Research Studies and Inadvertently Meeting a Favorite Author!


So I’m very interested in clinical trials.

I’m a stay at home mum, and occasionally I qualify for one that can pay a little money and I can help contribute to society.

I was checking out the various trials that the NIMH puts out, and I noticed there was one being done for children who suffer from depression but have not been diagnosed as bipolar disorder yet…which is my daughter in a nutshell. I started reading about it, and I read that the person putting on on the study was David Miklowitz, He happens to be a favorite author of mine, he’s written some amazing work for bipolar patients, including  “The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide”. That is a book that changed my life. It is such a great read, and it has so much good information for a newly diagnosed beeper, or a long time beeper like myself. I learned so much while reading it, and was really able to implement a lot of it into my life.

Anywho, unfortunately since we live in Utah and the study was being done in California, we weren’t eligible for it, but he was kind enough to offer me his new book he’s written about dealing with bipolar children. I seriously felt honored to get the chance to talk to him and tell him how much his book had changed my life for the better.

So although yesterday wasn’t a great day for finding a new research study to participate in, I did get the chance to talk to someone who has inspired my life, and that’s always cooler than finding any old research study, any day.The-Bipolar-Disorder-Survival-Guide
The-Bipolar-Teen2


david-miklowitz

 

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Words have a powerful effect on people.

I read a great article today on facebook. It talks about what a SAHM needs from her husband, and how they can better support each other and create a ore loving, thriving marriage. I want to share this letter with you, in the hopes that it can help spark a talk, or a notion that can help you in your relationship.

I read through this letter, and thought, ‘damn!’, I really need to take this to heart. I rarely take GNO because I don’t think I need them…but I feel so much better when I do go out with the girls. And I don’t give my husband enough credit for having worked a long hard day at work, I expect him to come in right away and be family man. I think it would help our relationship out dramatically if he decompressed for half an hour or so before coming home on especially rough or tiring days. I also wish I could be responsible enough to cook a dinner and have it ready every night, but it just seems like that will never happen *sigh* And it’s too much of a hassle for Josh to work a 9 hour day, commute home, and then cook for the family…so my family is suffering a bit on the nutritional side of things until I get the cooking thing down more. I also wish I was more appreciated for the things I DO actually do. The way this woman describes a trip to the pool with 4 kids is spot on, and my hubby seems to think it was just a walk in the park. I sometimes wonder if he thinks that they don’t actually run wild and screaming all over the place and that they really just sit quietly on their chairs and read the Bible while each other child gets a turn in the water.

And about the secretly loving the attention your spouse hands out…it’s true…after having 4 children ripped out of my body, it’s nice to know someone still finds me attractive. I won’t say anything about the non-sexual touch, because I’m the one who wants it more often in my relationship, lol, so no need to touch on that…and then the talk about trips versus vacations..of so true!

We go on family vacations and come home more tired than when we left! I’m dying for the kids to get a little older, and we can leave them with a sitter and feel less guilty about it,. Then we’ll  get a ‘real’ vacation, one with a hotel, and no kids, and us getting to do exactly what we’d like for a day or two. I’m grateful for my children and all, but eventually one day they’ll leave and go on their own way…I’m still going to have my husband, so I need to nurture that relationship just as much as I nurture the relationships I have with my children.

And some of these things I definitely need to vamp up in my own life. I need to stop comparing. I need to look forward to dates with my husband more often. I need to not dump all my day’s problems on him the minute he walks in the door. But I also need more praise. I like it to be noticed when he mentions something and I take note and it’s done without him asking. Like I’m willing to bet you money he won’t notice the sheets on our bed have been washed and put back on for him, just because he was complaining about how dirty the bed was this morning. I do it because I love him, but I’m a lot more motivated when I get praised and noticed for the hard work I do put in, even though I have my personal struggles, I do try and put in effort and I like to be noticed for it. I probably need to work harder on praising Josh as well, so one more thing for me to improve on as well.

And the very last part…about there being no one other person I’d rather be going through these struggles with…so true.

It’s been 7 years, and it’s still just as true today as it was those 7 years ago.

