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Messages - paulm

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General Discussion / Re: Does meditation help?
« on: September 10, 2014, 04:14:11 pm »
Hello eScotty and welcome. Mindful meditation doesn't work for me. That doesn't mean that it is bad, just that it isn't meant for everyone.  I know some people who have good luck with it. The MM courses that combine cbt with the course I get a lot more out of it.

 There are a lot if courses in T.O., but not too many free ones. Just google Mindful meditation Toronto. is one example, another is which claims to have a sliding scale of fees depending on ability to pay.  provides a list of courses available in Toronto. provides a list of free meditation courses  in T.O, but they tend to be hr long intro courses.

 As Peter has said, the MDAO sometimes offers a free course.   I would sign up for their news letter.

 Varius hospitals may offer free courses, but you would have to google each one. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Schedules
« on: September 10, 2014, 03:52:42 pm »
Hello Dragonfly. I have to keep to a schedule too. Mine isn't rigid, but it isn't too inflexible either. By that I mean I have to insure that I get 7 hrs a night sleep, although, one night be 5 and the next 9. I try to eat my meals at regular times, but when traveling or visiting I have trouble keeping that schedule, so I try to keep to more of a schedule when at home.

 I have trouble relaxing around certain family members, so I try and schedule myself breaks when I am around them. Example, if I know that a certain sibling is going to be there I know in advance that every hr or so I'm either going to be in the bathroom for 5 minutes or taking a 15 minute walk.

 As far as meals go, I have diabetes too, I find that what time I eat isn't as important as eating regular spaced meals and proper meals. I usually eat breakfast around 7.30 am, but nearly every Friday I sleep in. So I try to eat my Thursday snack a bit later and adjust my Friday meals a by 30-60 minutes later.

 There are always days when everything gets screwed around and on those days, I sometimes just have to take time to rest and recover on the following day.

 In regards to being on the computer too much, I can be guilty of that. Sometimes it takes a lot of will power to just shut it off.  In regards to "everything has to been done yesterday" I certainly have days like that. I try to remind myself that if I have to work extra hard for several days than I will try and take a day off to relax later in the week.

 In regards to my mind racing. I try to use alternative methods to slow it down.  Read a book I don't really like, do some exercise(cut the lawn etc) and I try to remember to change subjects slowly. Sounds weird I know, but when my mind is really racing I tend to hop from one subject to another very quickly. So I try to concentrate on one subject, sometimes it helps my brain slow down. Take Care. paul m

Depression and Bipolar / Re: What's in our feel better Tool Belt?
« on: September 09, 2014, 12:37:50 am »
Hello Peter. Your wrap manual should have plenty of tips. If you can find a place offering it for free, I know people that have taken wrap twice.  Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Donations to charities
« on: September 09, 2014, 12:32:45 am »
Hello Dragonfly. For knitters and crocheters there are a lot of worth while causes. I know most shelters accept scarves, mitts etc. Some shelters accept afghans, blankets etc. Some hospitals accept baby blankets etc.  Each shelter and hospital has it's own rules as to what they will accept, so you would have to check the ones in your area.

 Project Linus provides new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children, ages 0-17.  Their website shows that there is a group near you   just scroll down the page a bit. The website also explains what they are looking for.

 Another website has a variety of ideas

 Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Donations to charities
« on: September 07, 2014, 06:00:22 pm »
Hello Dragonfly. I agree that donating to the charities that you like best is the way to go.

If you are looking for a way to help the woman and her kids, gift cards given anonymously are sometimes a good idea. I do this occasionally. There is no tax receipt, but the good feeling of helping someone is still there.

 Just don't send them by mail, that's the same as sending cash in the mail. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Lamictal and Abilify for Bipolar 2?
« on: September 07, 2014, 04:13:23 am »
Hello Jen, I know of some people who have had good luck with this, but for me taking lamictal was like eating smarties. No benefit, just a little weight gain LOL. Good Luck and Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Donations to charities
« on: September 07, 2014, 04:10:01 am »
Hello Dragonfly. The website that you want is ran by the Gov't.   You can either enter the charities name or do an advanced search and enter the charities, chartitable # .

