Monday, January 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Comments to All Science Articles

Psychiatry's Big Bang

Dopamine - Serotonin's Secret Weapon

Inside the Neuron

A Gene Odyssey

Solving the Mood Riddle

The Darwinian Challenge

A Brain Primer

Our Favorite Neurotransmitters

A Gene Primer


Gene Quest

The Cellular Bipolar Breakdown Lane

Inhibiting GSK3

The World According to DARRP

The Blood-Brain Barrier

Comments to Treating Substance Use Article

Opening of article

Return to article

Comments to Meds and Pregnancy Article

Opening of article

At a symposium at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in May 2003, Zachary Stowe MD of Emory University asked the psychiatrists in the audience how many treat women of reproductive age.

Return to article

Comments to Complementary Articles

Nutritional Supplements


SAM-e, St John's Wort


Comments to ECT and Tickling the Brain Articles


Tickling the Brain - VNS, rTMS, DBS

Comments to Therapy Articles

Cognitive Therapy

The Talking Therapy Turbocharge

Talking Therapy - The Evidence

Long Term Talking Therapy

Comments to Treating Hypomania Article

Opening of article

Three years ago, I took a careful read of hypomania in the DSM-IV and had one of those knock-me-over-with-a-feather moments. ...

Return to article

Comments to Treating Bipolar Depression Article

Opening of article

When Nassir Ghaemi MD of Tufts University was in residency at McLean Hospital, he assumed there was no harm in using antidepressants to treat bipolar depression. After all, "depression was depression," or so he and just about every clinician thought. ...

Return to article

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Comments to Bipolar Meds Articles

Bipolar Meds - An Introduction

Bipolar Meds - The Mood Stabilizers

Bipolar Meds - The Antipsychotics

Long Haul Bipolar Treatment

Comments to Antidepressant Articles

Antidepressants - An Introduction

You and Your Antidepressant

When Your First Antidepressant Fails

When Your Second Antidepressant Fails

Antidepressants for the Long Haul

Comments to Admitting You Need Help Articles

Opening of article

The toughest challenge on the road to recovery is probably the first - that of admitting you need help. If you’re depressed, the guilt that may be a part of your illness may tell you that you don’t want to burden your loved ones, or that you don’t have a real illness worthy of medical attention. If you're hypomanic, the problem lies in the rest of the world and not you, and in mania you are beyond reason. ...

Return to article

Comments to Bipolar Depression Article

Opening of article

Imagine for a second the psychiatric profession personified as Homer Simpson, with the trademark gesture of the hand smacking the forehead. The collective "Doh!" you hear is the seemingly overnight realization that depression rather than mania is the dominant partner in manic-depressive illness (bipolar disorder). ...

Return to article

Comments to Alcohol and Substance Use Articles

Opening of article

"By the time I was 17," writes Brenda on the website Bipolar World, "I was a full-blown alcoholic and that's when the drugs came in. ...

Return to article

Comments to Cyclothymia and Rapid Cycling Articles


Rapid Cycling

Comments to Diagnosis Articles

What's in Your Diagnosis

Bipolar - Sharpening the Diagnostic Picture

Comments to Psychosis in Mania Article

Opening of article

In mid-2006, at a session of the International Society of Bipolar Disorders conference in Edinburgh, the conversation started to get particularly interesting. Nick Craddock MD, PhD of Cardiff University was discussing genetic susceptibility to psychosis. The gene research, which he and others have been involved in, is pointing to some apparent common ground between bipolar and schizophrenia. Clearly, some "nosological" (diagnostic classification) rethinking was in order. ...

Return to article

Comments to The Perfect Mental Storm Article

Opening of Article

Let's throw away the terms, depression and bipolar. Let's say the perfect mental storm, instead. ..

Return to Article

Comments to Stress and Anxiety Articles


Anxiety in Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Comments to Two Thought Spectrum Articles

The Thought Spectrum - When Thinking is Impaired

The Thought Spectrum - Thinking Up a Storm

Comments to Mood Spectrum Articles

The Mood Spectrum

Multipolar Depression

Hard Depression or Soft Bipolar

The True Meaning of Manic Depression

Comments to Bipolar or Bichronic

Opening of article

How would you describe having bipolar disorder to a stranger? This is how I would put it: Bipolar is the equivalent of being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic in a race car. ...

Return to article

Comments to Two Bipolar Articles

Bipolar Disorder - A Quick Introduction

Bipolar Disorder - A Closer Look

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Comments to Seasonal Affective Disorder

Opening of article

I stood in a steady drizzle, the rain beating on my exposed head like a Chinese water torture. But my physical discomfort was nothing compared to the subtle process taking place from within the other side of my skull. Months before, without knowing it, I had said goodbye to the sun forever, and it was beginning to have a very pronounced effect on my psyche. ...

