Football Players and Trouble: ‘I’d never put myself in that position.’

I heard a person say this at a restaurant the other day. “I’d never put myself in the position.”

What a concept!

If we don’t put ourselves in certain situations, then we can’t have the bad outcomes that often come with the location/person we chose to be with/or dodgy situation /etc.

I listen to sports radio and NPR all day. One big topic on sports radio is the number of football players that get: shot or shoot someone, robbed, beaten up or beat up someone and stopped by the cops for reckless/drunk driving. Interestingly, there is a statistic that the sports radio commentators keep bringing up. Trouble happens between the hours of 1-5AM. And that is when almost all of the football player trouble happens.

They put themselves into the position of getting in trouble. They choose situations that huge, rich professional ball players should simply avoid.

How does this relate to bipolar? Because when I used to get manic- I did all of the above- or at least came close to it. I know others who have been in similar situations. When we feel ourselves get manic- we can say- no! I will not go to that bar. No! I will not put an ad on Craigslist just to see who’s out there. No! I will not go drinking with you. No! I will not have sex with a stranger! No! I will not take money that isn’t mine. No! NO! NO!

Mania has a treatment window. Those of us with mania problems should never be out between the hours of 1AM and 5AM anyway. We need to be asleep. If you’re a tough, young and restless guy- like many guys are- you have to have a plan in place to be IN BED at those hours. What you choose to do in that bed is up to you, but at least you won’t be on the streets.

I sound like a mom lecturing a kid- but it’s a lecture to myself as well. ‘I’d never put myself in that position” is a great mantra for al of us with bipolar disorder.


WEB MD article on childhood onset bipolar disorder pt one

The following is a copy of an excellent WEB MD article on bipolar disorder diagnosis in children.When people ask me about childhood onset bipolar disorder, I always have the same answer: I believe that what we call bipolar disorder in children is VERY different than what we consider bipolar disorder in adults.

One of the main differences is the level of anger, irritation, tolerance levels and duration of screaming, crying, and out of control mood swings. Another very imporant distinction is the ADHD behavior of these kids. They have more of the hyperactivity part of the ADHD than adults who are usually diagnosed with ADD.My heart goes out to these kids as I know they have a lot of troubling symptoms, but like many people in this industry- I question these bipolar disorder diagnoses.

This is a looonnnggg article- which is why I’ve put it in two posts, but the information is extremely helpful. It’s very important to note that this about the diagnosis of children with bipolar disorder, not the teenage, early 20’s onset that most of us experience.

Here is the article:

1 Decade, 40 Times More Bipolar Kids

Child Bipolar Explosion — or Rampant Misdiagnosis?

By Daniel J. DeNoon

WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDSept. 4, 2007 — Today’s children and teens are 40 times more likely to have bipolar disorder than were the children of 10 years ago.

That’s 20 times faster than the growth in diagnoses of adult bipolar disorder over the same decade. Are we only now discovering a huge reservoir of untreated psychiatric illness? Or is there an epidemic not of disease, but of misdiagnosis and overtreatment?

The study that provides this alarming data doesn’t answer this crucial question, says study researcher Mark Olfson, MD, MPH, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute.

“We found a striking national increase in the treatment of young people for bipolar disorder: from 20,000 youths in 1994 to 800,000 youths in 2003,” Olfson tells WebMD. “The study does not tell us why so many more kids are being diagnosed and treated for bipolar disorder. But it gives us clues.”

Those clues:

Bipolar disorder is often a lifelong condition. More bipolar disorder in children should mean a corresponding increase in adults with bipolar disorder. Olfson says that isn’t happening. This means we’re either discovering previously unrecognized bipolar disorder in children, or that we’re misdiagnosing children.

Youths diagnosed with bipolar disorder are more likely than adults to also be diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Most adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder are female. Most children and teens diagnosed with bipolar disorder are male.

“It is my sense that most of these people are boys around age 12, and many have ADHD or at least are treated for that with stimulants,” Olfson says.

