"Moving toward a greater good"
Thank you for taking the time to read the comments I have prepared on this page concerning my efforts, along with other supporters, to bring positive attention to Bipolar Disorder. I have been associated with Bipolar Disorder since my twenties and experienced a lot challenges associated with this disease. Bipolar Disorder is an incurable disease that deserves serious attention, care, dialogue, and persistence for a cure. This is one challenge: The patient wants to remain anonymous and the caregiver wants to support his or her wishes, but finds it difficult to explain certain behaviors and sudden disappearances to friends and family. Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness. The family is supporting a loved one diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder - not a loved one they consider "Crazy". Please join me in this endeavor to make a positive change. There is a face and caregiver behind Bipolar. Thank you for your time.
October 6, 2013
First, let me say that the Bipolar Disorder Awareness Progam is going well. The support from people diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Caregivers, and the Office of Dr. David Mieles has been great! The t-shirt sales have allowed me to donate money to support co-pay for people in need of evaluations. The next move is to organize an activity to raise more funds to support this cause.
11 July 2013
What would be the impact of families, dealing with bipolar disorder, coming out of the closet? I chose "coming out of the closet" because of the level of secrecy attached to this particular mental illness/disease. This is my major concern - not only as it applies to society, but how it is applied to outpatient counseling. I recently met with a local President of a mental illness outreach organization and the first thing I was told was "we separate the family member, with bipolar disorder/depression, from the family member - serving as caregiver". The explanation was that "we have our own separate issues and they have theirs". Personally, I didn't agree with the total approach because I believe recognizing symptoms and internal thoughts give the caregiver an advantage to monitoring symptoms that are overlooked by the family member with depression/bipolar disorder when an episode is in its infancy stage. It is also important for the family member to hear and know this information because knowing what to look for gives the couple a greater opportunity to reduce episodes that lead to hospitalization/family separation. As I walked away from the organization leader, I thought about the conversation even deeper. I thought about when I was a child - attending church with my mother. The children had to sit at the front of the sanctuary for invocation and a few messages from the minister and then we were escorted to our Sunday school classes. That caused me to think about what the organization is doing and how they might be able to integrate the outreach in a more effective way. I reached a thought of having all parties in one room to receive information from a volunteer professional medical provider. The professional medical provider would leave the organization leader with guidance on what to have the patients focus on. For the caregivers, they have a real need to separate to share strategies that help them monitor symptoms and reduce hospitalization. Based on the levels of bipolar disorder/depression, it may not be beneficial for a patient to hear different people share what they do and how they feel, during their episodes, because during an episode, the patient might begin to play out a lot of what they have heard during the sessions. This is not the final word, but an effort to match effective training and counseling that organizations, dealing with other diseases, use. Mental illness is here. We (society) need to embrace it for the sake of acknowledgement, prevention, and care.
June 9, 2013
I stepped back from posting comments because I had to consider the impact of my comments, if interpreted incorrectly. I initiated this important endeavor to give people with bipolar and those individuals that provide support with a means to share helpful thoughts. The t-shirts have given several people the opportunity to create awareness and conversation. Dr. David Mieles and his staff are very supportive agents for change. I would like for everyone involved with bipolar to pay attention to repetitive actions. I realized that my family member was hospitalized every year between October and January, but I never considered the impact of the time zone when changing the clocks either 1-hour forward or backwards. After consulting with our doctor and asking him if we could consider taking medicine based on the time zone in which the patient last gained stability and the meidicine was issued, we survived a visit to the hospital. Based on the process, I realized that when the clocks were set back 1-hour, the medicine was then taken one hour later every night and morning. Keeping the routine based on the summer time zone maintained stability during the fall. When we returned to the spring time zone, we returned to the original time. Please consult with your doctor before attempting this practice.
Novemver 10, 2012
I completed another goal for the campaign. I am happy to announce that I developed a short PSA to bring positivie attention to the seriousness of Bipolar Disorder. You can find it on YouTube under the title of Bipolar Disorder Awareness Campaign by 40andoverl.
I would like to thank Dr. David Mieles, his staff, and all custormers for buying t-shirts to donate money towards co-pay for patients requiring financial support.
October 17, 2012
Though bipolar disorder causes similar behaviors and reactions amongst patients and caregivers, it is so complex that a clear explanation of the disease is scrambled when asked for specifics. I stumbled on a community event promoting substance abuse and mental illness and was surprised when a staff volunteer was unable to explain to me the relationship between substance abuse and mental illness. Based on that experience, I and many others must develop a clear message about this disease through research and assistance from our psychiatrists and or psychologists. In recent years, bipolar has been linked to bad behaviors of celebrities and atrocious actions of criminals/murderers. Some lawyers are quick to request mental evaluations and then publicly announce that their client(s) is/are “now prescribed with antidepressants”. Those decisions create a dangerous environment for millions of Americans who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder because their disease is constantly being publicly associated with people and celebrities with violent behaviors. This is why it is so important for patients, caregivers, and staff members of organizations to continue to increase understanding of bipolar disorder and more than anything else, be able to articulate a clear message.
