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From the International Bipolar Foundation, click to visit our website





Greetings all!


This month we celebrate May as Mental Health Month. We ask each of you participate in some way; volunteer, educate someone, educate yourself, take a survey or register for a research study, make a donation of time, treasure or talent, reach out to someone in need... there are so many ways to help.  


FOLLOW US! International Bipolar Foundation has expanded our efforts to provide the most up to date news and information about bipolar disorder.


Our FaceBook  page offers an online meeting place where you can learn and comment about mental illness news and reports, research, legislative action and related developments. Become a fan now!


Our Twitter @IntlBipolar feed delivers links to breaking news, useful website tools and IBPF updates. Start following us today!


Lastly,  our website  brings the most comprehensive source of  information.



Muffy Walker


P.S. Feel free to also contact me at anytime Muffy



May 15, 2011  
If you are in a crisis,
please call:
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Join Our Mailing List
Bipolar Links  

International Bipolar Foundation  



5:00 - 7:00p.m. (5:00p.m. social, 5:30-7:00 p.m. lecture and Q&A)
Sanford|Burnham Medical Research Institute, Building 12 Auditorium
10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego, CA 92121  Directions


Thursday, June 9: Guest Speaker; Dr. DeSilva, Dr. Shanbhag & Jeannine Loucks MSN 


 DBI flyer



Please R.S.V.P. to Ashley Reitzin:

For more information on the Depression Bipolar Institute, go here: www.dbinstitute.org 


IBPF & JFS Present 


Featuring Margaret Trudeau

She will share her journey of acceptance, recovery & hope, with the goal that others will reach out and get the help they need. 


Lunch & Lecture  

Thursday, May 26; 11:30 - 1:30, Hyatt Regency La Jolla 

mgt trudeau
Tickets: $45 (prior to May 12), $50, thereafter. Contact Ashley if you need scholarship assistance: areitzin@gmail.com
Register online here or call 858.637.3231

The law is very clear that parents have the right to participate in the meeting where their child's IEP is developed.

...provisions are important to encourage parent participation in the IEP process, which is an important safeguard for ensuring FAPE under the Act.

Parents are free to provide input into their child's IEP through a written report if they so choose. (Commentary to the Federal Regulations page 46678)

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you will learn:

* about your active parent role as a member of your child's IEP team
* some simple but effective tools for asking questions and making suggestions at team meetings
* how to be an equal participant in IEP meetings
Don't rely on sample IEP goals! Learn how to write individualized goals that reflect your child's needs.

Creating IEP goals can be a pleasure with a team that knows how to design a good educational program for your unique child.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you will learn an important first step in developing your child's IEP - writing good IEP goals. Educational Consultant Dr. Ruth Heitin explains how to design SMART, well-formed IEP goals based on good educational practice.
Child Find requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities.

Compliance with the Child Find mandate is not optional - it's mandatory.

In Compton v. Addison, the school district failed to identify or evaluate Addison who was failing academic classes, functioning years behind her peer group, and suffering from severe, disabling anxiety.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, you'll learn about Child Find - what it is, who it is designed to protect, how it is to be implemented. Read a new article by Pete and Pam Wright about the case Compton Unified School District v. Addison.

google grant

International Bipolar Foundation is a recipient of a Google Grant award.

The Google Grants program supports organizations sharing Google's philosophy of community service to help the world in areas such as science and technology, education, global public health, the environment, youth advocacy, and the arts.

Designed for 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, Google Grants is a unique in-kind advertising program harnessing the power of Google AdWords advertising product. Google Grants has awarded AdWords advertising to hundreds of non-profit groups whose missions range from animal welfare to literacy, from supporting homeless children to promoting HIV education.

Go to Google & type in key words associated with bipolar disorder. The more "hits" we get, the more free ad space we get:-)

Can You Help?

Here are some studies & surveys to help those with bipolar disorder:


Educational and Behavioral Consultants

Enhancing the Lives of Individuals with Different Abilities.

Specializing in:
Autism, Asperger's, PDD-NOS, MR, CP, Down Syndrome, Bipolar, Landau-Kleffner, TBI, Rubinstein-Taybi, ADD/ADHD, Developmental Delays and other Learning Disabilities.

*Positive Collaboration
*High Energy and Fun Loving Individuals
*Serving San Diego and surrounding Counties

An educational and behavioral consulting company which provides in home and classroom consulting, one-to-one modification services; parent training, tutor/nanny/staff training and IEP coaching.

Our mission is to assure the highest quality of life possible for all individuals served.
DeeDee Spangler, M.S.
(619) 822-6340
(858) 880-1451 fax

Disability Rights California needs to hear from you!

