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Living with bipolar disorder | Health-e



Living with Bipolar DisorderAccording to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, a fifth of all South Africans will experience a depressive disorder at least once in their lifetime. (Photo credit: Helen Harrop / Flickr)

Wednesday was Bipolar Awareness Day, which aimed to raise awareness among people with bipolar disorder.

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This year, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) is raising awareness about eliminating the bipolar stigma many feel in their homes, workplaces, and society by talking about it, sharing resources, and encouraging others to share their stories so that citizens can better understand their condition.

According to Healthline, bipolar disorder is a disorder that has been linked to episodes of mood swings that range from depressive lows to manic highs. Actress and comedian Nina Hastie shared how living with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, has affected her life.

“I can’t say how important it is to stick to the basics. Physical activity, 8 hours of sleep, enough water. So I had the Trifecta, which is a belly bug that made me completely dehydrated. “

“Dehydration always triggers an episode for me, lack of sleep and poor food,” said the actress.

Effects on Relationships

Hastie also stated that bipolar disorder affected many relationships in her life. She said that because of her mental illness, she did not know that her actions were affecting those around her.

“There are causalities on this journey and the victims are generally the people who are close to you. My family had to put up with it, my mother. You know the aftermath I’ve had, trying suicide to wake up in an ambulance. Imagine you have a child in an ambulance, it’s not a fun experience, ”she said.

“My little sister, only years later, she said to me: ‘You know, Nina, I was only 14 years old, you were in an ambulance. I didn’t know what was going on, ‘and I told her I hadn’t even thought about the impact of my actions on my younger sister.’

“It costs a lot of relationships, romantic and friendships and business relationships,” she added.

Diagnosing bipolar disorder

Hastie shared that prior to being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she never really understood her episodes, which would come in various forms.

“At first it was difficult to explain the sensation of the episode. Not all episodes are the same experience. Sometimes it’s aggression, sometimes it’s tearfulness, but what it always is is especially when you’re at level 10. I’ve had times when I break down or drool, I shiver. I have no control over my body as I get very extreme episodes, especially when I’m not on medication. My episodes were very intense, ”she said.

Hastie also had some advice to share with people diagnosed with bipolar, to ensure relationships weren’t broken.

“Don’t let yourself fall emotionally on your friends,” she said. “Once you start throwing things at other people, two things arise. First, these people have their own abilities. You can only handle so much. Second, a toxic relationship arises between you and this person because they don’t necessarily want to support you and you get annoyed with what is going on and they cannot be in a room where they support you. “

Feeling alone

Thembi Dlamini, an LGBTQI advocate and leader of a support group, started a group for people with bipolarity. She said that most people diagnosed with mental illness feel alone.

“People diagnosed with mental illness always feel so alone, so misunderstood and sometimes end up in this isolation. By starting a support group, I wanted to create a kind of community that would bring you to a place where you feel like you are not alone, a warm room with people going through what you are going through. “Said Dlamini.

People with bipolar disorder are at higher risk of suicide. According to Sadag, the average suicide is 17.2 per 100,000 (8% of all deaths). This only affects deaths reported by academic hospitals. The real number is higher. Dr. Antioinette Miric, a psychiatrist for patients with bipolar disorder, said that this mental illness requires a patient to stick to their medication to avoid episodes.

Mood swings and risk of suicide

“The mood episode actually lasts from days to weeks to months, although it lasts much longer than days. Unfortunately, bipolar disorder is one of the psychiatric conditions that require medication and we know medication is required because people don’t do well without medication, ”explained Miric.

“The other big thing about bipolar disorder is that it’s associated with a very high rate of suicide, a completed rate, so not even an attempted rate. So the consequences of taking medication need to be understood, ”she said.

The global pandemic posed a serious global health threat to all. Dr. Miric said people with severe mental illness are more prone to developing COVID19.

“Research is still ongoing, but we believe that patients with SMI (Severe Mental Illness) are more prone to developing COVID19,” she said.

Miric shared five tips that can help people with bipolar disorder avoid an episode, including monitoring sleep hours, maintaining a regular structure, taking your medication, eating a healthy diet (avoiding substances), and exercise. – health news

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Adults at risk for mental health disorders drawn to city living, study finds



People with a genetic predisposition to certain mental illnesses prefer living in big cities, according to a new study. File photo by John Angelillo / UPI | License photo

October 27 (UPI) – People genetically predisposed to mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and anorexia nervosa prefer to live in urban areas as adults, according to a study published Wednesday by JAMA Psychiatry.

The data showed that those at higher genetic risk for these disorders were 5 to 10% more likely than adults to “prefer to move from rural to urban areas”.

