Wednesday, May 31, 2006

blogging and ranting...

I have an incredible urge to blog on my illness tonight. I could feel the stigma hovering over my soul and bones right after this one meeting I go to on weekly nights. I feel a need to post about what this illness is all about as I perceive a lot of people misunderstand it, and a loty others use it as a club over my head. Those of us that have this illness of bipolar understand!

so here is to you all my friends and fellow warriors, bipolars or not.

What is Bipolar Disorder?
by Marcia Purse

A Layperson's Definition of Manic Depression
One textbook definition describes bipolar disorder as: "a major affective disorder in which an individual alternates between states of deep depression and extreme elation." This is misleading in that bipolar disorder - also known as manic depression or manic-depressive illness - is much more complicated than just alternating between depression and elation.
The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (commonly known as DSM-IV because it is in its fourth major edition) says, "Bipolar Disorder is characterized by the occurrence of one or more Major Depressive Episodes accompanied by at least one Manic Episode." So even if you're depressed 99 percent of the time, going through just one manic episode qualifies you for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder according to this definition - but that still leaves out a lot of what manic depression really is.

So let's put it in terms everyone can understand. Bipolar disorder is an illness that affects thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behavior ... even how a person feels physically (known clinically as psychosomatic presentations). It's probably caused by electrical and chemical elements in the brain not functioning properly (see What Causes Bipolar Disorder? for more information), and is usually found in people whose families have a history of one or more mental illnesses. (While we're at it, let's be clear about something: a "mental illness" is one that affects the mind, not one that's all in the mind.)

Most often, a person with manic-depression experiences moods that shift from high to low and back again in varying degrees of severity. The two poles of bipolar disorder are mania and depression. This is the least complicated form of the illness.

Depression might be identified by:

Refusing to get out of bed for days on end
Sleeping much more than usual
Being tired all the time but unable to sleep
Having bouts of uncontrollable crying
Becoming entirely uninterested in things you once enjoyed
Paying no attention to daily responsibilities
Feeling hopeless, helpless or worthless for a sustained period of time
Becoming unable to make simple decisions
Wanting to die
Mania might include:

Feeling like you can do anything, even something unsafe or illegal
Needing very little sleep, yet never feeling tired
Dressing flamboyantly, spending money extravagantly, living recklessly
Having increased sexual desires, perhaps even indulging in risky sexual behaviors
Experiencing hallucinations or delusions
Feeling filled with energy
Some people think that they are just "over their depression" when they become manic, and don't realize this exaggerated state is part of the illness - part of bipolar disorder. A person who has depression and mania is said to have Bipolar I.

In addition to Bipolar Disorder I, the American system of diagnosing this disorder also includes Bipolar Disorder II, which involves symptoms of hypomania instead of full-blown mania.

Hypomania - a less extreme form of manic episode - could include:

Having utter confidence in yourself
Being able to focus well on projects
Feeling extra creative or innovative
Being able to brush off problems that would paralyze you during depression
Feeling "on top of the world" but without going over the top.
Hypomania does not include hallucinations or delusions, but a hypomanic person still might exhibit some reckless or inappropriate behavior. A person who has moods of depression and hypomania is said to have Bipolar II.

Below we've linked to in-depth articles that list the symptoms of both mania and depression, which we encourage you to read if you want more detailed information on these symptoms of bipolar disorder. We've also linked to an article on the causes of bipolar disorder and some other important information.

This is the simplest definition we can offer to answer the question, "What is bipolar disorder?" The next article in Bipolar Basics is Complex Features of Bipolar Disorder, where we look at some of the complexities that this difficult condition can include.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

bloggo chicago

Now this is a nice blog! I wish I had the skills to make my blog shine like this, but for now I will just have to settle for who I am and what I can do...

bloggo chicago

Friday, May 26, 2006

Another Seven Tips For A Good Night's Sleep

19 May 2006 08:49 AM

Another Seven Tips For A Good Night's Sleepby Aimee Amodio More from this Blogger

Naps can be your best friend or your worst ally. Me, I'm a napper. I can snooze for an hour or two and still get into bed at the usual time with no problem. For some people, taking naps can make insomnia worse. If a nap isn't a good idea for you, you should make a point of getting up and moving around if you feel sleepy and it's not bedtime yet.

Skip the shower. A shower tends to wake you up. If you need some help relaxing, try a warm bath instead. A long, hot bath will help relax your muscles and give you some time to be alone and think, if you need it. Personally, I like a ton of bubbles and a good book in the tub with me.
A cool room may help you sleep better. I don't know about you, but if I'm too hot, I'm usually too uncomfortable to sleep. I'd much rather burrow down under an extra blanket in a cool room.
Keep an eye on the humidity. Ever wake up because your mouth and throat are dry? It's not a very good feeling, is it? Heating systems tend to keep the air very dry. A humidifier may help you sleep more comfortably.

