May 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News, Suicide)
Tags: ADHD, article, bipolar, bipolar child, Bipolar Disorder, BipolarCentral, childhood bipolar disorder, Furious Seasons, Growing Up Bipolar, Health Central, Huffington Post, John McManamy, mania, manic, Mary Carmichael, Max Blake, Newsweek, OCD, oppositional defiant disorder, personality, Peter Breggin, PsychCentral, TAC, Treatment Advocacy Center
If you haven’t been reading the news recently, Newsweek magazine published a feature article on Max, a 10-year-old who struggles mainly with bipolar and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorders among other mental illnesses. I read the article and was astounded at what Amy and Richie Blake, Max’s parents, have to contend with. I’m astounded at what Max suffers with.
The article was educational but for all the 8 computer pages that I printed, I didn’t read about Max; I read about his diagnoses:
Max Blake was 7 the first time he tried to kill himself. He wrote a four-page will bequeathing his toys to his friends and jumped out his ground-floor bedroom window, falling six feet into his backyard, bruised but in one piece.
He cried for hours at a time. He banged his head against his crib and screamed until his face burned red. Nursing, cuddling, pacifiers—none of them helped.
Richie carried his son to the backyard and tried to put him down, but Max shrank back in his father’s arms; he hated the feel of the grass beneath his small bare feet. Amy gave Max a bath and turned on the exhaust fan; he put his hands over his ears and screamed. At 13 months, he lined up dozens of Hot Wheels in the same direction, and when Amy nudged one out of order, he shrieked “like you’d just cut his arm off.” At day care, he terrorized his teachers and playmates. He wasn’t the biggest kid in the class, but he attacked without provocation or warning, biting hard enough to leave teeth marks. Every day, he hit and kicked and spat.
By 7½, Max was on so many different drugs that Frazier and his parents could no longer tell if they were helping or hurting him. He was suffering from tics, blinking his eyes, clearing his throat and “pulling his clothes like he wanted to get out of his skin,” says Richie. In February 2005, under Frazier’s supervision, the Blakes took Max off all his meds. With the chemicals out of his system, Max was not the same child he had been at 2. He was worse. … Off his meds, Max became delusional and paranoid. He imagined Amy was poisoning him and refused to eat anything she cooked. He talked about death constantly and slept little more than two hours a night.
During a recent appointment at Frazier’s office, he went into full-fledged mania. Laughing wildly, he rolled on the floor, then crawled over to his parents and grabbed an empty medication bottle, yelling, “Drugs! I’ve got drugs! It’s child safety!” Richie grabbed it back, Max screamed, Richie threw the bottle across the room, as if playing fetch. Max squealed and dove for it, then began to sing into the neck of the bottle: “Booorn to be wiiiiild …” Amy rolled her eyes: “Two kids.” And then: “It’s hard not to laugh.” (I’m not the only one who doesn’t think this is mania.)
All throughout the article, I couldn’t help but think to myself: Who is Max? Max without meds — does he have a personality? What does like to do for fun, even for short periods of time? Karate is mentioned — does he read? He has trouble writing for long stretches. He’s got a friend. What makes Max so charming other than the fact that he’s 10 years old?
(Image from Newsweek)
Read the rest of this entry »
May 30, 2008 at 12:10 pm (Blogs)
Tags: blog, donate, donation, fund-raiser, fundraiser, Furious Seasons, Philip Dawdy, weblog
Since its September 2005 inception, Furious Seasons (www.furiousseasons.com) has been a resource for many people who may struggle with mental illness or know someone who deals with mental illness. Author Philip Dawdy has shed light on the dealings of pharmaceutical companies and provided keen insight on today’s psychiatric practices. His investigative journalism skills have helped educate thousands of people. As a result of his blog, I am aware of the negative effects that antipsychotics – namely Zyprexa and Seroquel — can have on people. Upon learning of his experience of Lamictal withdrawal and from the comments of others, I am much more aware of the potential side effects I may endure should I choose to taper off of the drug.
In keeping with the title of his blog, Dawdy has begun to host seasonal fundraisers to help maintain his site and support the extensive research he performs for the blog. His site is read by thousands on a regular basis and he needs all the support he can to keep his work going and the site functioning.
If you don’t read his site (and you should), please go to his blog (link above) and read some of his posts. After you’re done, I’m pretty sure you’ll realize what an asset he is for the mental health community.
Then, donate. It doesn’t matter how much — $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 — whatever you can give! He’s got a PayPal button on his site (just like I do, ahem) that you can click on to support his work. If you’re not comfortable with putting your credit card info on a Web site, he also accepts checks, money orders… whatever will clear in the bank.
By the way, Dawdy has helped me out in the past (yep, he too clicked on my PayPal button and helped me out when I needed it) and I intend to return the favor. A donation to his site helps this mental health patient — and many others — in return.
May 29, 2008 at 5:53 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Children, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, News, Opinion/Editorial)
Tags: adolescents, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, child bipolar, childhood bipolar disorder, Children, drugs, Huffington Post, medication, meds, Newsweek, Peter Breggin, pharmaceuticals, psych drugs, psych meds, psychtropics, teenagers, teens, The Huffington Post
Breggin’s post on Newsweek‘s "Growing Up Bipolar" article makes good points but steers clear into wackiness throughout. My only wish is that instead of pointing out the problems of the psychiatric industry, he would have offered some suggested solutions.
Oh, and he flat-out gets some things wrong:
Newsweek makes clear that Max’s parents have serious conflicts over how to raise their son, but they have not pursued therapy, marriage counseling or, apparently, not even parenting classes.
The article DID mention that they tried to pursue marriage counseling but dropped out.
He says he has never been to therapy. But late last year, Amy demanded that the two of them see a marriage counselor. Richie agreed. They went a few times, but there were "scheduling issues," says Richie, and they haven’t gone back. For the moment, they are getting help from the same people who help Max. Anything that makes his life easier makes theirs easier, too.
Then he applies a broad brush from the cases of "out-of-control" children that he’s seen:
In every case of an out-of-control child I have seen in my psychiatric practice, either the parents were unable to reach agreement on a consistent approach to disciplining their child, or a single working mom was trying to raise a young boy without the aid of a male adult in the child’s life.
I like Peter Breggin’s approach to psychotropic drugs for the most part, but sometimes he just gets a little off-base for me.
May 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm (Antipsychotics, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Pharma)
Tags: Adderall, Adderall XR, ADHD, antidepressant, big pharma, Daniel Carlat, Depression, desvenlafaxine, doctors, drugs, Effexor, FDA approval, health insurance, health insurers, Invega, J&J, Janssen, Johnson & Johnson, lisdexamfetamine, medication, meds, paliperidone, Pharma, pharma companies, pharmaceutical companies, pharmaceuticals, Pristiq, psych drugs, psych meds, Risperdal, Risperidone, Shire, The Carlat Psychiatry Report, venlafaxine, Vyvanse, Wyeth
As patents expire on a variety of drugmakers’ moneymakers, pharma companies have gone to great lengths to structurally reinvent the successful drugs then tout the benefits that differ from their predecessors.
