anonymous said:

I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 when I was 18, I'm now 20. I'm currently medicated with lithium and abilify but I still suffer from mood swings. I feel like it's been so long that I should be feeling closer to normal now but i missed three days of classes because i was unable to get out of bed. Is this normal? To be medicated and still have such a hard time? I can't imagine me holding out much longer if this is what im going to be living with forever im so sad

Hi Anon! 

This is a topic I can not stress enough, THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. You are totally right that after being on two years of medication you should be getting better, not worse or staying the same. While it’s true that medications won’t stop you from ever again having any symptoms, there should be a noticeable difference in a positive direction. My rule of thumb is that any negative side effects from medication should not out weigh the positive they’re doing or create new problems entirely. 

I hope you have a doctor that you feel comfortable going to and telling that you don’t believe these meds are working. If you’ve been seeing a psychiatrist regularly and you’ve been being honest and they haven’t noticed these red flags, I would consider finding a new professional support system. 

I get a lot of asks from people that are scared to take medication because they don’t want to be a “zombie”. If medication makes you feel that way, it’s not OK. Medication for every day use for mental illnesses should help you along the way to living a “normal”, productive life, not hinder you further. 

This is your life and your treatment plan and you should always feel comfortable to bring up issues like this and take charge of your treatment. 

I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with this for two years and I hope you get it all sorted out quickly. Remember that the medication game is not an easy one, or a fun one, but in the end it’s a worthwhile one. 

xx Dev

You are the catalyst in your own recovery. What will you do about it?

The past two years  have been hell. Now, I am back in school, finishing my undergrad in counselling, living with some pretty cool roommates, my husband is less of a douchebag, my family isn’t mad at me anymore, I managed to get my license back for driving, now fit in my jeans from before a year-ish of on and off hospitalization, and I am able (most of the time) to talk about my suicide attempts, diagnoses’ (schizophrenia/borderline/PTSD/GAD/MD), and life-things; without wanting to punch someone, cry, self harm, or kill myself.

I’m saying “yes” to the things I want, and “no” to the things I don’t. I am practicing DBT for my emotional mind, and yoga/mindfulness for my general mind and body. I am trying to eat healthier (which is less frequent, and more fruits/veggies for myself), and playing sports again. I am cutting out people who do not have my back, and people who wish to hinder, more than help (including shitty “friends”, my biological father in whom I have always wanted a real relationship with, and a pastoral-mentor I have had for years).

I have also surrounded myself with cats. Two cats. Gemaine and Chewbacca. Their mere presence makes me feel better about bad situations.

In all of this, I wish to encourage you to do what you need to.

To be healthy.

To be joyous.

To be able to function again.

Though it may not feel like it right now, your life has purpose. It has substance.

You are the catalyst in your own recovery. What will you do about it?

Watch on yellowcrayolacrayon.tumblr.com

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Join the campaign to help make psychedelic therapy a legal treatment.

How A Dissolvable ‘Tampon’ Could One Day Help Women Stop HIV

University of Washington bioengineers have discovered a potentially faster way to deliver a topical drug that protects women from contracting HIV. Their method spins the drug into silk-like fibers that quickly dissolve when in contact with moisture, releasing higher doses of the drug than possible with other topical materials such as gels or creams.

“This could offer women a potentially more effective, discreet way to protect themselves from HIV infection by inserting the drug-loaded materials into the vagina before sex,” said Cameron Ball, a UW doctoral student in bioengineering and lead author on a paper in the August issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The UW team previously found that electrically spun cloth could be dissolved to release drugs. These new results build upon that research, showing that the fiber materials can hold 10 times the concentration of medicine as anti-HIV gels currently under development.
Read more »

This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Care about research like this? Sign on to our Thunderclap campaign (http://bit.ly/NIHthunderclap) to tell Congress to finish what it started and pass the FY 2015 Labor-HHS spending bill now to restore sequestration cuts so that the promise of National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored research can be realized.

Jell-O-like Substance Attracts, Kills Cancer Cells

Chasing cancer cells with chemotherapy drugs can save lives, but there’s no guarantee that the treatment will kill every run-away cancer cell in the body.

What if, instead of hunting those metastatic cells, a treatment could lure them out of hiding — every last one of them — and eliminate them in one swift blow? Yong Wang, associate professor of bioengineering at Penn State, has created such a therapy — a tissue-like biomaterial that attracts cancer cells, like bits of metal to a magnet, and entraps them.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/08/jell-o-substance-attracts-kills-cancer-cells

anonymous said:

What are some of the options available to people who can't afford mental health treatment? People who have zero income and no transportation in states that do not have expanded medicaid?

