Friday, March 19, 2010

Some of my favourite quotes on mental illness....enjoy them!

I look at other people and I think, “He lives without meds. She does. What is wrong with me? Am I so biochemically screwed up, so neurotic, so narcissistically self-absorbed that every hour is an obstacle course for me?” I don’t know, but this can’t continue. I feel like I am dying. A slow torturous death. And the worst thing is that I’m taking other people along for the ride. But I swear, I don’t know how to do it differently. –ditto

I should come with a consumer warning, like the labels that say “Handle with care” or “May be hazardous to your health.” I am unfit for human consumption. I struggle to articulate how awful and isolating this feels, but I can’t find the words. –ditto

Sometimes, I get so consumed by depression that it is hard to believe that the whole world doesn’t stop and suffer with me. –ditto

We all fear at some point that “our” world and “the” world are hopelessly estranged. Psychosis is the fulfillment of that fear. –Michael Greenberg, Hurry Down Sunshine

Mad, adj.: affected with a high degree of intellectual independence, not conforming to standards of thought, speech, and action derived by the conformants from the study of themselves; at odds with the majority; in short, unusual. It is noteworthy that persons are pronounced mad by officials destitute of evidence that they themselves are sane … –Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

People often write me and ask how I keep my wood floors so clean when I live with a child and a dog, and my answer is that I use a technique called Suffering From a Mental Illness. –Heather Armstrong, on

Men have called me mad, but the question is not yet settled whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence—whether much that is glorious—whether all that is profound—does not spring from disease of thought, from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. –Edgar Allen Poe, “Eleanora”

I remembered the afternoon of my MRI, the way I’d seen my brain that day for what it is—an organ. A lump of tissue and cells and nerves, no less than heart or lungs or kidney, generating perception as much as the heart pumps blood or the lungs extract oxygen. How we know and feel and understand the world is made possible merely by the pulse of elctrochemical activity. If a heart could fail in its pumping, a lung in its breathing, then why not a brain in its thinking, rendering the world forever askew, like a television with bad reception? And couldn’t a brain fail as arbitrarily as any of these other parts, without regard to how fortunate your life might have been, without regard to the blessing and cosseting that, everyone was so eager to remind you, disentitled you from unhappiness? –ditto

Pain of mind is worse than pain of body. –Syrus

I bend but do not break. –Jean de la Fontaine, “The Oak and the Reed,” in Fables

I read somewhere that 77 per cent of all the mentally ill live in poverty. Actually, I’m more intrigued by the 23 per cent who are apparently doing quite well for themselves. – (?)

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you. –Carl Jung

I will find a way out or make one. –Robert Peary

I’m a happy-go-lucky manic-depressive. It does get very deep and dark for me, and it gets scary at times when I feel I can’t pull out of it. But I don’t consider myself negative-negative. I’m positive-negative. –Tim Burton

There’s someone in my head but it’s not me. –Pink Floyd, “Brain Damage”

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger. –Friedrich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols

Just because you’re paranoid
don’t mean they’re not after you.
–Nirvana, “Territorial Pissings”

Psychiatry’s a young science. Yesterday’s madman may be tomorrow’s genius. Beethoven and Van Gogh were both a bit loopy. In my view, most madmen are remarkable. They’re explorers, travelers beyond the rim of consciousness. Not surprising if they pick up a few bugs and get sick. That’s all it is, madness. Mad just means sick. If you get fluid on the lungs it’s pleurisy. If it’s fluid on the brain, it’s insanity. –Clare Boylan, Beloved Stranger

All of them [psychopharmaceuticals] affect the way in which the brain processes language. It’s not something a person uninterested in words might notice, except for maybe a bit of tip-of-the-tongue syndrome, but to me it’s obvious that my relation to language has been subtly affected. Before the long parade of drugs, words were like water—all I had to do was dip my mind and it would come up brimming with new excitements. I always thought of this ability as a “gift,” a part of my being. Now the river of words flows around me as it always has, but I write as a translator trespassing outside the boundaries of my original language, fluent but no longer a native speaker. It’s hard to explain. It feels like a new part of my brain has learned language, and the old part has atrophied. Maybe this sensation is just a physical metaphor for what the antidepressants do. I don’t know, but I’ve come to see that this death of imaginary self (along with its language) is not necessarily a hindrance to my work, though it took me years to stop trying to call my “gift” back from a grave. Its loss functions exactly as form does in poetry: if the door’s locked, try a window. –ditto

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"I have Bipolar; but Bipolar doesn't have me." -Suzy Johnston

Came across this while doing some research today. It's a booklet about the BBC documentary "The Secret Life of the Manic-Depressive" written/produced by Steven Fry. *If you haven't seen it, please look it up, it is well worth your time and effort*
I watched the documentary a while ago, but I love how this booklet describes Bipolar-both the manic and depressive sides. It also perfectly captures the struggles that families and spouses have with Bipolars. It's long; but WELL worth the time reading it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hey everyone

Hi all. This will be a quick post because unfortunately, I don't have a whole lot to say. I have lost quite a bit of the water weight (edema) that I was having trouble with, but being on the water pills have triggered more side effects, and my specialists are still trying to determine what exactly is wrong. A VERY frustrating process. I've still off the Lithium, which is awful, but I'm trying to take it day by day. I will continue with this blog once I'm in better health, and am back onto the Lithium, so that I am able to blog about being Bipolar (because, honestly, that's what I set this blog up to be about, not to be about my edema and other health problems!). But...that said, I wanted to share this link to another great blog:

I stumbled across this blog by accident, and I found it incredibly interesting and informative. Since it is written by the wife of a Bipolar, you are able to see the "other side" and how difficult it is to deal with a Bipolar on a daily basis. Also, check out the "Triggers" section, which I found very informative (and very correct!).

Hope you all will check it out and hopefully learn something (and give this wonderful woman some support!). We all need the support-both Bipolars/mentally ill, and their spouses, family and friends.

Hope you all are well.