I often hear young moms complaining about their needs not being met.  About things they wish they had, wish they received, wished their husbands did…  And I realized…  not all husbands “get it.”  Some take longer to learn their wives than others.  And some wives don’t help the situation at all.  We play games.  We expect much but express little.  Today, I felt compelled to write a letter.  On behalf of stay at home moms.  If you’ve never said it.  Or he’s never “gotten it.”  I hope this helps.

To: My Husband.

From: Your Stay at Home Wife/Mom.

I used to think it would be so romantic if you just knew me so well, that you knew exactly what I needed.  I would never have to verbally share with you my needs because if you really loved me, you would know what they were, even before I did.  You, my love, were to be nothing less than a mind reader. It sounded fabulous and romantic.   However, we’ve been married awhile now. And reality has set in.  You are an amazing man.  An incredible husband.  But I must tell you: You are horrible at mind reading.  And it’s not your fault.  I now get it.  It’s physically impossible. There’s nothing you can do to acquire this superpower that I wish you possessed.   So today, I am declaring that I am letting you off the hook.  No more guessing.  No more expectations unmet.  Today, I lay it out.  I’m giving you a peek into me.  But once you know, you are responsible for that knowledge.  No more playing dumb.  No more acting clueless.  You can choose to stop reading here if you enjoy the guessing game.  Ah, you’re still reading?  Awesome.  I love that about you.  You’re IN.  I knew it.

OK wait.  Before I express my needs, let me explain something that might be difficult to understand:

I love our kids.  I love my role as a mom.  But honestly?  It’s tough.  And here’s the tricky part – those 2 things DO co-exist.  One doesn’t trump the other or cancel it out. I love it – And I’m tired. It’s an honor – But it’s exhaustingly hard work.  I’m fulfilled – And I’m drained.  Get it?  Me either.  It’s tricky and complex.  But it’s called Motherhood and I’m in the thick of it.  OK, so in light of that, here’s what I need.  Or want.  TomAto….TomAHto. Here’s the reality in no particular order….

1) I need to refuel.  And it’s not by grocery shopping with only 1 kid instead of all 3.  I need to get out of the house.  Alone.  I need to ride in my car and listen to adult music.  I want to use the public restroom in the small stall. The one without the changing station.  Alone.  I don’t need extravagance.  [I mean, I won’t turn down extravagance, of course.  But I don’t need it.] 😉 You know what I’d love?  To wander the isles of Target for an hour.  Or to sit at Starbucks alone for 30 minutes.  Or to walk in a shopping mall without pushing a stroller.  It really is that easy.  Will I come back completely changed and ready to conquer the world? Honestly?  Sometimes yes.  But mostly, no.  But what I WILL come back with, is a little more life in me.  I will have a spring in my step.  It’s a little shot in the arm.  I reeeeallly need this.  When you ask if I want it, and I say, “I’m OK.”  I need you to tell me to go anyway.

2) Please don’t call and ask what’s for dinner.  If anything, call and ask, “Do we have dinner plans?  If not, can I stop by the store and pick anything up?”  I love you.  And I love providing nourishment for our family.  But when I have spit up running down into my bra and a toddler who just learned to take off his own dirty diaper, The Call adds that little extra pressure in my day that just makes me want to accidentally change the locks on the front door.

3) When I take the kids to the pool, please know that I didn’t spend the day poolside with a cocktail.  Sometimes I feel like that’s how you view the life of a stay at home mom.  In reality, every 2 minutes, I’m doing roll call to make sure everyone is above water.  “1..2..3..…1…2…3…” over and over and over and over.  I’m changing poopy swim diapers on hot concrete and peeling wet swimsuits off tiny bodies because they have to go potty AGAIN.  I’m schlepping towels and sunblock and swimming goggles and dive toys and flippers and water shoes and cover ups and diapers and wipes and snacks and drinks.  I have one child who has no fear of water and is jumping into areas he’s not allowed to, and another child who’s deathly afraid of the water and is leaving claw marks in my arm.  Blood has been drawn.  A walk in the park is not a walk in the park.  It’s chasing, and counting, and disciplining and refereeing.. A day at the pool is all of that, in a big hole of water.  Attempting to avoid death.  For real.

