Bipolar Therapy 88

Apologies, having a bit of bipolar down side trouble, but I think I am coming out of it.

Except in the direst extremity, I have stayed away from the drugs they use since the horrible, deadening experience of lithium for a brief while in my student days. It remains my opinion that the sharpness and creativity is worth the days of lack of will to…anything. I have, however, a rather strange therapy I devised myself. I always have a very strong emotional reaction to music, and there is a danger of it reinforcing mood swings – listening to the Symphony Pathetique when down or Don’t Stop Me Now when up.

I loaded all my 1400 CDs on to a laptop, and I play the tracks completely at random, or ordered by some emotionally irrelevant criterion like track length. I listen constantly. I find it helps – and with this kind of thing, if you think it helps, it helps. It doesn’t need an objective basis.

88 thoughts on “Bipolar Therapy

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  • Erica Blair

    Come on Craig, Jack ‘Torture’ Straw is now wriggling on the hook of renditon to Libya. Get well soon and reel him in.

  • Clark

    Azra, I could see your comment before I posted my own, so I suspect your browser was showing you its locally cached version of the page. There may also be other caches between Craig’s server and your system. Your browser’s “Refresh” or “Reload” button (circular arrow icon, or in the “View” menu) usually updates the page to the latest version.

  • Anon

    Craig, I strongly agree with your avoidance of the lithium treatment. I have two intelligent and fascinating friends who, in my opinion, have both been diminished in their passionate involvement in the world by the prescription of lithium. Consequently, I’ve always avoided being diagnosed myself. However, Canspeccy’s “trace lithium” ideas looks very interesting, and I think I’ll look for a dietary lithium source for me.

  • glenn

    “Trace lithium”
    If you want just trace lithium, the best way is undoubtedly to smoke Cuban cigars. Lots of lithium in the ground there, and it’s said that a good part of the feeling of well-being following the smoking of one is due to said lithium. Mind you, if you find yourself smoking a fine Cuban cigar (preferably accompanied by a decent rum of similar origin), it’s not surprising that one feels uplifted.
    (Sadly, this method is out for me, having quit smoking a couple of years back.)

  • conjunction

    Mr Holland

    Enjoyed reading your post. Summer in the City, that was a good one, and I’m gonna check out some of those other songs. Take care.

  • mary

    Again off topic. The revolting slug-like Mark Mardell, the shill for the evil USUKIsNATO empire, has just been on Radio 4 PM visiting Guantanamo Bay. It could have been a travelogue for a Butlins camp he was describing as he detailed the inmates’ activities. He was accepting of the propaganga from the American military in charge of them. So revolting that I had to switch off.

  • mary

    The current horror factor is so great it is a wonder we are not all suffering from depression or receiving visits from the CPNs.
    e.g. [Abdul Ghani Al Khanjar is in hiding today. He told Bloomberg Markets that “he took up the anti-torture cause after being detained and interrogated for six days in 2000. His jailers handcuffed him, hung him from a stick ‘like a goat’ and beat the soles of his feet.”
    And when the activist returned from London in August 2010, after testifying about Bahraini human rights abuses before a committee at the House of Lords, plainclothes police took him away.
    “For his first 85 days or so in custody,” Bloomberg Markets reported, “Al Khanjar saw no one from the outside.”
    “For one agonizing stretch,” Silver and Elgin averred, “his jailers forced him to stand without sleeping for five days. At other times they beat him with hoses and their hands and threatened him with sexual abuse.”
    “I’m hidden somewhere,” he says. “I’m unfortunately in Bahrain. They’re going to kill me. What to do? What to do?”
    This raises an inevitable question: what will we do to bring down repressive, authoritarian governments, beginning with those in the West, which profit handsomely from screams dying in soundproof rooms?]
    Torture Island: Where Offshore Meets the National Surveillance State
    by Tom Burghardt / September 5th, 2011
    Couple the above with the latest coming out of Libya on British involvement in rendition and the fact that the pathetic Gibson inquiry hasn’t even got going yet because legal cases are pending. A mosque has been bombed in Yemen killing six. There is no news from Afghanistan so presumably we are expected to believe that all is calm there. On and on ad infinitum.

  • boindub

    Is the report of us troops murdering children a lie. Why is it not denied. If true it is pure evil.”say it aint so joe”.

