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Messages - paulm

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General Discussion / Re: Check In
« on: January 01, 2015, 11:10:15 PM »
Hello Peace.  I'm sorry that you had such a poor Christmas. I hope that next year is better.

 I can't advise anyone what to do, but Christmas used to be extremely hard on me as well. It's still hard, but it's a piece of cake now,considering how it used to be.

 Many years ago I decided who I was going to have with and who I wasn't.  For many yrs I only had a very small Christmas with my own family and I didn't even attend my inlaws or my siblings Christmas, although my own wife and kids went. Gradually I was able to get stronger and I attend a lot more in the years that I feel better.

 However some yrs I don't attend many and I never host one. Rather than host one I sometimes provide the food so that another sibling or in-law can host a Christmas, but I never hold one in my own home.  For my in-laws Christmas dinner there is up to 60+ people come and partly at my urging we have rented a church basement or small hall for a number of years to accommodate everyone and while we have a turkey, the rest is sort of pot luck. (the cost is small when spread out between families).

 This year I felt better and actually had 6 Christmas dinners to go to over the season and went to all six without major problems, but it took years for me to reach that point. (and all six created some stress for me)

 I'm not trying to be critical of anyone or trying to brag. I would be pretty hypocritical if I did. As I said I never host one myself and for the rest I arrive as late as possible and usually leave as early as possible, never get trapped in a corner and usually make use of my PRN medications, as well as taking frequent breaks.  Even for the one my son had for us and his bro and their spouses and our grandson(just 7 of us) I arrived at 5pm and was gone by 8pm and to fill in time I did the dishes.

 All I'm trying to say is that Christmas is stressful and sometime we can' t do it all, and sometimes we can't do any, just like I can't host a   Christmas dinner in my own home. (too many people and I can't very arrive late and leave early in my on home.)

 I've came to the point in my life where I really don't give a **** if people are upset whether I come or not, I have an illness and if people can't accept that some years I don't feel good, well that's their problem.

 Took me a lot of years to reach this point, but hopefully others can find their own methods to enjoy Christmas. I hope that next year everyone can enjoy their Christmas. Take Care. paul m

Depression and Bipolar / Re: Bipolar 1 studies and mixed states
« on: December 29, 2014, 02:29:23 AM »
He4loo Katiecole and welcome. It's a bit slow right now because of Christmas and the holidays, but I hope that you will feel free to take part in the forum.  Don't hesitate to ask questions, answer other people's questions, use the forum to vent out a few of life's frustrations and/or post an article or link.  Take Care. paul m P.S.  thx for your nice comments

General Discussion / Re: flu shot
« on: December 23, 2014, 07:41:40 PM »
Hello Dragonfly. I can't advise you whether or not to get a flu shot, but I can give you some facts. First what we call the stomach flu , really isn't what the flu shot is for. Flu shot actually stands for influenza shot. That shot only protects you from certain influenza viruses and does not protect you from having the stomach flu and/or a cold.  To quote from wikipedia.
"Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week. The cough; however, may last for more than two weeks. In children there may be nausea and vomiting but these are not common in adults.

 Nausea and vomiting occur more commonly in the unrelated infection gastroenteritis, which is sometimes inaccurately referred to as "stomach flu" or "24-hour flu". Complications of influenza may include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, and worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure."

 Also in the same article  "It can be difficult to distinguish between the common cold and influenza in the early stages of these infections, but a flu can be identified by a high fever with a sudden onset and extreme fatigue. Influenza is a mixture of symptoms of common cold and pneumonia, body ache, headache, and fatigue. Diarrhea is not normally a symptom of influenza in adults"
 For more info: 

 The vaccines that the drug companies put out address influenza and not stomach flu as we know it. The most common complications from influenza that leads to hospitalization and even death is pneumonia and/or dehydration and/or a high fever.

 One reason why doctors advise that older people or people who have breathing problems, diabetes etc to get the shot is due to the pneumonia factor. But there are many other factors as well.

 So I'm sorry that I can't say whether to get a shot or not.  However you should really watch the symptoms that you have especially if  have a high temperature and/or you are putting out more fluids than you are taking in and/or your cough worsens or persists or any of your symptoms worsens or lasts. Whether you have influenza or stomach flu and a cold, at our age you have to be careful as something simple can overtake us in a hurry.

 I try and get a shot every yr as it seems to do me no harm. I've had a bad bout of influenza and I have no wish to repeat the experience.   I hope that you feel better soon. Take Care. paul m

Hello Momfeelinglost.  I'm glad that your son gets to see his children and I'm sorry that his marriage is beyond repair. I've never understood the need some people feel to inject hate into an affair that doesn't directly concern them.

