Eating Disorder and Bipolar Disorder, my friends

Good Am.

I have internet radio station Indie 103.1 playing Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing” from the 90’s. Their music is so timeless. Its’ called “Art Rock” or “NoiseCore.” One of my favorites of all time. Also on Indie 103.1 is my former employer (twice) Jonathan L’s “The Lopsided World of L,” a show of unsigned bands from all over the world.  Former Soul Coughing lead singer Mike Doughty has a show and a former record company scout named Bruce Rave has a great show called “Go Deep with Bruce Rave.”  I often find stuff I want to buy.  Music is important to me and plays a healing role in my mood disorder. Already my mood rises.

I’m about to finish writing my eating disorder post for international bipolar disorder. Is it a labor of love or hate? I am not allowed to write on my blog and then send to them…they want Original content only. I was signed up for Pilates but didn’t go. None of my outfits fit and I’m ashamed. I have so little self acceptance.  I also don’t enjoy Pilates anymore like I used to. It’s like lifting weights but it’s way more tedious. And expensive!!! So expensive!!!  When I was taking Vyvanse, (Time Released metabolite of Adderall) I loved it, my ADHD was gone and I was precise and dancerlike in my movements and workouts.  I was a devotee.

All that is gone now. But my depression is largely gone. So maybe I should focus on that.

I’m lucky if I am willing to walk on the beach with my Walkman and swim for 20 minutes in the Ocean off the coast. I forbid myself to look at my watch and try to breathe easy. (I have seen sharks out there-they are afraid of Me!)

I do enjoy it, however. Then I do a big abdominal workout. Even if I don’t want to.  Today am going to push self to the weight room. I’m going to go back to OA to get spiritual help with the food problem. As an exercise bulimic I’m a rarity to the group, they are mostly overeaters triggered by sweets, and I’m the only one who has an antipsychotic medication literally driving their appetite. I really should find a solution and write about it.  I used to go to AA, back when I thought I had an alcohol problem. Now IN THERE, there are tons of people on those meds and crying about it. A lot of Old timers on Haldol, which is not as associated with weight gain but more associated with Tardive Dyskinesia, which I also have.

Presently, I’m really struggling with food in the absence of ADHD meds for a binge-eating-disorder. In the best of situations, I’m hungry all the time and irritable and self pitying.  The clozaril that I have to take for my Tardive Dyskinesia makes my metabolism slow down and drives hunger, even after a full meal of several food categories.

In the worst of situations, I’m binging all day. My stomach feels yukky, acid indigestion and I can’t sleep. I’m angry. Why isn’t there more research on this issue with the antipsychotics that big pharma is making so much money from? I’m going to do the Edgar Cayce diet if it kills me. It’s a lot of work.   One of my meals is a big green salad. I hate salad even though I know that the minerals in it clean the blood. I’m mad. I don’t want to do the work. I don’t want to give up my quick ‘go to’ of cereal and full fat milk but I have to stop buying it.

The day before yesterday was my first day. I did ok, but was really irritable and didn’t sleep well. I sleep better when full. So when I woke up feeling like I had cotton in my eyeballs I went back to sleep,slept and binged on food most of the day. Then, last night, I could not sleep. It just goes on and on. I’m so depressed about the 20 lb I gained in 6 weeks…and it keeps going up.

Back in the Eating Disorder World

Over the past 25 years I’ve gotten a lot of treatment in which I’m required to keep daily journals. Guess which treatment has the most notebooks filled with pain going on and on? My eating disorder journals. Daily missives to myself in which I pray to God to keep me away from the triggering food  (starches and sugar) and an overwhelming obsession with my weight.

There was an eating disorder before there was bipolar disorder. In fact the ED may have caused the bipolar because of the decade of cocaine abuse that I depended on to stay thin. When I became allergic to cocaine and nauseated, I welcomed it. After ten years of using cocaine and getting clean, THEN I got my bipolar diagnosis. After a year. There is such a high correlation between the two that people look at the comorbidity and ask chicken or egg questions. I’m pretty sure I know which happened and what caused what. Genetically, I’m predisposed to bipolar disorder but the extreme exercise and chemicals I’ve injested, well, you just don’t walk away from that scott free. Now that I’m off ADHD meds and no longer depressed or withdrawing from them, I’m all hungry again from the Clozaril.

I spent lots of time on the computer yesterday researching the whole metabolic issue and found that even integrative nutritionalists struggle with Obesity and are slaves to exercise, struggling with self esteem like crazy. No one seems to have any answers. I know a girl at the supermarket who is bipolar, obese, diabetic and takes some crazy medication I’ve never heard of to boost her metabolism. It makes her manic and speedy, just like you would supposed. If you had to choose a bullet to dodge, would it be diabetes or an unstable mood?