    ‘A U.S. diplomatic cable made public by WikiLeaks provides evidence that U.S. troops executed at least 10 Iraqi civilians, including a woman in her 70s and a 5-month-old infant, then called in an airstrike to destroy the evidence, during a controversial 2006 incident in the central Iraqi town of Ishaqi. ‘
    bless you craig

  • anno

    There is only one source of anxiety, that of the inner soul, which addresses the human personality thus: you have done your duty to your intellect, your human desires, your society, your family, but nothing at all to help me. ” I am the one who is going to be questioned by angels on the day of Judgement as to what I did to worship the Creator for creating me. I am the one who is going to eternity with my pockets empty. Could you not just count your blessings from your Maker on your fingers for a few minutes. Praise be to God for making me such as I am a frail and powerless human being, but who placed in me the understanding that God not only created but looked after me.”
    Humans look at concrete material things as solid, but they will be turned to the dust of a level plain on the day of judgement.
    One Praise be to God will be solid currency. This is one of the secrets of the Qur’an, secrets that people deny and hence obtain no benefit from. Would not a merciful Creator send guidance to his own creatures? Mineral water may be good for you, and music may distract you for a tiny while. Allah says in the Qur’an that those who are neglectful of His worship are surrounded with evil suggestions, and those who remember Him are protected from them.
    Eventually, in my experience, a human being has to turn to God and knock on the door as it says in the gospels. Knock, and the door will be opened unto you is as true on the lips of Jesus pbuh or from the Qur’an. Alaykum anfusakum. O you who believe, your souls are up to you.

  • Clydebuilt

    “all of these things make me feel that liberalism is so otiose
    that there is no chance of resonance, and there is no point in my screaming into the void. It is hard to summon up the willpower to keep blogging.”

    Craig screaming into the void created by Westmonster is a thankless task beyond the strength/ability of one individual. If it’s changing things for the better come on up, to Scotland and join the struggle of a very old nation trying to rouse from it’s encouraged slumber.

    The Liberals (in their present form) are part of the problem.

  • Ruth

    Perhaps this from the Mail Online might make you feel a lot better:

    ‘Jack Straw was under intense pressure over his role in the rendition of Libyan rebel commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj.

    He claimed that spy chiefs had kept him in the dark over Belhadj’s torture seven years ago, when he was Foreign Secretary.

    Yet ever since then he has insisted that rendition did not exist and was even a ‘conspiracy theory’.’

    I think Gerald James’ words are quite appropriate, ‘There is a tendency when challenged for those in authority to talk of conspiracy theories. My experience is that those who do so are usually part of the conspiracy.’

  • Francis L. Holland

    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    In the fifties, psychiatrists believed that medications should be increased until their negative side effects were observable. Then those physicians believed they had found the optimal dosage for the patient–when the patient had the side effects associated with that particular medicine. It sounds silly now, but you know the cake is done when you smell it burning!

    Since then, I think doctors have learned that you don’t have to have renal failure to benefit from lithium. Maybe much less lithium would do the trick for some people. The biggest problem in my family has been the refusal to take lithium at all.

    I’m taking 150 mg per day of Nortriptaline, which is the maximum recommended amount. I still have three days at a time when all I can think of is suicide. My therapist says this happens only every six months, but it seems like every two weeks to me.
    I think that a manic high must be something like what people feel on crack. It feels so good relative to before that it just makes people want to keep chasing that manic high and refusing medication that would dull it.

    I didn’t want to accept that my brother was manic depressive. I thought it was a lie. But just as Joe’s mother describes Joe trying to jump out of the car on the way to the hospital, my brother obliged us to stop the car and walk along the road with him before we got him to a psychiatrist.

    It was really a very difficult time for me. I was in Nicaragua on a Witness for Peace kind of trip and when I called my mother she gave me the news: there was something desperately wrong with my older brother. My mother was such a denial queen that if she said that then it had to be true. 🙂

    Speaking of Joe, someone very close to me, and with whom I experience a great similarity of experiences and affinity, is a person who learned the hard way that just because you’re in a mental hospital doesn’t mean that you can act criminally insane. This associate of mine ripped up an isolation room (he was very creative), and threatened the staff with an iron rod that he had taken out from the undercarriage of the bed in the room.

