Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Living With Bipolar Disorder: One Black Woman Shares Her Story

I have always been a person that was sort of flighty. I never wanted to conform to anything or any group of people when I was younger. I always fought hard for my independence from my family and from friends as well. For carrying out this attitude and way of thinking, I have had the sign of “CRAZY” placed around my neck by a number of people, be they family or friends. I never thought of myself as crazy, until a few days after I had my daughter.

I gave birth to my first child when I was about 21 years old. I loved being pregnant and had a ball with thought of being a new mommy and starting a new life with my then fiancé. I finally gave birth after being over 3 weeks past due and had my little girl that I knew I was going to have from the first moment I was told that I was pregnant. The second night in the hospital, I found myself crying like a mad woman, for apparently no good reason. During that same night, I had my first panic attack. I requested that only certain nurses touch my daughter, and that my fiancé sleep when I was awake and vice versa. I should have known something was wrong with me then, but was constantly told that it was just the “baby blues” and that it would all pass when I got home and got some rest.

After being at home for a month with my baby, we had a very violent thunderstorm in my town. I remember the storm because I had to take my fiancé to work and had my new baby in the car. The next thing I remember, I was pulling up to the hospital parking lot looking for a spot to park in. The fear of the storm drove me into some seriously dangerous and irrational behaviors. I would have moments in time, when crying was the order of the day and in some cases, the order of the week. I would then get bursts of energy that would lead me into doing things that were both silly and in some cases dangerous and destructive on a personal level. I would become a daredevil in my car, driving at speeds that would make anyone question my sanity. I would drink dangerous levels of alcohol and because I was on this “high” I never felt I was drunk or could get drunk. I paid dearly for that each morning I awoke. I went on for two years doing things like this, all while taking care of my daughter and preparing to get married.

After the wedding and learning that I was pregnant with my son, the highs and lows got worse. I started hearing voices and became extremely paranoid. At my lowest point, I spent three weeks in the bed, with my head under the covers, only coming out to have my husband give me a bath or shower and to attempt to eat. It was at this time, that he made the hard decision to put me into the hospital for observation. We were blessed to have his mother, who took both of our children and kept them until we found out what was wrong with me.

After being evaluated, I was diagnosed with severe depression and bipolar disorder. It was at that moment, that every voice I had ever heard call me crazy came back to me. I started to look at that word in a totally different manner. Did they see this in me before I did? Did they know I was not mentally well?

The road of mental health treatment has been a rocky one for me. I have been on just about every mental health medication known to man. Some of them lead me to feel better on a temporary basis; others made me even sicker than I already was. Today, I take nothing and instead opt for behavioral approaches to modify my swings of mood. I have also learned my triggers and have worked very hard to get over the irrational thoughts and fears that haunted me all of my life, but especially during this 12 year time span.

It was during that time, that I learned a few things about dealing with mental health issues.

1. You cannot pray this away!!!!!!!!!!! I know people will get mad at me for saying this, and that’s fine, but the fact is that you cannot pray depression away from you. Prayer and meditation have been known to work to help clear the mind for some who are dealing with depression and other mental health issues, but prayer alone will not cure you.
2. Listening to people tell you that nothing is wrong with you will set you up for failure in treatment. My mother was convinced that I was “just acting” and I needed to pull myself together. Even as I sat in the hospital in the psych ward, she was convinced that it was all an act and that “we” don’t have all these problems. She also managed to make my weight an issue as well. (I eventually had her removed from my visitors list!)
3. Black folks have to drop the attitude and stigma behind mental health care. I found that a number of the nurses on the psych floor who were black acted as though the white girls in my ward were actually sick, but gave me a totally different set of treatment. I guess their attitude is that, white women are supposed to be weak, but we are supposed to be stronger than this. The fact is that we suffer from mental illness in our community in large numbers and we tend to go untreated because we dismiss things as being crazy. That word is dismissive and a great way to not have to deal with someone or their issues.
4. Good alternative treatments our out there, but you have to be your own advocate. I know a great deal of people have issues with taking pills and I am one of them. There are a number of really wonderful techniques that are designed to treat depression and other mental illnesses that have nothing to do with medication. Medication is needed in some cases, but there are other options that can be used to help you need less medication. Being your own advocate and educating yourself is the key.
5. THIS IS A REAL ILLNESS!!!! Mental illness is just like high blood pressure, diabetes and any other physical illness that we suffer with in our community. We must realize to better serve our own needs and get the adequate help that we need.
Today, I am studying different methods of treatment with out medication in order to assist myself in coping with day to day issues. I still have my highs and lows, but they are not nearly as dangerous to me or my family. I have learned to notice when they are coming and deal with them before they happen. I still have to take medication for anxiety, but that is on an as needed basis, which is a far shot from where I was 12 years ago. Every day, it gets easier and easier to live and laugh and mean it.

