Contribute to a Great Woman!

December 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Posted in 2013, 2014, brain & spinal surgery, fundraiser, Kristin Bell-Murray, singer-songwriter, Singing, Song, songs, surgery | Leave a comment

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Hey Everybody! If you are reading this blog, you might know my name–Kristin Bell. Well, there is another Kristin Bell, Kristin Bell-Murray to be exact, who could really use your help. She needs brain and spinal surgery and is trying to raise the money to pay for it. Kristin and I met years ago…if I remember correctly, I was googling my name or something and I came upon her site. It was either that or she was one of the Kristin Bells who I friended on Facebook when I was trying to friend ALL of the Kristin Bells on FB. lol. Anyway, she lives in Canadialand, that great country up North, but they won’t pay for her surgery. HUGE BUMMER! She is a singer-songwriter, but has been somewhat sidelined by pain and problems relating to what she needs surgery for. So, if you are able and would like to help out with a donation of any size, here is her fundraising page: http://www.gofundme.com/5xc34w . Also, here is her blog if you’d like to find out more about her struggles/issues: http://kbm-idlehands.blogspot.com/

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Our 2013 Christmas Tree

December 22, 2013 at 5:33 am | Posted in 2013, bear tree, Bearistas, Bears, Christmas, Christmas tree, decoration, Hello Kitty, ornaments, Starbucks, Starbucks Bearista Bears, Starbucks Bears, tree, Trees | Leave a comment

IMG_4269This is our 2013 Christmas tree. It has a few Hello Kitties, but mostly it has my Winter collection of Starbucks Bears. :) There are also a few ornaments on it, but not many compared to how many ornaments we actually have! lol. The Winter Starbucks bears also include some of my Chinese New Year Bearista bears. :) Happy Holidays everybody! :)

 

Dear Interwebs, I’m Tired…

December 19, 2013 at 2:34 am | Posted in 2013, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, body parts, cheese, Dear Interwebs, Fat, Health, I'm Tired, Kristin Bell, legos, lightbulbs, motor oil, oompa loompa tanned, Rain, scissors, sharks, skinny, stuffed teddy bears, sumi ink, Trees | Leave a comment

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Dear Interwebs,
I’m tired of constantly debating women’s peoples’ bodies. I’m tired of it being the sole focus of so much conversation. I’m tired of “healthy” this and “unhealthy” that. I’m tired of “men want meat not bones” and “eww, gross, you are so fat!” I’m tired of all the health-nut trollers. And I’m even tired of trying to get the health-nut trollers to understand how they are not helpful. I’m tired of ranting about how fat is not the devil. I’m tired of all of the tired “debate” (*cough* yelling *cough*) about how obesity is the single biggest plague on society. I’m tired of having photo competitions to show who is sexiest—fat, skinny, fit, unfit, tall, short, round, normal bodied, differently bodied, tattooed, maimed, jaundiced, oompa-loompa-tanned, blonde, brown, lumpy, frumpy, dimpled, ab-rocking, make-overed, pierced, Barbie, grungy, blah blah blah, etc.—why can we NOT stop talking about bodies?!? Do we all have some form of body? Why yes, yes, we do. I think we can all pretty much agree on that. There are no brains in jars being pushed around on carts that I know of. Yes, our bodies are wonderful and amazing, but can’t we PLEASE PLEASE quit talking about them for five seconds?!? Every day it is a firestorm of shit about people are too fat, people are too thin, people are healthy, people look this way, people look that way, OMG Becky, LOOK AT HER BUTT!!!

Why are we all incessantly patrolling each and every body part of each other? Dude, it is sooooo out of control! Stop the madness! Calgon take me away! So, in an effort to alleviate some of this nonsense, here are a few examples of topics to discuss with your neighbor. You don’t have to discuss heavy world politics or anything (like anyone understands THAT anyway)! JUST SOMETHING ELSE, PLEASE! I’m going to try to make these topics as banal and non-controversial as possible.

Topic #1: Cheese.
Topic #2: Lightbulbs.
Topic #3: Sharks.
Topic #4: Scissors.
Topic #5: Legos.
Topic #6: Rain.
Topic #7: Motor Oil.
Topic #8: Sumi Ink.
Topic #9: Trees.
Topic #10: Stuffed Teddy Bears.

