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.

PTSD- Your not alone!

 

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, or that happens to you, like:

  • Combat exposure
  • Child sexual or physical abuse
  • Terrorist attack
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Serious accidents, like a car wreck
  • Natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake

During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others’ lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don’t go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

My experience was, FLASHBACKS.

You also have something called “FLASHBACKS”.  These are what I suffered from in addition to the above symptoms.  When I returned from Iran and the torture I suffered there, I started having what were called “non-epileptic” seizures.  These are real seizures but can not be traced to epilepsy as the cause.  I also had flashbacks, and when I suffered from these I would all of a sudden just leave this world and return to the location where I suffered all the pain and torture.  I would either see something that reminded me of that place or etal.  Then I would either try to start physically hitting myself or banging my head against the wall or floor, I would talk in farsi (the language of Iran).  I would push people away from me because I was afraid they were coming to rape me.  This is a horrible mental disorder that is suffered by many people with trauma in their life.  Veterans are also a big population that suffers from it.

How does PTSD develop?

Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. Only some will develop PTSD over time. It isn’t clear why some people develop PTSD and others don’t.

Whether or not you get PTSD depends on many things:

  • How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
  • If you were injured or lost someone important to you
  • How close you were to the event
  • How strong your reaction was
  • How much you felt in control of events
  • How much help and support you got after the event

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

There are four types of symptoms of PTSD

  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)

You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.

2.  Avoiding situations that remind you of the event

You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.

3.  Feeling numb

You may find it hard to express your feelings. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.

4.  Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)

You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal.

I suffered from all of the above but at different times.  My main symptoms or events were feeling keyed up, and feeling numb.  Unlike the above I would purposely NOT avoid stressful situations because I thought I HAD TO GET ON WITH REAL LIFE, so if I avoided every stressful situation then I wouldn’t be able to function.  This included watching TV shows like Law & Order SVU, which dealt with a lot of rapes and childhood sexual abuse *both of which I’ve suffered from.  I can’t say these shows don’t affect me because they do at times, and I have to quit watching, but I think (my own opinion not professional) that if I keep dealing with life on it’s terms then it will all work out in the end.

Plus I have a WONDERFUL SUPPORTIVE MAN who has given and put up with so much of my downfalls and also the accomplishments that makes me blessed to have him in my life.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems, including divorce

In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.

Needless to say I’ve suffered from all the above, but counseling and the right doctors can help you TREMENDOUSLY.  Most of the above symptoms are now under control to a level that I can function in HIGH capacity.  (Not HIGH to mean on drugs:))

What treatments are available?

When you have PTSD, dealing with the past can be hard. Instead of telling others how you feel, you may keep your feelings bottled up. But treatment can help you get better. There are two main types of treatment, psychotherapy (sometimes called counseling) and medication. Sometimes people combine psychotherapy and medication.  I personally don’t advocate some of the treatments below, while I don’t believe medication should be a cure all either, I believe a MD, and a therapist who has a LOT of experience with PTSD patients are your best bet.  But again these are my opinions.

Psychotherapy for PTSD

Psychotherapy, or counseling, involves meeting with a therapist. There are different types of psychotherapy:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective treatment for PTSD.  There are different types of CBT. such as cognitive therapy and exposure therapy.
    • One type is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) where you learn skills to understand how trauma changed your thoughts and feelings.
    • Another type is Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy where you talk about your trauma repeatedly until memories are no longer upsetting. You also go to places that are safe, but that you have been staying away from because they are related to the trauma.
  • A similar kind of therapy is called eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). This therapy involves focusing on sounds or hand movements while you talk about the trauma.
  • Medications for PTSD

    Medications can be effective too. A type of drug known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), which is also used for depression, is effective for PTSD. Another medication called Prazosin has been found to be helpful in decreasing nightmares related to the trauma.

    IMPORTANT: Benzodiazepines and atypical antipsychotics should generally be avoided for PTSD treatment because they do not treat the core PTSD symptoms.

