Feeling Better About My Bipolar By Giving Blood And Helping Others
Earlier this week I gave blood. I have never done this before. Im not a huge fan of needles or blood and often when I go to get a blood test, Im a hard stick . This often leads to nasty bruises and digging around with a needle in order to get my blood ow and yuck.
Nevertheless, I got it in my head that I should give blood. Its a selfless thing to do that can help many others. And according to the Brookhaven National Laboratory Blood Drive, only 5% of Americans give blood, while 60% are eligible to donate. This is in spite of the fact that one in every 10 people who enter the hospital need blood. Not to mention that many outside the hospital with chronic illnesses also need blood and your donation can help up to three people.
But, I suppose I digress.
And being in a room full of people all willing to be stuck by needles and blood let was a good feeling. We were all there to help strangers. No matter how sucky my bipolar might make me feel about myself, I can feel better in spite of my bipolar by doing something so simple to help others.
Types And Causes Of Bipolar Disorder
There are two different types of bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder I have severe manic episodes, whereas those with bipolar disorder II experience milder episodes.
Bipolar disorder tends to run in families, and research suggests that certain genes may increase the risk. The condition is usually diagnosed before age 25, although some people experience symptoms for the first time later in life.
Some people with bipolar disorder also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which usually develops before bipolar disorder. Other psychological conditions, including anxiety disorders, may accompany bipolar disorder.
It can be difficult to distinguish between depressive episodes that occur due to regular, or unipolar, depression, and those that occur due to bipolar disorder. NYU Langone is home to nationally renowned psychiatrists who specialize in identifying bipolar disorder. A correct diagnosis is essential to the appropriate management of bipolar disorder. Medications to ease symptoms of unipolar depression can actually trigger manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.
To diagnose bipolar disorder, a doctor performs a physical exam, asks about your symptoms, and recommends blood testing to determine if another condition, such as hypothyroidism, is causing your symptoms.
If the doctor does not find an underlying cause of your symptoms, he or she performs a psychological evaluation.
Types Of Mood Stabilizing Medication
The oldest and most studied of mood stabilizers is lithium. However, many drugs that were first developed as anticonvulsants to treat epilepsy also act as mood stabilizers. These include carbamazepine, divalproex and lamotrigine. Gabapentin and topiramate are also anticonvulsants that may act as mood stabilizers, but they are usually given in addition to other medications.
Lithium is found in nature in some mineral waters and is also present in small amounts in the human body.
Lithium is used to treat mania and to prevent further episodes of mania and depression.
Common side-effects of lithium include increased thirst and urination, nausea, weight gain and a fine trembling of the hands. Less common side-effects can include tiredness, vomiting and diarrhea, blurred vision, impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, skin changes and slight muscle weakness. These effects are generally mild and fade as treatment continues. If, however, any of these effects are severe, they should be reported to your doctor immediately. Thyroid and kidney function can be affected by lithium in some people and must be monitored regularly by your doctor.
Changing the amount of salt you use can also affect lithium levels: avoid switching to low- or no-salt diets.
Signs that the amount of lithium in the body is higher than it should be include severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, shaking and twitching, loss of balance, slurred speech, double vision and weakness.
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Intravenous Drugs And Use Of Pharmaceutical Products Without A Doctor’s Prescription
The use of intravenous drugs, even just once, means you may not donate blood.
The use of intravenous pharmaceutical products without a doctor’s prescription, even just once, prevents you from donating blood.
If your sex partner has used intravenous drugs or other intravenous pharmaceutical products without doctors prescription, please call our information number in order to check your eligibility to donate blood.
Drug use prevents blood donation. An isolated case of trying drugs or casual use of drugs other than intravenous drugs causes a temporary, two week long obstacle to blood donation.
Would you like more information? Please call the free information number for blood donors on +358 800 0 5801 .
What Is This Blood Test All About
The team’s work describes the development of a blood test, composed of RNA biomarkers, that can distinguish how severe a patient’s depression is, the risk of them developing severe depression in the future, and the risk of future bipolar disorder . The test also informs tailored medication choices for patients.
This comprehensive study took place over four years, with over 300 participants recruited primarily from the patient population at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. The team used a careful four-step approach of discovery, prioritization, validation and testing.
