"If it wasn't for the crazy people, the world would be a pretty boring place."
Yesterday afternoon, I went to a showing of the documentary "Of Two Minds" at Maple Theater in Bloomfield Hills directed by Rochester native Doug Blush and Southfield resident Lisa Klein, who now live in LA. The documentary followed four people diagnosed with bipolar disorder over the course of three years.
This documentary definitely opened my eyes to the disorder. To tell you the truth, I never truly understood the disorder. When I was 19 years old, I dated a man with bipolar. I never knew what was going on in his mind on a daily basis. All I knew was that, for the last few months of our relationship, he stopped taking his medication. And he turned from a man who would write me love songs and give me flowers to a man who would alternate between really happy to really angry to really sad. It was the "really angry" emotion that was difficult to handle. And when he would start screaming at me, telling me everything I was doing wrong and how I made him want to kill himself, I didn't know what was going on. And I, in turn, blamed myself.
In this documentary, these four people described exactly what was going on in their minds -- and how it was something they couldn't control. They described the "manic" as a high when they felt really good about themselves, had a lot of energy and could stay up all night. An out-of-body experience. Colors felt brighter and senses were heightened. The "manic" stage sparked their creativity. The four people followed in the documentary each had that in common -- they each were blessed with the creativity gene, whether a painter, a writer or a makeup artist.
On the other end of the spectrum was the depression. The low of the "bipolar" when they couldn't even get out of bed and when life seemed pointless. One of the women in the documentary has a box she keeps in her bedroom with dozens and dozens of suicide letters she had written to her parents. Another woman said during one of her lowest lows, she slit her wrists, waiting for the blood to drain out of her.
But, the thing about bipolar is -- do you take medication, which gets rid of the depression but also gets rid of that high? One man found that, with medication, he kept the best of both worlds. He kept his creativity, but got rid of the depression. Another woman found that medication got rid of the parts of herself she liked most -- and so she decided to take alternative medication instead, like acupuncture and changes in her diet. She said the numbness she felt from medication was even worse than the depression. Another woman found that writing and sharing her story gave her a reason to live, even in her lowest of lows. Whenever she wanted to die, she would either write or record herself talking about it. And, once she was done, the feeling of wanting to kill herself would pass.
I would strong recommend everyone to see this documentary, which will be available for purchase in the spring of this year on iTunes. Trust me, it will change your way of thinking and make you think twice before judging someone you may think is "crazy."
For mental disorders, there is no cut and dry answer on how to handle it. I would say to anyone who questions whether he or she has bipolar or any other psychological disorder, it is imperative to see a doctor or counselor to make sure that the disorder doesn't result in suicide. If you feel like you just want to end the pain, something needs to be done because life shouldn't feel like this. But know there are many ways to treat a mental disorder.
Honestly, there are positives when it comes to mental disorders, such as creativity, realism, resilience and spirituality. After all, if we were all so-called "normal," how boring would his world be? For me, I think we all are a little bit "crazy." I know that I am far from "normal." And this is nothing to be ashamed of.
For more information about the documentary "Of Two Minds," visit oftwomindsmovie.com or like their Facebook page.
"If it wasn't for the crazy people, the world would be a pretty boring place." Yesterday afternoon, I went to a showing o...
The big house. The fancy car. A better paying job. But no matter how much people complain about money, especially in this economy, it seems the thing that hurts the most is loving someone who doesn't love you back.
And, with Valentine's Day coming up next week, the chocolates and flowers filling the aisles at stores only seem to serve as an unwelcome reminder to those experiencing unrequited love.
But chances are, if you are alive, you know what that feels like. You know what it feels like to have feelings for someone who doesn't feel the same. And it is a horrible feeling. There's a reason why it's called a "broken heart" -- because your chest literally aches.
And it's easy to feel like the reason that person doesn't feel the same is because something is wrong with you -- even though that's not true. This is from someone who has dealt with this several times in her life. Romantic feelings, honestly, don't make sense and can't be forced. Life is not like a movie where, if you try hard enough, the other person will have no other choice but to fall in love with you.
Therapist Mark Tyrrell writes in Uncommon Help, "It feels like it's always going to feel this way; but it won't always feel this way … Get into the habit of self-hypnotically projecting your mind into the future - to a time when you can look back to the present and wonder what all the fuss was about."