Now, there’s a list of ten things that are rarely discussed on Facebook and the rest of the interwebs. I’m sure if you try hard enough, you can think of many more things to add to the list, and so can I. The next time you are tempted to post about weight loss/gain, your new healthy cleanse/diet/lifestyle, someone else’s (or your own) boobs, thighs, butt, flabby/not flabby arms, how someone is too skinny/fat/unhealthy/healthy/lazy/beautiful/ugly, how the world needs to be changed because people are too fat/skinny/unhealthy/healthy/blah de de blah, etc., well, just consult this list of banal topics. Now, I am not talking about eliminating critiques of culture/body culture all together, but if all you (or I) am going to add is blah blah blah GARBAGE, ill-conceived nonsense and old tired tropes to the conversation, PLEASE put down the keyboard and WALK, CRAWL, SCOOT, LEAVE, GO AWAY FROM the computer! Interwebs, you are just making me too tired to even stare at the screen for hours on end! How dare you!

My Judy the Utie Fabric Made into Scrubs Hats! Woo!

December 8, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Posted in 2013, Art, Clothes, clothing, doctor, fabric, fabric design, funny, Geek, gift, Goofy, gynecology, Handmade, hat, hats, Health, heart, Hearty Arty, Judy the Utie, Kristin Bell, medical, nurse, OBGYN, scrubs, spoonflower, surgery, uterus | Leave a comment

Judi the Uti

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Oh my gosh you guys! So, I’ve been making fabric using spoonflower.com. And a nice woman who makes scrubs (medical) hats and things found my fabric and turned them into hats! Here is the link to her ebay store: http://www.ebay.com/usr/laserjill

The thought of doctors and nurses walking around with Judy the Utie on their heads just makes me smile inside and out! How wonderful! I’m including her pics of the hats! And here is the link to my fabric: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/1125213

I’m also going to be doing more fabrics with organs. lol. For example, Hearty Arty featured here: http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/2660407 (and below), which isn’t for sale yet, because I have to get a sample first. :) Soon though! :)

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My Octopus Fabric!

December 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Posted in 2013, Art, artist, design, design your own fabric, drawings, fabric, fabric design, Kristin Bell, octopus, sewing, sewn | Leave a comment

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I’m pretty excited about how my octopus fabric turned out! It is totally weird! lol I drew the picture of the octopus on my iPad, and then got it printed through Spoonflower: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2624270. I am not sure how I’m going to use the fabric just yet, but I thought I’d share it with you all! :) Oh, this is one yard of fabric.

New Surprise for My Psychiatrist: Dog Pillows!

November 16, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Posted in 2013, animal portraits, Animals, Art, arts & crafts, boxer, Cute, Decorating, design, design your own fabric, dog, Dogs, gift, golden retriever, Kristin Bell, pillow, Pillows, present, Psychiatrist, surprise | 2 Comments

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Well, I posted about my dog pics that I’ve been drawing. And I used spoonflower.com to print two of the dog portraits for my psychiatrist. These are his two dogs. Anyway, I made pillows! Yay! I think they are pretty cool! :) :) I hope he likes them!

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iPad Dog Drawings

November 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Posted in 2013, animal portraits, Art, artist, artists, ArtRage, arts & crafts, Cartoon, creative, Dogs, drawings, iPad Air, iPad Art, Kristin Bell, Pets, portrait, Video | Leave a comment

Update: I’ve decided to do custom pet portraits! You can find out how to order one at my etsy shop here:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArtByKristinBell/

DogLilyDogMikalaDogDixieDogLucySo, I’ve been doing some new drawings on my new iPad using ArtRage, and I made a little video about doing one of the drawings that I thought I’d share. I’m also posting four of the dogs that I’ve drawn so far. :)

Dear Abercrombie & Fitch, I Hope You Choke & Die On Your New Plus Size Clothing

November 12, 2013 at 12:41 am | Posted in 2013, Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrummy & Filth, Activism, Body, Body Image, capitalism, Clothes, clothing, Discrimination, Evil Empire, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Hate | Leave a comment

