a farsighted, generous donor 2 psych research

I hate to be morbid again but I read an incredible tale of someone furthering our cause. I say he was farsighted because in 1988, his son, a college junior at the time, was successfully treated for bipolar disorder with lithium, graduated college and had a career.

His father had watched him unravel when the New York City police found him naked, raving, and penniless in the streets. How could someone decompensate that fast?

The father’s name was Ted Stanley, who had made a fortune in tchotchkes in the 70’s. He died in Early December.

Over the course of his life, he donated more than 800 million dollars to psychiatric research, mostly to the Broad  Institute, an innovative biomedical research center in Cambridge Massachusetts.

For all we know, Stanley’s son Jonathan, may have gone through ups and downs like we do and possibly side effect fallout. It’s possible.

I’m just wondering, since his son was supposedly stabilized, what led him to want to advance our cause and fund it into the ‘modern molecular and genetic age’ as quoted by the founding director of the institute.

By now many of you know genetic testing is ‘standard of care’ at Mayo Clinics worldwide, no matter what health condition you have. If you walk in their doors and are treated, you’ll be tested for which drug, in any given class, is most compatible with your genetics and metabolism.

This heralds a new era for more precise medication and less ‘waiting and seeing’ if and when our psych meds are going to kick in.

As of now it’s estimated if a psych patient gets a first prescription for a psych med, they have a 33 1/3 chance of it being a home run.

I’ve been lucky in this regard although I have more ‘med fatigue’ than most. My antidepressants, since the Prozac that worked for a decade, usually stop working after a year and a half.

The great thing is medicine is always evolving and looking to improve. There’s too much money involved for it NOT to be.

His son, Jonathan is proud of his father’s legacy and said “My Dad got it Right,” according to the Times’ report.

“13 Hours” (Bengaze) Pablo and Liev Schreiber. Can u believe these two are brothers?

 

 

 

schreiber as Pornstache on 'orange'                              Schreiber

 

Does anyone remember Ray Donovan or the Newspaper editor in “Spotlight” played by Liev Schrieber? He has a talented brother, Pablo, who played the comic relief role of “Pornstasche” or however the hell you spell upper facial hair. Pictured above. He also plays the outspoken, irreverent and defiant operative in “13 Hours” nicknamed Tonto. He wisecracks, even in the midst of carnage, provide greatly needed comic relief. The film is worth seeing even if you are tired of the the mashed about topic, just to see Pablo’s genius at work.

I’m asking your opinion if you have time could you answer?

vera1999AllisonBlackandWhite

cropped-jamesclearer.jpgf

Should I change my photo rom the current photo on the left, switching to the one up above on the left or up above on the right, leaning into my hand?

Which is better for my blog, “Bipolar Strength: Rebel With A Cause?”

I’m still a rebel but I stand FOR things, not against them. My friend has helped me see this, so I’m modifying my blog to reflect it.

My name is Allison Strong. I used to be an outspoken, highly rated female (obviously), alternative disc jockey, a continuation of a music scene that defied the status quo, sometimes to good effect.

It was an era when we could talk about depression. I even had a regular guest named “the cemetery guy” and people absolutely loved him!

My boss wasn’t sure about it but when he saw my ratings spike, it decimated every preconceived notion he had about what made ‘good radio.’ People were ok with the dark side. The ratings bore that out.

 

People won’t admit it but want a good image. That’s why I went with something professional, obviously contrived. But it was a mockup of the late movie star James Dean, and his titular film “Rebel Without A Cause.” That’s why I went with the wifebeater T shirt one.

I want to show rebellion and questioning the status quo, doing things like researching medicines and their side effects before taking them, instead of doing what I did, blindly loading up on high doses of certain meds that had permanent neurological side effects.

 

It is what it is. I’m not angry about it anymore but want to ‘clue in’ the next generation of people getting an automatic bipolar disorder diagnosis and given a set of meds to take without question. It might not be so easy to get off them as it was to go on.

You can actually go online and google a med and the one in its’ class with the most class action lawsuits for a particular side effect, well you can add 2+2 or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. If I’d only have known.

So what do you think? Stay with Wifebeater and the darkness or pick the LOLOL laugh my head off shot or another professional smiley commercial headshot?