Case in point — Johnson & Johnson’s Invega. Invega is the successor to the popular antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, and competitor to AstraZeneca’s widely used antipsychotic Seroquel. Scott Hensley at The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog (WSJ) reports that Risperdal is going generic in June. Gianna at Beyond Meds recently said it will not. According to the Dow Jones Newswires (DJN), these “junior” drugs face skepticism from health insurers and doctors. California-based Kaiser Permanente and Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) are example of companies that have somewhat discouraged use of the drug. Kaiser doesn’t cover Invega at all, and members of UNH are required to pay higher copays for the brand name. The wire reports New York-based psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman wasn’t “buying it” the difference between Invega and Risperdal.
Invega is “basically a me-too drug, and the company hasn’t done the studies that would be required to really distinguish it,” Lieberman, chairman of the psychiatry department at Columbia University’s medical school told Peter Loftus of Dow Jones Newswires.
The blog also quotes Daniel Carlat from the The Carlat Psychiatry Report.
Dan Carlat, a psychiatrist and a tough critic of Invega, wrote that J&J’s “marketing team apparently missed the fact that the word in the English language that sounds most like “Invega” is “inveigle,” meaning “to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or artful talk or inducements.’ ” He asked doctors: “Will you be doing your patients a favor by taking the plunge? Or will you simply be giving them the same wine in a fancier bottle?”
Even J&J’s Group Chairman of Pharmaceuticals, David Norton, admitted that Invega is a tough sell.
“We need to do a better job at drawing a differentiation in a difficult-to-treat population.”
So far, Invega sales have been incredibly disappointing compared to the Risperdal blockbuster.
Wyeth (antidepressant Effexor XR cum Pristiq) and Shire (ADHD drug Adderall XR cum Vyvanse) face the same uphill battle. Wyeth’s Effexor faces generic competition from Teva Pharmaceuticals despite efforts to halt generic sales of the drug and the patent on Shire’s Adderall is set to expire next year.
Hensley, in his analysis, raises a question in which the answer remains to be seen:
Cheap generics abound to treat a broad assortment of illnesses these days. What’s the point, the critics ask, of paying more for drugs that are at best only slight improvements over tried and true medicines available at bargain prices?
It’s something that I’ve questioned myself.
In an attempt to have the “me-too” drugs compete with its derivative, both Wyeth and Shire are slashing their prices, or as the DJN reported, “emphasizing improved dosing for the newer drugs.” Although Pristiq’s efficacy comes at higher doses, it’s being priced 20 percent lower than Effexor.
[Deutsche Bank pharmaceutical analyst Barbara Ryan] thinks the odds of
Pristiq’s success are slim because it appears to offer few benefits
beyond those of Effexor.
That remains to be seen. So far, a few patients have commented on my blog that Pristiq has already begun to help them. I haven’t seen any DTC ads for Pristiq so I can only assume that drug reps are doing a fine marketing job at selling the different benefits of the drug to doctors.
Vyvanse, on the other hand, is looking promising for Shire, already having 7 percent of U.S. ADHD drug prescriptions. Chief Executive Matthew Emmens says the drug is chemically different from Adderall (aren’t they all?) and has better pricing. Shire expects to beat Adderall’s 26 percent peak market share. Seems like a lofty goal to me.
As for Invega, J&J is currently seeking FDA approval to use the drug for bipolar disorder and not just treatment for schizophrenia. It is also l0oking to get approval for an injectable Invega XR.
(Invega logo from Janssen.com)
May 29, 2008 at 10:15 am (Celebrities, Depression)
Tags: behavioral hospital, Celebrities, Cirque Lodge Treatment Center, depressed, Depression, Depression Overawareness and Overmedication Week, Dunst, hospital, Kirsten Dunst, Mental Health Awareness Month, psych hospital, treatment
I’m not a fan of Kirsten Dunst or her acting (but Interview with the Vampire was pretty good) but I have to give her sympathy if she was depressed enough to check into a hospital. Her admission comes toward the end of Depression Overawareness and Overmedication Week and May’s Mental Health Awareness Month.
In February of this year, Dunst checked into Cirque Lodge Treatment Center, a “posh facility” in Utah that has treated the likes of Eva Mendes (wouldn’t say) and Lindsay Lohan (substance abuse).
In any event, Dunst stayed low-key about her treatment for depression.
As for why she decided to talk about her struggles now, Dunst tells E!, “Now that I’m feeling stronger, I was prepared to say something … Depression is pretty serious and should not be gossiped about.”
(Does this count as gossiping?)
Dunst dealt with her depression allegedly by partying and engaging in “wild nights.” However, a supportive friend says that she had been struggling for quite a while.
“She’s been crying a lot lately, ” said the friend. “Everybody hits that bottom where you feel [so] scared that that one heavy night of partying can really wake you up. It’s good she’s getting herself help.”
I’m glad that she was able to get treatment. Although I still envy the “posh facility” part of it. Checking in to a hospital is never fun but I can only imagine that celebrities are treated comfortably. See it here.
(Hat tip: Gianna at Beyond Meds)
May 29, 2008 at 1:39 am (Medicine/Meds, Personal)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, depressed, Depression, doctor, experience, Lamictal, meds, new experiences, psychiatrist, side effects
"You’re the most promising person that’s walked through my doors in a long time."
So says the new psychiatrist I went to see today. It was a pretty funny visit but worthless. I’m not sure that this post will communicate that effectively.
Read the rest of this entry »
May 28, 2008 at 9:25 pm (Personal)
Posting might be light this week. The full-time editor/proofreader at the agency I’m currently working for got into a bad car accident early Tuesday morning and is suffering from a concussion and may have a broken wrist. She was hoping to be back at work by Thursday but her concussion’s still pretty bad and she can’t really see. I’m filling in for her full-time this week. Depending on how she progresses, I may be working for the company full-time next week as well. The company begins summer hours on Friday, which means that I’ll get out at 2 pm if all work goes smoothly. Maybe some posting then.
In the meantime, Quotes of the Week will be posted regularly every Sunday. Enjoy.
May 27, 2008 at 5:58 pm (Depression, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Military, Music, PTSD, Suicide)
Tags: ABC News, band, cutting, emo, grunge, Hannah Bond, MCR, Megan Meier, Music, My Chemical Romance, MySpace, Nirvana, self-harm, suicidal, Suicide
ABC News covers the potential legal wrangling that might occur for Internet users as a result of the MySpace suicide case. I mentioned this in a recent post.
