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Parkinsonian Symptoms May Be Side Effect of Some BP Meds

Sat, 31 May 2014 15:42:14 +00002014-05-31T15:42:14Z

What are parkinsonian symptoms? They include tremor and slowing of movement, among others. When they are caused by a medication, the condition is called secondary parkinsonism. The condition is treatable, ...

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Three Bipolar Medications Unsafe During Pregnancy

Sat, 31 May 2014 14:22:53 +00002014-05-31T14:22:53Z

(image) While there are many concerns about taking medications for bipolar disorder during pregnancy, three drugs sometimes prescribed for bipolar disorder are considered entirely unsafe for pregnant women. These three drugs have a high risk of causing birth defects or causing infants to go through withdrawal. For more information, read Which Bipolar Drugs Are Not Safe During Pregnancy?

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Three Bipolar Medications Unsafe During Pregnancy originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 14:22:53.

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Anatomy of a Meltdown

Sat, 31 May 2014 13:15:08 +00002014-05-31T13:15:08Z

Read a story of a bipolar woman's sudden, terrifying thought, its consequences, and how she dealt with it.

Anatomy of a Meltdown
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Hypomania Quiz

Sat, 31 May 2014 13:11:57 +00002014-05-31T13:11:57Z

Do you suspect you are having, or have had in the past, one or more hypomanic episodes? Here's a quiz that will help you answer the question. It is not ...

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Do You Stress Yourself in the Spring?

Sat, 31 May 2014 12:45:48 +00002014-05-31T12:45:48Z

(image) I do. Every year. As I wrote some years ago in Overcommitment = Stress Squared, I always seem to order too much for my garden and am left to wonder how in heck I'm going to plant it all. I've done it again this year, though not to the degree I wrote about then, when I had 160 different varieties of plants to put in the ground.

Spring seems to be a time for projects! Spring cleaning, gardening, home improvements, new resolutions to get out and walk or bicycle or swim for exercise, signing the kids up for summer classes and recreation, planning a vacation - it's spring, let's just DO it!

Me, I never learn. My good intentions to restrain myself never succeed. I just got a notice in email that 6 perennials, 2 shrubs and a 6 foot tree have been shipped from a mail-order nursery. Yes, I really ordered them. And if that was all I had ordered, it would be great. But that's just one order out of at least eight. This morning I almost placed another order for about 18 plants and bulbs. I want them. It's spring!

Do you stress yourself in spring, too? Leave a comment.

Photo ©2010 by Marcia Purse. All rights reserved.

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Do You Stress Yourself in the Spring? originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 12:45:48.

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Trileptal

Sat, 31 May 2014 00:54:14 +00002014-05-31T00:54:14Z

Recently a lot of people have been searching the internet for information about Trileptal, which is an anticonvulsant drug (that is, it helps control seizures in conditions such as epilepsy) ...

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Have You Read "An Unquiet Mind"?

Sat, 31 May 2014 00:43:31 +00002014-05-31T00:43:31Z

If you haven't, you should. Everyone who experiences mania and depression will benefit from reading this book. Every doctor, judge, police officer and criminal or family attorney should be required ...

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Bipolar Patients at Risk for High Blood Pressure?

Sat, 31 May 2014 00:13:15 +00002014-05-31T00:13:15Z

A small study at Michigan State University found that 45% of male participants with bipolar disorder had hypertension - high blood pressure - compared with 30.5% of the general population. A high percentage of these men were smokers, and more than a third were obese.

The study didn't factor in the medications the men had taken in the past or were currently taken, and the authors acknowledged that there were a lot of things that could be contributing to a higher rate of hypertension. Many psychiatric medications cause weight gain, which very often leads to high blood pressure.

Smoking has also been connected to high blood pressure, and it's not surprising that so many of the men in the study were smokers. Last year I reported on a study that found people with bipolar disorder were more than 7 times as likely to be current daily smokers than the general population. Results of the admittedly unscientific poll attached to that blog seem to confirm this, too: 51% of those responding were current smokers and only 13% said they had never smoked.

I never had hypertension, even though it is common in my family history, until I began gaining weight from psychiatric medications. As my weight rose, so did my blood pressure, until finally I was put on medication to control it.

How about you?

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Bipolar Patients at Risk for High Blood Pressure? originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Saturday, May 31st, 2014 at 00:13:15.

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Do Something Unusual to Help With Depression

Tue, 27 May 2014 03:00:52 +00002014-05-27T03:00:52Z

I received a message from someone named John that I find really fascinating. It's the story of how, while in a black depression, he was able to revive his brain ...

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Learn About Lexapro

Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:19:30 +00002014-04-30T17:19:30Z

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Lexapro is one of the SSRI antidepressants and was created from Celexa (citalopram). The generic name of Lexapro is escitalopram.