What is best? I’m having a hard time giving up the James Dean image. It’s a tough call. But I am modifying my name.

Allison

aka bipolarbrainiac

 

I’m asking your opinion if you have time could you answer?

vera1999AllisonBlackandWhite

cropped-jamesclearer.jpgf

Should I change my photo rom the current photo on the left, switching to the one up above on the left or up above on the right, leaning into my hand?

Which is better for my blog, “Bipolar Strength: Rebel With A Cause?”

I’m still a rebel but I stand FOR things, not against them. My friend has helped me see this, so I’m modifying my blog to reflect it.

My name is Allison Strong. I used to be an outspoken, highly rated female (obviously), alternative disc jockey, a continuation of a music scene that defied the status quo, sometimes to good effect.

It was an era when we could talk about depression. I even had a regular guest named “the cemetery guy” and people absolutely loved him!

My boss wasn’t sure about it but when he saw my ratings spike, it decimated every preconceived notion he had about what made ‘good radio.’ People were ok with the dark side. The ratings bore that out.

 

People won’t admit it but want a good image. That’s why I went with something professional, obviously contrived. But it was a mockup of the late movie star James Dean, and his titular film “Rebel Without A Cause.” That’s why I went with the wifebeater T shirt one.

I want to show rebellion and questioning the status quo, doing things like researching medicines and their side effects before taking them, instead of doing what I did, blindly loading up on high doses of certain meds that had permanent neurological side effects.

 

It is what it is. I’m not angry about it anymore but want to ‘clue in’ the next generation of people getting an automatic bipolar disorder diagnosis and given a set of meds to take without question. It might not be so easy to get off them as it was to go on.

You can actually go online and google a med and the one in its’ class with the most class action lawsuits for a particular side effect, well you can add 2+2 or you wouldn’t be reading this right now. If I’d only have known.

So what do you think? Stay with Wifebeater and the darkness or pick the LOLOL laugh my head off shot or another professional smiley commercial headshot?

What is best? I’m having a hard time giving up the James Dean image. It’s a tough call. But I am modifying my name.

Allison

aka bipolarbrainiac

 

Under the Bridge in Kabul-opiate addiction

 

 

Addicts languishing on the banks of the Kabul River

afganaddictsAnyone remember the song about addiction and homelessness by The Red Hot Chili Peppers called “Under the Bridge?” Here we go again.

Man, I thought heroin addicts had it rough in this country. At least we have Methadone clinics for the overflow of addicts who can’t actually kick. That program reduces the spread of illness, so even though it’s less than perfect, it’s a long term temporary solution for some addicts who don’t ‘graduate’ to sobriety, such as it is.

In Afghanistan, cheap heroin, easy access, unemployment, lack of housing, fraying families, malnutrition, and untreated mental illnesses are just a few factors of the epidemic most vividly illustrated by a New York Times piece about the heroin addicts gathering in informal ‘drug camps’ under the bridges of the River Kabul. It’s gotten to be such an eyesore that other residents line up on the bridges to watch. Schadenfreud. Again.

It’s said that  you walk on the riverbank you can hear the crunch of hundreds of thousands dirty needles underfoot. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opiates and reports say 12% or more adults there are addicted.

Something’s being done about it but it will just staunch the bleeding. These people are rounded up and being sent to some ad hoc sort of treatment program at an empty United States Military base from 2003.

When the base was abandoned apparently we took all the goodies, televisions, kitchens, but they are doing the best they can. They are only allowed to stay for 180 days and there are no aftercare programs to help prevent relapse.

When I read the part about the needles crunching underfoot, I got a powerful visual.

My Friend Dyane, does it again!

A Successful Working Mother Battles Bi-Polar Disorder

Posted: 01/15/2016 4:47 pm EST Updated: 01/15/2016 4:59 pm EST

How do women measure success? Is it by mothering and having a career? How do they carry out both forms of work to their satisfaction? What helps? What hurts?

This is a weekly series about successful women who participate in the workforce in a range of ways building their careers while mothering. These women fly under the radar of the media but need to be heard. They are silently successful and warrant recognition. They are compassionate, persistently hardworking women who deserve our admiration and offer advice to new mothers. Each week I will spotlight a different remarkable woman.

