Monday, April 03, 2006

Come visit the new and improved Patty Duke website!

As of April 1, 2006, the blog link you are currently on is only the archives to the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness. In order to be current, please link to and redirect your favorites to:

Sunday, March 26, 2006

A Massachusetts Profile in Courage

Story and photo copyright The Boston Globe, 2006

Nothing to hide - The Boston Globe: "For nearly a decade, state Senator Robert A. Antonioni was willing to do almost anything to hide the fact that he was depressed. Now, he is speaking out about it, to residents in his Central Massachusetts district, to television reporters, and next week on the airwaves, in a public service announcement in which he declares, ''I have a mental illness.'"

(ed. note: this story might require a free registration if you don't have one already, but it's well worth it for access to the Globe)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Inmate's Death Part of Bigger Issue

Polk Inmate's Death Part of Bigger Issue | "Hundreds of inmates in the Polk County jail system -- almost one in five -- are on medicine for mental disorders. The Special Needs Unit, or SNU, can house 30 men and 16 women, a fraction of the 400-plus on medication.

And the number who take psychotropic medications isn't a true picture of those with mental illnesses. Others aren't on medication for a variety of reasons.

As many as three-fourths of people arrested who have mental illnesses aren't on their medications when they come to the jail, said Derek Zimmerman, mental-health liaison for the jail."

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Elder Statesman Gets Ideas for UF Public Service Center

This blurb is included in a larger story about Senator Bob Graham's post-elective work. Many people of prominence have been directly affected by Bipolar Disorder (or Manic Depression) in one way or another. The trick is to learn from the lessons and try to do good things where you can. | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, Fla.: "Bob and William Graham are the surviving siblings. Phil Graham graduated from UF in 1936 and went on to law school at Harvard. He ended up in Washington, D.C., where he became publisher and owner of the Washington Post, the husband of Post publisher Katharine Graham and a force in national politics.

Phil Graham suffered from manic depression, and after a particularly troubled period, shot himself to death in August 1963. He was 49 and Bob Graham was 26.

'That was a tragic and very sad period,' Graham said. 'He'd been ill for some time."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

NAMI Grades the States

Patty Duke was on hand this week at a press conference in Washington, DC to announce the publication of NAMI's most important report on the state of mental health affairs in our country. The report is comprehensive, detailed, and damning.

There is much work to be done still, and this report makes that clear. Download the entire report, read the executive summary, or check in directly to see how your state fared.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Researchers Say Teens With Bipolar Disorder Suffer Differently Than Adults - February 20, 2006

All Headline News - Researchers Say Teens With Bipolar Disorder Suffer Differently Than Adults - February 20, 2006

"Providence, RI (AHN) - Children and teenagers with bipolar disorder suffer from the illness differently than adults do. Researchers say their symptoms last longer and swing more swiftly from hyperactivity and recklessness to lethargy and depression.

Martin Keller, M.D., lead investigator in the study says, 'Bipolar disorder severely impairs functioning and has a high rate of related psychiatric and physical health issues, such as anxiety and substance abuse.'"

Link to Dr. Keller's site: Brown Medical School

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The secret is out...finally!

This is a nice story written special to the Chicago Tribune, by Irene Levine a well-respected freelance journalist. Click through the site above to read it, with free registration required.

(brief excerpt here)

..."A recent addition to the landscape is a new quarterly glossy magazine bp (bipolar) Magazine ( with the tag line: "the healthy living magazine for bipolar." Tucked between its covers are celebrity profiles, tips for coping and research updates.

In her own effort to tackle the stigma and misinformation that keep many from seeking help, Duke has just launched a Web log and an Online Center for Mental Wellness . And with the availability of improved treatments for mental illnesses, both pharmacological and psychosocial, Duke's timing couldn't be any better.

"For people with bipolar disorder who are shy or embarrassed about their illness, a blog or message board can literally be a lifesaver," said Karen Sheaffer, 41, of Ephrata, Pa. Sheaffer has been able to work as a psychiatric technician at the same hospital for 17 years, but she has had plenty of ups and downs. "Every day I struggle with issues related to being bipolar. What I'm learning is that many of those issues: work conflicts, relationship issues and problems with sleep are things that every other person deals with at some time," Sheaffer said. "The difference is one of degree."

Jessica Lynn Gimeno, 21, of Des Plaines is in her junior year at Northwestern University. She was only 14 when she was diagnosed. "I had a strong intuition that my emotions were erratic," Gimeno said. "I had done some research on bipolar disorder. Even when I lost friends due to the illness, I refused to get help," she said.

"The Web site gives people the privacy to ask burning questions without being subjected to stigma," Gimeno said. "Patty makes it clear that bipolar disorder is a real illness, a chemical imbalance.""

Gene linked to bipolar disorder


SYDNEY, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- "Australian researchers found those with a gene linked to being bipolar, or manic-depressive, are twice as likely to develop the disease.

Scientists at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney and University of New South Wales, have discovered the first risk gene specifically for bipolar disorder.

"We are the first group in the world to take a multi-faceted approach to identify a bipolar risk gene -- we used a number of families, unrelated patients, and therapeutic drug mouse models. Each of these three lines of investigation led us to a gene called FAT," said lead author Dr. Ian Blair."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

One call, four continents

This isn't going to be a post that enlightens, educates, or links to anything. This evening we had the first conference call sponsored by the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness.

We had initially intended to email the blog group and get a few people on the call to work out the kinks, understand how to use the conference call technology, and think through how to roll out a call series that would continue to shed light on mental health.

I figured if we announced it on Monday without too much fanfare we'd have a few folks who noticed and would join us to chat for a while.

I had no idea that we would hit 100 participants and that I'd have to institute a waiting list that grew bigger than I had conceived of.

We had people from the US, from Canada, from Australia, and yes, God bless her, we had an RSVP for the call from Mother Country Ireland!! Don't know if the nutty time difference found her on the call or not, but to get a response from four continents tells us the need, the desire, and the passion for information, support, and love on the topic of mental health and Bipolar in particular are huge.

Thank you everyone who participated in tonight's call!

I learned a lot, chief among the lessons is that I need to manage time better so that I don't have to rush the end of the call so as to avoid a cutoff! I apologize to those who might have thought the end was abrupt - you should know that the entire call was unscripted and raw and we'll try to give a little more notice next time!

Anyway, thanks to all who participated, and we are hoping to make this call, and all future calls, available to friends of the wellness center online. We have technical hurdles to overcome, but we're working on it, and I assure you that every media that becomes available Patty asks us to be sure to deploy the information out!

We welcome your thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and OFFERS OF HELP WITH CONTENT with great relish.

Happy new year, thanks, and God Bless!


