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Messages - paulm

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Depression and Bipolar / Bipolar 1 studies and mixed states
« on: October 30, 2014, 08:18:19 PM »
Hello Everyone. I came across a couple of interesting articles dealing with bipolar. One was a study and the other was an article. When I read study I was tempted to be sarcastic and say " No Sh*T, Sherlock, great detective work, did it take you long to discover the obvious " because to me they were just stating the obvious.

 However after some reflection it is good to see that at least somebody is talking about mixed states, because in my experience it is a rare doctor who mentions it to a patient, yet it makes bipolar harder to diagnose and to treat.

  Both of these articles came out of BP Hope magazine (a great magazine). I am passing them on to you as they may a difference in your understanding of your illness and what is required to treat it.

 The IMPACT study had this to say about people who have bipolar 1

"People with bipolar I disorder rarely experience symptom free periods. Between the severe mood episodes, people with bipolar I disorder often have residual symptoms, which contributes to impaired functioning."

 I can vouch for that. I don't know how many times that I have been asked "I'm not manic or depressed, how come when I try to return to work, I seem to be unable to function? My only answer is, your brain needs time to rest and recover.

 The study also advises "While there is no cure for bipolar I disorder, it is a treatable condition. Treatment often includes a combination of medications and psychotherapy, support and education".

 Again it's nice to see a study come up with the fact that it takes a lot more than swallowing pills to make you better.

 The IMPACT study is surprisingly accurate and interesting. In one part they found that in Canada it took over 5 yrs for 31% of the people top be diagnosed and another 32% took 1-5 yrs. Considering the degree of illness that has person has with bipolar 1, those percentages are extremely high and I often wonder how so many doctors can miss the diagnosis.  Give it a read, the whole study is interesting

 In the same issue Roger McIntyre, MD, FRCPC writes a great article on mixed states and that produce anxiety, irritability etc etc. He advises "should my treatment be different if I have episodes with mixed symptoms? In a word, yes."

 He then goes on to explain why.   Dr. McIntryre is a great doc who has long been a mega phone for change in the way people with bipolar should be treated.  (medically wise)
Take Care. paul m

Hello Peter. Isn't getting old wonderful LOL. We get to know a lot more about what parts USED to work well. Good Luck with gall bladder. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Check In
« on: October 27, 2014, 11:17:51 PM »
Hello Everyone. It's good to see so many familiar names.

 To Peace. Family feuding is hard, I hope that you find a way to bring peace better than I and my family did. (I ignore most of them,and they ignore me). Actually it works quite well, until someone asks my how so and so is doing and I haven't a clue. Trying to balance every day problems(drive children to and from work, medical problems, finances etc) can be a real chore. Good Luck with everything.

 To  NeitherHereNorThere. I'm not a doc or medically trained, but this is what works for me, In regards to seroquel and any antipyschotic med in general. I do not like the extended release versions. When ever I have to take seroquel (doesn't happen often, but it does stop serious mood swings quickly for me) , I take as many as 4 doses a day. I prefer the smaller amounts at a time and it gives me much more control over how I'm going to feel. For example if I was to take 200 mg(a common dose for me) I would take 25mg in the morning, 25 at noon, 50 at 5pm and the last 100 at about 7pm that way during the peak of my day I have little in my system and when I need to sleep I have a lot.  Seroquel regular release tablets can be split.  But it may be that seroquel is just not the med for you.

 There are a lot of antipsychotics on the market Seroquel worked best or me and I tried about 5 or 6 , but it's not for everyone.It doesn't even work well for some people. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist(the pharmacist may know more) about whats available. The latest one is Lurasidone (Latuda)  It's the latest "miracle Drug"  and I use the term mockingly, because when they are first released they are all "miracle Drugs"  you can find out more at  . 

Hello LuckyLou. I haven't moved in yrs, mainly because I hate moving. Good Luck with your move.

Hello Rich. People are allowed to tell good stories on here too, it gives other people hope. Plus I miss your friendly and cheerful posts.  You would be doing us all a favour by posting more frequently.As well it's not like you haven't been through hard times yourself.

