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From the International Bipolar Foundation, click to visit our website




Greetings all:  It's hard to believe, but the holidays are already upon us. For some, this means laughter, family, and love. For others, it brings stress, loneliness, and depression.

International Bipolar Foundation is here for you. If you need a buddy, a referral for a provider, or some helpful coping hints, please don't hesitate to contact us.

My mother grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts, home of the Pilgrims. Thanksgiving was an important holiday for us. We all made "apple turkeys", had special name cards with Thanksgiving riddles, and celebrated all we were thankful for. Here is a picture of my mom serving Thanksgiving dinner to the troops.

To our American friends, warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday.

To your health,

Muffy Walker


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

Our new mailing address: 8895 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 105-360 San Diego CA 92122  



November 22, 2011  
If you are in a crisis,
please call:
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Join Our Mailing List
Our Lecture Series are now available for viewing on our web site!! Click here
  • The 5 Most Common Mental Issues Teens Face - Dr. Thomas Jensen
  • Going to College with Bipolar Disorder - Dr. Russ Federman
  • Runaway Mind - Maggie Reese
  • A Novel Approach to Treating Bipolar Disorder - Depression Bipolar Institute
  • Irwin Rosenfarb: Family Treatment for Bipolar Disorder  





Our Next Lecture: Thursday, December 8
Dr. Miklowitz is Professor of Psychiatry in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the UCLA Semel Institute, and a Senior Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University. He completed his undergraduate work at Brandeis University and his doctoral (1979-1985) and postdoctoral (1985-1988) work at UCLA. His research focuses on family environmental factors and family psychoeducational treatments for adult-onset and childhood-onset bipolar disorder.
Dr. Miklowitz has published 225 research articles and book chapters on bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and six books. His articles have appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the American Journal of Psychiatry, the British Journal of Psychiatry, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Biological Psychiatry, the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. His book with Michael Goldstein, Bipolar Disorder: A Family-Focused Treatment Approach (Guilford), won the 1998 Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy. His book "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide" has sold over 200,000 copies, and is now out in a second edition.

5:30-6:00- SOCIAL 6:00-6:45-LECTURE 6:45-7:00- Q & A  

Location: Sanford Children's Research Center, Building 12 Address: 10905 Road to Cure, San Diego 92121  


Save the date for these lectures in La Jolla:       

    January 12, 2012- Maricela Estrada - strong advocate, motivational speaker

    February 9, 2012- Sarah Frampton - educational advocate -

    March 8, 2012- Carol Battaglia - attorney - special needs trusts

    April 12, 2012- John McManamy - consumer, activist 

    May 10, 2012- Suzanne Fiala, MD - pediatrician who has bp

    June 14, 2012- Lis Eyler, PhD - research project

International Bipolar Foundation Announces
Our Free Webinar Series

Monday, December 12 - 9:00am (PST) with Dr. Thomas S. Jensen
Medication Treatment of Bipolar Disorder: A 4-Phase Approach

Dr. Thomas Jensen is a psychiatrist in private practice. He is board certified in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He specializes in general and neuropsychiatry treating children, adolescents, and adults, but is especially esteemed for his work with patients with bipolar disorder. Additionally, he is board certified in the relatively new speciality of Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry. He serves as the Medical Director of International Bipolar Foundation.
Instructions for registration will be sent in a separate email
(Space is limited to 100)


These holiday cards are available for you to send this season.
  • Donate any amount ($5 & up) in someone's name 
  • Send us their name & address
  • We'll send the card from you, it's that easy!

    joy card 


Therese's Corner  

Therese Borchard 


7 Quick Ways to Calm Down  


Associate Editor

I'm easily overwhelmed. When my kids' exuberant screams reach a decibel level my ears can't tolerate, when Chuck E., the life- size "rat" at the pizza place, starts doing his jig while flashing arcade lights blind me, or when I open my email to find 100 messages-I feel a meltdown coming on. Which is why I came up with seven quick ways to calm myself down. Read the rest of the blog here 



Cancer Incidence in Patients With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder: A Nationwide Population-Based Study in Taiwan, 1997-2009
Among schizophrenia patients, overall cancer risk varies inversely with age at diagnosis and disease duration. Besides, gender-specific cancer risks differ between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. here