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Teens Screened for Mental Health

Bainbridge Island Review

By RHONA SCHWARTZ Staff Writer, Jan 11 2006

"School, health district officials hope to steer youths away from self-destructive behavior.

"For three years, Leigh Manheim has canvassed tirelessly for a way to identify high school teens who harbor suicidal thoughts. Today – as Bainbridge High School becomes the first school in Kitsap County to offer TeenScreen, a program designed to help prevent suicides and identify other mental health concerns in teens – she is happy the community has achieved that goal.

"'Leigh’s insistence and the support of the school board, the high school, Kitsap health district and Kitsap Mental Health made this possible,' said Clayton Mork, assistant superintendent of Instructional Support Services for the Bainbridge Island School District. 'I am so pleased that this is taking place. A lot of good things have come from it.'

"Developed at Columbia University, TeenScreen is a voluntary survey that indicates 'the likelihood that a teen is at risk for suicide or may be suffering from another mental disorder, such as general anxiety, manic depression, eating disorders or obsessive compulsive behavior,' said Kelly Chatwood, whose position as the Kitsap County Health District’s Suicide Prevention Coordinator was established by Dr. Scott Lindquist, Kitsap Health District director."

Monday, January 09, 2006

Join Patty Duke in a special telephone conference call this Friday!

Join Patty Duke in a special telephone conference call this Friday!

Patty is involved in several new projects and initiatives – most notably a new phase of her ongoing efforts to help people who cope with mental illness. She will share some personal stories and details of current projects during this live telephone event – this event is happening under the auspices of the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness, and the public is invited. We do encourage an RSVP since there will be only 100 lines available. You can RSVP by email at: - please type "RSVP" in the subject line.

During this call you will have the opportunity to:
* Learn more about Patty’s activities with her Online Center for Mental Wellness;
* Hear stories from real people who’ve written in to Patty and her thoughts and encouragement; and
* Send an email with questions before and during the call for Patty to answer.

The call will be co-hosted by founder of the Dream Roundup and Let’s Save America Campaign for Financial Literacy, Bradley Dugdale. This call will be held January 13th and is open only to the first 100 people who respond to this invitation. To reserve your place in this event simply reply to this e-mail and we will send you the dial-in number and other details about the call.
Dream Roundup

Date: Friday, January 13, 2006
Start time: 8:15 pm Eastern / 7:15 pm Central / 6:15 pm MTN / 5:15 pm Pacific (dial in 5 to 10 minutes early)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Commentary - Sadness, Gladness--and Serotonin

A thoughtful review/essay on two recently released books about Depression in general and BiPolar in particular.

"These days, psychiatrists tend to treat mental illness as principally an affliction not of the mind but of the brain—a condition, that is, marked by a deficiency or excess of certain neurochemicals, which medication can restore to healthy levels. The pill has replaced the couch as the therapeutic instrument of first resort.

Ever since the usefulness of some of the most important psychoactive drugs was discovered by serendipity—doctors could see that the drugs worked without knowing why—clinical practice has remained several large steps ahead of neurobiological theory. But the theory is catching up, and its influence on the culture at large will surely be as momentous as Freudian theory was during the last century. Two recent books, by distinguished professors of psychiatry writing for a lay audience, introduce the reader to the latest developments in the field. They also provoke far-reaching questions about the new world into which the innovations are taking us."

Commentary Magazine Online

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bipolar Disorder More Common Than Expected in Hospitalized Adolescents


"Clinicians at Bradley Hospital, the nation’s first psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents, have found that bipolar disorder is more common than expected in teens in a psychiatric inpatient setting.

“In the past, mental health professionals thought that about one percent of teens was bipolar—our research indicates that if a strict definition of the illness is applied, up to twenty percent of adolescents on psychiatric units may be manic-depressive,” says lead author Jeffrey Hunt, MD, a child psychiatrist at Bradley Hospital and associate professor of psychiatry at Brown Medical School. The study appears in the December issue of the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is characterized by dramatic mood swings—from overly “high” and/or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again. “There are often periods of normal mood in between, but there is always accompanying serious impairment in functioning,” says Hunt." (continued through link)

Workshop provides help for family of those having mental illness

Link to: Jamestown News online, story by Jane E. Whitehorne:

"Elaine Purpel knows first hand the pain of having a loved one who suffers from mental illness. Her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia more than 25 years ago.

The trying times for her family were made better with help from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). The Guilford County Chapter of NAMI will be sponsoring the Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Jan. 14 at the Mary Perry Ragsdale Family YMCA. The free, 12-week course is for family and friends of individuals with serious mental illness."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Tips for for mental health over the holidays

By HILLARY RHODES, Associated Press (ASAP)
Copyright December 22, 2005
Link from Hampton Roads/PilotOnline

"MERRY Christmas. HAPPY Hanukkah. JOY to the world. JOLLY old Saint Nicholas. It's the most WONDERFUL time of the year.

Would the holiday cheer please just shut up for a moment? It's an awful lot of pressure.

The tremendously overwhelming demand for people suddenly to be festive during the darkest, coldest, most hectic, most stressful time of year is a bit much for many of us. It's not so easy to turn on the joy and jingle with the flip of a switch.

Experts say it's a myth that suicides are more common around the holidays. But for people already prone to mental illness, the season can be especially challenging."

Monday, December 12, 2005

Science tries to find secrets of teen brains

St. Louis Post Dispatch
by Tina Hesman and Matt Franck

"New brain research is shattering assumptions held for generations about the adolescent mind, fueling a battle over teen mental health, the rights of parents and the effectiveness of treatment.

The findings are forcing scientists to redraw the line between normal teen behavior and severe mental illness, while questioning how the brain truly develops."

Friday, December 09, 2005

NAMI's Statement on the Miami Shooting of Man with Bipolar Disorder

"NAMI's heart goes out to the family of Rigoberto Alpizar and to the marshals involved in the shooting, who we know must be profoundly affected by this tragedy.

We recognize that air marshals have very difficult jobs and sometimes have to make split second, life and death decisions.

NAMI calls upon the Federal Air Marshal Service and all other law enforcement agencies to take a close look at its training and education protocols and, if currently lacking, adopt measures to prepare officers to respond effectively to people with severe mental illness.

Law enforcement officers frequently come into contact with people who may be acting erratically or irrationally due to severe mental illnesses or other brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. Many communities throughout the United States, including Miami, have adopted Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) programs to better prepare officers to respond to these situations. These programs work and save lives!"

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Researchers identify bipolar disorder in preschoolers

Washington University in St. Louis: "Child psychiatry researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified a small group of preschoolers who appear to suffer from bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness. The findings, presented this fall at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, highlight symptoms that distinguish bipolar disorder from other mental health problems in very young children. "

Mania can be confused with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New York Daily News - Manic-depressives find support, solace on Web

Jimi Hendrix expressed it in music, Vincent van Gogh expressed it on canvas and now an underground subculture of bloggers is expressing it online.

