What about We Who R Sentenced 2 a Life of Mental Illness?

The tortured man behind Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor, who in the 90’s said he would not take anything for his diagnosis of bipolar disorder. And more.,….below. The suicides and accidental OD’s are only part of a much larger story!

trentreznorI was listening to Lithium yesterday (Sirius 90’s-my ‘stuck in the 70’s-type station’), and Matt Pinfield, a programmer I used to know, told a story about NIN’s Trent Reznor and how before he formed his band, he’d seen Ministry and fallen in love with Al Jourgenson’s vocal style and stage presence.

I wasn’t clear on the next part, but there was something about nails…an actual nine inch nail he pounded into a piece of wood and there ya go, Nine Inch Nails.

I wonder about Trent, how he’s doing now and how in the 90’s  he refused treatment for Bipolar Disorder. Even though I benefit (and get penalized healthwise) from psychiatric meds, I think that with the kind of agonized self expression he had with his band, he might have been able to transfer the majority of madness to the music so it didn’t eat him up inside.

But that only works for so long. When the creative well runs dry for a little or a long while, then what do you do with all that pain? Look at what happened to Hemingway, and many others?

We look at the suicides of movie stars, writers, artists, and rock musicians only when they happen and then we move on to a more pleasant topic.  We gave the most attention of late to the late Kurt Cobain yet his music lives on as if we never lost him.

People never talk about his bipolar diagnosis or his chronic pain. What drove him to the poppy to begin with.

What about the accidental OD’s of people like Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger, Anna Nicole Smith,     Rivers Phoenix, Scott Weiland, and so many  like me, sentenced to a lifelong struggle to achieve and retain mental health?

Add that to someone famous; with commercial restraints imposed on them by their handlers? The late Scott Weiland mentioned his ‘handlers’ or ‘minders,’ as he called his sobriety coaches, with sarcasm and disdain. How could he not when if you read AA’s Big Book, it’s emphasized that neither the material nor the wisdom within it be used for commercial gain?

When I went to rehab more times than I care to admit, I too was skeptical of  for profit centers reliant on the 12 steps as a framework for their programs. It’s not ethical. Yet we Canonize places like the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs for making Liz Taylor Mop the Floor or Hazelden in Minnesota for having one of the “Cagney and Lacey” stars come back and give talks?

When one of the celebs accidentally experiences an early expiration date; falling off the shelf to their death,  we hardly notice and blame them for their symptoms-substance abuse. It’s a symptom, man, mental illness and inferior coping skills the cause.

Why should we cast aspersions on drug abusers looking for an instant fix to what ails them when we ourselves live in a ‘risk vs benefit,’ ‘drugs will fix it’ communal existence with the American Medical Association, Big Pharma and our own health care providers?

Why? Why? Why?

This Year, the Good, Bad and The Ugly.

 

albumcoverWeiland

 

I Sent money in the late (brilliant, bipolar musician from Stone Temple Pilots) Scott Weiland’s name to International Bipolar Disorder Foundation to San Diego, (where they are based)  I felt bad when he passed away. I could write a whole book on how the story I wrote about him became my ‘great white whale, an obsession I couldn’t let go of.

In addition,

This year marked the publication of my stuff in a new publication
Bipolar Magazine’s “Bipolarhope.com”http://www.bphope.com/blog/bipolar-disorder-surviving-the-spin-cycle/

Happy Holidays and the best for the New Year.

I’m here if anyone needs me and have a private Facebook group for people with bipolar disorder if they just ask me and look legit I approve them.

It’s “Our Cycles Unite Us” (that’s EZist way to find it.) I want to grow this resource.
Allison Strong

Antipsychotics at adult dosage strengths given to toddlers.

This is why I read the New York Times. I get mental health coverage that I get nowhere else. Apparently toddlers who throw tantrums or are seriously withdrawn and have other behavioral difficulties are getting atypicals in swiftly, dramatically growing numbers. From last year to this, the numbers have doubled. The database will not release the names of the prescribing physicians. These are usually GPs and they are not trained in psychiatry. Part of the problem is the lack of child psychiatrists in the united states.

Out of my mind with atypical antipsychotic related metabolic issues

Hi, it’s Allison.

 

I know your time is valuable which is why I’m hoping you’ll accept my check for reading and evaluating this letter about my metabolism.

I’m really strugging.

On a day to day basis, I journal my food and my hunger level. I’m rarely satiated-famished all day with a hunger level of 7. It’s hard to focus on anything, especially my writing and/or daily duties like hygiene and self-care when all I do is prepare healthy food to carry around with me so I can eat every hour.

The hunger is worse when I take my Metformin. Why do you think that might be?

Eating, even low carb meals makes it worse. I can’t figure this out and need your help.