Mental health care in the UK neglected for decades
Response to Government's 32m investment in children and young people's mental health
Help needed for study into bipolar
Oldham people with bipolar disorder are being asked to take part in the biggest ever study of the condition of its kind.
The Manchester mental health and social care trust has secured a 2 million grant from the National Institute of Health Research to carry out the work. here
Lee Harrison lee 

 I am a  37-year-old male living in the North of England.  I am married to Julie and have two children from my first marriage: Kiera, aged 10 and Cameron, aged 7. They live with their Mum but stay with us every other weekend and school holidays. It may sound twee but my main interest is Julie and my children. I enjoy giving my children new experiences and watching them grow and develop as a result. I much prefer spending our money on them experiencing events than having possessions. Julie and I enjoy travelling, going to the theatre, eating out and spending time with family. When I'm not with Julie or my children I enjoy reading broadly (mainly science, psychology, mental health, philosophy and crime thrillers) and listening to music - mainly seventies rock. I also enjoy writing; I wrote a book as a wedding present for Julie and I have written blogs, on and off, for ten years. My earlier blogs lacked focus but my current one is much narrower in scope, as I chose to focus on Bipolar Disorder. I also wrote extensively for two degrees in my early twenties. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder 7 years ago but had been on and off anti-depressants from my late-teens. Four years ago I was sectioned and spent 3 months in a mental health unit. I have spent a lot of time researching Bipolar Disorder and reflecting on the condition but I try not to let it dictate who I am. Certainly, it affects my life and what I can do, but I have many more interests, as detailed in this brief bio. I try to live my life to the full - as far as my condition allows - and am lucky to have a supportive wife who helps when Bipolar takes hold.

MaryBeth Smith

Marybeth Smith was diagnosed with Bipolar II in 2007 at age 26 after 10 years of being misdiagnosed with Depression. Once the denial lifted, she found the strength to finally be open with her illness. In 2010, after her 7 yr old son was also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, she created the website www.askabipolar.com in hopes of helping others understand what it's like to suffer from mental illnesses. This past July, Marybeth wrote the Amazon Kindle Best Seller, Fall Girl. Her goal is to teach the world not only what bipolar does to the person suffering with the illness, but also those who are close to them. She is currently working on the sequel which will be released in early 2012 while also pursuing a degree in Child Psychology. In her limited spare time, she designs websites and writes articles for bpHope and The International Bipolar Foundation as well as volunteering for NAMI Michigan.

Lisa Colburn

Hi my name is Lisa and I'm from Birmingham in the United Kingdom. I have studied Journalism and then went on to study Psychology and Sociology. My work background was in Homelessness and Mental Health.
I have always adored Literature and have studied extensively in my own time, as well as enjoying writing my Blog, short stories and Poetry.
The last few years I have struggled with my health and have had to break from studying and work. I have though continued to keep up to with Key areas of Mental Health and
Wellbeing whilst at home. As my health slowly improves I hope to be able to return to my studies.

Courtney Rundall

Courtney is a freelance blogger and stay-at-home mommy. Her personal blog can be found at www.courtneyrundell.com. She holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an MA in Playwriting from the University ofCalifornia, Santa Barbara. An award-winning playwright, Courtney's plays have been produced in Hollywood, Santa Barbara and Gold Hill (Nevada).
Courtney was a copywriter for over ten years, writing content for many different industries including health, beauty, retail, and entertainment. Her copy has been seen in OK Magazine, Fit Pregnancy, L.A. Times, and Star Magazine.
Clean and sober for thirteen years, she's been a speaker for over eight of those years. When Courtney was diagnosed bipolar in 2005, a life she never new was possible began. Her objective is to inspire and spark hope in others now that she's finally a free woman.
She lives in Valley Village with her husband, two amazing dogs, and bouncing baby boy.

In & Around San Diego san diego

Xcite Steps Winter Camp

This Winter we are offering five full days of fun activities when everyone is on Winter break from school. We are offering a morning tennis camp option and an afternoon adventure camp option. Families can do a half day or the full day option.

Xcite Steps Winter Camp provides opportunities for children and teens
who experience disabilities to make friends in a natural but coached
environment. We use fun community events to facilitate interaction
between the kids and teens and our small group environment and 3 to 1
ratio allows for the much needed personalized attention and individual
social coaching. Please see the attached flyer for the events and

For more detailed information regarding a specific age group and/or
any questions please contact Pam Machala at (858)703-7305 or
pmachala@excitesteps.com. Go here to see all our other programs: www.clubxcite.com.

