Why I’ve been Dark…..


The topic I wrestle (or wrestle) with the most is Tardive Dyskinesia, a side effect of antipsychotics. It’s gaining traction on Television with “The Good Wife’s” Michael J Fox’s character, Louis Canning, who has TV, or the ‘patient/perp’ storylines on “Law and Order.” TD comes up there in a clarion call crying out that for the mentally ill in the criminal justice system, justice can never be served. Well, it can get dicey out here on the outside of penal institutions as well.  It’s just that no one wants to hear about it just yet.


Mentally healthy people get prescriptions for Antipsychotics. In 2015, 60 million RX’s for antipsychotics were written, (according to QuintilesIMS, a global tech and data solutions provider for the healthcare industry.

These drugs are helping, it seems, everything under the sun, from anorexia to insomnia, OCD and anxiety. Who doesn’t want to feel better, right? I take one myself.


They are sooo glowingly ‘madvertised’ on TV with enervating names that suggest Results (Rexulti) The World is Your Oyster (Geodon) Able again, (Abilify)….and that’s fine. These are good drugs and certainly an improvement over the mood stabilizers that ruined people’s kidneys. The thing is…they work so fast and so fully we forget to check the flip side. And there always is one.


If you are having uncontrollable movements and think you might be on one of these drugs….there’s finally an FDA-approved treatment for our 55 plus year old, long neglected syndrome, Tardive Dyskinesia. Another one, a second, (when it rains it pours) is supposed to be FDA-approved (or not) on August 30th.

I’m going to try one.

If YOU think you need a TD specialist, as opposed to a TD ‘Denier’ to check you out (and there are TD ‘Deniers’ out there, sad to say), here is a state-by-state link.


Hopefully, it will help you out. And yeah, I’m still bipolar…pulled out of my last ditch in March. I think DBT skills really helped. More on that later.  It’s good to be back.




(Part 1 of 2) This Bipolar “Biggest Loser” is Still Winning, 6 Yrs In.

tribal 013aquanotext


All over this week’s news (May 4th-8th) it’s the sad fact that nearly every contestant from Reality TV show “The Big Loser”has regained their lost weight and then some. I’ve never seen hopelessness and defeat sell so much advertising.

The’experts’ now declare: “Dieting Doesn’t Work.”


Last week, it was low carb. Before that, it had to be low fat. Before that, we had to avoid butter and eat Crisco, with transfatty acids.. Then it was ‘Artificial sweeteners will kill you’..and so on.

Have they ever gotten it right? Ever wonder why the story keeps changing?

In 2010, I gained 60 lbs on a mandatory bipolar mood stabilizer, lost it, and have kept it off.  No fancy program, or diet food. (And I’m still on that dastardly medication). 

“Me, My Metabolism and the Market” is part one of an open ended series only on bphope.com.


(PART 2 is will be published on bphope.com and RIGHT HERE on Friday.) It’s called “Three Sizes of Clothes.”  Now, I keep them all. You never know.  I’m not invincible. Things might change. Right? Right.

Join me as I pour over recent research and employ holistic ways of disproving ‘experts’ in the field as they self promote off other people’s shame and misery.

You know me, ….I’ve never been much for ‘experts,’ ‘authorities’ or the word “NO,” to begin with. So this should be fun.

WP keeps screwing up… Let’s see if they can get this post right. You just never know w/some people

One thing about Allison Strong….she refuses to disappear because she has more problems than we’re comfortable with.

She spoke out when………The one person whose job it was to listen tuned out her every word!

She’s been warned by her good friend T to stop being pushy but old habits die hard. (That’s why the therapy)! 

She lives for clicks, shares, likes, nonlikes…  Sadly,  the primal, reflexive movement of your wrist is the yardstick she’s measured by …….well we all know about that.  

Her Article about the deaf therapist is now on bphope.com’s facebook page. Will ya click to let her know she’s still alive? She’ll repay the favor and then some, even if she has to hunt you down! Not really.



rebels (2)


The saga continues on April 8 as she takes down the disturbing dominance of “Top Ten” list format for mental  and physical health articles. 




International Bipolar Disorder Foundation, La Jolla, CA

Print Page  IBPF

Involuntary Psychiatric Hospitalization

When I think about involuntary hospitalization, I feel vaguely violated. It was sudden, and it wasn’t my choice. I was deceived before the police showed up and slapped on the handcuffs.  It was personal and not. It hurt, bewildered and shocked me. Terrifying? For sure. Transformative? You tell me.

Due to a devastating divorce, I was trying to reshuffle my life. I had been in three states and had three shrinks in two months. Then I moved back home to California. Fourth and fifth shrink. Ouch. Don’t I learn from the past? There was a reason I left there in the first place. (By this point, I was picking and choosing from the prescriptions from the last four doctors like it was an a la carte menu.) I was messed up.

