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October 11, 2005
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A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL; EXCLUSIVE.
The Mirror (London, England); 10/10/2005
Byline: by FIONA WYNNE
WHEN John Kelly was diagnosed with bipolar manic depression at the age of 25 he thought his life was over.
Six years on he has written a book, earned himself a diploma and a degree and got his life back on track.
John, from Clontarf, Dublin, is now determined to get across the message that depression can be beaten.
It all went horribly wrong for John when he spent a summer in the Canary Islands working as a DJ.
He lived the rock'n'roll lifestyle for a while, complete with booze and drugs, but before long he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital after suffering a "manic episode".
The 31-year-old said: "I was living life in the fast lane at the time and indulging in too much drink and drugs. I didn't know it at the time but alcohol and drugs are triggers for my depression and over the summer I became more and more unhappy and ended up in a psychiatric hospital.
"They told me at the time I had suffered from a manic episode and it probably wouldn't happen again. But after I came home it took me about eight months to get out of my depression.
"When I think of it now I had some symptoms when I was a teenager. I used to have extreme highs and lows but I didn't really know why."
John went to Boston the following summer but the same thing happened and he ended up in another psychiatric hospital.
This time the doctors took it more seriously and John was diagnosed with bipolar manic depression. He added: "Things were really bad when I came home from Boston. I was severely depressed for about three years.
"But being diagnosed with manic depression is the best thing that ever happened to me. Being in the depths of depression is like nothing I could ever describe.
"The only thing I can relate it to is how I felt after my mum died earlier this year.
"I was very close to my mum and I am lost without her. Losing my mum is the saddest thing that's ever happened to me but it's nothing compared to how you feel when you are in the grips of depression.
"I thought about killing myself several times but I didn't because I didn't want to cause the people I love pain. But I completely understand why people choose suicide. You're at such a low that it seems like the only option."
John now takes lithium for his depression and his life has been turned around in the last year.
He said: "It is possible to overcome depression but it's not easy. The best piece of advice I can give is change your lifestyle and find a way to focus your energy.
"If you drink or do drugs or whatever vices you may have give them up because it's your only hope.
"It's not easy but if you continue you are slowly killing yourself."
COPYRIGHT 2005 MGN LTD
Healthy support for mentally ill.
The Washington Times; 10/10/2005
Byline: Ann Geracimos, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Thursday's 25th anniversary celebration put on by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) was a family night in every way.
The larger "Washington family" was well represented - a Supreme Court justice (Stephen G. Breyer and his wife Joanna), a senator (Gordon H. Smith, Oregon Republican), several congressmen, (Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, among them), as well as many from the journalism fraternity led by the evening's emcee, Margaret Warner of PBS.
Members and patrons of NAMI, founded by families of people suffering from severe forms of mental illness, contributed an estimated $300,000 for outreach and support services, including much-needed research into causes and treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.
"Unmasking Mental Illness" was the motto of the evening in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium - bringing the subject out from behind the mask of ignorance - the first such fete ever held by Arlington-based NAMI in the national capital area. It was an upbeat affair in spite of the theme and its associations - inspired, as Miss Warner told those present, by a similar gala held in New Orleans not long ago. Masks on the tables, she said, "should remind people of New Orleans at its most joyful and colorful time - Mardi Gras."
Television's Mike Wallace, whom Miss Warner called "an icon," said privately at the reception that he has suffered three bouts of depression, then hastened to add he is "not a professional depressive." Mr. Wallace presented a $50,000 check and crystal bowl to Dr. Daniel Weinberger of the National Institute of Mental Health for his pioneering work in the brain and its functions, especially as they relate to abnormal behavior. "The next 25 years of research will make what we have done before seem minor," Dr. Weinberger said in his acceptance remarks.
New Orleans' songsmith Aaron Neville, an icon to many in the music world, performed at dinner with several songs reflecting his own physical and emotional battles.
"Everybody is touched by it," said event co-chairwoman Ann Pincus, volunteering that she had a close relative so afflicted. Other supporters on hand included Vicki Bagley, Ann Jordan, Tom Oliphant, Debbie Dingell, co-chairwoman Deborah Marriott Harrison, Polly Kraft, Molly Raiser and Margaret Carlson.
COPYRIGHT 2005 News World Communications, Inc.
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The Warning Signs Of An Impending Bipolar Disorder Manic Episode
Bipolar disorder - as the name implies - involves two distinct set of symptoms. One set throws the individual down into the depths of a massive depression. The other places the individual who suffers with bipolar disorder at the top of a peak manic episode.
Most everyone can eventually recognize the warning signs of an impending depressive episode related to bipolar disorder. More likely than not, individuals with bipolar disorder try very hard to avoid it.
However, for many individuals with bipolar disorder, it's more difficult to recognize the signs of an impending manic episode. After all, a manic episode of bipolar disorder can be mistaken in some cases - especially in the very early formation -- for the lifting of the corresponding mood swing of the depression.
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