There are several warnings about Lexapro, especially about mixing it with other drugs and over-the-counter supplements, and discontinuing Lexapro treatment too quickly can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects.

This Lexapro Drug Profile will give you in-depth information about this antidepressant.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

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Richard Dreyfuss - Bipolar is just part of me

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:44:00 +00002014-04-22T00:44:00Z

(image)
Richard Dreyfuss early in his career
John Minihan / Getty Images

When young Richard Dreyfuss, in a haze of drugs and alcohol, drove his car into a tree, he probably didn't realize ...

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The method of my madness...

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:02:53 +00002014-04-22T00:02:53Z

by Michael (Akikaze)

I cried out in the morning
My echo returned, singing the glories of the new dawn
Ecstasy and exultation
Bells pealed in raucous celebration
Welcoming Eden
Flowers strewn across the path
By dancers on parade

I cried out in the afternoon
An echo returned, muffled in approaching storm clouds
Anxiety and anticipation
Bells rang a dire warning
And fog encompassed Paradise
Fearful children clogged the path
Refugees on parade

I cried out during the night
No echo returned. A shout in deafening silence.
Misery and madness
Bells tolled in anguished mourning
A dirge played in Hell
Ashes dust the empty path
Ghosts on parade.


Michael (Akikaze) is a member of our Bipolar Disorder community, and originally posted this poem in our Forum.

Visit the Creative Expressions Forum.

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Evidence Shows Bipolar II is as Disabling as Bipolar I - For Different Reasons

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:00:49 +00002014-04-22T00:00:49Z

(image) It's pretty common to think of bipolar II disorder as being a "less serious" illness than bipolar I, but Drs. Holly A. Swartz, and Michael E. Thase concluded differently. According to their article in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, bipolar II "is at least as disabling as bipolar I disorder." The reasons given are that people with bipolar II:
  • Experience a more chronic course of illness,
  • Have more lifetime days spent depressed, and
  • Have a lower probability of returning to prior levels of functioning between episodes
than those with bipolar I disorder.

If you're diagnosed with bipolar II, does this analysis change the way you think about your illness, or just seem to confirm what you felt about it already? Many people have already shared their thoughts - what are yours?

Bipolar I Disorder
Bipolar II Disorder
Differences Between Bipolar I and Bipolar II

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Evidence Shows Bipolar II is as Disabling as Bipolar I - For Different Reasons originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 00:00:49.

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Reader Says Bipolar Is a Myth

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 02:00:11 +00002014-04-08T02:00:11Z

Nearly two years ago, now, a reader named Beidoj left this comment on the blog What Is Dysphoric Mania?. A lot of you replied to this blog already, but enough time has passed that I think it's worthwhile to give newer readers - or those who missed this at the time - a chance to react. Beidoj said:
Bipolar is a myth! Every symptom of Bipolar is a natural human trait which has simply been blown out of proportion to what society believes is normal. Every human being has the potential to be labelled with Bipolar and many are being labelled with it just because they don't conform to the "norm."
(image) Mental illness is more often than not caused by trauma (both physical and mental) or actual brain damage. Bipolar is not a mental illness, it is a label given to people who find it hard to cope with themselves, need attention and are who want to be cared for and controlled by medication. People are just individuals trying to belong in a sociological system controlled by conformist who want us all not to buck their system.

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Reader Says Bipolar Is a Myth originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at 02:00:11.

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Hypomanic - I don't need to sleep, so why should I?

Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:27:02 +00002014-04-07T19:27:02Z

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When I woke up the morning after taking a prescribed sleep medication for the first time, I nearly cried with joy: it was the first good night's sleep I'd had ...

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Buying Medications Online? Think Again

Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:45:18 +00002014-04-01T02:45:18Z

(image) Most of the time, buying medications online just isn't safe.

When the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy reviewed a large sample of online pharmacies, it found that only 3 percent were in compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards. Worse yet, says the FDA, it isn't always easy to tell a fake site from one that is legitimate.

The consequences of purchasing drugs over the internet can be serious. The FDA says, "The drugs you receive may look real, but they could be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise unsafe. If you receive counterfeit or substandard medicines, they could keep you from getting better, make you sick or worse."

Since even approved generic drugs can sometimes cause problems to individual patients, think how much worse those problems can be from a fake or adulterated drug!

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Buying Medications Online? Think Again originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014 at 02:45:18.

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Men over 45 more likely to father children with mental illnesses

Tue, 25 Mar 2014 02:18:13 +00002014-03-25T02:18:13Z

(image) A recently published study supports previous research that the risk of having a child who develops a mental illness is increased when the father is over 45. Bipolar disorder is ...