"It" is bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, which afflicts about 1% of U.S. adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sufferers are subjected to mood swings that may veer from overly excited highs to soul-crushing lows. Although treatable, it remains, in the institute's words, "a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person's life." - The Faces of TennCare

"In a small town south of Nashville, the poor, sick and elderly are living—and dying. This Thanksgiving, their stories of tragedy and humanity."

by John Spragens

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Holiday Depression: Myth vs. Reality

The stress of the holidays can cause people at risk of depression to be more vulnerable. So is it true that suicides increase during the holidays?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Promising new drug from Shire Pharmaceuticals?

This is not an endorsement of this medication, but the fact that the study was conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill makes this at minimum worthy of future review.

15 Nov 2005 - Philadelphia, USA – 15 November 2005 – Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers studied the efficacy of carbamazepine extended-release capsules (CBZ-ERC, EquetroTM) in patients with manic or mixed episodes of Bipolar I Disorder over six months. Data from this open label study was presented by UNC researchers last week at the 18th annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in Las Vegas.

These data complement a pooled analysis of data from two, three-week placebo-controlled phase 3 studies of CBZ-ERC, which demonstrated that CBZ-ERC significantly reduced manic and mixed symptoms for patients and was generally well tolerated. CBZ-ERC, manufactured for Shire US Inc., is the only formulation of carbamazepine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of patients with acute manic and mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder. Shire provided funding for these studies.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Study: Bipolar Kids Often More Creative

WebMD: Nov. 14, 2005 -- Children with or at risk for bipolar disorder may be more creative than other, healthy children, according to a new study.

Researchers found that a small group of children of bipolar parents scored significantly higher on a creativity index than other children. They say the findings add to a growing evidence of a link between mood disorders, like bipolar disorder, and creativity.

"I think it's fascinating," says researcher Kiki Chang, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, in a news release. "There is a reason that many people who have bipolar disorder become very successful."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Patty Duke to Speak in Dallas - The Dallas Morning News Robert Miller Column

Nov. 9--Patty Duke, an Oscar and Emmy-winning actress and best-selling author, will speak Monday (Nov. 14) at the Prism Awards Luncheon benefiting the Mental Health Association of Greater Dallas.

Tim Simmons, MHA president and chief executive, said the event at the Wyndham Anatole hotel will also recognize the following award recipients:

--Veletta Forsythe Lill, who will receive the Ruth Sharp Altshuler Award, which recognizes outstanding community service that meets the needs of people with mental illness.

--Dr. Jacqui Stephens, who will receive the Pamela Blumenthal Memorial Mental Health Award for her long-term commitment to quality of care and dedicated delivery of services to those with mental illness.

--Martha Stowe, who will receive the Michael M. Faenza Mental Health Advocate Award, which recognizes consistent advocacy on behalf of emotionally disturbed children and adolescents and adults with serious mental illnesses.

--Lynne McLean, who will receive the inaugural Lightner Sams Foundation Child Advocate Award, which focuses on outstanding and exemplary dedication and service to the mental health needs of children and adolescents.

Mike Griffiths and David Dillard will each receive a Special Recognition Award for their long-term and exemplary dedication to improving the mental health of the community.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Steve Crain: Duckworth Talks About Mental Illness

From, a news service in North Carolina:

“Is Tom Cruise in the audience tonight? More importantly, is Nicole Kidman here?” asked mental health expert Dr. Ken Duckworth of Massachusetts on a recent Tuesday night at Sandhills Community College in Southern Pines.

The audience laughed, probably figuring Kidman might have things to say about her former husband’s state of mind.

An assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Duckworth criticized Cruise for lambasting Brooke Shields who took antidepressants to combat postpartum depression.

Duckworth called his lecture “Tom Cruise has it all wrong — the real truth about mental illness.” NAMI-Moore County (NAMI is the National Alliance on the Mental Illness) co-sponsored Duckworth’s appearance as part of The Ruth Pauley Lecture Series.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Playbill News: Today in Theatre History: OCTOBER 19

A diversion from BiPolar into the history of Broadway...

"1959 The Miracle Worker is the toast of Broadway tonight as the story of young blind and deaf Helen Keller and her companion, Annie Sullivan, is brought to life by young Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft. This show, which opened at the Playhouse Theatre, won Bancroft a Tony Award for Best Actress, and playwright William Gibson won the Tony for Best Play. The 1962 film starred these same two women, now winning Oscars for their performances. The play will run 719 performances. "

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bipolar disorder treatment needs survey


"Most people with bipolar disorder believe that successful treatment would significantly improve their quality of life and that treatment satisfaction is achieved by efficacy and tolerability, according to final results from the large scale Thinking Ahead survey.

The survey conducted in eight countries revealed that bipolar disorder had a major negative impact on sufferers' lives and that of their family and friends. The final survey data were announced today to commemorate the 13th World Mental Health Day (WMHD) and to raise public awareness of the impact of this under-diagnosed condition."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Canadian Woman Shares Her Conquest of Depression

By Melanie Béchard - Fort Frances Times Online

"Karen Liberman, executive director of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, was in town last Wednesday evening to speak to people about her experiences with mental illness.

And while the story of her descent into madness and the journey back could not have been an easy one to tell, Liberman recounted it with humour and compassion.

She began with her mother.

Liberman grew up in Toronto in what she called a “disgustingly normal” 1950s family. It was a happy childhood, she said, until about age eight or nine when “ever so slowly, ever so insidiously, something started to happen to this beautiful, outgoing, dynamic woman that was my mother.”

“She started to fade away,” she recalled."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Doctor has message of hope - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Photo of Dr. Beth Baxter from Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

By Donna Jackel, Staff Writer

(October 4, 2005) — When Dr. Beth Baxter was a resident in psychiatry at the University of Rochester, she had to hide her own mental illness from her colleagues.

"I would be taking care of patients and feeling so bad about myself," said Baxter, 42, who will be speaking Wednesday at a sold-out lecture at the Rochester Academy of Medicine. Baxter, of Nashville, Tenn., is returning to Rochester with a message of recovery. About 10 years ago, she tried to cut open her arteries with a piece of sharp glass. She believes she was spared to help others and now does public speaking and writing about mental illness.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Patty Duke Collection by Boyds a Hit Right out of the Gate!