In some sad news after this Memorial Day weekend, Greg Mitchell at the Daily Kos reports that Chad Oligschlaeger, a 21-year-old Marine suffering from PTSD, committed suicide. According to family members, he was taking 8 different kinds of medication to control the disorder. Mitchell has an update on the story.
In some (somewhat) good news, mental health specialists from across the board are offering free services to current troops in an effort to help out with the shortage of mental health assistance in the military.
Also in a recent post, I also mentioned how people (namely in the UK) have been in an uproar over the fact that some people are equating “emo” music with the glorification of suicide, cutting, and death. My Chemical Romance (MCR), the band seen at the forefront of the emo music scene, has released a statement concerning the uproar and 13-year-old Hannah Bond’s death:
We have recently learned of the suicide and tragic loss of Hannah Bond. We’d like to send our condolences to her family during this time of mourning. Our hearts and thoughts are with them.
My Chemical Romance are and always have been vocally anti-violence and anti-suicide. As a band, we have always made it one of our missions through our actions to provide comfort, support, and solace to our fans. The message and theme of our album “The Black Parade” is hope and courage. Our lyrics are about finding the strength to keep living through pain and hard times. The last song on our album states: “I am not afraid to keep on living” – a sentiment that embodies the band’s position on hardships we all face as human beings. If you or anyone that you know have feelings of depression or suicide, we urge you to find your way and your voice to deal with these feelings positively.
I blame MCR for Hannah’s death about as much as I blame Nirvana and “grunge” music for making me suicidal. (I don’t blame Mr. Cobain at all.) Granted, Nirvana’s music put me in a mental state where I was much more open to depression but I can’t blame a band for my actions. Besides, every generation has the band that every parent feels the need to hate. Nirvana and “grunge” music were “it” for the 90s. MCR and “emo” will soon be out for the 00s. We’ll see what the next band and music genre will influence teenagers in the next decade.
May 27, 2008 at 11:31 am (Medicine/Meds)
Tags: Allegra, allergies, allergy drug, fexofenadine, medications, meds, mixed episodes, mixed-mood, montelukast, paroniria, side effects, Singulair
Paroniria: Terrifying dreams causing sleep disturbances.
I was looking at the Allegra Web site to double-check whether my recent mixed-mood episodes might have been induced since I began taking the allergy drug regularly. (It’s not a far-fetched idea. Think Singulair.) "Sleep disturbances and paroniria" are a few of the many adverse effects listed for the drug.
May 27, 2008 at 9:37 am (Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities, Depression, mania, manic, Maurice Benard, soap opera, soap operas, Sonny Corinthos
This one’s for the women.
If you’re anything like me, sometime during the 90’s you watched the long-running soap opera General Hospital at one point or another. Well, remember bad boy Sonny Corinthos?
Maurice Benard, the actor behind the character, has openly admitted to struggling with severe bipolar disorder and is a spokesperson for Mental Health America. While I’m not sure which came first (the chicken or the egg), Benard’s charcter, Sonny, also struggles with bipolar disorder on the show. In the past, I’ve read that he flew into rages so bad that he needed to be hospitalized and had to take time away from the set to recover. It’s only fitting that Sonny’s character — as ruthless as he is — shows a true side of Benard who seeks to educate viewers about the disorder.
Combined with his stressful career in organized crime, Sonny’s bipolar disease has caused him to routinely break out in acts of senseless violence. The most infamous example of Sonny’s violent side was when Sonny, during one of his “manic” moods, shot his wife Carly in the skull while she was in the process of giving birth to his son.
That episode sounds like it might have pissed me off instead. But Benard seemed okay with it.
“Two years ago the head writer came up to me about doing a breakdown story. I said as long as it’s done to educate people and to make it right. And we did it. It was fantastic,” the General Hospital actor added.
I wonder what people learned from the overall storyline.
May 25, 2008 at 6:01 am (Depression, Humor, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: Antidepressants, awareness, celexa, checklist, criteria, Cymbalta, Depression, Depression Overawareness and Overmedication Week, drugs, Effexor, joke, Lexapro, major depressive disorder, MDD, medicated, medication, meds, Mental Health Awareness Month, overaware, overawareness, overmedicate, overmedicated, overmedication, Paxil, Pristiq, Prozac, psych drugs, psych meds, psychotropics, satire, zoloft
This post kicks off Depression Overawareness and Overmedication Week.
Two weeks ago, CLPsych and Gianna, among others, celebrated Bipolar Overawareness Week. To cap off Mental Health Awareness Month, I’ve declared this last week of May Depression Overawareness and Overmedication Week. Use this checklist to identify whether you may possibly be “overaware” and “overmedicated” for depression:
- If you’re on Zoloft because you’ve never been sad or anxious.
- If you get a prescription for Lexapro on Thursday because you had a bad day on Tuesday.
- If you take Paxil because you’re never restless or irritable.
- If you are on Pristiq as a result of sadness and guilt over your Wii-related injury (eg, throwing your shoulder out or tripping over the coffee table).
- If you are on Celexa because you hate the job that you disliked anyway before you began the medication.
- If you are on Cymbalta because you are tired after normal long, exhausting days at your job(s).
- If you are on Effexor only because you overate during the holidays.
- If you take Prozac because you’ve never had passing thoughts of suicide.
If you meet any of the criteria above, this is a medical emergency. You are overaware and overmedicated. Go see your doctor immediately and discuss treatment options that involve non-medication and/or talk therapy.
Now, the disclaimer.
The checklist above is satire. It is not intended to poke fun at those who suffer with real clinical depression (of which I am one). It is intended to mock the extremely high number of people in the U.S. who are diagnosed with depression and medicated with antidepressants. This is not a medically based checklist for anything. It is not a professional recommendation or intended for professional use. It is not intended to be serious. In fact, it is not intended to be seriously serious. If you take this to your doctor, he or she will probably diagnose you with something other than depression. If you have been offended by this post, don’t be; you shouldn’t come close to meeting the criteria above. And if you do, then you really should go to a doctor. While I meet the criterion for sadness over my Wii-related injury, I don’t take Pristiq for it. If you have something nice to say, click on the Comments link below. If you don’t have something nice to say, click on the Comments link below.
(comic from problogs.com)
May 23, 2008 at 5:16 pm (Antidepressants, Blogs, Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Military, Pregnancy, Suicide)
Tags: Adverse Effects, Antidepressants, birth defects, bravery, British Journal of Psychiatry, courageous, drugs, expecting, first trimester, Jordan Burnham, legislation, medication, meds, mental health, mental health parity, mental illness, moms, Montreal University, mothers, pasadena therapist, post-traumatic stress disorder, Pregnancy, pregnant, psych drugs, psych meds, PsychCentral, psychiatry, PTSD, Purple Heart, Purple Heart Award, senators, side effects, student, Suicide, suicide attempt, Ted Kennedy, VA, Veterans Administration, Wall Street Journal, women, WSJ
John Grohol at PsychCentral reports that the fate of the mental health parity bill is uncertain as its main champion, Sen. Ted Kennedy, takes a leave of absence to focus on treatment of his brain tumor. I echo John’s thoughts in hoping to see that other senators are willing to carry the torch and pass this important piece of legislation.