September 24, 2012
Recently, I have become more active in publishing comments on my website about bipolar disorder in an effort to create open dialogue – through social media – on this very discrete disease that affects millions of families throughout this nation. This is one of my deepest concerns as we move closer to electing the President of our United States of America. How do you separate Democrats from Republican patients and families when it comes to health care, insurance, mental illness (but especially bipolar disorder with or without schizophrenia)? We know what it is like to need responsive care, effective medicine, understanding psychiatrists/psychologists, supportive caregivers, and most of all the efforts of attaining health and life insurance without overt or covert discrimination based on previous medical conditions. For those of us dealing with bipolar disorder and other diseases, this election is more about us and our healthcare system because that is what gives us the ability to remain stable to focus on other pressing issues that affect our daily lives. Bipolar disorder doesn’t set out to target republicans, democrats, liberals, or conservatives - exclusively, it hits people (to include children who are unable to vote for what is good or bad for themselves). Children do not consider themselves as a political party. They depend on decisions adults make for their welfare. I know the economy is bad, but some people may become diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with or without schizophrenia, due to the stresses of trying to “keep up.” This is what I know: the economy affects people of all categories and so does bipolar disorder. Do not get caught up in your political party when closer and more personal issues are at stake.
September 21, 2012
Silence is not always golden. Sometimes, it signs the contract. Since starting this campaign - to bring more attention to Bipolar Disorder and mental illness - I have struggled with the lack of attention and or representation given to the subject/disease of bipolar disorder. As the genealogist of my family, I have been able to bring history into my life by associating birthdates, of my ancestors, to real events of past world and American history. Growing up in segregation and the Civil Rights Movement provided me with experience and witness to the power of speech, persistence, and solidarity for change. Now, I am maturing at this stage of my life to understand that silence is not going to make life different because we dare to speak about bipolar disorder, openly. If we are going to make a change, concerning the lack of attention for bipolar disorder, we must apply increased knowledge and a voice of persistence to engender action. I cannot think of many incurable diseases that are less spoken about, on television or through any other media, than bipolar disorder (with or without schizophrenia). Everything is silent about this disease: support groups, campaigns, fundraising, medical support, social education, family members, loved ones, and more. I am happy to have Dr. David Mieles and his staff as partners in this endeavor to bring positive attention to bipolar disorder. We have been able to get more people to talk, openly, about bipolar disorder by wearing t-shirts promoting awareness. It is effective and working. The immediate goals are to create awareness, create an environment of understanding for patients, and to donate money for co-pay assistance. Come join us in this endeavor.
September 16, 2012
This is not a question for a blog, but a genuine concern I ponder everyday. I once asked a policeman about the level of training they receive for bipolar disorder and he responded with a simple answer of meeting the requirement. Since bipolar patients do not have a certain look, would a policeman or any other service agent consider mental illness when they first respond to a citizen behaving inappropriately? It is important for public officials to know the right questions to ask and have some understanding of what medications are linked to bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses that may trigger explosive behaviors. They should reach out to the caregivers to get a better understanding of the person and situation. I find it so ridiculous that doctors and public officials ask a person, deeply in an episode, if they feel they should be admitted to a hospital - as if the person is thinking and acting logically, already. I am going to do my best to bring attention to this disease and what we can do to support patients and caregivers.
August 30, 2011
I decided to initiate this campaign due to an overwhelming lack of knowledge associated with biplar disorder and other mental illnesses. Bipolar disorder is an incurable disease that affects patients as well as family members/caregivers. I plan to sell t-shirts and initiate fundraisers in support of this campaign. I would like to develop documentaries and organize seminars to bring more education to the community.
I would like to thank Dr. David Mieles and his staff for their tremendous support. They have volunteered to wear t-shirts every Friday to bring awareness to bipolar awareness and mental illness.
August 23, 2012
I have been in communication with a member of NAMI to extend efforts to bring positive attention to Bipolar Disorder. The new T-shirts are doing what I had hoped they would accomplish - to create dialogue in an open environment. We can do this becasue there is a face behind Bipolar Disorder.
July 28, 2012
I have designed a new T-shirt to increase awareness for Bipolar Disorder. The T-shirt, posted on the home page of this site, was designed to show the complexity of the disease by placing an anonymouse image/face in the pattern. A lot of patients are skeptical of disclosing their identify out of fear of being treated unfriendly or ridiculed. Television sitcoms portray patients with bipolar, depression, and schizophrenia as a joke. How many incurable diseases do you find amusing?
October 10, 2011
I want to thank all personnel for purchasing t-shirts to help bring awareness to Bipolar Disorder/Mental Illness. Your purchases have begun to support patients with co-pay assistance. Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing to assist me in this endeavor.
I am currently working on a video, to post on Youtube(r), to increase public awareness about the challenges associated with bipolar disorder/mental illness.