Bipolar and Mental Illnesses are written about here. Written by a bipolar person themselves.

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Bipolar and Memory Loss

Bipolar and Memory Loss


I began noticing small bits of memory loss after I had been diagnosed bipolar. At first I thought I was having “a moment”, but then I noticed that whenever I would be in a manic state, I would have terrible memory loss and be unable to remember words, or their meanings. I’d have a hard time putting a sentence together without all the words being curse words. When I a in a manic state, I just can’t think like I usually can. I wondered about it and wanted to know if I’m alone. Well I’m not. There’s a perfectly good explanation for it, and it also teaches people that memory loss was just another factor we had to add in to being bipolar and all that comes with it. 


Bipolar and memory loss can be a real problem! And to make matters worse, sometimes the cognitive symptoms of bipolar such as memory loss, lack of focus, and fuzzy thinking are made worse by medication, adding insult to injury.”

“So why does bipolar disorder create problems with thinking as well as mood?”

“Memory, attention and concentration can all be disrupted by the same neurotransmitter disturbances that cause mood swings.”

“This undermines our ability to study, to work, and even interferes with personal relationships.”


“However, the better these problems are understood, the easier they are to deal with.”

“As well as discussing the what and the why of memory problems in bipolar disorder, we are going to discuss some techniques that can minimize the problem.”

“Let’s begin by looking at how the different types of memory are affected by bipolar . . .”


Memory types and bipolar disorder:

1.”Bipolar disorder and the loss of semantic memory: Semantic memory is long term memory for facts, definitions of words, and other concepts that make up our general knowledge about the world.”

“Studies do not indicate a link between bipolar disorder and loss of semantic memory. For example, even during a profound episode of mania or depression, we are likely to remember that London is in England, that ducklings grow up to be ducks, and that a dictionary contains definitions for words.”


2. “Loss of sensory memory and bipolar: Sensory memory is the retention of stimulus received through our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Sensory perception is sometimes disturbed during bipolar disorder, for example the hallucinations experienced in bipolar psychosis.”

“However, this is not the same as a loss of sensory memory. Research in this area is lacking, but it seems that bipolar disorder does not interfere with how we remember the smell of roses, the color of the sky, or the softness (or crispness) of our favorite sheets.”


3. “Procedural memory loss and bipolar disorder: Procedural memory is all about remembering processes – how to do things. Again, bipolar disorder does not prevent us from remembering how to take a shower and get dressed again, or how to drive a car. (Of course if depressed, we may not have the energy and motivation for a shower. If manic, we may dress more colorfully and in a more sexually provocative way. And driving when manic can be reckless and aggressive. All of this relates to the “mood” aspects of bipolar, not the “mind” of cognitive processing and memory.)”



4. “Problems with working memory in bipolar disorder: Most of the memory and bipolar research has involved working memory. This research has shown that people with bipolar disorder do experience difficulties with working memory. Working memory is the short term storage of information while we are actually using it to perform a task. In a delightful definition, the “current contents of consciousness”. A popular theory is that people with bipolar disorder experience signalling problems in the prefontal cortex of the brain, which then does not communicate properly with the amygdala, leading to the mood swings, and disrupting executive functioning and information processing.”




5. “Long term memory loss and bipolar: There is conflicting evidence about whether or not bipolar disorder impairs long term memory. The theory I like about why the evidence conflicts comes from Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, 2nd Edition, by Dr Fred Goodwin and Dr Kay Jamison.”

“They suggest that there may not be deficits in long term memory and that the reason the studies conflict relates to problems with research methods. The studies that show long term memory loss are really only showing what we already know about problems with working memory – people did not forget. Rather, they were never able to acquire the information in the first place.”
“How should we address the challenges caused by bipolar and memory loss?”

“As stated above, bipolar and memory loss makes it hard for us to study, work, and even causes relationship problems.”




Managing bipolar and memory loss

  • So what can we do about bipolar and memory loss?

We can structure tasks to make them easier.

1. Take the time to analyze tasks and break them down into small steps. Although this takes time and effort we may feel we just don’t have, it will make life easier in the long run. The idea is to structure things into smaller pieces that put less strain on working memory. Do this in writing. Using index cards can be useful because steps can be rearranges and there is room to add notes. Doctors Brondolo and Amodor advise to keep breaking things down until each step is no bigger than a 4 if you imagine a rating scale of 1-10 in difficulty.

So if you are bipolar and having memory loss, this could be why. I hope this article helped clear up why those who suffer from bipolar disorder have memory loss. Jokingly, we can to add memory loss to the list of all the problems we deal with daily anyways, because bipolar persons are awesome! 

Source : Bipolar Lives

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Bipolar and Memory Loss

  

Read the whole article at: Bipolar and Memory Loss

“People with bipolar disorder often report problems with memory and cognition. They have trouble with short- and long-term memory, think things through at subdued speeds, and have difficulty thinking outside that so-called box.”

