Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Really Good Video on ADD / ADHD

I watched the video ADD & Loving It?! on PBS last night.  It was great. Funny and full of insights.  Not perfect, but sure worth the watch. The best part is that Rick Green (you might know him from The Red Green Show) describes how ADD feels for him, as do several other adults.  This is more geared to adults than children, although probably teenagers could find this video useful too.

It is easy to see how the hyperactive components of ADHD - the impulsiveness especially - are similar to the symptoms of mania.  No wonder there's confusion!

I actually don't have ADD.  I did take Ritalin at one point, and while it helped for awhile, I just don't have the ADD symptoms on a continual basis.  My attention problems come and go depending upon my mood. When my mood is doing well, my attention is fine. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Feeling ON is so much better than Feeling OFF!

Photo Credit
Here's a list I wrote several years ago.  It describes what feeling off is like and what feeling on is like.  I'm sure this could apply to a myriad of other mental illnesses, like ADHD, generalized anxiety, etc.

FEELING OFF (not well)
Paranoid Thinking
Difficulty in Making Fast Decisions
Inability to Detect Subtleties (jokes, nuances, sarcasm etc)
Increase in number of errors (when working)
Anxiety - flushing, sweating, nervousness
Sensory Overload - Flourescent lights bothersome
Weird Feeling
Dazed Feeling
Out-of-it Feeling

Good Memory
Good Decision Making
Sure of Myself
Fast Thinking (at a normal pace for me, though)

I think at the time when I wrote this, I wasn't taking any medicine.  I was going through a period of "See, I don't need medicine!"  I was med free and proud of it.  Now I am medicated and happy about it. Times change.  I can tell you that I now spend way less time feeling off.

I know that the feeling off list doesn't exactly read like a list of Bipolar Disorder symptoms.  I think that's because I was having anxiety too.  Also, the in-the-moment sensory experience of being in a hypomanic or depressed mood doesn't exactly read like a list out of the DSM manual.  There's a difference between the internal experience and the external view of what's going on.  

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lithium Flatness and Dosage

In a previous blog post, I hypothesized that taking too much lithium is the cause for the flatness that some people experience.

After reading a lot more, I have to correct myself.  Apparently lithium just makes some people feel flat. Period.  It doesn't happen to me.  But it does happen to some people.  It's a side effect that you might or might not have. And it probably has more to do with individual differences than dosage.

I'm sorry if lithium makes you feel flat. I hope that you will find a medicine that does work perfectly - removing the mania and depression but allowing for life's normal ups and downs.  That's how it should be.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Blog about Supplements

I'm not leaving this blog.  I intend to continue posting here about Bipolar Disorder.  This includes posts about supplements for bipolar disorder.  But topics like supplements for toe fungus will be carefully crafted on my new Soup and Supplements blog.  I know some people write about everything on one blog, but after careful thought, I've decided that I want to have two blogs. Maybe even three, or four...  :)

This way if you are only interested in bipolar disorder, you won't have to read my other ramblings!