GETTYSBURG, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 3, 2005--The results are in and the public has spoken; The Patty Duke Collection of plush bears by The Boyds Collection Ltd. (NYSE: FOB - News) is a bona fide hit! Making their official debut for sale to the public on September 27 during a special daytime broadcast on the QVC network, the initial offerings in the line became an instant hit, with many of the creations offered reaching sellout status during the one-hour presentation. After making their debut on the QVC network, the thirteen plush bears of The Patty Duke Collection by Boyds will be available at participating local Boyds retailers beginning in October.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

NAMI in Utah

All in your head, and real - News from Utah

By Jamie Lampros
Standard-Examiner correspondent

OGDEN -- For eight years, Gary Olpin suffered in silence while one doctor after another misdiagnosed him.

"Each doctor had a different diagnosis," he said. "I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, everything you could think of."

Then three years ago, the Ogden resident finally got a confirmed diagnosis -- bipolar type II rapid cycling with schizoaffective disorder.

"I have had the full-blown hallucinations, I've heard the voices, communicated with these people. I can even smell their cologne. It's like everything you can attribute to a bad drug trip, only I have never touched an illegal drug in my entire life," he said.

"It's scary stuff."

Seminar set to raise awareness about Bipolar Disorder

"As she sips her cappuccino at a local cafe, Lorraine "Rainey" January greets fellow customers with a wide smile and sparkling eyes. "On the outside a lot of people think I'm very together and relaxed" says January, casually sweeping her blond hair from her forehead. "But if they could see me on the inside," she adds, trailing off as she takes another sip.

Most people wouldn't know it from looking at her, but January suffers from an often-debilitating mental illness known as bipolar disorder. "I want to paint a picture of a person you see every day and really has something to offer," says January. "I'm not crazy I'm just a little unwell; that's my theme song," she says, referring to the matchbox twenty hit single."

Daily News Journal - Murfreesboro, TN

Friday, September 30, 2005

Bipolar Awareness Day this Thursday

NAMI Story from Missouri

NAMI (National Alliance on the Mentally Ill) is celebrating its 19th year of educating Americans about mental health through mental illness awareness week.

This year marks the third annual Bipolar Awareness Day, celebrated during mental illness awareness week on Thursday, October 6, 2005. Bipolar Awareness Day was created to increase awareness of Bipolar Disorder, promote early detection and accurate diagnosis, reduce stigma, and minimize the devastating impact on the millions of Americans presently affected by the disorder.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Patty Duke on QVC!

From Boyd's Bears Online:

"'ve heard about 'em, you've been waitin' for 'em...and now we've got your very first chance to meet and get 'em! We're talkin' about The Patty Duke Collection by Boyds! Tune to QVCTM September 27 from 1pm 'til 2pm (EST!) to see legendary actress of stage, screen and television Patty Duke herself introduce the first of her family of fuzzy friends live on the air!"

Oscar winner Patty Duke speaks at Austin fundraiser

Reprinted with permission and courtesy of KVUE, Austin, Texas. (Link above requires subscription, full story posted below.)

Oscar winner Patty Duke stopped in Austin Sunday for a benefit for the New Milestones Foundation. The organization supports the Austin Travis County MHMR Center, which helps people with mental illness, substance abuse issues or developmental disabilities. The center aims to end the stigma associated with mental illness while providing services ranging from counseling and medication to vocational assistance and housing. As the event's keynote speaker, the actress relayed her own battle with bipolar disorder or manic depression.


By Emily Hummel,

It has been more than 20 years since Patty Duke was diagnosed. She had spent decades enduring the euphoric, chaotic highs and suicide-inspiring lows of the disease. Since her diagnosis and daily Lithium treatments, the actress had enjoyed a new life, free from the trauma and drama, without major side effects.

The actress first spoke of her problems in her 1987 autobiography “Call Me Anna,” which was followed by a more detailed account of mental illness in her second book, “A Brilliant Madness.” She continues to travel the country as an advocate for mental health.

“I was being given an opportunity to reach out, to demonstrate if I can, that there is successful treatment for mental illness,” Duke says. “Spreading the word about successful treatment has become my thing to…make me feel like I’m making a successful contribution.”

She combined efforts with her husband, former Army drill sergeant Michael Pearce, son Kevin Pearce and nephew Mike Kennedy to launch the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness. Still in the beginning stages, the grassroots site connects people with resources and sends a message that they are not alone.

“The main thrust of the Web site is to give people information and for them to talk to someone who’s walking in their shoes,” adds Duke. “What people are willing to reveal on the Net -- that they are not willing to reveal in person or on the telephone -- it did not occur to me what a perfect avenue it is for this kind of work.”

Of the stigma often associated with mental illness, the actress says, "The barriers are starting to crumble.” She hopes that those hesitant to voice their problem will find that “just having a conversation with someone about it is extremely helpful.”

Patty Duke is extending that hand of help, over the Internet. In the “Ask Patty” section of, she answers questions about dealing with mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder.

“As she says, she’s not a doctor. She doesn’t tell you to go do this, go do that. She’s an expert patient and can help people that way, from her perspective and her side of it. With all the links on the site and her information that she’s learned over the past 25 years, I think it’s very helpful and gives some insight,” adds Michael Pearce.

The gifted actress has delighted audiences since first taking to the Broadway stage as the young Helen Keller in 1959, followed by the film version of “The Miracle Worker” that won her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She became the youngest person to have a television show with her name in the title when “The Patty Duke Show” hit the airwaves on ABC in 1963. She remained active in film, television and theater through the decades while raising a family. Two sons, Sean and Mackenzie Astin, followed her into show business. Kevin, 17, entertains culinary ambitions while helping with her Web site.

So what’s next for the dynamic actress? A film for the Hallmark Channel titled “Falling in Love with the Girl Next Door” is slated for February 4, 2006. Duke costars with Patrick Duffy, Shelley Long and Bruce Boxleitner.

A new adventure begins Tuesday September 27 when the actress appears on QVC for the first time with the Patty Duke Bear Collection from Boyds Bears. Viewers can expect to hear about Duke’s longtime affinity for collecting the stuffed animals during the program from noon to 1 p.m. (CST.)

Click on the link for more information on the Travis County MHMR Center.

Click on the link to find out more about the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cheering Chow

Harvard Magazine Food and Depression Study:

"Each year, about 19 million adult Americans report the onset of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That's 9.5 percent of our adult population.

In Japan and Korea, the figure is drastically lower - around 2 percent. Pondering this disparity, scientists noticed that the least depressed populations, mostly in Asia and Scandinavia, are also those with diets rich in oily fish like salmon and tuna.

At the other end of the depression spectrum are countries whose citizens consume the smallest amounts of such fish - places like New Zealand and France, for example, where the incidence of depression is 11 and 16 percent, respectively. Even after factoring in reporting differences caused by societal attitudes about mental health, the discrepancy seems too wide to be mere coincidence."

