Bipolar: The role of Sleep in mental health.

I suffer from Bipolar. I was diagnosed in 2006, but probably suffered from it most of my life. But when I grew up Bipolar was not a word that was used or understood. So when I had a manic or depressive stage, I would just hear my family say..”that’s just Lori being Lori”. Had I been treated way back then I’m sure my life would have turned out differently. Then again I’m not really sure I would have wanted it to , because then I wouldn’t have met the wonderful, perfect man that I have now and have for 14 years. (anniversary September 24th).

I urge anyone who might read this and question themselves on this disorder to go see a mental health professional and get evaluated. If you have any questions at all I have a list of resources on my website: www.loris-song.com just click the resource button.

I welcome all of your comments, all I ask is do not solicit anything on this site, don’t be rude, or intimidating or you will be banned!

Bipolar Disorder and Sleep

Everyone has good days and bad days, and it’s natural to experience a range of emotional ups and downs. In bipolar disorder, though, moods exceed this normal range as people have periods of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression). In the past, bipolar disorder was called manic-depressive disorder as a way of referring to a person’s moving between these two states.

Bipolar disorder is estimated to affect about 4.4% of people over the course of their lives, and this condition has significant effects on a person’s well-being. Previous research has indicated that 82% of people with bipolar disorder described having serious impairment within the past year.

Sleep has a well-established connection with bipolar disorder. During manic periods, people tend to sleep much less than normal, and during depressive periods, they tend to sleep much more. In each state, these sleep changes can amplify the symptoms of the condition.

Studies have increasingly found that sleep problems can be a predictor of bipolar episodes. Improving sleep for people with this condition may help manage symptoms and reduce the frequency of mania or depression.

In this comprehensive guide to bipolar disorder and sleep, we’ll review the basics about bipolar disorder including its types, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. The guide investigates the complex connection between bipolar disorder and sleep and identifies ways that people with this condition can improve sleep, and in so doing, improve their mental health as well.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a type of mental health condition known as a mood disorder. Mood disorders include several conditions in which a person has identifiable emotional disturbances. What distinguishes bipolar disorder from other types of mood disorders is that patients experience both extreme highs and lows.

People with bipolar disorder are not always either manic or depressed. There are times when the condition is in remission, during which a person is mostly or completely free of symptoms.

Bipolar disorder is equally common among men and women and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 30. It is rarely diagnosed among young children or the elderly.

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder?

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are different depending on whether a person is in a manic or in a depressed state.

bipolar disorder symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Manic Episodes?

During manic periods, people may feel extremely energetic, enthusiastic, and happy. They may have racing thoughts, quickened speech, and high levels of activity. People feel less need for sleep during episodes of mania, and they can be easily distracted. Even though they may feel elation, they can be irritable and impatient with others.

Mania brings an elevated risk of engaging in high-risk behaviors, especially because people experiencing mania usually do not realize that they are in this mental state. This lack of recognition can also lead to conflict with others and problems in social relationships.

The diagnostic definition of mania involves a person having symptoms for one week or longer. According to these criteria, mania includes elevated or irritable mood, increased energy, and three or more of the other types of symptoms described above.

Hypomania

Hypomania is a state that falls short of full-fledged mania. In a hypomanic episode, a person’s symptoms are less severe and often do not last for as long — a minimum of four days as opposed to one week for mania.

Hypomania includes feelings of energy, happiness, and creativity. In fact, many people find a hypomanic period to be enjoyable, productive, and with little impact on overall functioning. That said, they can still be easily distracted and irritable in ways that can create interpersonal conflict.

Manic Psychosis

Manic psychosis is an especially intense episode of mania. It can involve hallucinations, delusions of grandeur, paranoid delusions, and extreme increases in activity levels. Manic psychosis can resemble schizophrenia. This state can devolve to delirious mania in which a person’s speech and actions are highly unpredictable and irrational. Hospitalization is usually required during manic psychosis.

What Are the Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder During Depressed Episodes?

Depressed episodes stand in stark contrast to manic ones. Depression in bipolar disorder has symptoms that are similar to unipolar depression (depression in people who do not experience mania).

These symptoms include reduced energy, worsened mood, sadness, lack of interest in activities that normally bring pleasure, feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness, appetite changes (including both eating more or eating less), sleep changes (including sleeping too much or too too little), social isolation, difficulty concentrating, excess guilt, indecisiveness, and thoughts of suicide.

Psychosis, in which a person loses touch with reality, including with possible hallucinations or delusions, can occur during a state of depression. This is more common in patients with bipolar disorder than in people with unipolar depression.

depressive episode is formally diagnosed as such when a person has five or more of these symptoms, one of which must be depressed mood or loss of interest, during a two-week period.

Can Someone Have Mania and Depression at the Same Time?

Yes, and this type of episode is referred to as having mixed features. If a person has mania or hypomania along with three or more symptoms of depression, it can be categorized as a mixed episode. For example, a person may feel sad but also highly energized. Mixed episodes can be especially dangerous because the risk of suicide is elevated during these periods.

Most of the time, though, patients do not have mixed episodes. Instead, they may move between periods of mania and depression. The frequency of these episodes varies based on the person and can range from multiple episodes in a year to multiple episodes during a person’s entire life. If a person has four or more episodes within a year, it is called rapid cycling.

What Are the Health Consequences of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder can have significant health consequences. During depressed episodes, patients suffer from major disturbances in mood and quality of life that can reduce functioning in all aspects of life. In manic episodes, risky behaviors can cause severe negative repercussions, and irritability may harm relationships with friends and family.

People with bipolar disorder are at a much higher risk of attempting or committing suicide. Studies estimate that the incidence of suicide is 15 times higher in people with bipolar disorder than in the general public.