4) I’ve been nursing a baby all day long.  My “nursers” are over stimulated.  The last thing I desire when you get home from work, is to have one more person perusing the “food court.”  Those are not yours right now.  They are on loan to the person they were actually created for.   Your time will come.  It’s just not today.  If you will understand this and not let it become a point of tension, I’m certain you’ll get extra rewards in heaven.

5) However, when we’re home and you walk by me in the kitchen and grab my butt, and I swat you away, I don’t mean it.  I secretly love that you still want to be playful and frisky.  The timing may not be right, or I just don’t know what to do with your playfulness because my brain is counting the number of loads of laundry waiting for me.  But please don’t stop.  I need to know you still like me.  I understand this is confusing in light of the point above.  I can’t explain everything.  I’m just informing.  I’m complex like that.

6) I need a Girls Night Out every once in awhile.  While we both know you rock, I  need some time with girlfriends as well.  Unless, of course, you would like to discuss bikini waxing, my period and the latest fashion trends with me.  No?  Cool. Girl’s Night Out it is.

7) I need non-sexual touch.  I know you don’t quite understand what that is.  Just pretend it’s valuable and possible.  The grabbing mentioned above is fun and all, but sometimes I just want to feel your arm on my shoulder, without it slowly moving a few inches south.  I need your physical affection without motive.  I need to know that you like to just be with me.

8) When you walk in the door, let’s make a deal:  You won’t walk straight to the family room and collapse on the couch with the remote… And I won’t greet you at the door with all 5 kids, dump them on you and clock out.  When you come home from work, let’s do it together. Share the load.  If you need to decompress from your day at work, please take the long way home.  Drive around the block a few extra times if you need to.  Just don’t walk in and disconnect.  You are my Knight.  I love knowing you’re coming home.  I can’t feel like I have another child to care for when you walk in the door from work.  I need my partner.  My teammate.

9) That trip we took with the kids was awesome. We created family memories.  We had fun.  But that’s exactly what it was – a “trip.”  I now need a “vacation.”  A vacation is like a trip.  Just without the diapers and wipes and baby food and high chairs and primary color toys.  Oh, and without the tiny humans that come with those things.  Don’t get me wrong, I love those tiny humans. But a break to refuel, refresh, clear my mind, etc..is invaluable.  I have no way to explain what a true vacation will do to me. Other than to say hotel room sex is fabulous.  The end.

10) When you come home to a clean house, be assured it didn’t look like that hours earlier. There were crackers smashed on the floor, toys everywhere, food smeared on walls, 8 outfit changes from our preschool daughter strewn around the house…  If you come home to a clean house, please notice.  Please say something.  Acknowledge that it obviously took superhuman powers to get it to the state it is.  It sounds silly and needy.  Maybe I am.  But you know that “atta boy” you got from your boss at work that made your day?  Ya, I need that too.

11) When we go to a restaurant, sometimes I need you to offer to sit next to ‘the kid.’  You know, the one that needs extra assistance.  The one that cries and grabs and throws and needs.  When I say, “No, it’s OK. I’ll sit next to The Child” I need you to gift me with the break anyway.  I’m not saying every time.  But we both know that going to restaurants with The Child is difficult. I’d so appreciate sharing that load with you.

12) I need to go on a date.  With you.  I need to wear clothes that don’t smell like any type of child’s body fluid.  I need to order food for just me.  I need to eat it while it’s hot.  I need to look into your eyes.  I need to hold your hand.  I need adult conversation.  And while the topic of kids might creep into our conversation, let’s commit to keeping that to a minimum.  We spent so much of our dating years getting to know each other. Asking questions.  I was your student and you were mine.  A lot has happened since then.  You and I have changed and grown. Let’s learn about each other again.  Re-discover who we are today.  Let’s know and be known.   Let’s date.