I don’t have hunger pangs but a feeling of jittery irritability and the feeling that I’d do anything to get some food. Not sugar necessarily but I did faint recently in Kohl’s and had to eat half a candy bar.

So the only time I’m able to do anything with a clear is in the morning before I’ve eaten. It’s my ‘golden time.’

It’s hard to ‘do the right thing’ when the right thing makes life harder.

As you know, I’m on Clozaril, the drug causing this metabolic problem. But it helps me greatly with Tardive Dyskinesia, stabilizes my moods, helps me sleep predictably and regularly, even though I’m in pain most of the time.

I know you recommended I try Saphris or Latuda but those drugs likely as heck, according to my shrink, would aggravate my TD the same way Invega, Invega IM, Geodon, Risperdal and Zyprexa did. At the end of a three year period of no symptom control, even the sedating seroquel aggravated the tic, or rather; thrashing. Forget about sleep or signing my name. It was a horrible period of time.

I am one of the unlucky few who can’t take the highly effective first line treatment Benztropin (Cogentin).

I pay a high price for TD symptom relief beyond metabolic difficulties. Weight management is epic. Thank god I love exercise (weight train and 8 hours of cardio a week), and changed my diet to 95% raw foods.

I have monthly blood for absolute neutrophils and WBC, had to reduce my Enbrel for psoriasis and have to really take care of myself to have good labs. It’s a pain in the but safety protocol Teva and the other generic giants have in place to prevent agranular cytosis. (sp?)

As for your suggestion that I ‘get off Clozaril,’ I’ve tried. I put myself in intensive outpatient so I could try in a supervised setting. First we tried Invega, Seroquel, Risperdal, Abilify and Zyprexa, all of which aggravated my symptoms even more. You probably already know that atypical and traditional antipsychotics as well as Reglan cause Tardive Dyskinesia in the first place.

This is totally illogical but when one removes the causal drugs, even carefully titrating lower and lower there’s this “Withdrawal Emergent Syndrome” where the symptoms are wildly worse. I was admitted to the ER three times for this and as you might imagine, the ER docs just wrung their hands, shaking their heads. You’d have thought they were the ones in observation from the looks of their faces!

I’ve had bipolar I since my first full blown manic episode in ’89. For a long-termer like me, Lithium would have been worse. I’m glad it’s my only drug allergy or I might be on dialysis by now, much worse than what I deal with currently.

I need you to help me buy time on this metabolic thing, help me delay the progression. (Hopefully until after I die).

I’ve already had five foot surgeries (Fusions bilateral and more) from professional sports overuse injuries (pro beach volleyball in LA), and I really like what’s left of my feet!! LoL!

Is there any way that I could have my blood sugar levels monitored more frequently as I employ changes in my weight training, diet, herbs and other holistic approaches? I’m finding Cinnamon helps with the hunger but online the reports are mixed. You’re pretty advanced and I think you could really help me delay diabetes.

I might even try pancreatic supporting chiro and possibly acupuncture. But first I need to find out if my Metformin is too high or why I’m starving all the time.

I’d like to do this and ask you if you think I should see an endocrinologist.

Thanks so much for reading my missive. My shrink says I’m an ‘exotic.’ Thank God he puts up with me. I’ve stayed out of the inpatient psych ward for sixteen terrific years save a few long term bipolar depression relapses. Now that I’m writing for four different mags, life is pretty good, except when I’m hungry all the time!

 

Sincerely,

Allison Strong

 

Comments anyone? Anyone else out there struggling with these issues? I really hope to buy time until science catches up to this problem. Believe me, they’re scrambling. There’s just too much good money to be made!!!

Bipolar Metabolism an untapped market

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The above pictures reflect a before and after. No Jenny Craig, no gimmicks. Diet and Exercise, certain herbs for blood sugar, increased water. Of course, when I’m in a months long bipolar depression, which happens every year or so, I have the food-mood connection and I fall back into the pit of binging and don’t exercise. I had to ‘re lose’ 20 lbs after my depression relapse in April thru July of this year. It takes time to lose!!!

 

At 54, I find myself with a health challenge beyond weight.

Because of antipsychotic psych meds I must take,  I’m prediabetic, even though I weight train and get 7 hours of cardio a month, no sugar, raw foods, am slender and muscular. Using myself as a research subject, with help from someone who has actually studied antipsychotic related metabolic changes. Journaling, blood tests, saliva tests for hormone levels that play a part. I hope my work will be published in both bphope.com, and International Bipolar Foundation. There will be no repetition of content. Believe me, I’ve been collecting data on research and nutrition, hormones, cortisol, etc, for six months. There’s enough helpful information to go around. I just wanted you to know I’m embarking on a journey to turn my metabolic problem around and will let you know how it goes.