Rates of substance abuse are higher in people with bipolar disorder. Other mental health conditions, like anxiety and ADHD, frequently occur alongside bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder are also at a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

For all of these reasons, bipolar disorder is considered to be one of the top 10 leading causes of disability worldwide.

What Are the Types of Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is classified into different types based on how a patient experiences the symptoms of the condition.

Bipolar I Disorder involves significant manic episodes that usually require hospitalization. Extended depressive episodes are also frequent, and some patients may have mixed episodes.

Bipolar II Disorder involves depression and hypomania but without more severe periods of mania.

Cyclothymic Disorder occurs over an extended period of time — two years or more — and includes various symptoms of depression and hypomania. While a patient with Cyclothymic Disorder has symptoms reflective of bipolar disorder, they do not meet the condition’s formal diagnostic criteria.

There is also a category, known as Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders, that is used to group together the remaining types of bipolar disorder that do not fit the definitions of Bipolar I, Bipolar II, or Cyclothymic Disorder.

The type of bipolar disorder that a person has can affect their treatment as well as their overall prognosis.

How is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

A doctor or psychiatrist diagnoses bipolar disorder based on specific criteria that have to do with the type and severity of symptoms. There is no laboratory test that can diagnose bipolar disorder.

Diagnosis usually involves two steps. The first step involves an evaluation of the patient’s condition and history including a discussion of any symptoms they may have experienced. A patient’s friends and family may be involved in this process, especially for answering questions about possible manic episodes.

If this first step indicates that a patient likely has bipolar disorder, then the second step is to make sure that the symptoms are not being caused by any other condition. This can include a review of a patient’s prescription medications as well as blood tests, urinalysis, and checking thyroid function.

How is Bipolar Disorder Different From Depression?

Both bipolar disorder and depression are mood disorders. People with bipolar disorder experience symptoms of depression, but they also have episodes of mania or hypomania. People with unipolar depression do not have manic episodes.

Part of the diagnostic process is intended to determine if a patient has had symptoms of mania so that bipolar disorder can be differentiated from unipolar depression.

What Are the Causes of Bipolar Disorder?

There is no known cause of bipolar disorder. Many researchers believe it is related to brain chemistry, but there is no established scientific finding that identifies the exact elements of brain function that give rise to bipolar disorder.

There are some indications that genetics play a role in bipolar disorder, but the disease is not considered to be determined strictly by genes. A family history, such as having a parent or sibling with the condition, increases a person’s risk, but most people with a family history never develop bipolar disorder.

Similarly, there is no exact cause for what triggers manic or depressive episodes in people who have already been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Studies indicate that the risk of mania in people with bipolar disorder is heightened after childbirth (in women), when a person has insomnia, or when a person is using certain types of recreational or prescription drugs.

What are the Treatments for Bipolar Disorder?

Treatment for bipolar disorder usually includes medications to manage symptoms and often involves psychotherapy. Electroconvulsive therapy, also known as ECT or shock therapy, can be used when other treatments do not help. The exact therapy provided depends in large part on the type and severity of a patient’s symptoms.

If a person is in a more extreme state, including psychosis associated with mania or depression, they may be hospitalized in order to reduce the risk of harming themselves or others.

Most patients with bipolar disorder take medications as part of their treatment. The most common classes of drugs that are used include mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Doctors work to tailor pharmacotherapy to fit a patient’s state and symptoms. It is important for patients to take medications as prescribed and not to stop taking them without consulting with a doctor as this can cause a rebound in symptoms.

For patients with extreme depression that does not get better with medications, or if a patient cannot tolerate the side effects of medications, ECT can be an effective treatment. During ECT, a patient receives anesthesia and then has an electric current applied to the brain. ECT often brings rapid relief to potentially life-threatening depression. While most often used for episodes of depression, it may also be useful in treating mania.

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, can be another useful component of treatment for bipolar disorder. It is often employed as a type of maintenance therapy once a patient’s more significant symptoms have been reduced or resolved. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) works to confront negative thinking and often helps patients with bipolar disorder. Other types of talk therapy include Interpersonal and Social Rhythm Therapy (IPSRT), which works to regulate daily routines, psychoeducation, which helps patients understand, monitor, and manage their mental health, and family or group counseling.

What is the Relationship Between Bipolar Disorder and Sleep?

woman stressed

Bipolar disorder and sleep have a multifaceted relationship. Changes to sleep patterns are extremely common for people with bipolar disorder and can include both insomnia and hypersomnia. In addition, mounting evidence points to sleep disturbances as being a contributing factor that can worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder or cause it to recur after a period of remission.

The following sections explain in further detail the way that bipolar disorder impacts sleep and how sleep problems influence the condition’s development.

How Does Bipolar Disorder Impact Sleep?

Disturbed or altered sleep is common in patients with bipolar disorder. Changes to sleep patterns can occur during both manic and depressed episodes.

During manic episodes, people with bipolar disorder feel a dramatic reduction in the need to sleep. With enhanced energy and mood, somewhere between 69% and 99% of patients in manic episodes indicate that they feel a decreased need for sleep.

When depressed, patients with bipolar disorder frequently sleep too much (hypersomnia). This can relate to a lack of energy and decreased interest in normally enjoyable activities, both of which are common depression symptoms. Hypersomnia is estimated to affect 38% to 78% of bipolar patients. Insomnia can also happen during episodes of depression, and in general, sleep can become disordered and inconsistent.

Even during periods of remission, when a person is not in a manic or depressed condition, sleep disturbances are common. One study found that 70% of people with bipolar disorder still have significant sleep disturbances during this period.