 Hello Dragonfly. I'm sure that you miss your husband very much. I won't try and say that I can even begin to understand your loss. I wouldn't know what to do without my wife. In regards to your mind racing, if I'm a little hypomanic or in some sort of mixed state, one of the first things that occurs is that my mind starts to flip through thoughts very quickly. It doesn't mean that I'm heading for a full blown manic episode, it's just a first indicator that all is not right. I then examine my life style, meds, relaxation techniques, known stressor and see if anything has changed. For me lately, usually it's my stress levels that I have let get a little lose. Lack of sleep will usually start my mind racing, but then it's hard to sleep with your mind racing LOL. Being forced into certain social situations can also be a real stressor for me.
 How am I doing? Depends on ones measuring stick, compared to 10 yrs ago I'm wonderful, compared to a normal healthly person, well not so wonderful. However I am happy and learning to live with my assorted disabilities. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: why are the facilitators not getting paid ?
« on: October 20, 2014, 12:20:10 AM »
Hello NeitherHereNorThere and thx for the thx.  I don't know how easy it is for you to get to Yonge and Eglinton or if you even live in T.O. I think that you mentioned it once, but I can't remember.

 The MDAO is having an information session on G.A.M. (Gaining Autonomy with my Medication) on Oct 23 from 1.30-2.30. For those that are interested the MDAO will then run a group on Thursdays, Oct 30th to Dec 18th, from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm.

 This group takes a quality of life approach to psychiatric medication that gets away from the tired a
arguments of whether medications are “good” or “bad”, and focuses on what’s best for YOU. More info at  You have to pre register for the info session.

 As far as I know it's being offered for free and will be offered in 2015 in other locations around Ontario (hopefully) . I've seen the preview of this course and it looks pretty good.  Unfortunately the distance is too far for me to go at this point.

 I mentioned WRAP before as being a fairly good course. The MDAO is offering a free WRAP facilitator course (normally it's at least a $1300 course).  Once completed and qualified the individual can then go out and offer WRAP training to others.  One must have already completed the WRAP initial level course.  Again it's in T.O. only, but next year they may offer it at a couple of centres outside of T.O. 

  Usually WRAP facilitators get some sort of Honourium/pay when they start to go out into the field and deliver the basic WRAP course(plus expenses) . I don't know yet what the MDAO has planned.

 Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Thanksgiving is not always fun
« on: October 19, 2014, 02:21:46 AM »
Hello Dragonfly. How are you making out? You had a pretty traumatic weekend at Thanksgiving. I hope that you are feeling better. Take Care. paul m

Hello Peter. As you know I'm not exactly thin LOL. However I do not have a cholesterol problem, so I tend to agree that for some people it may have no relation to diet at all. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: why are the facilitators not getting paid ?
« on: October 19, 2014, 02:16:02 AM »
Hello Everyone. I take it that you mean facilitators of Peer support groups. Some do get paid, some do it on a volunteer basis. I've been to both types of groups and my own findings were that the volunteer run groups were better for me, than the ones were the facilitator gets paid. All of the below are generalities and there always exceptions and they are only my own opinions.

 One of the reasons why I prefer an all volunteer ran group is because the facilitator can make friends with who ever they wish. In groups where there is a paid facilitator, that person usually works for an organization that has a non frat rule(not always).

 I also find the volunteer ran groups are more likely to be ran more loosely and can have a wider range of topics on any given night.  Whereas the groups with a paid facilitator usually follow stricter guidelines.

 I have attended a lot of groups over the years and I find the ones with the least funding often have the facilitators who have had a really serious mental illness and recovered to the extent that they can now facilitate a group and are great facilitators. A lot of the paid facilitators, that duty is often included as part of their full time profession and some have never missed a days work due to a mental illness or at least not in years.

 In regards to money being available, some groups around Ontario are part of big organizations with million $ budgets, some have budgets in the 2-3000 $ range and some have a zero budget, usually because the people who run the group don't want to get involved with fund raising.

 There are gov't grants, foundations and charities that will fund at least part of a peer support group's expenses, but it's usually a lot of work.

 Don't get me wrong, I too get frustrated with the amount of money that the gov't wastes on non productive measures such as: pay a doctor for years and the patient never gets well(not the patients fault), revolving door policies at some hospitals, where people with a mental illness often receive little treatment and are pushed out the door too soon and some very large charities that do rec a lot of money and do very little(in my opinion) for the average person with a mental illness.

