Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. People with bipolar experience high and low moods—known as mania and depression—which differ from the typical ups-and-downs most people experience, known as distimias.
The lows of bipolar depression are frequently so debilitating that patients are unable to get out of bed. Typically, people experiencing a depressive episode tend to have difficulty falling and staying asleep, while others sleep far more than usual.
When patients fall into depression, even minor decisions such as what to eat for dinner can be overwhelming and difficult. They tend to become obsessed with feelings of desperation, loneliness, loss, personal failure, guilt or helplessness; what is very worrisome is that this negative thinking can lead to thoughts of suicide.
“So I decided to enter this asylum. At least here I can be myself.’ — Khalil Gibran
Most of the time, people in manic states are unaware of the negative consequences of their actions. With bipolar disorder, suicide is an ever-present danger because some people become suicidal even in manic states. Learning from prior episodes what kinds of behavior signals “red flags” of manic behavior can help manage the symptoms of the illness.
Suicide can be preventable since infancy. Having caring parents and relatives who really love their children and look out for them, creating an optimal and loving environment for their healthy and happy growth.
However, this almost seems like a utopia in the world we live in. But it is not impossible, we have to have hope, always, and have love, for ourselves, our children, our family and friends.
But, even when we have had been raised in loving homes by caring parents, in a healthy social and mental environment bad things happen to good people as we all know: a failed marriage, the death of a loved one, the loss of work or income, a traumatic accident; things that could trigger an acute depression and if not treated immediately it could develop into a severe case of suicidal depression.
When a friend, a child, a patient, anybody tells us that “I don’t want to live anymore”, or that “I am going to kill myself tonight or tomorrow”, we have the responsibility as human beings to believe him/her and help in anyway possible and as soon as possible.
“There is a critical window in which depressed patients who are suicidal need rapid relief to prevent self-harm,” said Michael Grunebaum, MD, a research psychiatrist at CUMC, who led the study.
“Currently available antidepressants can be effective in reducing suicidal thoughts in patients with depression, but they can take weeks to have an effect. Suicidal, depressed patients need treatments that are rapidly effective in reducing suicidal thoughts when they are at highest risk.
Currently, there is no such treatment for rapid relief of suicidal thoughts in depressed patients.” — Read more here
Depression: Sadness, feeling down, having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities – these are symptoms familiar to all of us. But, if they persist and affect our life substantially, it may be depression.
The World Health Organization estimates that 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. I am one of those 121 million people. Maybe you are too. Maybe you know someone close to you who is affected by depression.
Although it may seem trivial to some, I have found great comfort in dark times in some of the following inspirational quotes about depression. To know others have experienced the darkness of depression and have seen the light at the end is sometimes all we need when we feel we are alone.
“Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.” James R. Cook
“Don’t let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.” Richard L. Evans
“It has been my philosophy of life that difficulties vanish when faced boldly.” Isaac Asimov
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” Robert Schiller
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” St. Francis of Assisi
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” Mark Twain
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can change his life by changing his attitude of mind.” William James
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky
“There are two ways to live your lif e. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein
“Accept challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” George S. Patton
“Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget about everything except what you’re going to do now – and do it.” William Durant
“Minds are like parachutes, they function only when open.” unknown author
“Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” Thoreau
“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell
Fibromyalgia is not “an imaginary disease”, it is real and it needs to be addressed as such. It is a seriously misunderstood illness, mainly because, as you know, many sufferers may not “look sick.” This is why it is so important to talk about it as a so-called “Invisible Disease,” because not a lot of people nor medical doctors take it seriously.
Clinicians should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia and diagnose the condition with minimum investigation. Any Medical Doctor who doesn’t know how to detect this pathology, needs to take some courses about how to diagnose it and treat it.
If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, you need to know some facts about it and remember: do not feel shame for feeling the way you do. You can control this disorder and don’t let it over-power you.
Fibromyalgia can be a hard disease to get a diagnosis for since so few people understand it.
It is imperative that we learn and educate our patients, my followers and our loved ones about what fibro warriors go through every day. Let’s take in consideration their suffering and support them fully.
UNDERSTANDING THE ILLNESS:
Patients with fibromyalgia experience body pain that weakens them. There is chronic aching in different points of the body, stiffness and tenderness.
They feel tired most of the time and this makes them nervous, worry and in some cases their blood pressure tends to increase due to the pain and the worryness.
Patients often tell me that they feel their vitality is going away and their strength with it.
Problems for mental concentration start to appear because of the lack of serenity and constant pain that doesn’t go away with pain killers. Yes, the pain, they say, might subside for a little bit, few hours maybe, but it comes back, sometimes in the same area of the legs, knees, shoulders. Some other times it comes back stronger attacking another area of the body.
Patients say “even the skin burns, it hurts so much it is scary”. Patients do hurt, not only physically but mentally, so much that their quality of living begins to diminish. At this time is when this disease -fibromyalgia- causes panic attacks, excessive crying and/or depression.
FIBROMYALGIA IS A DEBILITATING DISEASE
Patients tell me they have problems to go up and downstairs, difficulty to lift up the arms. They feel a burning sensation along the inside of the skin of the legs, the arms, even the back.
They refer to a constant “pain in my lower back”, call lumbalgia.