But this is easier said than done. If only crystal balls existed...life would be so much easier.
Dr. Riaz Baber tells the Naperville Sun, "The number of people who become depressed because of a genetic predisposition or as a part of other ongoing medical issues have stayed, proportionally, pretty much the same ... The third cause, which we call the ‘social issues’ that include loss of a job or spouse or having no social life — is on the rise.”
Unrequited love can lead to many harmful side effects. Studies show that it leads to increased alcohol and drug use. David Brendal, M.D. of the McLean Hospital, told ABC News that self-medicating oneself with alcohol, marijuana or cocaine serves as a quick fix for larger problems, but that it only gives temporary relief that, in the long run, intensifies the overall problems.
Instead, don't be afraid to talk about it. Talk to your friends or a medical professional. Many times we are ashamed to talk about it. We don't want to admit that we like someone who doesn't feels the same way. But, trust me, if you open up to someone, I can guarantee he or she will say, "I know how you feel. I've been there."
Some other tips on how to deal with these feelings on Valentine's Day:
1. Do not, and I repeat do not, watch a lovey dovey movie. Instead, rent a comedy like "Superbad." Or, when I was rejected by a guy I liked, my friends and I watched "House of Wax." There's nothing like a scary movie to make you forget how you feel -- especially a scary movie where Paris Hilton gets beheaded. Or have a "How I Met Your Mother" marathon, which is on its eighth season and the main character still hasn't met the "mother."
2. Get a massage. Doctors say massages help relieve symptoms of depression (and is a lot better place to throw your money than booze or weed).
3. Even if you don't feel like it, go out. Take a fun class to meet others (maybe this will also cause you to meet *someone* and take your mind off the person who doesn't feel the same) or host an anti-Valentine's Day party (I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who share your sentiments). If you can't be with the person you love, instead do something you love.
4. Take a vacation from social media. The last thing you want is to see the plethora of photographs of bouquets of flowers and mushy status updates.
And, most importantly, remember that depression is treatable.
It seems to be human nature to want what you can't have. The big house. The fancy car. A better paying job. But no matter how much peo...
My friend gave me an evil eye bracelet yesterday. In many cultures, primarily in the Middle East, it is believed that when someone gives you the "evil eye" or an envious stare, this could cause bad luck, disease or even death. The charm or bead, usually a deep blue in color and resembles an eye, is supposed to bend the evil gaze back to the person who is giving it. It is supposed to keep you safe from harm. And, to tell you the truth, wearing it today makes me feel kind of invincible.
And this made me think -- do superstitions hurt or help you? For me, I personally am a fan of the good luck superstitions, such as finding a penny heads up, wishing on a shooting star or making a silent wish at 11:11 p.m. The bad superstitions are the ones I don't listen to. After all, I was born on Friday the 13th -- so if I believed in the bad superstitions, what would that say about me?
More than half of Americans have admitted to being a little superstitious, according to a Gallup poll. But is this "magical" thinking hurting or helping you?
WebMD says that obsessive compulsive disorder can mimic superstitious behavior. For example, with the Super Bowl coming up on Sunday, the line between sports rituals and OCD behavior is blurry. But if the behavior is effecting your everyday life, the answer could be that you've just gone past fun superstitious behavior to something more serious.
But there are benefits to superstitions.
Stuart Vyse, PhD, the author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, told WebMD, "Superstitions provide people with the sense that they've done one more thing to try to ensure the outcome they are looking for."
If carrying a lucky object makes you feel more confident, in control and secure, then this is a good thing (unless it's when you're gambling). It acts as a placebo affect — if you think something will help you, it may actually help you. If you are looking for something good to happen while carrying a rabbit's foot in your pocket, chances are you will see something good happen.
But if you experience feelings of tension, excessive worry, trouble sleeping, obsessive thoughts and exhaustion and the behavior, superstitious or not, is getting out-of-control, get help from a doctor or counselor .
For example, if can't go into a bathroom because you're terrified Bloody Mary will show up in the mirror, this isn't healthy and could be debilitating. And if I ever get to the point where my bracelet becomes more than a pretty piece of jewelry and, instead, I become so attached that I can't go to work if ever I misplace it — please call a psychiatrist for me.
Do you believe in superstitions? My friend gave me an evil eye bracelet yesterday. In many cultures, primarily in the Middle East, it is...