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Dyane Leshin-Harwood has two daughters, ages 3 and 10. She is a successful free-lance writer, author of Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder to be published in the fall of 2017. She is also the founder of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Santa Cruz County, CA, and a member of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders, the Marce Society for Perinatal Mental Health, Postpartum Support International.

After Dyane’s second child was born she was faced with a postpartum health crisis, diagnosed with bipolar, peripartum onset, also known as postpartum bipolar disorder. She tells her story with deep devotion to her children and compassion:

“My mothering and writing fell to the wayside for the next seven years as I suffered through seven psychiatric unit hospitalizations, took over 30 medications to no avail, and requested two round of electroconvulsive therapy which I credit with saving my life. I tried my best during those years to be an attentive mother to my young girls, but I was a depressed shadow of my former self most of the time. Despite my guilt for not being the mother I hoped to be during those years, all I can do now is prioritize my hard-won mental health stability and be there for my family as a present and loving parent.”

Dyane describes the importance of motherhood to her while building her career:

“I always wanted to be a mother. Being a mother has literally saved my life. If not for my daughters, I wouldn’t have asked my husband to take me to the E.R. when I was acutely suicidal. I don’t take being a mother for granted – it’s a gift, an opportunity…and while I won’t lie and say it’s easy (with two daughters close in age who are either best friends or fight like little banshees, it’s never easy!), I’m profoundly grateful to be a mom.”

“At forty-five, I’ve maintained mental stability for over two years which has allowed me to be an involved parent. I consider this to be a profound achievement due to my lengthy battle with postpartum bipolar disorder. Landing my book deal has been an incredible privilege and I can’t wait to see my book through to completion. I created a support group for women with postpartum mood disorders that is going well. It has been fulfilling to see other women who suffer with depression, bipolar, anxiety, and trauma come together and support one another.”

Dyane has advice for new mothers with mental disorders who want to embark on careers while mothering with a significant support system:

“As a mom who runs a support group, I’ve witnessed the power of finding support and empathy with other mothers. There are Meetup.com groups for working mothers, for both new moms and those who are a bit more experienced. There are support groups associated with the maternity wings of hospitals as well. I’d call the closest maternity hospital for referrals. If you’ve suffered with postpartum mood disorder, Postpartum Support International is a fantastic resource for groups. “

Please leave comments for Dyane, a mother, writer, blogger and mental health advocate. She’s been honored as a “Story of Hope of Recovery” by the International Bipolar Foundation, a “Life Unlimited” by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and a Psych Central Mental Health Hero.

In sum, Dyane says, “I write to share and connect with other people worldwide who have suffered with bipolar disorder like I have. I write to help other moms know they aren’t alone with their perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Follow Dyane @birthofnewbrain on twitter.

Is anyone else slammed w/ appts and clerical stuff?

This letter is my fourth medical endeavor for the day. I’ve had my clozaril blood test, have an injection in my back at 2:30 pm,  picked up contacts, called for a refill of one TD medicine and now am trying to get prior authorization for the other. Unable to take Cogentin like most people, I’m on combination therapy for Tardive Dyskinesia.

I’m not trying to cause a panic.

(It’s just that sometimes my complicated medical situation, though it’s not life threatening, seems more complicated than it’s worth. I’m also ashamed of it, my family seems to think the side effects are my fault or caused by me. This has led to familial isolation).

This is worsened if I’m dealing with Depression. At those points even the little things are hard to manage…things like showers. I just don’t think I’m worth the effort during those times.

As for Tardive Dyskinesia: Not to worry.

Most people with movement disorders are just fine with Cogentin or Artane. Seems I’m the exception. I’ve had bipolar disorder for a long time and am just thankful I wasn’t put on lithium long-term and only take a minute dose of clozaril, as they both can strain kidney function.

I’m about to fax this missive. All of this eats into time I’d like to spend reading, studying or writing. Can you believe this stuff???? Anyone relate?

Page one of one

Dear Roxana,

I am on hold with your office right now and it’s going on the fifteenth minute oh, wait, now I’m disconnected after all that hold time.

As a person swimming in a sea of side effects from 25 years of well managed bipolar disorder, it seems these types of tasks are never ending.

 

The reason I called your office in the first place was to let you know that even though my biannual appointment with Dr. Moore isn’t until March, I’m only preapproved for my Tardive Dyskinesia Medicine until February and need for you to request another for me.