Where to Get Help for PTSD

 Are you are in crisis? You have options:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest Emergency Room
  • Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
  • Contact the Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1 (text 838255) or Confidential Veterans Chat with a counselor   To have a private chat with a veterans counselor who has experience with PTSD go to the link below.

http://www.veteranscrisisline.net/ChatTermsOfService.aspx?account=Veterans%20Chat/

  • National Institute of Mental Health’s Anxiety HOTLINE 1-888-826-9438
  •  Online support forum:    http://www.findthelight.net/forum/login.asp 
  •   National Center for PTSD – The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) conduct cutting edge research and apply resultant findings to: “Advance the Science and Promote Understanding of Traumatic Stress.” Fact sheets, videos, and more about trauma to help answer your questions about PTSD and related issues.
    www.ncptsd.va.gov
  • National Resource Directory – The National Resource Directory (NRD) provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels that support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. www.nationalresourcedirectory.gov
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline – The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day by trained counselors who can provide crisis assistance and information about shelters, legal advocacy, health care centers and counseling. There is also a toll-free number for the hearing impaired, 1-800-787-3224
    www.thehotline.org
    1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
  • The National Sexual Assault Hotline – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
    www.rainn.org
    1-800-656-HOPE This number will direct callers to a local rape crisis center
  • National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Hotline
    www.ncadd.com
    1-800-622-2255
  • SAMHSA – works to improve the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, alcohol and drug addiction treatment, and mental health services.
    www.samhsa.gov
    1-800-662-HELP (4357)

I’ve tried not only to include the numbers and websites for help for PTSD but for those disorders that might be the ROOT cause of why we suffer from it.  I only wish ALL of you well.  I know how important it is to have resources and many people don’t know where to go or look for links or numbers so I hope that I’ve helped some of you out.  If you need ANYTHING, please don’t hesitate to email me at lori@loris-song.com and put PTSD in the subject line.  I will help you in any way I can within my capabilities.  GOD BLESS YOU ALL! Thanks for reading, Lori


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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Blogging 2012

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SO TRUE!!!!

 

This has been the first truly active, successful blogging that I’ve ever done.  I have met some pretty extrordinary people, matter of fact they all are extrordinary!  Not only have the people I’ve met had their own downfalls and disasters in life, they have survived, and have made their life better despite it.

Sometimes in life we have to be slapped in the face before we realize just how lucky we are in life.  Materialism is the way of society today as is technological toys that take our minds off of reality.  But along with that passage of reality we fail to meet people that could influence or change our lives in a more “REAL” fashion.

While I begrudge the technology that is forcing us into “BOT reality, where communication is no longer face to face, and we never have to deal with rejection due to just tapping a button if we don’t want to continue reading what we think is “bad news”.

I believe insecurity is what feeds this type of communication.  We no longer have to fear the thought that someone might not want to talk to us, or like us so we just delete them from a list and put them on another “LIST”.  We become so absorbed with this cyber world that it is turning our lives into one anti-social desert of lonliness.  Sure we can maintain our confidence that we are popular by keeping those like us and that LIKE US on a networking site, but we are failing at human interaction.   Even bullying has become a cyber sport.

I really feel sorry for the kids that won’t be able to go to school football games and “INTERACT, or go on hayrides during Halloween, or sledding during winter.  We DONT do that anymore, instead we are running into telephone polls and falling into manholes because were not watching where we are going, all the while texting our friend who is walking behind us.  Growing up is no longer the same, and being a kid is no longer the same.  Sad but true so we have to deal with it.

BUTTTTT the one thing I can say for sure that is positive out of all of this is meeting my fellow bloggers and AUTHORS.  To be allowed to talk to people from different points in the country and be able to share with each other lifes ups and downs all the while trying to tell stories that we hope will inspire, teach and touch others emotions is a WONDERFUL thing.

I get confused with all these blogging awards and their stipulations about posting this sentence and sharing this link while answering this question to accept it.  I’m not saying thats a bad thing because everyone involved should get recognition.  But please don’t fault me if I don’t respond appropriately or thank the wrong person, or even moreso don’t thank the right person.  Therefor I would just like to award one big

THANK YOU FELLOW BLOGGERS AND AUTHORS for a great year 2012!!!!

I hope everyone gets a chance to visit and interact with the women I’ve met since blogging.  They are truly INSPIRATIONAL, KIND and PATIENT women.  Sadly you won’t be able to meet one of them, for she passed away in a house fire with her husband in 2012.   But she does deserve recognition   Sandra McLeod Humphrey who was very prolific in writing childrens books.  She will be sadly missed in the literary world and amongst her friends and colleagues.      As for the rest of these fine women I will list their sites below and be sure to visit these site, I’m sure you will laugh, cry and recognize why these women are so special.  But always remember……

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Once more THANK YOU ALL FELLOW BLOGGERS who have allowed me into your circle and have accepted me as your FRIEND!  Salut to 2013

Rosemary Adkins  http://www.extraordinaryireland.com/  be sure to buy the book and aid in the continued research on diabetes.