The cervical spine and both sides of the neck hurt so much some doctors confuse the diagnosis with torticollis and prescribe medicine for it. Of course, the patient might feel some relieve for a day or two and then the pain comes back.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin burn and hurt, making the movements of all the parts of the body strenuous, walking and daily activities very arduous and depending on the gravity of the illness, even impossible.
…include headaches, lose of strength in the hands to hold objects, which they fall off their hands: “Things just fall off my hands. It’s like my muscles don’t have strength anymore”.
Tripping on is more common, clumsiness, general discomfort. Sometimes patients lose balance and fall backwards or forward.
ORIGINS OF THE FIBROMYALGIA
This illness has multiple causes and factors. Usually a very stressful childhood, child abuse of any kind.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) of any origin: soldiers who come back from war, a stressful or violent marriage, separations, forced immigration, traumatic abandonment of any kind, the loss of loved ones, even the loss of a limb can trigger this syndrome.
THE PATH TO RECOVERY
Recovery is possible. Taking control of your life is absolutely needed to achieve this goal. You can be happy and pain free increasing the quality of your life.
Living is an art or is a path to destruction, and unfortunately the lack of love and compassion within the family structure is what triggers so much loneliness, depression and anxiety in many.
We are born, if we are lucky enough, to two loving parents who care about us so much to let us grow into kind, compassionate and successful human beings. But sometimes things go wrong: the family is dysfunctional, parents or children don’t care about each other. They become bitter and depressive, even when they finish graduate or post-graduate school; hey, maybe they even become rich, but no matter what they do in life unhappiness is always there.
These kind of frustrated person is the one that we should not become, it is the type of individual we all should avoid in our lives. They just drain the merriment out of us because it is the only way for them to find “joy”: when others are unhappy or unfortunate.
I would say to them: “Be happy, let others be joyful … let others live”
Forgetting or forgetfulness can be very scary for some people, especially if it becomes frequent in patients younger than 65. When you live a life plagued with stress your mind starts to give more importance to those things that cause you to worry the most.
You start to forget where you left the keys, the wallet, the pen, etc. But even if the patient is 65 or older when s/he commences to be forgetful, it doesn’t mean s/he has Alzheimer’s Disease. Anxiety and depression can mimic dementia. If you are a young adult, in your twenties or thirties and you are not eating well, you drink alcohol excessively, smoke and don’t exercise regularly, you might experience “forgetfulness due to extreme stress”.
Patients with Alzheimer tend to repeat themselves because they lose their short memory especially in the early stage. They forget recently learned information like dates or events, asking for the same information over and over.
Patients are frequently misdiagnosed in several medical areas, a mental illness is one of them. That is why it is very important to have the right knowledge about it and the most innovated equipment in this age of technology. IQuity is tackling Alzheimer’s biomarkers using the “Machine Learning” (yes, machine learning not learning machine) that uses artificial intelligence.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, do not hesitate to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.
Remember that prevention is the key for a healthier, happier and longer life — Dr. Martha A. Castro N., MD
I survived a suicide attempt. However my friend, he did not. This is what suicide looks like. This is him after hanging himself, right before he died. February 25th 2010. The difference between us is nothing, except our resources—--Malcolm Gladwell
By Cortland Pfeffer
There is enormous stigma associated with the word “suicide.” People cringe when you even mention the word and immediately change the subject. If we are afraid to talk about it, how on earth do we think we are going to prevent it? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, taking more than 40,000 per year. At this rate, in one decade, we lose 400,000 people to suicide – equivalent to the entire population of Oakland, California.
When someone is suicidal, the typical reaction is “don’t talk like that!” or “that’s not even funny.” Or it turns to simplifying the situation such as, “other people have it worse than you,” or “just snap out of it, things will get better.” Nobody wants to “deal with it” and most people will adamantly refuse to even discuss it. You may even be considered selfish for having those thoughts and leaving close ones behind.
But when suicide does occur, the response is quite the opposite. Suddenly, everyone is there and feels terrible. They did not see the signs, never saw it coming, and can only talk about the amazing qualities of the deceased. It even goes as far as to hear people saying, “why didn’t they just reach out?”
If anyone has ever lost someone to suicide, they know the tremendous amount of pain associated. There may not be a worse feeling in the world. There are so many unanswered questions, “what ifs”, and “Should haves”. In the end, nobody commits suicide because they want to die, they commit suicide because they want the pain to go away.
I was suicidal, Joe committed suicide.
Part of the reason Joe is dead is because of the stigma associated with suicide along with the professionals he worked with that neglected and labeled him. He did not get treated as he deserved.
Joe didn’t have money, my family did. He went to jail and stayed long-term, I went to jail and got bailed out. He stayed in jail, while I was offered treatment instead. His crimes were all non-violent drug possession charges, mine were DUI, assault, and disorderly.
The difference? I had money and resources. Based on the information in the paragraph above, is there any other reason for the difference in penalties?
Joe and I were also born with the same temperament, which is more in tune with others emotions and greater sensitivity. This is neither good nor bad, just the way we were born. This is not to say that being emotional is guaranteed to create issues.
To be on this far end of the spectrum, along with consistently being denied needed support, along with the unhealthy environment is a formula for addiction. They refer to this as the biopsychosocial model. The biology is the genetics, the psychological refers to the emotional neglect and trauma, and the sociological refers to growing up in a broken home, overpopulated schools with minimal resources, poverty, and lack of positive role models.