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Link Suggested Between Regions on Two Chromosomes and Bipolar Disorder

Harvard School of Public Health:

"An international team of 53 researchers has offered the most convincing evidence so far linking bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, to two chromosomal regions in the human genome. The finding gives scientists refined targets for further gene studies.

'Even though bipolar disorder affects millions of people around the world-sometimes throughout their lifetimes-what we understand to be biologically relevant at the genetic level is not terribly characterized,' said Matthew McQueen, lead author and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH). 'This research can help focus the field to identify viable candidate genes.' "

Friday, September 16, 2005

Disclosing Bipolar Disorder -

Should I tell the boss?


"NEW YORK - Your mood swings from overly happy and excited to overly irritable and angry. The highs may last from several days to a month or more, but the lows often last longer and can be harrowingly deep. That's life with bipolar disorder, a psychiatric condition that some say affects about one of every 25 Americans.

See seven tips for disclosing a bipolar disorder to your employer. "The stigma is real," says David J. Miklowitz, a professor of psychology at the University of Colorado-Boulder and author of The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide: What You and Your Family Need To Know. "It can be as subtle as fellow workers attributing justifiable reactions to situations to your illness, or as blatant as not getting a job or a promotion."

Those with a bipolar disorder face a basic decision: Tell the boss about the condition or remain silent.

Miklowitz, who earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California at Los Angeles, says those with a bipolar disorder usually adopt one of four approaches:

-- Tell everyone about the condition, including the boss and co-workers.

-- Tell one or more trusted co-workers who don't hold positions of authority.

-- Don't tell anyone, but admit to having a bipolar disorder on any work-sponsored health insurance claims, opening the possibility that the employer may find out.

-- Don't tell anyone at work, and don't use your employer-provided health insurance to cover treatment costs."

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry Publishes Two-Year Results From Cyberonics' Depression Pilot Study

Corporate Press Release

"HOUSTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cyberonics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYBX) today announced that the peer-reviewed two-year results from its treatment-resistant depression D-01 pilot study were published in the September 2005 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (J. Clin Psychiatry 66:9, September 2005).

The article, entitled "Two-Year Outcome of Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) for Treatment of Major Depressive Episodes"; by Ziad Nahas, M.D., Associate Professor at Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC); Medical Director of Brain Stimulation Lab at MUSC; and Director of Mood Disorder Program at MUSC, et al, presents the three-month, one-year and two- year response and remission rates from the 60-patient VNS pilot study conducted at Medical University of South Carolina, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Columbia University.

Based on last observation carried forward analyses, HAM-D response rates were 42% and HAM-D remission rates were 22% after two years of adjunctive VNS Therapy(TM) in patients that had received a mean of 15.7 unsuccessful clinical treatments in the current depressive episode, the median of which was 6.8 years. At two years, 81% of the study participants were still receiving VNS Therapy."

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Daily Routine May Help Bipolar Disorder - WebMD

Study Shows Regular Sleeping and Eating Patterns May Help Stabilize Patients: "Sept. 8, 2005 -- Most of us function better when we maintain a regular daily routine, but for people with bipolar disorder, routine may make a big difference in recovery.

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine report that bipolar patients fared better when their treatment stressed the importance of establishing daily routines for things like sleeping and eating." - by Salynn Boyles, WebMD Medical News

Monday, September 05, 2005

"All our problem now"

Mentally ill homeless is a real problem all around the country. This is a very interesting article from the Arizona Republic online website on the scope of the problem in one metropolitan area.

The Arizona Republic

"Plenty of people - police who struggle to deal with homeless mentally ill, citizens who can't use parks, the sick who wait hours in emergency rooms, everyone with a conscience dismayed by the sight of helpless, vulnerable human beings living a miserable life on the streets - say the current situation is untenable.

But it's far from hopeless. A new approach pioneered in California and recently introduced in Phoenix is proving effective in helping the mentally ill homeless build new lives."

Saturday, September 03, 2005

NAMI's State Affiliates

There are some terrific state affiliate websites for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Here is an example for NAMI in Colorado, which offers great local and regional information. NAMI Colorado

We suggest that anyone looking for immediate support, help, or recommended medical professionals go to either the national NAMI web site or their state affiliates.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Role of Genetic and Environmental Factors in the Development of Schizophrenia

Mental Health InfoSource: "No one factor appears to be most significant in the genesis of schizophrenia. This is evident despite the very significant resources that have been expended in the search to understand the patho-etiology of schizophrenia. This may be because there are multiple factors involved; multiple different disorders with varied pathologies present with the schizophrenia phenotype; or a combination of both.

The search to uncover the pathological basis to schizophrenia has, however, provided broad generalizations that have yielded more specific etiological candidates as a result of newer, more powerful methodologies, particularly those resulting from the Human Genome Project.

Interestingly, some of the genetic candidates identified providing explanatory models that may incorporate identified environmental risk factors."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Anyone from Chicago out there?

If anyone reading this in the Patty Duke blog community is from the greater Chicago area and would be willing to speak to a print journalist on the topic of this new online resource, please contact me at:

I am interested in getting in touch with you!



Locking up the Sick

From the Colorado Springs online: "Colorado's prisons and jails have become the front line in the state's battle against mental illness.

The number of beds has dropped at the two state mental hospitals. The Colorado Department of Corrections reports an increase in inmates diagnosed with serious mental illness. In 2004, Corrections cut funding for mental-health treatment.

Nearly one in four inmates at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center probably doesn't belong there, Sheriff Terry Maketa says.

Those inmates are among Colorado's growing number of untreated mentally ill who have slipped through the cracks of a public mental-health system ravaged by budget cuts."

Friday, August 26, 2005

Crush...this duo sounds like another worthy Texas music act!

Renee Murray, left, and Christie Glasser are Crush, a singer/songwriter team that is reaching audience with its true-to-life music. Photo courtesy of the Herald Democrat, Sherman, Texas.

This is a great story, and I would personally love to hear the work of this Texas duet. Apparently no amount of rough times or bad news can keep these strong women down. They seem to be making beautiful music, and there is little that can compare to great Texas artists performing their craft!

The Herald Democrat: "'They laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike.' The classic lyrics to the Patty Duke Show of yesterday could just as easily have been written about Christie Glaser and Renee Murray."

Earning Respect for the Mentally Ill - from "What is the message you are trying to send to the public?

We want to change the perception of mental illness and help people receive proper treatment. Inadequate funding, limited services and a desperate shortage of housing, especially supervised housing, are major issues that people with mental illness have to deal with on a daily basis.

They struggle to lead productive lives.

These individuals didn't cause their illness. Mental illness is a neurological No-Fault Brain Disease. The symptoms usually present themselves between the ages of 16 and 25. When we speak of mental illness we usually refer to schizophrenia, manic depression or bi- polar disorder, severe depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and panic anxiety attacks.