I came across a post from Kalea Chapman at pasadena therapist in which she linked to a WSJ article on whether veterans suffering from PTSD should be awarded the Purple Heart.
Supporters of awarding the Purple Heart to veterans with PTSD believe the move would reduce the stigma that surrounds the disorder and spur more soldiers and Marines to seek help without fear of limiting their careers.
Opponents argue that the Purple Heart should be reserved for physical injuries, as has been the case since the medal was reinstituted by Congress in 1932.
I side with the opponents. The Purple Heart should be awarded to be people who have visible evidence of bravery. With the rising number of PTSD prevalence, I’m afraid that the award would be handed out like candy. The rising number of veterans with PTSD on disability has caused enough of an issue that a Texas VA facility wanted mental health officials to stop diagnosing veterans with the condition.
Jordan Burnham, an 18-year-old student who survived a nine-story jump from a building, plans on walking at his graduation with the assistance of two canes. A family who used to attend my church knows this family and put him on my church’s prayer list. It’s a small world, after all.
Finally, it looks like expecting moms should have no fear of causing birth defects in their baby while taking antidepressants, according to a study being published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
A research team from Montreal University studied more than 2000 pregnant women on antidepressants and discovered the drugs did not present any adverse effects. However, it sounds like they only oversaw the women while they were pregnant in their first trimester. I haven’t seen the actual study but it doesn’t seem to mention whether the women discontinued the antidepressants after the first trimester.
May 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm (Antidepressants, Medicine/Meds, Pharma)
Tags: bazedoxifene, blood clots, desvenlafaxine, drug, Effexor, FDA approval, Forbes.com, medication, meds, myocardial infarctions, osteoporosis, postmenopausal, postmenopause, Pristiq, strokes, venlafaxine, Wyeth, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals just can't seem to catch a break. The company is not only increasingly worried that it will lose a large chunk of its revenues to generic competition, it also faces the ongoing threat that its pipeline is starting to go dry. A further delay in the approval of its postmenopausal osteoporosis drug has become one more nail in the pharma company's coffin.
The drug, bazedoxifene, has had a hard time getting approval from the FDA since April 2007. The FDA is concerned about bazedoxifene's effects on causing myocardial infarctions or blood clots.
This is some pretty disheartening (to say the least) news considering that Effexor will soon be going generic and Pristiq has received some less-than-stellar reviews.
May 23, 2008 at 11:56 am (Mental Health/Illness, News, Personal)
Tags: Depression, mental health, mental illness, NAMI, Walk for the Mind
While surfing through my Google News Alerts, I stumbled upon a Newsday article about a man from the Long Island town on Freeport who participated in the NAMI’s Queens/Long Island chapter "Walk for the Mind" on Sunday.
I was curious to see if the walk was an annual event for each local NAMI chapter. Turns out it is.
NAMI Pennsylvania’s 3K walk takes place on Saturday, September 20 in Harrisburg. I don’t plan on participating this year but wonder if I should ever participate in the future. (Again, my cynical lens shines through.)
Speaking of NAMI, I went to the local library and saw a whole set-up of literature atop one of those big glass cases that usually house small scale models of towns, art, and such. (When I get a chance, I’ll post a picture.)
The ENTIRE top of the case was littered with NAMI literature. My reaction was joy. I was really happy that the PA chapter of NAMI was really canvassing and getting information out to the public to raise awareness about mental illness. As a person suffering from mental illness, I want to decrease stigma around it by (almost) whatever means necessary.
I was also happy to see a variety of resources: support groups, hotlines, and even a 5 x 7 card listing "famous people" who suffered from mental illness. By the way, 90 percent of them suffered from the overdiagnosed disorder, depression.
May 22, 2008 at 8:21 pm (Blogs, Depression, Music, Suicide)
Tags: Blogs, emo, Music, Suicide, weblogs
Here’s an interesting post from Lightning’s Girl on the matter.
How is this for a startling number when you put in emo + suicide in google?
1 – 10 of about 4,010,000 for emo suicide
UPDATE: The New Zealand Herald has an article about how young emo listeners are fighting back. Apparently, the Daily Mail in England went a tad bit too far and called emo music a "sinister teenage craze that romanticises death." Emo fans in England are planning a peaceful march to protest the Daily Mail’s – in what they call – an unfair characterization.
May 22, 2008 at 11:03 am (Blogs)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Blogs, My Bipolar Mother, sites, weblogs
If none of you have found it yet, I’d highly recommend checking out the blog, My Bipolar Mother. A man (who wishes to remain anonymous) writes the continuing saga of having a mother who struggles with severe bipolar disorder while trying to maintain a solid relationship with his father. Here’s a truncated excerpt:
Today, I got a call from Dad, reminding me that there was a package that Mom had sent to my Daughter and Son, who had just had a birthday, and would I mind picking it up. That had also been the subject of a few of Mom’s messages as well. …
I got quite a few messages from Mom yesterday, starting just after I picked Dad up and we were heading out to pizza. When I listened to them, it was really funny to hear just how furious Mom was about me having ’stood Dad up’, and how ‘devastated’ he was when he didn’t hear from me.
My Wife picked up the package today, and got an earful from the postmaster. Apparently Mom has been calling and harassing his employees about the package to the point that none of them will answer the phone when she calls.
My wife also had to go to the mechanic to get the state inspection done, and the owner of the station told her about one of Dad’s neighbors. The lady had dropped her car off for maintenance, and when the owner drove her home she said that they would have to leave a message because she wasn’t answering the phone any more today. Mom had already called her four times (10:00 am) and she just couldn’t take it any more.
I got one call from Mom this morning, thanking me (sarcastically of course) for finally getting around to letting the kids see Dad and taking him out to eat. She just couldn’t understand why I would be so irresponsible as to let Dad sit at home and wait for hours without calling him or anything. After all of her enraged calls yesterday, her voice was really bad today.
May 22, 2008 at 5:36 am (Diet & Nutrition, Personal)
I’ve gained about 10 lbs since I left my job in February and this
distresses me. I’m trying to do some running again. I can only make it
to about 1.3 miles before I get winded and tired. I’ve never been
athletic so running is a significant challenge for me. I’ll be honest —
I run about 1-2 times a week for about 15-17 minutes. That’s almost
less than half the recommended time for exercise so I’m not doing a
good job. I like to think the 15 minutes is better than nothing but
when I step on the scale and see 155 lbs the next day instead of 153
from the day before, I get pretty upset.