Do you ever have those nights when you wake up after just a few hours of sleep? Or worse, the nights where you wake up several times? The stresses of daily life can easily throw your sleeping patterns out of whack. If you are wide awake on these restless nights, don't lay in bed agonizing. Get up and do something quiet for twenty minutes, then try getting back into bed. Don't fix yourself a special treat or have a smoke; your body may start getting you up every night for your midnight (or 2am, or 4am) treat.

Figure out how much sleep you need. Some people need more, some people need less. Keeping a sleep diary can help you discover the right amount of sleep. Make note of what time you got into bed and how quickly you fell asleep. Make note of what time you got up, and how you felt when you woke up -- alert, or still groggy and wanting more.

Last but not least... worrying about not sleeping is NOT going to help you sleep! Get your worries out somehow -- talk to a friend, or keep a diary -- so you can set them aside and sleep peacefully. You're not going to die from a few nights of insomnia. The world is not going to end.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Dear bed...

I miss you tonight. I thought I was gonna have a date with you about an hour ago, but... here I am, just thinking of you...I am glad you take me in your arms whenever I subside to my urge to explore other worlds and fantasies. I am glad that together, you and I allow my body to receive the necessary rest to revitalize and have one more day of life...God, in th emean time watches, while we embrace each other...

Sleep disturbancese are one of the things that characterize my not so healthy condition in life. At this time, I can only hope to do my best to follow the standard sleep hygiene suggestions written when you do a search, but there is definitelly more to it than meets that eye, in th emean time, a few posts regarding the subject matter would not be a bad place to start.

Bipolar Planet

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Visit a random site in the ring or the bipolar planet homepage!
The Previous 5 member sites of the bipolar planet NetRing:


The very personal feelings and experiences of a young Kiwi mum trying to survive the world around her.
Bipolar Princess
A single mother's diary thru mental illness.
Ride along on the Bipolar Roller Coaster
Follow the illness and treatment of a young woman with Bipolar I Disorder. This blog exists in the hope of furthering understanding and empathy. See what it's really like to have this illness. Step into her life, if only for a moment. But as you step out, keep in mind that she will never be able to.

3amTherapy Sessions
The ramblings of a happy little lunatic extraordinaire ... covering any and every thing in my life, which is often nothing but sometimes something.

1. bloggo chicago Join Date: September 22, 2005
30-something Chicagoan managing life with bipolar disorder, 4 cats, a husband, and a great love for Star Wars (not necessarily in that order)

2. Bipolar & Me Join Date: March 26, 2006
I'm a bipolar girl recording my thoughts to see if "being bipolar" really does affect my day to day life. In trying to overcome this disease and live in the "normal" world, it requires me to analyze my actions and see what is my personality, and what are my bipolar traits. That's what I'm recording, and hopefully can reflect on later to change the behavior.

3. Crazy Not Stupid Join Date: May 15, 2006
a diary of my life and thoughts on being bipolar

4. Wild Abandon Join Date: September 25, 2005
Bipolar Blog

5. Jane loves Tarzan Join Date: September 15, 2005
Sanity is the Playground of the Unimaginative.

6. It's Just A Ride Join Date: May 22, 2006
The roller coaster life of a Bipolar man. The ups and downs I go through and news snippets I come across

7. Psych Ward Story; Mom, Interrupted Join Date: March 04, 2006
Come with me on my stay in a psych ward, where I compare the interesting social dynamics to a drug rehabilitation center I was in about fifteen years earlier. Teenagers and adults of various socio-economic and cultural backgrounds living in close quarters and exposing the inner-most secrets of their souls to strangers. I am not here to discourage anyone from going to the hospital, it saved my life.

8. 3amTherapy Sessions Join Date: April 21, 2006
The ramblings of a happy little lunatic extraordinaire ... covering any and every thing in my life, which is often nothing but sometimes something.

9. Manic Reality Join Date: March 22, 2006
My blog started with me thinking that I'd help other people with my experiences and thoughts on my journey as a Bipolar Type II. Turns out that was wishful thinking - it's all self therapy baby! Take what you will, leave what you won't. Live long and prosper.

10. Mercurial Mind Bipolar Blog Join Date: March 20, 2006
Excitement, turmoil, slow-motion fury, over-reacting recluse Tap, tap, tap always on The soft tissues of my brain... My mercurial mind, a bipolar blog.