Most people will not admit they have a problem in public because of the stigma. Historically, Lincoln, Churchill, major poets, musicians, artists, and many others were affected by mental illness. We are grateful for the people who have come out, like Tipper Gore, Patty Duke, Mike Wallace, Rod Steiger, and Dick Cavett to make the world see the mental illness can strike anybody."

Monday, August 22, 2005

Mind Matters: Learn to recognize, treat mental illness

The Albuquerque Tribune: Science: "Depression and bipolar disorder are two major mental illnesses that are prevalent, not only in New Mexico, but in the entire nation.

It is estimated that depression affects nearly 23 million adult Americans each year, and bipolar disorder affects about 2.5 million. It is important to know a little bit about the signs of depression and bipolar disorders so you can help yourself or someone you know. "

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Study on African-American Mood Disorders

The Cincinnati Post - Blacks' mental states misdiagnosed: "Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are leading a four-year national study to try to determine why African-Americans seeking help for mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, are often misdiagnosed with schizophrenia.

'That's been a mystery for at least 45 years,' said Dr. Stephen Strakowski, a professor in UC's Department of Psychiatry and lead investigator for the study.

'Doctors overvalue certain symptoms over others, and they miss the mood disorder symptoms. We haven't determined why,' he said."

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ground broken for new addition at Cd'A Homes

COEUR d'ALENE -- When Patty Duke turned over the ceremonial spade of earth for the new addition at Coeur d'Alene Homes Friday, she performed one other gesture with even more significance, at least to her. She bent down and picked up a small bit of the dry dirt beneath the aged, towering pines of the grounds.

'I was kissing the dirt,' she said afterward. 'It was a message to my mom.'"

Photo by Jerome Pollos, CdA Press

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Patty Duke Launches Online Center for Mental Wellness

For Immediate Release - August 17, 2005

Patty Duke Launches Online Center for Mental Wellness - Encourages individuals and families battling Bipolar Disorder to share stories

(COEUR D’ALENE, ID) In a continuing effort to provide help, information, and resources to people struggling with mental illness, Patty Duke today announced the rollout of her Online Center for Mental Wellness at

The center will be a “virtual” gathering place for individuals and families looking for information on Bipolar Disorder specifically and mental illness generally. Also, Duke is asking people to share their experiences and success stories regarding mental illness with her and the online community to help others understand that they are not alone. This can be done on her blog site Patty Duke's Blog Site or on the “Ask Patty Duke” page on Duke’s web site.

“I have been blessed with a long and fulfilling career on the stage, on television, and in the movies,” said Patty Duke. “But I’ve come to realize that one of my most important roles in life is to assist people who struggle with mental illness get the help they need to live productive, happy lives.”

In the near future, the Online Center will offer CDs, tapes, books, and seminars, as well as sponsoring events that bring medical professionals and mental health experts together on topics of importance to people struggling with mental illness and their families.

Duke, who won the 1962 Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker”, has written two bestselling books chronicling her life in show business and her struggles with Bipolar Disorder. She has been an advocate for more than 20 years on the topic of mental illness and has worked to reduce the stigma of the diagnosis.

Patty Duke has been asked to testify in Congress in September on the topic of mental illness by Representative Sue Myrick (R-NC), which will be her third time testifying.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kids book explains bipolar disorder

Kids book explains bipolar disorder: "A trio of local women took a creative approach to educating people about bipolar disorder.

They created a children's book.

Dr. Lisa Lewandowski, 35, of Canton, Shannon M.B. Trost, 35, of Farmington Hills, and Kimberly Shaw-Peterson, 31, of Plymouth, now are working to get the book into the hands of professionals, parents and teachers.

The book, 'Darcy Daisy and the Firefly Festival' (Front Page Publications, $9.95), was released in June."

Brian Cox as Graeme Obree - "The Flying Scotsman" in production

sundaymail - ONLY LOVE CAN BEAT MY BLUES: "BRIAN COX had not heard of cycling champ Graeme Obree before agreeing to star in a movie based on his life.

But the Hollywood heavyweight yesterday revealed how he felt drawn to the turbulent story of the gifted athlete driven to the edge of suicide by crippling depression.

Brian, 59, could only imagine the severe manic depression which plagued the cyclist during his glittering career."

Friday, August 12, 2005

Implanted device delivers relief from depression

Dan DeLong / P-I

Lana Sanderson, walking with fiance Steve Carlsen, has battled bipolar disorder for years and finally found help with VNS, an implanted medical device.

From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

"Lana Sanderson felt like she'd run out of options.

After decades of battling severe depression, nothing -- not anti-depressants, not psychotherapy, not even electroconvulsive therapy -- could break the cycle of debilitating sadnesses and manic highs.

So, in November 2000 she had an experimental device implanted in her chest at the University of Washington Medical Center."

Monday, August 08, 2005

Widow writes of life with bipolar husband

The Albuquerque Tribune: Books

"While still in Texas, Cora started writing poetry, a kind of autobiography in verse, as a way of preserving memories for her children. That resulted in several volumes of self-published verse with titles such as 'The Good Old Days,' 'Philosophies and Phoolishness' and 'Diary of an Adventure.'

Some of those poems are about Harry's illness, and some of them are woven into the chapters of 'Absence of Grief.' The poems provide glimpses of the love, patience and humor that helped Cora live with the man who told her he was crazy."

Treating Depression During Pregnancy

Daily Express - Malaysia

"Depression affects 10 to 15 per cent of women during pregnancy and in the first three months postpartum (after delivery).

Dr Janet Atsumi Martin, from the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, said depression can be a part of many disorders. 'These include major depressive disorder, postpartum depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder and anxiety disorder,' she said at the recent 2005 Malaysian Psychology Conference. "

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Are You Successful, But a Real Jerk? - Fortune Small Business

The discussion of manic depression and "mania" takes many forms. This is an interesting review of a book on Hypomania and the business/entrepreneur environment.

Answer Central - Are You Successful, But a Real Jerk? - FORTUNE SMALL BUSINESS:

"We've read about them over and over again. An entrepreneur founds a wildly successful business and then is forced out, because he's alienated those who work with him. The common explanation is that these companies get too big for the entrepreneurs to run. They're not managers; they're idea guys. But John Gartner, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, has another theory: It's not that they just haven't been trained as managers, but they're not wired to be managers - they're hypomanics.

Gartner, who studied successful businesspeople in his recent book, "The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between A Little Craziness and A Lot of Success in America" (Simon & Schuster, $26), says that the most successful entrepreneurs are somewhat manic in their single mindedness. 'They have an offbeat idea, which they believe with messianic fervor will change everything,' he says. 'And their evangelical zeal gets other people on board.'"

