Abilify and Latuda: They are Antipsychotics too!

I have noticed that two new antipsychotics advertise themselves as being helpful for depression and never mention that they are in the antipsychotic class. For every year of use the rate of Tardive Dyskinesia is 5%. After a decade of use, Antipsychotics carry a 30-50% chance of Tardive Dyskinesia according to NAMI and other sources. Tardive Dyskinesia can be difficult to treat. I have had it since 2007. The drug companies should stop misleading people and telling lies of omission regarding their latest and greatest antipsychotics. Yes, they may help with depression, but they are not antidepressants. They are mostly given to people with Schizoaffective disorder and Schizophrenia until lately. Yes, they are a quick fix, but one that can come with a price.

Movies about what it means to be French.

I was doing movie listings and mini reviews, but had a huge flare up of back pain and had to cut back. I will pick it up again soon…like in a few days. The list is enormous because it’s the holidays. I try to weed the most obviously marketing action adventures out unless they have redeeming qualities.

The New York Times has now reviewed Amazon Prime’s “The Man in the High Castle” three times. It’s a ‘what if’ Holocaust tale about America in the early 60’s, after the Nazis and Japanese won WWII. The Japanese have the west coast and the Nazi’s New York. Times Square has swastikas on all the glaring neon lights. Amazon Prime has promotions where you get a credit card with a 50 buck credit and a reduced rate. All said, we spent a total of 20 bucks for our annual membership.

Netflix’s original series, based on a Marvel Comic book, “Jessica Jones” does not disappoint. The character is multidimensional and even though she has superpowers, her active alcoholism is her Achilles heel.

The New York Times paid homage to Paris Friday in their movie section by listing some French Movies that show what it means to be French.

They are:

“Girlhood”

“Days of Glory”

“A prophet”

“Of Gods and Men.”

 

Mystery Shopping Story

Confessions of a Mystery Shopper

I was once a high-valued corporate spy, investigating customer service everywhere I went by working as a mystery shopper. After a year of luxury brand espionage, I went inactive.

Why would I forgo hitting posh hair salons on the house, free smells, scrubs, and soaps while receiving hand massages? Wouldn’t I miss playing ‘let’s pretend I’m rich and famous’ while being measured for Haute Couture I’d never pick up?

After 22 years of living and working full-time with Bipolar I, I fell into a depression so deep I had to quit a stimulating, high paying job. I applied for disability insurance and was immediately approved. So I’m that sick. Eventually I felt better.

My best friend was a Mystery Shopper.  She took me to lunch at incredible restaurants while chattering about overdue reports for ‘shops’ she’d already done.

She said she’d show me the ropes; warning me about companies selling lists of companies. She said they were scams.

I signed up through the Mystery Shopper Providers of America (MSPA). The MSPA represents both shoppers and hundreds of mystery shopping companies. There are ethical standards both are expected to uphold. There is work outside this network but I was warned it was unreliable. Things like not getting paid.

I registered with five companies my friend said she enjoyed working with. All of them were upscale. Two of them represented restaurants only. I filled out endless personal profile forms. It was interesting to study each brand’s corporate culture and customer service requirements. It was thrilling to spy on their employees and inform on them. I became hypomanic.

There were drive-thru banks, movie theatres, and car dealerships. The shops that paid the most were boring economy hotels that required a weekend stay and a 100-question report due the next Monday. I was so elevated, I just couldn’t stay in one place that long.

My grandiosity got over on me at the ‘just looking’ drop ins. By then, I was beginning to hear things. The handbags all screamed “Take Me Home!”

Once I had to purchase and return shoes on a credit card. I was ashamed. How could I be such a horrible, lowly creature that I couldn’t afford a pair of flats?

What really cost me was equating money with value. If I didn’t have enough money to keep something I wanted, I wasn’t anyone. What a mindwarp.

My last run involved six desirable shops at high-end cosmetics counters. My payment was one hundred dollars per, to be used for purchases I could keep. I was offered a complimentary makeover. While she was touching my face, the saleswoman kept intoning, “You should buy this, your face needs more moisture,” etc.

I dropped over 700.00. Even though I had been compensated 600.00 in cosmetics, I lost 100.00. And that’s not including gas and online time spent on reports for these projects.