I really don’t want to go back to Overeaters Anonymous and obsess on a black and white ‘abstinence’ model. I get all rebellious and spin out of control with anger.

Eating disorder project

I am not a young person exactly. I have had exercise bulimia and bipolar disorder for a long time. As a kid I turned to food for comfort. Then I felt the guilt of post binging. This problem turned into over athletic purging when I got into volleyball. I’ve had quite a bit of ortho surgery.

When I started taking Seroquel, which really helped me, the drive in hunger and metabolism slow down put my eating disorder in high gear. Exercising 5 hours a day, swim, run, tennis.

Long and short of this is that I’ve had ED treatment twice and I am supposed to do a blog on having ED and Bipolar Disorder. It’s hard work. I’m going through all of my notes.

Today I woke up feeling better than I have in a long, long time. Then I did a castor oil hotpack on my liver (to ramp up my metabolism and oxygenate my most abused organ. I am happy that I am not oppressed by depression today. marlboroinblack

Even though you may be overweight, Exercise DOES help prevent Diabetes and More

This Link is from Bipolar Hope and it answers a question I’ve had.  In the wake of Adderall cessation and a broken foot I’ve gained 20 lbs. The depression also fed into that, because I could have been swimming and not hurting my foot at all. I had been wondering if even in the presence of extra weight if exercise could help prevent Diabetes type two, a side effect of atypical mood stabilizing antipsychotics? I don’t know if this link is live, But in Bipolar Hope Magazine, this email says that exercise, especially the kind I dread, weight training…talk about tedious, even with music…creates a type of muscle that combats the development of Diabetes Type two. And may help outcomes of depression and anxiety. Whew! Hope it’s true.

I’m an exercise bulimic. But It’s hard to exercise when depressed. Especially when it just leads to more food binging and the need for more exercise. The only thing besides herbs and chemicals that has ever worked is an absolute Low Carb diet a la Atkins, which deprives me of Serotonin. It’s a killer. I can’t do it any more but I did it in Overeater’s anonymous for two years and kept the weight off. I don’t want that, it’s hard on Kidneys, a Ketogenic diet.

This obsession with being ‘thin,’  It comes from family and the media. My stepmother at 60 works out 4 hours a day and is gaunt shadow of herself. My birth mother was as thin as Audrey Hepburn. I have a codependent, inappropriate at times relationship to my father, who put the original emphasis on being thin in my life. Then I was an actor in LA, also trying to model. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, before Cindy Crawford and other opened things up for a few extra pounds, anyone in the media had to be stick thin. Not everyone’s genetics support that. Just look at Oprah’s struggles and even, to a much smaller degree how hard Jennifer Aniston and others meant to be more full figured have to work for it. So I think about being thin a lot and have resorted to chemical means and destructive exercise bulimia followed by binges that have resulted in more overuse orthopedic surgeries than most family trees have seen. That opened the door to massive opiate access, another chapter in itself.  Certain Opiates give a sense of euphoria and tamp down appetite. Then there was Ritalin and an unstable mood. Then Vyvanse and Adderall, which I am paying the price for now.

In the wake of Adderall IR cessation and breaking my foot 15 weeks ago, I’ve gained nearly 20 lbs. My stretchiest clothes don’t fit. I hate myself. the only thing that would work would be to get back on Adderall or Vyvanse.

I worry about being fat and developing diabetes type two. I have a hard enough time brushing my teeth so If I got diabetes, it would be tough to stay healthy, all the dietary restrictions and blood sugar testing.

burgerking post boobjobI did a lot of Commercials and was a day player for shows like “Love Boat” where I had to be a cocktail waitress in a Bikini. I also played the body double for a Volleyball Playin’ Tony The Tiger in a “Frosted Flakes” commercial. Understandably I love shows like “Mad Men,” because when I got out of acting, I was a copywriter for Radio and Print ads. Loved it. My mind is full of bullshit to get people to look at products in a new way, and buy them.

Now, at least I know that even if I’ve twenty or thirty or even forty pounds overweight, the exercise helps. It does take me away from other things I’d rather be doing. Oh well. Right now I’m making an exercise tape and am about to go for a powerwalk and 40 minute Ocean Swim.

