Friday, July 27, 2007

Immediate Problem Solving

I wonder if this is a bipolar thing.

When I’m problem solving, which is mainly what I do, I’m into it 100%. I focus on it, I live in it, I work it out, I do it right. The end result is correct, and it’s good. This isn’t process-driven stuff, it’s find-the-best-solution work. Find the most efficient code to make the program work. Or the query that loads the table in the shortest amount of time. That’s what I do, that’s what I enjoy, that’s what I’m good at.


Ask me a day later how I did something, or why I used a particular way of accomplishing my result and you’ll get a blank stare. I don’t have a clue. I don’t remember. It’s gone, the slate is clean, the mind has moved on, it’s ready to solve a new problem. I’ve always been this way, at least since my first real job in the eighties. It makes me look stupid when I can’t explain how or why I did something. I can point to the result and say "it’s right, isn’t it?"

Anyone else like this? I'm talking a completely clean slate after completing a creative task or problem?

Cannabis Use Increases Risk Of Psychotic Illness?

Cannabis use increases risk of psychotic illness - 27 July 2007 - New Scientist

I'm not sure what to think of this. My first thought was "Duh! - they smoke BECAUSE of the mental condition", but they cover this in the study. I guess I wouldn't be surprised if there was a worsening of a condition due to heavy marijuana usage. And if it was proven that heavy marijuana use actually CAUSED a mood disorder I wouldn't be too surprised. But there's too many axes to grind where illegal drug studies are concerned. Too much grant money to prove things one way or the other. But it does get a person thinking.

Saturday, July 21, 2007


You know, hypomania's a bitch. Yes, it feels good at times to be so full of energy, productive, and fun-loving. But much of the time it's pretty destructive. For example, I didn't sleep at all tonight. It's 3:00 AM, and I'm up. I have to take my family to the airport in an hour, they're taking a vacation without me, I can't get off work. But after going to bed early and trying to sleep for 2 hours, it was too late to take an Ambien, I was worried about waking up after that. So I'm up all night. On the positive side, I tagged all my blog posts back to the first of the year.

I wish there was a way to tame this without being risky to my career. I'd love to find a way to stay on an even keel, but I'm afraid that would impact my ability to work. The lamictal takes care of the lows pretty effectively, so I tolerate the highs and try to use it to my advantage.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Great News!

After years of struggling, jumping through hoops, waiting in lines, and dismal failures, my son Kyle got medication! My wife has been taking him through a series of assistance appointments for several years. You miss one appointment and you're back to square one. The process is so frustrating, and so intimidating, and so daunting, that he never was able to make it through. Finally today after having someone criticize Kyle for a paperwork mistake another aid worker made that would set them back several months, my wife broke down in tears. They finally saw the hell he'd been through in trying to get assistance. The person stepped up and went to bat for Kyle, and got him in for a psych eval and other med work that same day.

He just called me, and was excited. He felt really good about the appointment, and they prescribed him Lamictal and Seroquel! I never thought he'd be prescribed Lamictal through the public assistance process because of the cost. He knows how well it's working for me, and he's excited about the future.

I'm so happy for him, I'm almost in tears right now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Bad Weekend Experience

Had a pretty bad experience over the weekend. Because my agreement with Health Central precludes me from double posting content, I'll leave a link:
Mania and Rage

The moment you think things are going well and you're in control, bipolar disorder can slap your ass right back down to the ground. The disorder likes to make it abundantly clear who is REALLY in charge. All we can do is try to keep our demons happy, so they don't take control.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What Kind of Soul Am I?

I hate these things, but after seeing this on half a dozen other blogs thought I'd take the test out of curiosity. I had no intention of publishing this, but the result was so interesting I couldn't resist.

This was me 10 years ago - pre-diagnosis and treatment. This test nailed it, right down to my wife's personality as a "Peacemaker". I really don't think this captures my true personality these days, my current hypomania has probably temporarily pushed me that direction again.

