December 28, 2014

Bipolar: Relax. Breath. Now Freak Out!

"Roller Coaster" by Paul Brennan
The past couple months I've realized that my medicine's effectiveness has been waning. My anger and frustration flare up more often than usual. But I've done well for all the pressures I'm under.

I've been on the same mood stabilizer medication for almost nine years. That's a long time, but shouldn't the medicine work for decades? So my journey over the next few months will be changing medications.

So you may wonder about bipolar. Katy Perry's song Hot N Cold explains it well. Bipolar is a more complex mental illness than depression or anxiety alone. You can have manic, or hypomanic, episodes that vary. People think of the mania of staying up all night and having boundless energy, but that doesn't define mania completely. I have hypomania that manifests in frustration, anger, feeling annoyed, talking excessively, and restlessness. The list is endless.

Bipolar then has the low or a "crash" after the high. It can be depression, restlessness, anxiety, wanting to do nothing, or refusing to talk to others. The low manifests many symptoms, but it isn't always the typical depression.

What's even weirder is a mixed episode. It's a combination of some manic symptoms and depressive symptoms. It's a moment of laughing, being annoyed, crying, wanting to do nothing, or conquering the world. Sometimes this is cycling through episodes quickly.

These varied symptoms require several medications. First, I need a mood stabilizer that evens my mood. Second, I need an antidepressant. An antidepressant alone will cause a manic episode. Third, some people have to take medicines for mania (I don't suffer from extreme mania, so I don't know as much about this). Sometimes, you have to juggle between antidepressants and anti-psychotic medications.

Overall, it's a crazy ride. We all have some issue we have to deal with, and mine is bipolar.

UPDATE: Well, I don't have to change my mood stabilizer. I need to work on my sleep habits now. What a surprise :). So if you see me up late, tell me to go to bed and I might listen.

Ask me questions if you want to know more, or if you have other crazy symptoms comment below.

NIMH has a good explanation on their website about bipolar.

December 06, 2014

Take a Sledge Hammer to Your Washer

"Cat in the Washer" by  Luke Jones
I'm finally done writing and editing my laundry articles. So glad to be done. If you can't tell that I'm sick of laundry, then come see the sledge hammer next to my washer. Fine, I'm not that extreme. I don't want to hand wash clothes for a family of five.

I have another thought: wear one pair of clothes per week. Then it's quite manageable to hand wash clothes.

One day laundry will come to an end. I think of a time when we will have immortal bodies that won't get smelly. That means we won't have to do laundry in the afterlife, right?

What are your fond memories of laundry? Or do you want to burn all your clothes? Share your thoughts.

December 03, 2014

Don't Shoot the Whistle Blower!

"Green Whistle" by Steven Depolo
Do we know how many atrocities have been stopped because of whistle-blowers? We have no idea, but more atrocities were avoided because whistle blowers revealed the truth. They are those brave people who risked their lives, families, and reputations. So don't shoot the messenger!

I mourn how society, family, friends, media, and leaders ridicule whistle blowers and victims. This victim-blaming hurts us as a whole and no victim should suffer more. It's not the victim's fault. It is the fault of the offender who hurt another person. Now imagine you are ridiculed for telling the truth. You hope someone will take you seriously then.

Whistle blowers are holding the offenders accountable. Offenders often won't change without being held accountable by society, family, and religious leaders. This is a matter of tough love for the offender.

Sometimes we don't know how to treat a whistle blower or victim. We are hesitant to believe them or want to deny it all. If what they say is true, it changes our world view. It hurts most when we have to change our view about close family and friends.

Still, look seriously into the allegations and take precautions, even if you don't believe the whistle blower. We need to evaluate our own loyalties, fears, and other blinders when searching for the truth. Follow the Spirit, or your gut, which will speak to both your mind and your heart (See D & C 8:2).

Often we can't verify through evidence about what really happened since it may be a case of he said/she said. Several scenarios are possible where the victim blamed the wrong person, or the victim is really the offender. The situation may be very complex because of manipulation. We may have to accept that we will never know the truth. Whatever happens, the victim, whistle blower, and offender all need understanding and love.