AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsDepressionMental Health News

The International Bipolar Foundation recently shared this article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317919.php

And I found it pretty fascinating.

Researchers have identified 7 genes that are related to insomnia. That alone is great news, as gene therapy becomes an ever more real way to treat mental illness.

But they also found some interesting associations. Now, I should note that none of this should be surprising. Everything I am about to tell you should make perfect sense. But it is still nice to see hard science backing up what soft science already associated.

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There are a few words in the English lexicon that appear to draw a lot of power.

Sport is a good one. Lots of things claim to be sports, and saying something isn’t a sport is often very controversial; so much so that pretty much any type of physical competition is now considered a sport. Hell, even activities that aren’t competitive take on the moniker, like hunting or fishing.

Somehow, we have deemed “sport” to be the word with the most honor bestowed upon it, and words like “competition” are deemed to sit below it.

Art is this way as well. People clearly not making art claim to be artists all the time, like restorative painters. And people that sit well outside the traditional visual, literary, musical, or thespian arts claim all the time to be creating art.

Hell, I’ve even said that once in this space.

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“Perhaps [ideas] are, for instance, like some big salmon or trout. They are not born fully grown; they are not even born in the sea or water where they normally live. They are born hundreds of miles away from their home grounds, where the rivers narrow to tiny streams. Just as it takes time for a speck of fish spawn to mature into a fully-grown fish, so we need time for everything that develops and crystallizes in our world of ideas.”

“Nothing is as dangerous in architecture as dealing with separated problems. If we split life into separated problems we split the possibilities to make good building art.”

-Alvar Aalto

Aalto is one of my favorite architects/ furniture designers. Most architects I know consider him one of their favorites. I won’t get into anything about his architecture, but you should look him up if you like architecture or design. He was amazing.

Like most of the biggest architects throughout history, he was also a pretty incredible thinker and philosopher. He always spoke of big ideas in relation to architecture, but many of the things he had to say have impact in most areas of life.

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Caffeine is known to induce anxiety in people.

This side effect is pronounced in people that have a capacity for anxiety, but really it can have this effect on anyone. Anxiety is simply a common side effect of caffeine.

When I was a kid I was told a lot of things about caffeine, that it would stunt my growth most commonly, but no one ever talked to me about anxiety. Of course, this is really the only true side effect of it.

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“Remember why you came and while you’re alive to experience the warmth before you go”

– Incubus “The Warmth”

I struggle on most days with my responsibilities at home. Parenthood is very difficult for me and something I feel like I’m getting worse at with each passing day. There are times when I get unreasonably irritable, times when my frustration doesn’t match the occasion.

For what it is worth, no one really helps me with it. There isn’t a single person in my life trying to help me be a better parent, or even help me ease the difficulties of it. Now, that isn’t to say people don’t help out, even a lot. We get a ton of support in terms of daily babysitting or even if we have something we want or need to do. Our children are always welcome and in good hands and we have a lot of options. But what I am talking about is not that type of help. I don’t mean take the kids off my hands for some time help. I mean emotional support. I mean clearing my head kind of support. I mean relieving stress and learning to avoid it kind of support.

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Anxiety has an amazing ability to humble you.

No matter how big and tough and strong you think you are, anxiety can reduce you to a balled up, crying, shaking wreck. All you want is to be held like a baby, tears stream down your face, and you have no control over yourself.

I often have this odd sensation on my skin when my anxiety is high. It is hyper-sensitive to the touch. Even blankets or clothes can irritate to the point of pain. All you want is to be hidden in a pile of blankets four feet high, but it feels like a sunburn all over your body.

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I apologize for not being around for awhile. Things have been very busy for me, kids, work, spring things around the house, a big wedding, graduations and birthdays and everything has been crazy.

But another reason is that I have been dealing a lot with some depression and a lot of anxiety. I have missed a good number of days of work. I have felt particularly awful, barely sleeping, eating much less, much more stressed out, and very little ability to relive stress.

As a result, a little over a month ago, for the first time in several months, I took sleeping medication to try to get some sleep.

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Week #3 of thankfulness blogs

This week, the purity of sound

A few summers ago I was camping with my family and one entire day was rained out. I had an infant that wasn’t entirely happy, and I was just beginning the recovery process after ECT.

Anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks just after lunch and I went to my tent to lie down and get away. And there is where I discovered something that has been an effective part of treating my anxiety ever since, the sound of a hard rain on that nylon/ polyester blended surface.

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I think people might get confused a bit when I say things like “I’m symptom free” or use the word “remission”.

The truth is those things don’t exist. I am never totally ok.

I haven’t experienced the crushing extremes of bipolar in about 10 months. But just a couple days ago I was reminded that exactly a year ago right now I was in a crippling depression and was avoiding people and drinking heavily. And, truth be told, I avoided people and felt depressed at times during this summer as well.

I still have the mood swings, even the extreme ones. I still experience anxiety, insomnia, irritability. I still find my mind racing, or find it difficult to get out of bed.

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So, it has been almost two months since I have posted anything to this website.

For a good part of my time off I was still writing some, but absolutely nothing since my son was born. I’ll get into that later.

For now, this is what you need to know: I am symptom free, including all depression and most anxiety. I am drug free, I am not taking any medication, and I’m also not drinking much. I am not seeing any doctors, not a shrink, not a therapist.

I am doing almost none of the things that I did to work on being healthy. Not eating well or exercising, not sleeping on a good schedule or even much at all, not reading or writing much, not working on anything much at all.

But, I feel perfectly fine. Normal ups and down, nothing serious, barely any anxiety, a good amount of insomnia that I have been constantly dealing with since high school.

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