11. Memoirs of a Yin Yang Join Date: April 07, 2006
When I'm emotional in a bad way, I often keep a journal. These are entries that I made over the past 5 years.

12. No Bravery... Join Date: March 28, 2006
(finally got round to re-joining!) This is just my personal recordings of a regular day-to-day life. Having recently been diagnosed with Bipolar II and Personality Disorder NOS, my blog will follow me as I try and find my way through life without getting lost...

13. husband - DJ - computer geek Join Date: January 18, 2006
This site is basically nothing more than a simple look into the life of Brent Natzle (DJSlim). My postings put together they become a picture of my life as a husband - DJ - computer geek. I was just recently diagnosed as bi-polar

14. -Been Broken- Join Date: December 31, 2005
One man and mental illness - an occasional diary

15. On A Happier Note Join Date: December 07, 2005
Thinking positive no matter how grim the situation may be.

16. Lucky I'm Biplolar (or I'd be angry all the time) Join Date: April 12, 2006
An up and down narrative of my crazy life

17. Too Many Kids Join Date: April 23, 2006
I write about being a mother of four with Bipolar and Fibromyalgia. It can get hectic around here but thank god I have this blog and all my buddies to talk to!!

18. Wasted Days Join Date: September 16, 2005
Just a site that I put my thoughts and flame fractal renderings, that show my state of mind, at any one particular time. As a warning sometimes it can get somewhat coarse.

19. Random Thoughts From A Bipolar Mind Join Date: March 26, 2006
Married. With children. Bipolar. Trying to find my way, accepting what I have been given, and trying to become whole.

20. Finding Yourself Despite Yourself Join Date: December 31, 2005
Bitter MILF with an artist bent, laughing at myself and you

21. Peaks And Valleys Join Date: December 15, 2005
Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar Disorder or manic depressive disorder, Obsessive compulsive disorder and ADHD can lead to suicide. PolarBear and Peaks and Valleys Blog is dedicated to helping by providing info on getting help along with uplifting quotes, resources and books.

22. Broken Dreams Join Date: January 11, 2006
A blog about dealing with anxiety, depression, social phobia and bi-polar disorder.

23. meredithelaine Join Date: September 28, 2005
life and love from a borderline, bipolar, depressed, ADDed-, OCDed-out standpoint.

24. Oh blah dee Oh blah dah Join Date: January 15, 2006
The collectiveness of the bipolar me. My daily, or not so daily, grind.

25. Bipolar 2 and my journey Join Date: October 08, 2005
A look into my 20 year journey of discovering that I am a bipolar 2 male.

26. crazy. spoiled. bLitch Join Date: October 27, 2005
Social butterfly turned hermit crab. I have an extremely low tolerance for stupidity. Hence, the reason for the change in social habits. I am the first to admit that I am coo-coo for cocoa puffs. Who isn't? Those who try to claim they are completely sane are really wacko and should be feared. Deep thoughts from a shallow bLitch!

27. BiPolar Daily Join Date: October 25, 2005
BiPolar Roller Coaster ride. Seatbelt fastening recommended.

28. Bipolar Princess Join Date: November 28, 2005
A single mother's diary thru mental illness.

29. Bipolar Joe Join Date: March 10, 2006
Manic depression has its upside, too

30. Bipolar Being Join Date: January 22, 2006
Bipolar Vomit

31. misha, barefoot and real Join Date: October 06, 2005
character isn't developed in peace and quiet. as a bipolar, black, artistic Christian in my early twenties, life certainly has its challenges and its beauty. this is the blog where i work out my thoughts on the life i live.

32. Ordinarily, She's Moody Join Date: May 03, 2006
Personal blog of a bipolar girl, trying to live an ordinary life.

33. Bubblegum Cards From The Edge Join Date: October 17, 2005
Every life is a new journey. Come along and see what happens as one individual resolves to take the road WAY less travelled...

34. A little crazy...aren't we all? Join Date: October 23, 2005
The ramblings of a bizarre woman pouring out her soul into her blog about life, bipolar disorder, and inner thoughts.

35. BipolarDiary Join Date: October 24, 2005

36. DarkestFaerieDoll Join Date: January 05, 2006
The very personal feelings and experiences of a young Kiwi mum trying to survive the world around her.

37. Moon Moods Join Date: September 01, 2005
An on-line diary of a manic depressive, Bipolar I who is coming to terms with such a diagnosis. And other mentally unrelated crap that goes on in her life. Warning: author is prone to rants about issues that don't really matter.

38. Occasional Confusion Join Date: May 18, 2006
One of my many shrinks suggested to keep a diary, maybe like that I can get to "know" myself, hmmmmm?