The Albuquerque Tribune: Bipolar Disorder can be treated

The Albuquerque Tribune: Science: "Affecting more than 1 percent of adults worldwide, bipolar disorder usually begins during the teenage years or in adulthood but in rare instances can begin during childhood. It is unknown how common bipolar disorder is in children, but it is more common in children with a parent who suffers from the disorder. People with bipolar disorder often have relatives diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder or substance abuse. "

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Out of the darkness -

An interesting review of a new novel that has mental illness as a primary focal point.

Out of the darkness - "They are on the streets of cities large and small. They are in every neighborhood, in every community, sometimes out in the open, sometimes hidden from view.
'They' are people with mental illnesses, and in Bebe Moore Campbell's new novel, '72 Hour Hold,' she attempts to drag the problem out from the shadows. "

Bipolar disorder-stigma a major fear

This from an Irish publication - Bipolar Disorder knows no geographical boundaries.

Bipolar disorder-stigma a major fear: "The majority of people with bipolar disorder believe that the public are unaware of and do not understand the condition. As a result, as many as one in four do not tell family or friends they have it for fear of social stigma, the results of a major new survey have revealed."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Valley biotech firm to study bipolar disorder

Valley biotech firm to study bipolar disorder - 2005-07-14: "Perlegen Sciences Inc. is collaborating with the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium (PNDRC) to study bipolar disorder. This study combines the resources of the commercial, academic, federal and philanthropic worlds and will focus on finding causes of psychiatric disorders, finding new treatments that are more targeted to individual illness and discovering better ways to diagnose diseases. "

Friday, July 08, 2005

Are genius and madness related?

Psychatric Times - Mental Health InfoSource: "The idea that creativity and psychopathology are somehow linked goes way back to antiquity--to the time of Aristotle. Centuries later, this belief was developed and expanded by various psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychologists. For instance, Cesare Lombroso, M.D., argued toward the end of the 19th century that genius and madness were closely connected manifestations of an underlying degenerative neurological disorder. To be sure, this idea has not gone without challenge. On the contrary, humanistic psychologists were inclined to associate creativity with mental health. Nevertheless, the prevailing view appears to be that psychopathology and creativity are positively associated."

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

NIMH Patient Recruitment at the NIH Clinical Center

NIMH Patient Recruitment at the NIH Clinical Center: "The staff of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) welcomes you to our patient recruitment and information web site. We conduct a large number of research studies with patients who have mental health disorders. Our studies are performed at the NIH Clinical Center (CC), a hospital dedicated to the highest quality research. The NIH CC (picture shown on the right) is located in Bethesda, Maryland, near Washington, D.C. "

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bill Lichtenstein Wins Guggenheim Fellowship Award - Lexington Minuteman - Local News: "From his own self-education of his affliction, Lichtenstein, through his newly formed Lichtenstein Creative Media, produced the radio documentary 'Manic Depression: Voices of an Illness.' Narrated by Patty Duke, the piece was aired by more than 400 public radio stations and won dozens of awards. The goal of the project, however, had not been to win awards but to provide an outlet for Lichtenstein to 'try and produce shows on topics I really wanted to do.'"

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Teen Mental Health Declining in the United States

Teen Mental Health Declining in the United States

PHILADELPHIA, June 28 /PRNewswire/ -- "Adolescents in the United States are more likely to suffer from a mental health disorder than ever before, but getting these teens diagnosed and cared for is a challenge that is not being met, a new book warns."

The Carter Center Mental Health Program

Rosalynn Carter has been a strong advocate for Mental Health for years, and the work that the Carter Center does on this, and many other topics, is world-renowned.

A Mental Health Organization Combatting the Stigma of Mental Illness - The Carter Center Mental Health Program: "Mrs. Carter continues her advocacy efforts through The Carter Center's Mental Health Program, founded in 1991. The program focuses on mental health policy issues with four strategic goals:
-To reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses
-To achieve equity for mental health care comparable to other health care
-To advance promotion, prevention, and early intervention services for
children and their families
-To increase public awareness worldwide about mental health and mental
illness and to stimulate local actions to address those issues. "

Monday, June 27, 2005

NAMI - The Mental Health Community Responds to Tom Cruise's Today Show Interview

NAMI - The Mental Health Community Responds to Tom Cruise's Today Show Interview: "The Mental Health Community Responds to Tom Cruise's Today Show Interview
Recent interviews by actor Tom Cruise about mental illness, such as those on the TODAY Show on June 24, as part of a movie publicity tour, have outraged mental health consumers and family members. We share below NAMI's response along with the American Psychiatric Association and National Mental Health Association. We encourage individuals to share the statement with others, including local TV and newspaper entertainment editors and movie critics. Please also write letters to editors."

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

This group used to be the National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association. They have a site with lots of great information and links to resources and support. Worth a look.

What's New - Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "We have a whole new site. Learn all you ever wanted to know about being an advocate for mental health issues, how to speak with your legislators, what issues are important to the mental health community and much more.
Whether you are an experiences advocate or have never done advocacy before, you will find all the information you need to make your voice heard. "

Saturday, June 25, 2005

R.I.P. Charles White

Playbill News: Charles White, Character Actor on Broadway, Dead at 86: "Among more than 20 television shows, he appeared 'Spin City,' 'Kojak,' 'Maude,' 'The Patty Duke Show' and 'The Defenders.' When he wasn't acting, he could be found at St. Mary's Catholic Church where he directed several musicals and plays for the parish."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens

We came upon this site while doing some research, and they seem to have good information and resources for families in need - particularly for young folks. Often it's the families that suffer greatly while trying to get help for their loved ones. The more resources and connections we can make the better.

Bipolar Disorder in Children and Teens: "Bipolar disorder is difficult to recognize and diagnose in youth, however, because it does not fit precisely the symptom criteria established for adults, and because its symptoms can resemble or co-occur with those of other common childhood-onset mental disorders.

In addition, symptoms of bipolar disorder may be initially mistaken for normal emotions and behaviors of children and adolescents. But unlike normal mood changes, bipolar disorder significantly impairs functioning in school, with peers, and at home with family."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Something fun from Patty Duke's professional life!

BOYDS BEARS: Patty Duke's plush party - York Daily Record: "Actress Patty Duke will unveil her own line of Boyds teddy bears Friday at Boyds Country Store on Route 15 south of Gettysburg when some 2,000 people gather for the daylong Boyds Collectors Jamboree."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Clinical Article on Pediatric Bipolar

This article is pretty clinical, but for medical professionals and those looking for more information and resources it's a good start. The quote below is from the paragraph summary of the article.

