As I’ve written before, when trying to advocate, raising your hand to volunteer, etc, you may encounter rejection. Maybe it’s me, maybe I come on too strong. But one organization, International Bipolar Foundation, reached online at ibpf.org seems like a perfect fit. Right now I am compiling a list, a database if you will of drop in centers, advocacy groups, MHA offices and anyplace who provides services to people diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It’s interesting work and when you actually get someone on the line, they are usually nice and passionate about what they do. My volunteer coordinator and blog editor gave me this assignment and wanted ten names. When I told her that there were about 400 of these centers nationwide, she was flummoxed. See, they write this book, “Healthy Living with Bipolar Disorder,” update it annually and it’s written by a panel of experts from holistic to the most Western of Medicine.
I especially like the non moralistic approach to substance use, abuse and dependency. It lays out the facts, the ratios of risk/benefit and the possible consequence of huge financial costs, should you destabilize and end up back in the psych ward. That can be disrupting in many ways, especially if your meds are completely rewritten, if you are working and miss work or are just demoralized by going to the hospital.
I haven’t been in 15 years but I’ve come close. Because I have Tardive Dyskinesia, and many psychiatrists and neurologists don’t have up to date movement disorder info (and there is quite a bit) They would not know the best way to treat me. If they loaded me up with a bunch of Zyprexa, Abilify, Invega or Seroquel, not to mention Geodon, I’d immediately start thrashing. But in my experience, psychiatrists in hospitals are in a hurry and often don’t believe the new admit. Try telling a psychiatrist that an accidental careless overdose of Tegretol was not a suicide attempt. Do you think they’d believe you? It happened to me when My doctor put me on 200 mg instead of 100 mg. I forgot to look closely at the label.
Anyway, I am doing work for IBPF besides blogging and it makes me feel really good. My goal, the one I wish to reach, is to make decent videos with light soundtracking for tempo and to be able to insert a logo or make other edits. We downloaded movie maker. I would like to find a local teacher. I sure am enjoying talking to all these mental health advocacy people around the country. The trend seems to be for the patient to become educated and make their own choices, whether to take meds or not, whether they can still drink, stuff about sleep, side effects, an entire section dedicated to bipolar disorder in children and how to treat a bipolar patient who has ADHD and or other co occurring disorders.