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Okay, so if you haven’t heard, Abercrombie & Fitch clothing is made of human assholes and excrement. Yes, you heard me right! Abercrombie & Fitch, who defended their NO PLUS SIZES policy by saying that they didn’t want uncool and fat people sporting their brand, is now going to carry some plus size clothing and accessories, because their stock has tanked. Let me just say to Abercrombie & Fitch, YOU CAN SUCK IT! I hope your company dies in the stinking ball of hate from which it was formed. Sure, there are other companies that also discriminate against fat people, but Abercrummy & Filth was very vocal about their hatred of us fatties and how we are not good enough to don their crappy wares. I would, of course, love to see all of the clothing companies that don’t include fatties in their agenda wiped off the planet, but I will settle first for the much belated death of Abercrummy & Filth.

Shadow On A Tightrope 30 Year Celebration!

November 9, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Posted in 1980's, 1990's, 2013, Activism, Anorexia, Aunt Lute Books, Bailey Coy Books, blog carnival, Blogging, Body, Body Image, Body Narrative, book, Books, Bulimia, Bullying, Discrimination, discussion, Equality, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, feminist, Gastric Bypass, Grrls/Women, Hate, Health, identity, Kristin Bell, library, Magic, Plus Size, Psychology, Reading, Scales, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Shadow on a Tightrope, Shame, Supersize, Support System, Weight, Weightloss, Weightloss Industry, weightloss surgery | Leave a comment
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Kaweria (mom) and Nayeli (daughter) reading “Shadow on a Tightrope”

This year is the 30th anniversary of the publishing of Shadow on a Tightrope by Aunt Lute Books, and there is a blog carnival this week for the book! I am so happy to be participating. I can’t think of a lot of books that have changed my life, but I would say that this one has. I was about 19 years old when I first picked up SOAT. I was bulimic and fat, and had always been told that being fat was the worst thing in the world to be. In high school I had starved myself down to a “normal” weight, but I gained back some of the weight by the time I was 19 when I was trying to starve myself again. I remember being in Seattle at Bailey Coy Books (now out of business) where I found the book, and later reading the book during my lunch break at the University Bookstore where I worked for a short time. I could not believe what I was reading! For one thing, there were these other fat people out there! Who knew?!? And some of them had endured horrendous surgeries that I didn’t know existed back then (which are all too common now). AND then they were saying that fatness wasn’t the horrid devil wrapped in bacon strips that I had always been told it was! WHAT?!? Did I read that correctly? I didn’t know it at the time, but the book forever changed my outlook on fat and fat activism. Maybe not all at once, but it all stayed with me. It found a little space in my brain, and when everyone else and all of society screamed at me to be thin I remembered the words in SOAT. I remembered (for once) that this experience of being fat was not something I had to do alone, and even though I didn’t stop the bulimia for years, and hated myself for being fat a lot, the messages from SOAT were there working their magic. And, I really think it was like magic that these words in a book could so profoundly alter my view of the world. Years later I stopped the bulimia, and I now consider myself to be a fat activist of sorts, and SOAT is still helping me to figure out how to live with my body and how to live with a world that hates my body. I am forever indebted to Aunt Lute and all of the people who put the book together. I hope that this book can get in the hands of more fat people just so they know that it doesn’t have to be like this, they don’t have to hate themselves, and they aren’t alone.

Blog About Mental Illness Disclosure on HealthyPlace.com

November 2, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Posted in 2013, Acceptance, Activism, Anorexia, Bipolar, Blogging, Borderline Personality, Bulimia, crazy, Denial, Depression, Discrimination, discussion, Eating Disorders, Ethics, HealthyPlace.com, Kristin Bell, Lunatic, Manic-Depressive, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ocd, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, stigma | Leave a comment

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Hey Everybody! I just wanted to let you know that I had a blog story published over at HealthyPlace.com. Here is the link: http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/yourmentalhealth/2013/10/30/is-not-disclosing-mental-illness-perpetuating-stigma/ . I hope you read the article and can participate in the conversation. I’m really interested to hear what people think! Thanks! :)