This also happened in my restaurant jobs. We were supposed to bring a friend, but they didn’t give you enough for two. Not wanting to seem stingy, I always overspent.

Eventually, I realized I was spinning my wheels, and had racked up five thousand dollars in credit card debt. I went online and deactivated all of my profiles. I made a significant shift.

I see the importance of giving back to the world, leaving something good in my trail. Even though I’m on disability, I want to be a creator, rather than someone who has to buy things all the time in order to feel whole.

I began to write, study nutrition, exercise, make jewelry, and try new recipes from the newspaper to improve my meal planning and cooking. I feel better about myself.

As a person with bipolar disorder with a tendency towards mania and overspending, I don’t need additional triggers. I have friends with bipolar disorder who hit every sale, and have finally stopped urging me to take them there.

About the only time I go to a shopping center is during the holidays or to see some art film that’s not playing elsewhere. I go to the grocery store nearly every day. That’s enough time consumerism for me.

Read the rest of Allison’s posts for IBPF here. Allison has also written for NAMI Not Alone and has personal blogs on WordPress and Tumblr.You can find her on Facebook where she has a closed group to share coping strategies for living with bipolar disorder. 

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– See more at: http://ibpf.org/blog/confessions-mystery-shopper#sthash.jFNCGIlE.dpuf

A fun story I wrote that just got published on Mystery Shopping

Confessions of a Mystery Shopper

I was once a high-valued corporate spy, investigating customer service everywhere I went by working as a mystery shopper. After a year of luxury brand espionage, I went inactive.

Why would I forgo hitting posh hair salons on the house, free smells, scrubs, and soaps while receiving hand massages? Wouldn’t I miss playing ‘let’s pretend I’m rich and famous’ while being measured for Haute Couture I’d never pick up?

After 22 years of living and working full-time with Bipolar I, I fell into a depression so deep I had to quit a stimulating, high paying job. I applied for disability insurance and was immediately approved. So I’m that sick. Eventually I felt better.

My best friend was a Mystery Shopper.  She took me to lunch at incredible restaurants while chattering about overdue reports for ‘shops’ she’d already done.

She said she’d show me the ropes; warning me about companies selling lists of companies. She said they were scams.

I signed up through the Mystery Shopper Providers of America (MSPA). The MSPA represents both shoppers and hundreds of mystery shopping companies. There are ethical standards both are expected to uphold. There is work outside this network but I was warned it was unreliable. Things like not getting paid.

I registered with five companies my friend said she enjoyed working with. All of them were upscale. Two of them represented restaurants only. I filled out endless personal profile forms. It was interesting to study each brand’s corporate culture and customer service requirements. It was thrilling to spy on their employees and inform on them. I became hypomanic.

There were drive-thru banks, movie theatres, and car dealerships. The shops that paid the most were boring economy hotels that required a weekend stay and a 100-question report due the next Monday. I was so elevated, I just couldn’t stay in one place that long.

My grandiosity got over on me at the ‘just looking’ drop ins. By then, I was beginning to hear things. The handbags all screamed “Take Me Home!”

Once I had to purchase and return shoes on a credit card. I was ashamed. How could I be such a horrible, lowly creature that I couldn’t afford a pair of flats?

What really cost me was equating money with value. If I didn’t have enough money to keep something I wanted, I wasn’t anyone. What a mindwarp.

My last run involved six desirable shops at high-end cosmetics counters. My payment was one hundred dollars per, to be used for purchases I could keep. I was offered a complimentary makeover. While she was touching my face, the saleswoman kept intoning, “You should buy this, your face needs more moisture,” etc.

I dropped over 700.00. Even though I had been compensated 600.00 in cosmetics, I lost 100.00. And that’s not including gas and online time spent on reports for these projects.

This also happened in my restaurant jobs. We were supposed to bring a friend, but they didn’t give you enough for two. Not wanting to seem stingy, I always overspent.

Eventually, I realized I was spinning my wheels, and had racked up five thousand dollars in credit card debt. I went online and deactivated all of my profiles. I made a significant shift.

I see the importance of giving back to the world, leaving something good in my trail. Even though I’m on disability, I want to be a creator, rather than someone who has to buy things all the time in order to feel whole.