    Because he had shown himself to be potentially very violent, he was taken to a maximum security wing of the hospital that was locked down like a drum. He was drugged up so much that he didn’t know where he was or how long he had been there and couldn’t distinguish his dreams from wishes and wishes from reality. And he was in a foreign country.

    Thankfully, the hospital only sent him a bill for the wreckage to the isolation room, rather than charging him with the several crimes that they could have, like destruction of Government property, eight counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and so forth, had they been heartless.

    He spent five weeks in the hospital. His friends informed him that the doctors in the hospital were now in control and there was virtually nothing anyone outside could do to countermand their decisions. His only alternative was to behave himself and hope to catch a break.

    Fellow inmates explained that patients had to do an oral “synthesis” for the treating psychiatrist in order to be released. I always thought it was oddly ironic that mental patients who were utterly confused would be asked to synthesize anything.

    It turned out that patients had to express some version of the events that led them to the maximum security ward which narrative convinced the psychiatrist that the patient had learned something and wasn’t dangerous or out of control anymore.

    After four weeks, he was allowed to spend a weekend at home. He expressed so much fear of being locked up indefinitely that he returned to the hospital at the end of his weekend of freedom, and spent another week in the hospital before he was released for good (or until he came to the attention of psychiatric workers again).

    I think he learned a hard lesson: Just because you’re locked up as a psycho doesn’t mean you can act like a psycho without consequences. Even people on a minimum security ward are expected to either behave themselves or be “upgraded” to a more secure [maximum security prison] ward. In other words, the very worst place to act out the violent symptoms of your illness, or obstinate choices, is a mental hospital. The hospital and its doctors hold all of the cards.

    This is a good reason also for parents to think long and hard before they take their children to the nearest insane hospital. It may be the last decision that the parents are allowed to make with respect to their children, as Joe’s mother discovered.

    On another topic addressed above, a good friend’s father, who is also a good friend, tells me that people have to be insane to feel comfortable in the USA of today. Those who adjust to the multiple wars and increasing poverty are considered “normal,” while those who cannot adjust need therapy.

    I’ve found cognitive behavioral therapy to be extremely helpful at every step from the General Equivalency Diploma to finishing college in the top five percent (of an average college), and finishing law school. I got across the finish line with a combination of Twelve Step meetings for my sex and love addiction (which is about getting high off what might occur); and a psychiatrist who was good at DBT or CogBeh; and a mixture of medicines that enabled me to function but removed the urge to behave compulsively.

    I was finally able to drive at the speed limit!

    All of that really started with a five-week internment at a sex and love addicts hospital. Adopting Christianity for the time being gave me a religious framework and foundation to stop chasing after women like a junkie chases crack. I spent more time at church than I did on my law school work, but had I not been at church, interacting with people who had my best interests at heart, then I would never have been able to do any law school work at all.

    I’m listening to a lot of Amy Winehouse over the last couple of years. She’s really honest about her feelings (what she knows of them) and about her circumstances. She thought she was destined to die and alcoholic, drug addict death and I really think she wanted it that way, to complete the picture of the “crazy singer dies early” story that took so many of the lives that Amy Winehouse emulated, both in her music and her lifestyle, and relationships.

    They wanted her to go to rehab, but she said, “No, no, no!” Now, she’s dead. Sometimes a little time in a specialized hospital is better than the alternatives.

  • C3PO

    Craig, we love your blog. Stay strong; the world needs people like you.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  • conjunction

    I see Ed Miliband in the Grauniad quoted as saying government should never have anything to do with torture, and strong steps should be taken. Hmm.
    Perhaps someone should introduce him to his brother.

  • Frazer

    Get out of the house, walk down to the beach, find a few flat stones and skip them accross the water for half an hour or so, find a decent pub, have a pint or three while reading about Jack Straw’s latest denial then saunter off home for a nice lunch with Nadira and Cameron….that should sort you out…