 When my wife and I had our troubles(many yrs ago) , I could not believe the number of people that came out of no where to give my wife bad advice and to try and turn my kids against me.  Most of them were people who I didn't even know and few that I did know who should have known better.

 Unfortunately some people can't seem to help themselves, fortunately my wife and I had agreed that no matter what happened we would not use, or allow our kids to be used as pawns.  I wish your son and you good luck in the years to come as I know that they will be tough.

 In regards to be far away from your other son, I've never lived that far away from relatives, but it must be tough for both you and him. I could never understand how Canada ever got populated by Europeans in the first place. I could never have moved to a place where I might never see a relative again(although I do have a few that I wouldn't mind not seeing again).

 What follows you may already have tried and I know that it definitely isn't the same as being there, but have you ever tried skype?

 The cost of buying a scanner and microphone for your (and his ) computer is not that much and then you can video conference for free. I don't use it, but I know some people who do and it does work. I'm sure that a local computer store could tell you how to hook it up. You can also google skype for info. There is a charge if you use it to call land lines, but it's free computer to computer.

 However I know that is not nearly the same as being there. The only other suggestion that I have is that when my wife and I lived in Northern Ont and our first son got to be about 6mths old, she and the baby would fly home to see her parents and I would stay at home so that there was only one airfare to pay for. The baby flew for free. Perhaps you could offer to help him with part of the airfare to come home with the baby and it would not be so expensive. Our son didn't travel well until he was 6mths old and we suspect it was because the air pressure changes affected his ear drums. After 6mths he traveled fine.

 I also know that all of my suggestions involve money and when money is tight, even a little is too much.  I hope that next year will be better for you. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Doctor's believing me
« on: December 20, 2014, 11:07:33 PM »
Hello K9sedona.  I'm glad that you are safe.  What follows is just some info on bipolar, I am in no way trying to say that you have it. That's your doctors job.

 Trying to decide whether or not someone has bipolar or not can be a little tricky to say the least. Because there are so many different forms of bipolar it is sometimes difficult to describe. You may know all of the below, but in case that you don't, I'll give you a bit of a primer on the various types of bipolar and what subtypes there may be and what can affect bipolar.  The Mayo Clinic has one of the best primers around on bipolar, it causes etc. :

 It is worth the read, even if for no other reason just to convince yourself that you do or do not have bipolar and to be able to talk more knowledgably with your doctors.

 There are 4 official types of bipolar: Bipolar 1, Bipolar 2, Cyclothymia and Bipolar NOS (NOS, means, Not Otherwise Specified ,which just means that a person has some of the symptoms of bipolar but not them all.

Cyclothymia is characterized by numerous mood swings, with periods of hypomanic symptoms that do not meet criteria for a major hypomanic episode, alternating with periods of mild or moderate symptoms of depression that do not meet criteria for a major depressive episode.

 It's been my experience that many of the 4 different types have blended together at some point in my life.

 To add to the confusion there are mixed states,where you have some depressive symptoms and some mania symptoms. For example you may be extremely tired all the time (depressive symptom) but you can't go to sleep because your mind is racing all of the time (mania symptom).  There is also rapid and ultra rapid cycling and ultradian cycling. Rapid cycling means that you have 4 or more mood swings in a year, ultra rapid means that your mood may swing from day to day and ultradian means you can have mood cycles from hr to hr or even from minute to minute.

 Many people have underlying bipolar that never surfaces or becomes a problem unless something aggravates the condition.

 What can aggravate an otherwise dormant bipolar.  Substance abuse, lousy living conditions(really broke, lousy home life or marriage, a lot of stress at work etc)

 However one of the known big factors that can cause really rapid mood swings are some antidepressants. About 30% of the people with bipolar will react badly if they also take antidepressants(that is the antidepressant may make them manic or rapid cycle). For people like myself, antidepressants are just poison. The only one that I can even tolerate for a short time is wellbutrin and after about 6 wks it leaves me heading manic.  The rest immediately make me manic or make me really rapid cycle. 

 As well bipolar can be a progressive illness, that is it can start out very slowly and get worse over time. Unfortunately many doctors peg a person with one illness and never look again or review the persons file to see if depression was the original diagnosis and now it should be bipolar. It still takes an unbelievable 5-6 yrs to get a correct diagnosis of bipolar correct.

 However what ever is wrong with you I hope that the doctors can find a simple and effective remedy. Get Well Soon. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Seasons Greetings
« on: December 16, 2014, 10:19:04 PM »
Hello Everyone. I would like to extend to each and everyone of you Seasons Greetings and I hope that you all have a safe holiday season. I know that for many of you this holiday season will be pretty bleak and that is unfortunate. I've been through many holiday seasons that  I didn't know how I was going to make it even one more day. I've been broke, alone, depressed, frustrated and, well let's just say that there wasn't a lot to be merry about. 