Sleeping problems are not just limited to too much or too little sleep. People with bipolar disorder frequently have low-quality sleep, inconsistency in their sleep from one night to the next, and problems getting to sleep. The nature of a person’s sleeping difficulties can shift significantly with time, the patient’s mood, and their response to medications.

possible underlying cause for sleep disruptions in people with bipolar disorder is a disordered circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is part of the body’s natural system for managing and balancing wakefulness and sleep. In most people, that rhythm is closely aligned with external cues, most specifically the day-night cycle in their local area. However, when the circadian rhythm gets thrown off, it can create a range of sleep disorders. Studies have found circadian rhythm irregularities in people with bipolar disorder, and these may be contributing to the diversity of sleeping problems that these patients can experience.

Another cause of sleep disruption is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition in which a person’s breathing stops temporarily at different points through the night. One study has found that nearly 25% of people with bipolar disorder have OSA, which can cause marked reductions in sleep quantity and quality. OSA has been linked to a host of other health problems as well, including depression and cardiovascular problems.

How Does Sleep Impact Bipolar Disorder?

Quality sleep is known to play a role in regulating mood, and that effect appears to be heightened in mood disorders. In multiple ways, poor sleep can lead to a worsening of bipolar disorder.

Numerous studies have found that sleeping problems, especially insomnia, play a role in bipolar disorder. This research has demonstrated that lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of both mania and depression. The impact has been found in studies examining patient reports over periods of seven days, eight weeks, and 12 months, indicating that sleep affects mood from the short through the long-term.

For patients who are in remission, sleep deprivation is associated with recurrence of symptoms. Research has found that sleep disturbances were the most frequent predictor of manic episodes and the sixth most common predictor of depressed episodes. Studies in which patients have been deprived of sleep have shown that this can induce mania or hypomania. Lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea may be a contributor to the recurrence of manic symptoms as well.

If poor sleep worsens bipolar disorder, the logical follow-up is to ask whether improving sleep can help reduce the symptoms. Early evidence indicates that a focus on sleep may have this potential. For example, one study that used a talk therapy intervention tailored for treating insomnia found that on average patients receiving this therapy got better sleep and were at a lower risk of relapse. Because of the way that sleep bolsters the ability to manage mood, a focus on sleep may serve as part of a valuable preventive mental health approach.

Have a GREAT DAY! Lori

Bipolar Test

Information on bipolar, the different types/stages of it, and generalized symptoms to help you recognize if you might have bipolar.  This in no way should be a self diagnosis, it is only intended to help people identify symptoms of the mood disorder so that they can seek further help to determine if they have it or not.

This of course is personal to me because I HAVE BIPOLAR.

Test Here weather you have bipolar Disorder or not

Signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder
In the Psychology Today, Bipolar disorder is the disorder which effects most of the people and they don’t even know that they had it.
Bipolar disorder can look very different in different people. The symptoms vary widely in their pattern, severity, and frequency. Some people are more prone to either mania or depression, while others alternate equally between the two types of episodes. Some have frequent mood disruptions, while others experience only a few over a lifetime.
There are four types of mood episodes in bipolar disorder: mania, hypomania, depression, and mixed episodes. Each type of bipolar disorder mood episode has a unique set of symptoms.
1. Mania
2. Hypomania
3. Depression
4. Mixed Episodes
1. Signs and symptoms of mania
In the manic phase of bipolar disorder, feelings of heightened energy, creativity, and euphoria are common. People experiencing a manic episode often talk a mile a minute, sleep very little, and are hyperactive. They may also feel like they’re all-powerful, invincible, or destined for greatness.
But while mania feels good at first, it has a tendency to spiral out of control. People often behave recklessly during a manic episode: gambling away savings, engaging in inappropriate sexual activity, or making foolish business investments, for example. They may also become angry, irritable, and aggressive—picking fights, lashing out
when others don’t go along with their plans, and blaming anyone who criticizes their behavior. Some people even become delusional or start hearing voices.

2. Hypomania symptoms
Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. People in a hypomanic state feel euphoric, energetic, and productive, but they are able to carry on with their day-to-day lives and they never lose touch with reality. To others, it may seem as if people with hypomania are merely in an unusually good mood. However, hypomania can result in bad decisions that harm relationships, careers, and reputations. In addition, hypomania often escalates to full-blown mania or is followed by a major depressive episode.
Common signs and symptoms of mania include:
  • Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
  • Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  • Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
  • Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
  • Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
  • Highly distractible, unable to concentrate
  • Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
  • Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
  • Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)
3. Signs and symptoms of bipolar depression
In the past, bipolar depression was lumped in with regular depression. But a growing body of research suggests that there are significant differences between the two, especially when it comes to recommended treatments. Most people with bipolar depression are not helped by antidepressants. In fact, there is a risk that antidepressants can make bipolar disorder worse—triggering mania or hypomania, causing rapid cycling between mood states, or interfering with other mood stabilizing drugs.
Despite many similarities, certain symptoms are more common in bipolar depression than in regular depression. For example, bipolar depression is more likely to involve irritability, guilt, unpredictable mood swings, and feelings of restlessness. People with bipolar depression also tend to move and speak slowly, sleep a lot, and gain weight. In
addition, they are more likely to develop psychotic depression—a condition in which they’ve lost contact with reality—and to experience major disability in work and social functioning.

Common symptoms of bipolar depression include:
  • Feeling hopeless, sad, or empty.
  • Irritability
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Physical and mental sluggishness
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
4. Signs and symptoms of a mixed episode
A mixed episode of bipolar disorder features symptoms of both mania or hypomania and depression. Common signs of a mixed episode include depression combined with agitation, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, distractibility, and racing thoughts. This combination of high energy and low mood makes for a particularly high risk of suicide.
The different faces of bipolar disorder
1. Bipolar I Disorder (mania or a mixed episode) – The classic manic-depressive form of the illness, characterized by at least one manic episode or mixed episode. Usually—but not always—Bipolar I Disorder also involves at least one episode of depression.
2. Bipolar II Disorder (hypomania and depression) – In Bipolar II disorder, the person doesn’t experience full-blown manic episodes. Instead, the illness involves episodes of hypomania and severe depression.
3. Cyclothymia (hypomania and mild depression) – Cyclothymia is a milder form of bipolar disorder. It consists of cyclical mood swings. However, the symptoms are less severe than full-blown mania or depression.
These are helpful links:

Sharing my day, life and issues, now it’s YOUR TURN!!

