Bipolar News

March 20, 2005

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Symposium on Advances in Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Newswise (press release) - USA
WHO: Gregory M. Asnis, MD, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the Affective Disorders Program, AECOM and MMC.

Spring is arriving after 'bipolar' winter
Lancaster Newspapers - Lancaster,PA,USA
... "The underlying story line is its bipolar nature.". For example, the period of Dec. 29 to Jan. 14 was 10.6 degrees above normal. ...

Symposium on Advances in Treatment of Bipolar Disorder
Medical News Today - UK
... Surgeons, Columbia University. Robert M. Post, MD, head, Bipolar Collaborative Network, Chevy Chase, Maryland. Norman Sussman, MD ...

Effective therapies for bipolar children sought through TEAM study
ScienceBlog.com - USA
Louis are investigating the effectiveness of several therapies for children with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive illness. ...

Exercise Helps Treat Depression
Read more here.

TopAbstracts in Depression 03/17/2005
Read more here.

Magnet Treatment Offers Hope for Depression
Read more here.

9 Mental health patients could specify staff's sex
Read more here.

Mental health must be a state priority
Read more here.

Canadian Mental Health Association-Sault Ste Marie Branch opens the Daisy Cafe at the Plummer Site
Read more here.

Costs of Antidepressants Could Have Funded Effective Alternatives, UK
Read more here.

Depression may explain higher risk of heart attack associated with antidepressants
Read more here.

Treating depression helps slow physical decline in older adults, study shows
Read more here.

Taking Culture Seriously: Community Mental Health in Context
Read more here.

Girl's mom thinks she left the area

St. Louis Post-Dispatch; 3/16/2005; TIM BRYANT; Of the Post-Dispatch

The mother of a 13-year-old Lincoln County girl missing since Thursday said she suspects her daughter has somehow left the area.

"My gut feeling is telling me she's not in the area," Shannon Tanner told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
Without her medication for bipolar disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Bianca Piper becomes disoriented and may hallucinate, Tanner said.

Bianca normally takes medication twice daily, her mother added.

"I think if she was out of her familiar area, she wouldn't recognize where she was or know how to get back," Tanner said.

Bianca's father, David Piper, said he believes the girl is within 100 miles of her home west of Foley.

Piper, a truck driver from Fredericktown, Mo., and Tanner divorced in 1993.

About 200 searchers continued looking for Bianca Tuesday. Authorities planned to maintain the full-scale search for at least two more days despite finding no sign of Bianca. Investigators said they had no evidence of foul play.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, of Alexandria, Va., is featuring Bianca's disappearance on its Web site, www.missingkids.com. Anyone with information about Bianca may call the group's hot line at 1-800-843-5678 or the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department at 636-528-8546.

Two retired law enforcement officers who work for the center's investigative team are working on Bianca's case.

Bianca has brown eyes and curly brown hair. She is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue jeans, white tennis shoes with purple stripes and a gray hooded sweat shirt.

Tanner said Monday she regretted leaving the girl to walk home alone Thursday night in a family dispute over the dinner dishes. Bianca disappeared after Tanner drove her about a mile from their home on a gravel road and dropped her off with the hope that walking back would give her a chance to calm herself. Mental health counselors had suggested the tactic, Tanner said.

Bianca, an older sister, her mother and Tanner's boyfriend, Jim Felt, live in a small frame home situated among rolling hills and widely scattered residences.

Tanner said that Bianca, as a result of her mental disorders, works at a second-grade level. Bianca talks like a normal 13-year- old but lacks social skills needed for close friendships, her mother said.

"If she's not safe, I hope they find the person who did any harm to her," Felt said. "I love her, too."

(Copyright (c) 2005 The Post-Dispatch)

Moms battle the blues

The Record (Bergen County, NJ); 3/15/2005; TOM DAVIS

Months before my mother died, a psychologist asked my father what started her "downhill slide."

He thought for two seconds and came up with an answer. "I think it was when Thomas was born, 30 years ago," he said.

Right then, I felt this sense of guilt and uneasiness. Me? Was it my fault? "No, it wasn't you," my father assured me. "But maybe it was the trigger."

