The New Bipolar Planet Bookstore

January 15, 2014

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life An Unquiet Mind Manic: A Memoir The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide Bipolar Disorder Your Drug May Be Your Problem Touched with Fire The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide The Bipolar Workbook Page 2 Page3 Shopping Cart The New Bipolar Planet Bookstore Page3 Image Map
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No More Pediatric Bipolar Disorder!

December 7, 2012

The DSM-V will be dropping the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder. It took YEARS for the shrinks to admit that some children were experiencing psychotic manias from the stimulants given to children with ADHD because they didn’t have ADHD! The seminal book on the topic is The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood’s Most Misunderstood Disorder, Third Edition

Another thing that is STILL missing is an anosognosia specifier. It is my nightmare to be trying to convince some evil bastard that I am not insane.

Anosognosia means you are unaware that you are exhibiting the symptoms of your illness. Self-awareness, i.e. the ability to be objective about yourself, isn’t a guaranteed just because you’re human, but when a mentally ill person doesn’t have it, they can get in extra trouble.

The DSM-IV has specifiers for “last episode depressive” or “with psychosis” but there isn’t one for “painfully aware that she is batshit insane.”

It’s not enough to stay calm and not talk about space aliens. The powers-that-be ASSUME you’ll be on your best behavior. Once on a psych ward even a sane person would be hard-pressed to get back out. There was an experiment a few years ago in which psych grad students feigned hearing voices to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Once in, they behaved normally and tried to be released. In all cases the students had to submit to the will of their captors and admit they were mentally ill before being allowed to leave.

“The uniform failure to recognize sanity cannot be attributed to the quality of the hospitals, for, although there were considerable variations among them, several are considered excellent. Nor can it be alleged that there was simply not enough time to observe the pseudopatients. Length of hospitalization ranged from 7 to 52 days, with an average of 19 days. The pseudopatients were not, in fact, carefully observed, but this failure speaks more to traditions within psychiatric hospitals than to lack of opportunity.”
http://psychrights.org/articles/rosenham.htm


Bipolar Planet on Facebook

June 18, 2009

The Bipolar Planet has made it to the 21st century. Social Networking is all the rage, and though The Bipolar Planet has provided a private email list for over ten years and a web page for 15 years as of May 2009, I’ve resisted wandering. Ok, here we go… Become a fan at the official Bipolar Planet Facebook page.


Medication and Reduced IQ

April 4, 2009

The Maudsley Bipolar Disorder Project: the effect of medication, family history, and duration of illness on IQ and memory in bipolar I disorder.

This article presents evidence that psych meds make us sicker.

“Patients on treatment with antipsychotic drugs had a lower current full scale IQ, lower general memory scores, and lower working memory scores. A family history of affective disorders was associated with a higher full scale IQ, but not with either general or working memory measures. Duration of illness was negatively associated with general memory scores, but had no effect on either IQ or working memory measures.”


The Power of Irrationality

March 27, 2009

If you haven’t read Kay Redfield Jamison’s “<a href="Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament“>Touched With Fire; Manic-Depressive Ilness and the Artistic Temperament” run out and get a copy. She is a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins and is bipolar herself.

“I believe that curiosity, wonder and passion are defining qualities of imaginative minds and great teachers; that restlessness and discontent are vital things; and that intense experience and suffering instruct us in ways that less intense emotions can never do. I believe, in short, that we are equally beholden to heart and mind, and that those who have particularly passionate temperaments and questioning minds leave the world a different place for their having been there. It is important to value intellect and discipline, of course, but it is also important to recognize the power of irrationality, enthusiasm and vast energy. Intensity has its costs, of course — in pain, in hastily and poorly reckoned plans, in impetuousness — but it has its advantages as well.”
Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Author and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University
in “The Benefits of Restlessness and Jagged Edges”
NPR Morning Edition, June 6, 2005

There is a video of a speech she did about Exhuberance on YouTube that was quite inspiring. She wrote a great book about the love of life called Exuberance: The Passion for Life
.