Disability Rights California, California's Protection and Advocacy system, is developing its Advocacy Plan. This plan shows the priorities and activities that we will work on during the next year.

Answer the questions below and tell us if you agree that these issues are important to you or if there are other priorities or activities you want Disability Rights California to consider for this next year.Click here for survey


Limitations Of The Evidence Base For Prescribing Aripiprazole In Maintenance
Therapy Of Bipolar Disorder
The evidence base for the prescribing of aripiprazole in maintenance treatment
of bipolar disorder is limited to a single trial, sponsored by the manufacturer
of aripiprazole, according to a rigorous appraisal of the evidence for its use
led jointly by Alexander Tsai of Harvard University, Boston USA, and Nicholas
Rosenlicht of the University of California San Francisco, USA. more here
Diet Link To Bipolar Disorder
New research reveals that there is a link between diet and bi-polar disorder,
with sugar, caffeine and a poor diet having a negative effect and increasing the
mood swings of sufferers.  This comes at a time when there have been reports in
the media of a strong increase in the number of people becoming affected by
bipolar disorder. more here 
Mom Or Dad Has Bipolar Disorder? Keep Stress In Check
Children whose mother or father is affected by bipolar disorder may need to keep
their stress levels in check. A new international study, led by Concordia
University, suggests the stress hormone cortisol is a key player in the mood
disorder. more here
Experts question long-term efficacy of Abilify for bipolar disorder
Researchers cited a lack of evidence for the effectiveness of Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Abilify as maintenance therapy for bipolar disorder. Only one randomized, double-blind clinical trial evaluated Abilify's long-term benefits, and that study had limitations, researchers noted in the journal PLoS Medicine. "Frankly, I think it's an embarrassment to the profession that [Abilify] has been accepted so uncritically for this indication," said psychiatrist Alexander Tsai, one of the study's lead researchers.
Prevalence of liver disease in veterans with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
This study in veterans shows that the presence of mental illness and its comorbidities represents a significant risk factor for the diagnosis of liver disease, including hepatitis C virus (HCV) and alcohol-related cirrhosis. more here
Suicide attempts are associated with worse quality of life in patients with bipolar disorder type I
Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) and a history of previous suicide attempts seem to have a worse quality of life (QoL) than did patients who never attempted suicide. Poorer QoL might be a marker of poor copying skills and inadequate social support and be a risk factor for suicidal behavior in BD. Alternatively, poorer QoL and suicidal behavior might be different expressions of more severe BD. more here
The role of asenapine in the treatment of manic or mixed states associated with bipolar I disorder Research indicates that asenapine is generally well-tolerated, and that asenapine is efficacious and not inferior to olanzapine in the treatment of mixed or manic episodes associated with Bipolar disorders (BD) type 1 in the short-term and long-term. more here
When should mood stabilizers be withdrawn due to lack of efficacy : Some methodological considerations
The authors propose some preliminary criteria which may help clinicians evaluating whether a mood stabilizer is being useful or not, dividing possible outcomes and suggesting subsequent therapeutic steps in the optimization of a patient's treatment. more here
Misdiagnosing bipolar disorder - Do clinicians show heuristic biases
Journal of Affective Disorders, 05/09/2011
Wolkenstein L et al. - It seems as if specific symptoms might not be of so much relevance as assumed. Instead, clinicians seem to follow the additive model when making diagnoses.
204 Psychotherapists were presented with a case vignette describing someone with a BD and were asked to make a diagnosis.
Symptoms and the total number of criteria varied systematically within the vignettes but each still fulfilled enough diagnostic criteria to be diagnosed as bipolar.
Almost 60% of the clinicians made misdiagnoses.
A correct diagnosis did not depend on the specific criterion of 'reduced sleep' but on the total number of criteria.
The causal explanation as well as therapeutic attributes did not significantly influence diagnostic decisions.
The study showed that a misdiagnosis can lead to severe consequences concerning the treatment recommended by clinicians.
Common Proteomic Changes in the Hippocampus in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and Particular Evidence for Involvement of Cornu Ammonis Regions 2 and 3
Overall, similar protein changes were observed in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and for the first time indicate that the most prominent proteomic changes occur within the hippocampus in cornu ammonis regions 2 and 3. The cytoskeletal protein septin 11 and the cellular trafficking process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis are implicated by study. more here
Association between Major Mood Disorders and the hypocretin receptor 1 gene
The authors study suggests that the HCRTR1 gene or a linked locus may modulate the risk for Major Mood Disorders and supports recent studies suggesting an involvement of hypocretin neurotransmitter system in affective disorders.  more here
Aripiprazole in the Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: A Critical Review of the Evidence  and its dissemination into the scientific literature
A single trial by Keck et al. represents the entirety of the literature on the use of aripiprazole for the maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. Although careful review identifies four critical limitations to the trial's interpretation and overall utility, the trial has been uncritically cited in the subsequent scientific literature. more here
The impact of general intellectual ability and white matter volume on the functional outcome of patients with Bipolar Disorder and their relatives
Multiple regression analyses revealed that IQ, total white matter volume and a predominantly depressive illness course were independently associated with functional outcome in Bipolar Disorder (BD) patients, but not in their relatives, and accounted for a substantial proportion (53%) of the variance in patients' General Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores. There were no significant domain-specific associations between cognition and outcome after consideration of IQ. more here
Bipolar Disorder, A Serious Psychiatric Disorder, Often Misdiagnosed By
Professionals And Unrecognized By Loved Ones
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depressive disorder or manic depression,
is a psychiatric disorder that causes extreme shifts in mood, energy, activity
levels, and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. more here
Women with Mood Disorders More Prone to Osteoporosis
Women who suffer from major mood disorders and those who experience both psychosis and a substance use disorder (SUD) have a significantly increased risk for osteoporosis, research shows. more here
Children of Bipolar Parents Have Highly Reactive Stress Hormone