Let’s Talk About Suicide

October 13, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Posted in 2013, Bipolar, Bullying, Dead, death, Depression, Fat, Gay, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ocd, Panic Attacks, Queer, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Suicide | 2 Comments

Suicide

October 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Posted in 2013, Addiction, Alcohol, Alcoholics, Anorexia, Bipolar, Borderline Personality, BPD, Bulimia, Bullying, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, Counselor, Dead, death, Depression, Dyke, end of world, Fag, Fat, Fat Hatred, Gay, GBLT, gender, Homo, Homophobia, Homosexual, Hope, insanity, Lesbian, Lithium, Lunatic, Mania, Manic, Manic-Depressive, Mental Health, Mental Illness, ocd, Panic Attacks, Pansexual, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Problems, Psych Meds, Psycho, Psychosis, Queer, Schizophrenia, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, Sleep Disorders, Suicide, Support System, Surviving, Trannie, Trans | Leave a comment

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International Suicide Hotlines  USA Suicide Hotlines

 

 

Mental Illness Awareness Week!

October 10, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Posted in 2013, Activism, awareness, Mental Health, Mental Illness | Leave a comment

Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 5.56.39 PMIt is Mental Illness Awareness Week! I invite you to step outside of your box and talk to people about mental illness whether or not you have a mental illness yourself!

You Know Your Symptoms the Best!

October 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, Anxiety, Anxiety Attacks, Bipolar, Borderline Personality, BPD, Brain, Bulimia, Compulsive Eating, Compulsive Exercising, DBT, Depression, Eating Disorders, EDNOS, Education, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Happy, Health, Injections, Kristin Bell, Lithium, long-acting injectables, Mania, Manic, Manic-Depressive, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, negative symptoms, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, ocd, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, self-care, Self-Harm, Self-Injury, stigma, Stress, Support System, symptoms, treatment, Zoloft, Zyprexa | Leave a comment

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Recently I made a medication change (with the help of my psychiatrist), and as you might know from your own interactions with meds sometimes it can cause issues to develop. I was happily strolling along for a couple of months with a few bad days here and there, and then I started to notice the bad days piling up more often. I was really irritable, sad, became unmotivated, and suicide starting sounding better. I became alarmed, because I knew something was going wrong, but how was I supposed to explain to my psychiatrist that “irritable” is a symptom for me?

The problem with mental illness is that even when we fit into a diagnosed category of disorder, we all have our own unique symptoms that we need to pay attention to. I have schizophrenia, but for years I didn’t appear “sick enough” to most doctors, because they expected me to be talking to the walls and completely disheveled. There were times when I was talking to the walls and completely disheveled, but the doctors rarely saw me during those times, so they figured I wasn’t that bad off. Because I could communicate relatively well most doctors dismissed schizophrenia as a diagnosis.

Over the years I have come to realize what my symptoms are (for the most part), and now that I am doing better I can advocate for myself more effectively. However, it still isn’t easy to call up my psychiatrist and say “wow, I’m extremely irritable, this isn’t normal for me, and I need to increase my meds.” Most psychiatrists won’t believe that “irritable” is in any way related to schizophrenia, but for me (and many others) it is. I don’t become psychotic over night, and I don’t believe that I should have to be talking to walls in order to get the help I need. I also don’t believe that people should have to try to kill themselves before mental health professionals take people seriously.

Unfortunately, a lot of mental health professionals won’t take a person seriously unless they are debilitated to the point of needing to be hospitalized. So, as people living with mental illness or people who love people with mental illness, we have to be very proactive about getting the help we need before it turns into a crisis. Think about the good days and what you are like on those days, and compare them to the bad days. What are YOUR symptoms? How do things manifest in your day to day life? You might want to write down what you know your symptoms to be, and take that list with you when you talk to your doctor. It isn’t easy or fun, but we have to advocate for ourselves even when we are not doing our best.

In the end, you know your symptoms the best. Remember that you aren’t “crazy” for wanting to feel better and you aren’t making up excuses. Be pragmatic and straightforward, and get the help you need.

Freeze Congressional Pay During a Shutdown!