You Are a Hunter Soul

You are driven and ambitious - totally self motivated to succeed.
Actively working to achieve what you want, you are skillful in many areas.
You are a natural predator with strong instincts ... and more than a little demanding.
You are creative, energetic, and an extremely powerful force.

An outdoors person, you like animals and relate to them better than people.
You tend to have an explosive personality, but also a good sense of humor.
People sometimes see you as arrogant or a know it all.
You tend to be a bit of a loner, though you hate to be alone.

Souls you are most compatible with: Seeker Soul and Peacemaker Soul

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Night Owl Behavior Harmful to Preteens

Night Owl Behavior Harmful to Preteens - Psych Central News

An interesting article. I have 5 children, and have seen this behavior in some of them. Kyle was the worst about going to bed. When Kyle was a pre-teen my wife worked nights. I made sure I put him to bed every night, but when my wife got home at 2:00 AM, Kyle was waiting up for her, fully awake, every night. I don't know if this was a contributer to, or a result of, his bipolar disorder.

I now see this behavior in my oldest daughter, now 12. I don't think she has bipolar disorder, she's entirely different from Kyle at that age, but these sleep patterns still bother me.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Damn War

My 19 year old son’s best friend joined the Air Force right out of high school. He was promised a mechanic’s slot, which is his career goal. He made a choice between trade school and the service, feeling the education he got in the service would be superior to trade school. The sonsabitches yanked his mechanic job and made him an MP. He just got orders – while he can’t officially acknowledge it, he’ll be accompanying truck convoys from Kuwait to Iraq.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Personality Test

A company I interviewed with a week ago contacted me yesterday and asked me to take a personality profile test. What are you going to say? "Thanks for allowing me to take this next step!" These things are useless for me. My results change from day to day, and even from hour to hour. Could anyone with bipolar disorder take one of these consistently? Just once, wouldn't it be fun to ask which personality they want me to use?

Antidepressants Not A Suicide Risk?

Antidepressants Not A Suicide Risk - Psych Central News

We hear people scream about the dangers of SSRI's, then this. So which is it?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Question For Discussion

Do my peers with bipolar disorder intend to spend the rest of your lives on medication? Or do you live with hope that perhaps through a combination of self awareness, coping techniques, and therapy you might someday be able to live life drug free?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Great Week

The last week or so has been pretty decent. Not perfect, mind you, I've been bouncing around like that stereotypical yo yo. Yesterday's rant about pay-for-blogging illustrates the mania just under the surface. Which is funny, as my energy level is pretty low right now, so I would be expecting depression before mania. But they are more closely related, at least for me, than others would imagine.

Speaking about pay-for-blogging, I have decided to go a different route for my blog. Instead of ad words, or those services that you have to actually write about (Refinances - everyone approved!), I'm going to add one of those donate buttons. You know the ones, the "blogger beggar" buttons. Mine is going to be for a donation to "The Human Fund - Money For People". Watch for it.

Last week I went with Kyle to see a show, it was a father's day gift for me. We saw a band called "Indigenous" in a smaller club setting. This is a hard-rocking blues band, and these guys tore it up. The guitar player's name is Mato, and in this style of music there hasn't been a guitar player this good since Stevie Ray Vaughan. Mato is incredible. This ranked as one of the top five shows I've ever seen.

Tomorrow night my wife, Kyle, and I go to see Robert Randolph And The Family Band. If you have never seen these guys you owe it to yourself to see them at least once before you die. There has never been a more high-energy, harder playing, talented, and fun band. Ever. At any time. Bold talk? See them and find out.

For those in the US, have an enjoyable and safe Independance Day, and don't lose sight of the reason for the holiday.

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Sorry folks, I have retracted my last post about pay-for-blogging. Even though I promise I was not singling out any particular blog, I know people would take it that way. So if I've offended anyone, please know it was not directed at anyone in particular. Like so many things in life, we have different needs and objectives - what I get from my personal blog is not what someone else seeks from blogging.