Return to article

Comments to Atypical Depression

Opening of article

Don't be fooled. Atypical depression is actually the most common subtype of depression in outpatients, according to Andrew Nierenberg MD, Associate Director of the Depression and Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, affecting anywhere from 25 to 42 percent of the depressed population.

Return to article

Comments to Mental Water Torture

Opening of article

There is a silent killer amongst us. With little fanfare it ruins lives and even ends them. At any given time, some three percent of the population is under its spell, mostly women (by a ratio of two to three to one). The experts call it dysthymia. We know it as mild to moderate chronic depression. ...

Return to article

Comments to Two Depression Articles

Depression - A Quick Introduction

Depression isn't the word for it. We're talking about a condition that can take over your mind, rob you of your dignity, deprive you of all the joyful offerings of life ...

Depression - A Closer Look

You know you're depressed. Your brain has just crashed. ...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Comments to Healing

Opening of article

Someone wrote that God doesn’t exist in the midst of severe depression, and the same might be true in the face of a national tragedy when one terrible Tuesday morning our Creator seemed to turn his back on us. ...

Return to article

Comments to Planning for a Better Tomorrow

Opening of article

Depression and bipolar kill. Simple. Some fifteen percent in the highest risk category of major depression and 20 percent untreated bipolar victims will die by our own hand. A great many more than that will make the attempt. And many more still will die by "accident" or "slow suicide" through reckless behavior or personal abuse and neglect.

Return to article

Comments to Stronger Than We Seem

Opening of article

Are we a population of victims?

In 1999, a past president of the American Psychological Association and Stanford University professor, Dr Albert Bandura, attacked his own peers: "The field of psychology is plagued by a chronic condition of negativity regarding human development and functioning," he said in a speech to the APA. ...

Return to article

Comments to Dreaded Exercise

Opening of article

I lace up my concrete running shoes and go out for my ten-minute jog that is uphill and against the wind both ways. If I ran any slower I'd be running backwards. I once broke 4:50 in the mile as a senior in high school, but my flashbacks are to my freshman year before I hit my growth spurt when I had to struggle in a world designed for the bigger, the faster, and the stronger.

Return to article

Comments to Staying Well

Opening of article

A study in the March 2005 Australian and New Zealand Psychiatric Journal by Sarah Russell PhD of the Melbourne-based Research Matters of Psychiatry is so unusual that it merits a full article to itself. ...

Return to article

Comments to Meditation and Yoga Article

Opening of article

You know those cartoons where the character goes flying around the room like a balloon with the air rushing out? That's sort of what happened to my mind in 1987-88. Like an idiot I refused to seek help and nearly paid in full measure for my stupidity. ...

Return to article

McManweb: Comments to Recovery Articles

Go for it ...

Comments to God Power

Opening to article

Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied. This was because so many devils had taken possession of him. ... the devils came out of the man and went in to the pigs, and the herd rushed over the edge of the lake and were drowned. ... The spectators told them how the mad-man had been cured." (Luke 8.30 - 37.) ...

Return to article

Comments to Managing Sleep

Opening of article

I was going to bed at around 11 or 12 in the evening and getting up at 8 or 9 the next morning. There was only one problem: These were west coast hours and I was living on the east coast. My inability to establish a regular sleeping pattern was directly related to my state of depression, which seemed to have me in a permanent headlock. Only half-jokingly I told my psychiatrist that perhaps a move to California would solve the problem.

Return to article

Comments to Diet/Food Articles

You Are What You Eat

A 2003 issue of Time International reports on 41-year-old Amanda Jodhpuria, who had bad luck with lithium, and sought out a nutritionist who diagnosed a B vitamins and fatty acids deficiency, which prompted her to change her diet ...

Diet and Obesity

In the 2004 documentary movie, "Supersize Me," film-maker Morgan Spurlock makes himself a human guinea pig by eating nothing but McDonald’s fare for one month and reducing his normal exercise. ...

Sweet and Sour

Are you worth your weight in sugar? The average American eats more than 125 pounds of white sugar a year, comprising 25 percent of our daily calorie intake. ...

Don't Drink the Diet Coke

Some time in 2000 or 2001, I received a forwarded email from "Nancy Markle," which set out to document the dangers of the artificial sweetener, aspartame. ...

Comments to Mindfulness - Living in the Present

Opening of article

A thought-provoking Zen parable goes like this:
A man encountered a tiger in a field. He attempted to escape by lowering himself down a precipice. He looked down and, to his horror, saw more tigers looking up, anticipating their next meal. He looked up and spotted two mice above gnawing on the vine he was clinging to.

Oh, crap. ...