October 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Posted in 2013, congress, freeze pay for congress, petition, USA government shutdown | Leave a comment

Hey everybody from both sides of the aisle. I think we can agree on this. Sign this petition to freeze congressional pay during a government shutdown. Seriously, does anyone think they should be getting paid besides them?

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/constitutional-amendment-54.fb37?source=s.fb&r_by=7346780

Karaoke Ani Difranco’s Hypnotized

August 27, 2013 at 3:28 am | Posted in 2013, Ani Difranco, Hypnotized, Karaoke, Kristin Bell, Music, Music Video, Singing, Song, songs | Leave a comment

Update on Abilify Maintena Use!

July 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Bipolar, crazy, drugs, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, insanity, Kristin Bell, long-acting injectables, Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, negative symptoms, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, Psychology, Psychosis, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Science, symptoms, treatment, treatment-resistant | Leave a comment

Happy 4th Crazy Photoshop Pic! haha

July 4, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Posted in 2013, crazy, Fourth of July, July 4th, Photoshop, picture | 1 Comment

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Giant Frog Fabric Pillow

June 13, 2013 at 12:19 am | Posted in 2013, Animals, Art, artist, arts & crafts, fabric, fabric design, Frog, pillow, Pillows, sewing, sewn, spoonflower | 2 Comments

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I made this frog pillow from fabric I made thru spoonflower. I am going to give it to my friend Victoria who works at the clinic where I get my injections. She has to look at my butt a lot, so she totally deserves something special!!! hahaha. Here’s the frog fabric page: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/2088013.

 

Zoey in Her New Bow Tie!

June 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Posted in 2013, bow tie, cat accessories, cat bow tie, Cat Break, Cat Stories, Cats, Kitties, Kitty, Sweet Pickles Designs, yellow, Zoey | Leave a comment

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I couldn’t resist putting up this pic of Zoey kitty with her new bow tie. If you’d like one for your own kitty, head on over to Sweet Pickles Designs! :)

Modern German Film Website!

June 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Posted in 2013, College, DDR, Deutsch, East Germany, Film, foreign language, GDR, German, german film, learning through film, modern german film, school project, the berlin wall, University, website, West Germany | Leave a comment

GermanFilmStrip

http://moderngermanfilm.wordpress.com/

Hello! I would like to introduce you to the Modern German Film website I put together this term! Other people in the class helped locate some of the articles, and I put the rest together! I’m pretty happy about all the work we did! Enjoy! :)

Sample Modern Art History Paper

June 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Posted in 2013, abstract expressionism, Ann Eden Gibson, Art, art history, College, Essay, modern art, modern art history, University, writing, writing sample | Leave a comment

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Above is the link for my Modern Art History paper for this term:

It is based on the book Abstract Expressionism: Other Politics by Ann Eden Gibson.

I hope you enjoy it!

Spoonflower Now Has Giftwrap!

May 27, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Posted in 2013, Animals, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Cat Leap, Cats, Children, circles, Colorful, craft, creative, Cute, design, design your own fabric, dots, drawings, for sale, gift wrap, green, Happy, Illustrated, iPad Art, Kawaii, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, Panda, panda bear, paper, spoonflower, stripes, unique wrapping paper, wrapping paper | Leave a comment

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In addition to wall decals, fabric, and wallpaper, Spoonflower.com now has gift wrap! I got two of my designs in the gift wrap. The first is the panda in circles, and the second is the small kitties playing! I LOVE the gift wrap! It is so much fun! Check it out if you get a chance and create your own too! :)

Hello Abilify Maintena!

May 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, Abilify Maintena, Anti-psychotics, Chemistry, drugs, extended release, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Health, Injections, Kristin Bell, long-acting injectables, Mental Health, Mental Illness, negative symptoms, neuroscience, neurotransmitters, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosis, Risperdal, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Seroquel, stigma, symptoms, Trazadone, treatment, treatment-resistant, Trilifon, Zyprexa | Leave a comment

