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bipolar disorder
April 21, 2000
8:29 am
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janes
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Plus...take into consideration that if the chemical imbalance is real...it has screwed up things in the person's life that may need to be worked on when the chemical imbalance is under control.

One mom I work with cannot be reasoned with unless she has had her meds. If she has taken them she can listen, reason and respond. With out them all she does is lose her temper and threaten to sue us.

It is a tough area to sort out.

April 21, 2000
11:08 am
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infaith
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Janes, that mom you speak of, has become dependent upon meds and is not doing the real work within herself. This is why I am tired of pill pushers. It is a lot harder to change your attitude, beliefs and life than it is to take a pill.
I also want to restate that a perfectly healthy person can develop depression or anxiety at the loss of a loved one and CREATE a chemical imbalance within her/his brain.
Do you see what im getting at.
Too many people are treating the symptoms and seeing THE SYMPTOMS as the problems instead of visa versa.
OUr alienation and disconnection of people within our society creates a lot of illness, other closer knit "primitive" societies have far less mental illness or for some its non existant. I just dont buy into all this genetic/physical cause crap.
Its dangerous to overlook a persons soul.. In the future and even now, some psychologists are integrating spirituality and psych into their work, this is crucial and where true healing comes about.

April 21, 2000
2:21 pm
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janes
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I would not term this person med dependent as she has spent years without them.

Talk therapy alone doesn't seem to make a dent.

I agree with you that too many doc's push to many pills to too many people.

at the same time there are situation where medications are a usful and in some cases necessary and hopefully temporary tool.

Yes I see and understand what you are getting at and I do agree that in many instances many doctors and many people would rather the quick fix which is very unfortunate.

I also believe the reverse is true. That there are some who eshew and deny the beneficial effects of many medications and say EVERYONE has only ONE way to get healthy.

Everyone needs to be open to the idea that there anre many schools of psychology and many differing theories on many different subjects in this area of mental health. Same is true in the area of physical health. Not many American M.D.'s ever recommend acupuncture or herbalists yet these methods can and do work.

Finding therapists and doctors that one trusts and relies on and then seeking the right psychological, spiritual, medical path is the job of the individual.

If that path includes meds as a useful, temporary tool so be it. If that path is talk therapy, hypnotherapy, shamans
groups, crystals....bible study or prayer meeting..if the individual finds a path that leads them to health and wholeness ...that is the intent of these posts.

These posts offer many different options to many different individuals. What would work for you or I may not work for another.

April 21, 2000
2:29 pm
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janes
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Also... I agree that the "western societies" do confer a higher rate of mental illness (and others..like heart desease)

But until we find a way to make "society" , as a whole, healthier we are stuck with offering, to individuals
varying methods of healing for them to explore.

April 21, 2000
7:33 pm
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soos
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Also, what would you recomend this mom do? Continue to live in unreasonable rage, no matter the cost to her husband and children and other relationships? If meds make her a safer mother and a rational adult WHILE she seeks treatment, how can you say she's overlooking her soul, and only masking symptoms and becoming dependent on meds???? Sorry. Took this a little personally.

April 21, 2000
8:21 pm
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janes
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Found these interesting sites for anyone with an interest:

http://www.Pendulum.org

http://www.windsofchange.com

http://www.sciam.com (Scientific Aerican)

http://www.frii.com

Some are scientific, some are mental health org. some are inspriational
all have to do with bi-polar disorder.

April 24, 2000
12:23 am
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infaith
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Its far easier to sedate someone and numb their feelings than to have compassion and help them help themselves.

April 24, 2000
9:25 am
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janes
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Many of the people I know who use medications to help with menatl illnesses neither act numb, dumb nor out of touch with reality in any way.

Medications that would act on a person in those ways would not be appropriate... if a person is simply numbed - therapy would not be as effective.

If a person is experiencing uncontrolled rages meds to take the highs and lows out and keep the children safe while the problems are dealt with in therapy MAY be called for.

In some cases they are not needed.

Each case needs to be evaluated separately by professionals.

The Best therrapy would be that that takes into consideration the whole person...medically, spirtiually, psychologically...

Medications are never the ONLY answer. NEVER. Simply a tool..IN SOME CASES..not in all.

Just as some people would reject the spiritual side of life some will reject medical intervention.

April 24, 2000
12:29 pm
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Cici
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Eeeek!

What an issue. Infaith, I agree that meds aren't the only answer. However, I disagree with the standpoint that meds aren't an effective form of treatment.

Now, I chose the psychology practice route rather than psychiatry because I think talk therapy should always be the first step when seeking mental health treatment. I will not be able to prescribe meds after receiving my doctorate. So I'm argueing a view that is not really from a self-interest standpoint.

