Archive for January, 2014

Finding the the L-point(s) in the treatment of manic depression

It seems to me that some smart psychologist or psychiatrist somewhere must have written of this subject, this dilemma: If we suppress the patient’s dopamine levels to quash the symptoms of his/her manic depression, we run the risk of inducing a kind of Parkinsonism (PD) in him/her, the more the more, and vice versa—if we suppress the patients dopamine levels not so much as to leave him/her in some kind of PD state, we run the risk of putting him/her into some kind of perpetual manic or hypomanic state. Is it possible to find that critical mixture of meds, the Lagrange point, where the ‘forces’ of PD and the ‘forces’ of manic-depression are exactly balanced, allowing the patient to remain stable, i.e., stationary relative to each of them?

Wikipedia: The Lagrange points mark positions where the combined gravitational pull of the two large masses provides precisely the centripetal force required to orbit with them. As seen in a rotating reference frame that matches the angular velocity of the two co-orbiting bodies, the gravitational fields of two massive bodies combined with the satellite‘s acceleration are in balance at the Lagrangian points, allowing the smaller third body [the satellite] to be relatively stationary with respect to the first two.

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Hey, Kay! Give me a break, okay?

From Kay Redfield Jamison’s “An Unquiet Mind: “There is nothing good to be said for it [bp depression] except that it gives you the experience of how it must be to be old, to be old and sick, to be dying; to be slow of mind; to be lacking in grace, polish, and coordination; to be ugly; to have no belief in the possibilities of life, the pleasures of sex, and the exquisiteness of music, or the ability to make  yourself and others laugh.”

Gee, Kay. You’ve not given this old codger much wiggle room, now have you? Is this what I, at 76, have soon to look forward to? Of the options you’ve listed, the most devastating will be the loss of laughter in myself and that I could always coax it forth in others, and do so simply by being me.

I can and am prepared to do so, I think, in my approaching dotage, be accepting and accommodating of sickness, impending death, the loss of grace and polish—if indeed I ever was graceful or polished—trolldom, monumental cynicism, unrequited love, and deafness, just so long as my mind—my one unflagging joy—is still with me right up to the very end. I want my last words to be, “Mother of God, what a show! Thank you, Lord, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, bent mind and all.”

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