I share this story to let black women know that there is help for you. If you feel you need assistance, there are a number of really good web sources you can turn to for help. The first step is reaching out for help, as with any other illness, you need to consult your doctor and start the process. Things will get better, with hard work and determination, you can learn to live with this and still have a productive and wonderful life.

Michelle is a Midwestern girl, with a Southern heart and a bit of an eccentric streak running through her. Along with being a wife and mother of 2, she also wears the hats of student, counselor, life coach,cook, friend and occasional matchmaker, all while keeping a Zen like approach to life and all that comes with it. Balance and comedy are the keys to keeping life interesting and livable and she has ALMOST mastered both.

Steele May Lack Support of RNC’s Black Members Read more: Steele May Lack Support of RNC’s Black Members

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has lost the support of key GOP constituencies in his bid for re-election as RNC chairman next month. And that includes at least one of the RNC’s two black members — Ada Fisher from North Carolina, Roll Call reports.

Fisher has spoken out vociferously against Steele since she voted against him in favor of former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, who is white, in 2009.

"Nobody asked the black members of the RNC what they felt, and I don't know that the other people were courted or asked for their votes," Fisher says of that contest.

The other black RNC member, Glenn McCall of South Carolina, also supported Dawson for chairman of the RNC on all six ballots in 2009.

Fisher already says she won’t support Steele this time. As for McCall, “I haven't made up my mind," he tells Roll Call. "I'm getting feedback from grass-roots activists in the state and also our elected officials, and if I just went purely on that, it would say he's not the person the grass-roots activists want here in South Carolina."

Read more: Steele May Lack Support of RNC’s Black Members

Steven Spielberg’s Falling Skies Trailer

Steven Spielberg knows aliens. Just ask E.T. or Richard Dreyfuss (Close Encounters of the Third Kind). You can even ask Indiana Jones (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). Sidebar: Harrison Ford isn’t trying to kill Indy, after all.

Now Spielberg is hard at work at a new alien invasion thriller. It isn’t a film. He is working on a slew of those, though, to include producing Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I Am Number Four, Cowboys & Aliens, and Super 8 (where he teams with J. J. Abrams), which all seem to involve elements of the extraterrestrial. He will also direct The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (produced by Peter Jackson). But the topic of the hour is Falling Skies.

The series, produced by DreamWorks Television and in development for the TNT network will hit the small screen June of 2011. It all begins with “a bright light that made all the electronics stop working” according to the brand spankin’ new trailer for the show. “Then they came. There were millions of them.” Welcome to the new war of the worlds, so to speak. It will be epic and will star E.R.‘s Noah Wyle and Termiantor: Salvation‘s Moon Bloodgood.

Click play, then journey on over to the official website where you can enjoy a vibrant web comic.

Former Shell Oil President: $5 Gasoline in U.S. by 2012

Americans will pay $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012, thanks to growing global demand for oil, tighter supplies and inadequate responses by the U.S. government, the former president of Shell Oil said Sunday in an interview with Platts Energy Week Television.

John Hofmeister also predicted little or no new drilling in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico for the next two years, as Washington continues to respond to the BP oil spill with tighter regulation of the oil and gas industry.
“If we stay on our current course, within a decade we’re into energy shortages in this country big time,” said Hofmeister, who retired from Shell in 2008 and now heads a grass-roots group called Citizens for Affordable Energy.

“Blackouts, brownouts, gas lines, rationing–that’s my projection based upon the current inability to make to make decisions,” Hofmeister said. “The politically driven choices that are being made, which are non-choices, essentially frittering at the edges of renewable energy, stifling production in hydrocarbon energy–that’s a sure path for not enough energy for American consumers. When American consumers are short or prices are so high–$5 a gallon for gasoline, for example, by 2012–that’s going to set a new tone. It’s going to be panic time for politicians. They’re suddenly going to get the sense that we better do something.”
“The 112th [Congress] has potential for compromise, but we’ll see. I’m predicting actually a worse outcome over the next two years, which takes us to 2012 with higher gasoline prices, uncertainty as to the future of hydrocarbons, more regulation on the hydrocarbon industry based on who the administration is today,” he said. “And what I fear  the most is that by 2012 prices will be so high that we’ll have a backlash from the electorate and we’ll go into reverse and will go back to as hydro-carbon only type of future with maybe some nuclear, instead of moving on into the 21st century.”

Hofmeister said U.S. oil production will suffer from government response to the explosion of BP’s Macondo well last April and the resulting largest oil spill in U.S. history. He said while the government has officially lifted a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, slow implementation of new regulations means the freeze on new permits continues.