13) Let’s commit to not comparing.  My friend might be prettier.  Or a better homemaker.  Or parent with ease.  Her husband might be more romantic.  Or more successful.  Or a more engaged father.  There’s always going to be someone who does what we do, but better.  Or so it seems.  Let’s commit to not comparing.  Comparison will steal our joy.  It will take the wind out of our sail.  It will make us feel defeated.  Or frustrated. Or angry.  Or all of the above.  Let’s be honest – everyone else is just as messed up as we are.  We just see the beautiful, shiny outsides of them that they put on display, and tend to compare it to the dysfunctional, broken insides of ourselves that only we know.  Let’s just be the best “us”we can be – keeping our eyes ONLY on OUR path.  I love you.  I chose you and you chose me.  Let’s be in for US and US only.

Thank you for hearing me.

You may not understand it all.  I don’t even know if I do.

This season is glorious and difficult.

And in all the uncertainty, the only thing I do know is there is NO ONE I’d rather do this with, than you.

You are exactly the “who” I need.

The other stuff is just the “what” I’d love from you.  I ask you to just try.

And if you’re willing, I’d love a list like this from you in return.
This is a tough season for us both. I know you have needs you rarely express as well and I’d love a peek into those if you’d be willing to share.

I love you and love that we’re living in what we’ll someday call “the good old days.”

You have my heart forever.

I’m giving credit to Deanna Rischer Ramsay because that is the page this was shared from. I don’t know where she got it from, but it is awesome.

Don’t ever feel alone with bipolar disorder…

Do you ever feel all alone with your bipolar disorder? That there is no one out there who could possibly understand the great heights we reach, just as we must hit the pits of despair as well.

I know everyone suffers bipolar disorder differently, but here are a few of my favorite people who I’m proud to stand and be counted with.
Beethoven anyone? Demi Lovato, (possibly) Brittany Spears, Marilyn Monroe, Carrie Fisher, Sinead O’Connor, Vincent Van Gogh, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, Linda Hamilton, and Vivien Leigh.

Best known of these is probably Carrie Fisher, she’s certainly been one of the most outspoken actresses about her disorder. Here’s a little bio on her:
Carrie Fisher, actress, 54, best known for her role as Princess Leia in theStar Wars trilogy, has experienced plenty of turbulence in her life—and not just aboard the Millennium Falcon. After years of struggling with mania and depression, Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 28.
Fisher told USA Today in 2002 that she now leads a normal life and her behavior is much more predictable, thanks to the lithium prescribed by her doctor. But it wasn’t always so easy. “I hacked off my hair, got a tattoo, and wanted to convert to Judaism,” she said of her most recent manic episode.

Ah, the readers, the writers, the dreamers and me…here a few other bios just in case you needed more enlightenment on why you are amazing for just being you. Starting with a Emily Dickinson and ending with Vivien Leigh, just a few amazing people with bipolar disorder. I’ll try to do another one of there as interest shows what’s read and what’s not 🙂

 
Emily Dickinson


This introverted poet’s work is often dark and gloomy. While it is impossible to know for sure if her mental illness would have been classified as bipolar disorder today, a 2001 study in theAmerican Journal of Psychiatry that examined cycles in Dickinson’s productivity suggests that may be the case.
Dickinson’s doctor diagnosed her with “nervous prostration,” which, according to the study’s author, psychiatrist John F. McDermott, MD, was “characterized by anxiety and depression.” In Dickinson’s time, physicians had not yet identified bipolar disorder as such, but, Dr. McDermott notes, Dickinson’s writing patterns are “not inconsistent” with the symptom profile of the disorder.

Linda Hamilton

Actress Linda Hamilton is best known for her role as Sarah Connor in Terminatorand Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She also starred in the TV series Beauty and the Beast. Despite her professional success, though, she was self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and her mood swings damaged two marriages. Hamilton struggled with symptoms of bipolar disorder for 20 years, a time she calls the lost years, before overcoming it. Though she initially worried that treatment would diminish her talents, she is now on medication and speaks openly about being bipolar. “Somebody needs to come out and make this okay for people to talk about and get help and take advantage of the resources,” she told the Associated Press.

