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Archive for May, 2013

I wrote a post last year about Will Smith on the Graham Norton Show, as it cracked me up soooooo much. Click here to see it.

Well the Fresh Prince was on the show again this weekend & his son Jaden was with him. Don’t miss the cameo appearances from those many of us love 🙂 .

Trust me, if you want to smile & laugh? Watch this!

 

 

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I was looking for positive bipolar stories & came across this.

I’ve pasted it below too in case the link doesn’t work for you.

Let me know if you find stories like this useful or not? Personally I think they are as it’s a reminder you’re not alone if nothing else.

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Living Triumphantly With Bipolar

With the recent news that Catherine Zeta-Jones checked into a facility due to mental health problems, there’s been a lot of talk in the media about bipolar disorder. Although it’s sad to hear about anyone suffering with a mood disorder, the good news out of this is that it’s shining a much-needed light on what bipolar is, its symptoms and who it affects (even Hollywood starlets can’t always escape the grip of mental health issues).

So, what exactly is bipolar disorder? According to the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario:

Bipolar disorder is in a class of mood disorders that is marked by dramatic changes in mood, energy and behaviour. The key characteristic of people with bipolar disorder is alternating between episodes of mania (extreme elevated mood) and depression (extreme sadness). These episodes can last from hours to months. The mood disturbances are severe enough to affect the person’s ability to function. The experience of mania can be very frightening and lead to impulsive behaviour that has serious consequences for the person and the family. A depressive episode makes it difficult or impossible for a person to function in his or her daily life.

To make things a bit more complicated, there are two variations of bipolar: bipolar I andbipolar II. Zeta-Jones suffers from the latter, which can go unnoticed for a period of time since the symptoms are less severe than those of bipolar I. Someone with bipolar II can display behaviours that they wouldn’t normally have on a daily basis — they may be able to function on far less sleep than usual, they may have a very irritable, depressive, or exceptionally joyful disposition for a period of time, and/or they may talk much faster than they typically would. Close friends would likely notice the change in behaviour, but those outside of that circle may not be able to recognize it.

On the other hand, those with bipolar I show behaviours that even those outside of their close network would see as abnormal: out-of-control happiness, delusions or hallucinations, seriously inflated self-esteem, overspending of money (as in, going out during their lunch hour to buy a house they can’t afford), interpreting events to be or mean something they do not, among others. Essentially, those with bipolar I have a hard time functioning in their daily lives. What’s more, their symptoms are undeniably abnormal.

I wanted to learn more about bipolar I from someone who has first-hand knowledge and understanding of it, so I got in touch with Leslie Bennett, executive coach, mental health awareness advocate and cofounder of Open Spaces Learning. She is an intelligent, open-minded and highly-accomplished businesswoman who has fought the good fight with bipolar I — and is now thriving. It certainly wasn’t an easy ride, but she has lived to tell the tale and is passionate about sharing her story in hopes that it might help someone else.

At the age of 27, Bennett spoke to her doctor about some depressive mood issues she was experiencing, for which the doctor prescribed antidepressants. At that point in time, she was feeling isolated, as she was living in British Columbia while her family was living in Ontario. To make herself feel better, she was self-medicating by smoking marijuana, staying up late and generally not taking good care of herself.

Perhaps partly because her meds were starting to take effect (and she didn’t realize this to be the case at the time), she decided that she was starting to feel better and took herself off her antidepressants cold turkey and continued to self-medicate. Things took a turn for the worse not long after this, leading to a manic episode that she can’t even recall fully, since the events and timelines are still blurred in her own mind. As she said, “During a manic episode, you see reality differently.”

Bennett’s behaviour was becoming increasingly erratic, and her roommates were really concerned. They called her family to let them know what was going on. So her sister and mother came to visit her in B.C.; they were hoping to bring her back to Toronto to see if they could get her some help. Because of Bennett’s manic episode, she had convinced herself that the people coming to visit her were not her family, but clones of them. She was so convinced, she asked a friend to come with her to the restaurant where they were meeting and bring a video camera to tape it. She thought that she could use the tape as evidence that someone had cloned her sister and mother and could take that to the authorities.

Worried and feeling at a loss in terms of what to do or how to handle the situation, Bennett’s mother had nowhere to turn but knew that her daughter desperately needed help. An RCMP officer told her that if her daughter ever mentioned anything about harming herself or others, she could have her committed to a mental institution. At one point during their trip, Bennett mentioned that she could “jump out of this window” (at 30 floors above ground), and that’s precisely what her mother needed. Bennett was committed to a mental institution for two weeks and was diagnosed with bipolar I. You can read more about her manic episode here.