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Refusing Medication Because They Believe They Dont Need It
Unfortunately, this can be the hardest situation. Once a person is well, they see the medication as a hindrance, forgetting that it is the medication that made them well. This is a trick of the mind. No one wants to be on medication and this is a trick the mind plays to provide an excuse for refusing medication.
A loved one can approach this situation with logic such as, remember before the medication, you did such-and-such, whereas on the medication, youre able to such-and-such â¦
However, the truth is that the patient may simply have to fall before they realize that it was the medication that was holding them up. For a loved one this is painful to watch but try to remember to be there if something like this happens and help out with returning to treatment.
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Does Giving Blood And Helping Someone Else Make You Feel Better In Spite Of Bipolar
I really believe giving blood does make you feel better in spite of your bipolar.
While I was waiting to give blood I was talking to one of the volunteers who had donated over 100 times. She said that giving blood gave her a high like no credit card purchase ever would. If that isnt an encouragement, I dont know what is.
Now, honestly, my donation didnt go entirely smoothly as I got dizzy and nauseous partway through. That said, I still managed to give 75% of the typical amount. Thats enough to be useful.
It wasnt pleasant being dizzy and nauseous in front of a bunch of people and I felt like I was making a fuss unnecessarily and the phlebotomist who was taking my blood was next to me ensuring I was okay, making me feel a little guilty about the delay for others. Nevertheless, will I be back? Yes, I absolutely will.
And yes, after I was done, giving to people I will never meet did make me feel better about me in spite of my bipolar. I recommend it. Even if you dont want to, per se, its still worth it.
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What To Ask A Doctor
A doctor cannot offer a cure for bipolar disorder, but they can support a person with the condition to manage their symptoms.
If their current treatment plan is not working, a person should speak to their doctor about trying different:
- talk therapies
- support groups
Working together with a trusted doctor is the best way to find the right combination of treatments. Effective, consistent treatment can reduce the frequency and severity of mood episodes.
Mood Disorders Are Underlined By Circadian Clock Genes
In addition to the diagnostic and therapeutic advances discovered in their latest study, Niculescu’s team found that mood disorders are underlined by circadian clock genes — the genes that regulate seasonal, day-night, and sleep-wake cycles. “That explains why some patients get worse with seasonal changes and the sleep alterations that occur in mood disorders,” said Niculescu.
According to Niculescu, the work done by his team has opened the door for their findings to be translated into clinical practice, as well as help with new drug development. Focusing on collaboration with pharmaceutical companies and other doctors in a push to start applying some of their tools and discoveries in real-world scenarios, Niculescu said he believes the work being done by his team is vital in improving the quality of life for countless patients.
“Blood biomarkers offer real-world clinical practice advantages. The brain cannot be easily biopsied in live individuals, so we’ve worked hard over the years to identify blood biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders,” said Niculescu. “Given the fact that 1 in 4 people will have a clinical mood disorder episode in their lifetime, the need for and importance of efforts such as ours cannot be overstated.”
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High Blood Pressure Drugs Impact Depression Bipolar Disorder
High blood pressure drugs may affect not only blood pressure but also mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorder, finds a new study published in the American Heart Associations journal Hypertension.
The Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences and Institute of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom conducted the research.
Depression and cardiovascular disease are major contributors to the global burden of disease. A bidirectional relationship is thought to exist between depression and heart disease due to the functional changes that underlie both conditions.
Bipolar disorder is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular mortality and high blood pressure, whereas major depressive disorder is associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure.
While there is growing evidence that the pathways that high blood pressure drugs target may play a role in the development of mood disorders suggesting implications in prescribing these drugs in hypertensive patients who may have an underlying mood disorder results of the link between the two have been inconclusive.
University of Glasgow researchers aimed to determine whether high blood pressure drugs impact mood disorder by analyzing patients on different classes of antihypertensive drugs from a hospital database including 525,046 patients with a follow-up of 5 years.
The Three Symptoms Below Represent The Side Of Bipolar Disorder We All Know Is There But Rarely Want To Let The Public Know Exists
I know how important it is to protect the reputation of bipolar disorder in the general public. We dont want people thinking we are dangerous, scary, crazy people who cant be trusted. But I do feel we need to own up to the fact that certain mood swings DO cause the behaviors we want to sweep under the carpet. The three symptoms below represent the side of bipolar disorder we all know is there but rarely want to let the public know exists. This is only an opinion, of course, but Im truly interested to know if you feel the same.