Mental Health InfoSource: "Pediatric bipolar disorder affects the cognitive, behavioral and affective domains of a child's being. Affect dysregulation is the central feature. It is not clear that the juvenile-onset version of PBD is contiguous with adult BD. The primary goal of pharmacotherapy is mood stabilization, dealing with complex comorbid, residual, breakthrough and/or associated symptoms. It is imperative that any medication management be coupled with a meaningful holistic therapeutic approach that is practical and tailored to PBD."

Bipolar Disorder: More Common Than Expected? - Health - Bipolar Disorder: More Common Than Expected?: "A new study says that bipolar disorder, while still rare, may be more common than previously thought.
Face-to-face interviews with more than 9,200 U.S. adults showed that 4.3 percent had symptoms of bipolar disorder or related syndromes, say the researchers, who included Ronald Kessler, PhD, of Harvard Medical School."

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Stars helping slay stigma of mental illness

Stars helping slay stigma of mental illness: "For years, actresses Patty Duke and Carrie Fisher, both of whom have bipolar disorder, were the sole poster girls for mental illness. Today, newswoman Jane Pauley, actress Linda Hamilton and soap actor Maurice Benard frequently talk about their bipolar disorder. Actresses Brooke Shields and Lorraine Bracco and newsman Mike Wallace are open about their depression.
'They're realizing that the power of their celebrity can help people to not feel so alone,' said Lea Ann Browning, spokeswoman for the National Mental Health Association."

Sexton facing a future of uncertainty: by Jemele Hill, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

There is no way yet for anyone outside the family to know what the issue is with this talented college football player. But for those living in the public eye, the highs and lows of bipolar disorder can be more jarring because episodes are played out in full view of the media, and hence the world. We wish the best for Billy Sexton and his entire family.

Sexton facing a future of uncertainty: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Sexton says his son isn't an addict, but still left room for this to be the case of Sexton merely having a bad trip.

But you can't help but speculate about Sexton's mental health because this episode and other behaviors are the same exhibited by Alonzo Spellman, Dimitrius Underwood and Barret Robbins -- all high-profile cases of football players diagnosed as having bipolar disorder."

Friday, June 17, 2005

Progress in treating bipolar disorder lagging

Progress in treating bipolar disorder lagging: "Her feelings reverberated yesterday when her note was read by Lydia Lewis, president of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, as the Sixth International Conference on Bipolar Disorder convened here.
Though the disorder is a leading cause of disability, little progress has been made in developing better ways to fight the disease, said Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
In the 1980s and '90s, advances in research 'really languished,' Insel told about 1,100 physicians, other health professionals and advocates gathered at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Meetings highlight bipolar-disorder research -

Meetings highlight bipolar-disorder research - "More than 1,000 researchers and mental health care workers gather in Pittsburgh beginning today for the Sixth International Conference on Bipolar Disorder.

Staged every two years, it is the only meeting in the world devoted exclusively to highlighting new research into bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness. "

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Bipolar disorder leads to eating disorder?

Interesting (albeit brief) article about the possible link between Bipolar and eating disorders. - News: Bipolar disorder leads to eating disorder: "Dr. Carla Ramacciotti of the University of Pisa in Italy recently submitted writings to the journal of Psychiatry Research explaining that there is definitely a relationship between mood disorders and eating disorders. This relationship, however, remains nebulous.
Though eating disorders are relatively common among the bipolar community, it is often difficult to discern whether it is a product of mood alterations or a function of prescribed medications for the disorder. "

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

JS Online: Patty Duke 'Takes Five'

JS Online: Patty Duke 'Takes Five': "But Patty Duke's greatest role, critics say, is the one she plays now - speaking on behalf of people, such as herself, who suffer from mental illness. Duke will be the featured speaker at a luncheon Wednesday at the Midwest Airlines Center sponsored by IndependenceFirst, a non-profit agency for people with disabilities. Duke spoke recently with reporter Meg Kissinger. "

The A.I.M Center in Chattanooga, TN

A few weeks ago Patty Duke was invited to speak at the annual banquet for the A.I.M. Center. It's a very exciting project Patty was happy to learn more about and promote. Getting ideas shared from one end of the country to the other is one of the goals of this blog and Patty's web site. A link to the A.I.M. Center is here: A.I.M. Center in Chattanooga

"Since April 3, 1989, the A.I.M. Center has offered area residents disabled by a mental illness a chance and a place to develop or regain the vocational and social skills necessary to become productive and contributing members of society. A non-medical, nonprofit, private community organization, A.I.M. is dedicated to the psychosocial rehabilitation of individuals who not too long ago had no viable alternative to institutionalization or homelessness. "

Monday, June 13, 2005

Duke dishes up strategies at power lunch - Milwaukee, Wisconsin Patty Duke dishes up strategies at power lunch: "On Wednesday, June 15, Duke will fly from her home in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to Milwaukee to speak at IndependenceFirst's annual Power Lunch about her struggle with manic depression and success strategies she has learned. "

For more information click here: Independence First - Milwaukee

Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation

"Early intervention and treatment offers the best chance for children with bipolar disorder to achieve stability, gain the best possible level of wellness, and grow up to enjoy their gifts and build upon their strengths. Proper treatment can minimize the adverse effects of the illness on their lives and the lives of those who love them..."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

East Coast Counselor Blog

While reading Newsweek we learned about this blog East Coast Counselor, told from the point of view of a mental illness counselor and thought it might make for interesting reading. We're always looking for folks to link to the new blog, and for us to be able to give out helpful resources as well. For more information email us at:

Friday, June 10, 2005

Progress on Insurance Coverage for Mental Health Parity

Kudos to Iowa - a step in the right direction

"MASON CITY - A new Iowa law guaranteeing limited mental health parity was greeted this week with measured enthusiasm by North Iowa businessmen, health professionals and consumers.

The bill, signed into law May 2 by Gov. Tom Vilsack, means companies with more than 50 employees that provide health insurance for employees must also cover treatment of biologically-based mental illnesses."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Study: Bipolar disorder harder on kids - 05/25/05

Study: Bipolar disorder harder on kids - 05/25/05: "Bipolar disorder is a more severe illness for kids than adults during the first few years after diagnosis, a landmark study suggested Monday.
The first research tracking a large group of bipolar children and teenagers finds that 2 1/2 years after diagnosis:
� Nearly a third haven't recovered.
� The remainder takes about 17 months to recover.
� Four out of five have at least one recurrence. "

Anne Bancroft 1931 - 2005

Monday, June 06, 2005

Patty Duke works for Conservation Easements in North Idaho

"I'm not a hunter or a fisherperson or any of those wildlife adventurer things. I'm a breath-taker. It takes my breath away."

— Actress and 15-year North Idaho resident Patty Duke, describing her attachment to the region and her interest in securing conservation easements in the St. Joe River Basin.