Bennett eventually moved back to Ontario with her family. Her parents started going to a peer support group, which was immensely helpful for them. Bennett is a big advocate of peer support groups and readily acknowledges the lack of information available for not only those suffering with mental health issues, but also their families. That’s why she’s happy to share helpful information about her own journey and what helped — and continues to help — her live a balanced and stable life. She writes about the importance of getting enough sleep as key in maintaining a mentally stable lifestyle, as well as her focus on some factors that she can control to aid in removing triggers that could affect her balanced state of mind: Food, Sleep, Treatment, Exercise, and Perception (FSTEP).

If you suspect that a family member or close friend is experiencing any mental health problems, or if you’re concerned about your own mental stability, remember that there is help out there. There are mental health practitioners who can help you, as well as peer support groups that offer you the freedom and comfort in sharing your stories, especially with others who understand what you’re going through. Visit www.lesliebennett.ca for information and helpful resources.

A diagnosis of a mood disorder certainly isn’t a death sentence; it can happen to even the most accomplished and seemingly level-headed individuals. Take Bennett’s story as an example and a reminder that you’re not alone. Take it in stride and remember that you can overcome these obstacles and thrive by living the life that you want to lead.

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I first heard a clip of this music on “This Week Ahead On The BBC” advert.

Of all instruments, Piano is my favourite. I love how they can evoke memories and tell a story. I suppose the same can be said for all musical instruments, but for me the piano is so much more thought provoking & powerful.

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I need to learn how to play the piano. Right now I couldn’t even play chopsticks & I ain’t talking about the eating utensil either…

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Hmmmm, I think I’m a little hyper/sleep deprived. I haven’t been sleeping too well these last two weeks and the last three nights have been particularly low on the beautiful zzzzzzzzzz’s. I do know that it’s likely being triggered by the fact my father, in name only, could be coming out of prison soon & all that entails. I detailed this a few days ago in Will He Come Out.

I contacted our parole officer this morning & she advised he had his parole hearing on 22nd May, but I wouldn’t find out the result for two more weeks. So I’ll be in limbo on this one until then…

What made me stop & think earlier today was, if I didn’t have Bipolar, I’d likely be feeling mixed emotions over all this anyway. It’s very hard to see the line of, is this bipolar, or is it how anyone would feel in these circumstances. I guess there is no sure fire way answer that…

I feel like I’m writing a disjointed post here, but hey, I’m knackered so sue me 🙂

I would like to ask anyone who has no contact with bipolar, i.e. don’t suffer from it & aren’t closely in touch with anyone with it, what their views are on how they may feel in my situation with my father & the house & all that crap? You’ll need to read the will he come out post linked above.

After just re-reading that last paragraph I guess anyone who doesn’t have bipolar can have a go at answering my question. As I said I’m knackered people.

And as ever I welcome all comments from anyone reading this.

I’ll definitely be taking my own sleep tips tonight.

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I saw this on a fellow bipolar blogger’s page, BIPOLARMUSE, please read, it made me smile 🙂

 

Bipolar Is Awesome!.

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I remember when I was in my final year at Uni (1999). My house mates & I would play FIFA 98 & we got into a habit of trying to psych each other out by playing our favourite song during a game. We’d take turns of having our own song playing (usually at full blast) & try to convince the other that because our particular song was playing we would win. More often than not that was the case.

Aaahhhh student lifestyle…playing FIFA & mind games on your friends, when I should have been studying. Those were the days 😉

Well the song below was my lucky song & was instrumental in getting me the goals!!! (at least that what I tell myself)

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In order to get the best out of this post you must first turn the volumne up loud…..LOUDER………don’t worry if it’s on an odd number, just crank it up…..a little bit more…. there, that’ll do! Now Press play on the video below.

Why? Because as a 7-8 year old kid I used to do just this on my vhs recorder & go nuts when the music kicked in. There I was, from a suburban living room in Liverpool UK, boogieing away to a song depicting scenes of the steel city, Detroit USA!

I watched Beverley Hills Cop again tonight & got a blast from the past 🙂

My favourite part of the song is over within 42secs…starting with the police sirens mingled with the ticking clock…leading to the spine tingling bit starting at 22secs, to the full blown start at 34secs. This is where baby Graham goes ballistic in said living room all those years ago. 35 year old Graham did it to a lesser extent tonight. The only difference? I was drinking Ribeana back then…today it was a nice glass of red wine 😉

OK well enough waffle & one last thing. The person to comment on, in my humble opinion, the best one liner from Beverley Hills Cop will get a post about their very own blog. I promise to be gushing & complimentary only.

Comments apply to Beverley Hills Cop 1 only. Any comments on the following 3 sequels  will be ignored & in some cases criticised openly, if you’re offended by this disclaimer well that’s not my problem!

Enjoy

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