  
“These memory problems can pose considerable challenges for bipolar patients. One recent study presented the case of a 48-year-old computer programmer who had severe memory problems as one of his bipolar symptoms. His job was at stake because he had difficulty mentally accessing information memorized prior to the onset of his bipolar disorder. He told doctors that he was sure he knew the information, but couldn’t figure out how to get to it. He would eventually remember the information, but it could take hours before it would come to him.”

  
Memory Loss and Bipolar Disorder

“Memory problems in bipolar disorder typically have been considered a side effect of the manic highs and depressive lows of the condition:”

  • Mania. Some studies have shown that memory and cognition problems are at their worst during manic episodes. Patients operating at high speeds due to mania have a hard time encoding new information into their memories and also show difficulty accessing memories.
  • Depression. Other research has revealed that depressive phases also can create problems with memory. “When your mind is preoccupied with negative thoughts about yourself, your world, your future, you aren’t as able to concentrate and [be] in the moment,” says Michael Thase, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Philadelphia. “If your mind is occupied at one level, there’s less capacity to pay attention and encode and store information.””

  
“More recent research has found that bipolar patients who are between mood swings also have memory problems and other cognitive deficits. That has lead some doctors to question whether mood swings are the real reason patients endure memory loss issues. Other possible explanations include:”

  
“Differences in brain chemistry and function related to bipolar disorder. “It may be that depression causes memory troubles both in a mental way — by occupying your mind — and also in a neurobiological way by inhibiting the connectivity between nerve cells,” Dr. Thase says.”

  
“Side effects of medications prescribed for bipolar symptoms. “You also can have memory problems with several of the more commonly prescribed medications, lithium being the most notorious,” Thase says.”

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What Your Smartphone’s Sleep Interference Could Mean For Mental Health

Smartphone’s Interference & Mental Health  
“Your smartphone habit may be doing more than harming your relationships — it could be damaging your sleep and ultimately triggering depression and anxiety.”

“A growing body of research finds that smartphone users have sleep problems that interfere with their daily functioning.”

  
“We know that young people and older people are on some kind of screen before bedtime, even within the last 30 or 60 minutes before going to sleep,” said Dr. Shalini Paruthi, the director of the Pediatric Sleep and Research Center at Saint Louis University.”

“Everybody has a wakeup alarm, but it may be equally important to set a bedtime alarm,” Paruthi continued. “That way it gives ourselves a signal: ‘Okay, time to put this away. Time to start my bedtime routine.'”

  
“One study, published in 2014, found an association between smartphone use after 9 p.m. and decreased sleep quantity. Its researchers surveyed 82 upper-level managers and found that those who slept less felt depleted in the morning and were less engaged at work the next day.”

“Strikingly, as part of the study, smartphones were worse for employees’ sleep and workplace engagement than other screen-based devices, such as laptops, tablets or television, perhaps in part because they make it hard to detach from workplace obligations.”

 
“And another study, also published in 2014, found that university students who self-reported high use (based on a six-point Smartphone Addiction Scale) were also more likely to report higher levels of depression, anxiety and what’s know as “daytime dysfunction,” or excessive daytime sleepiness.”

“While the study didn’t prove that smartphones cause anxiety and depression, it did show a correlation between high smartphone use, high depression levels and poor sleep. In the study, respondents who reported suffering from depression and anxiety were also more likely to report poor sleep quality.”

“Sleep loss and anxiety are unfortunate bedfellows. Lack of sleep can provoke parts of the brain that regulate anxiety, and unfortunately, innate worriers are most susceptible to the damaging effects of sleep loss.”

  
“There’s some evidence, as HuffPost reported in February, that some people may find smartphone behavior changes more challenging than others: In a 2015 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, respondents who checked their smartphones frequently were more prone to impulsive, moody, temperamental and materialistic behavior.”

“Regardless of personality type, it’s clear that sleep needs to be a top priority for all of us. “Smartphone use, tablets, screen time use — it can have such a major effect on sleep,” Paruthi said. “We don’t want screens to cut into the quantity of our sleep — but also the quality of our sleep.””

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Benefits of Yoga for Weight Loss

Yoga for Weight Loss

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“Are you being out of shape day by day? If yes, you could try yoga for weight loss for reducing weight fast. When planning to join a weight loss program, you must look for a permanent way out.”

“A bizarre fact about the weight loss programs is that most of them make you lose weight for the time being with help of some external supplements or any other unhealthy process. The moment you stop taking the supplements, you start getting fat once again. Moreover, your body tends to gain fat faster than earlier. Yoga, fortunately, is free from such vice. It is one of the safest and healthiest processes for losing weight.”