Children who have at least one bipolar parent respond to everyday stress with higher levels of cortisol than the average child, according to a new international study led by Concordia University. more here




Healthy Minds Luncheon


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

US Grant Hotel

11:15am - 1:00 pm


For more information call Margaret Hernandez



Click here for flyer & more information  



You're invited! Caring Helpers Youth Leadership Summit 2011


youth summit



"Mental Health, and Learning Disabilities in Children"

  Monday, July 11, 2011 San Diego

It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success, with Rick Lavoie, M.A., M.Ed.
Rick Lavoie is an internationally known expert on Learning Disabilities in children, with numerous national television appearances including The TODAY Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America and ABC Evening News. Rick serves as a consultant on Learning Disabilities to several agencies and organizations including Public Broadcasting Service, New York Times, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Girl Scouts of America, Child Magazine and WETA.

Extensive studies have examined students with learning disabilities who have experienced chronic failure in mainstream classes and adults with learning problems who have been unsuccessful in the work place. Invariably, these studies have clearly demonstrated that this failure is due to the person's social skills, not his academic skills. The majority of people with learning disorders have marked difficulty perceiving, understanding and responding to social situations. Social isolation, rejection and humiliation are often the result. This seminar will explore the relationship between learning disabilities and social incompetence and will identify the specific causes for specific social skill deficits. Field tested strategies will be presented that can be used by parents, teachers, coaches and caregivers to assist students in gaining peer acceptance and developing age-appropriate social skills.

Youth with Mental Health Disorders: What EVERY Adult Should Know, with Lisa Boesky, Ph.D.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, San Diego
Dr. Boesky is a world renowned psychologist, speaker and author. She has appeared on CNN Headline News, O'Reilly Factor, Anderson Cooper, The Early Show, 20/20, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox News and in print in USA Today, Family Circle, US News & World Report and many more.

Today's youth are often over, under, or mis-diagnosed- and medication to control their moods and behavior is prescribed at the highest rates ever. It is essential for parents and youth-serving professionals to understand young people with mental health disorders to ensure the right youth receive the right services. Learn how Depression, Dysthymia, Bipolar Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, ADHD, Trauma, Psychosis and Self-Injury/Cutting specifically manifest in children and adolescents- as well as practical tips (dos & don'ts) for managing young people with the above diagnoses. Fast-moving, practical presentation with videos, case examples and audience participation.
Conference Location:
Handlery Hotel and Resort
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA  92108
Registration & Conference information here
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WIN a 1-Year Subscription to bp Magazine OR esperanza

Terms & Conditions:  Offer Valid from May 3, 2011 through
May 31, 2011 ("offer period") in the United States and Canada for
print or digital subscriptions.  Offer Valid world-wide for digital
subscriptions only. Offer limited to new forum members. Magazine
subscriptions are only for the forum that you join and are NOT
interchangeable.  bp Magazine and esperanza reserve the right to
terminate, cancel or modify this offer at any time.  Not valid with
previous purchase.  If currently a magazine subscriber a 1 year
subscription (4 issues) will be added to your current subscription.
Void where taxed, restricted or otherwise prohibited.
Support and Resources Can Help
Those Diagnosed with a Mental Illness

Since its launch in 1949, National Mental Health Month has been a time to educate and inspire others about mental illnesses, which affect about one in four adults. Thankfully, information and helpful tools to help manage and monitor symptoms of mental illnesses are available.