Mental Health Services, Inc. 

Program Highlights

Caring Helpers: This extensive training program was designed to mentor and train both youth and adults to be outstanding leaders in their community and help participants recognize their own strengths while developing leadership skills.  Families Forward Wraparound: In this program, mental health professionals and peer support partners team up with youth and families to find creative solutions to the unique challenges the family is facing.  Fred Finch Youth Center: Program is meant for youth facing challenges with mental illness, trauma, loss, homelessness, and poverty. The goal is to support the individual's journey to a healthy and productive life in the community.  Harmonium Youth /Partner Program: The Family/Youth Partner Program is a service for clients who are referred by the County of San Diego Southeast Child & Adolescent Mental Health Outpatient Clinic. Family and Youth Partners work as a team with the clients (children, youth, and families) to help, not only identify challenges, but also link with resources to help them reach their goals.


Family Supportline: 1-877-470-LINE (5463)

Youth Talkline: 1-877-450-LINE (5463)   



Life after high school: have disability, considering college?
More and more high school students with disabilities are discovering that the opportunities to attend community colleges and universities are expanding. Whether you are looking for campus accessibility, assistive technology, scholarships, an active disabled students' program or guidance from students who have already done it, there are many resources to tap into. Some schools specialize in reaching out to students with a particular disability. One organization focuses on linking students with disabilities to international study programs. here


Healing After Suicide 

November 19: If you have lost someone in your life to suicide, join American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, in "Healing After Suicide." This free community event is designed to help survivors connect with others who have survived the tragedy of suicide loss and express and understand the powerful emotions they experience. After the broadcast, survivors will have the opportunity to attend break-out groups based on type of loss (e.g., parent, child, spouse). Facilitators will assist in providing a more intimate setting for survivors to share their experiences in dealing with their loss. For information and to register: Please contact Danielle Glorioso at #(858) 246-0767 or email dglorioso@ucsd.edu Location: Qualcomm Auditorium  

bpmag logo

Ways to not wheeze
Newswise, October 28, 2011-Given the common co-occurrence of bipolar disorder and asthma, holiday parties can be difficult for more reasons than social anxiety and tempting alcoholic concoctions. "During the holiday season you're going to be exposed to allergens," says allergist Dr. Myron Zitt, MD. "Be aware of where the problems lie so you can deal with them. And then, have a good time!"

Medicate ahead of time: Dusty decorations, holiday candles, a guest's perfume ... since you can't avoid allergens, your best bet is to take your antihistamine before you go.
Steer clear of smoke: The cozy fire in the hearth can make your lungs wheeze. Go mingle in another room.
Don't let the greens make you blue: Christmas trees and other holiday greenery are associated with several allergens, and the artificial kind can be covered with dust. Again, find another place to mingle. (And be sure to thoroughly clean your own tree before putting it up.)


Drug Development Process Could Be Simplified By Chemical Breakthrough
A new chemical process developed by a team of Harvard researchers greatly
increases the utility of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) in creating
real-time 3-D images of chemical process occurring inside the human body. here
Diagnosis Of Bipolar Disorder Improved By Specific Criteria
Use of criteria such as family history of mania and early onset of illness
resulted in the diagnosis of 31 percent more cases of bipolar disorder in
individuals experiencing a major depressive episode, according to results of a
large international study reported this year. here
How horses can help with poor mental health
Potential To Predict Outcome Of Psychotic Episodes Using Brain Scans