 However things change and there is hope. I can't say that I'm not poor and I certainly have enough illnesses to keep the medical system broke for a few more years, but all of that doesn't matter, because I'm pretty happy these days.

  I hope that in 2015 you will all find a way to enjoy your lives in at least some small way and then be able to build from there. Best wishes to everyone for the holiday season. Take Care. paul m


General Discussion / Re: Introduction
« on: December 16, 2014, 10:04:12 PM »
Hello Momfeelinglost. Very well put. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Holidays and Grief, Stress or other?
« on: December 13, 2014, 08:59:38 PM »
Hello JennyRN and Dragonfly. I can sympathize with you both.

  I don't have a lot of problems getting through the actual Christmas part. I have never been overly excited about Christmas(at least since I was a little kid), but I really have to pace myself in the lead up to Christmas.

 It's really easy for me to over do it and either become irritable or exhausted or both. I'm pretty good at socializing, but I find it tough at Christmas when there are just so many events that I feel compelled to take part in. The fact that some of that socializing is done with people that I don't necessarily like doesn't help either. (They probably don't like me either LOL)

 Unlike you Dragonfly, I have the opposite problem in Dec, my sugar levels tend to get too high and that isn't good either, but I just can't seem to resist all of the temptations that abound around Christmas.

 Over time I've learned a lot about how to get through the Christmas season without something major going wrong(Doesn't always work LOL).  My wife did remark just the other day that my mood seemed to be getting more irritable. So I will have to try and make some adjustments. 

 I hope that you both can find a way to enjoy your Christmas. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Doctor's believing me
« on: December 13, 2014, 08:31:45 PM »
Hello K9sedona. I'm glad that you week is going better. You may already know all of the following, but in case you don't, it can be a bit of a mess to figure out.

 Unfortunately doctors are allowed to arbitarily decide if someone should drive or not. The doc doesn't actually suspend your lic the MTO does that. However the MTO does rely heavily on what the doctor said in the records. Doctors are required by law to write a letter if they feel that you are not safe to drive, but some docs, especially if you have ticked them off, do so more readily than other doctors.

 You should have gotten a letter from the MTO when you first had your D/L suspended. You are entitled to appeal that suspension. That cost  $100 plus the cost of any medical records or physical exams that you may need to provide to convince the MTO that you are safe to drive.

 In some cases (some mental illness, suspected alzhemiers, heart conditions etc) the MTO may ask you to undergo a full evaluation and that's where it gets really expensive.($500-800). However a lot depends on what your existing doc has to say about your ability to drive safely.  You can find out more at 

 You may get lucky, sometimes the doctor doesn't say much except for the fact that you have condition ABC and you shouldn't drive. A new doctor can easily counteract that.  Good Luck with everything. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Introduction
« on: December 09, 2014, 10:18:16 PM »
Hello CanadianEm. Believe me you are not the only one suffering from an addiction. I forget the exact figures, but something like 20% of people with a mental illness will have a substance abuse problem as well. (source CAMH)  For people with depression it is often higher and for people with bipolar disorder it runs about 50% will have an substance abuse problem.

 I never had an addiction problem, but for many yrs I self treated my social anxiety problems by over drinking at social events.

 In regards to your psychiatric meds losing their effectiveness. That i quite true, however if you were told that it happens every couple of yrs, then you were misinformed. It may occur in 6 mths or it may take a lifetime, and nobody is sure why. So if the medication is working for you, keep on using it.

 The Mayo clinic has a good article on this problem     Take Care. paul m


General Discussion / Re: Started taking Lipitor, cholesterol medication...
« on: December 09, 2014, 10:03:57 PM »
Hello Peter. I'm glad that you are mobile. Hopefully you will make a speedy recovery. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Doctor's believing me
« on: December 09, 2014, 09:53:56 PM »
Hello K9sedonna. I'm glad that you at least think there is some hope. Feeling hopeless is one of the things that I hated most whenever I had bouts of depression. Unfortunately depression can make us feel hopeless. Now whenever I get depressed I try and remember that there will be better days ahead.  I hope that you have many better days ahead.

 In regards to support groups most of the ones in T.O. are ran by the MDAO and are located at Yonge and Eglington.  To find out more, click on   or you can phone for more info Tel: (416 )486-8046

 The MDAO runs groups at a variety of times so you can pick which one may be best for you.

 I haven't attended any peer support groups in T.O., but I've attended many around the province that were affiliated with the MDAO and they were all good. Some I liked a bit better than others, but that is just a matter of personal choice. 

 You can also find a lot of resources by going to the MDAO's home page, just click on  If you scroll down the page some you will find where you also sign up for a free newsletter.