Yes, I’ve heard it all before: I’m building muscle mass. Well,
that’s great but I’d like my belly to cooperate. I have about 15 pairs of
pants in my apartment and since I wear them at my waist, I can only fit comfortably in about five of
them. Even my sweatpants with elastic waists have become significantly uncomfortable. My MIL took some of my
pants in after I dropped about 15 lbs after leaving the hospital in late 2006. A year and a half later, I may ask her to take them back out. Talk about a depressing thought.
I feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I grab my "love handles" (whatever you call those rolls of fat) several
times a day in disgust with myself. I still have not gotten used to the
fact that I am not the petite, skinny girl I always was until 2004, when I began taking
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May 22, 2008 at 12:46 am (Antidepressants, Depression, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, PPD)
Tags: adolescents, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Children, depressed, depressing, Depression, Depression 101, Depression: Out of the Shadows, disease, disorder, doctors, drugs, dysthymia, ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, Fear, fish oil, heartwarming, illness, Jane Pauley, major depressive disorder, MDD, medication, meds, mental health, mental illness, Namenda, NAMI, NIMH, PBS, personal stories, pills, postpartum depression, PPD, prescription drugs, program, Prozac, psych drugs, psych meds, psychiatric, psychiatric care, psychologic, psychotropics, Ranitidine, remeron, segment, show, Stigma, suffering, talk therapy, teenagers, therapy, treatment, treatment-resistant, treatment-resistant depression, vagus nerve stimulation, VNS, Wellbutrin, zoloft, Zyprexa
The show is essentially Depression 101 – for those new to learning
about the illness. As someone who struggles with depression (within
bipolar disorder), I found a lot of the two hours pretty boring (90
minutes on personal stories and about 22 minutes for "candid
conversation"). The "a lot" comes from the stuff that I've either heard before or flies over my head, eg, how depression affects the brain, prefrontal cortex, neurotransmitters, synapses, etc. The personal stories were powerful: depressingly heartwarming. (Yes, I mean that.)
My heart sank as I heard the stories of Emma and Hart, teenagers who were diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder, respectively. Both were such extreme cases that they needed to be sent away for special psychiatric care. They are on medications for their disorders; the specific drugs are never mentioned.
While watching Deana's story of treatment-resistant depression, I instantly thought of Herb of VNSDepression.com whose wife suffers from the same malady.
I tried to listen attentively for the antidepressant that Ellie, who suffered from PPD after the birth of her first child, would be taking during her next pregnancy. It was never mentioned.
My jaw nearly dropped to the carpet as Andrew Solomon, carefully plucked brightly colored pills from his pillbox that he takes every morning for his unipolar depression: Remeron, Zoloft, Zyprexa, Wellbutrin, Namenda, Ranitidine, and two kinds of fish oil. He might have even mentioned Prozac. He takes Namenda, an Alzheimer's drug to combat the effects of an adverse interaction between Wellbutrin and one of the other drugs that I can't remember. Solomon says he's happy. I'm happy for him and I'm happy that his drug cocktail works for him but I couldn't help but sit there and wonder, "Isn't there a better way?"
While I thought the stories covered the gamut, in retrospect, I'm surprised they didn't interview a veteran or U.S. soldier to discuss PTSD. If the producers were able to fit in dysthymia, I'm sure they might have been able to throw in a story about a soldier who struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts stemming out of PTSD. Considering all the stories coming out of the VA, it's rather relevant. It would have been more interesting than the Jane Pauley segment. But I'll get to that in a minute.
As I listened to the narrator, I couldn't help but wonder what alternate perspectives could have popped up. For what it was, I fear none. This was a Depression 101 show — a program designed to either get people to fight against fear and stigma and get help or to open the eyes of loved ones to this debilitating disorder. I'm not sure how to slip in an opposing view on medication from a doctor without confusing or scaring people away. What would Healy or Breggin say that would encourage people to seek appropriate care?
Holistic or natural treatment was not mentioned. It's not mainstream and it's not recommended by most doctors as first-line therapy. I would have been surprised had something been said about it.
The depression portion of bipolar disorder was briefly discussed in Hart's story then Pauley added commentary about her personal experience in the remaining 22 minutes of the program.
Pauley appears at the end of the show promising a "candid conversation" on the topic. The three experts: Drs. Charney, Duckworth, and Primm sit and smile politely as Pauley rattles on occasionally about herself. Some people might find her exchange endearing and personal. After the first 3 minutes, I found it annoying. As a journalist, I wish she would have taken the impartial observer approach rather than the "intimate discussion" approach. In my opinion, she seemed to have dominated the "discussion."
It ended up being a Q&A with each doctor. Her questions were focused and direct. I expected a little bit of an exchange between doctors, talking not only about the pros of medication and treatment like ECT and VNS but also the cons. (Should I apologize for being optimistic?) Charney interjected into the conversation maybe once or twice but was only to offer an assenting opinion. Primm spoke least of everyone on the panel. I think she was placed on the show solely to represent diversity.
There were no "a recent study said…" or "critics say such-and-such, how do you address that?" It was a straightforward emphasis on encouraging people to get help or for those suffering to get treatment. Pauley's segment didn't discuss any negatives (not with the medical director of NAMI there!). The closest the entire 2 hours gets to any cons is with ECT shock treatment and giving medication to growing children. The childhood medication thing isn't dwelt on. The basic gist is: Doctors don't understand how medication works in children but are working on trying to understand it and improve its efficacy.
Forgive me for being negative. The point of the program was designed to give hope to those suffering. Instead, it just made me feel even worse. Thoughts raced through my head: "Well, if this doesn't work, then it's on to that. And if that medication doesn't work then I'll probably be prescribed this therapy, and if that doesn't work, then I'm treatment-resistant at which point, I'll have to do…"
I hope the program does what it's designed to do and that's to get those suffering with depression to seek appropriate care. The one upside is that talk therapy was stressed. I'm a huge proponent of talk therapy myself. Let me know what you thought of the show if you were able to catch it.
In the meantime, this depressed girl is going to cure herself for the night by going to bed.
P.S. Is it really fact that depression is a disease?
May 21, 2008 at 9:09 pm (Depression)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Depression: Out of the Shadows, drugs, dysthymia, ECT, major depressive disorder, manic-depressive, MDD, medication, meds, mental health, mental illness, PBS, postpartum depression, PPD, psychotropics, refractory depression, talk therapy, therapy, treatment-resistant depression
I’m on EST so I’m watching the Depression PBS show. I’ll be live blogging about it because I have nothing better to do with my life. Probably no interesting observations but, like I said, I have nothing better to do right now.
