I didn’t want her to lose her personality, you know the one underneath the over-emotional reactions. There are a lot of medicines that will just wipe out their personalities and I didn’t want that for her.   Really the anti-depressant didn’t frighten me too much but believe me you must keep a close eye on them and report any possible side effects.  As time went on and she developed more issues we had to once again weigh medications and whether it was worth the risks.  Lots of discussion about all the aspects of the medications and side effects and how much to give her.  Low dose was where we insisted we start!  The doctor is very conservative with the dosage and is very knowledgeable.  That doesn’t mean I didn’t go home and research it more before I filled the prescriptions.  We can’t be too careful with our still growing and developing children where medications are concerned.

I will suggest to anyone that is considering medications for a child to fully research all information on such medications and make sure you completely understand how it works and how it will affect them.  You can’t be too safe.

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Mood Swings are Exhausting…

A depressed man sitting on a bench

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever been really depressed?  I mean truly depressed where everything is an effort, just breathing feels like too much to bother with and you are fighting to keep a positive outlook on life? 

 

That’s been me the last couple  Few months! Up and down moods and energy levels, its exhausting, but I know it’s just my illness so I have to remember this isn’t my life or my attitude it’s just A part of life.  It’s a part I would like to leave behind but it will always be with me.  I get to feeling better than I wake up feeling that churning inside and a heavy head of racing thoughts… 

Then I have to think about every thought so I can stop the negative self hating ones.  I have to remind myself that isn’t reality, I don’t deserve to be treated that way by anyone especially myself.  When I do this it can really affect my relationships with people and my overall attitude about life.  I have to repeat to myself, I AM CHOOSING HAPPINESS!!  

Now I know a lot of you are thinking she is fooling herself and you are either happy or you’re not, well I know I can choose to be happy.  Do I have everything I want in my life? No… Do I have what is necessary in life?  Yes I do.  Am I a good person who cares about others and wants to help people out with their troubles?  Yes I am.. Do I live a good and moral life? Yes I do  and I have to repeat that to myself a lot and I have to tell myself to stop those thoughts.   Those thoughts are my illness not me and I can’t let it take over… 

The days of bipolar depression having control are over, it will affect me and the people in my life at times but I won’t let it rule me!!  I will be the better person I know I am!!  Do you have to tell yourself what your thankful for in your life? Does it help you? 

OK we all know I will have bipolar days and weeks and even months but I can’t define myself by it and that’s why I find it helpful to counter those negative thoughts and the self hate that comes from the depression. 

Do you struggle with these thoughts as well?  How do you handle them? Do you even notice when you’re doing it?  Do you tell yourself to stop?  How does it affect you?  

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Who was that Person????

Have you ever reflected back on your experiences, and your actions and thought, Who was that person? 

Bipolar made me think that way every day, mainly as I hit my late teens.  I am just going to pop out some of how I reacted to stuff and how I felt about it at the time and looking back now. 

As a child, I withdrew so I was super sad and had panic attacks all the time although we had no idea what it was, but as I got older things changed… 

In High school I would do things like smack my friend when she laughed too loud. Not on purpose but I would be shocked that it happened.   So the reaction was Shock, Fear, sadness, confusion, regret, hate for myself, and to withdraw from life further. 

This was the aftermath  every time something like that happened… every time I uncontrollably yelled at someone who upset me, every time I walked through the hall ignoring my friend calling to me, every time someone walked into me in the hallway and I hit them hard with my shoulder, every time someone looked at me cross-eyed and I reacted, every time I threw a desk across the room in a class because the person behind me was banging my chair with the empty desk.  Every day I withdrew more and more..

There was always a cloud of Shock, Fear, sadness, confusion, regret, hate for myself, deeper depression and to withdraw from life further.  

Imagine living in a world where everything is gray, and you feel sad, rage, hate, negativity, fear, anxiety, stress and then going into a high that was so annoying your rage became uncontrollable.  You had so much extra energy you couldn’t stop moving but you are exhausted at the same time.  You took nothing serious and made jokes of everything, laughed constantly and knew Always That You Were Not Like Every One Else, wondering how you will go on… Wondering will this ever get better for me? Wondering what is the purpose of life?  What is wrong with me?  Who is this person controlling me it can’t be who I am???  Am I a Bitch like everyone says?  I don’t feel like that person but I am??  I fought with everyone in my life over little things, sometimes things I just perceived the wrong way but could see it no other way. 

Every day, each year, every incident the Gray got darker, the anxiety deeper, the mood swings faster, the Rage grew, and the hate for who I was growing rapidly.  Regret. Regret. Regret, it surrounded me day after day, moment to moment, the pressure I felt around me was heavier and heavier, the effort to breathe harder and harder, the thoughts swirling in my head so quickly that I couldn’t even pinpoint what the thoughts were, swirling swirling swirling, the noise in my head got louder and louder and my level of confusion worse and worse!  All I could do was withdraw and over react!   I was known as the crazy bitch!

As far back as I can remember my mother called me a bitch… and as I got older everyone called me a bitch.  This confused me because I really didn’t think I was inside, but I knew on the outside I was a bitch, confusion on this topic was unbearable.  I decided for years to be the bitch I was accused of being all the while that other person inside me wanting out.   I couldn’t imagine being who I am today, yet I yearned to be that happy person, loving, helpful, real, genuine!

I know there are people out there that feel the same way, don’t let go of  HOPE!  Be strong and keep your eye on that person inside not the illness on the outside.  Develop that person in any way you can!!

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Psychiatrist, Therapist… Oh My!

Loneliness (edit)

Image by kvitlauk via Flickr

Have you ever felt like there is no one who understands and can help you?? Doctors act like you are pretending and therapists just give bad advice?

This is how I was feeling when I left that psychiatrists office knowing  I would never go back… defeated, scared and exhausted!

Here I was  begging for help… and the doctors just wanted to bully me, I wasn’t standing for it.  Off I went looking for another psychiatrist, I saw many of them and it seemed useless thankfully I was determined to find out exactly what was going on with my brain!  It took months to find another doctor just to be disappointed again and go on another search. I was horrible my moods were all over the place I fought with anyone that would look at me cross-eyed or I would break down and bawl for no known reason.  My family was really struggling with me and with every doctor there was more disappointment and further depression.

I would rage about the littlest stuff, I would get angry with the kids and pull in the recycle bin and start adding their toys and books to the recycling. I had very little control and didn’t know what to do.  So many times I felt as if I was hovering above my body while i did these things, out-of-body experience while in a rage.  Frightening really!! Devastating to the kids and me!  I did have a neighbor that would see me do that and she would come take the kids for me so I could try to stop my fit… she was a god send!

This went on for years until I finally found a doctor.  He isn’t a personable man but he knows his stuff and he knew immediately how to handle our family.  He had treated my daughter for a year but I never thought to go to him myself.  Him treating me gave a big insight into what was going on with my daughter and allowed him to treat us both for what we actually suffer from, Bipolar 2 disorder!  Finally someone knew what was going on and how to handle it. It took 10 years to get things under control and there were serious ups and downs.

My relationship with my husband took a hard hit when I received my diagnosis, then began to spend hours on the computer learning and trying to understand this illness.  Entering chat rooms to hear what others were going through learning all the while so I could figure out how to help myself and my family.  He hated it, didn’t want me to spend the time on it.  When I would go to therapy and come home to talk to him about it he would get angry.  When we would argue he would say things to me like “did your therapist tell you that?”  It soon became clear he wasnt going to support my looking for help and I was on my own.  We grew apart I changed and he didn’t…..

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