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Showing posts from April, 2011

On the Road Again With NAMI Walks

In honor of Earth Day, this is the second annual Blog Post Recycling Day.  I think it is the second annual Blog Post Recycling Day.  Somebody declared one last year, and I recycled then, but I haven't actually seen anything about it this year.  Maybe because my Facebook friend who posts that kind of stuff is in church today?

Anyway, it's timely -- just one week from Johnson County, Iowa's NAMI Walk.  So my recycled blog from a month ago comes with one more plea to contribute to the organization that has contributed so much to me, making my contribution to you, dear readers, possible.

Please, please, please, click on the button to


To find out why, read:
Friday, March 25, 2011
On The Road Again -- NAMIWalks 2011
It's that time of year again.  Across the country people with mental illness, our friends, family, care providers, even law enforcement officials are pulling on our walking shoes to raise money for NAMI -- National Alliance on Mental Illness.  Last year sold…

Treating Bipolar Disorder Part III -- The Interpersonal Therapy Part

Lately I have been reviewing Treating Bipolar Disorderby Ellen Frank -- the recommendation of a friend who is researching hypomania.  Part I described the basis of Interpersonal Social Rhythms Therapy (IPSRT) in circadian rhythms that control the many physiological symptoms of mood disorders.  Part II outlined the Social Zeitgeber Theory and described the early stages of the therapy process, history taking and stabilizing social rhythms.  Today I pick up with the later stages, interpersonal therapy and maintenance.

Interpersonal Social Rhythms Therapy came to Ellen Frank in an epiphany on her birthday, July 14, 1990.  Personally, I like that.  I especially like that it was the day that she participated in a conference for people with bipolar, and listened to them.

Frank and her colleagues were already using interpersonal therapy for people with recurrent unipolar depression.  Their theory was that certain life events, particularly losses could result in lost social zeitgebers, (timeke…

Treating Bipolar Disorder Part II -- The Social Zeitgeber Theory in Action

So you have bipolar.  You know you have bipolar.  You are way past the denial stage.  You are into the pulling out your hair, screaming with frustration stage.  Or maybe moved on to despair stage.  Because:
The medication sucks.You keep getting sick again anyway.
But contrary to what everybody has been telling you, medication is not the only thing that works.  It may be essential to your recovery and continued functioning.  But you can do better if you do more.  From my last post:

IPSRT [Interpersonal Social Rhythms Therapy] is one of three psychotherapies tested by the National Institute on Mental Health in its recent major study of best practices for treatment of bipolar disorder.  The Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder, STEP-BD discovered that Patients taking medications to treat bipolar disorder are more likely to get well faster and stay well if they receive intensive psychotherapy.

Do I have your attention?  Today we continue with Ellen Frank'…

Treating Bipolar Disorder Part I -- Interpersonal Social Rhythms Therapy

Medication And Mental Illness

Medication for mental illness is just like medication for anything else.  It works better when you don't ask it to do all the work itself.

In the case of bipolar, once lithium and the chemical imbalance theory came along, the thinking was that medication was the only thing that worked.  Therapy by itself certainly didn't.  I wonder if therapists, worn out by their bipolar patients, were simply relieved to believe that medication was the only thing that worked.  I wonder if therapists today, worn out by their recurrent depression patients, are secretly relieved to terminate when the diagnosis changes to bipolar, because medication is the only thing that works.

Frankly, there is a lot of wishful thinking out there in pharmacotherapy land.  If only our brains were a chemical stew and the illnesses of the brain could be treated by adjusting the recipe.  If only.

But people with mental illness, especially people with bipolar, can't afford the wishfu…

The Termites Ate My Blogpost

They ate my baseboards, actually.  But the effect, as zeitstorers, was the same.  My apologies to regular readers who are waiting for my next post.  It will tell you what zeitstorers are, in the first installment of a review of Ellen Frank's Treating Bipolar Disorder.  The image here is a hint.

Coming soon...