Then the phone rang. Usually it was me calling others, lonely and in need. It was Douglas from Florida, from the 80’s in LA. He invited me to visit. I flew out to Florida and never returned.  A month went by. Now I needed a new psychiatrist. I got a referral from a local pharmacy. 300.00 in cash, no insurance accepted. He was supposed to be ‘The Best.’ I choked that down.

On my first visit with this South Florida ‘Supershrink’ I was honest with him.  He went: “Get off of everything.” How do I do that? I tried but it was too hard. 2nd visit one week later: The money changed hands first.  His nurses tell me up front that they need my keys to move my car. The next thing I knew, the police showed up and hauled me away with no explanation. Ouch! They locked me in a holding cell at the police station. I was handcuffed for two hours on a gleaming steel table. I screamed and yelled that “I’ve gotta go to the bathroom” and finally peed my pants.

At the hospital it was explained to me that I had been “Baker Acted” because I was a danger to myself and/or others. A 72-hour hold or 72-year-old? My three roommates were all shrill, screaming, senior citizens with dementia. I had never seen such fury and disorientation.  I wondered, are they incontinent or are they acting out in anger? I never figured it out. The staff would not clean up after them. In addition, there were bugs and cracks in the walls and panels.   There were no programs, no central relaxing area, merely a dining room, a hall and our four patient bedrooms. I was frightened beyond words.

The second day a doctor showed up and I saw a famous actor in him (he reminded me of Richard Dreyfuss). I had a feeling about him right away. He was cynical, wise and compassionate. He studied me quite closely. For the first time, I knew my bipolar disorder had met its’ match.

“This is some kind of mistake. You’ve got to get me out of here,” and more rambling. I was still quite manic.

“Allison, relax, stay for a few days. I’ll put you on some medication and you will feel a lot better.”   It all came true. I knew that I wanted him to be my psychiatrist and asked him.  He wouldn’t agree right off the bat. That made me anxious. I was used to getting my way.

I still see Dr.  Rosenthal after fifteen years. Continuity of care comforts me. Others agree that it’s important to have a doctor who ‘gets’ you. He and I collaborate. He shares information on medications and research freely. He doesn’t give orders.  Sure, there have been side effects and rough patches. He has fished me out of the canal every time.

This hasn’t been easy but it hasn’t been nearly as disruptive as surrendering most of my individual choices to the one-size-fits-all rules and regulations that institutions need in place for patient safety and licensing.

Over the years I’ve seen ten or so other psychiatrists for second opinions and know who else is out there and how they think. One doctor didn’t allow me to speak. He looked at my paperwork and immediately threw me out of his office because of the meds I’m on. I think that he wanted to assert his authority over me. Ouch! Yes, sometimes I bite back. (But that day I didn’t-He could have Baker acted me if he wanted!)

I met my psychiatrist of 15 years in the ickiest place in the worst situation, or so I thought at that time. It worked out really well for me, though. At the very least, I learned to be extremely watchful over my mental health and careful about who I confide in. I haven’t been hospitalized since. But I would go if my life depended on it. I’ve had some close calls. Knock on wood.

Read more of Allison’s posts for IBPF here or at her personal blogs here and here.


Is this where I can ask Allison a question?

met ITS match!

I had been “Baker Acted” because I was a danger to myself and/or others – In UK we call this “sectioning”.

That’s my girl!And I am proudto say that. I am Allisons “husband” for almost 13ys.now. Sept.22 will be the full 13. I am so proud of you Allison not only for your writing which is superb but mostly for the wonderful warm strong and loving womanyou are. I love you girl, bipolar and all!!!!


The Emptiness of “Likes”

I don’t ‘like’ it when people ‘like’ my posts. I write my posts because I am reaching out for someone who might be able to help me, someone who has been through it, someone who knows about a book or something better than just a fucking ‘like,’ what good does that do me? What does it tell me? It tells me that you read what I wrote and only had time to ‘like’ it. I have never in my life simply ‘liked’ someone’s post since I’ve been on here. A ‘follow’ or a ‘reply’ I can understand, but ‘likes’ have come to characterize what is wrong with our society today. We don’t have time for each other. Not even a kind word for someone who is suicidal and wondering if it relates, a month later, to Adderall Withdrawal.

The way these cries for help from me on WP are going, I might as well be pissing in the wind, as my best girlfriend says.mommybriefcase

International Bipolar Foundation this mo


I’ve had bipolar relapses 20 times in my 25 years since my dx. I’ve learned that not everything is a negative, so at their request, I wrote this short artcle for IBPF. Let me iknow, please if the link doesn’t work.

Horse pictured is Floral Countess, a gift from my boyfriend Bobby Frankel, who bought it off the late Martin Ritt for 50,000. Bobby wanted to get married from the moment he met me…but it didn’t work out because he didn’t want a career girl. He wanted to be the only star. Tell Bethenny. She’ll probably relate to that.