I'd heard this kind of story before. A seemingly stable mother loves her children, loves her husband. But she becomes depressed, self-loathing and unhappy - usually right after childbirth.

My mother suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. But before I was born, I'm told, she was quite functional. Could postpartum depression have been what ultimately pushed her into a life of obsession and despair? We'll never know. But those who know something about the illness are frustrated that the public still hasn't g.phped how destabilizing postpartum depression can be.

Many times, it strikes people with no history of mental illness. But experts say postpartum depression can help unwrap or magnify whatever underlying disorders were there already. If left untreated, it can lead many on a path of self-destruction and public humiliation.

Acting Governor Codey recently nearly came to blows with a radio talk-show shock-jock who ridiculed Codey's wife, Mary Jo, for revealing her long struggle with postpartum depression.

The radio station, New Jersey 101.5, has since offered its "full support" to the statewide mental health awareness campaigns. But the station initially resisted, accusing the media of spinning "a sensationalized one-sided story to the public." Its initial response was typical of those who don't accept the fact that many women experience post-pregnancy physiological changes that alter the way they think and act.

This is what Suzanne O'Malley has discovered. She wrote a book that researched the Texas case of Andrea Yates, whose illness may have caused her to drown her five small children.

O'Malley says that as many as 20 percent of women suffer from postpartum depression or psychosis - the latter a more serious form that caused Yates to "break with reality" and commit murder, O'Malley said.

"She in all likelihood had an underlying diagnosis, which is bipolar disorder," said O'Malley, a member of the Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law. "She was misdiagnosed and then mismedicated" before the deaths.

O'Malley has committed years of research to the Yates case, and she's one of the few who has had direct communication with her. Her reporting was instrumental in getting a Texas appeals court to recently throw out Yates's convictions in three of her five children's drownings. Yates remains in jail while prosecutors seek a rehearing.

What she's discovered is something that's been long suspected, and sometimes ridiculed: Postpartum depression and psychosis may be the product of hormonal and chemical changes that take place with pregnancy. Brain scans apparently have shown differences in a postpartum brain from other brains, O'Malley said.

Besides showing the obvious signs of postpartum psychosis, Yates also had a history. After the birth of her fourth child, Yates attempted suicide. Medication seemed to ease the illness, but she tumbled into despair again after the birth of her fifth child.

"One of the things Andrea Yates wrote to me is, 'Don't say [in her book] it's like a dream. Say it's like a nightmare,'-" O'Malley said. "Those who have been depressed know what that feels like."

While many ridicule Yates for excuse-making, O'Malley credits Mary Jo Codey and others for putting their reputations on the line and bringing credibility to a subject that's difficult for many women and their families to reconcile.

"God bless her [Codey] for being honest about it. There are plenty of women who keep it to themselves," O'Malley said.

Unfortunately, my mother never felt compelled to talk about herself and her problems. So, in my family, we'll never know for sure.

Copyright 2005 Bergen Record Corp. All rights reserved.

Search Continues for 13-Year-Old Mo. Girl

AP Online; 3/15/2005

Dateline: FOLEY, Mo. Perplexed authorities said Tuesday they can't rule out foul play in the case of an emotionally troubled 13-year-old who vanished last week after her mother, saying she was following the advice of counselors, made the girl walk home to cool down.

Shannon Tanner has not seen her daughter, Bianca Nicole Piper, since she said she dropped the girl off about a mile from their home Thursday evening, gave her a flashlight and told her to walk home.

Bianca, who suffers from attention deficit and bipolar disorders and takes medication to help control mood swings and aggressive tendencies, had refused to do the dishes, Tanner said.

Tanner said mental health counselors had recommended she let Bianca walk off her anger. Bianca has been in counseling since she was 4.

"It was a bad choice on my part," a tearful Tanner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I wish now that I had told her that I love her."

"As the days go by, we realize that the hopes for a happy ending are dimming, but our searchers are keeping a positive outlook," said Lt. Richard Harrell with the Lincoln County sheriff's office.

Nothing so far in the investigation would suggest foul play, a kidnapping or a runaway, Harrell said Tuesday, adding, "we can't rule anything out." He said the family has been cleared and is not suspected of wrongdoing.

