Are you at risk of Tardive Dyskinesia? Find out now.

You know that rapidly rattled off disclaimer “Call your doctor if you experience involuntary repetitive movements as these are serious and may become permanent.”

No shit, Sherlock. This International Bipolar Disorder Story has some of the stuff the doctors won’t tell us. The TD causing meds developed for schizophrenia are now being used for mainstream, run of the mill, non mental ill concerns such as anxiety, adhd, insomnia, cancer and anorexia (stimulate appetite) depression, and bipolar disorder, so you might be on one of the drugs that’s whitewashed as something else and be at risk. The drug companies don’t exactly advertise they’re selling reformulated Thorazine. Antipsychotics.

Be safe. Be sure.

http://ibpf.org/blog/tardive-dyskinesia-decade-later

Allison

On the farm in Lexington Kentucky (family visit) w/3 sizes of clothes

horse

Even tho I packed really carefully, when I landed I had slacks that fell off my butt and dresses I could not zip up. We are going to a fancy equestrian party tonight and luckily I had a stretchy maxi dress. I have gotten sloppy w/food, not lifted weights as much as I should and right now, sugar and carbs have ahold of me.  My AIC, which I worked on lowering for four months, has risen w/the 12 lb I gained (all in one place). It’s hard not to feel like my life is out of control right now. Alot of our activities while visiting Dad center around food and drink. And on the subject of ‘out of control,’ I forgot to plan for the weather. I brought too many coats and not enough shorts.

But look at this horse. Do you think he likes me any less for any of that? Of course not. He is a horse, of course, of course.

Words….Inc…Trying to get in Miami Herald these days….

 

The most new words I come across are in the New York Times Book Review. Last night I stayed up until 2am catching up with past issues. Trying to get published in Miami Herald, a tough nut to crack. I’m on my fourth submission. Waiting, reading, evaluating what gets published in place of my stuff. It’s humbling, isn’t it?

Paucity: The presence of something in insufficient amounts, small, not enough.

Meritocratic: Power or political office based on ability, credentials, education. (….NOT!)

Impunity: Exempt from punishment (in AA’s “Big Book” they mention those who drink with impunity)

Madrasas: College with instruction in all things Muslim. Maybe they send young women there. Gotta check on that

Trauma, Drama Weaks of the Word (Words of the Weak)

aquanotext

Hi

The thing with my BFF getting me locked up by calling the cops on me, my ongoing chronic pain, the fallout after my BFF called my father and told him lies about drug abuse on my husband’s part…so much to deal with in a short amount of time.

Then I called Medicare to find out if the blood lab had violated Medicare law by denying me service by using the reverse diversity hostile stall technique. And I filed a formal complaint with an agency you might be interested in if you are on Medicare or have family who is.

The Medicare Beneficiary Centers for Care and Quality Improvement. I wrote them a 7 page letter; reflecting the litany of abuse I took over a seven year period but if you really need to unload you can leave them a detailed message. 844-455-8708.  I’m following through on this one, even though reliving it’s a nightmare. I sure wish their was an agency I could use to deal with for my former BFF.

So many ideas for stories but I am so close to the material that I must just jot down phrases and ideas and wait for some time to pass. Do you guys know what I mean?

This piece of paper that has all my new words on it is my way of normalizing much of my life. I don’t even know what day it is, let alone what weekend to program this for so I’ll just do it for today ok?

abjure (in reference to saying now to interviews) solemnly renounce.

Numinous  of Divinity or Sacred

Palindromic: a Word that reads the same back and forth.

Trogladyte (used to describe Trump) People who used to live in caves. Paleo.

Wonkish ( I think I’ve done this one before) Nerdy.

Poujadist extremist conservative movement in France, the emphases being on protecting their assets. This would apply to certain 1%ers.

 

Today’s drama: If Prince had Buprenorphine…sooner he’d still b alive

prince

This relates to all the hysteria about opiates and the lack of attention paid to the treatment of chronic pain. Yes, Deb at CDC, noncancerchronicpainlivesmatter.

Prince may not have died in vain. From reading articles I found he and I had a lot in common. Chronic pain from too much over exertion. Mine is in my back. I am a responsible, steady, minimalist user and have reduced my dose by 2/3 as well as frequency. But the side effects are terrible and have finally caught up to me. How does this relate to Prince? Well, there is a guy who has stuck his neck out on the line, a maverick in the treatment of chronic pain using Suboxone and or Buprenorphine. Less side effects, no intoxication like the quick acting Vicodin, Tylenol 3 and 4, and Percocet and those lovable blues, the oxys. Those get ya high. Hook you in. I know first hand because I got off of them. Prince’s people had contacted Howard Feldman, whose treatment center is outpatient “Recovery Without Walls”  For anyone who has been in 12 step groups, the ‘abstinence only’ idea is great in theory but what do you do for the pain once you get off the pills? According to the literature and the studies and conclusions of his, there have been outside pressures restricting the use of this drug. A doc has to be licensed and can only prescribe it for 100 people. I found out yesterday that my hoity toity upscale pain clinic doesn’t have a license for it and my questions about a healthier non opiate alternative were met with skeptical frowns. Dr. Kornfeld’s son, Andrew, flew out to Paisley Park with an initial dose of Buprenorphine in his pocket to show Prince that he wouldn’t be dealing with terrible pain but Prince had one last go before the life saving mission was able to save him from himself. Basically guys, Buprenorphine is Methadone light, saves lives…by 75%, reduces disease transmission and if it had been more widely available instead of an insider’s secret he might still be alive today.