 

I hope you are having a great day. I look forward to hearing from you and will followup this fax with a phone call and hope I have better luck with your phone operators.

Why I’m a Rebel With A Cause

beamiefighting mad

 

 

Why I’m a Rebel? Why I have a Cause? My Cause is my fellow mental health consumers who have to take medication and hope it works. I also include in my ‘Cause’  treatment providers of all types who are trying to help us. Even the primary care physician who says, ” Stop taking Your Clozaril if you want to avoid Diabetes,” he just doesn’t know better.

There’s got to be a better way and I’m fighting for it. I’m willing to swim upstream like the salmon before they spawn and die. I’m going to die at some point.  When I was a bitter, newly divorced self medicating ExPat traveling Baja California there was an extreme sports line of clothing called “Die Trying.” That’s the level of ‘fight’ in me.

Anyone who has to lay out their medications daily and change them up when they stop working knows they are buying time. But this fight is not over before it’s over. I mean, OVER.

..Presently I am trying to buy time on the metabolic side effect …to delay the big “D” forever.

I’m terrible at self care and the idea of testing my blood sugar all day is daunting. I struggle to brush my teeth twice a day.

As far as the medical fallout from Diabetes type 2, well, from being  a professional athlete and runner,  I’ve had five foot surgeries.

I don’t want to surrender  what’s left of my feet.

I’m trying holistic things suggested by various sources to improve the function of the pancreas. So my letter to a chiropractor and asking him to help me heal myself metabolically is what follows:

1-17-2016

Dear Glen,

This is a very Geeky letter. I’m the friend of Clair Blake’s that came in for weight loss, put down 200.00 so we could do acupuncture for it and then promptly disappeared. I want to come back MWF for some adjustments suggested by the Edgar Cayce Readings. I’m enclosing a copy of the ones I mean to see if I can come and use up that credit with your acupuncture for pain and chiro for pancreas.

The reason I never came back before was my utter shame in gaining weight with your treatment rather than losing. But my medication is the driver behind that.

I have to take it for quality of life. It’s my medication for a permanent neurological side effect of  Parkinson’s like movement disorder called “Tardive Dyskinesia” exhibited by thrashing and shaking.

In the end, I did manage to lose the weight but still have metabolic healing to do. I have high glucose levels, another side effect, structural and functional changes in protein molecules that fold maladaptively and jam up the pancreas.

I’m using myself as a research subject to see if naturally I can get my numbers down. I’m implementing quite a few changes after I have my baseline AIC and hormone levels checked, hopefully, a  “Before” and “After.” You probably know a great deal about hormones too.

I hope you are open to this.

I’ll follow up with a phone call and you can deduct a session or two to compensate you for your time. If we are successful in getting my numbers lowered, you will be one of the few people who know how to help this unfortunate metabolic challenge facing people on second generation antipsychotics that I didn’t need In the first place but now am married to.

Allison Biszantz “Strong”

954-922-4310

h Tardive Dyskinesia from high doses of a particularly stimulative one…one that self promoted on the basis that you wouldn’t gain weight. In my experience, the two side effects are metabolic challenges and/or neurological movement disorders but if the doses are low enough..you might be able to avoid at least the latter. Anyway..here is another one of my ‘letters’ to someone trying to involve them in my self research.

 

What about we who R sentenced to a lifetime struggle /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?

I Read Scott Weiland’s (Stone Temple Pilots singer songwriter) book

 

 

albumcoverI just finished Scott Weilands’ (former singer-songwriter for Stone Temple Pilots) memoirs.

 

Alcohol- being a self confessed, resigned to his fate drunk was his last vice and it’s what ultimately led him back to crack, which he felt cocaine as an evil drug that conjured up negative forces (I concur with that it happened to me in the 80s).

 

He had congenital cardiomyopathy, his brother died of crack and cardiac arrest and so did he.

 

This guy was a poet. His lyrics didn’t make sense but they did. And so many of his lyrics were about ‘selling out.’

 

“I’m not dead and I’m not for sale.”

“What’s real and what’s for sale.”

 

He married a supermodel who was also a drug addict and bipolar but to bear children she needed to stay straight, which she did.

 

She left him and was interviewed in bipolar magazine which is why I thought they would like my story about him.