“Turtles All the Way Down”: OCD in Focus

“Turtles All the Way Down”: OCD in Focus

  John Green is a popular YA author, best known for the bestselling "The Fault in Our Stars". When I heard about "Turtles All the Way Down", I was curious to read it given that the main character has OCD. I wanted to see how the author would portray the complexity that mental illnesses can [...]

Common Thinking Distortions

Common Thinking Distortions

  It may be beneficial to identify common thinking distortions in your own thinking! These manners of thinking can become exaggerated when anxious or depressed. Once you recognize these distortions, it's easier to limit or stop these thought patterns in the future! Common thinking distortions: Black & white thinking: thinking in absolutes, things are either [...]

Bipolar & Schizophrenia Stigma

Bipolar & Schizophrenia Stigma

  "Depression, that's one thing- lot of people have depression, and they're not crazy.   Bipolar, schizophrenia- that's crazy. That's mental illness- the psychos, the nut cases, the incurably insane, the muttering bag ladies and bums, the freaks.   So I take my meds, and don't accept the name for what I have."   -"Madness: [...]

“Madness: A Bipolar Life”

“Madness: A Bipolar Life”

  I'm halfway through "Madness" & I love it.   This memoir captures the complexity of mental illness by looking at the comorbidity with eating disorders, anxiety, substance abuse, and alcoholism (self-medicating). The disorders feed off of each other, making treatment even more tricky. It shows how complicated treatment can be, even when you are [...]

The Bipolar Spectrum: Beyond Depression, Type I & Type II

The Bipolar Spectrum: Beyond Depression, Type I & Type II

  According to "Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications", just discussing Bipolar Type I and Bipolar Type II does not adequately cover the mood spectrum!     Typically discussed: Depression, Bipolar I and Bipolar II     Depression Major Depressive Disorder is the most common and readily recognized mood disorder Dysthymia a less [...]

Preparing for Your First Visit

Preparing for Your First Visit

  Before your initial discussion with a provider, it may be helpful to gather key information. Gathering information can save valuable time.     Essential for the first visit: Current medications List ALL meds, including nonpsychiatric, over-the-counter, birth control and supplements Include tablet size (mg) and number if its psychiatric Past psychiatric treatments List of [...]

When ‘Happy Pills’ Don’t Work

When ‘Happy Pills’ Don’t Work

    Antidepressants are not for everyone. In fact, select individuals can get WORSE while on antidepressants.     Factors that predict a bad response include: Lack of a mood stabilizer (dangerous for bipolar patients) Bipolar I vs. II- the further you are toward the manic side of the spectrum, the worse the reactions tend [...]

Sunny vs. Dark Hypomania: #Tangled

Sunny vs. Dark Hypomania: #Tangled

  There are two types of hypomania: sunny and dark.     Features of "sunny hypomania" include: More plans and ideas Happy, euphoric Faster thoughts, more jokes Laughter, good humored Motivated       There is also a "dark hypomania", when the excessive energy combines with depressive symptoms, irritability and anxiety. Features of "dark hypomania" [...]