The Neurology of Trauma

March 7, 2009

A few weeks ago there was a vehicle in front of me at the coffeeshop window with a phone number and link to The Evolutionary Brain. I called the number and got the guy in the truck, we waved at each other, and he gave me a DVD of the above video, Dr. Robert Scaer on Brain State Technologies and Trauma.

I had a theory about this 18 years ago when I worked for an EEG company and was getting into brainwave synchronization. Doesn’t it seem obvious that if you can “read” brainwaves, then you can also write them? It would be tricky. We’re not looking for ECT, which is more like an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that wipes the whole thing clean. We just want to defrag the mind.

The main site for the technology, Brain State Technologies™ Brain State Conditioning™.

Imnsho, information like this is an absolute necessity if you don’t want to drown in your own drool. YMMV, of course.


Mental Health Rules Put in Bailout

October 6, 2008

http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/financialsvcs_dem/essabill.pdf

The above link is to the full text of the bailout bill, and I suggest that everybody read this bill. It was pushed through with only a couple of days debate by lawyers who have little understanding of the workings of Wall Street or The Fed. And they tacked a lot of pork barrel spending onto it to BRIBE Congress to agree to it. Unfortunately, mental health parity verbiage was tacked onto the bill with the pork. NAMI, of course, is celebrating the bill for its own sake without regard to what effect it will have, or when. Having appeased the mental health lobby, congress is off the hook as far as enacting any further legislation. Way to go!
http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/financialsvcs_dem/essabill.pdf

“To amend section 712 of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974, section 2705 of the Public Health
Service Act, section 9812 of the Internal Revenue Code
of 1986 to require equity in the provision of mental
health and substance-related disorder benefits under
group health plans, to prohibit discrimination on the
basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance
and employment, and for other purposes.”

This means that you only get parity if your employer provides your insurance AND that insurance already has mental health coverage. It doesn’t seem to require them to cover it in the first place. It also doesn’t appear to apply to private health insurance.

There is a cost exemption so to limit mental health coverage if it increases costs by some undetermined amount. The insurance companies can still deny claims bases on their definition of “medical necessity” or by their definition of “reasonable and customary” services.

??(2) COST EXEMPTION.?
6 ??(A) IN GENERAL.?With respect to a
7 group health plan (or health insurance coverage
8 offered in connection with such a plan), if the
9 application of this section to such plan (or cov
10 erage) results in an increase for the plan year
11 involved of the actual total costs of coverage
12 with respect to medical and surgical benefits
13 and mental health and substance use disorder
14 benefits under the plan (as determined and cer
15 tified under subparagraph (C)) by an amount
16 that exceeds the applicable percentage described
17 in subparagraph (B) of the actual total plan
18 costs, the provisions of this section shall not
19 apply to such plan (or coverage) during the fol
20 lowing plan year, and such exemption shall
21 apply to the plan (or coverage) for 1 plan year.”

Discrimination on the basis of genetic information only affects illnesses for which genetic tests have been developed. This bill ignores a lot of of the provisions of the ADA, while modifying ERISA quite a bit. I am concerned that this will weaken the ADA by tightening the definitions to exclude non-genetic diseases.

Specific diagnoses this bill applies to will be determined by the GAO, which has 3 years to study it and present a report. Once the beancounters are through will this bill, we’ll have no more than we had the day before the bill passed.

(h) GAO STUDY ON COVERAGE AND EXCLUSION OF
4 MENTAL HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER DIAG5
NOSES.?
6 (1) IN GENERAL.?The Comptroller General of
7 the United States shall conduct a study that ana8
lyzes the specific rates, patterns, and trends in cov9
erage and exclusion of specific mental health and
10 substance use disorder diagnoses by health plans
11 and health insurance.”

I doubt this will change anything in the near future.

A few years from now you’re going to hear Congressdroids bitching because they didn’t have enough time to collect the facts before enacting this bill.