This means that people with more genetic mutations that increase their risk of mental health problems are drawn to urban settings, which is significant given that long urban living is linked to an increased risk of schizophrenia, the researchers said .

“This study adds to the evidence against the dichotomy between simplified nature and care, and shows that genes and environment are correlated,” said study co-author Dr. Evangelos Vassos, in an email to UPI.

“It shows that genetic predispositions to a wide variety of mental illnesses … are related to where people live,” said Vassos, a consulting psychiatrist at King’s College London.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, less than 1% of people in the United States have schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by disorders in thought processes, perceptions, emotional responsiveness, and social interaction.

Symptoms of schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, and unusual ways of thinking, as well as decreased expression of emotions and difficulties in social relationships.

A study published in 2017 found that teenagers who grew up in urban neighborhoods were nearly 70% more likely to have psychotic experiences, such as

However, a study published in August by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that cities in the United States have fewer levels of depression than more rural areas.

For this study, Vassos and his colleagues analyzed data from nearly 386,000 British adults, ages 37 to 73, who participated in the UK Biobank, a compendium of health records and genetic information for hundreds of thousands of people.

Polygenic risk scores, or risk measures for specific health disorders, were available to all participants, the researchers said.

The data showed that people with higher polygenic risk scores for schizophrenia and anorexia nervosa were 5% more likely to move from rural areas to cities.

Similarly, participants with higher risk scores for bipolar disorder, a condition characterized by periods of depression and abnormally elevated mood, were 10% more likely to live in urban areas.

Conversely, people with a genetic predisposition to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were 9% less likely to prefer city life than more rural areas.

“Our hypothesis is that people at high or low genetic risk for psychiatric disorders may have subtle traits that are different from people at medium genetic risk,” said Vassos.

“So it’s not that easy to tell people that they need to move from the cities to the more rural areas in order to improve their mental health,” he said.

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Judge rules in favor of Dougco schools in civil lawsuit



Douglas County schools filed a civil lawsuit against the newly formed health department on Wednesday, October 20.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colorado – A U.S. District Court judge in Denver issued an injunction to stop the Douglas County Board of Health’s school mask exemption.

The decision was made on Tuesday afternoon after the two sides presented their arguments on Monday and Tuesday.

> The video above is from October 21st when the Dougco Schools filed their civil lawsuit.

On Friday, October 8th, the health department approved a public health order that would allow parents or guardians to exempt their children from masking requirements by filing an application “because of the adverse effects on their physical and / or mental health Person ”in writing and signed. “

The school district said public health regulations ignore science and guidance on how to contain COVID-19 and put the health and learning of vulnerable students – those with chronic illnesses, respiratory problems and other serious health challenges – at risk.

RELATED: Douglas County’s Health Department Approves Public Health Order Granting Parents Power To Relieve Their Children From Wearing Masks

Eighteen students, whose only identifiers are initials, are listed as joint plaintiffs in the lawsuit. In a press release announcing the lawsuit, the school district gave examples of some of the disabilities that co-plaintiffs put at high risk when contracting COVID-19:

“Students with certain disabilities or illnesses are at greater risk of developing serious, life-threatening illnesses, and it is our responsibility as a school district to ensure that every student receives an inclusive, friendly public education – a responsibility the district takes very seriously. The message is simple: In these very complex times, our weakest children must not be left behind. Everyone wants a return to normal, but a return to normal cannot come at the expense of those with chronic and severe health problems. That is why this legal step is being taken. ”

Last week, Doug Benevento, president of Douglas County Board of Health, told 9NEWS the board was confident their order struck the right balance for masking requirements in schools.

“We are confident that our arrangement strikes the right balance with the mask requirement in our schools. Our arrangement enables masking, but offers exceptions for parents with children who would be negatively affected by a blanket mask requirement from a health or psychological point of view, ”said the statement. “The pending lawsuit by an asthmatic student against the school district alleging against the [Americans with Disabilities Act] shows that a blanket mask mandate does not create this balance. Our order is also more proactive than any of the requirements the state of Colorado currently has. “

RELATED: No, Disposable Masks cannot be recycled at most municipal recycling centers

RELATED: Confusion Over Douglas County’s New Child Public Health Ordinance and Masks

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Reactive Attachment Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment



Reactive attachment disorder, also known as RAD, is a mood or behavior disorder that affects babies and children. It includes difficulties with bonding and relationship building, as well as social patterns that are inadequate but without an intellectual disability or profound developmental disorder (such as autism) to explain these characteristics.

In addition, the reactive attachment disorder is caused by some type of caring problem, e.g.

The term “reactive attachment disorder” is sometimes abbreviated to “attachment disorder”, but reactive attachment disorder is actually a type of attachment disorder.