Computer analysis of brain scans could help predict how severe the future
illness course of a patient with psychosis will be, according to research funded
by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. here
How Schizophrenia Gene Linked To Psychiatric Disorders Impairs Brain Development
Researchers have discovered how the gene variant DISC1, which is linked to
schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, impairs a particular signalling
pathway in neurons that is crucial for normal brain development. here
Do Fresno County gardens improve mental health? here
JBRF received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") to begin the clinical trial of a pharmaceutical agent to treat the symptoms of bipolar disorder in children.
The clinical trial will study the efficacy and safety of the use of intranasal ketamine in the treatment of children ages 6-12 with bipolar disorder and an identifiable biological marker associated with body temperature dysregulation.
Adjunctive long-acting risperidone in patients with bipolar disorder who relapse frequently and have active mood symptoms
Exploratory analysis of changes in overall clinical status and depression/mania symptoms in subjects with symptomatic bipolar disorder who relapse frequently showed improvements in each of these areas after treatment with RLAI, adjunctive to a subject's individualized treatment. Prospective controlled studies are needed to confirm these findings. here
Adjunctive nutraceuticals with standard pharmacotherapies in bipolar disorder: a systematic review of clinical trials
Bipolar disorder (BD) treatment outcomes may potentially be improved by additional use of certain nutraceuticals with conventional pharmacotherapies. However, caution should be extended in interpreting the large effects of several isolated studies, as they have not yet been replicated in larger trials. here
Facial emotion recognition and its relationship to subjective and functional outcomes in remitted patients with bipolar I disorder
These findings demonstrate deficits in experiencing and recognizing emotions in BD patients who are in remission and underscore the relevance of these deficits in the psychosocial context. here
Beating Bipolar: exploratory trial of a novel internet-based psychoeducational treatment for bipolar disorder
Beating Bipolar is potentially a safe and engaging intervention which can be delivered remotely to large numbers of patients with bipolar disorder at relatively low cost. It may have a modest effect on psychological quality of life. Further work is required to establish the impact of this intervention on insight, knowledge, treatment adherence, self-efficacy and self-management skills. here
Could the use of energy drinks induce manic or depressive relapse among abstinent substance use disorder patients with comorbid bipolar spectrum disorder
Bipolar Disorders, 11/04/2011 Rizkallah E et al
These clinical observations support other case reports that suggest the existence of a potential correlation between excessive energy drink consumption and relapse among psychiatric populations.
Development of guidelines for caregivers of people with bipolar disorder: a Delphi expert consensus study
The guidelines provide comprehensive introductory information, suggestions, and resources for caregivers. Access to relevant information may help caregivers to cope constructively with the person's bipolar disorder and their caregiving situation. The content of the guidelines could be used to help formulate a stepped-care approach to supporting caregivers, ranging from basic information and pamphlets to brief training courses and specialized family or caregiver interventions based on need and accessibility. here
Cognitive manic symptoms associated with the P2RX7 gene in bipolar disorder
Bipolar Disorders
There is an association between specific symptoms of bipolar disorder and the P2RX7 gene. This finding may open up new approaches to elucidating the neurobiology behind bipolar symptoms. here
Four mood stabilizers commonly induce FEZ1 expression in human astrocytes
The authors data suggest that FEZ1 may play important roles in human astrocytes, and that mood stabilizers might exert their cytoprotective and mood-stabilizing effects by inducing FEZ1 expression in astrocytes. here
The transcription factor SP4 is reduced in cerebellum of bipolar disorder subjects: control by depolarization and lithium
The authors study provides the first evidence of altered SP4 protein in the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex in bipolar disorder (BD) subjects supporting a possible role of transcription factor SP4 in the pathogenesis of the disease. In addition, these finding that SP4 stability is regulated by depolarization and lithium provides a pathway through which neuronal activity and lithium could control gene expression suggesting that normalization of SP4 levels could contribute to treatment of affective disorders. here
Pediatric bipolar spectrum disorder and ADHD: comparison and comorbidity in the LAMS clinical sample
The high rate of bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSDs) in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) reported by some authors may be better explained as a high rate of both disorders in child outpatient settings rather than ADHD being a risk factor for BPSD. Co-occurrence of the two disorders is associated with poorer global functioning, greater symptom severity, and more additional comorbidity than for either single disorder. here
Creativity and mental disorder: family study of 300 000 people with severe mental disorder
A familial cosegregation of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with creativity is suggested. here
Glucocorticoid Sensitivity in Mood Disorders
The main findings in mood disorders are higher mean cortisol levels in hair samples and a higher CAR, showing a hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal(HPA) axis. Data clearly indicate genetic changes, along with epigenetic changes which influence the set-point and regulation of the HPA axis. Early trauma, as well as influences in utero, appears to be important. here
Harvard Researcher Puts Spotlight on Suicide here
Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies Launch Healthy Minds Initiative to Spur Neuroscience Collaboration and Support Millions Suffering from Brain Disorders
Read the article & watch the video here
Researchers in 'most powerful genetic studies of psychosis to date'
The research was conducted by over 250 scientists from more than 20 countries - one of the largest collaborative efforts in psychiatry to date. here
UT Medicine working to advance bipolar disorder research
Mental health professionals with UT Medicine San Antonio have launched a new study aimed at designing treatments for bipolar disorders that will be relevant and culturally sensitive to Hispanics. here
Topiramate Plus Quetiapine Cut Cannabis Use in Bipolar Teens
Topiramate in combination with quetiapine was well tolerated in adolescents who had bipolar disorder and reported frequent cannabis use, based on a 75-patient study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. here