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Some of you may remember that I have been getting Haldol Decanoate injections for the past 13 years or so in order to keep my schizophrenia in check. I wrote about it here: https://kristinbell.org/2012/06/14/the-haldol-injections-after-10-years/. Recently Abilify Maintena, the long-acting injectable form of Abilify came onto the market. After discussing it with my doctor, we decided to give it a try. I have been taking the oral form of Abilify along with the Haldol Dec injections for about two or three years with no adverse side effects, and it has really improved my functioning as well. The long term risks of side effects like tardive dyskinesia are much higher with the Haldol than with the Abilify which is one reason why we decided to switch. Abilify also has fewer metabolic side effects (things like less weight gain are associated with Abilify). We are taking a giant leap into the great unknown. I got my first injection of the Abilify tonight. It comes in an injection kit with sterile water that must be mixed with the powder Abilify and then injected. The Haldol is an oil-based mixture that is also injected. I am hoping to also have less sedation side effects from the Abilify. I’m just crossing my fingers that all will go well. I will keep you all updated as time passes. It is also interesting to note that Abilify Maintena has been approved for much longer in many other countries, but it just became available in the US. The US also lags behind many European countries in the administration of injectable forms of antipsychotics. Personally, I think that all people with chronic schizophrenia should give injectable antipsychotics a try. The injections don’t hurt and it is much easier to manage than oral medications. I’m including some pics of what my injection kit looks like too. It looks complicated, but it really only took about 4-5 minutes to administer including reading the directions! I’m saying Hello to Abilify Maintena and goodbye to my old friend Haldol Decanoate!

Schizophrenia and Negative Symptoms: Q&A with Dr. Potkin

May 20, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Posted in 2013, Abilify, affective flattening, alogia, Anti-anxiety meds, Anti-depressants, Anti-psychotics, asociality, avolition, Biology, Bipolar, Brain, Depakote, Depression, dopamine hypothesis, Dr. Steven G. Potkin, drugs, Education, Genentech, Geodon, Haldol, Haldol DEC, Haldol Decanoate, Health, insanity, Irvine (UCI), Kristin Bell, Lithium, Mania, Manic, Medicine, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Mood Stabilizers, N-methyl-D-aspartate, NAMI, negative symptoms, neuron, neuroscience, neurotransmitters, NMDA, NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis, Paranoid Schizophrenia, Paxil, Prescription Meds, Psych Meds, Psychiatrist, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Denial, Psycho, Psychoactive Substances, psychoanalysis, Psychology, Psychosis, Risperdal, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, Science, Seroquel, stigma, Support System, Surviving, symptoms, synapse, sz, Therapist, Trazadone, treatment, treatment-resistant, Trilifon, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Zyprexa | Leave a comment

negsymp I have some great news! I was able to ask Dr. Steven G. Potkin, Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Medical Center, some questions regarding the negative symptoms of schizophrenia. He is also the Robert R. Sprague Endowed Chair in Brain Imaging. It was a brief, by email interview, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you all! The following is the Q&A:

Kristin: What are negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: “Negative” does not refer to a person’s attitude, but instead to a lack of characteristics that should be present. Symptoms include reduced amount and content of speech, even when encouraged to interact (alogia), lack of emotional and facial expression (affective flattening), diminished ability to begin and sustain activities (avolition), decreased ability to find pleasure in everyday life (anhedonia) and social withdrawal (asociality). [1] [2]

Negative symptoms can appear a few years before other symptoms appear in young adulthood in the so-called “prodromal” stage of the illness.[3] Unfortunately these symptoms often go undetected because they manifest themselves as issues common among teenagers: social withdrawal, problems with school work, irritability, depression and sleeping problems.[4]

Kristin: Do all people with schizophrenia have negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: No, but at any point in time, negative symptoms can affect approximately 50 percent or more of people with schizophrenia.[5] [6]

Kristin: How do negative symptoms affect a person with schizophrenia? How do they affect their family and friends?
Dr. Potkin: Research suggests that for people living with schizophrenia, negative symptoms are key factors in poor quality of life as well as problems with personal hygiene, school and work performance, maintaining relationships, interacting within the community, and participating in social activities. [7] [8] [9] [10]

For caregivers of people with schizophrenia, negative symptoms may cause more burden than do other types of symptoms as they see their loved ones life isolated and lacking in meaning or joy. [11]