Virginia WoolfThe dark diaries and letters of Woolf, who suffered four major breakdowns before drowning herself at age 59, have convinced numerous scholars that the writer must have had manic-depressive illness. According to a 2004 article by psychologist Katherine Dalsimer, the “mood swings from severe depression to manic excitement and episodes of psychosis” that Woolf experienced would be diagnosed as bipolar today.

Vivien Leigh

Best known for her iconic Oscar-winning role as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind, Vivien Leigh also captured the public’s attention with her marriage to fellow actor Laurence Olivier. However, Leigh was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and her unpredictable behavior eventually ruined her professional reputation and destroyed her marriage to Olivier. “In her day there were no pills, there were no clinics, there were no publicists, there was nobody between Vivien and an outside world which she found chilly, hostile, and sometimes, because of her mental state, could not cope with,” said her friend Sheridan Morley in a BBC documentary.
Feel better? Invincible? Unbreakable? Well you should be feeling that way. Look at what just a few of have done. This handful of names has changed histories! No other group of people with the common theme between them being their diagnosis has this. We are amazing. You. Are. Amazing.Now go out there and change the world. I know I’m trying to.

 

Day 24: Why me?

Do you even wonder that? Do you ever wonder “why me?”. Why am I the one who has to go through this?

Have you ever wondered if there was a rhyme to to the reason, or a method to madness?I’ve never really felt that way about being bipolar. I’ve never been angry or bitter towards anyone about being bipolar. I’ve been angry and felt bitter about having it, but never towards anyone.

Can someone explain where the bitterness and negative feelings come from? Or the pity party when it comes to things like this?

I mean, I did use to live a very negative life and always wonder why I was being punished whenever something bad happened, but I’ve since come to realize that we humans are on this planet to learn through trials and tribulations, so occasionally (or more often) we are going to suffer.

Have you had an attitude adjustment about something in your life? Do you have something in your life that makes you truly wonder “Why me?’. Do you think it’s an accurate question to ask, or that it’s a valid concern to have? What is it that you wonder about? How do you counteract these feelings, if you do? Let me know in the comments!

Day 23: Seroquel, really?

I’m putting it out there. I hate Seroquel. I know it is an amazing drug and it does wonders for people, but I still hate it. Never mind the fact that it probably helped keep me out of the hospital back when I was pregnant with my last born, or that it’s helped stabilize me where other drugs have failed. I still despise and detest it. Why such strong feelings you ask? Because it turns me into a zombie. And it makes me fat. I gain so much weight when I’m on it, it’s as bad as Zyprexa.

So why am I bringing all this up now? It’s probably because my doctor has put me BACK on Seroquel. I’ve really been struggling lately, (I’m sure you’ve noticed my lack of a blog a day like I was so vamped to do), and he feels that it’s the best (read: last resort) option available.

I tried going back on it a few weeks ago, and gained 9 pounds in one week. Nine pounds! I quit it, and I’ve lost 6 of those pounds, but still. I’ve officially gotten super overweight again. It breaks my heart.

But I’m desperate. I’ve felt so down and bleak these last few weeks. And for no reason what so ever. Everything has gotten to me. Everything has set me on edge, everything pushes my buttons. I hate living that way, and I hate feeling like this. I hate feeling like nothing matters, like I can’t function, like I’m a failure, and like I’m not worth the effort.

So, I did the cost-benefit analysis of staying off the Seroquel versus going back on it. I weighed the pros of Seroquel; like feeling better in general, not feeling so down, (eventually) having more energy, and overall feeling more up. The cons include the weight gain, which leads to decreased self esteem, and the zombie like fatigue, which makes daily functioning impossible until it wears off, and the irritation I feel at being on a drug I simply do not like. After having weighed all these factors, I knew I needed to go back on the drug. It depresses me, but I’ve got to do what’s best for me, even when what’s best for me doesn’t feel like the best thing.

What about you? Have you done something that you absolutely despise because you knew it would ultimately be good for you? How often do you do cost-benefit analysis on things in your life? Do you find these introspective moments helpful? Let me know in the comments what’s worked for you, or what hasn’t!