UPDATE: Jane Pauley doesn’t appear until 10.25.
9.07 pm – Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon is sharing his story about his bout of depression. It doesn’t help that his mother, who suffered from a terminal illness, chose to end her life.
9.09 – Dr. Myrna Weissman says that depression "is a biological disorder. It’s not all in your head."
9.12 – The show highlights an adolescent named Emma who’s been struggling with depression since 5th grade. She began "acting out" as a form of self-medication. She ended up going to to an out-of-state psychiatric hospital.
9.15 – Cut to an adolescent male, Hart, who has been suffering from depression since 6th grade. After going to a hospital, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
9.19 – Jed, a 20-year-old college student killed himself supposedly from undiagnosed depression. Dr. Thomas Insel says that suicide is almost twice as common as homicide in the United States.
9.21 – Drs. Geed(?) and Casey at NAMI are using MRI to further research in adolescent depression. An explanation on the neurochemical brain functions in adolescent depression follows.
9.25 – A narrative on postpartum depression begins. Ellie’s husband videotaped Ellie with the baby, Graham, shortly after his birth, and you could see the unhappiness of postpartum of depression on her face. In the homemade video, she holds her child while saying that she had suicidal thoughts the day before and wanted to die because she "couldn’t do this" anymore.
9.29 – Cut to Shep Nuland, author of Lost In America, and explains the circumstances that led to his depression.
9.32 – Dashaun, a member of the Bloods gang, suffered from early life trauma that led to his bouts of depression.
This probably goes without saying but so far, the program is replete with different doctors, none of which appear in segments other than the first one they were featured in.
9.37 – "When you gang bang, it’s just a form of suicide."
9.38 – Segue to Terrie Williams who not only helped Dashaun write his story and helped him recover from his depression, but also suffers from a mild form of depression, dysthymia. Dysthymia is estimated to affect 10-15 million Americans. One of the symptoms is overeating.
9.40 – Williams mentions that stigma of mental illness in the African American community prevents African Americans from seeking treatment.
9.41 – Philip Burguieres(?), a former CEO, suffers from depression and discusses the stigma of mental illness in corporate America.
They’re really covering the whole gamut.
The hubby is getting frustrated because the segments are really just that – segments and they never fully finish anyone’s story but jump back and forth.
9.45 – Back to Andrew Solomon from the beginning of the show. He’s currently taking Remeron, Zoloft, ZYprexa, Wellbutrin, Nemenda(? an alzheimer’s drug), Ranantadine(?), two kinds of fish oil. HOLY CRAP. (I think he’s also on Prozac but don’t hold me to that.)
9.47 – We’re being walked through the neurotransmitter explanation.
9.48 – Poor Andrew thinks he wouldn’t be on as many medications today if he had been on medication a long time ago.
9.48 – Ooh, look! It’s Richard Friedman, the psychologist/psychiatrist from the NYTimes.
9.52 – Back to adolescent Hart Lipton, who is in a special
school that gives him specialized attention. He has bipolar II. He is
on an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer.
9.52 – Emma takes one antidepressant and engages in talk therapy. She tried several different ones before she found one that worked.
9.53 – The Narrator admits that meds in young people isn’t
fully researched and may be a problem. He mentions the black box
warning on antid’s.
9.55 – NIMH docs are working on faster-acting meds for depression – as in 1 to 2-hour relief. Guinea pig patients were administered intravenous ketamine for depression. (WTF???) One of the patients, Carl, says he felt instantly better.
9.58 – Back to Shep. Doctors suggested performing a lobotomy but a resident intervened and suggested ECT. They cut to a scene from One Bird Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in which Jack Nicholson got ECT. Shep says it was worth it and that he began to feel better by the 11th treatment.
10.00 – ECT especially works well on the elderly. A woman, Sue, who developed late onset depression at age 65 comes back for her 9th treatment of ECT. It helps her. Her husband says, "She’s back to her old self."
The next hour of the show under the cut…
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May 21, 2008 at 6:35 pm (Diet & Nutrition, Personal)
Tags: artificial sweeteners, calories, coffee, drinks, liquids, low-fat milk, milk, natural sugar, nutrition, refined sugar, skim milk, Splenda, sucralose, sucrose, sugar, sweets, unrefined sugar, weight, weight gain, weight loss
Two posts from Jazz In Pieces have me wondering about my sugar consumption. Here’s the problem:
I don’t consume sugar.
Well, I do but not in drinks really. I’m addicted to Splenda.
I’m attracted to Splenda because of all the purported benefits:
- accepted by several national and international food safety regulatory bodies
- the only artificial sweetener ranked as “safe” by the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest.
- one can consume 15 mg/kg/day … “on a daily basis over a … lifetime without any adverse effects”.
- usually contains 95% dextrose, which the body readily metabolizes.
- safe to ingest as a diabetic sugar substitute
But it’s still considered an artificial sweetener, which means that it’s not “natural” or “unrefined.”
Is unrefined sugar really better? I’m not sure. My mother uses brown sugar because “it’s healthier for you” but after doing a bit of reading, brown sugar can be refined as well. But “natural brown sugar” exists and I wonder if my mother is on to something.
The reason I’m so concerned about refined sugar and artificial sweeteners doesn’t really have so much to do with my mental health as it does to do with my weight. But depending on my weight (namely gain), it affects my mental health so I suppose the two go hand-in-hand.
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May 21, 2008 at 11:26 am (Loose Screws Mental Health News, Medicine/Meds, Mental Health/Illness, Military, Suicide)
Tags: adjustment disorder, compensation, doctors, Google Health, hacker, health, health records, identity theft, medical, medical identity theft, personal health records, personal records, physicians, post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, Revolution Health, Suicide, VA, veterans, Veterans Administration
Call me old-fashioned (I am 26 after all; that's 62 in technology years) but I don't like the idea of putting my personal health records online. Google Health has just launched in an attempt to rival Microsoft's Revolution Health. GH's site appears way more personalized than RH and the idea of uploading medical records doesn't thrill me. GH has features where you can put in the "general" information people don't mind giving out (ie, height, weight) and personalize the diseases, disorders, or conditions you might suffer from (somewhat like WebMD). This is about as far as I would go in using the site. No way would I upload a PDF from my doctor with my name, address, social security number, and health insurance information on the a site — I don't care HOW secure. Medical identity theft is a reality now and the last thing I need to worry about is some idiot hacker stealing people's medical records online. We already have enough problems with people stealing VA SSNs.