Although it is unfortunately that many psychiatrists do tend toward prescriptions rather than talk therapy, this is usually an INSURANCE issue. Yuck. I hate HMOs. The thing is that in order to get therapy covered by insurance, many people have to jump through hoops, unless you have special coverage. And unfortunately, this route is much too expensive for most people, and much to complex for people debilitated by mood disorders. Prescriptions are more easily covered by insurance.

Most counselors recommend psychiatrists if they think that meds are necessary. Often, meds aren't geared towards life-long dependency unless there is an actual chemical imbalance. I was prescribed a sleep-inducing anti-depressant, for about a month after I was raped because I was experiencing insomnia. After therapy twice a week for a month, I was ok to go off meds. It helped me resolve issues while not being under added stress of lack of sleep.

I read a Newsweek recently that argued the heritability of depression. How can you explain depressive traits exhibited by animals? Depression was first thought of as biochemical after scientists induced depression in dogs...the whole learned helplessness thing. They kept the dogs in cages and periodically shocked them. After a while the dogs became listless, ate less, slept more, and became unresponsive to external stimuli.

The thing about biological psychology is that behavior and homeostasis are interrelated. Behavior can trigger hormone release, but hormone release also triggers behavior. During neurosurguries, surgeons can stimulate certain parts of the brain and cause emotions or behaviors with an electrode. By stimulating a certain area of the amygdala, you can initiate fear response by elevating body levels of cortisol. Stimulating other areas can induce happiness, anger, or sadness.

This is to say, I am open to both sides. I think talk therapy should always be the first step.

April 24, 2000
12:40 pm
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Cici
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Christ-tina,

From Biological Psychology, James Kalat (1998)

"About 1 person in 1000 is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The mean age of onset is the late 20s. The rate of glucose metabolism is a good indicator os overall brain activity, and it varies as a function of mania and depression. During mania, activity is higher than normal. Suring depression, it is lower than normal. especially in the left frontal lobe and parts of the temporal and parietal lobes.

Research on bipolar disorder has yielded apparent linkage to genes on chromoomes 4,6,11,13,15 and 18 (Blackwood et al., 1996; Egeland et al., 1987; Freimer et al., 1996; Ginnis et al., 1996)

How lithium relieves bipolar disorder is still not known. Therapeutic doses of lithium produce complex effects on several second-messenger systems and thereby affect activity in many neuronal pathways. About 1/5 to 1/3 of bipolar patients fail to respond satisfactorily to lithium. In these cases, many therapists have had good results with anticonvulsant drugs, such as carbamazepine."

April 25, 2000
3:41 am
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hazza
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Hi All,
i think Cici's post raises a good point about medication.
I have not myself ever found any drugs that help my condition, (not BPD)but, if medication helps even one person in a hundred then that is good news for them, but as infaith says, when it is feasable that the person can naturally change their own chemical imbalances with other kinds of therapy, that must be valid too.

Cici, could you tell me, with regards to the glucose metabolism in people with BPD, is there any evidence that sufferers are less tolerant of alcohol and sugar? i am convinced that my partner had such reactions to alcohol because of his BPD, he would literally show all the signs of drinking after one pint, could this be related? any links that you know of with this or also with binge eating? since stopping drinking and moderating his eating, he has noticed that so many things affect him radically, from sugar to caffeine. I wondered if this is a documented phenomena or not.
Many thanks.
Hazza

April 25, 2000
9:00 am
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Cici
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Nutrition metabolism can affect behavior in a variety of ways. Alcohol is a mood enhancer, so whatever mood fluctuations you experience when sober will be amplified when you drink. That's why depressed people who are acoholics often sink into deeper states of severe clinical depression.

Some scientists theorize that people who binge lack necessary levels of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), or receptors. This is sectreted in the duodenum, which is the first portion of the small intestine adjoining the stomach through the sphincter. CCK closes the sphincter, which fills the stomach, the distention of which signas to the brain that you are full.

Also, damage to the paraventricular nucleus in the hypothalamus causes meal size to increase, whihc leads to binge eating. The hypothalamus has also been implicated in attack behaviors that are aggressive and affective (rather than predation for survival), and in sexual behaviors.

Sensitivity to sugar and alcohol makes me inclined to think that it may be realted to insulin. I'm not that familiar with diabetes or hypoglycemia, but I think that sugar binges do affect mood if you have a sensitivity to sugars or fluctuating insulin levels.

April 26, 2000
1:33 pm
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Brenda
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Spiritual psychology with the small assistance of meds is the way of the future, and is the answer to true healing, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

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