 It is usually easier if you have the number. When doing a name search you have to be pretty exact with the name or nothing will come up.  Take Care. paul m

 Hello Paul. I'm chair of three different charities and I get the same amount from all three "zero" I also know that the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario (the provider of this forum) pays it's Chair the exactly the same amount. zero.  I'm not sure what the executive director gets, but it's not a million bucks, it's not even 100,000

 I agree that there are some disreputable charities out there, but your blanket statement of

 "Charities are meant for the rich as a tax right off and nothing more . Any money that goes into the charity is just to pay some CEO a million dollar plus bonus."

 is not even close to being right.   To start with, if someone with a large income gives a $1000 to a charity the most they can get back is approx $470 in tax savings which still leaves them $530 out of pocket. For a while there were some schemes where a disreputable charity would offer enormous credit for gifts in kind (donate a $10 bottle of asprin, get a$100 tax receipt etc) but the gov't has shut most of those down.

 I'm sure that there are a few charities CEO's who get big bucks, but they are in the minority and it's easy to see where the money goes as each charity must list the salary of their top ten paid employees as well a full breakdown of revenue and expenses in their report to Rev Cda.  Just use the Gov't link that I provided Dragonfly. Or use the sunshine list as provided below. Take Care. paul m

 Hello Peter. That list is popularly called the sunshine list. I'll make a small addition to your statement.  "The act requires organizations that receive public funding from the Province of Ontario to disclose annually the names, positions, salaries and total taxable benefits of employees paid $100,000 or more in a calendar year." Take Care. paul m

 Hello Everyone. The list does include charities who have rec'd money from the provincial Gov't. You can also search for organizations who have rec'd public sector funding, but who have no one getting paid over $100,000.  (the MDAO appears on this list)

 To do a list search go to   and scroll down the page till you come to the category that you want.  Take Care. paul m


General Discussion / Re: I'm back on....
« on: September 07, 2014, 03:25:07 am »
Hello Peter. Good to see that you got(getting) out of your depression. You are correct that the strenuous the exercise the bigger the benefit. But sometimes when I'm depressed just going out for a walk takes all of my energy. So give yourself a pat on your back for getting up and getting out. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / A rant and a laugh
« on: September 05, 2014, 11:26:57 pm »
Hello Everyone. In the area I live there is a very secure hospital where people from all over Canada are placed who are considered a danger to the public. (to put it mildly)

 Recently one of them escaped. Said hospital will not say exactly how long this person was at large nor how big of danger the public was in. Here are parts of various press releases. (I have removed the names) .The hospital is the province‚Äôs only maximum-security forensic hospital.
 This is how CTV reported it " People who live near the centre are just learning a patient had escaped and wished they had been told sooner.

 The Barrie examiner had this to say:Inmate XXXXX who is considered violent and dangerous, managed to get out of the XXXXX Centre late Saturday night, Residents in the areas for at least a km away recall hearing the blaring of sirens and saw emergency vehicles racing by, but never knew what all the commotions was about.

  Staff say the new XXXXX facility was just an escape waiting to happen and there are safety concerns since the new building opened
 Further information gleaned from sources say that the patient escaped at 9.15pm and was not found by the police for several hrs. The change of staff at 11pm were all escorted by police to their cars as a safety precaution.

the man was found by police and taken to hospital with serious injuries, including a broken vertebrae and dog bites. The SIU is investigating.

 The Centre itself reported it this way: XXXXXX, a provincial specialty mental health and addiction hospital located in XXXXX Ontario, is extending its thanks again to the staff and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) for a quick and successful resolution shortly after a patient elopement on August 23, 2014 that resulted in no risk to the public. The hospital has taken extra precaution to ensure this cannot happen again etc etc.
   So you have a violent and dangerous patient escaping and the staff need to be escorted to their cars by police, yet according to the hospital nobody was in any danger.I know that once you get out of this secure facility you are within an easy 5 min. walk of a large subdivision and if they were escorting staff to their cars, this person could have easily gotten off of the ground as there are no fences surronding the parking lot. (I've visited many people and attended many meetings at this centre)

 I have two points here. One, we all worry about stigma and lack of treatment facilities. No one wants a half way house or group home for mentally ill people, partly because of fear. The XXXXX centre is not helping our cause by releasing a B.S. statement like above and using words like elopement, no danger, etc. This only adds to the distrust that people feel towards those in charge of the mentally ill.  Not to alert the people who live within a 5 min walk was irresponsible. While they claim this person was no danger to the public because they figured he was in a nearby wooded area, the fact remains that he broke out of a maximum security facility, climbed 3 security fences, one 30 ft high, probably means that this guy was pretty slippery. And as said, they were worried enough to escort staff to their cars.

 It would have been better to own up to the fact that they should have alerted the locals and that they will do so in the future.  OK enough ranting on my part.  The following may amuse you.