39. Ravings of a Bipolar Gothic Witch Join Date: January 01, 2006
Philosophy by a gothic bipolar single mom, pursuing my dream in of a Ph.d physics. I write about anything that interests me including global events, human rights, human stupidity and my bipolar illness, while trying to maintain a sense of humor.

40. The Icing on the Cake Join Date: January 23, 2006
Mania. Depression. What flavour frosts your cake in the darker moments of either extreme?

41. Lake Walks Join Date: January 01, 2006
The life of a man with bipolar disorder. Often I come here to find my muse...

42. Letters to Theophilus Join Date: October 05, 2005
One man's struggle in the darkness of madness and sometimes out. A blog about faith and mental illness.

43. Ninja Poodles Join Date: October 12, 2005
About my...Daughter, Husband, Family, Horses, Soap, Singing, Reading, Movies, Playing, Fishing, Internet Addiction, Mental Health Awareness, Assorted Flotsam & Jetsam...and lots and lots of Poodles. Ninja Poodles.

44. A Revision Join Date: February 08, 2006
I am bipolar and enjoy blogging to express my varying moods, from serious to silly. I am the conductor of the Friends of the Friendless Marching Band, which meets on Friendly Fridays to visit friendless blogs.

45. Further Ironies Join Date: August 17, 2005
This is a blog where I write about my life, my illness, experiences and my quest for wellness

46. Bipolar Support Join Date: October 05, 2005
A blog (web log) written by parents of a large family, including a 21 year old son with fairly severe bipolar disorder. With this log we will attempt to record thoughts, struggles, and accomplishments with respect to our bipolar son, Kyle. This includes, by necessity, the dynamics of our family and many of our day to day interactions and events.

47. Living With A Purple Dog Join Date: November 12, 2005
The ramblings of a bipolar product of the seventies.

48. Crystal's Blog of Life Join Date: October 28, 2005
Blog on my life with bipolar disorder, single parenting and whatever runs through my mind.

49. Weird Cake: Treats from a Bipolar Mind Join Date: December 31, 2005
Welcome to the daily view of life as digested by a bipolar brain. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type II in January 2001 and like to share about my Witch Doctor visits, meds, work, politics, football, and whatever the hell else is on my mind...

50. Ivy Tied up Join Date: January 09, 2006
My personal blog. I'm a WAHM to 3 kids. I'm bipolar. My son has been diagnosed as bipolar. And my site tells about my life..

Interesting blogs of folks that are bipolar like me... I tried copying and pasting but the hot links were lost in the process... I am sure if you google the name of the blog, you will easily find the blog, otherwise please visit Bipolar planet.

Comming out of my two door closet...

Ok, so I am bipolar. What does this mean? It means that anything and everything having to deal with my new diagnosis is going to get posted here: news, tratments, blogs of other bipolars, ideas, thoughts and ramblings.
Thats what it means.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Plant Care

House plants is a term collectively given to a group of foliage or flowering plants that will tolerate indoor conditions for different periods of time. They will give you superb value if you give them correct conditions. They will even assist in making your environment more healthy by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and will certainly add a wonderful feeling to your indoor environment. House plants given proper care, are easy to grow and very rewarding.