On the topic of health, the AP is reporting that an estimated 300 to 400 doctors commit suicide every year — a rate that rivals that of the general population. (Hat tip: GP Essentials)
As for the VA, the news keeps on getting better and better. The Washington Post reports that psychologists at VA facilities are being told to keep their PTSD diagnoses to a minimum so the VA can stem the tide of veterans seeking disability payments for the condition. Depending on the severity of the disorder, veterans can receive up to a little more than $2500 per month. Norma Perez, PTSD coordinator for a Texas VA facility, sent an internal e-mail to mental health and social workers saying:
Given that we are having more and more compensation seeking veterans, I'd like to suggest that you refrain from giving a diagnosis of PTSD straight out."
Instead, she recommended that they "consider a diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder."
VA staff members "really don't . . . have time to do the extensive testing that should be done to determine PTSD," Perez wrote.
The Post quotes psychiatrist Dr. Anthony T. Ng who says that "adjustment disorder is a less severe reaction to stress than PTSD and has a shorter duration, usually no longer than six months." This means less payout for the VA.
After the e-mail went public, VA Secretary Jim Peake issued a statement saying that Perez "has been counseled" and "is extremely apologetic." Of course. She has to be. She still has a job. (Credit to Kevin M.D.)
May 21, 2008 at 9:23 am (Advice/Tips)
Tags: advice, procrastination, tips
Fear of failure. If you wait until the last minute to perform a task, you can always claim that it could have been done better if there was more time. By procrastinating, you’re providing a built-in excuse for yourself just in case the project is unsuccessful.
Fear of success. Perhaps you’re afraid that if you accomplish the task successfully, you’ll be given additional responsibility–and this notion scares you. You’re not sure you want any extra work and feel wary of potential new challenges. By procrastinating, you’re passively sabotaging this possibility.
Perfectionism. Perhaps you put too much pressure on yourself to complete the task perfectly. Since it’s impossible to live up to the standards you’ve created, you lose your motivation to get started.
— Tips to Beat Procrastination, Steve Bressert, Ph.D.
May 20, 2008 at 2:57 pm (News, Suicide)
Tags: anonymous, Constitution, due process, free speech, Internet, Lori Drew, Megan Meier, MySpace, MySpace suicide, News Corp, privacy, rights, Suicide, terms of service, TOS, user agreement, violations
Last week, Lori Drew, a 49-year-old mother, was federally indicted on charges connected to 13-year-old Megan Meier’s suicide. Drew allegedly created a fake MySpace user by the name of Josh to manipulate Meier with intent to cause her emotional harm because Drew didn’t like Meier (for whatever reason).
Megan hanged herself at home in October 2006, allegedly after receiving a dozen or more cruel messages, including one stating the world would be better off without her.
I’d have killed myself too if I saw that. By whatever means necessary.
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May 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Celebrities, Depression)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Britney Spears, Celebrities, Christina Ricci, Depression, drugs, Liz Spikol, manic-depressive, medication, meds, Mel Gibson, psych drugs, psych meds
Liz Spikol has a new post on celebrities talking about mental disorders. This time, it’s Christina Ricci and Mel Gibson. Ricci has previously admitted to suffering from anorexia but now admits to suffering from depression. Gibson, on the other hand, said in a 2002 interview that he was bipolar (manic-depressive back in the day). Then she’s got a whole list of people who have recently admitted to depression.
Then there’s Britney Spears. If you don’t know who she is, be thankful. For the rest of us who spend our time following celebrity news, there have been rumors swirling around recently that she is pregnant because she’s got a big, protruding belly (bigger than the botched VMA’s last year) even though she’s been exercising regularly.
According to the Daily Mail, Spears isn’t pregnant but seriously bloated as a result of her medication.
A source close to the family says that Britney has been struggling with her weight ever since she had her second son Jayden James, 20 months, and the medication has not helped.
The pop star has been back in training in preparation for a comeback, spending plenty of time on the treadmill – but despite all the effort, she is failing to regain the svelte figure which made her famous.
I wonder what antipsychotics she’s on. Seroquel?
Finally, ABC News wrote about celebrities who suffer from various mental illnesses. I’d been wanting to blog on this some time ago but never had the chance. BPD in OKC beat me to it.
May 20, 2008 at 9:52 am (Mental Health/Illness)
Tags: mental health, mental illness, psychotic
I came across The Happy Go Lucky Bachelor blog and found a very sad video of a woman suffering from a psychotic episode on a MARTA train (the rail system in Atlanta). I’ll post the YouTube video here but if the layout makes it look funky, go to the HGLB’s site or the youtube site.
She is currently in jail awaiting transfer to a mental health treatment facility. The video reminds me that while there’s overawareness about depression, there’s little awareness, help, or treatment in inner city minority communities.
May 19, 2008 at 12:03 am (Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Mental Health/Illness, Personal, Suicide)
Tags: bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, diagnose, diagnosis, DSM, hypomania, hypomanic, medication, mental, mental health, mental illness, overdose, psychiatric, psychiatry, psychology, racing thoughts, suicidal thoughts, Suicide
I finally sat down and read all those posts that I linked to about Bipolar Overawareness Week. I mentioned in my previous post that I feel like I had a contrarian view. Well, I do. Somewhat. Although it’s probably not as contrarian as I’d think.
Let’s take my experience, for example.
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May 18, 2008 at 9:43 pm (Bipolar Disorder, Blogs)
Tags: awareness, bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, bipolar overdiagnosed, diagnosis, mental health, mental illness, overdiagnosis
Ok, so I’m incredibly late on this bipolar overdiagnosis week thing (one week, of course) but a bunch of blogs that I know of have already blogged about it. In fact, there have been so many posts on it that I haven’t been able to read and keep up on them all. All I know is that a recent study came out saying bipolar disorder is overdiagnosed. In the meantime, read blogs that have commentary on the matter (most of the links from Furious Seasons):
Furious Seasons — Study: Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed
Furious Seasons — Making Sense of Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosis
Furious Seasons — Major Researchers Support Bipolar Overdiagnosis Study
Furious Seasons — Mental Health Month Meet Bipolar Overdiagnosis Awareness Week
PsychCentral — Bipolar Disorder Overdiagnosed
Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and Recovery — Celebrating Bipolar Overawareness Week
Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry: A Closer Look — Bipolar Overawareness Week Starts on Monday
I’ll give many of these posts a read before I say anything about it. But as of right now, I’m sitting here with a contrarian view, believe it or not.
May 17, 2008 at 12:25 pm (Personal)
Tags: decisions, proofreading
The proofreading manager Mimi (who I’m friendly with) at my last job told me last Monday that a full-time proofreading position would soon open up in the company and I should submit my resume. I talked it over with my husband last weekend and we came to the conclusion that right now, with my mental health state, it’s probably better that I stick to my part-time freelancing schedule.