 2) I had never heard the term elopement used in this manner before, so I looked it up and the generally accepted meaning in several dictionaries was: an act or instance of running off secretly, as to be married. That I had heard many times.  However I found out that it can also mean.

  an act or instance of leaving a safe area or safe premises, done by a person with a mental disorder or cognitive impairment.  (news to me)

 So my question now is, does that mean if we elope to get married is it because we are mentally ill and have a desire to leave a safe premise. LOL Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Ice bucket challenge.
« on: September 02, 2014, 09:22:00 pm »
Hello Dragonfly. I had actually thought that I replied, but I guess I only thought that I did. Old age will do that to you LOL What I write below is certainly not a criticism of your views, I have a slightly different view, but I hope that's ok too.

 I don't mind when a charity comes up with a novel idea as long as the good stays there. This started out as a good thing, but people don't seem to realize that the challenge is " Pay 100 bucks or get ice water dumped over their heads. "  It seems to me that a lot of celebreties are getting ice water dumped over their heads and a lot of publicity for themselves, rather for the illness.

 I wouldn't partake in either/or, just because ALS is not my thing. Not that I can't sympathize with the people who have it, the average life span is 39 mths from onset of symptoms and there is no possibility of a cure. Occasionally someone will live a long time(scientist Steven Hawkins is a very rare exception).

 One of the problems with ALS is that in North America only about 35-40,00 people who are alive have it. In comparison there are several million of us with Bipolar at any given time.  I know that the drug mfg's are not knocking themselves out looking for a new med for bipolar and I know that the various Gov't are not looking for novel new ways to support those of us who have bipolar and with the exception of one think tank(Crest BD) I don't see very much original research being done by scientists about bipolar.

 That's with 2 million of us, I can only imagine how little research etc is being done for people with ALS.

   Has ice Challenge raised awareness? According to Wikipedia their article on ALS used to draw an average of 8000 hits a mth, (bipolar by comparison draws about 400,000 a mth) The peak # of hits in August for ALS was 27,000 in one day, it has since tampered off to about 1500 hits a day, but it still has increased awareness of ALS tremendously. (I searched only the English language articles)

 There has been criticism in the press that a lot of money has been donated to various ALS societies , when it could be going some place else more worthy(not my words).

 My own viewpoint is that any research on any illness linked to neurological problems is good for a lot of people.

 The ALS society in the USA have rec'd about 100 million bucks and while that sounds like a lot, it amounts to about 35 cents per American. But is big bucks for the ALS society, I hope that they use the money wisely. Take Care. paul m



General Discussion / Re: Med change after 12 years
« on: August 28, 2014, 11:11:43 pm »
Hello JennyRN70. Welcome back. I certainly do remember you. Sorry to hear that you have to change meds, that's always a pain in the butt.

 Effexor can be hard to come off of. For some it's really difficult and for others it's a snap. I hope that you are one of the lucky ones.

 Antidepressants certainly can be toxic for some people with bipolar. For me, they cause me to rapid cycle and when they aren't doing that they cause mixed states in me.

 Other people who have bipolar, like my son, have no problem with antidepressants.  I would say that some people are luckier than others when it comes to antidepressants, but in reality no one with bipolar is lucky.  Good Luck with your switch over. Take Care. paul m 

Hello Paul. Welcome to the forum. However I'm sorry, but I don't live close to Bradford. Some of do get together in T.O. once in a while and we usually post it on here when we do. (I don't live in T.O. either) . I hope that you can find someone close by to have coffee with.Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Social Phobia Group Closed.....
« on: August 27, 2014, 01:11:18 am »
Hello Peter. I always find it sad when a group folds. I know the need is out there. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: I'm back on....
« on: August 27, 2014, 01:10:09 am »
Hello Peter. I'm sorry to hear that you were in emerg. I hope that you get your health problems straightened out soon. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Dr K.
« on: August 19, 2014, 12:37:20 am »
Hello Everyone. Things are bit slow on the forum so I thought I would bring up a subject that I had mentioned on the old forum.

 DR K. is a practicing shrink and also has a face book page called Dr K. psychiatry. While some may say that I am being derogatory when I call him Dr K and refer to him as a shrink, the sign to his office actually sez "Welcome to Dr K's Shrink Shop" . His last name is difficult for some people to pronounce and he has a wry sense of humour, thus he encourages his patients just to call him Dr K.

 On Face Book he posts a lot of interesting articles, comments, tips and cartoons. I find the cartoons hilarious, the tips helpful and the articles and re posts interesting. I tend to forget to look at his page and I know that I shouldn't because he usually has something good to say.( including several articles about Robin Williams)

 Give him a look.  Take Care. paul m

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