  • anno

    Politics is a form of deception like film or music. So we have already suspended disbelief/belief when we engage our mind with politics or film/music. It’s not good to spend too much time in suspended reality because we question normality itself. I do a lot of driving and it has elements of the motorbike cure.
    I remember wrestling with reality by trying to engage with Buddhist theory that reality is illusion. Or Sufism: The way is neither that nor this. In the end, we are equipped with conscience, logic, faith and guidance from our Creator in the form of sacred scripture.
    The info we are being plugged about current affairs, such as that the Arab spring was a popular, spontaneous uprising, for example, may come from a source whose conscience we trust, but whose motives we don’t trust. In Islam we are assessed on our intentions. Our instincts about other people’s intentions come from the vast bank of experience that our brains retain. We are homo sapiens and we do get to know our way around our fellow human beings.
    Our only certainty is that God knows. When we remember to use that touchstone, our brain’s search engine starts looking for evidence in other places. We remember that the Muslim Brotherhood has theologically cancelled large tracts of Islam, is a client of the CIA and Mossad, and that it is the army, paid for by the US in Egypt, that didn’t shoot and is now in control.
    A client of Jack Rendition Straw becomes leader of the Libyan army. Craig realises that some of the games he thought he was clever enough to be in control of, were in fact not under his control at all.
    The key to understanding this shit is that the religious mind of the cursed Zionist understands how to deviate the religious mind of the Muslim. The secular mind does not. That is how the Zionists have deliberately made themselves so useful to the West. They have used their false-flag operations to shift the discussion into areas where only they know the rules.

    Take it from me, the Arab spring is a spear-head assault on the continent of Africa by the Obama and his Zionist controllers.
    They want to do to Africa what their predecessors, us Brits are still succeeding in doing. Getting rich off the poor.

    Oh we do so love you, America for putting a Muslim, victim of torture, on the throne of Libya. I want to kiss your yiddish mama’s lips and dance to your squeaky yiddish folk-tunes.
    You took back North Africa from the freedom of revolutionary socialist dictators into the slavery of the Masonic New World Order.

    Inshallah the African people who saw slavery before, will be wise enough to smell it again from a distance. Whether it comes from Zionist controlled China, Europe, UK or from the black man himself Obama. Who sold you to slavery before? Who and to whom?
    Who? Arabic speaking Jews and your fellow Africans, To whom? other Jews in the Americas and their fellows from Europe and America.
    Craig’s depression sounds like a great deal of sense from where I’m standing, but there is also a great deal to look forward to, because it is just conceivable that the African people will refuse to be processed as commodities at the hands of the same faces who enslaved them before. Sorry for calling spades spades. We are not really supposed to cross the boundaries of political correctness but to achieve sanity, we have to think the unthinkable and then offer our thoughts to Allah.
    La hawla wa la quwata illa billah. Everything is encompassed in the knowledge and power of Allah.

  • anno

    Jon, the machine is on auto-flush again. Fortunately I copy everything before posting. Did you check my reply to you on the Burnes thread?

  • Jon

    @Clydebuilt – Westmonster, I like that. A new and appropriate meme for these times!
    @Anno, all machines are on auto-flush: welcome to the Internet! I hadn’t seen that you’d replied, thanks. Will get to it later today.

  • ingo

    It seems that the relationship between Turkey and Israel have nosedived, totally. oday WErdogan suspended all trade, yesterday saw the end to all previous military cooperation.,7340,L-4118496,00.html

    Turkey will take Israel to the ICJ next week and the slanging matches continue, are we seeing the preamble to a war that will break up NATO, that will pitch Turkey Syria and Iran against the western hegemonial powers out for themselves, mainly?

    We can see from the jostling in Paris what the Libyan debacle was all about, its about taking resources from those who can’t protect them, by any means possible and wherever it happens to be.

  • mary

    This will make the others feel sweaty. Margaret Moran ex MP for Luton S is up on 21 charges. She is the one whose home/second home (can’t remember which) was in Southampton!
    Last night I waa watching the HoC on Ch 81 and noticed that a woman Labour front bench occupant was sitting with her legs tucked up beneath her and her feet were shoeless. I thought to myself ‘that’s how cosy they feel there’.
    I believe it was Helen Goodman, the Shadow Minister for Justice and that behaviour hardly fitted that role. They were debating the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Bill (TPims). Perhaps she thought she was still on holiday. How long were they away? Nearly seven weeks. And they got paid for their expenses in breaking their holiday to return to the riots debate. Troughers.
    The brazen Hazel Blears, she of the second homes flipping and capital gains tax avoidance fame and remembered for her motorcycle leathers, featured strongly in the debate. I think she believes she is still in power. Her hair is less red now and her smile not such a rictus.

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