Micki Peluso http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/

Sharla Shults http://catnipoflife.wordpress.com/  and http://www.awakenings2012.blogspot.com/

Christine Hannon  http://ahairdressersdiaries.wordpress.com/

Delinda McCann http://delindalmccann.weebly.com/blog.html

Deirdre Tolhurst  http://www.deirdretolhurst.blogspot.com/

Raani York  http://raaniyork.wordpress.com/

Sylvia Massara   http://www.sylviamassara.com/

Posthumously Sandra McLeod Humphrey http://kidscandoit.com

Sandy Nachlinger & Sandra Allen   http://iousex.blogspot.com/

Lisa Fender  http://www.lisafender.com/

Manic Jenn  http://moodswingsnjmadness.wordpress.com/about/

Jessie Tyson  http://jessiebtyson.blogspot.ca/

Linnieann  http://linneann.wordpress.com/

and my own hometown writers group

Autumn  http://www.thelostwordwriters.com/blog/

Thank you all, you couldn’t have been kinder and more accepting of a group.  Lori

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:):):):)

Living with Bi-Polar

HI MY NAME IS LORI….AND I’D LIKE TO START MEETING PEOPLE WHO WANT TO LEARN, LISTEN, HELP, AND SMILE THROUGH A PROCESS OF LEARNING AND EDUCATING OURSELVES REGARDING THE MOOD DISORDER “bipolar”. “This is all new to me and I wanted to make this a giving and taking process, since there are many questions regarding this disorder and so much is still out there waiting to be discovered. I will try to post new and updated information re: this disorder and will give out my email link so if anyone has ideas or thoughts to contribute please let me know. We can slowly get to know one another and through sharing, crying and laughing maybe we can start to conquer the hows, whys, where’s and whens….. The HOW…HOW THE HELL DID WE GET IT? The WHY….WHY ME, WHY NOW, WHY DO I CARE?? The WHERE’S……WHERE DO WE START, WHERE DO WE GO, WHERE THE HELL AM I NOW?? The WHEN’S…….WHEN DID IT HAPPEN, WHEN WILL I KNOW MORE, WHEN WILL THIS ALL END?????? <<<<<>>>>>>

(I met a NUN once who was Bi-Polar and Tried to Marry her Priest…it wasn’t sacrilegious just proves that we ALL are vulnerable!)

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that causes episodes of depression (sadness and hopelessness) and episodes of mania (severely elevated mood). These episodes commonly affect your energy level, behavior, ability to function, and your ability to think clearly or make sound decisions

While there is no known cure for bipolar disorder, some medications have been approved to treat the different phases of bipolar disorder. SEROQUEL is approved to treat the depressive episodes and the acute manic episodes in bipolar disorder. A Range of Moods It may be helpful to think of the various mood states in bipolar disorder as a range: At one end of the range, there is severe mania. Mania is characterized by periods of elated mood, which can include racing thoughts, extreme irritability, or reckless behavior. It can cause you to do to STRANGE THINGS and SOME PEOPLE LIKE ME I MISSED THOSE TIMES!!

WE CAN STAND ON OUR OWN

In the middle, there is the normal or balanced mood state. This is a time during which you are relatively free of the signs and symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. At the other end of the range, there is depression, which can be mild to moderate or severe. Depression involves overwhelming feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Now on the BIG QUESTION!! How do I know….I HAVE IT? NOW I’D LIKE TO INTERJECT SOME OF MY OWN PERSONAL NOTES: I was diagnosed with Bi-Polar in 2005, only 4 yrs. after returning from Iran. Once I was informed of the symptoms and the behaviors I was dumbfounded…… These behaviors and my whole life it seemed had been controlled by an UNCONTROLLED DISORDER…known as BIPOLAR!!!! So much has changed since being diagnosed that I couldn’t possibly fill you in about all the changes. But since I DO HAVE IT….and I have become acquainted with some VERY REAL friends that also have it…I decided to start this page and section and focus on the disorder. NOT ONLY WILL WE LEARN ABOUT THE DISORDER TOGETHER, WE WILL HELP EACH OTHER, LEAN ON EACH OTHER AND MOST OF ALL KEEP TELLING EACH OTHER THAT WE ARE IMPORTANT AND WORTHY OF LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING. LETS GET STARTED DOING SOMETHING THAT ALOT OF US WONDERED IF WE’D EVER DO…… LIVING!!!!! ****I would like to add that I am under the care of two highly educated, experienced, and most of all COMPASSIONATE AND UNDERSTANDING doctors that treat me for my bipolar and the PTSD disorder I suffer from. These doctors are fine representatives of HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEMS in Detroit, Michigan. I also suffer from drug addiction and take the drug known as “SUBOXONE” there are two wonderful sites dedicated to Suboxone and Addiction click the links below and be sure to donate when you can! PATIENT’S STORIES-SUBOXONE ASSISTED TREATMENT I know several people through groups and developing friendships throughout the years that have these two disorder as well as PTSD. I am VERY PROUD TO be able to share these links with you! SITES LIKE THESE ARE NOT ONLY SUPPORTIVE BUT SO NEEDED TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT SUBOXONE AND DRUG ADDICTION The other link which is a FANTASTIC SITE is METHADONE-ADDICTION-RECOVERY