Focused on major depressive disorder (also known as depression) and bipolar depression, Take on Depression can be a helpful resource designed to support, educate, and inspire those with these conditions. Sponsored by AstraZeneca, this site encourages people to "Take on Depression" by having an open and honest conversation with their doctor about their treatment plan and progress.

Take on Depression offers visitors useful information about depression and bipolar depression. This site offers more than just information - it contains tools such as a mood tracking diary to help people with depression recognize symptoms, manage a treatment plan, and have better informed conversations with their doctor. Also, the site features inspiring true stories from people describing how they successfully manage their depressive symptoms. 

As with other mental health conditions, many people who are diagnosed with depression and bipolar depression find the symptoms can interfere with their thoughts, behavior, mood, activity, and physical health. Online communities, such as the Take on Depression Facebook page provide valuable support and the opportunity to engage with other individuals affected by depression and bipolar depression.

Though depression and bipolar depression may be lifelong conditions that can be difficult to manage, taking control is possible with the right support and resources. National Mental Health Month serves as a reminder to support, educate, and inspire those affected.


club logo
club excite
Free Xcite Steps Spring Fling
Time: Sunday May 22nd
Where: Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach CA 11-1pm
This is the last day for Summer Camp Sign Ups
Xcite Steps Annual Spring Fling is quickly approaching. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other families, meet the XciteSteps mentors and summer camp social coaches and have fun. Feel free to stop by to meet the Xcite Steps staff and parents at our Spring Fling Event. Looking forward to it!

Contact Program Director Pam Machala
Phone: 858-703-7305
Email: pmachala@excitesteps.com
I am very excited to announce that we are planning an overnight
Universal Studios trip from June 4th to 5th. We will have a kids group
and a teens/adult group. This is a great opportunity for parents to
get a free weekend and for their child to have an amazing time with
our great staff. Universal studios has arranged special passes that
allow us to not have to wait in line.  We will be leaving on Saturday
at 12:30pm and returning around 8pm on Sunday. We have arranged large
and comfy family suites at a hotel with swimming pool, walking
distance to Universal and close to other fun activities for our
Saturday night adventure.
Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

We only have a certain amount of spaces available the deadline for our
sign ups will be May 23rd. The cost is $395 which covers the XciteSteps
staff at our usual 3 to 1 ratio, hotel accommodations,
transportation, staff food and activity fees.  In addition to the $395
each child will need to bring $150 to cover their own activity fees
for the weekend (Tickets to Universal, food, other activities we will
be doing Saturday and Sunday).

If you are interested please call Pam Machala to reserve your spot 858
703 7305 or pmachala@excitesteps.com
Hello Friends of ClubXcite,

Summer camps for children and teens with ADHD, Bipolar, mood disorders,
and social or behavioral difficulties.

Our Summer Camps are filling up fast! We only take a max. of 12 kids per camp, so avoid disappointment and sign up early!
Families can plan around vacation time and choose the weeks they need

Tennis and Sports Camp (ages 6 - 15) - 9:00am to 12:00pm
Adventure Camp Rise Above (ages 7 - 15) - 12:30pm to 4pm

Jr Counselor Training Program (ages 15 to 21)


Bipolar Teens - Experience, Advice and Tools
By Marcia Purse, About.com Guide

Teenagers who have bipolar disorder face many challenges. They often need individual education plans (IEPs) or other specialized arrangements to help them - and their teachers - deal with aspects of BP that impact them in the classroom and in social situations. Unlike kids with a condition like ADHD which is widely recognized, the stigma attached to bipolar disorder may make it difficult for these teens to tell their friends about it. These articles address those issues and others.  here


Can Your Mood Stabilizer Interfere With Birth Control?

By  Marcia Purse, About.com Guide  April 28, 2011
The answer is yes, some of them can. Carbamazepine (sold as Tegretol and other brand names) is especially known for causing contraceptive failures, and because this drug also has a higher than normal risk for causing birth defects, secondary methods of birth control such as condoms and, possibly, increasing the dosage of birth control medication is recommended.
Trileptal (oxcarbazepine) may also interfere with contraceptives. Birth control pills containing estrogen or progestin, contraceptive progestin injections, and contraceptive implant forms of progestin may not work properly if you take them while you are taking oxcarbazepine. Topamax (topiramate) has a risk of decreased contraceptive efficiency as well as carrying a strong warning about birth defects.

