Bipolar and Relationships

Relationships can be tough for people with a bipolar diagnosis.

Some people with a bipolar disorder diagnosis have trouble managing relationships with friends and family members. Research at University of Michigan is helping us understand the complex challenges of this brain illness. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, two department of psychiatry experts weigh in on bipolar and relationships.

Kelly Ryan, Ph.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry & researcher with the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund
Maria Bastida, Nurse Practitioner, Department of Psychiatry

What is bipolar disorder and how is it different from unipolar depression?

Kelly Ryan, Ph.D.: Bipolar Disorder is a condition characterized by shifts in mood, energy and activity levels, usually shifts between deep depressions and severe highs. These shifts in mood state can be frequent and cause significant problems in social, personal, and occupational functioning. Bipolar is different from unipolar because of the bi-polarity of symptoms — the depressions and severe highs (mania) — whereas unipolar depression is associated with just depressions. The prevalence of bipolar disorder is about 2.5% of the population, but the leading cause of disability in adults aged 18-44.

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Four simple steps to clean eating

green smoothie

Maybe you’ve read about Katy Perry or Gwyneth Paltrow being fans. Eating “clean” has gained popularity not only with celebrities, but also with mainstream America. And it’s rejuvenating and inspiring a new generation of healthy eaters.

Clean eating is a rather simple concept. Instead of focusing on ingesting more or less specific things, such as fewer calories or more protein, the focus is on being mindful of the food’s pathway between its origin and your plate. At its simplest, clean eating is about eating whole foods, or foods that are minimally processed, refined and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. Continue reading

Coming soon to your checkup: A check for depression

U-M Depression Center Executive Director Supports New Recommendation for Screening in the General Adult Population

stethbrainsmToday, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) put out a recommendation suggesting expanded screenings for depression in the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women.

It stated that “screenings should be implemented with adequate systems in place to ensure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and appropriate follow-up.”  This was an update of the 2009 USPSTF recommendation on screening for depression in adults.

John Greden, M.D., executive director of the U-M Depression Center, strongly endorses these recommendations. Read on for his thoughts:

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Assisted Ventilation Clinic offers patients outside the box care

Becky

Becky and Emily Houser

 

“When you’re in the hospital, you lie in a bed and everyone comes to you. Why can’t we do the same thing with our outpatient visits?”

Dr. Robert Sitrin was toying with this question for months when he finally decided he should bring the idea to Galen Toews, his division chief at the time.

“I went to Galen and explained the need for a clinic that could service some of our most complex patients and make their visits easier for them,” says Sitrin. “This would have never happened if the chief hadn’t supported me.”

The clinic Sitrin is referring to is the Assisted Ventilation Clinic run by the Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine team, a division of Internal Medicine at U-M.

The clinic is specifically designed for patients with severe chronic pulmonary (respiratory and lung disorders) that leave a patient needing a machine called a ventilator for assistance in breathing.

The clinic may be the first of its kind in the country for adults.  Similar clinics had been operating for several years in pediatric settings, but not specifically for adults. Continue reading

Three ways to fight the flu

Flu season is starting to hit hard, but it's not too late to prevent infection

2016fluseasonEven as this year’s influenza (flu) virus reaches its peak, there are still ways to lessen your chances of getting sick and — if you’ve already got it — reduces chances of spreading the flu to someone else. Here are three easy tips for fighting the flu:

Get a flu shot

It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Scheduling an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu and prevent spreading the infection. The CDC suggests everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year.

Protect yourself and prevent the spread of flu

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, and cover your mouth for coughs and sneezes. It’s also wise to avoid contact with sick people, as well as avoid sharing food, drink or utensils with anyone.

If you’re sick, avoid close contact with people

If you become sick with a flu-like illness, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. The CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol.

Children younger than 2 years old, adults 65 and older and people with certain medical conditions can be at higher risk for complications due to flu and should seek medical attention. Prompt treatment can mean the difference between having a mild illness versus something more serious.

Good to know

What is the Zika virus?

What pregnant women need to know

mosquito

News about a mysterious, tropical virus called Zika and its link to severe birth defects and newborn deaths abroad may be worrisome for many – especially pregnant women or those who are thinking about getting pregnant. The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a first-of-its-kind travel alert recommending that pregnant women avoid countries where Zika has spread, and world health officials have declared a global emergency to control the Zika virus.

A small number of cases have recently been reported in the U.S.  If you’re pregnant or have a loved one who is, you may understandably be concerned.
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