Hi Anon,

Here is what I found on psychcentral.com:

What to Do When You Can’t Afford Therapy By MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY, M.S. 
Associate Editor

One of the biggest reasons people don’t seek therapy is money. People look at a therapist’s hourly rates — which might range from $100 to $250 — and immediately assume they can’t afford professional help. So they stop there.

But you do have various helpful options. Below, clinicians share, in no particular order, what you can do if you can’t afford treatment.

1. Check with your insurance.

“If you have insurance, ask your insurance plan to give you a list of providers who are either in your geographic area or who specialize in the issue you are seeking help with,” said Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. You might only have to pay a small co-pay, he said.

However, even if your insurance doesn’t cover therapy, get the details on what they do cover, said Julie A. Fast, a coach and author of Get It Done When You’re Depressed. For instance, your policy might still include the words “social worker,” she said.

2. Try a training clinic.

Training clinics offer clients a sliding scale. They’re typically located in universities where graduate students prepare to become clinical or counseling psychologists, said Kevin L. Chapman, Ph.D, a psychologist and associate professor in clinical psychology at theUniversity of Louisville. There, he said, students are “trained and supervised by licensed psychologists who typically have years of experience with specific mental health conditions.”

3. Try a community mental health center.

“Community mental health centers provide free or low-cost therapy options and services covered by Medicaid insurance,” said Julie Hanks, LCSW, a therapist and blogger at Psych Central. To find a center, search using Google or look at your state government website for the Department of Human Services, she said.

4. Read self-help books.

“Books are my first recommendation,” Fast said. Along with her book,Get It Done When You’re Depressed, she also suggested “the rather esoteric The Four Agreements for personal development [and] The Idiot’s Guide to Controlling Anxiety.”

You also can contact a local therapist for book recommendations for your specific concern, Olivardia said. “It can help narrow down the options and allow you to focus on quality resources,” he said.

5. Attend support groups. 

Support groups typically are free or at least more affordable than individual therapy. They may be run by mental health professionals or peers. Always ask a therapist if they also offer lower-cost group sessions, Fast said. (“Groups can be a lot less expensive if they accept cash,” she said.)

She suggested attending moderated support groups. “I always stress that groups that are run by the people in the group rarely work. It should be a structured system where a dispassionate person runs things. Otherwise it can just be a complaining session,” Fast said.

The great thing about groups is meeting other people who are struggling with similar issues, which can create “a safe, validating space,” Olivardia said.

Learn more about support groups in your area by visiting NAMI and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Also, consider organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Consider, too, online support groups, such as one of the 180+mental health support groups here at Psych Central.

6. Ask about discounted rates.

“Cash is often more lucrative than going through the whole paperwork insurance thing,” Fast said. As such, some therapists might offer discounts. For instance, Fast’s therapist typically charges $200 an hour, but she worked with Fast for $50 an hour for a year.

Fast suggested asking clinicians the following questions: “If I don’t have insurance, do you have a cash policy?” Or, “I’m looking for a therapist but am on limited funds. Do you have any discount programs or a group available?” If they don’t, they might be able to refer you to a practitioner who does, she said.

7. Re-evaluate your expenses.

“There are some situations where ‘can’t afford’ is really about priorities,” Hanks said. Consider if you can reorganize your budget to accommodate therapy.

“I’ve worked with clients who ‘can’t afford’ my services but highly value therapy and choose to go without other things because they “can’t afford” not to be in therapy,” she said.

8. Check out podcasts and videos.

Fast also recommended self-help podcasts and videos, such as TED talks on YouTube. “They are very inspirational and have good advice,” she said. When searching for podcasts on iTunes, consider terms such as therapy or personal growth, she said. “I know this is not like seeing a therapist, but I believe that self growth requires personal time as well. It doesn’t all have to be about psychology either,” she said.

9. Visit websites for your particular concern.

“When an individual is privy to their mental health needs — [such as] ‘I’m having panic attacks’ or ‘I think I have OCD’ — landing on an association’s website can be ideal,” Chapman said.

For instance, he said, if you’re struggling with anxiety, you can find valuable resources at the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive TherapiesAnxiety and Depression Association of America and theInternational OCD Foundation.

There is also a wealth of information at Psych Central about self-help techniques, treatments, and books to check out. You can start by looking-up your mental health condition here.