I began to write, study nutrition, exercise, make jewelry, and try new recipes from the newspaper to improve my meal planning and cooking. I feel better about myself.

As a person with bipolar disorder with a tendency towards mania and overspending, I don’t need additional triggers. I have friends with bipolar disorder who hit every sale, and have finally stopped urging me to take them there.

About the only time I go to a shopping center is during the holidays or to see some art film that’s not playing elsewhere. I go to the grocery store nearly every day. That’s enough time consumerism for me.

Read the rest of Allison’s posts for IBPF here. Allison has also written for NAMI Not Alone and has personal blogs on WordPress and Tumblr.You can find her on Facebook where she has a closed group to share coping strategies for living with bipolar disorder. 

Add new comment

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Subject
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– See more at: http://ibpf.org/blog/confessions-mystery-shopper#sthash.jFNCGIlE.dpuf

 

 

Letter to Mayo Clinic to request put on waiting list (ignored)

You would think that people in the business of helping sick people would want to. I wrote this letter to Mayo Clinic, (who is not taking on new patients) to get on a waiting list and got no response. Color me surprised!!!

My name is Allison Biszantz. I am writing you to request an appointment. I recently read the book “The End of Illness” which mentioned genetic and enzyme testing which might benefit me.

I am 54-years-old and live in Hollywood Florida. I am on disability and am a writer for Nami local, Nami.org and International Bipolar Disorder. I was a disc jockey and medical transcriptionist for the first ten years of my diagnosis. Before that,  I went to Stanford on a Volleyball scholarship.

When I was 29, I had a full blown manic episode went to 60 day neuropsych at University of Utah and was dx with bipolar 2. In 2000 Bipolar I and antipsychoticws. In 2007 Tardive Dyskinesia, (very well managed with 2.5 mg Xenazine and 50 mg Clozaril, although it took three years to find a solution and many appts.)

I’m Bipolar with ADHD, currently dealing with depression and running out of options. I’ve had the same doctor for fifteen years and I’ve stayed out of the hospital all that time. My doctor does not want to deal with the Mayo ‘Standard of Care’  Cytochrome P450, CYP2D6 or CYP2C9 testing and I am looking to find a doctor who is willing to do that test for me and consult with me. I’m willing to travel. Or be referred to someone in my area if you know someone.

I  want to write a series of pieces for IBPF about this cutting edge science and how it might be helpful to someone with bipolar disorder.

Would you be willing to help me?  I’m willing to provide more info if you request it.

954-922-4310

biszanta@Hotmail.com

@bipolarbrainiac

The ignored letter to Mayo requesting an appointment

You would think that people in the business of helping sick people would want to. I wrote this letter to Mayo Clinic, (who is not taking on new patients) to get on a waiting list and got no response. Color me surprised!!!

My name is Allison Biszantz. I am writing you to request an appointment. I recently read the book “The End of Illness” which mentioned genetic and enzyme testing which might benefit me.

I am 54-years-old and live in Hollywood Florida. I am on disability and am a writer for Nami local, Nami.org and International Bipolar Disorder. I was a disc jockey and medical transcriptionist for the first ten years of my diagnosis. Before that,  I went to Stanford on a Volleyball scholarship.

When I was 29, I had a full blown manic episode went to 60 day neuropsych at University of Utah and was dx with bipolar 2. In 2000 Bipolar I and antipsychoticws. In 2007 Tardive Dyskinesia, (very well managed with 2.5 mg Xenazine and 50 mg Clozaril, although it took three years to find a solution and many appts.)

I’m Bipolar with ADHD, currently dealing with depression and running out of options. I’ve had the same doctor for fifteen years and I’ve stayed out of the hospital all that time. My doctor does not want to deal with the Mayo ‘Standard of Care’  Cytochrome P450, CYP2D6 or CYP2C9 testing and I am looking to find a doctor who is willing to do that test for me and consult with me. I’m willing to travel. Or be referred to someone in my area if you know someone.

I  want to write a series of pieces for IBPF about this cutting edge science and how it might be helpful to someone with bipolar disorder.

Would you be willing to help me?  I’m willing to provide more info if you request it.

954-922-4310

biszanta@Hotmail.com

@bipolarbrainiac