Valentine’s new Martin Scorcese, Mick Jagger TV Show: Vinyl

 

 

Don’t forget…Bobby Cannivale, who did a star turn as Gyp Rosetti in Boardwalk Empire (my favorite was when he did S&M with himself as the M in a dog collar) and as Al Pacino’s son in “Danny Collins” stars in this show about the music business. Since I was married to a Geffen Records promoter, I know the other side of the music industry pretty intimately and can’t wait to take stock of their creation. bobbyI think it’s on HBO, like a lot of other good stuff.

Bowie, my BFF and Taking stock of being a Rebel

rebel

 

 

I didn’t want to be one of the many David Bowie Fans rushing to grab the stage for themselves. His death really affected me. I’m so sad he’s gone but he made art out of pain until the very end. I adored his ‘plastic’ soul phase of the “Young Americans” album…it was the first David Bowie album I bought. Then I got into his lead guitarit “Mick Ronson” and loved his solo song, “The Empty Bed.” You can’t find it anymore. David wrote songs for acts in the Underground and helped them break through. Good examples of this are his collaborative work with Lou Reed, Brian Eno, and Iggy Pop. He was generous that way. He felt there was room for everyone. rebel

I always considered myself an outsider. The music of David Bowie in the 70’s, along with Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Foghat, The Eagles and other groups in the 70’s, normalized my experience of myself. I was and forever will be grateful to them. It encouraged the artist in me.

However, due to my BFF and the passing of Scott Weiland from STP and David Bowie, I’m re examining the theme of my blog.

Rebel. Hmmmmm. Rebel against what, exactly? And what in the heck is positive about that?

Questioning and raging against the status quo is what has fueled popular and underground music (my favorite) since the 50’s. Beginning with Elvis, The Beatles, Going into Led Zepplin, Nirvana, Bowie, Billy Idol and even the softer sounds of Duran Duran.

My personal opinion is that artists have an uncanny ability to take pain and give it purpose in their art, connecting to others who feel similarly….or feel at all, and find meaning in it.

But I’m re examining useless rebellion, that’s all. I’m for change but think twitter hashtag campaigns only speak to the choir and protests outside the gates of pharmaceutical companies only make us look more crazy.

I’ve written letters to senators and am looking for an online Civics course to see how our government really works when it comes to affecting Change and checks and balances.

I’m on a Charlotte Rampling Kick

ramplingolder

The hostess of horror is back with a new film, “45 Years”

Charlotte Rampling specializes in roles that attempt to normalize the most horrific. I call her the ‘hostess of horror.’

I became aware of her when I saw a Mickey Roarke Robert Deniro movie about selling one’s soul to the devil (an old theme if ever there was one) and she played a New Orleans Voodooienne who met her bloody end before they could extract her prophesies and spells. I learned about her role in “The Night Porter,” Reveled in her role as serial killer “Dexter’s” unconditionally approving, supportive and loving psychiatrist who specialized in childhood trauma and two recent films: The role of the stern, black and white “Women Must Endure these things” mother of Keira Knightly in “The Duchess.” It’s a terrific film also starring Ralph Fiennes as the uncouth Duke she is forced into marriage with. Then another film with Keira Knightly called “Never Let me Go” about using British Orphans solely for the purpose of organ donation. She played the head of the institution that schooled these orphans into thinking they were serving a high purpose parting with their parts one by one until they weakened and died. Now she’s back in a movie about a wonderful marriage shattered by something horrific. I can’t wait to see it.

She’s the model of a cosmetics campaign for Nas Cosmetics, joining octogenarian Joan Didion as a fine example of the grace of aging. What could be better for us? Sometimes life is horrible but we have to make the best of it and see light in the dark, as she seems to.

Stigma where it shouldn’t be: My local Nami.

This is a letter to another person who has tardive dyskinesia and is quiet about it. She’s smarter than me. She realizes it scares people. I’m writing her about being stigmatized and discriminated against by my local drop in center and local Nami. This is not the first time I’ve looked at this issue. For all of you people who are trying to advocate, help others, sometimes they don’t want our particular voice to be heard. I took her name out of the letter and am reprinting it and asking you…should I let NAMI national know about this situation or let it lie? I’ve already cried ‘foul’ locally in a very measured, calm manner. The problem is trouble begets trouble. What would it help? Would it result in more doors being shut in my face? My local Nami is Broward County Florida, by the way. This is my way of asking you: What should I do about this?

Allison

Dear M,

 

Buzzfeed published a list of thirty books on mental illness. My book is beginning to just come pouring out of me. I added bipolar hope blog and a one-off on Mindful Management of Mood Disorders-DBT to my list of publishers. When I saw this list, because I had gotten my first list of books from you, naturally I thought of you.

 

I have a thorny situation I thought I would ask your advice. I want to volunteer in mental health in more than just writing. I am doing a type of telephone outreach developing a database for IBPF and since I’m decent on the phone from years of being a disc jockey and know how to talk naturally, (you just talk and mumble and they get it..they don’t feel ‘slicked’ out..you know?) I am enjoying that.