My Media Image is a shot of me when I was starring in a Burger King commercial and I thought I was overweight and unacceptable back then. My Dad is still such a stickler for weight issues that I feel that to visit him would just upset him. I visited him when I was only ten pounds over and he had a cow and was trying to give me money for weight loss programs, and finally did for Nutrisystem, which totally sucked.

An article about bipolar psychosis that got me in treatment again

This is on Facebook

If you have bipolar disorder, this group is for you. They have provided me with involvement and hope.

Psychosis is when a person loses touch with reality, such as believing something to be true when it isn’t. Read about Allison’s experience with this and how she got treatment in her next blog:

Does anyone know where the kids are? Oh, they’re being watched while I see my family friend and doctor, as I always do when I’m having issues….

Totall recall


So now, I’m not on any of the Add meds, and I think the Wellbutrin is kicking in.  I’m  Not sure, but there are some physical symptoms that indicate that the new antidepressant meds are working a little.  This was more difficult than kicking cocaine was. Cocaine was a ten year habit and once it stopped, it stopped.  And I felt better. Of course I relapsed occasionally, but once I stopped seeing certain people who always had it, I didn’t crave it.

TatcomputerThis problem,I fear, might be permanent brain chemistry damage.  I might be making progress. I sure am doing enough visualization, meditation, regular exercise (that I no longer enjoy due to brain chemistry depletion) to be healthy. I eat cheerios almost all the time because all other food seems icky.

The Continuation of Adderall Withdrawal, we’re at 6 weeks now.

allicatI haven’t been on the page for a long time because the few daily tasks I had were barely doable. My shrink saw how fast I was fallowing and prescribed a brand new ADD drug that is half as strong as Ritalin and Adderall. I’m on 1/2 dose in the am only and some days off completely. He also ramped up my Lamictal, which he thinks works against depression. He also put me on Wellbutrin, which helped in the past. I’m gaining weight like nuts!  I have always chosen the path to being thin over my mental health and it has cost me. But, looking back at the last three years with focus and a reduced appetitie, I learned Pilates, making advanced jewelry, traveled, lost weight and kept it off and was able to wear fabulous clothes!

I never know what kind of mood I’ll be in from day to day. Yesterday I took the whole day off and slept and read “Red Sparrow,” about Russian Counterilligence, sort of like “the Americans” on FX, which I highly recommend to binge watch.

love, Allison

NAMI article published on Mental health discrimination in March

Stigma and Discrimination Where It Hurts the Most: The Local Mental Health Consumer-Run Drop In

Some of you think Allison Strong is strong, but I hurt and bleed, just like you. I’ve actually bled alot this week.

I’ve had bipolar disorder for 26 years. I tried to commit suicide as a small child by drinking alcohol. Obviously it didn’t work. For the first ten years after I was diagnosed I had a high profile career as a major market alternative disc jockey and nationally published music journalist.

When my anti-depressant stopped working, I was under the impression that it was the ‘drug I was to take the rest of my life.’ That’s what the doctor’s at the neuropsychiatric center I was at for 60 days had told us all at family week. It’s what we all thought! At the height of my career and happily married,  I was already cutting corners by getting my meds from my general practitioner. All of a sudden, and on a daily basis from the moment I opened my eyes each day,  I wanted to disappear, or die. By my own hand if I must.

In terror,  I pressed her: “What should I do, Dr. __________? I’m scared to death!” She looked up from her chart with the wide eyes of the truly panicked.  “I have absolutely No idea.” She didn’t suggest I see a therapist or a psychiatrist. She just closed my chart and moved on to the patient next door.  You’d have thought that she was the one with depression. I’ve since learned to be on a team player with my shrink and my mentor at the Consumer-run Peer Drop-In Center.

I’ve been involved with the local drop-in for ten years. I have nurtured successful self help groups, and put hours assisting other individual’s programs as an ‘official volunteer.’ I used to bring ‘Dual Recovery Meetings to the inpatient psych ward on a weekly basis, which required a high degree of clearance.

Five years ago, I fell into a deep, long term depression and struggled vainly with treatment resistant tardive Dyskinesia from my antipsychotic medication. I fell off the grid, and was taken off the volunteer rolls. I was at the same time struggling  with treatment-resistant Tardive Dyskinesia . Happily, both are behind me.

I want to be reinstated as a general volunteer and especially bring a gentle, beginning ‘Pilates Mat’ class to the center. I’m in a ‘well’ cycle. Or, at least I think so.  The women on staff who make those decisions do not. One of them is 400 lbs, and at the time of my eating disorder meeting a few years ago eyed me up and down and declared publicly, “I’ve chosen to be sane and heavy rather than skinny and crazy.” This was an unsolicited indictment of my medications and their effectiveness. Not being able to take medication, I am not as sedate as others.   But believe me, with the antipsychotics I take, I struggle with an oversized appetite and body too!  One time I walked into the center and was  happy to see the project director.  I must have raised my voice.