Return to article

Comments to Mindfulness - The Ultimate Mood Stabilizer

Opening of article

Mindfulness is essentially the mind watching the mind. The Buddha came up with mindfulness 2,600 years ago, but all modern talk therapy is derivative of the practice (though only dialectical behavioral therapy explicitly acknowledges its indebtedness).

These days, mindfulness is the new recovery buzzword. There is even something called “mindfulness-based cognitive therapy” (which is something of a redundancy). ...

Return to article

Comments to Recovery is a Journey

Opening of article

You are no longer bouncing off walls or chained to your bed. The meds are kicking in. Your worst symptoms have receded. You have your brain back.

But something isn’t right. “You” has not returned. And the side effects of the meds are making you feel worse in many ways. Is this it? you wonder. Is this my fate? Is this what each day of the rest of my life will be like

Return to article

Comments to The Fear and Anger Equation

Opening of article

Do fear and anger underpin practically every mood and personality state? What kind of crazy question is that?

Hagop Akiskal MD of the University of California at San Diego thinks he may have an answer.

Dr Akiskal is no fan of the DSM approach of separating out psychiatric phenomena into neat diagnostic parcels. The dynamics of mood and temperament, and their interactions, are far too messy for that, especially when they involve mixed depressions that behave suspiciously like bipolar disorder.

Return to article

Comments to Apathy Matters

Opening of article

You know what it’s like. Someone has seemingly pulled the plug and the power drains out. Your get up and go just got up and went. Life, the universe, everything – nothing matters as you shuffle through the clutter on the floor and flop into an unmade bed, your only refuge in a world you have given up on, that has seemingly given up on you.

Apathy is also used to describe indifference, such as to politics or NASCAR racing, but in a psychological context we are talking more like the opposite of motivation, the lack of will to go on and the inability to care about the consequences. ...

Return to article

Comments to Anger in Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Opening of article

Clayton Tucker-Ladd PhD in Psychological Self-Help cites a 1983 Psychology Today poll that asked: "If you could secretly push a button and thereby eliminate any person with no repercussions to yourself, would you press that button?" Yes, said 69 percent of the males and 56 percent of the women, representing tens of millions of would-be dead bosses, co-workers, spouses and lovers and ex’s, family members, neighbors, politicians, telemarketers, movie stars, news reporters with bad wigs, reality game show contestants, and lawyers who appear on Geraldo. ...

Return to article

Comments to Madly Creative

Opening of article

Nancy Andreasen MD, PhD is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Iowa. She is an expert on neuroimaging and schizophrenia, is editor in chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry, and has been awarded the National Medal of Science. She also conducted the first extensive empirical study of creativity, and was the first to spot a correlation between bipolar disorder and creativity. Her most recent book is "The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius." ...

Return to article

Comments to Exuberance

Opening to article

In an interview in Sept 2004 with Kay Jamison PhD, this writer asked if she ever had her moments when she turned off the phone, drew the blinds, put on Beethoven’s Seventh, and pretended she were Isadora Duncan.

Return to article

Comments to No Pleasure, No Reward

Opening of article

Readers may recall Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw’s public disclosure in 2003 of a decades-long depression. Out came the startling revelation that "I didn't understand that after every Super Bowl victory, I could never find pleasure in what I'd done."

Fame and fortune may not buy you happiness, but even an existentialist knows you're supposed to feel elated after leading your team to a Super Bowl victory. ...

Return to article

Comments to The Brain in Love and Lust

Opening of article

In a study published in 2002, anthropologist Helen Fisher PhD of Rutgers University and a multi-disciplinary team of experts recruited 40 young people madly in love - half with love returned, the other half with love rejected - and put them into an MRI with a photo of their sweetheart and one of an acquaintance. ...

Return to article

Comments to Taking It Personally

Opening of article

It started out as a whim, but turned into an eye-opener. In May 2003, I asked my Newsletter readers to take an online Myers-Briggs personality test and email the results, along with their diagnosis. Although this was strictly a readers' poll and not a scientific study, and bearing in mind the risks inherent in pigeonholing personalities, the findings were striking enough to indicate I might be on to something.

Return to article

Comments to Poisonality

Opening of article

Rewind ten years ago. Bill, who happens to be a writer, quickly puts together an obituary for his deceased father that gets featured as the lead obituary in a major newspaper, then delivers a moving eulogy at his service. Both the obituary and eulogy help Bill’s mother manage her grief and come to terms with her loss.

Fast forward ten years later. ...

Return to article

Comments to Borderline Personality Disorder

Opening to the article

In 2005, I joined the board as an officer in a state mood disorder patients group. There, I came across behavior I could not ascribe to bipolar disorder – extremely abusive verbal attacks, explosive meltdowns, public outbursts, poison pen emails, delusional self-centeredness, love and light one minute-on their shit list the next.

Yes, bipolars can behave badly, but this was different. It was like being back in high school again, only worse. ...

Return to the article