This is to encourage those that think their life is meaningless or boring to share a day or a week with me and maybe by sharing we can all laugh and maybe help each other cope.

Hi all,

I just want to share with you how my life goes dealing with the “issues” that I suffer from.  You all should know by now that I have “BIPOLAR”, “DRUG ABUSE”, “PTSD”, “DEPRESSION”, and if I’ve missed one let me know.

On a daily basis I have to deal with the past.  No matter how much therapy I’ve endured I still suffer with nightmares on Iran, and constant dreams of Mohammad.  Almost EVERY night I wake up at some point sitting up with my hands balancing me (which I’m sure is causing my carpal tunnel).  The reason for this is, in the POW camp I was handcuffed to a girl named Faresh and the only way we could “rest” was when we sat back to back.  If I got ANY SLEEP in that camp it was sitting up like that.  We were not allowed to lay down, and generally if they saw us with our eyes closed they would nudge us with their gun butts.   So despite the time period that has elapsed since that incident, I STILL SUFFER FROM THIS.

I still get nightmares about my brother sexually abusing me at age 11.  Once in a great while I will get a good dream where he has died, and if I’m LUCKY I will get a double feature five star dream where he and Mohammad are BOTH killed! 🙂

Now the bipolar that is a tricky issue to deal with.  I’ve been on pills now since 2007 which have helped ALOT!  But the anti-depressants that I take with them usually reach a toleration level in 2-3 years so I have to try another one.  But I don’t suffer from the constant mania that would appear twice or more a week causing me to take my hubby’s credit cards and go buy something, buy what you ask, it didn’t matter as long as I bought something, and that’s the truth.  I still have moodiness that is hard to control, one day I will be best friends with someone and the next day they won’t talk to me due to the conversation we had the night before.  My poor hubby goes through most of my ups and downs.  Whenever I tell him I love him and that he’s the best man I’ve ever had the chance in knowing, he will say, “RIGHT NOW I AM, but tomorrow I could be the OGRE of your nightmares”, and he’s kind of right.  He knows by now not to take me seriously when I’m upset so he just “rides” the storm.  But for the most part the bipolar is under control.

The one thing that upset me is how they portray the bipolar individuals in tv shows or movies.  These people always seem to be OFF THE CHARTS mentally ill.  That is not bipolar.  Bipolar really isn’t a mental condition it’s a MOOD DISORDER.  But the way these shows depict us people get scared and get all kinds of false ideas when they meet someone who is bipolar.  Another thing that needs to be addressed is when a bipolar person gets upset, mad or happy, our loved ones and those close to us ALWAYS attribute it to the BIPOLAR.  It’s like we can’t have these emotions just NORMALLY, it always has to be the bipolar, thus we are not taken seriously.  They assume these emotions will change tomorrow or in some cases like mine in the next ten minutes; (I have rapid cycling bipolar).  We can’t just be mad at someone because they did something we didn’t like, noooo it was because we were just moody and tomorrow we will be fine with what they upset us about.   Or if we get very happy (warning: don’t smile too broadly or laugh too loudly) they will think were manic and start looking at us strange like will she fly the cuckoos nest sometime soon, or will she break down crying.  This just ISN’T RIGHT!

What I don’t like is how apathetic these bipolar meds can make you.  They can make you so apathetic that you don’t have emotions.  I feel bad for the person who is getting their medication adjusted because the doctor feels that if your sedated it’s better than being manic and you could wind up on a drug like Seroquel and sleep all day.  Most of these drugs make you gain weight and then they wonder why Brittney Spears is having trouble keeping her stick thin figure.  She’s lucky she has any energy at all.  Some people who take these drugs take a stimulant or are so hooked on caffeine to counteract the tiredness that causes problems in their behavior too.  I liked my manic episodes at times, they made me feel alive and passionate about things.  Sure I did take them too far and not all my behavior was appropriate but I still enjoyed them.  One time I was getting my hair done at home and had all these tin foils in my hair waiting for my color to take, I told my friend who was doing it to get in the car we had to go to the store and get lottery tickets and cigarettes.  She couldn’t believe it, my hubby told her to please go with me and drive so I wouldn’t get in trouble.  (he knew when I was like that to just deal with it the most tactful way possible).  The people at the store knew me so it didn’t shock them (at least they didn’t show it facially).  My poor hairdresser didn’t come over and do my hair again for a long time.  Until she understood what it was I suffered from.

Well in a short synopsis, I drive an hour and a half every Tuesday to therapy at Henry Ford Hospital, for my PTSD of Iran, childhood sexual abuse, and my life in a nutshell.  I also now have a benign brain tumor that is now 10% into my brain and growing.  I also suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, I’ve had my hip replaced already, and am on a blood thinner due to suffering from 4 lung embolisms after I snorted some Soma and Ritalin *(back in 2007).  But on the bright side I went thru rehab in 2008 and now speak at the rehab hospital once a month on my book, my experiences and my recovery.  This talk motivates, inspires and gives hope to those that think their lives are in dire straits.  (well they tell me it does this and the patients share with me how much these talks help them) I love talking with them and the first time I did, I kept thinking I was narcissistic for standing up in front of a group of people to tell them about my life.  But when they started lining up to hug me and tell me how much hope it gave them as well as inspiration to quit, and some even had tears in their eyes, well that made me the happiest that I’d been in a LONNNGGGG time!  My book is sold in their gift shop and profits go to the rehab hospital.  But that is ALL I have going in my life right now.  I sit home, live on the computer, talk to my cats all day, and exercise everyday (MAYBE) for 30 minutes.  Then I wait for the SIMPSONS to come on, and then I know it’s evening.  I get up every night at 330am and eat ice cream and watch “BEWITCHED”, “I DREAM OF JEANNIE” and if I really stay up long , “THE JACK BENNY SHOW”  I’m on permanent disability so I have NOTHING TO DO.