 Good Luck getting your records. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Doctor's believing me
« on: December 08, 2014, 01:09:07 AM »
Hello K9sedona and welcome to the forum. ER's aren't my favourite place either and I have had problems convincing them that my problems were real whether they were mental and/or physical. Unfortunately the ER is often our only choice.

 While I don't like the treatment that I often get, at least I know that I'm relatively safe at the ER. The ER cannot refuse to have you seen by at least a nurse if you do say that you are actively suicidal and are going to commit suicide now.

 Your family doc would have been notified that you were admitted to the ER, your condition at the time and the reason why you went to the ER.

 If you are still feeling suicidal I would suggest that you go to the ER, call an ambulance if you have to. (just dial 911)

 I don't know where you live, but if there is a crisis line in your area you may want to call them to discuss your problems. Usually crisis lines are listed at the front of the phone book or you can try the Ontario Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600, they can provide you with local distress and crisis line services as well as other services that may be helpful.

 In the meantime, talk to your wife about your problems and what you can do together to solve them. She did stay at home with you , so she must care. Perhaps two heads looking for a solution will find one. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions on here, to answer other people's questions and/or use the forum to vent out some of life's frustrations. Take Care. paul m

Family, Friends, and Supporters / Re: 14 year old with social anxiety
« on: December 08, 2014, 12:42:25 AM »
Hello Zabava.I can understand your worry and concern.It's really tough dealing with a child that you can see going downhill and there seems little that you can do about it.   Unfortunately most of us on the forum are unqualified to give you really good advice on this matter. Dealing with Teens and mood disorders is difficult for even trained professionals.  (My son had a mood disorder as a teen and I know it can be difficult to get them to accept therapy). 

 I can give you some generalities. First most medications don't always work the same on a young person as they do on someone older 2) If she has been on cipralex for at least 60 days and there has been no improvement it's time to have a discussion with her doctor about whether or not 10mg cipralex is the right drug or dosage.

 Often a medication will work for one person and have no effect on the next person, so it's important to keep the doctor informed if you think it's not working.

3)Often as our anxieties increase so does our unwillingness to meet people we know, much less strangers in a new setting. Our anxieties can literally paralyze us, as well as giving us very physical symptoms like stomach problems and head aches.

 Although you probably have the power to force your daughter to attend therapy, it's been my experience that when something is forced on us, we may attend, but we rebel and don't pay much attention.

 Has her medical doctor ruled out other sources of her problems? That may sound silly, but our bodies have a variety of glands and if one of them isn't working properly that could explain some of her problems. Only a very complete physical and a complete blood work up can really tell if everything is working as should.

 The MDAO has an excellent guide on Helping Someone With a Mood Disorder. You can access it at

 At the bottom of that page you will see a link to F.A.M.E. (Family Association for Mental Health Everywhere.) You might want to check out their website too.

  The guide may seem overly simple, but it does contain a lot of good advice.

 As Daniel F has suggested earlier you may want to contact the MDAO about their programs and also about their peer support groups for people like yourself.  You can also find out more about these groups  at

 Good Luck and please keep posting. You may not instant answers here, but we will try our best to support you as you struggle with a loved ones mental illness. Take Care. paul m


General Discussion / Re: winter blues
« on: December 05, 2014, 12:47:59 AM »
Hello Dragonfly. SAD lamps don't work for me either. For a lot of people with bipolar(not all) it seems that the success rate of SAD lamps is less. Take Care. paul m

Hello CanadianEM.  If the only reason why you DL was revoked was for medical reasons you shouldn't have to go to court as a first step. You can file an appeal with the MTO. It still costs money, but not as much as going to court. The MTO will want proof that you are safe to be driving. More info can be found at the website that I have listed below. Take Care. paul m P.S. the procedure is a major pain in the butt and takes forever.

 Hello Everyone. I'd just like to rant abit about the MTO. It is the law that if a doctor feels that a person would be a hazard driving a car then they must report that person to the MTO and the MTO then decides whether or not to suspend the drivers lic.

 According to the way the rule is written literally anyone who has had major surgery plus a lot of other things should have their lic suspended. However it never seems to work that way. But I've seen people who were given an antipsychotic at the hospital, suddenly deprived of a D/L. I've even seen people who were suicidal deprived of their D/L after an over zealous doc decided that they might run their car into someone. In some places they have a method to temporarily suspend your D/L, rather than the all or nothing here in Ontario.

 It ticks me off to know that if I end up in the ER for a physical problem and I tic off the doc, then I could lose my lic. if the doc reports that I'm not mentally stable. (Not that any doctor would file a report like that just because you called him an a**hole.) Meanwhile the guy who has had 3 heart attacks , smokes like a chimney and is 100 lbs overweight never gets reported to the MTO . I mean it's not like that person may have a 4th one while driving or anything.  OK my rant is over. Take Care. paul m

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