“I’m expecting no new drilling for two more years at least, maybe one or two token wells,” he said.
The government response will persuade oil companies to increasingly look outside the U.S. for drilling options, he said.

“What the administration doesn’t understand about the industry is how it plans its capital budgets,” he said. “It plans a capital budget on a three-year cycle. If the Gulf of Mexico is uncertain, which it is because nobody knows when they can drill again, then that money will be reallocated elsewhere around the world.”

Rendell Sounds Off

We’re unfamiliar with Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s politics … but we couldn’t agree more with his take on the National Football League’s controversial decision to cancel Sunday’s night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings.

“It goes against everything that football is all about,” the soon-to-be-former Keystone State chief executive said Monday on a radio show in Philadelphia.

“My biggest beef is that this is part of what’s happened in this country,” Rendell added. “I think we’ve become wussies.”

“We’ve become a nation of wusses,” he continued. “The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down.”
Um … he’s right.

We understand the fact that recent games have been postponed due to damaged stadiums, but the last time we checked bad weather at a stadium was not an acceptable excuse.

By fitsnews

Iran executes man as Israeli spy, hangs opposition group member

Ali Saremi

Iran Human Rights, December 28: According to the reports from Iran two political prisoners were hanged at Tehran’s Evin prison early this morning.

The prisoners are identified as Ali Saremi (63) convicted of Moharebeh (war with God) through membership in PMOI (Mujahedin-e-khalgh) and Ali Akbar Siadat convicted of espionage for Israel.

Ali Saremi is a well known political prisoner who was last time arrested in 2007, for holding a speech at the 19th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of the political prisoners in Iran. Last year he was sentenced to death by jugde Salavati in Tehran. His charges are membership in a mohareb group (PMOI) and "propaganda against the establishment".

Ali Saremi had been arrested several time during the past 20 years for his political acivities.

Ali AKbar Siadat was arrested in 2007 and later convicted for providing sensitive information to Israel. Iran Human Rights can not confirm Mr. Siadat’s charges.

These executions happen only two days after the scheduled execution of another political prisoner, Habibollah Lotfi, was postponed.

Iran Human Rights had previously warned about implementation of death sentences of the "sensitive" cases by the Iranian authorities during the Christmas holidays.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights, strongly condemned today’s executions and said: " I and surely millions of Iranians are sad and outraged by this news". He added:"Our thoughts go to Mr. Saremi and Mr. Siadat’s families, friends, and other prisoners who are going through a very difficult time right now". Amiry-Moghaddam continued:" Leadership of the Iranian regime must be kept responsible for this crime". "We urge the world community to condemn these executions because lack of a strong international reaction will be interpreted as a green light to the Iranian authorities".

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 28, 2010

Ancient Human Remains Found in Israel

By Miss Cellania in Archaeology on Dec 27, 2010 at 6:58 pm
Israeli archaeologists have found teeth of modern humans in a cave in central Israel that date back 400,000 years. That makes them twice as old as modern humans found in Africa, which is where they’ve been thought to have originated.
“It’s very exciting to come to this conclusion,” said archaeologist Avi Gopher, whose team examined the teeth with X-rays and CT scans and dated them according to the layers of earth where they were found.
He stressed that further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, “this changes the whole picture of evolution.”
The accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out of the continent. Gopher said if the remains are definitively linked to modern human’s ancestors, it could mean that modern man in fact originated in what is now Israel.
Sir Paul Mellars, a prehistory expert at Cambridge University, said the study is reputable, and the find is “important” because remains from that critical time period are scarce, but it is premature to say the remains are human.
The archaeologists from Tel Aviv University are confident that other human fossil evidence will be found at the site. Link -Thanks, özi!

(Image credit: AP/Oded Balilty)

5 Haitian Teens Found Dead in Florida Motel Room

The bodies of five Haitian teenagers were found Monday in a Florida motel room by a housemaid who peeked in a window.

The bodies were lying on and around a bed at the El Presidente Motel in Hialeah, Florida just North of Miami near the Miami International airport.

Police say the teens, who rented the $62-a-night room on Sunday to celebrate a friend’s birthday, died from carbon monoxide poisoning after they left a car running in the garage directly beneath their room. The car was still running when police arrived.

“The room is sealed shut like it was an aircraft,” one of the victims’ friends, Junior Reeds, 26, told the Miami Herald. “This is a hotel room. You got to have vents. A minor incident could cause a big tragedy.”

The dead boys are identified as Evans Charles, 19, Jonas Antenor, 18, Peterson Nazon, 17, and Jean Pierre Ferdinand, 16. They came from the neighboring Little Haiti cultural enclave in Miami.
No drugs or alcohol were found in the room.

Carl Zogby, a spokesman for police in Hialeah, Florida, said the deaths: “seems like this is a tragic accident.”