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Autism more likely when a parent has schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 04:00:13 +00002014-03-18T04:00:13Z

In 2012, in the first large-scale research of its kind, researchers who looked at three studies with data from Israel, Sweden, and Stockholm County within Sweden, found an almost three times higher than average risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children who have at least one parent with schizophrenia, and 2.6 times greater when a sibling has schizophrenia.

A child was almost twice as likely to have an ASD when a parent had bipolar disorder, and 1.6 times more likely if there was a sibling with bipolar.

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Autism more likely when a parent has schizophrenia or bipolar disorder originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 04:00:13.

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Self-Test for Bipolar Mania

Tue, 18 Mar 2014 03:30:27 +00002014-03-18T03:30:27Z

(image) Do you suspect you might be in the throes of a manic episode, or have had one in the past? Take this test to help you determine whether the mood is manic or not.

This isn't a scientific test - it's meant to give you information you can then take to a doctor, psychiatrist, counselor or other medical or mental health professional.

Use the results wisely! Mania, or a history of mania, requires immediate contact with a doctor. And even if your score doesn't indicate mania, the presence of several symptoms is a reason to seek professional help as soon as possible.

Mania Self-Test

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Self-Test for Bipolar Mania originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 03:30:27.

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About Valium - Early Tranquilizer, Still Prescribed

Tue, 11 Mar 2014 04:00:10 +00002014-03-11T04:00:10Z

Back in the 1960s and 70s Valium was called "mother's little helper." It was "prescribed in vast quantities" by doctors to women (mothers and non-mothers) for anxiety, tension, you name ...

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New Antipsychotic Drug Latuda Better for Your Weight

Tue, 11 Mar 2014 03:00:55 +00002014-03-11T03:00:55Z

Latuda, a fairly new antipsychotic, has been shown to be effective in treating schizophrenia and has now been approved for use in bipolar depression. The three other atypical antipsychotics - Seroquel, Zyprexa and Symbyax - that are already approved for bipolar depression all have problems with side effects - particularly on weight gain and the related metabolic issues of increased blood glucose and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.

Latuda, by contrast, is considered weight neutral.

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New Antipsychotic Drug Latuda Better for Your Weight originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 at 03:00:55.

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Opinion: Kerry Kennedy and Drugged Driving - Not Guilty

Sat, 01 Mar 2014 14:35:52 +00002014-03-01T14:35:52Z

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Kerry Kennedy
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
I rarely post Opinion blogs, but this case struck a nerve. I have some insight into the case of Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy, who went on trial for drugged driving and yesterday was acquitted by the jury. Kennedy began driving erratically while driving on a highway, eventually hitting a tractor-trailer and continuing to drive. She said she mistook one bottle of pills for another that morning, taking zolpidem (brand name Ambien) instead of her thyroid medicine, and had no idea she was impaired at the time.

The prosecution argued that she must have known something was wrong and should have pulled over as soon as she did. Based on my experience, I know the prosecution was wrong.

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Opinion: Kerry Kennedy and Drugged Driving - Not Guilty originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 14:35:52.

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Bipolar Disorder and School Performance Linked

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:55:37 +00002014-02-28T19:55:37Z

(image) A study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in February 2010 found that students aged 15-16 who got excellent grades were four times as likely to develop bipolar disorder than those receiving average grades. In the group with excellent grades, boys were more likely than girls to develop the illness. According to a report on the study in the Telegraph, the link was strongest in children whose grades for language and music were high.

The Telegraph quoted the study's authors as giving several possible explanations for these results: "First, people in a state of hypomania, a mild period of mania or elevated mood, can often be witty and inventive, and able to link ideas in innovative ways.

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Bipolar Disorder and School Performance Linked originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 19:55:37.

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Generic Cymbalta - Is Duloxetine Safe?

Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:26:14 +00002014-02-28T18:26:14Z

(image) In December of 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration approved a generic version of the antidepressant Cymbalta. As the manufacturer's patent expires and the cheaper generic becomes available, it's good news for many. Cymbalta is expensive! (I know, because I take it, and it's the costliest drug in my medication arsenal.)

But close on the heels of this approval comes word from Australia that there have been 21 confirmed cases where patients taking duloxetine - already in use there - in doses from 30 to 120mg/day developed the dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome. In ten additional cases

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Generic Cymbalta - Is Duloxetine Safe? originally appeared on About.com Bipolar Disorder on Friday, February 28th, 2014 at 18:26:14.

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Weight Loss Drugs Qsymia and Belviq - Are They Safe in Bipolar Disorder?

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 02:00:23 +00002014-02-25T02:00:23Z

(image) The news in 2012 that the FDA had approved not one but two new medications to help with weight loss was extremely exciting to overweight and obese people in the ...

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