 

 

High Rise in Costs of Generic Meds

 

 

 

 

aljeweling2An old generic long acting benzo for my Tardive Dyskinesia that’s similar to Klonopin? Well it’s called Tranxene and it jumped from 10.00 a month to 300.00 a month. The pharmacist had hoped my Medicare Part D would catch up and cover the price and he took the loss two months in a row, never informing us. He really has my back but that’s a whole nother story. But, see, now I know that I have to research the costs of all my medicines, including the ones that I would assume would be two bucks.

Say it aint so.

Allison

Diabetes, Weight Gain re antipsychotics-holistic hope on the way.

Diabetes & Wt Gain re antipsychotics: Holistic Hope on Horizon

One of the problems I have with Tumblr is that it’s difficult to enter text and also to have title and text. I am trying to let people know I’m doing an intensive personal journey researching the effectiveness of at least nine holistic approaches to reversing or at least delaying progression to full blown diabetes.

This is why I’m on wordpress. I’m an investigative journalist, not content to just absorb the precious little information the doctors and drug companies reveal about medication’s side effects, how to prevent or treat them…etc and also, the little known holistic secrets, such as pancreas supporting chiropractic adjustments, Jerusalem artichokes, cinnamon, ….types of weight training, all sorts of stuff we can do to help our metabolism out while we wait for science to catch up with this epidemic.

And believe me, they are trying. But wouldn’t it be great if we could catch it at the gate holistically and not have to take one more medication and risk more side effects? You tell me!

New Films Clair and I must see and soon

I research and coordinate films of worth (I think) for one of my best bipolar buds, Clair and I to watch. We met at a local drop in center and seeing her is one of the ways I achieve balance. Michael, my husband and I go see good stuff too.

“The Big Short” (about 2008 meltdown and those who profited) is on my “Shortlist” lol

 

We must see “Legend”  (about the british gangster identical twins, both played by Tom Hardy),

  “James White” with Cynthia Nixon from Sex in the City as a terminally ill woman with an alcoholic druggie son coming to grips with it,

“The Danish Girl” (Trans w/Eddie Redmayne and my new favorite actress, Swedish superstar 22 years old Alicia Vikander, And for sure,

“The Big Short” about the 2008 meltdown and the guys who got rich betting on it.

 Cast of Big Short:

Ryan Gosling (with that heavy lidded, sullen and sarcastic gaze)

Christian Bale as a metal head antisocial investor

Brad Pitt as their moralizing supervisor

Comic Actor Steve Carrell and others I can’t remember.  

 

Quentin’s “Hateful 8” xmas

 

“Concussion” with Will Smith as a doctor taking on the NFL

 

“Carol” with Kate Blanchett and Rooney Mara ‘Dragon Tatoo’

 Ron Howard’s adaptation of Moby Dick with Chris Helmworth as Captain Ahab (from “Blackhat,” that hacker film we watched in your bedroom last week.)

  

“The Girl in the Book” Michael Nyquist from ‘Dragon Tatoo’ and the girl from Revenge in a book publishing, toxic family of origin drama where she faces her demons as the tries to write the female version of “Catcher in the Rye.”

 

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Movie “Spotlight” causes worry re fate of investigative Journalism

There was an article that interviewed editors of many prominent newspapers about the fate of investigative journalism. Because print publications are converting into the more ‘now’ digital news, the instantly breaking kind of stuff, for a publication such as The Boston Globe or The New York Times to devote dollars for staff to conduct long-term investigative research into local issues or problems is up in the air. Though the article said that the New York Times is still dedicated to this public service, and a few others in the Midwest and Washington too, this public service: letting the public know about local crises covered up by corruption, abuse of power, the clout of churches, etc, is at risk.

 

As consumers, I think we need to keep supporting publications that provide that. That’s why I have a seven day a week print subscription to the New York Times and Read it every day. That’s where I hear the skinny on exactly WHY certain generic medication’s prices have risen by 4000%. How and Why that happened.

It’s happened to me. ali

Out Now: The Big Short Lives up to Big Hype

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I saw “Big Short” yesterday and laughed so hard, especially at the scene with the Stripper in Florida who had five houses and a condo and no clue.  Christian Bale will win an academy award, definitely Golden Globe award as the misunderstood, Metallica loving, misanthropic misfit who took the time to crunch thousands of numbers, tabulate thousands of Fico scores, the first to recognize the housing bubble. And few believed him. So much laughter therapy. Marisa Tomei resumes her “Lincoln Lawyer” role playing someone’s sounding board, someone’s conscience as wife of the tortured  banker played by Steve Carrell. Ryan Gosling breaks the fourth wall similarly to how Kevin Spacey does in “House of Cards.”  We love him for it.