I said, “Hi ___________, with a huge smile at her. ” She fiercely barked back at me,  “Don’t shout!  If you want to voice a concern, or make a complaint about something, let’s go in my office and sit down.” That day confused me, for I didn’t have any concerns.  All I wanted was to show enthusiasm for our leader. This project director, who has a diagnosis of her own, leveled with me when I asked her about the other girl, who was pulling power plays in jewelry class.

“I think that _____________is triggered by your mania, Allison.  She takes a lot of medicine for that and doesn’t think you take enough. Of course, it’s not her call. As a team, we’ve decided you’re not stable enough to volunteer here again, Allison.  We want to see you WIN here.  I’ve always won there before.  Giving back to other mentally ill  people is like being a wide receiver. It’s total teamwork and feels great.

There are other ‘volunteers’ who call me on the phone, complaining that the CIA is after them and can we meet where our phones aren’t bugged?  How about the legendarily lecherous volunteer who covertly slid me a 100ct bottle of painkillers under my arm out in the parking lot, unsolicited.   He simply knew I had back pain and said ‘try this, it should work. Let me know,’ got in his car and drove away.   Another ‘volunteer’ was referred to me by the drop in center to do some paid computer work. She didn’t show up, didn’t call to cancel, twice.   (She had told the center she was ready to work and needed the money.  They people get to keep their badges, rejoice at official ‘Volunteer’ parties and bat around suggestions for new groups to be formed,  while I keep my mouth shut about the bad apples,  and am again, a lifelong theme for me,  on the outside, looking in.

What would you do?

  1. astrongradio submitted this to namiorg

Healthline, IBPF and Astrazeneca’s Video project “You’ve got this” (bipolar disorder) fallout.

I am new at wordpress. I don’t know how to edit and physically  relocate the beginning of this post up to the top. The beginning of the post is at the bottom. I had done a bang up job of a music video but not too slick video for this well publicized project. I wrote a storyboard…including me chopping fresh food, walking, organizing my meds and how important a pharmacist is, (from the interior of that pharmacy..much to their delight) I spent 150 on an editor because even tho I was in radio I don’t know how to edit video. I want to learn though because IBPF, who I am a volunteer for, wants to build their stock on their UTUBE channel. So I submit this video, which is shorter than 3 minutes and politically correct and not a “hot shot” kind of thing. I wanted it to be professionally rough, kinda like “Blair Witch Project” handheld jerky imperfect shot composition. The videos that I saw were 4 minute, sad, consoling selfies, the kind that I could do, the kind that don’t cost any money. It would have been nice to get feedback and find out why even though I was uploaded four weeks after submitting it, I’ve never been listed and overall, only have fourteen views. Have you ever tried to do something really good and have it not be received, evaluated or delivered? I thought it was for IBPF, but they are a silent partner. It is totally Healthline. I emailed them today and that text is at the bottom and my text is in the  middle.
I’m just hoping that my storyboarded, slightly soundtracked, oceanic shots as I wonder why I can’t feel the beauty of my life sometimes, edited video was analyzed. It was not sad and consoling but proactive and had shots of me walking to feel better, good music in my life, a shot of me at a concert even when depressed, a lot of work went into it. I just assumed it would get some sort of feedback. I tried really hard to also be politically correct, responsible and the best ambassador for the chronic illness as I could.  I’m volunteering as a writer for IBPF and didn’t realize that healthline was moderating this project and that so few videos would be pictured, depicted or given feedback on. Part of my quandary is disappointment to have paid an editor to have my vision realized, and also, wondering if the video is now the exclusive property of healthline as I may want to re edit to promote my website or books. Thanks so much for your interest, I love AstraZeneca’s Seroquel, it saved my life. That was one of the motivating reasons for putting so much effort into a video. Next time I’ll just do a one shot video selfie because those can be powerful too. And not cost money!

Subject: Reply from Healthline
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2015 17:18:47 +0000

Dear Healthline Reader,

Thank you for taking the time to respond to one of our articles. We appreciate the feedback, and someone from our editorial team will be reading your note.

Unfortunately, we are unable to respond to all emails. If you have a personal health question, we recommend that you contact your doctor or another local health professional. If you are facing a medical emergency, you should visit the emergency room or call 911 immediately.

In health,

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