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Crazy Ole Me

May 04, 2009 - 2 comments

I posted this in the Neurology Forum where they get many hits and few answers. Thanks, lLADVOCATE, for answering me there. I just wanted a copy for my records.

All my life I have been struggling with odd problems that have practically ruined my life; can't type, can't use any but the most basic cash registers, a ridiculous problem parallel parking, I learned to read before kindergarten but I am a very slow reader as the letters are hard to focus on - I put my finger on the page to keep the sentence together at times. I can not figure out optical illusion puzzles no matter how long I study them. The main problem is this - I lose my bearings. On the road, in a building, if I leave my room at the clinic I can never find my way back and it's so embarassing. I am terrified to give children rides home because I know I'll get confused though I've been to their house before. Spelling is difficult and math - I aced Algebra but to this day can not understand fractions or memorize times tables. The thing is I score very highly on intelligence tests overall and most people think I'm very smart until they see me doing one of my idiotic things. What the hell is wrong with me? Anyone have a clue?

Cold River

May 02, 2009 - 1 comments

I think that the river is still very cold. the Mississippi flows just across the street from our apartment and I see it in my mind every waking minute. I feel its icy waters crawling over my flesh. I think of where I will park my beat up van along the abandoned railroad tracks across the river - where we went for picnics and swimming in happier times. I'll walk through the woods along that rough path until I come to that lonely beach. Far away from my loved ones. Far away from my troubles.
Coward? It;s the bravest thing I will ever do - and the loneliest.

Children of Bipolar People Score Higher in CreativityI

Mar 26, 2009 - 5 comments

This is pretty obvious to me but it's good to see that science backs it up. So, good news about our shared condition for a change!

Children Of Bipolar Parents Score Higher On Creativity Test, Stanford Study Finds  
Yesterday at 2:00pm

ScienceDaily: Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown for the first time that a sample of children who either have or are at high risk for bipolar disorder score higher on a creativity index than healthy children. The findings add to existing evidence that a link exists between mood disorders and creativity.

The small study, published in the November issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, compared creativity test scores of children of healthy parents with the scores of children of bipolar parents. Children with the bipolar parents - even those who were not bipolar themselves - scored higher than the healthy children.

"I think it's fascinating," said Kiki Chang, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and co-author of the paper. "There is a reason that many people who have bipolar disorder become very successful, and these findings address the positive aspects of having this illness."

Many scientists believe that a relationship exists between creativity and bipolar disorder, which was formerly called manic-depressive illness and is marked by dramatic shifts in a person's mood, energy and ability to function. Numerous studies have examined this link; several have shown that artists and writers may have two to three times more incidences of psychosis, mood disorders or suicide when compared with people in less creative professions.

Terence Ketter, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a study co-author, said he became interested in the link between mental illness and creativity after noticing that patients who came through the bipolar clinic, despite having problems, were extraordinarily bright, motivated people who "tended to lead interesting lives." He began a scholarly pursuit of this link and in 2002 published a study that showed healthy artists were more similar in personality to individuals with bipolar disorder (the majority of whom were on medication) than to healthy people in the general population.

Some researchers believe that bipolar disorder or mania, a defining symptom of the disease, causes creative activity. Ketter said he believes that bipolar patients' creativity stems from their mobilizing energy that results from negative emotion to initiate some sort of solution to their problems. "In this case, discontent is the mother of invention," he said.

The researchers point out that creativity and bipolar may have important genetic components that are transmitted together inter-generationally. There have only been limited studies investigating this; the Stanford study is the first to specifically examine creativity in the offspring of bipolar parents.

The Dr Phil Show!

Jan 25, 2009 - 1 comments

These are a series of stupid letters between my ex and I concerning a request we each got to be on "The Doctor Phil Show". I want to publish them here because I think it illustrates the way our label is used against us. I also think I did a good job to defend myself and in so doing all of us. Read in reverse order.

   RE: Dr. Phil Show‏
From:  Leta  Sent: Sat 1/24/09 2:16 PM
To:  Michael  
  What a sad case you make - I don't have a clue because I am bipolar then, I must be a genius because I am bipolar. BTW, there's no records of Florence Nightingale being a genius, genius.
   I could have given you a hundred names of famous people with BP. The point is it does not diminish all of one's abilities but but rather it enhanses some aspects of the thinking process. Why don't you educate yourself before you assume?
   Did your mother never teach you to not make fun of people with disabilities? Only losers have to try to tear other people down by calling their antagonist names and bringing up things that are utterly irrelevant to the subject matter.
   I am the mother of your children. But why would that ever make any difference to you?


Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2009 06:31:37 -0800
From: Mike
Subject: RE: Dr. Phil Show
To: Leta

Back to being a genius again huh? Or are you now tying yourself to famous people that had bipolar disease to show how much better you are than everyone else? Now you can say "I'm at least twice as good as anyone else".

From: Leta  Subject: RE: Dr. Phil Show
To: "Michael  Date: Friday, January 23, 2009, 9:17 PM

  Why Michael, I didn't know that you had earned a degree in psychology! Maybe that will be as useful to you as your degree in photography is. There are two sorts of mentally ill people - those that are intelligent and strong enough to see that there is a problem and want to investigate and fix it and those who either stick their fingers in their ears and refuse, despite all the obvious symptoms, to come to terms with it or are just too impaired to recognize it. Which of the latter two are you because, buddy, you have a trail a mile long of exceedingly odd behavior. This is not the first time you have tried to cancel out what I have to say by waving a diagnosis around. Did you know that Winston Churchill, Sir Isaac Newton, and Florence Nightingale were all bipolar? I have always out tested you, logically out paced you, and can run circles around you in any argument. What do you know about me taking meds? I took the same meds religiously for years and once, when we were living in WI, I became so very sick with bronchitis and stomach issues that I couldn't take them for a week which had serious repercussions that I was unaware of until then. I don't know why I bother to tell you this. If you are so sure of my mental incapacity then why in the hell have you left your poor boys here with me?
  What topic? I have only sent you the second letter but the first was no more explicit. Perhaps it's "Fathers who Abandon their Children" or "When Bad Dads Leave the Mess Behind" maybe "Men whose Values are Invisable"
  When the editor refers to "they" I can only surmise she means the entire family.


Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 14:28:49 -0800
From: Mike
Subject: RE: Dr. Phil Show
To: Leta

It would be interesting if you included your bipolar disorder and the borderline (or more) personality disorders. And the fact that you don't stay on your meds. Did you include these little nuggets? Or did you skew everything to make me the bad guy?
What is the topic of the show?
And who is the "they"" that are referred in the reply from the Dr Phil show? I highlighted it in blue so you can see what I'm talking about. You're welcome.

From: Leta  Subject: RE: Dr. Phil Show
To: "Michael  Date: Friday, January 23, 2009, 1:23 PM

  If I wrote Dr. Phil the truth about what happened to us why would you think that would not make an "interesting" story? Can't defend your behavior can you? Does not surprise me.

Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 02:44:06 -0800
From: Mike Subject: Re: FW: Dr. Phil Show
To:  Leta

The answer would be NO. What the hell are you doing trying to get on the DR. Phil show for? Jerry Springer wouldn't accept you?
--- On Thu, 1/22/09, Leta