HOMESICK BUT NOT SURE WHY OR WHAT FOR????

That was my classic symptom of when the MANIA crashed with the DEPRESSION!! What is bipolar disorder? Bipolar disorder is an illness that causes extreme mood changes from manic episodes of very high energy to the extreme lows of depression. It is also called manic-depressive disorder. This illness can cause behavior so extreme that you cannot function at work, in family or social situations, or in relationships with others. Some people with bipolar disorder become suicidal. Having this disorder can make you feel helpless and hopeless. But you are not alone. Talking with others who suffer from it may help you learn that there is hope for a better life. And treatment can help you get back in control. Family members often feel helpless when a loved one is depressed or manic. If your loved one has bipolar disorder, you may want to get counseling for yourself. Therapy can also help a child who has a bipolar parent. What causes bipolar disorder? The cause of bipolar disorder is not completely understood. We know that it runs in families. It may also be affected by your living environment or family situation. One possible cause is an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. What are the symptoms? The symptoms depend on your mood swings. In a manic episode, you may feel very happy, energetic, or on edge. You may feel like you need very little sleep. You may feel overly self- confident. Some people spend a lot of money or get involved in dangerous activities when they are manic. After a manic episode, you may return to normal, or your mood may swing in the opposite direction to feelings of sadness, depression, and hopelessness. When you are depressed, you may have trouble thinking and making decisions. You may have memory problems. You may lose interest in things you have enjoyed in the past. You may also have thoughts about killing yourself. The mood swings of bipolar disorder can be mild or extreme. They may come on slowly over several days or weeks or suddenly over a few minutes or hours. The mood swings may last for a few hours or for several months. How is bipolar disorder diagnosed? Bipolar disorder is hard to diagnose. There are no lab tests for it. Instead, your doctor or therapist will ask detailed questions about what kind of symptoms you have and how long they last. To be diagnosed with bipolar I disorder, you must have had a manic episode lasting at least a week (less if you had to be hospitalized). During this time, you must have had three or more symptoms of mania, such as needing less sleep, being more talkative, behaving wildly or irresponsibly in activities that could have serious outcomes, or feeling as if your thoughts are racing. In bipolar II disorder, the manic episode may be less severe and shorter. Your urine and blood may be tested to rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms. How is it treated? The sooner bipolar disorder is identified and treated, the better your chances of getting it under control. One of the most important parts of dealing with a manic episode is recognizing the early warning signs so that you can start treatment early with medicine that is especially for manic phases.

A variety of medicines is used to treat bipolar disorder. You may need to try several before you find the right combination that works for you. Most people with bipolar disorder need to take a medicine called a mood stabilizer every day. Medicines called antipsychotics can help get a manic phase under control. Antidepressants are used carefully for episodes of depression, because they cause some people to move into a manic phase. People often have to try several different medicines before finding what works for them. Regular checkups are important so that your doctor can tell if your treatment is working. Counseling for you and your family is also an important treatment. It can help you cope with some of the work and relationship issues that your illness may cause. Charting your mood is one way you can start to see your patterns and symptoms.

Keep a notebook of your feelings and what brought them on. If you learn what triggers your mood swings, you may be able to avoid them sometimes. People often stop taking their medicines during a manic phase because they feel good. But this is a mistake. You must take your medicines regularly, even if you are feeling better. Who is affected by bipolar disorder? Over 3 million Americans—about 1% of the population, or 1 in every 100 people—have bipolar disorder, with similar rates in other countries.1 Bipolar disorder occurs equally among males and females. It often begins between the ages of 15 and 24. THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY COME AGAIN