“Do you know what you require most when it comes about losing weight? It is nothing but your dedication. Many an obese people dream of restoring into shape, but they give a little effort to materialize their dreams. Obesity is not only your physical status. It is a harbinger of a handful of health complications like heart disorders, high blood sugar, arthritis, lethargy and mental depression. When you plan to join yoga for weight loss, the first thing you need to develop is a strong motivation. Without a strong determination, you could hardly achieve any positive result. Moreover, yoga exercises are not very easy to practice. At least for the first few days, you may suffer from body pain and lethargy while you try to practice yoga. This is a common response, as your body is not accustomed to this physical movement. You would soon overcome this sprain if you continue practicing yoga.”

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“Sometimes however the pain takes shape due to improper practice of the yoga postures. This type of sprain may be serious and can become complicated if not addressed with care immediately. For avoiding any such possibility, you should always practice yoga for weight loss under an expert guidance. A trainer might guide you well on the postures to practice for losing weight successfully. Moreover, there are proper techniques for each of the posture. Being a beginner you may not be acquainted with these techniques. Your trainer would instruct the same to you. Remember, positive results from yoga are possible only when you practice the same in the right manner.”

“Taking about the process, yoga for weight loss directly targets the fat cells of your body. Most of these fat cells are stored in our body. This fat is extra and remains inactive. Furthermore, your body does not make use of this fat for producing energy. The fat cells of your body melt when you work out for weight reduction. Practicing yoga postures does not only melt fat cells but also tones the body and helps in getting into shape once more.”

Young woman training in yoga asana - pigeon pose isolated

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Ketamine Used to Counter Loss of Pleasure in Bipolar Depression

Countering loss of pleasure in Bipolar

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“Ketamine, recently the focus of research as a rapid-acting antidepressant that can ease symptoms within hours instead of weeks, is now being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter to treat bipolar patients.”

“In a National Institutes of Health (NIH) trial, the drug — sometimes referred to as Special K and long used as an animal anesthetic and a party drug — restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of its antidepressant effects, according to researchers.”

“In fact, researchers report that within 40 minutes after a single infusion of ketamine, treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients experienced a reversal of a key symptom — a loss of interest in pleasurable activities. What’s more, that reversal lasted up to 14 days, researchers reported.”

“Brain scans traced the drug’s action to boosted activity in areas at the front and deep in the right hemisphere of the brain, according to researchers.”

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“Our findings help to deconstruct what has traditionally been lumped together as depression,” explained Carlos Zarate, M.D., of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).”

“We break out a component that responds uniquely to a treatment that works through different brain systems than conventional antidepressants — and link that response to different circuitry than other depression symptoms.”

“Considered one of two prime symptoms of both depression and bipolar disorder, anhedonia is the loss of the ability to look forward to pleasurable activities. No effective treatments for anhedonia have been found to date.”

“Based on their previous studies, the NIMH researchers expected ketamine’s therapeutic action against anhedonia would be traceable — like that for other depression symptoms — to effects on a mid-brain area linked to reward-seeking and that it would follow a similar pattern and time course.”

“To test their theory, the researchers infused the drug or a placebo into 36 patients in the depressive phase of bipolar disorder. They then detected any mood changes using rating scales for anhedonia and depression.”

“By isolating scores on anhedonia from scores on other depression symptoms, the researchers discovered that ketamine was triggering a strong anti-anhedonia effect sooner — and independent of — the other effects, they report in the study, which was published in the journal Translational Psychiatry.”

“Levels of anhedonia plummeted within 40 minutes in patients who received ketamine, compared with those who received the placebo, according to the researchers, who add the effect was still detectable in some patients two weeks later.”

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“Other depressive symptoms improved within two hours, the researchers noted. The anti-anhedonic effect remained significant even in the absence of other antidepressant effects, suggesting a unique role for the drug.”

“Next, the researchers scanned the brains of a subset of the ketamine-infused patients, using positron emission tomography (PET), which shows what parts of the brain are active by tracing the destinations of radioactively-tagged glucose — the brain’s fuel.”

“The scans showed that ketamine jump-started activity not in the middle brain area they had expected, but rather in the dorsal (upper) anterior cingulate cortex, near the front middle of the brain, and putamen, deep in the right hemisphere.”

“Boosted activity in these areas may reflect increased motivation towards or ability to anticipate pleasurable experiences, according to the researchers.”

“Depressed patients typically experience problems imagining positive, rewarding experiences, which would be consistent with impaired functioning of this dorsal anterior cingulate cortex circuitry, they said.”

“However, confirmation of these findings must await results of a similar NIMH ketamine trial nearing completion in patients with unipolar major depression, the researchers noted.”

“Other evidence suggests that ketamine’s action in this circuitry is mediated by its effects on the brain’s major excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate, as well as downstream effects on a key reward-related chemical messenger, dopamine.”

“The findings add to mounting evidence in support of the antidepressant efficacy of targeting this neurochemical pathway, according to the researchers. Ongoing research is exploring, for example, potentially more practical delivery methods for ketamine and related experimental antidepressants, such as a nasal spray, they noted.”

“They add, however, that ketamine is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for depression. It is mostly used in veterinary practice, and its abuse can lead to hallucinations, delirium, and amnesia.”

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