 In regards to training, there is a fair amount of informal training that can be accessed free. Little of it is on demand, but courses like A.S.I.T. (Applied Suicide Intervention Training), W.R.A.P.(Wellness Recovery Action Plan) and others can be accessed if one keeps a look out and signs up for mailing lists.

 Crest BD often has a mthly webinar for people with bipolar,,

 The Krasman centre offers a variety of courses around central Ontario , ,

 The MDAO( who run this forum) offer support to people who run a peer support group or want to start one. That support comes in free training and free brochures. The MDAO also has a speaker series that is quite good and has various experts talk about mental illness. They go to towns around the province as well as in Toronto.. They also offer an on line aid to our own wellness recovery plans. Their Laughing Like Crazy program is an excellent program too.

The MMHC(Mental Heallth Commission of Cda) offer webinars on a variety of mental health subjects.

 MoodGym is an free on line course to learn cognitive behavioural skills. .

 I find that the more that I access ailing lists and/or look at the websites of places like the MDAO, Crest BD, MMHC, MDSC and the Krasman centre, the more I find opportunities about how to live with my illness and how to get better. Take Care. paul m



General Discussion / Re: non-medicated bipolar and marriage
« on: October 15, 2014, 12:48:29 AM »
Hello mmarynuk and welcome to the forum. It is tough at times to be married and tougher still to be married and have a mental illness. I can't advise you on how to deal with your spouse, I can only say how my life with my spouse works and perhaps it may help. It might not help either, but nothing that follows is intended as a criticism. Part of this forums purpose is to allow people to vent out some of life's frustrations. Having bipolar can certainly be frustrating.

 In regards to meds, Trillium can certainly help, but there is still a cost.$File/014-S46850E-87.pdf   If you scroll down to about page 20 you can see what it would cost quarterly.

 The other option is that sometimes your doctor may be able to give you or get for you some free samples to hold you over for a mth or so. Not all docs will do that, but some will.

 My spouse is whale of a gal, but I can be pretty miserable when I don't take my meds.  She has also learned that when I don't take my meds(hasn't happened in a long time now), I'm not the most reasonable person in the world, so she used to shut me out. There was no sense trying to have a discussion with me as I wasn't reasonable.  I might have been right, but being right and being reasonable were ttwo different things when my moods were wrong.

 Even today, I can still be hard to deal with if my moods aren't right, so  my wife and I have come up with a plan that if it isn't earth shattering, need to be discussed right now topic, then we will let it sit till a pre determined date when we will be both cooled off. It took us quite a while to figure out how to do that.

 We still have arguments, but we both try and stop them before we both start to say destructive things to each other. 

 I hope that you can find a way to try and get some meds and a way to settle your disputes before they reach the "I'm going to leave " stage. Those types of arguments are hard on everyone.

 Don't get me wrong, I can certainly feel sympathy for you situation and I can understand you feeling very alone right now. However as has been said, we are friendly and we do try and understand, so please feel free to post on here. Then perhaps you won't feel so alone. Take Care. paul m


General Discussion / Re: Worried about my son and his drinking alcohol
« on: October 15, 2014, 12:10:42 AM »
Hello Dragonfly. I already provided a few thoughts about this in a previous post about your Thanksgiving(I had not read this one yet). So I won't reprint it all, but just add a couple of more thoughts.

 He may or may not suffer from bipolar, or he may have just a mild case, or he may have depression or anxiety problems that cause him to drink too much. I use the word "may" a lot because I'm not in the position to judge. However I can understand your worries.

 In my other post, I provided some links to some articles and perhaps if you can get him to read some he may see something that he may recognize.  Our off spring certainly don't want to think that they are as bad as we were at our worse. On the other hand, you must have provided quite a few good moments otherwise he wouldn't be talking to you.

 I didn't mention it in my prior post, but you may want to advise him (gently) that he may not have anything wrong other than drinking too much. Alcohol does provide short term sedative or escape from our problems, but in the long term it can be a depressant as well. In fact long term heavy drinking almost always causes anxiety and/or depressive problems.

 It's an easy trap to fall into. Have a few beer, feel good, have a few more feel better. Later in the week feel anxious or depressed, have a few more beer, repeat multiple times and suddenly you need a few drinks just to feel not anxious or depressed. However most people do not realize this, especially if they are around other people who like to drink too.