10. Consult your congregation.

“If you belong to a religious congregation, talk to your preacher, pastor, or priest about your need and see if your church offers therapy services or is willing to help pay for therapy,” Hanks said.

11. Consider body therapy.

“Don’t forget body therapy… including chiropractic and massage,” Fast said. Schools usually charge small fees for services given by their students, she said.

As Olivardia said, “Nothing is more important than your physical and mental health.” If self-help resources and groups aren’t working, consider the price of not seeking professional help – because that might be steeper.

“Consider that there are costs for not getting treatment such as lost wages for missing work, strain on family relationships, and quality and length of your life,” Hanks said.

Best,

Lena

There are many fears people have about the idea of recovering. These fears often make people feel conflicted and hesitant about fully committing to recovery. I’m not going to tell you that none of these fears will come true, because that wouldn’t be honest. Many of those fears do come true. The thing is, you’re ALL more capable than you think, so these fears aren’t as hard to handle as you’re telling yourself they will be. 

"I won’t know who I am anymore" Is this really such a bad thing? I mean, who with these issues really likes who they are? Losing some sense of self can be an opportunity to rebuild yourself and start over. It’s a chance to get back in touch with the parts of yourself you used to really like. 

"I’m going to feel things I don’t want to feel" Again, you already don’t exactly feel great. And you’ve felt this way for how long? You’re tough. Yes, you’re going to bring up painful feelings that your behaviors have been suppressing. Recovery often feels worse before it feels better. That initial misery makes some people say “ok, this isn’t for me” because they don’t realize it’s part of the process. You’re ripping open an old wound so that you can clean and bandage it properly this time. 

'I'll miss school/work” You’re going to miss it anyway if you continue down this path. And when you’re living like this, even when you’re physically in class it’s very difficult to be there mentally. Having to catch up is not the end of the world. Graduating late isn’t the end of the world. Taking care of yourself is worth it. And you’ll learn more in recovery than you ever could in school. 

"My eating disorder/self harm/addiction is what makes me special/unique" This is one of those lies these vices tell as an act of self preservation. These issues are very common and they usually follow the same patterns, so they are not special. They’re parasites feeding off of you. They’re not you. They’re not what define you. And once you’re free of them you’ll be able to explore new things and get reacquainted with yourself, and learn what actually makes you special. 

"I’ll lose all the work I’ve put into losing weight" Ok, so has all this work paid off? Has the weight loss made you happy and made you love yourself? I’m guessing the answer is no. You can keep denying yourself nutrition and keep losing weight, but it will never satisfy that desire to look at yourself and feel content. Eating disorder weight loss never satisfies and it’s never enough. 

"I’ll have to gain weight and I wouldn’t be able to deal with that" If you’ve got a good therapist/treatment team, they won’t just be treating the physical side of things. They’re not just going to feed you and feed you and expect you to deal with that. You’ll learn loads of coping skills and self talk and learn to manage your emotions in healthy ways. You’ll develop the tools you need to deal with body image issues. Remember that bodies aren’t all about measurements and weights. They’re about function too. You’ll be gaining energy, strength, healthy sleep, normal body temperature, healthy skin and hair, etc. When I gained my recovery weight, that part was difficult, but I also lost my acne, my skin stopped drying up, my hair got thick and shiny, etc. 

"I won’t have a way to cope anymore" Like I said above, you’ll be given many skills to cope. You’ll get replacements for your maladaptive coping mechanisms. Yes, they probably won’t work as well at first. They might not feel like much of anything. One of the biggest lessons you learn is how to sit with emotions. You learn that you don’t have to release every painful emotion, but that you can actually ride out the wave without harming yourself. So you can last long enough to make the healthy coping skills habits and give them long enough to start making a difference. And they really do start making a difference. You just have to give them a chance. It’s easy to look at one and say “no, that would never work for me” without even trying it. Give everything a shot and it can start giving you a clearer idea of what you want out of the skills and narrow down what might help. 

Fear doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run the other way. Facing fears can be really satisfying and empowering. The more you let fear decide things for you, the more that fear will grow. Recovery has many terrifying things about it, but try not to let that be your whole focus. It also has many freedoms and releases and joys in it. And YOU have the strength, intelligence, and capability to walk through everything scary about it, endure it, and come out the other side realizing that you’re a badass after all. 

