Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘bipolar’

Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

Posted on: October 23rd, 2019 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Bipolar Disorder and Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are a place where your family members, high school friends and new coworkers dump their vacation photos, celebrations, political rants, and for some a way broadcast their times of crisis. We’ve all came across an alarming Instagram post or Facebook status update that made us stop and wonder, “are they alright?”.

In an article in the New York Times, titled “Social Mania” the author details his brother, who is diagnosed bipolar disorder, and his relationship with social media. The author details his online behavior, “His episodes were unpredictable in every way except for how predictably they manifested on Facebook: Between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., he’d push out dozens of posts per hour, his Facebook timeline became his manic stream of consciousness, and my personal barometer for his illness”. As a vast amount of the population use social media on a daily basis, the question is, does social media help or harm users with diagnosed mental illness?

Mental health and social media have a complex relationship. While some have found support and a sense of community within social media, others believe the very nature of social media can exacerbate their mental health. As so many users share mostly the good, many can’t help but compare their own lives and ultimately feel inadequate. Studies show that the more time people spend on Facebook, the more they felt “depression and demoralization”. How they perceive others in turns skews how they perceive themselves, and an irrational sense of self often develops.

For bipolar disorder specifically, social media can become a playground for their mania. Things like dating apps, gambling app and even Instagram shopping features are almost made to incite those with strong impulsive behaviors. The amount of time spent on social media can cater to those with addictive inclinations. For those undergoing a major depressive episode social media can make them feel increasingly more isolated.

One study from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan reported they have developed a way to identify the early signs of bipolar disorder via Twitter. By studying the time of a tweet, the frequency of posting and the language used, researchers then developed an algorithm to use patterns and distinguish between people with and without early signs of bipolar disorder. Although Facebook and Twitter can be the most telling in terms of recognizing mental health concerns, Instagram has been rated the worst in terms of negative effect on mental health.

For some, banning social media entirely from their lives may be a more extreme approach. However, it is important to be conscious of their mental state after using social media. If they feel social media has become overwhelming or worsening their symptoms they may consider taking a break. Instead of looking for online connection, those may find it more fulfilling to connect with family members, old friends or other people offline. The benefits of physical exercise is a highly recommended activity to help alleviate bipolar disorder symptoms and a healthier way to pass time and make friends.

 

References:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/well/family/bipolar-disorder-social-media.html

https://www.bphope.com/social-media-bipolar-trigger/

https://graziadaily.co.uk/life/real-life/instagram-worst-mental-health-2/

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/609900/your-tweets-could-show-if-you-need-help-for-bipolar-disorder/

What You Should Know About Antipsychotic Medication

Posted on: December 31st, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Antipsychotic Medication

Certain mental illnesses may cause symptoms of psychosis or psychotic episodes which can be debilitating and even life-threatening for the sufferer. Psychosis is a problem in which a person’s thinking becomes distorted so that they lose their sense of reality. People with psychosis can experience delusions and hallucinations that may cause them to behave erratically or even violently.

For an individual struggling with psychosis, one of the most essential ways to manage the symptoms is through antipsychotic medication. This type of medication is prescribed most often to people with mental illnesses like schizophrenia which causes hallucinations and psychotic episodes or bipolar disorder which can include manic episodes with symptoms of psychosis. People with bipolar disorder may take them temporarily when they are experiencing an episode while other psychotic disorders may require long term use.

Antipsychotics help manage symptoms of psychosis by blocking the activity of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Psychosis can occur when dopamine levels in the brain are too high. The medication effectively reduces dopamine so that hallucinations subside in a few days and delusions are reduced within a couple of weeks.

The use of antipsychotics can also help stabilize a person’s mood and may be used for a number of other mental illnesses. Many can cause short term side effects such as nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and vomiting but the symptoms usually subside during long term use. Some neurological side effects can occur such as spasms, tremors and restlessness but these sometimes go away once dosage is dropped.

Whenever this type of medication is used, it is important for the patient to be closely monitored to gauge side effects and determine if it is effective at reducing psychosis. Antipsychotics can be potentially life-saving for people suffering from psychosis but they should be taken with the help of a professional to assess their effectiveness.

Link Between Sleep Disturbances and the Onset of Mania

Posted on: October 16th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Sleep Disturbances vs Onset of Mania

People with mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder often have trouble with getting regular sleep. Unfortunately this can sometimes create a vicious cycle as their sleep issues can worsen symptoms of their disorder. This is especially a problem for people with bipolar disorder who may find that their problems with sleeping can trigger a manic episode.

Studies of bipolar disorder have linked sleep disturbances with both problems functioning and the onset of mania in many individuals. The two issues influence each other as many people with bipolar disorder find that their symptoms make it difficult to sleep and their lack of sleep can worsen symptoms. Research has shown that about half of people with bipolar disorder wake up in the night or have difficulty falling asleep.

People that are not able to sleep a full eight hours a night often have a worse quality of life especially when they are dealing with a complicated disorder like bipolar disorder. Lack of sleep can lead to a manic episode which in turn which cause the individual to sleep even less. Mania can cause people with bipolar disorder to feel that they need less sleep to function.

It is important for people with bipolar disorder to try to improve their sleeping habits in order to minimize the onset of episodes and also to improve their overall quality of life. Some medications and lifestyle changes can help people with the disorder start to sleep more regularly. With treatment, some of their symptoms may be reduced which can also help promote better sleep.

Eating a healthy diet, exercising, going to therapy and avoiding alcohol and drugs can all lead to better sleep and as a result will minimize the possibility of triggering a manic episode.