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How Long Does It Take To Diagnose Bipolar Disorder
Diagnosing the disorder can be done in one or two assessment sessions, says Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. However, because bipolar disorder can be confused with other disorders such as depression and borderline personality disorder, getting the correct diagnosis can take some time.
For example, some research suggests that it takes an average of three and a half years to confirm a diagnosis of bipolar disorder after the first major mood episode, with other research suggesting it can take even longer, Rego says.
Can Anxiety Turn Into Bipolar
There is no research evidence that suggests that anxiety can turn into bipolar disorder, says Simon A. Rego, PsyD, Chief Psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. People with bipolar disorder may experience feelings of anxiety, however, and may also confuse some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder for symptoms of anxiety.
In addition, some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder can also be associated with some of the anxiety disorders, Rego says. And some people may have both an anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder.
So it’s not always so easy to sort these things out, Rego says. It is much more important to seek professional help if youre experiencing symptoms that are causing you distress or interference in your ability to function in life.
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Two Antihypertensive Drugs Associated With Increased Mood Disorder Risk
From the database, 144,066 individuals were eligible for inclusion in the study aged between 40-80 years.
Participants were divided into four groups based on the single high blood pressure drug they had been prescribed: angiotensin antagonists, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, or thiazide diuretics. The research also included a control group of 111,936 people who were not exposed to any of these four antihypertensive drug classes during the study period.
During the 5-year follow-up, researchers documented hospitalization for mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder. The team began examinations after patients had taken antihypertensive medications for 90 days.
Researchers noted 299 hospital admissions among participants, mainly due to major depression at an average of 2.3 years after medication had started.
When comparing the four most common classes of antihypertensive drugs, investigators found that two drugs were associated with an increased risk for mood disorders, while one drug decreased mood disorder risk.
Dr. Padmanabhan and colleagues identified that people prescribed beta-blockers and calcium antagonists were at twofold increased risk of hospital admission for mood disorders, compared with patients on angiotensin antagonists.
Patients from both the group prescribed thiazide diuretics and the control group were found to have the same risk for mood disorders.
What If Im Not Happy With My Treatment
If you arent happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service , or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
How can I speak to my doctor about my treatment options?
You can speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you arent happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you arent given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it isnt suitable for you.
Whats a second opinion?
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
What is advocacy?
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like. NHS complaints advocates can help you if you want to complain about the NHS.
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Enzymopathies And Inherited Red Cell Membrane Defects
Glucose-6phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency is the most common red cell enzyme defect, with hundreds of molecular variants. Most variants have only slightly subnormal red cell survival however, others render the cells highly susceptible to oxidative stress. Blood from individuals with G6PD deficiency is therefore unsuitable for transfusion as haemolysis may be precipitated if the recipient develops an infectious illness or ingests an oxidative drug or fava beans . People with the next most common inherited enzyme defect, pyruvate kinase deficiency, will usually be too anaemic to donate, even if asymptomatic.
Red cell membrane disorders are inherited diseases due to mutations in various membrane or skeletal proteins, resulting in decreased red cell deformability, reduced life span and premature removal of the erythrocytes from the circulation. Red cell membrane disorders include hereditary spherocytosis, hereditary elliptocytosis, hereditary ovalocytosis and hereditary stomatocytosis .
Allergy And Anaphylactic Shock
In most cases, allergy does not prevent donation. Ordinary allergies which are controlled using antihistamine tablets, nasal sprays or eye drops are not an obstacle to donating blood. In addition, common allergy medications do not prevent donation.
Please note: due to the pandemic this year we are especially careful with all kinds of respiratory symptoms. Therefore it is not possible for a person with allergies to donate blood if he/she despite of medication still sniffles, coughs or has sneezing symptoms. We cannot receive anyone who has respiratory symptoms into the donation area.
However, a serious allergic reaction or anaphylaxis will result in a blood donation deferral period of two weeks starting after the end of treatment.
Desensitisation implemented with injections causes a three-day waiting period after each injection. If the therapy is performed with tablets, it causes a two-week long obstacle to donation starting from the day the therapy begins.
Would you like more information? Please call the free information number for blood donors on +358 800 0 5801 .
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