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Bipolar News

November 21, 2005

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Teen given 25-year sentence
Appleton Post Crescent - WI, USA
... prison while also trying to protect the public from a violent offender from a dysfunctional family who was never treated for an undiagnosed bipolar disorder. ...

Gene May Hold Key to Mystery of Depression
American Psychological Association Fri, 18 Nov 2005 6:26 AM PST The discovery of a gene linked to depression is a step towards solving the mystery of mental illness, researchers say. They believe it could lead to the development of drugs to cure the condition, along with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Mental illness genetic risk found
BBC News Thu, 17 Nov 2005 10:46 PM PST
Researchers uncover more information on how genes affect the risk of mental illness.

More mental health access for Wyo?
.phper Star-Tribune Fri, 18 Nov 2005 1:06 AM PST
WASHINGTON -- In rural states, older residents often have a hard time finding care for mental health problems. Wyoming, for instance, has 200 square miles for every Medicare provider eligible to treat mental illness.

Mentally ill killer can visit friends
DailyRecord.com Sat, 19 Nov 2005 1:02 AM PST
For the first time in more than five years, a Harvard-educated doctor who was found to be insane when she smothered her parents in Chatham in 2000 will be allowed to spend four unsupervised hours with friends off the grounds of Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

New drug treats bipolar depression
News 14 Charlotte Sun, 20 Nov 2005 5:17 AM PST
Since Roxann and Robert Chokan were married more than 30 years ago, life has been anything but simple. Robert has bipolar disorder - a serious mood condition that causes periods of depression and mania.

Relieving Bipolar Depression
News 14 Carolina Sun, 20 Nov 2005 2:33 AM PST
Nearly 8 million Americans are living with bipolar disorder. Up to half of these patients will attempt suicide at some point during the course of their illness. Now comes the first treatment that reduces suicidal thoughts in these patients.

Woman a Minister After Bipolar Bout
RedNova Sat, 19 Nov 2005 4:15 PM PST
By Jonathan Jones, STAFF WRITER FREMONT -- Barbara F. Meyers world began to crack apart in August 1978 at her Fremont home. She was 31 years old, happily married, employed at IBM, and recently had given birth to her first child.

Major Depression in Rehabilitation Care
RedNova Sun, 20 Nov 2005 2:33 AM PST
By Gunderson, Anne; Tomkowiak, John Situation: M.J. is a 32-year-old female currently in an inpatient rehabilitation program. She was admitted 5 weeks ago S/P Motor Vehicle Accident, with a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Capsules effective in treating acute manic and mixed episodes of Bipolar I Disorder
Medical News Today Mon, 21 Nov 2005 2:09 AM PST
Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers studied the efficacy of carbamazepine extended-release capsules (CBZ-ERC, Equetro) in patients with manic or mixed episodes of Bipolar I Disorder over six months.

Bipolar Disorder Becomming Less Rare In Children
KOTV Tulsa Sun, 20 Nov 2005 6:33 PM PST
Experts say millions of Americans are living with extremes manic highs and depressed lows. It's called bipolar disorder and its a serious mental illness that can even be deadly, if untreated. Doctors used to think it could only happen to adults, now some are saying its happening much younger.

Battle of the Sexes
Psychology Today Mon, 21 Nov 2005 6:02 AM PST
Why women are twice as likely as men to suffer depression.

Parental discipline, life events, and peers affect teens' risk of depression

Bupropion re-kindles interest in dopamine strategy for major depression

Ads for SSRI antidepressants are misleading, say researchers

NY Times Examines Use of Web Sites, Online Discussion Groups for Mental Health Information

Toll of mental illness on US business and institutions

Vacations provide mental health benefits for women

Commentary: Stigma can prevent much-needed mental help

Morning Edition (NPR); 11/18/2005; STEVE INSKEEP

Host: STEVE INSKEEP
Time: 10:00-11:00 AM

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Commentator Bebe Moore Campbell has learned a lot about the stigma of mental illness.

BEBE MOORE CAMPBELL:

A few years ago, a member of my family began to speak and behave in a bizarre manner. He stayed awake for days, talked non-stop and spent money recklessly. I was his passenger when he drove close to 100 miles an hour on the freeway. He laughed wildly as he dodged traffic, veered in and out of lanes and ignored my pleas to slow down. He seemed oblivious to the danger. I waited for things to return to normal, but they didn't.

Gradually, my relative became psychotic and violent. One night, I had to call 911 and watch the police drive him to a psychiatric facility. The doctor diagnosed bipolar disorder, a condition characterized by extreme mood swings. The illness became our family's deep, dark secret. Stigma had a hold on us, and stigma is as hard to control as bipolar disorder. `There's nothing wrong with me,' my relative declared. It was shame that made him deny the problem and refuse treatment.

Many overwhelmed families can recount tales of calling 911 because of a psychiatric emergency only to have the ill person appear normal when police arrived. Once police appeared at my door moments after my relative had been raging and threatening, but as soon as he saw them, he went into normal mode. Seeing no one who was a danger to himself or others, lacking the criteria to impose a 72-hour hold in a psychiatric facility, the police left. And my loved one's treatment was delayed once again.

The word `crazy' relegates people to a world of semi-human. My relative didn't want to live there. No one does. Stigma is one of the main reasons why people with mental-health problems don't seek treatment or take their medication. People of color, particularly African-Americans, feel the stigma more keenly. In a race-conscious society, some don't want to be perceived as having yet another deficit. Others find it hard to trust medical personnel who don't seem to understand their culture. Some studies show that Latinos and African-Americans are much more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia than whites, even though the illness occurs in all races at the same rate. The psychiatric community must address inequities in treatment.

Once my loved one accepted the diagnosis, healing began for the entire family, but it took too long. It took years. Can't we, as a nation, begin to speed up that process? We need a national campaign to destigmatize mental illness, especially one targeted toward African-Americans. The message must go on billboards and in radio and TV public service announcements. It must be preached from pulpits and discussed in community forums. It's not shameful to have a mental illness. Get treatment. Recovery is possible.

INSKEEP: Commentary from Bebe Moore Campbell, the author of "72 Hour Hold."

You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

Content and Programming copyright ę 2005 National Public Radio, Inc. All rights reserved.

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