 Getting Through the Holidays Reducing Stress for Your Physical and Mental Health

Website "SSRI Stories" Distorts the Connection Between Violence and SSRI Antidepressants
mental health ministries

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season.  It is a time when many families and friends gather together.  There are also many expectations.  Despite our good intentions, the holidays rarely turn out as planned. Instead of focusing on meeting some unrealistic standard, we can focus on the things we are thankful for in our lives.  We can give thanks for increasing awareness of mental illness, new medications on the horizon and for the persons and communities that have been supportive and caring throughout the year.

The holidays from the Christian tradition challenges us to go outside the box to find those forgotten, ignored or turned away from life's inns.  The eight day Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights, reminds us of the light that continues to shines in our times of darkness and despair.  The real miracle is that when we give thanks by reaching out to others in need, we find our lives are blessed in ways we never expected.


This holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy, parties and gatherings with friends and family.  But the holidays can be a stressful time under the best of conditions.  The commercialization of the holiday season bombards us with unrealistic expectations especially in this troubled economy.  The brochure, Mental Illness: Coping with the Holidays, provides helpful self care tips for persons living with a mental illness, tips for families and friends and tips for communities of faith.  You can download this resource from the Mental Health Ministries website in English or Spanish. www.MentalHealthMinistries.net 
Dear Friend & Advocate

November is Military Family Month - a time to remember our service members and their families.
Military families who have children with special needs face unique problems. Ensuring their children receive the education they are entitled to by law is sometimes difficult.
Although military children may not be educated in the U.S., they are still entitled to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).
In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will find comprehensive information, tools, and resources to help military families meet the needs of exceptional children.
IDEA 2004 includes a section about developing IEPs for children with special factors. Your child's IEP team is required to consider special factors that affect your child's ability to learn.

What are these special factors? Did the IEP team give individualized consideration of these factors when your child's IEP was developed or revised?

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will find what special factors need to be considered by the IEP team, how the IEP must address these factors, and learn what the federal law and regulations require.

Psych Central 

Brain Scans, Algorithms Used to Predict Risk of Future Psychosis here
The Vicious Cycle of Poverty & Mental Health here
4 Holiday Health Strategies: How to Maintain Your Well-Being During the Holiday Season here
Depression When Young Increases Risk for Cardiac Mortality here



NAMI's Peer-to-Peer Recovery Educational Course: This Peer-to-Peer educational course focuses on the recovery process for individual's with a serious mental illness. It is designed for any individual who experiences mental illness to develop skills to grow. 

States Embrace Changes to the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Block Grant




San Diego Holiday Open House Mental Health Systems - Home Office 9465 Farnham Street San Diego, CA 92123
Friday, December 9, 2011 - 11am - 3pm
Light Refreshments Served 


Networking Group for Professionals with Bipolar and Depression

Sunday, 11/13/11 from 12-2 p.m. at the Kensington Community Church on Marlborough just north of Adams. RSVP to attend using Meetup.com or call my cell phone at 619-218-2040.
Michiko Lindsey-Schroder

The pros and cons of using one-to-one instructional assistants will be presented, as well as practical tips on how to tell if this is an effective intervention for your child.  In addition, an overview of the evaluation process for special circumstances instruction assistance (SCIA) will be reviewed.

Date:              SATURDAY, November 19, 2011
Time:              9:30 am - 11:30 am
Location:       North County Regional Education Center 255 Pico Avenue, San Marcos, CA
Forensic Series at MSPP in Boston is hosting two workshops with Dr. Lisa Firestone

Suicide: What Mental Health Professionals Need to Know 
December 2, 2011 9:00am - 4:30pm - Earn 6 CE Credits

A Developmental Understanding for Assessing & Treating Violent Individuals 
December 3, 2011 9:00am - 4:30pm - Earn 6 CE Credits
Click here to register
Save the date for our free monthly lectures in La Jolla:
December 8th, 2011- David Miklowitz: Bipolar Disorder: Eight Strategies for Coping as an Individual and a Family  


Carlsbad Marathon: January 22: IBPF is one of the designated charities for the 2012 marathon.  

Sign up here  

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 promote care and support services; 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.
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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.