What do I do? In my next post, I’m going to show you the letter I am writing to the good doctor to try to find someone here in South Florida. It’s intimate and has awful details but maybe someone will relate to it.

Allison

Today’s drama: If Prince had Buprenorphine…sooner he’d still b alive

prince

 

Prince may not have died in vain. From reading articles I found he and I had a lot in common. Chronic pain from too much over exertion. Mine is in my back. I am a responsible, steady, minimalist user and have reduced my dose by 2/3 as well as frequency. But the side effects are terrible and have finally caught up to me. How does this relate to Prince? Well, there is a guy who has stuck his neck out on the line, a maverick in the treatment of chronic pain using Suboxone and or Buprenorphine. Less side effects, no intoxication like the quick acting Vicodin, Tylenol 3 and 4, and Percocet and those lovable blues, the oxys. Those get ya high. Hook you in. I know first hand because I got off of them. Prince’s people had contacted Howard Feldman, whose treatment center is outpatient “Recovery Without Walls”  For anyone who has been in 12 step groups, the ‘abstinence only’ idea is great in theory but what do you do for the pain once you get off the pills? According to the literature and the studies and conclusions of his, there have been outside pressures restricting the use of this drug. A doc has to be licensed and can only prescribe it for 100 people. I found out yesterday that my hoity toity upscale pain clinic doesn’t have a license for it and my questions about a healthier non opiate alternative were met with skeptical frowns. Dr. Kornfeld’s son, Andrew, flew out to Paisley Park with an initial dose of Buprenorphine in his pocket to show Prince that he wouldn’t be dealing with terrible pain but Prince had one last go before the life saving mission was able to save him from himself. Basically guys, Buprenorphine is Methadone light, saves lives…by 75%, reduces disease transmission and if it had been more widely available instead of an insider’s secret he might still be alive today.

What do I do? In my next post, I’m going to show you the letter I am writing to the good doctor to try to find someone here in South Florida. It’s intimate and has awful details but maybe someone will relate to it.

Allison

State by State Links for Free Mental Health Drop In Centers at bottom.

aljewelingtable(I learned Jewelry making at my Drop-In Center)…they have dbt too. free.

Drop-In Peer Centers for Behavioral Health: An Exploding Trend

Allison Strong

One of the reasons I am glad that I moved to Florida is that it led me to a peer run drop in center near my house called Rebel’s Drop In. In my small county, Broward, between Palm Beach and Miami-Dade, we have 5 of these centers. Peer run drop in centers average 5 per state, see the links below to find one near you.

Mindfulness, OA, NAMI Connection Peer-to-Peer, and a 14-year running Schizophrenics Anonymous meeting are there.  I learned to make jewelry and took new and improved pieces to Etsy, Holiday Gifts and my own wardrobe.  They have Peer Mentoring there, free of charge, to help you reach goals you may have forgotten about in crisis or not.  I have a Peer Mentor, who is someone who has been in my shoes, psychiatrically, and we get together to go over my goals on a variety of fronts. One of the most challenging for me is to ‘widen my social circle.” I’m making progress.

Does it sound too good to be true? No, it’s not and it’s an exploding, well-researched trend. So who picks up the tab?  The programs are subsidized by grants from the state, who always want a list of printed names and signatures, times and dates, so when you go there, make sure you sign the list. Every signature helps them get grants so they can expand and maintain their offerings.

These places are usually in a building owned by a local hospital for outpatient or continuing behavioral care in different tracks called IOP (Intense Outpatient Treatment paid for by insurance and Medicare/Medicaid). Then, after the patients leave, the aroma of coffee fills the air, the colored crayons come out, and food from Memorial regional Hospital arrives to feed those who have little or no sustenance in the grand room.  I’ve eaten it often and it’s always balanced.

In addition to the grand room, where painting, crafts, socializing, and jewelry is done, there are perhaps six private rooms holding various self-help/support meetings until 7:30PM. (Bipolar Support, Emotions Anonymous, Depression Support, Life Skills are just a few). On the weekends, since there is no IOP in session, the hours of the center are bit different.  In the words of Deanne O’Brien, who overcame her own mental health nightmare, (which is one prerequisite for Peer Mentors and Supervisors) “No one is too sick to attend Rebel’s Drop In.” I really believe that.

I’m on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr communicating with people with mental illness. Many have never heard of these drop in centers.  My friends and I go once or twice a week, drink coffee, bring donuts and gossip. We never know when we’ll be in-patient next, and it’s good to see all the faces of our illness. We are so grateful that the late Ann Rebel’s family gave a charitable endowment to Memorial Regional Hospital, for the purpose of continuing mental health care, Peer Mentoring, and WRAP planning (Wellness Recovery, Action Plan).

If you are curious to see if any of these sorts of arts-oriented facilities exist in your city, county or in a town near you, try these links:

 

Topic:

Art

Bipolar Disorder

Consumer

Jo Menary|Tue, 2015-02-24 21:26

Allison, I am so proud of you. What great information and encouragement you are sharing. Keep is going! Jo

  • reply
  • michael |Sun, 2015-03-29 06:43

Great Job Allison. I am so proud of you not only for your informational writing but also fro you willingness to help others find the support they may need to help them in their lives as they deal with the same illnesses you suffer from! Love Michael, your Husband!

  • reply
  • Maggie|Sun, 2015-03-29 07:05

Looks like you dug around to get all this info. Thanks for making it available for us.

  • reply
  • jennifer blake|Mon, 2015-03-30 08:44

I love rebels! discovered it when I got out of mental hosp….wish they had one in boston where my son lives…this place saved me from myself many thanx Alison for great info!

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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