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Reactive attachment disorder vs. disinhibited social attachment disorder

Attachment disorders are sometimes described as inhibited or uninhibited. These terms are used to describe the behavior of babies and young children.

Children who fall into the category of inhibited difficulty regulating their emotions, who do not prefer specific adults or caregivers, do not seek consolation from the caregiver, or show much affection or a combination of these behaviors. On the other hand, children who fall into the category of inhibitions may be evenly or excessively preoccupied with all adults, including strangers, and they do not have a preference for primary caregivers.

The reactive attachment disorder is the inhibited form of the attachment disorder. There used to be only one diagnosis of both inhibited and uninhibited attachment, but that has changed with more recent research. The disinhibited type of attachment disorder is known as disinhibited social engagement disorder, or DSED.


The characteristics of reactive attachment disorder are the inhibited type, which means that the child behaves in a way that shows little or no attachment to the parents or other caregivers. This is seen in babies and young children. They are unable to form healthy and secure bonds with their parents or primary caregivers.

Symptoms of reactive attachment disorder

Symptoms of RAD include:

  • Avoiding comfort during stress
  • Avoidance of physical contact
  • Difficulty dealing with emotions
  • Don’t be concerned if left alone
  • Avoid making eye contact, smiling, or engaging
  • Emotional distance
  • Excessive rocking or self-calming
  • Inability to show guilt, remorse, or regret
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Little or no interest in interacting with others
  • Must be in control
  • Tantrums, anger, sadness


Reactive attachment disorder can be diagnosed by a psychiatrist such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist. They do this by assessing the child against the diagnostic criteria of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). They then assess the child on how the symptoms affect their ability to function.

Diagnostic criteria for reactive attachment disorders

  • Patterns of not seeking consolation or not reacting to emergency situations
  • Two or more forms of social and / or emotional stress, such as B. minimal engagement with others, limited positive affect, and episodes of inexplicable irritability or anxiety in non-threatening interactions with caregivers
  • A history of unmet needs, changes in caregivers, or an unusual environment that prevents attachment
  • Does not meet diagnostic criteria for an autism spectrum disorder
  • Behavioral symptoms that started before age 5
  • At least 9 months old, measured as developmental age


The specific causes of reactive attachment disorder are not as simple as they may seem. While child abuse and neglect can lead to attachment disorders, there is more to it than that. Children who receive inconsistent care or are placed with new primary caregivers are also at increased risk of reactive attachment disorder. This can happen even when parents and other caregivers mean well and do their best.

Children may experience an event or challenge that is not overtly harmful, such as moving geographically or something that cannot be avoided, such as the death of a family member. Even if they are too young to understand what is happening, they may not feel loved, are insecure, or cannot trust their caregivers.

Causes of a reactive attachment disorder

Possible causes of RAD are:

  • Attention only if the child behaves incorrectly (only negative attention)
  • To be left alone for hours without interaction, touch or play
  • Emotional needs are not consistently met
  • Experiencing trauma or a very frightening, difficult event
  • Having an emotionally unavailable parent
  • Hospitalization
  • Inconsistent care or response to needs
  • Loss of a caregiver or other family member, e. B. a sibling
  • Multiple main caregivers or change of caregivers
  • Neglect or abuse by parents, caregivers, or others
  • Not being comforted when crying or in despair
  • Not being fed for hours if you are hungry
  • Have not changed a diaper for hours
  • Only some needs are met, or needs are only met sometimes
  • Physical needs are not consistently met
  • Separation from parents or other caregivers


Treatment for reactive attachment disorder goes beyond the child alone. The whole family can be involved to support healthy bonding. The process involves a combination of talk therapy, other therapies, and education that will benefit children as well as parents and other caregivers.

Treatment of reactive attachment disorders

Treatment options for RAD include:

  • Family therapy with child and carer
  • Parent courses to learn effective strategies
  • Play therapy with the child to teach social and other skills
  • Teaching social skills in a different way
  • Special educational offers at schools
  • Talk therapy with the child, the caregivers, or both


Managing reactive attachment disorder involves strategies to support both the child and the adults who interact with the child. This is because the bond between children and their caregivers involves two or more people, and their interactions can help create a more secure bond. For this reason, coping includes support, self-care, and stress management for adults, as well as healthy eating and adequate sleep and physical activity for children and adults.

A word from Verywell

If your child or someone you know is struggling with attachment issues, help is available. Even if your child is diagnosed with reactive attachment disorder, it does not mean that it was caused by you or that it was your fault. Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control, no matter how hard we try. The main concern is that the child is getting the care they need.

Contact a family doctor, general practitioner, or psychologist for support for the child. It is also important that you and other primary caregivers of the child have all the support they need to care for the child.

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