So if there is anyone out there that has suggestions for me on doing something, not gardening or crocheting, but something they know of for sure that I could help someone with either from my home pc or other, PLEASE let me know.

NOW I WANT TO HEAR YOUR LIFE STORY, or at least a day in the life of SOMEONE WITH ISSUES! 🙂

The reason I wrote this was because I was sick of playing Candy Crush Saga, and other FB games and wanted to do something that MIGHT be productive for other people too.  They say if you talk about things its the first step in helping your mind deal with them.  So I’m dealing with a boring existence that therapy has numbed by severe PTSD to a minimum level, but due to the disability I’m going NUTS AT HOME with NOTHING TO DO!

PLEASE SHARE YOUR STORIES!

*** For those of you who haven’t read my book or know me, the links below should help you out in that aspect.  I also have had a mini-documentary done on the Discover Channel and am looking for more opportunities like that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se-NTRWCJIU (Discovery Channel documentary-THIRD STORY in a series of three)
My current promotion to raise money for the charities I support.

BOOK FAIR and other SUBJECTS

Hi all, I know it’s been a while since I posted.  I just wanted to inform everyone that their is a VIRTUAL BOOK FAIR every week-end i.e. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This fair is for readers & authors.  Readers can find new books they’d like to read, and get in on the edge before they become BEST SELLERS:) Also I’d like to hear some of your stories that relate to PTSD, Childhood Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse and living with Bipolar.  If you have any stories you’d like to share with us, reply to this post or send me an email lori@loris-song.com and I will post it for you (let me know if you’d like anonymity or I can use your name.  I’d love to hear how other people deal with these disorders.  I’ve posted a lot of informational stuff, but I plan on sharing my stories too.  Thank you for belonging to the group. IF YOUR AN AUTHOR and you’d like to have your book one of them featured in the book fair, go to this website and you will find the directions on what you have to do.  Regardless of what date is there it’s the same every week, just the date changes.  So you can have a chance not only to share your book but an excerpt as well (lonnnngg or short), it’s a GREAT FAIR, and I sold over 10 books this week-end.  Here is the link:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/169126186575183/ Take care all, and be safe returning to school and back from vacation.  Also if there is ever a time you need to share something with the group, let me know at my email address or reply to the specific subject matter.  Lori

To LIVE or EXIST?

Today is one of those “BAD” days, where you have to force yourself out of bed, and look outside and say I’m lucky to be alive and with someone who loves me.  There was nothing special that happened to make me so apathetic or sad, just another day in the life of a bipolar, addict, PTSD survivor and sexual abuse survivor.  I think having one of these is bad enough and GOD I can empathize with your moods, but I think the reigning disorder that makes me feel like I do today is called BIPOLAR.

Now I’m not sure if adding all of the above with the bipolar does anymore to me or less, but I know my bipolar has changed since I was younger.  When I was younger and went on manic episodes I was creative, proud, confident and got things accomplished *just in a lot shorter time period:).  But now all I get is “she’s manic again”.  No one lets me express me or let me bask in the moment of confidence and wanting to accomplish the world, instead it’s a BAD THING to be manic.  I’m sure there are bad episodes of being manic, but I’m sure there are GOOD PRODUCTIVE ONES too.  The medication that were on doesn’t really help either.  It helps those around us (because were apathetic and don’t make their lives anymore confusing) but for us it is like the loss of “LIFE”.  I don’t mind being stable and I’m pretty sure I don’t get out of control like I used to, but I still enjoy my manic days, and no one can understand that.  I’m writing this to get YOUR INPUT on how you view your bipolar.

Now on to substance abuse.  I speak now at a rehab facility, and one thing I say (WHICH IS MY BELIEF) if you don’t have anyone to get clean for then your not going to get clean.  I know they preach about doing it for “YOURSELF” but I still say unless you have a motivating factor that bugs your conscience about not wanting to do drugs anymore than I don’t think you’d get clean.  If I were alone and had no one that loved me, I would have never went to rehab, I probably would have done MORE DRUGS!   When you finally find a reason to live albeit health recovery or someone you meet then you have a DESIRE to quit and seek out that new life with the person you love.  Now don’t get me wrong and think I mean you have to have a “LOVER” or B/F or G/F, I mean anyone that cares about you and wants you clean to the point that you finally get tired of seeing that person hurt.  It could be a child, a spouse or mother or BFF, hell it could be your pet.

Now on to the cravings, I’m on this drug called SUBOXONE, and I’m taking 4 8mg/2mg tabs a day, this is NOT what people normally take.  They usually are weaned off this drug before leaving the clinic.  But since I’ve been severely injured in IRAN, and suffer from so many pain issues they decided to keep me on this dose, so I wouldn’t go back to pain pills.  Virtually I gave up one addiction for another, since these pills are narcotics.  They are also supposed to help you not crave ANYTHING you have abused in your past.   BS, every time I see a movie where someone is doing coke, I get such an urge it isn’t funny.  The only difference now is I DON’T GIVE IN TO MY CRAVINGS, although sometimes I do try to do a logic summation of IF I did give in, how would this not hurt me.

