Hope & Harmony Headlines: Understanding Our Paranoia

Last Updated: 7 Aug 2019

August 8, 2019   •   Volume 12, Issue 32
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Understanding The Stories Created by Our Paranoia

“Horror” stories belong in movies, or in books—not in our minds, although for many of us, the ones created while we are in an episode of severe mania or depression can be at a level of intensity worthy of an Oscar.

Yet, unlike the validation an Oscar bestows, with bipolar there can be a corresponding psychosis—a disconnected view of reality—that can spark paranoia. And that can elicit severe anger, sadness or fear.

When manic, we may believe we have special powers, which can lead to reckless or dangerous behavior. When depressed, we may worry someone is trying to harm us, or that we’ve done something dreadful.

When that grandiosity and guilt presents as a mixed state, it is often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia, found a study by the University of Kansas Medical Center, bolstering prior research that concluded the same.

On top of that, paranoid thoughts and feelings often are related to events and relationships that then increase isolation and difficulty with getting help, according to Mental Health America.

To get needed support for when paranoia causes unusual behavior, Natalia S. David, Psy.D, recommends writing down symptoms and paying close attention to how our moods swing back and forth throughout the day or week.

“You can then use these notes when you meet with a mental health professional to discuss your treatment options,” she says.

bphope blogger Carin Meyer has learned that facing her paranoia head-on—instead of shutting her eyes to pretend it doesn’t exist—is the best way to deal with the fear.

“I sometimes try focusing on the conspiracy, and I add elements to the story until it becomes absolutely and recognizably ridiculous,” she says. “I carry it to a level where it is obviously unbelievable and somehow it makes me realize that my train of thought is not logical.” Read more >>

Color of Meat Has No Impact on Cholesterol

June 4, 2019, Oakland, CA—Contrary to popular belief, consuming red meat and white meat—such as poultry—have equal effects on blood cholesterol levels, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels.

“Our results indicate that current advice to restrict red meat and not white meat should not be based only on their effects on blood cholesterol,” says senior author Ronald Krauss, M.D., of Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. “Indeed, other effects of red meat consumption could contribute to heart disease, and these effects should be explored in more detail in an effort to improve health.” Read more >>

3 Tips to Help You Disclose Bipolar To Your Date

Telling a new partner about your diagnosis is scary. Lisa Little, MSc, a chartered psychologist in Calgary, Alberta, offers these guidelines for starting the conversation:

#1 Gather your courage.
It’s normal to feel nervous about telling a new partner you have bipolar disorder. Just don’t let fear stand in the way of sharing the information.

If it calms your nerves, practice what you’re going to say, but don’t get too caught up in finding the right words. Don’t lead in with a big buildup, either. “There is something I want to tell you …” will work as an opener. Read more >>

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