NAMI Hurricane Aid

September 3, 2005

I do not have the words to express my anger over the lack of response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Too little, too late, they are saying.
I would be a much harsher critic.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is responding to the needs of the mentally ill caught in the chaos. Donations are needed to help finance this important work.
Are you a consumer caught in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina without meds and without the resources to replace them? Are you trying to help a displaced mentally ill person? Please go to the NAMI | Hurricane Katrina Resource Guide. You’ll find hints on getting replacement meds – even if you’ve been relocated out of state.

Dear Leslie,
Thank you so much for your generous gift on 09/03/2005 in the amount of $—– to NAMI, the Nation’s Voice on Mental Illness. With your support, we are building a future of recovery, respect, and opportunity for people with severe mental illness.
You will receive your acknowledgement and tax receipt statement shortly via postal mail.
NAMI Donor Services

I plan to give 2 days take-home pay over this weekend. Do you work? I challenge you to do the same. Unemployed or disabled? Give what you can.
It’s going to take at least 12 weeks just to get the water out of New Orleans. Count on giving more. Much more.


Mitochondria Food

August 8, 2005

Caveat: I’m an electrical engineer. Do not construe this to be medical advice.
It is NOT.
I have chosen to use allopathic meds as the basis for my treatment, and I will not change my mind – at least not until after menopause! But with my pdoc’s blessing I am allowed not only to take supplements, but to choose them myself. I don’t take the supplement-du-jour, I wait until they’ve been proven out and people have been using them for a couple of years.
I am taking:
SAMe, mitochondria food. It has been proven effective in mood disorders and my psychiatrist suggested this one. A couple of studies showed some anomalies in mitochondral functioning in bipolars, probably mediated by the cell rather than in the mitochondria themselves.
The mitochondria, small organelles within each of our cells, provide the main source of energy at the cellular level. They use glucose and oxygen to modify a molecule called Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) and change it into another substance called Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP). Coincidentally our cells break down ATP for energy, and so the mitochondria are still with us. Without them, we’d very quickly die.
Incidentally, mitochondria are symbionts – they are foreign, they even have their own separate DNA. Fascinating stuff. They must have been parasites that infested our prokaryote ancestors.
Pantothenic acid – another mitochondria food. I’m going to choose between this one and SAMe at some point.
Lipoic acid – necessary in utilizing Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). You’ve heard the fuss about Omega-3s and Omega-6s. EFAs are an effective single supplement for bipolar disorder. There has even been preliminary information relating ADHD in children to low fat diets. Your brain is over 60% fat.
On the topic of evolution again, there some evidence that the sudden brain growth that resulted in our species was enabled by an increase in EFAs in the diet. It’s likely that this level of EFAs wasn’t available when we came down out of the trees and into the grasslands. However, the level of EFAs needed could have come from seafood, from our protohominid ancestors who found a seashore environment.

Am I opposed to SSDI?

July 30, 2005

I could have gone on SSDI in 1999. I chose not to. Instead, I went back to school for one more semester in the fall of 2000 and finished up my BSES at 42 years old. I’m not sure whether I’m experiencing a slow decline or whether I’m just having a couple of bad years. But I’m going to work for as long as I can. Maybe next time I’m out of work I’ll apply for SSDI. And maybe I’ll go for my master’s when it happens. Who the hell knows?
I want to be my best, whatever my best is. I expect everyone to be the best they can around me. I understand physical and mental limitations. I don’t understand not trying.
Anybody who wants a Hallmark card can go to Eckerd’s and buy one. That’s not what the Bipolar Planet is all about. That’s not what I’m about.
To quote Timothy Leary, “The future of the human species is to learn how to use our brains.” We are the ones who can do this, but it comes with a price tag.
So are you ready to join the Bipolar Planet? 🙂

New Pendulum Forums

July 7, 2005

Pendulum Resources is opening new bipolar forums, probably in early September. You can get a sneak preview now.