 

 

Here is the situation. I wanted to write a second article about a drop in center that I’d written a first article about. In past, I volunteered for three years with high hospital clearance. I lead a good peer support meeting. I developed an eating disorder meeting, got us in newspaper, showed up until others began tooo..in short the meeting is still running today. I fell off their volunteer rolls. When I asked to be put back on and take the class, I was told I was too unstable. While it’s true I’m verbal, impulsive and sometimes dominant, especialy with people who have thought disorders and are going at a slower speed, I’ve worked on it and have gotten better.

 

AT that drop in center, there are peer volunteers who have offered me drugs in the parking lot. Others make professional appointments to fix the computer for example and don’t show or call to cancel. I even get calls from paranoid volunteers who think the CIA is after them. I don’t do things like this and I don’t report either. But I’ve run into the same problem with NAMI. I attended a few of their ‘connections’ meetings and was scolded for nodding my head and saying ‘uh huh,’ when someone was talking. They solicited volunteers to lead more support groups. I am really good at this. My calls go unanswered. I tried a third time and filled out a telephone application with the head office volunteer and told him about the problem at “Rebel’s Drop In.” He reassured me I’d done the right thing by confiding in him, as the information would have been relayed to him anyway. They vet us thoroughly. I have been told twice they have no one to do the newsletter. This would be so easy for me and I volunteered. My application has been ignored for two weeks. I followed up with a phone call a week ago and left a message about ‘starting slow and small to work towards a common goal.” it was also ignored.  I got an email from them yesterday and cooly responded that I’m aware I’m being discriminated against because “she’s got that.” she’s ‘trouble,’ ‘she’s angry.’

 

So my email just said, “I’m not angry, this happens to me a lot since I got Tardive and that I understand I’m the face of a fearsome statistic even though I’m asymptomatic. I think it’s the tardive. If I had never mentioned it in a “Connections” meeting I would have been warmly welcomed. I have a strong skill set.

 

Sometimes doctors won’t take me as a patient, and the ones willing to explain said it was because they viewed me as ‘trouble,’ ‘a walking lawsuit’ a ‘basketcase on too many drugs.’ My own psychiatrist of  17 years says I’m an ‘exotic’ and that people just don’t understand.

 

I feel good. I had bipolar depression last year from April to Mid july and it was tough. My new antidepressant is hard to keep down, side effect of nausea. But I’m a trouper.  I realize certain things aren’t meant to be. I was hoping to volunteer for the drop in center or Nami by facilitating ‘connections’ or a ‘mat pilates’ class. The nearest DBT class is held there. I don’t feel comfortable or supported there.

 

I wanted involvement with Nami to learn more about things like mental health parity, ballot initiatives, etc. I had wanted to do a series of articles called “Activism Made Easy” giving examples of petitions signable by the click of a mouse. I was hoping to soak up their expertise. I’d be a great grant writer. Maybe I’m meant to write my book and isolate. I crave human interaction, especially with my peers.

 

I’m at a fork in the road. I’m considering contacting Nami’s national branch and explaining the situation. I am continuing to work on my character defects and off putting personality traits. But I hurt deep inside at an organization dedicated to eliminating inequality and stigma stigmatizing me. It really hurts, M.

 

Allison Biszantz

So be clear: I’m being discriminated against and not allowed to contribute there in any way even though I could help fundraise, do the newsletter, start and nurture new “Connections” meetings and more. I’m also considered ‘not stable enough’ to volunteer again at the local drop in center. That is also a deteriorating situation. Question is…how far should I take this?

 

 

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.

My Friend Dyane…take a look. All her efforts at advocacy is paying off for her and others…

Successful Working Mother Battles Bi-Polar Disorder

 
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.

2016-01-14-1452793001-5571677-InterviewDyaneLeshinheadshot.jpg
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.

2016-01-14-1452793067-5328896-hollmantwitter070114.jpg
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst with a recent book, Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior, found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Familius and wherever books are found.

If you would like to participate in this series as a successful career woman and mother, contact Laurie and she’ll be glad to include you.

David Bowie, R.I.P., You’ll Always be A ‘Hero’ To Me.

“His message was clear. It was cool to be a weirdo or an alien. If the world made room for David Bowie, I’d find a place too.”

Allison reflects on how she has been impacted by David Bowie’s career and passing in her next blog:

http://ibpf.org/blog/david-bowie-youll-always-be-hero-me ‪#‎IBPFblogs‬

When tormented musicians perish I overrelate. It becomes more about me than the departed.
ibpf.org

David Bowie showed me how to Be an artist: Be Myself!

youngamericans

My favorite album was the above—1970’s R&B, Influenced, Soul Tinged

“Young Americans”

I can’t express my grief. I knew David Bowie had just released another innovative album and now he’s gone. Well, I guess we’ll have something to remember him by. His courage and constant reinvention of himself and his music always inspired me.  He dared to be different and gave me the A ‘Ok to do the same. He wasn’t afraid of being rejected for his assortment of characters like Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke. He didn’t care if the music critics panned his albums, as long as he knew he was doing something new that had never been done before. Bowie taught me how to be an artist: To be myself.