The praise came. Kitt loved to please. The more praise she received, the better she felt. The more she achieved, the higher she soared, until she couldn’t. Her body couldn’t keep up. She broke down, couldn’t get out of bed, and beat herself up for falling, for failing.
The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk – the way people normally talk to themselves.
I fear dementia. Both of my parents have dementia and live in a memory care community. They love one another and seem happy where they are now, but it took a while to make that happen. They wanted to maintain their independence. Understandable.
I fear dementia. Though I hope by avoiding alcohol and taking my bipolar medications, I can stave it off. (Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and I have a family history of alcoholism.)
Still, I fear a downward spiral. That fear I want to overcome. Face it. Stand up to bipolar disorder and dementia. Take care of my brain.
Even if my bipolar disorder progresses, even if I get dementia, I can still love and be loved, just as my parents still love and are loved.
History of BD [bipolar disorder] is associated with significantly higher risk of dementia in older adults. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the potential mediators of this association and to evaluate interventions that may reduce the risk of dementia in this population.
Many of us living with mental illness have other chronic illnesses. Often we are not treated for our “physical” illnesses, as many doctors dismiss them as psychosomatic. “Mental” illnesses ARE “physical” illnesses, and “physical” illnesses affect our “mental” illnesses. We are not just our brains, just our bodies, just our minds, just our feelings, or just our souls. The more we learn, the more we understand interconnectedness and comorbidities.
The ALPIM Spectrum
In the Spring 2015 issue of the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, researchers proposed The ALPIM Spectrum:
P = Pain (fibromyalgia, migraine and chronic daily headache, irritable bowel syndrome, prostatitis/cystitis);
I = Immune disorders (hypothyroidism, asthma, nasal allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome); and
M = Mood disorders (major depression, Bipolar II and Bipolar III disorder, tachyphylaxis. Two thirds of patients in the study with mood disorder had diagnosable bipolar disorder and most of those patients had lost response to antidepressants).
We conclude that patients with ALPIM syndrome possess a probable genetic propensity that underlies a biological diathesis for the development of the spectrum of disorders. Viewing patients as sharing a psychological propensity toward somatizing behavior essentially denies patients access to care for the diagnosable medical conditions with which they present.