Manic-Depressive (Bipolar) Hope
But first, a quote from An
Unquiet Mind, by Kay Redfield
Jamison, an inspiring woman (a manic-depressive psychiatrist that has
done some amazing work on the link between creative genius and madness)
and the first prescription the Good Head Shrink wrote for me when I was
discharged from the hospital after the Big One of '00
Kay Redfield Jamison, On Having Manic Depression
"I have often asked myself whether, given the choice, I would choose
to have manic-depressive illness. If lithium were not available to me, or
didn't work for me, the answer would be a simple no... and it would be an
answer laced with terror. But lithium does work for me, and therefore I
can afford to pose the question. Strangely enough, I think I would choose
to have it. It's complicated... I honestly believe that as a result of it
I have felt more things, more deeply; had more experiences, more
intensely; loved more, and have been more loved; laughed more often for
having cried more often; appreciated more the springs, for all the
winters... Depressed, I have crawled on my hands and knees in order to get
across a room and have done it for month after month. But normal or manic
I have run faster, thought faster, and loved faster than most I know."
-- Kay Redfield Jamison
|Primary orientation: ||Manic!|
|Secondary orientation: ||Depressive. *sigh*|
|Mental Health History:
Update 1/28/04 - Goldberg
score of 77 (severely manic). Ah hell, this sucks. :-(
Some basic stuff on Manic-Depression (Bipolar Disorder Type I), for those not already bored
to tears by my incessant self-absorbed babbling on the topic.
OK, I know I've been blathering on about this for quite a while here, but I thought I'd put
together some more concrete info, mainly links. Partially for your benefit, if you're curious
about this thing that is a facet of my life and personality, or if you're one of the kind cadre
of folks who act as my 'mood mirrors'** on occasion, and also partially for my benefit, so I can
keep them all together.
- First and foremost, if I have deputized you as a 'mood mirror' , you should read this - on the Symptoms of Mania
very good and basic primer on
what Manic-Depression (aka Bipolar Disorder) is all about.
- And another short primer.
- And another
one, with a bit greater detail
- Looks like someone beat me to it, with
a better (or at least longer) set of links.
Goldberg Mania Questionnaire - in a nutshell, this is a simple test that I can take (or you
can refer to gauge my sanity) to find out whether I'm manic (serious problem) or hypomanic (less
severe, but still something that needs to be watched like a hawk, since it can very quickly and
easily morph into full-blown mania
- The results of my Goldberg Mania Questionnairre on 11/16/02 at 9:20am were 78
Results of your Goldberg Mania Questionnaire
You scored a total of 78.
"You appear to be suffering from symptoms associated with severe mania, commonly
associated with serious mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or cyclothymic disorder. These
symptoms appear to be causing you some serious impairment and distress in your normal, everyday
functioning. You would likely benefit from the immediate attention of your physician or a
trained mental health professional for further evaluation and a more accurate diagnosis and
You should not take this score to represent a mental disorder diagnosis or any type of
behavioral healthcare treatment recommendation. Always consult with a trained mental health
professional if you are experiencing depressive feelings and/or difficulties in your daily
functioning that cause you anxiety or worry."
54 and up Severely Manic
36 - 53 Moderate - Severe Mania
22 - 35 Mild - Moderate Mania
18 - 21 Borderline Mania
10 - 17 Possibly Mildly Manic (Hypomania)
0 - 9 No Mania Likely
No more needs to be said on that. 78. It says it all by itself.
- Zyprexa Reduces Symptoms Of Mania, Severe
Depression In Bipolar Disorder - Zyprexa is the first drug in my pharmacoepia arsenal when I
get manic. It's 'good shit,' so to speak. In a lot of ways, but the most important one being
that it has the ability to drastically and quickly bring me back to center when I get manic.
- My God/dess, an entire
site devoted to it, including the ICD-10 Criteria for Bipolar Affective
Disorder (e.g. official diagnostic criteria in medspeak.
- Epilepsy Drug Lamictal Appears Effective For
Bipolar Depression - Lamictal is the mood stabilizer (regular maintenance anti-manic
medication) that I'm currently on, after having had problems with Depakote (NOTE TO SELF -
details to come) and Lithium (NOTE TO SELF - details to come). Unfortunately, it looks like it
may be insufficient to keep me on an even keel, at least given the last few months' experience.
**sigh** I really hope we can just boost the dosage, since it's had the fewest side effects and
leaves me feeling like **me**, and not like a feeble-minded drugged-out zombie.
 Over the last two years, I've deputized several friends and family members to be my 'mood
mirrors,' as I call it - these are folks who are familiar with the signs & symptoms of mania (as
well as depression) and whom I've explicitly asked to tell me straight up, even if it sounds
harsh, if I appear to be edging too far in either direction. Sometimes I don't like hearing it,
but it's really something that I need - especially since this disease is particularily
pernicious in that it often erodes judgement and my normally acute self-awareness.
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