These drugs are anticonvulsants, drugs used to treat seizure disorders. According to Epilepsy Action, Depo-Provera contraceptive injections can speed up bone loss, as can some anti-epileptic drugs, which may lead to osteoporosis. Thus, if you take any anticonvulsant and are considering using Depo-Provera injections, seek advice about osteoporosis from your doctor.

In the case of another anticonvulsant, Lamictal (lamotrigine), birth control can affect how well the mood stabilizer works. If you are starting to take lamotrigine, make sure to tell your doctor if you are taking birth control medication; if you are already taking Lamictal, tell your doctor right away if you start - or stop - taking birth control.

These aren't the only possible interactions between bipolar drugs and contraceptives. For example, birth control pills can increase the concentration of some benzodiazepines, including Xanax (alprazolam) and others, which may lead to heightened effects.

The bottom line: if you are taking or want to take contraceptives, always make sure the doctor who prescribes your bipolar medications knows about it, and that the doctor prescribing the contraceptive knows about your bipolar medications. It's also worthwhile to talk to your pharmacist about possible drug interactions.



college & bp
Preventing Suicide on College Campuses
College can be a stressful time, and the numbers bear that out. According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2008, young adults age 18 to 25 were more likely that adults age 26 to 49 to have had serious thoughts of suicide. more here 

Mental Health Awareness 2011 Cartoon-A-Thon, Are You a Hero?
Mental Health Awareness 2011 Cartoon-A-Thon, Are you a Hero?
I'm resting a bit and getting ready for Mental Health Awareness Month which starts in just 5 days!  In 2008, I started the Mental Health Humor Project's Cartoon-A-Thon.  The Cartoon-A-Thon focuses on you, the Mental Health Hero! Each day of of May's Mental Health Awareness Month, I'll draw a caricature of the featured Mental Health Hero and post it here, and also on the Cartoon-a-Thon website.

My goal is to highlight 31 Mental Health Heroes by drawing them and letting them tell you their mental health recovery story.  So, dust off your cape, take off the mask and let's have some fun bringing awareness to serious issues! To become a hero, all you need to do is comment below...and when I e-mail you, have 3 photos and your recovery story ready to send me.  There are 22 spots left.  Peers that send me the photos and stories have a better chance then just telling me you want to be in this year's Cartoon-A-Thon.

Your recovery story can be about Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder or any type of mental illness recovery story.  You can submit it as an audio file, video or text... Limit on the text is 500 words.

Send it to: cartoon-A-thon@mentalhealthhero.com  


Please join us on Thursday, May 19, from 5:00-6:30 pm, for our Open House! Come tour our new campus, meet our leadership team and find answers to your questions. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP and gather more information on our website at  FusionSanDiego.com  We look forward to seeing you!

Tx Afv  




As part of our recent website revision, Dr. E. Fuller Torrey is updating the informative backgrounders (previously called "briefing papers") published on the Treatment Advocacy Center site. The following  paper is newly revised and available to read or download now. Do Antipsychotic Drugs Change Brain Structure? 


42 NAMI San Diego members have come together to write a book about their shared experience in the mental health journey and this is our story.  In this book, authors share moments of great pain to great joy and      stories range from personal lived experience with a mental illness to    having a sibling, child, or parent with a mental illness.  The goal was to have at least one story that each person can relate to. 
BUY THE BOOK AT: www.namisandiego.org




Lunch & Lecture with Margaret Trudeau co-hosted by IBPF & JFS

Thursday, May 25, 11:30a. Hyatt Aventine

For more information please contact Ashley Reitzin 


A Day with Patrick Kennedy hosted by IBPF  

October 6, 2011


2011 U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress:

November 8-9, 2011

Las Vegas

Conference dates: November 7-10

The Venetian Hotel & Congress Center


The 2011 Prospectus and sponsorship information will be available next month. To view current information and documents, please visit https://www.cmellc.com/psychcongress/exhibitor_sponsorship.html 


About the International Bipolar Foundation
International Bipolar Foundation is a not for profit organization based in San Diego whose mission is to eliminate Bipolar Disorder through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support services for all affected; and to erase associated stigma through public education.
Visit us online for more information: www.internationalbipolarfoundation.org
We have a new Community Page on FaceBook.

Please join us on Facebook and "Like" us and help us spread the word.
Find us on Facebook

A Word About Funding


Please note that International Bipolar Foundation does not represent any pharmaceutical company or give any speeches for a pharmaceutical company nor does our site receive advertising dollars from any company.