 His kids telling him to stop smoking, hasn't made him quit smoking, his kids telling him that he shouldn't drink probably won't make him quite drinking.

 Will his kids follow his example and drink too much? You can hope not. Some do, but a lot of kids that I know who were raised by parents who were always passing out or making fools of themselves from drinking, don't drink much. They saw the bad effects.

 However as your grandchildren get older you may be wise to provide them with some brochures on mental illness and how to get help if they notice any of the symptoms.  Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Thanksgiving is not always fun
« on: October 14, 2014, 11:43:47 PM »
Hello Dragonfly. Sorry that you didn't have a good long weekend. No need to apologize for being long winded.

 I know that you weren't camped at the same place I was because I would have noticed the beagle puppy. (beagles are either great or a pain in the butt, depending on the owner, but the puppies are always cute)

 I can't stand being around drunks much anymore, partly because I too have had to quit drinking due to my meds, but I never could stand loud obnoxius drunks.

 I never trust any dog, when they are in an environment they are not used to(not even my own dog and she's as gentle as they come). Dogs do protect territory and they can also react badly to unfamiliar sights and scenes.  So you were right to be worried, although there was probably very little you could do.

 In regards to your son self medicating. There could be a variety of reasons why he does this.  All you can do is get some simple info(brochures etc) and ask him to read them at his leisure for the sake of his Mom.

 He may not read them, he may say no, but at least you will have tried and maybe place a few ideas in his head. 

 If you or someone you know has access to a printer below are some good articles on mood disorders. There is also an article about anxiety and drinking. I used to have a few drinks when I went to a wedding dance or reunion etc to help calm my nerves, long before I ever knew what the word bipolar even meant. 

 I was never a heavy drinker overall , but as a young man I ended up drinking fairly heavily at some of those social events.  I spent more than a few nights on the bathroom floor, not something that I am proud of,  How did it affect my kids? Both in their 30's now, neither one drinks much. They say how it affected Dad. I'm not saying that happens in all families, but perhaps you will be lucky and your grandchildren will come to realize that getting bombed has it's price.

 Three of the articles are from the MDAO  Take Care. Paul m

General Discussion / Re: Brain transplant or adjustment?
« on: October 11, 2014, 12:13:15 AM »
Hello Peter. I've went to the same group, which is held on the second and forth Tuesday of every mth, for over 20 yrs now. A while back I showed up on the wrong Tuesday night. So it happens to most of us. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Latuda starting tomorrow
« on: October 11, 2014, 12:10:04 AM »
Hello JennyRN70. I know that meditating is very good for some people. However for me, when I try it and I'm the least bit manic, I can't concentrate on one thought and when I'm depressed and I try I just fall asleep LOL.

 I have the same problem with Yoga. Manic, I can't sit still, depressed I fall over asleep LOL.

 Both are great methods of get and keeping well if they work for you.

 I know that you have had a long hard battle with your illness and I hope that you keep fighting and find something that works well for you soon.  To keeping trying when nothing seems to work is very hard work and frustrating, often it's easier to just give up.  Give yourself a pat on the back for all the effort that you have put in and keeping trying, someday you'll find what works.  Take Care. paul m


General Discussion / Re: Thanksgiving
« on: October 08, 2014, 01:43:25 AM »
Hello Dragonfly. That's a great topic. I totally agree with you about family. Only in my case I'll shorten it to my immediate family. Take Care. paul m

General Discussion / Re: Community Dinner at my church
« on: October 06, 2014, 11:37:33 PM »
Hello JennyRN70. I'd love to go, but I will be in London that night visiting with family. I hope that you have a good turn out. Take Care. paul m

Hello NeitherHereNorThere.  Humour is important as long as nobody feels picked on. Well sometimes my wife gets  picked on a little.  The definition of normal is to be like those around you or to conform to standard. Some nights she is the only person in the room without a mental illness(other than she's a bit crazy to have stuck with me).

 That makes the rest of us normal and her abnormal, so we call her Abby on those nights for Abby Normal LOL

 The wedding that I referred to was a pretty good one, great even. The theme was taken from a very well known authors book.  The author happened to be Dr Seuss and the theme was Green Eggs and Ham, but the wedding and reception were great. That couple also has a great sense of humour, even though both of them have been through some hard times. Take Care. paul m

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