Kristin: How are negative symptoms currently treated?
Dr. Potkin: Current treatments for schizophrenia focus on reducing characteristic symptoms and can include both medication and psychosocial interventions.[12] No effective medication treatment has yet been approved for specific treatment of negative symptoms. Despite progress in the medication side of treatment, there are still unmet needs in terms of symptom control. A large study found that despite treatment, approximately 57 percent of people receiving treatment for a schizophrenia spectrum disorder still had at least one negative symptom.[10]

Kristin: What is the research that Genentech is doing regarding negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: Researchers at Genentech are pursuing new treatment strategies for schizophrenia, including increasing N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity in the brain in order to target the mechanism that may be a common link between the positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder.[7] [9] [11] [12]

Specifically, through a clinical trial program, Genentech is looking at an investigational medication for people with schizophrenia, including people who experience mostly negative symptoms of schizophrenia, despite taking medication. For more information, please visit www.SearchLyteschizophrenia.com

Kristin: How can family and friends of someone with schizophrenia help someone with negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: Caregivers can talk to doctors about interventions including medication, psychosocial rehabilitation (work, school, relationships), medical care and wellness, and therapy (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy and peer support groups), as well as ongoing clinical trials.[13] They can work with physicians to find the medications and non-medicine therapies that are right for their loved one. Different medicines may have different side effects. Caregivers can also consider programs from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) including:

• NAMI Hearts and Minds

– Online, interactive wellness initiative

www.nami.org/heartsandminds

• NAMI Peer-to-Peer

– Free, 9-week educational course on recovery

www.nami.org/peertopeer

• NAMI Connection

– Recovery support group for adults

www.nami.org/connection

Kristin: Do scientists know the biological mechanisms involved in negative symptoms? If so, what are the areas of the brain and/or mechanisms involved in negative symptoms?
Dr. Potkin: In the 1970s, the “dopamine hypothesis” of schizophrenia emerged, suggesting the biological basis of schizophrenia was an excess of signaling by dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain. This theory, however, could not explain negative or cognitive symptoms.[6] In the late 1980’s a newer theory suggested positive, negative and cognitive symptoms could all be due to reduced function of NMDA receptors in the brain. This theory is now known as the “NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis.”[6] [7] [8] [9]

Researchers are pursuing new treatment strategies for schizophrenia, including increasing NMDA receptor function in the brain in order to target the mechanism that may be a common link between the positive, negative and cognitive symptoms of the disorder.[7] [9] [11] [12] It is thought that NMDA receptor activity is an important pathway in psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia.

End of article.

*Note: I would like to thank Dr. Potkin for helping me put together this interview. This research is very exciting and I hope that negative symptoms can be tackled in this decade! I know how debilitating they can be!

______________________________

1.     Gard DE, Kring AM, Gard MG, Horan WP, Green MF. Anhedonia in schizophrenia: distinctions between anticipatory and consummatory pleasure. Schizophr Res. Jul 2007;93(1-3):253-260.

2.     Strauss GP, Gold JM. A new perspective on anhedonia in schizophrenia. Am J Psychiatry. Apr 2012;169(4):364-373.

3.     Stahl SM. Stahl’s Essential Psychopharacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications. 3rd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2008.

4.     National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. 2009; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 7, 2012.

5.     Kirkpatrick B, Fenton WS, Carpenter WT, Jr., Marder SR. The NIMH-MATRICS consensus statement on negative symptoms. Schizophr Bull. Apr 2006;32(2):214-219.

6.     Bobes J, Arango C, Garcia-Garcia M, Rejas J. Prevalence of negative symptoms in outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders treated with antipsychotics in routine clinical practice: findings from the CLAMORS study. J Clin Psychiatry. Mar 2010;71(3):280-286.

7.     Ho BC, Nopoulos P, Flaum M, Arndt S, Andreasen NC. Two-year outcome in first-episode schizophrenia: predictive value of symptoms for quality of life. Am J Psychiatry. Sep 1998;155(9):1196-1201.

8.     Kirkpatrick B, Fenton WS, Carpenter WT, Jr., Marder SR. The NIMH-MATRICS consensus statement on negative symptoms. Schizophr Bull. Apr 2006;32(2):214-219.