The boys borrowed a Kia from a friend to make the short trip to the motel. About an hour before they arived, the engine was jump started by another friend, identified in the Miami Herald as Maxon Ofea, 18.
Ofea, who grew up with the five dead teenagers, said they had left the car running in the single-car garage under the room because they were afraid it wouldn’t start again.

A door at the base of a staircase leading up to the room from the garage was propped open, allowing deadly odorless gas to seep into the room.

Peterson Nazon’s mother, who arrived from Little Haiti, couldn’t contain her grief at the scene: “They killed my son, they killed my son,” she cried in Creole.

She told the Miami Herald she had been phoning the room all morning. “Nobody answered,” she said.
Little Haiti was established in Miami in the 1980s by Haitian immigrants who arrived by boat after fleeing famine, poverty and persecution in Haiti.

Ironically, Hialeah is where Cuban immigrants settled after fleeing communism in Cuba in the 80s.

Posted By Sandra Rose

Post-Christmas travel is heavily disrupted by North-East blizzard

Sunshine and deep piles of sparkling snow blanketed the Northeast on Monday, but for frustrated commuters and holiday travelers struck by the winter’s first ferocious storm, the beauty was short-lived.

Gusting winds kicked up formidable snowdrifts further crippling an entire New York metropolitan region trying to dig out, shutting down the three major area airports for most of the day, stopping commuter trains and some subway lines — even stranding some passengers on trains overnight — and causing nightmarish delays without much of a sense of when the conditions would improve.

Newark International and John F. Kennedy International airports will both open at 6 p.m. for departing flights only, Sara Beth Joren, a spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said. La Guardia Airport opened at 4 p.m., and some flights would be leaving later Monday evening, Ms. Joren said. All three airports are expected to resume arrivals and departures on Tuesday morning.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, speaking at an afternoon news conference, succinctly captured the power of the storm: “A lot of snow, every place,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “It was a very heavy snowfall, and as you know, it was accompanied by intense winds.”

But, he concluded: “The world has not come to an end, the city is going fine.”

Still, nearly two feet of snow was dumped on the New York area through the overnight hours, and its cumulative effects were plainly evident during the day on Monday.

High winds damaged switches for train lines, knocked down power lines, drifted snow perilously deep on tracks and even caused plow trucks to get stuck. City buses stalled on hills and cars abandoned on side streets complicated snow removal as New York struggled mightily to recover before the evening commute began.

Irony: NJ Democrat Criticizes Christie for Being in Florida During Storm; Of Course That Democrat is Also in Florida

Naturally, it's uber-hack Ray Lesniak doing the whining. You can't make this stuff up.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office is pushing back against complaints that both he and the lieutenant governor were vacationing during a blizzard that blanketed the state with snow.

The snowstorm paralyzed much of the Northeast on a busy holiday travel weekend but Christie (R), a darling of national Republicans, and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno were traveling in Florida's Disney World and Mexico, respectively. State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) has been serving as acting governor in their absence and coordinated response efforts.

But that move earned the scorn of state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D), who on Monday questioned "the purpose of the office" of lieutenant governor, which was created in 2005, saying it amounted to "wasted money" if both officials vacationed at the same time.

In a lengthy response Tuesday, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said the criticism of the new governor was "overblown."

"Yes, this was a big snow, but we are a northeastern state, and we get plenty of snow, including heavy hits like this," he wrote in an e-mail to The Hill. "But the sky really is not falling, and we'll get through this just as we always have, notwithstanding complaints from opportunistic partisans like Lesniak."

Even though New Jersey's snow is a home-state concern, national observers have eyed the criticism of Christie given his high national political profile.

Drewniak, who noted that Lesniak is "hurling his criticism from his vacation in Florida," pushed back against questions about Christie's management of the state. He stressed that Sweeney has been in close contact with senior administration officials, key agencies and Christie himself since the snow hit.

"All emergency services of the state are functioning as expected under the circumstances and as they normally would," he wrote.
Apparently Lesniak doesn't realize Christie is able to communicate from Florida, just like him. What a dope.

posted by JammieWearingFool

Video of Chris Matthews going birther: demands Obama's long-form birth certificate with signatures

As I have said since day 1 is that indeed Obama was born in Hawaii. I have no doubt of that. But I also agree that he hasn't released his birth certificate yet. What he did release was a 'certificate of live birth' - an electronic document without any signatures - that anyone can get in Hawaii even if they were born somewhere else. I believe Obama has done this to point at conservatives as conspiratorial extremists (ie - he wants birthers around), but that's just me. Thus, it's still an issue. What's surprising is that Tingles is not only running a whole segment on it, but is actually himself asking for the long-form birth certificate. He denies in this segment that he's a birther, but if you watch to the end, he and his liberal guests want the long-form released:

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