Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Some Interesting Sites and Articles

Because I'm new to blogging, I realize that if I continue at my present level of activity I'm going to burn myself out. Also, I spent years where I tried not to think about this illness--as a method of healing--and I'm not sure how I feel about blogging about it on a daily basis. I'm learning as I go along. Today, I'd like to recommend a few other sites and a controversial and interesting article by Dr. David Healy, a psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry in Wales.

While I already provide links to these sites and blogs, I think it's nice to highlight what other people are doing.

LivingManicDepressive is a site that was established by Jinnah, who lives in Trinidad and Tobago. He's been manic-depressive since the age of 18 but his illness wasn't diagnosed until 1997. He's developed a major site where he provides all kinds of great information as well as a new blog. His web site sections include: The Bipolar Diary, How It Feels, Ideas for Coping, and so much more. (In fact, he even mentions my blog.) What I particularly like is Jinnah's upbeat and positive attitude.

Bipolarity: Perspectives on Life from a Bipolar Lens by Syd is a wonderful blog. Syd's a terrific writer, sensitive and talented. For anyone who's experienced long and difficult depressions, yesterday's post, Darkness Falls, should resonate. "I’ve experienced chronic physical pain and I’ve experienced deep and chronic depression. Given the choice, I’d choose physical pain any day." Wouldn't we all.

Roller Coaster by Marja from British Columbia, is a terrific blog as well. If you log on now, you'll smile as soon as you see her wonderful photographs of children. Marja is a professional photographer who specializes in child photography. She's also the first person who emailed me once I started this blog, which made my day. Marja's particular interest is in faith-based healing.

One Year of Writing and Healing: A Conversation and Workshop is by Dr. Diane Morrow, a physician and writer who lives in North Carolina with a long term interest in how the act of writing can benefit healing. Diane is the doctor we all wish we could see but since we can't, she provides wonderful exercises in writing and healing and a host of resources. She's also a talented writer.

Finally, I'm recommending you take a look at Dr. David Healy's article, The Latest Mania: Selling Bipolar Disorder. It's controversial, alarming, and informational. I'm hoping we can chat about it.

Stay tuned...I'll recommend more blogs and sites as we move along. Today's picks are the ones I know best and are written by people with whom I've developed relationships. Also, because of an email by Lucky Mud, I plan on writing more about my experience with Integrative Medicine in future posts.

Have a nice day!


Syd said...

What a great idea to help avoid "blogger burnout" and to impart some useful information in the process. I plan to visit each of the sites you recommend, and look forward to chatting about Dr. Healy's article.

Thank you also for the kind words about my blog. Coming from a published author, I'm humbled and honored. It's my pleasure to be sharing this journey with you.

marja said...

Susan: Thank you very much for mentioning my site.

I don't think you need worry too much about burnout. When I started blogging I put so much energy into it. It became addictive. But I've learned to sit down to it every other day or so and forget it otherwise when I'm busy. When I'm bored and need company I go to it more often.

I've found it a wonderful place to share thoughts, whether they're about bipolar disorder or some other aspect of life. As a writer you're going to enjoy the outlet, I'm sure.

I've made many friends here and every once in a while a new one like you comes along. It's good to have that kind of support.

luckymud said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks in advance for information about integrative medicine. I look forward to reading about it.

The Healy article was quite interesting.

I agree that it's important to recognize the lack of long-term studies of psychotropic drug use, and it was enlightening to read about the measures of hospitalization and suicide rates to evaluate the effectiveness of mood stabilizers. That said, Dr. Healy doesn't attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of mood stabilizers by any other means, such as the improvement in the quality of life of bipolar patients. While I realize those types of statistics are difficult, if not impossible, to quantify, it seems to me that there is much more to the treatment of bipolar than the measurement of two variables (both of which are much more prevalent in Bipolar I, and do not address the milder concerns of Bipolar II and cyclothymia).

I share Dr. Healy's concern about children being diagnosed with bipolar. I haven't read The Bipolar Child, but it seems to me that children that young don't yet have the capacity to understand and accurately communicate their thoughts and feelings. While parents might be able comment on erratic behaviour, aren't thoughts and feelings essential to the diagnosis? Thoughts like despair and hopelessness, confidence and grandiosity? Perhaps others might have insights into this.

It might also interest you to read more about David Healy himself and the controversy surrounding him in Toronto, Canada: http://www.pharmapolitics.com/

Cheers to more discussion!