Now onto PTSD, where no one understands how noises, smells, or certain situations can leave you feeling nervous or even worse make you feel like your going to die in that moment, because you feel like you’ve been there before.  Well you have been there before they are called flashbacks, and anything can trigger them, a loud noise a TV show like Law  & Order SVU (rapes), a certain smell, (these happen to me a lot) but it’s really like your back to that moment in time which was your HELL ON EARTH.  People don’t get it or they think were faking it for attention, I just want to make people aware that these things are VERY REAL, and the best thing to deal with them is a loving supportive friend or pet.

In a synopsis I just wanted to point out how I feel during these and because of these events and WELCOME YOUR INPUT on how you deal with life under the circumstances of one of these disorders.  Your INPUT will not only help me it could help others realize different ways to deal with them.  PLEASE COMMENT!!!

Also I feel better now that I’ve written this and vented a little. And remember we have TWO CHOICES IN LIFE, to LIVE it or just EXIST in it, you decide, God Bless.

One song does not an album make

I would like to share with all of you some sites that I thought were very interesting because they touched on the very subjects that are dear to my heart, such as CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE.  These sites also have another common thread they are named exactly  like my site except with the suffix of .ORG rather than .COM.  I just wanted to share these sites because they can help us out too with their information:

http://www.lorissong.org/

http://www.lorissong.net/

it also has the website of

http://www.loris-song.org/

I found this rather odd, but instead of getting all “territorial” I decided to share it with you.  We all need resources in times of need and this seems like a very worthy website.

Here are some other resources for those in need or crisis:  Maybe you know someone who might be at risk or suffer from: PTSD, Depression, suicidal behavior or thoughts, childhood sexual abuse, bipolar, substance abuse or other event where they might need someone to talk to.  

 Crisis and support lines

Veterans ~ 1-877-838-2838 ( 1-877-VET-2VET )

Youth ~ 1-877- 968-4843 ( 1-877-YOUTHGUIDE )

National Sexual Assault hotline – 1.800.656.HOPE

Crisis Clinic – 866.4CRISIS – 866 427 4747

Crisis Services – 716.834.3131

Crisis support services – 1.800.SUICIDE/ 1.800.273.TALK (8255)

National Hopeline Network – 1.800.784.2433

En Española ~ 1-800-784-2432 ( 1-800-SUI-CIDA )

CANADA RESOURCES:

  • Canada – 1-800-232-7288 – or 911 – http://www.dcontario.org/
  • Canada: (514) 723 4000
  • Canada Crisis Counselors National Hotline 1-800-448-3000 . TTY – National Hotline 1-800-448-1833
  • Canada (French) – 1-866-277-3553 – http://www.cepsd.ca/

I only wish you ALL the very best and if I can help with anything please don’t hesitate to email me at:  lori@loris-song.com  I will answer any questions you might have, or if you just need someone to listen to you.  I can’t guarantee that I have a lot of time or that I’m on the computer a lot but I will definitely give it my best shot.  Maybe together we can help prevent another suicide, homicide or mass killings like Newtown.

After all RECOGNIZING MENTAL ILLNESS is the FIRST STEP in preventing any harm from coming in its path.

God Bless you ALL,

Lori

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting to know BIPOLAR-Facts and my views

I would like this post to be about educating those that don’t know a lot about Bipolar.   I was diagnosed with it in 2005, after a lifelong struggle with ups and downs which I had no idea how to treat or what it was.  My family would just say, “that’s Lori being Lori”.  They had no idea about it either.

What many people don’t know is that Bipolar is a “MOOD DISORDER”.  It involves extreme ups and downs, where the person goes through manic phases of increased confidence, excitement, and extreme spending habits.  There are other symptoms and signs of mania too but these are the most common.  The downs are depression so deep that you want to commit suicide at times, because you don’t want to live your life in such a deep hopelessness of despair.  There are many types of bipolar too, such as “rapid cycling bipolar” “bipolar one”, “bipolar two”, etal.

Bipolar is a mood disorder where the person who suffers from it does not have complete control over their thoughts and feelings. Most of us have a trigger is our brain to make us realize a situation is bad for us, and those with bipolar lack this. There may be people that you know that have the signs of being bipolar but having those signs can be confused with many other mental conditions that are around.

The mood of one with bipolar can go from happy to sad in a matter of seconds. When they get mad, it is almost like they are not happy until those around them are upset and angry also. Another symptom of bipolar is having high energy but still being in control. One of the biggest complaints from people with bipolar is that their brain does not shut off, even when they are trying to go to sleep at night. Many people that have bipolar also have ADHD or ADD. They cannot concentrate long enough on one thing to complete a task that they have before them.

Those suffering from bipolar also have great bouts of depression and have feelings of no self-worth at this time. They also talk very fast and are hard to follow. Many people with bipolar jump from subject to subject with no break in-between. They also have a hard time keeping a job and getting along with others. Unfortunately, many also abuse drugs and alcohol making their condition much worse. They also have a very hard time sleeping at night and this can cause the problems at work.

All of these combined does not mean that a person has bipolar, but it is wise to get someone tested.

What illnesses often co-exist with bipolar disorder?

Substance abuse is very common among people with bipolar disorder, but the reasons for this link are unclear.7 Some people with bipolar disorder may try to treat their symptoms with alcohol or drugs. However, substance abuse may trigger or prolong bipolar symptoms, and the behavioral control problems associated with mania can result in a person drinking too much.

Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social phobia, also co-occur often among people with bipolar disorder.8-10 Bipolar disorder also co-occurs with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which has some symptoms that overlap with bipolar disorder, such as restlessness and being easily distracted.