There are seven ways to achieve success with House plants. Watering and feeding are the two key ones. Collectively these two factors hold the answer to keeping your House Plants happy and healthy. More indoor plants are killed by overwatering than any other single factor.
1. Watering
The amount of water your plant requires depends on the temperature and the time of year. Generally speaking, plants require far more water while they are growing or during flowering times than they do during their resting season which will generally occur in late autumn to winter. A thorough watering once or twice a week is better than a sprinkle each day. Some plants love being put out in the rain for a time, but not the hairy plants such as African Violets, for this can cause their leaves to discolour and rot. It is generally better to water a plant thoroughly when it is starting to become a little on the dry side. You need to learn your plants water requirements. It may take a little time and experience to achieve this. You may be able to determine this by feeling the soil or you may be able to judge by the weight of the pot. It is obviously lighter when it is dry than when it is moist. Certainly however, it is better to err on the dry side rather than being too wet. Most plants prefer to be kept evenly moist and allowed to dry a little between each watering. We suggest you ask your Local GREENGOLD Garden Centre to show you how best to water your plants.
2. Fertilising
When fertilising it is good advice to be sparing with the food. Giving too little is better than too much. Only fertilise during the growing season and preferably make sure that the soil is moist before applying. There are many fertilisers on the market, both liquid and granular and most well known brands have certain benefits. We believe it is best to apply a slow release fertiliser like Nutricote or Osmocote every six months and supplement this with a liquid feed like Thrive indoor to give it a kick start in the growing season. If your still unsure we suggest that you ask for advice as some products are better with some plants than others.
3. Light
Light is another important factor in plant growth. Inside your home there are probably many areas that are suitable for House Plants. In rooms with large windows for instance, light should be adequate provided there are no heavy drapes to block the light source. Supplementary lighting with fluorescent lighting is beneficial in darker rooms. Usually there is a plant for every room and your GREENGOLD Garden Centre can advise you on which one is for you and your room.
4. Warmth
Warmth, as much as light is essential for plant growth and substantial fluctuations in temperature should be avoided. Some plants tolerate artificial warmth in the home environment while others do not. Cyclamen in particular do not like an over-heated room.
5. Fresh Air
Open the windows wide on warm days and let fresh air blow gently through the house thus giving the plant a fresh atmosphere to live in. But do not leave your plant in a draught as this can create problems.
6. Humidity
Many of the plants which are grown indoors originated from jungles and rain forests where there is always a moist atmosphere. Although they have adapted themselves to our drier atmosphere they will still give of their best if you create an artificial atmosphere for them. One way to overcome the dry effect of house heating is to place shallow trays of water beside your plants, or place the pots inside larger vessels and fill the space between the two with peat moss. Alternatively you can place single pots on a tray of stones or gravel and then pour water into the gravel, making sure it does not reach the base of the pots or roots could rot.
7. Cleanliness
Plants, like people need to be cleaned. Sponge the leaves of larger foliage plants. This removes dust from the surface of the leaf and improves the appearance enormously. Misting with an atomiser over the plants with water from time to time will also clean the surface and allow them to use carbon dioxide drawn in through the pores of the leaf. This is essential for healthy plant growth. Most plants like to spend some of their time outside so perhaps it is worth alternating your plants from inside to outside on a rotational basis. During the warmer months it doesn’t to send your plants on a holiday to a shaded verandah for couple of weeks. This will usually invigorate them and when the come back they come back they’ll knuckle down and look good for you longer. Most House plants are like us they don’t like been left outside on a cold night so don’t put them out during winter or you might find they’ll go to plant heaven (The compost heap).
Repotting is really a subject on its own and it is certainly a matter that needs advice and assistance from your GREENGOLD Garden Centre. It is certainly not hard but different plants have different requirements. Quality soil is absolutely essential for good growth in House Plants using an inferior potting mix is like trying to drive your car with one flat tyre, it might still go but it won’t get anywhere. African Violets and some other House Plants do need their own special soil. Most repotting is carried out in the warmer months i.e. September to March inclusive but in most cases you can pot a plant when you’re both ready as long as your careful. Most House Plants do not grow very quickly. Generally you would only pot them from one container up to the next size e.g. from a 15cm pot to perhaps a 17cm or maybe a 20cm pot. It is always a good idea to water your plant before repotting with GREENGOLD Plant Starter and again afterwards to encourage new, healthy roots. The diagrams to follow will give you some idea of how to repot. Below is a list of some the more popular house plants we have available it may sound a bit of a mouthful but it should give you an idea of some of the many options available: African Violets, Impatiens, Begonias, Cyclamen, Streptocarpus, Zygocactus, Primula obconica, Kalenchoe varieties, Chrysanthemum, Poinsettia, Summer Love, Anthurium, Calceolaria, Columnea, Gloxinia. Plants that tolerate low light: Spathiphyllum, Philodendron varieties, Ferns, Palms (certain varieties) and Dracaena. N.B. If in doubt about repotting always consult your GREENGOLD Garden Centre.

Throw away House Plants: Many House Plants (particularly flowering ones) should be treated as disposable or throw away plants. Treat them like a bunch of flowers. If they cost you under $10 and you get at least 4 to 6 weeks of pleasure, then you've had good value. We’ve all seen it, the plant that looks terrible and never seems to do anything. Many people seem to persist with plants that have past their use by date. If it cost you less than $15 and lasts more than six weeks then it’s still cheaper than a bunch of flowers. It takes nerves of steel to throw away a plant that’s still alive (and in most cases barely) but chances are once a flowering plant has past it’s best the thing to do is throw it out and get something else in that looks good.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

IN THE NEWS: from The Free Dictionary

For Some Patients, Seeing Is BelievingA new study found that patients who see pictures of the plaque accumulation in their own arteries are more likely to adhere to a treatment regimen. Patients in the study had their arteries examined by electron beam tomography; they were shown the resulting scans and informed of the severity of the blockage. Researchers found that the amount of plaque seen on the scan was an independent predictor that a patient would stay on lipid-lowering medicine. More on the subject...