During the 10 years covered by the study, the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder have broadened. “Many adults and young people who would not have been considered to have bipolar disorder now are,” Olfson says.

Part two of the article is below…..

WEB MD article on childhood onset bipolar disorder pt two

Here is the continuation of the excellent WebMD article on childhood onset bipolar disorder. …

Definition of Childhood Bipolar Disorder Controversial

What, exactly, is childhood bipolar disorder? It’s controversial. Bipolar disorder used to be called manic depression because it is characterized by bouts of depression and bouts of mania.

Mania in adults is characterized by euphoria, grandiosity, irritability, racing thoughts, and frenetic activity. While some experts argue that childhood mania must also exhibit signs of euphoria and grandiose behavior, others say irritability may be the only sign.

“In children, the symptoms of bipolar disorder are very different from the symptoms in adults,” Julio Licinio, MD, chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Miami, tells WebMD.

In January 2007, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) set out a “practice parameter” acknowledging the controversy. The AACAP’s expert panel noted that for both children and adults, doctors are much more often diagnosing bipolar disorder based on individual symptoms rather than characteristic patterns of symptoms.

The AACAP panel noted that there’s also debate over whether bipolar disorder in children is even the same illness as bipolar disease in adults. What is agreed on is that bipolar disorder is an increasingly common diagnosis in children — including preschool children.

“There was a real underdiagnosis of bipolar disorder in children. We’ve gone to the other situation now,” Licinio says. “Some of these children are just irritable and cranky and negative. They get more brittle than manic. And people can mistake juvenile delinquency for bipolar disorder. So there is a potential for this to be really missed.”

DBSA Conference in Virginia

I’m getting ready to speak at the DBSA (Depression Bipolar Support Aliance) conference in Virginia next week. Some of you have written and asked about the weather- It should not be a problem.

 As of today- my talk is one week away. I have to start thinking of my health now. This means planning ahead- well… I could do a better job of this so I really am starting NOW to get things in order. I will then start the sleep regimine I use when I change time zones! It’s three hours ahead so I will go to sleep earlier and earlier until I am exactly on Virginia time when I get there. I will do the same on the way back. It works! Do you have to travel in different time zones soon? You can read more about my travel tips in the travel section on the right menu.

I’m excited that I can travel again! julie

Bipolar and Political Stress

If you’re outside of the US, you’re certainly missing one of the most contentious and controversial political elections in a very, very long time.
 I have definitely opinions on it all- which is fine. The problem is that I’m letting my upset really work me into a frenzy. My friends and I talk about it- get mad about it- speculate on it.  I was so frustrated yesterday that I almost started crying.
 That was when I realized that the election is a trigger for me. I know, it sounds crazy! But when someone affects my sleep, that is when I have to back off. If I find myself getting too excited over something, I have to back off. I have learned this-upsetting world events are too stressful for me to jump in and get involved.
 I called my most political friend and told her I had to stop talking about the situation. I am not watching television or combing the internet for stories and pictures. And I feel better.
 Is it upsetting you? Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you arguing with anyone on the topic? It’s only going to get worse in the next two months, so take a good look at your mood…. staying stable so that you can vote is the goal!

Well, I’m manic (or at least I was when I wrote this a few days ago!)

and I’m not happy about it.

I get euphoric mania.  Since I have bipolar II, I technically have hypomania.

It feels so good. 95% of my bipolar disorder is depression. So mania is like a dream come true- but as with all dreams, you have to wake up.

 I am upset because I’m rapid cycling. When I get hypomanic, I think- what if I were like this all of the time? Work is easy- life is easy- I don’t want to overeat- everthing looks beautiful. Why am I tortured with this utopia only to have it taken from me in a few days.

I spent many years in this confusion before I was diagnosed with bipolar disoder in 1995.

 I still have the questions, but I know the answer. I am tortured because I have bipolar disorder.

It’s an illness. I now have to go into treatment mode. I’m hypomanic as I write this- the question is what am I going to do about it?

 the answer is below……