Well, I got an e-mail from Mimi this afternoon saying that she submitted my resume to HR for me today and I’ll probably get a phone call from one of the HR assistants. I’d previously expressed enthusiastic interest in coming back to the company as a proofreader since I don’t mind that type of work (and it’s what I get paid nice bucks to do right now). But I was hoping that a proofreading position would open up in later on in the future, like oh say, six months from when I left (that would be August). I can’t fault Mimi for doing what she did; I told her I was interested in the position. But now, I’m not. And since the people in HR know me and know I’ve done good work, I’m likely to get a call back sometime next week for an interview. Now, I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m in an awkward position.
(Image from UK Gizmodo)
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May 17, 2008 at 3:33 am (Humor)
Tags: spam, spam comments
I was just browsing through my spam comments filter today (I didn't even know I had one until recently) and discovered just how well it works. (If you need a refresher course on what's banned, check the second section of the right-hand column under "Banned Words.") I've put my "clean" revisions (as clean as it can get) in brackets.
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May 16, 2008 at 5:22 pm (Mental Health/Illness, Music)
Tags: lyrics, Madonna, Schizophrenia, voices
Voices start to ring in your head
Tell me what do they say
Distant echoes from another time
Start to creep in your brain
So you play madness like it’s convenient
You do it so often that you start to believe it
You have demons so nobody can blame you
But who is the master and who is the slave?
— Madonna, "Voices" —
DISCLAIMER: No, I don’t hear voices. But this song always makes me wonder what my father heard when he suffered from schizophrenia.
May 16, 2008 at 12:25 pm (Personal)
Tags: Blogs, mental health blogs, RSS, RSS feeds, weblogs
The longer I continue this blog and the more comments I receive, I stumble across more mental health blogs that offer unique insight and a wealth of information. However, I have only so much time in the day (and week!) and can’t keep up with all of them. This disappoints me as I love to read them all but feel overwhelmed. I use Thunderbird, a program similar to Outlook, that downloads RSS feeds but I already have 30+ sites listed. I’m not a fan of Google Reader. Anyone have any suggestions on how to keep up with the blogs you read?
May 16, 2008 at 12:07 am (News, Suicide)
Tags: MySpace, Suicide, teen
I’ve got something to say about this but I don’t know if I’ll have time to get around to it before I leave for NY this weekend. I worked until after 7 tonight.
Note to self: Don’t sign up for a 10K the weekend after a 5K. Especially in another state.
May 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm (Random Thoughts)
Tags: random, spam
"Penis Enlargement Products" made it past my filter. Carry on.
May 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm (Medicine/Meds, Personal)
Tags: meds, Suicide
I’m tempted to go back on Effexor. I miss the weight loss. The side effects sucked but boy, I loved the weight loss. (It actually caused me to be anorexic, which I know is unhealthy but I think I’d rather be 117 lbs—which, in fact, is within my BMI range—than the 155 that I’m approaching.) I’m considering trying gabapentin as well. I’m weighing my options to see which drug will cause the least amount of side effects. I’m still feeling incredibly overwhelmed. So many medications to treat me and there’s so much research for me to do before I settle on one. Gianna has a post up on the number of Americans on pharmaceuticals and Susan is writing on bipolar medication. I’m feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I think of people who have gotten off of medication and seem to be functioning well while I’m here wishing I was dead instead of having to figure out what med is going to keep me living.
Current Mood Rating: 4
May 13, 2008 at 4:43 pm (Personal)
Tags: confident, Fear, fearful, fearless, freelance, freelancing, motivated, persistent, proofreading, resilient
Thanks for the well-wishes for me and my husband. He is doing better. He is still in some pain but his bleeding has stopped and he’s just suffering from sinus drainage. We’ll be off to the ENT tomorrow and see what happens. In the meantime, he’s stuck eating cold foods and taking cold showers.
I’m having what I call "a day." It basically means it’s not the best but I’m dealing with it. I noticed today that I’ve been overlooking a ton of mistakes on things that I’ve been proofreading so that’s been quite discouraging considering it’s my JOB to catch mistakes. I’m also not particularly feeling socially interactive so I’m having some slight social anxiety when I need to smile, interact, and look like everything is right in my world.
I’m also having second thoughts about this freelancing gig. To be a freelancer, you’ve got to be motivated, persistent, confident, and resilient. I just don’t have any of those qualities. I hate the 9-to-5 grind but it’s probably what I’ve got to do. I keep telling myself that I’ll take risks this year but I’m so fearful of nearly everything that I’m just willing to run and hide. I want so much to write articles again but I "fear" my best days are behind me. I write fiction but I don’t read enough to make them any good. (I prefer nonfiction because it appeals to my hunger for factual knowledge.) I keep trying to tell myself "I can do it" but I can only lie to myself so many times.
I miss doing my regular news posts and other updates but they’ll have to wait until I can get my act together. For now, many of my posts will likely be related to my personal life. It’s nice to know you find me interesting enough to read them.
Some of you might have sent me e-mails but I’ll be responding to them later on tonight. Thanks for your kind thoughts, prayers, and comments.
May 12, 2008 at 3:48 pm (Antidepressants, Medicine/Meds)
Tags: depressed, Depression, desvenlafaxine, Effexor, MDD, Pristiq, SNRI, venlafaxine
BJ Harroun left this comment for me on one of my posts Pristiq's FDA Chances: Depression – Yea; Menopause – Nay:
I have just completed my first two weeks on Pristiq. I have suffered from MDD for 35 years. I cannot take Effexor because it increases my appetite. Pristiq has really helped me. I have taken everything and I think I have finally found something that works for me. Don't dismiss this drug because it is an Effexor metabolite.
I didn't expect to see much of a difference between Pristiq and Effexor in terms of side effects since I figure since they're from the same class (SNRI). But I'm glad that Pristiq seems to be helping BJ. It would behoove me to take a look at the PIs for Effexor and Pristiq and check out the clinical trial data and see how they shaped out differently. But there's only so much time for me during the day.
May 6, 2008 at 10:21 am (Personal)
My husband is having surgery tomorrow and my mother will be traveling from NY to PA to help me take care of him. Then I’m participating in Race for the Cure on Sunday so it’ll be a busy week away from the computer for the most part.
In advance to all the moms— Enjoy your Mother’s Day.
May 3, 2008 at 6:06 pm (Personal)
Tags: African American, black, Caucasian, neil diamond, race, racism, stereotype, stereotypical, typical, white
But it’s something I feel like talking about anyway.
As the Democratic presidential primary race drags on, I have become more acutely aware of my skin color. When I watch CNN or read the news, the political analysts are always breaking down the demographics of who’s mainly voting for Clinton (working-class whites, older women, and those with a maximum high school education) and who’s mainly voting for Obama (young people, African Americans, and affluent whites). All I hear about is race, race, race. In the end, I feel like Obama’s candidacy has brought race to the forefront not seen since, perhaps, the 1980’s.
But this post is not about politics.
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