People with bipolar disorder are also at higher risk for thyroid disease, migraine headaches, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other physical illnesses.10, 11 These illnesses may cause symptoms of mania or depression. They may also result from treatment for bipolar disorder.

Other illnesses can make it hard to diagnose and treat bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder should monitor their physical and mental health. If a symptom does not get better

How does bipolar disorder affect someone over time?

Bipolar disorder usually lasts a lifetime. Episodes of mania and depression typically come back over time. Between episodes, many people with bipolar disorder are free of symptoms, but some people may have lingering symptoms.

Doctors usually diagnose mental disorders using guidelines from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. According to the DSM, there are four basic types of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I Disorder is mainly defined by manic or mixed episodes that last at least seven days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, the person also has depressive episodes, typically lasting at least two weeks. The symptoms of mania or depression must be a major change from the person’s normal behavior.
  2. Bipolar II Disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes shifting back and forth with hypomanic episodes, but no full-blown manic or mixed episodes.
  3. Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (BP-NOS) is diagnosed when a person has symptoms of the illness that do not meet diagnostic criteria for either bipolar I or II. The symptoms may not last long enough, or the person may have too few symptoms, to be diagnosed with bipolar I or II. However, the symptoms are clearly out of the person’s normal range of behavior.
  4. Cyclothymic Disorder, or Cyclothymia, is a mild form of bipolar disorder. People who have cyclothymia have episodes of hypomania that shift back and forth with mild depression for at least two years. However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for any other type of bipolar disorder.

Some people may be diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder. This is when a person has four or more episodes of major depression, mania, hypomania, or mixed symptoms within a year.2 Some people experience more than one episode in a week, or even within one day. Rapid cycling seems to be more common in people who have severe bipolar disorder and may be more common in people who have their first episode at a younger age. One study found that people with rapid cycling had their first episode about four years earlier, during mid to late teen years, than people without rapid cycling bipolar disorder.3 Rapid cycling affects more women than men.4

Bipolar disorder tends to worsen if it is not treated. Over time, a person may suffer more frequent and more severe episodes than when the illness first appeared.5 Also, delays in getting the correct diagnosis and treatment make a person more likely to experience personal, social, and work-related problems.6

Proper diagnosis and treatment helps people with bipolar disorder lead healthy and productive lives. In most cases, treatment can help reduce the frequency and severity of episodes.

Medications

Bipolar disorder can be diagnosed and medications prescribed by people with an M.D. (doctor of medicine). Usually, bipolar medications are prescribed by a psychiatrist. In some states, clinical psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and advanced psychiatric nurse specialists can also prescribe medications. Check with your state’s licensing agency to find out more.

Not everyone responds to medications in the same way. Several different medications may need to be tried before the best course of treatment is found.

Keeping a chart of daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events can help the doctor track and treat the illness most effectively. Sometimes this is called a daily life chart. If a person’s symptoms change or if side effects become serious, the doctor may switch or add medications.

Some of the types of medications generally used to treat bipolar disorder are listed on the next page. Information on medications can change. For the most up to date information on use and side effects contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)External Link: Please review our disclaimer..

  1. Mood stabilizing medications are usually the first choice to treat bipolar disorder. In general, people with bipolar disorder continue treatment with mood stabilizers for years. Except for lithium, many of these medications are anticonvulsants. Anticonvulsant medications are usually used to treat seizures, but they also help control moods. These medications are commonly used as mood stabilizers in bipolar disorder:
  • Lithium (sometimes known as Eskalith or Lithobid) was the first mood-stabilizing medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1970s for treatment of mania. It is often very effective in controlling symptoms of mania and preventing the recurrence of manic and depressive episodes.
  • Valproic acid or divalproex sodium (Depakote), approved by the FDA in 1995 for treating mania, is a popular alternative to lithium for bipolar disorder. It is generally as effective as lithium for treating bipolar disorder.23, 24 Also see the section in this booklet, “Should young women take valproic acid?”
  • More recently, the anticonvulsant lamotrigine (Lamictal) received FDA approval for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder.
  • Other anticonvulsant medications, including gabapentin (Neurontin), topiramate (Topamax), and oxcarbazepine (Trileptal) are sometimes prescribed. No large studies have shown that these medications are more effective than mood stabilizers.

Valproic acid, lamotrigine, and other anticonvulsant medications have an FDA warning. The warning states that their use may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. People taking anticonvulsant medications for bipolar or other illnesses should be closely monitored for new or worsening symptoms of depression, suicidal thoughts or behavior, or any unusual changes in mood or behavior. People taking these medications should not make any changes without talking to their health care professional.

MY VIEW ON BIPOLAR AND MY ACTIONS

I personally am on Lamictal, with the anti-depressant Cymbalta and Thorazine to sleep (since they’ve tried every other sleeping pill and it wouldn’t work).

A lot of my episodes are triggered by flashbacks of what happened to me in IRAN.

Just remember there is help and below are some links that might explain and give you resources for getting tested or finding out more information.  I hope this has been helpful because so many people misunderstand bipolar.  Some celebrities with bipolar:  Katherine Zeta Jones (Michael Douglas’ wife), Johnny Depp, Robing Williams, Jim Carey, and a few other well known people.  The movie “CATCH ME IF YOU CAN” with Leonardo DiCaprio was based on a man with bipolar.  Most bipolar people are HIGHLY INTELLIGENT!!!  And get upset with others because they don’t understand their highly creative nature and higher level of functioning.  My IQ tested to be 155 and 168 recently, *(NOT BRAGGING just giving you an example, even though I don’t feel smart at all).  Also if a bipolar is hell-bent on completing a task of some sort they usually can talk anyone into anything, and this is very true.  You wouldn’t believe some of the things I’ve gotten away with in my life, even when I was high.   Another thing to realize is that when I bipolar person starts getting pissed with someone and they talk very nasty to you, it’s nothing personal.  I know that sounds ridiculous, it’s just their task to make everyone around them feel as miserable as they do.  So please get tested and CONTROL your moods ….to a degree:)  I truly do hope this helps if you have any questions please feel free to ask.  Thanks for listening.