9.     Kurtz MM. Symptoms versus neurocognitive skills as correlates of everyday functioning in severe mental illness. Expert Rev Neurother. Jan 2006;6(1):47-56.

10.   Milev P, Ho BC, Arndt S, Andreasen NC. Predictive values of neurocognition and negative symptoms on functional outcome in schizophrenia: a longitudinal first-episode study with 7-year follow-up. Am J Psychiatry. Mar 2005;162(3):495-506.

11.   Provencher HL, Mueser KT. Positive and negative symptom behaviors and caregiver burden in the relatives of persons with schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. Jul 25 1997;26(1):71-80.

12.   National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. 2009; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 7, 2012.

13.   National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. 2009; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-index.shtml. Accessed July 7, 2012.

Unica Zürn, Hans Bellmer Presentation

March 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Posted in 2013, Academic, anagrams, analysis, Art, art history, artist, artists, Bipolar, bondage, College, death drive, drawings, female, fetish, Freud, Hans Bellmer, History, Homosexual, Kristin Bell, Manic-Depressive, Mental Health, Mental Illness, obsession, outsider art, Photography, presentation, psychoanalysis, Psychology, repression, schizoaffective disorder, Schizophrenia, school, Surrealism, Surrealist, Unica Zürn, University, Video, YouTube | Leave a comment

Zoey’s New Bow Tie!

March 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Posted in 2013, bow tie, Cat Break, Cat Stories, Cats, Fashion, Happy, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, Oregon, Pink, Portland, Sweet Pickles Designs | Leave a comment

Just got this bow tie for my kitty Zoey from my favorite cat shoppe, Sweet Pickles Design. Check out their new website here: http://www.sweetpicklesdesigns.com/

Pickles is the cat that inspired the creation of the company. What’s even better is that they are based in my own area—Portland, Oregon! Yay for Sweet Pickles!

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The Pink Brigade!

February 12, 2013 at 12:41 am | Posted in 2013, Art, artist, arts & crafts, Cats, craft, cuddle, Cute, dolls, fabric, Handmade, Happy, hearts, Hello Kitty, Kawaii, Kids, Kitties, Kitty, Kristin Bell, pig, piggy, pillow, Pink, plushies | 2 Comments

More handmade dolls, made by me! :) I made these for a cute little girl who going through a tough transition time right now. :) They have different coordinating fabrics on the back. :) This time I experimented with using little pre-made ribbon flowers instead of all bows. I think it looks great! :) What do you think?

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Gnome Skirt I Made! First Ever Skirt I’ve Sewn!

February 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Posted in 2013, Clothes, clothing, craft, creative, Cute, Extended Plus Size, fabric, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, gnome, Handmade, hobby, Kristin Bell, Plus Size, scarf, sewing, sewn, skirt | 2 Comments

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I made this skirt from scratch! My first ever! Not so fashionable for some people, but I think it is funny and cute! hehe The front has gnomes in white and the back has gnomes in green. Along the bottom are little checkered bows. :) I just sort of eyeballed the whole thing, so I was really nervous it wouldn’t work or fit, but it did! Yay! :) I did make the matching scarf a few weeks ago before I decided to make the skirt. :)

More Free EBooks!

February 6, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Posted in 2013, Books, Christmas, Cooking, eBook, Free, Gina Meyers, Harry Potter, Jonathan Gottschall, Kristin Bell, Libboo, The Storytelling Animal, Unofficial Harry Potter Happy Christmas Cookbook | Leave a comment

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Here are two more links for free ebooks through libbo. If the links don’t work, then they have expired or someone else has already claimed the free ebooks! Otherwise, first come first serve! Up for grabs: Harry Potter Unofficial Happy Christmas Cookbook and The Storytelling Animal. I have read the Storytelling Animal and it was pretty interesting.

For the Storytelling Animal: https://www.libboo.com/freebies/ef103b22-6e96-11e2-ac2f-1231391c65c1

For the Unofficial Harry Potter Christmas Cookbook: https://www.libboo.com/freebies/ef0e9574-6e96-11e2-ac2f-1231391c65c1

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