So guys, I have a problem. My dog that I’ve had for nine years, Pixie, had recently been diagnosed with heartworms. The even bigger problem is that we cannot afford to pay for the treatment, which can run up to around $1000. I’ve created a donation page, http://gfwd.at/1m6KQqW 
and it would mean so much to me, my mom, and Pixie if you would donate any amount, or just reblog this post so it can get to someone who can donate. Please help us save our baby!

The First Week At Rehab

I meet a girl with khaki eyes
and a ponytail smile, seventh grade

our group therapist assigns her a challenge
for tomorrow: to come downstairs for breakfast

makeup-less. as if eating right smack dab in the middle
of someone else’s whole morning wasn’t challenging

enough. both of us know breakfast
means mountain climbing, fanged

mouth opening, sword-swallowing, publicly
growing, combat-ready stomachs on protest

our group therapist says: it is not a shot cannon,

it is only breakfast.

we gape at her, barreled eyes like drains,

jealous she could look at a fork
and see anything less than a harpoon.

today, the girl with khaki eyes
has a tight-braided smile, seventh grade

she wears fifty-five minutes worth of makeup
in her petal paper thin trimmed hospital gown

I look like 5-hour energy, e-cigarettes, chewing
gum. popping skinny pop by the measuring cup.

at lunch, I pat the grease off my pizza with
napkins, careful to get only the paper damp,

so as not to accidentally absorb
the pizza grease through my palms.

I realize this is irrational thinking.

the girl with khaki eyes watches me under her
breath, pawing at her quarter-slice of pepperoni

with paper towel. later, I warn our group therapist:
do not ask me when meal times became war zones.

as if you could understand how serene it feels
to be a vacant phase of the moon. how you, too,

could become like helium, if only people
held you as if they feared you would leave.
—  The First Week at Rehab, by Blythe Baird

Paranoid Anxieties Volume 2 is a VHS mixtape/documentary by Will Mecca of Denton, Texas and follow up to cult hit Paranoid Anxieties. Shot on various forms of VHS from April 2014 to the current time. Volume 2 addresses what makes punk so special to those who make it and strive to keep the genre strong, independent and thriving.

An hour and a half of analog filth features (at this point and time) the following bands; The Flex (UK), Obstruct (UK), Gag (OLY), Ivy (NYC), Cruelster (Cleveland), Negative Degree (Denver), Ooze (NWI), Big Zit (NWI), Pukeoid (NWI), Gas Rag (CHI), Broken Prayer (CHI), Beta Boys (KCMO), No Class (KCMO), Dirty Work (KCMO), The Warden (STL), American Hate (OKC), Glowgod (OKC), The Sentenced (Denton), Treatment (Denton), Wiccans (Denton), Sin Motivo (FTW), Lacerations (Dallas),  Blotter (ATX), Recide (ATX), Dress Code (HTX), Back To Back (HTX), Drug Dogs (HTX), and Sexpill (HTX).

As well as the musical performances it features short talks and interviews with the following individuals; Adam Cahoon (Institute, Wiccans, Blotter), Ralph Rivera (Raw Nerve, Bad Blood, The Bug), Jerad Lawson (Sin Motivo), Jose Mora (Gag, White Wards, Love Interest), Jeff Caffy (Gag, Bad Blood), and Antonio Holguin III (Ooze, Big Zit, Raw Nerve). The film according to Will is “..to give something back to a community who has given me everything…” Paranoid Anxieties Volume 2 will be released sometime in December of 2014. 

Most medical treatments are predicated on a person seeking and wanting (or at least accepting) treatment. When it comes to mental illness, when it’s not infrequent for someone to have a hard time understanding just how warped their thinking and behavior has become, we do a pretty shitty job at treatment in part because the medical system doesn’t know how to cope with someone who has zero interest in getting well. Rather than re-evaluate a system that requires immediate buy-in from the patient, it’s much easier, cheaper, and more convenient to simply tell the patient that “we can help when you’re ready.”

The problem with this model, and with applying it to depression and OCD, is that one of the cardinal symptoms is that the sufferer isn’t always welcoming of treatment. The reasons are quite varied as to why sufferers are frequently less-than-enthralled with the idea of treatment, whether it’s not wanting to give up the adaptive functions of the disorder, being too terrified of stopping behaviors, or being afraid of the societal stigma strong-holding these issues.

So, we all sit back and wait for the person to be “ready” to recover. The problem is that the longer a person is left to the machinations of their sickness, the more difficult it becomes to choose recovery. The longer you’ve been sick, the more difficult recovery is, generally speaking. Behaviors of OCD rapidly become reflexive. This is just what I have to do to survive. Those are the rules.
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