Tanner said she first tried the walking tactic the previous night, when Bianca became upset about doing her homework. The girl had come straight home. On Thursday, Tanner said she dropped her off a little farther away on the same route.

After seeing a green sport utility vehicle pass by, Tanner said she went back once to tell the girl not to take a ride from anyone. Then she drove home. When she did not return within the hour, Tanner retraced the route and then contacted the police.

"I was worried before then, but when it started getting dark and snowing, I got really scared," Tanner said.

The search has involved hundreds of people, and fliers have been circulated in several states and Canada.

Copyright 2005, AP News All Rights Reserved

FILM REVIEW: Allen survives 'Anger' issues

University Wire; 3/18/2005; Kaitlyn Edsall

(The Hoya) (U-WIRE) WASHINGTON -- With phenomenal acting, sublime direction and perfect attention to detail, only one downside tarnishes writer/director Mike Binder's ("The Search for John Gissing") brilliant "The Upside of Anger" -- he doesn't think we'll get it.

It's always angering when an intelligent film underestimates the intelligence of its audience. But that's what happens in the "The Upside of Anger" during the two cliche-filled voiceovers spoken by youngest daughter Popeye (Evan Rachel Wood) that set up and conclude the film. They're simply superfluous. The performances by the actors involved reach such levels of emotional poignancy and believability, that they eliminate the need for the distasteful monologues summarizing what everyone learned throughout the course of the film. If you have been watching, you already know. And you should be watching -- assuming you can overlook the voiceovers.

The upside of this angering oversight of movie-goer smarts is that it takes very little from the subtlety of the film. No film since "Steel Magnolias" has managed to caption such authentic moments and glimpses into the life of a group of strong-willed women. And the closer a film gets to reality the more entertaining it becomes -- perhaps this explains the popularity of reality television.

Musical build-ups are non-existent, in fact a TV show or radio heard in the background often comprises the sole sound in a scene. Scenes cut from one to another with unobtrusive transition. Time passes seamlessly. This movie gambles everything on the strength of its acting and comes up a big winner. Joan Allen ("The Notebook") gives her best performance to date, and steals the show, as the hostile Terry Wolfmeyer. But as the film quickly points out, she wasn't always so angry; she's simply having a marvelously entertaining breakdown after her husband walked out one day, never to return. Allen easily brings to life the distraught mother of four girls, who turns to booze and her booze-hound neighbor, a former baseball star turned alcoholic radio show host Denny Davies (Kevin Costner), to recover from the shocking loss of her husband.

To the delight of all, Kevin Costner gets his portrayal of a baseball player right this time around. He even manages to deliver lines like, "I dial your number ten times a day and then hang up" without sounding cheesy or surreal. He bumbles awkwardly, full of honesty and may make you wish for a Denny of your own (for your mother, of course). And then there are the four daughters, also trying to deal with the lack of a father at home. And with all that estrogen under one roof, more than just a little tension arises; The Upside of Anger delivers it by the truckload. The characters huff and puff, moan and groan, hew and haw and will make you feel bipolar from all the ups and downs you'll travel during the 118 minutes these lovely ladies occupy the silver screen.

Conflict abounds between the controlling, slightly abrasive Terry and her four daughters who fail to live the lives she's crafted for them. Eldest daughter Hadley (Alicia Witt) graduates from college and heads straight to the altar for a quickie wedding with a bun in the oven. Second child Andy (Erika Christensen) forgoes college for a job at Denny's radio station, resulting in an affair with grotesque pervert producer "Shep" (whose idiocy is portrayed by Binder). Emily (Keri Russell) wants to go to an art academy and study dance theory and ballet rather than go to a "real" college. And youngest child Popeye suffers from more than a horrible name, choosing to fraternize and get high with the new guy at school Gorden (Dane Christensen) who may or may not be gay ... or a bungee jumper. But in the end, their anger toward each other turns out to be the one thing which may get them through this tough time -- that, and their dry humor, which will have you smirking from beginning to end. Touching and masterfully delivered, "The Upside of Anger" captures the emotional transition of a family suffering from heart-wrenching loss and learning to appreciate each other along the way.

(C) 2005 The Hoya via U-WIRE

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