RESOURCES:  http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml

http://www.ManagingBipolar.com

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bipolar-disorder/ds00356

http://crowdsourcemyhealth.com/browse/index/239/?wr=information%20on%20bipolar&ru=p&subid=&fuse=wizcb&range=1598141&thm=oud9zdzs&adid=1533445336

http://www.bipolar-lives.com/bipolar-resources.html

http://bipolarchild.com/resources/online-resources/

http://www.thebalancedmind.org/learn/resources

Here and there…no matter where you look LIFE is NOW!

Sometimes there are days when I get up and really have to work at staying out of bed.  It has nothing to do with recent events or any particular reasons but I’m just depressed.  I guess that is how Bipolar works.  Other days I’m so hyper that I don’t let John get a word in edgewise.  No matter where I look, LIFE IS HERE AND NOW.  I’m on medications but all I see some days are just the pessimistic views about life and how it drags us down with us.  Then I go online and see something a friend has posted to me, or a funny cat picture and I smile without even realizing my day is better than when it started.

We all take things for granted, and expect those around us to be there forever and we don’t think about losing them on a daily basis.  I usually think about that every night before I go to bed.  I think to myself, my God what would I do if I lost one of my best buddies (my cats) or if something happened to John and usually shed a tear or two at the thought.

But this keeps me appreciating and praying thankfulness for the time I do have right here and now.  I try to tell myself everyday just how lucky I am to have the life I do right now, and try not to focus on the past.  But then I will get a nightmare that brings it all back to the surface.  John usually wakes up to see me sleeping sitting up.  *we couldn’t lay down in the camp even at night so Faresh and I would put our backs together and sleep sitting up leaning on each other.  Even though that was over 11 years ago I still feel safer sleeping sitting up.  This goes to show that no matter how hard we try to get on with our lives there will always be something that “pops” up to remind us of a horrific event in the past.

It is how we deal and justify these returning memories that makes us survive another day.  When John finally wakes me up, I feel so relieved that I’m in a bed next to the man I love and no one can hurt me right now.  I think that is why I have such a feeling of ‘greatfulness’ to God like I’ve never had before.   It just goes to prove that sometimes we are tested, no matter who we are, but the test is alot less stressful than the event was.  And it gives us pause to realize that all of that mourning isn’t going to waste, it is reminding us how GREAT life is NOW!  No matter what your belief system is you can’t deny the affect that God has on us.  I’m not what they refer to as a “BIBLE THUMPER” but I have a strong faith in God, and I know he was with me at that camp, as well as he is here with me now.  When I was in that camp and the night before we were going to escape, I felt someone touch my shoulder, I jerked around to see if it was a soldier and no one was there, then I heard a voice say, “Lori your going home”, and I looked all around to see if someone was mocking me and everyone was either trying to close their eyes but none were looking our way.  And I HAD NO IDEA WE WERE GOING TO ESCAPE THE NEXT NIGHT.

Whenever I feel doubt or someone into evolution tries to sway me to a LOGICAL STANDPOINT, I just tell them, we might have evolved, we might have experienced everything that the scientist say, but still SOMEONE HAD TO BE THE INITAL CREATOR FOR ANY OF THAT TO HAPPEN in the first place.  I can’t believe they don’t get it. 

Anyway I just wanted to share my thoughts for the day,  and make some of you realize that sometimes if I don’t reply positively it doesn’t mean I’m mad or sick of people, I’m just in the midst of realizing that you have two choices in life, to exist in it or live it, and I choose to LIVE IT.  GOD BLESS YOU ALL in your endeavors and remember you will be tested, and no matter what our test is it is far less than what Jesus did for our lives that we are living NOW!  :):)

REMEMBER THIS IF YOUR BIPOLAR:)

Please remember to TAKE YOUR MEDS!!!

I didn’t really realize how MUCH they made a difference until I was videotaped one time, and my GOD I looked and acted like a completely different person. One who was way too hyper and sensitive, and a little paranoid. I always think that I’m not good enough for anyone (especially after 911). After what was done to me, I couldn’t look people in the eye. It was so hard to believe that anyone would find anything interesting enough in me to want to be my friend. …UNLESS..they WANTED SOMETHING. It seems like being bipolar either leaves you in a total state of despair and insecurity or it gives you so much self esteem and confidence that it borders on the narcissitic mode. Sadly neither last for only a short time. I think that is why I wouldn’t take my meds, I liked those times of being so confident and arrogant and felt tlike I could conquer the world, and I would conquer a lot of things, but usually turned out bad in the end, but at the time it was happening I felt like GOD….like no one knows what I’m thinking and that I could covince someone to do anything. And usually when someone has that much confidence it produces an energy so strong that others feel it and you do end up getting away with a lot…take for example the movie “CATCH ME IF YOU CAN”. But as usual just like in the movie the Bipolar didn’t get the girl and live happily ever after, they usually get involved with the criminal justice system and is put in prison or other. Most Bipolars are HIGHLY INTELLIGENT, they theorize that this is based upon how the neurons fire into certain synapses of the brain, and the ones they touch are the ones responsible for intelligence and creative thinking. If they could only bottle the effects/affects that mania has and then only the GOOD CREATIVITY, then we would have some pretty brilliant people out there. But trust me stay on your meds and stay STABLE, CONSISTENT…well as consistent as you CAN BE. Be blessed with who is around you and willing to go through this with you.

Remember people we are geniuses so we have to stay calm to put up with the other people of this world:):):):)