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Le Renard

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Le Renard last won the day on March 20 2012

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About Le Renard

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  1. Hello Marvin1993, I'm sorry to read what you are going through. There is a special section at the top of the board for crisis/suicide intervention: you should go there now to find the professional help you need.
  2. Thank you so much, Aoibh, this is so great! :smile: I didn't expect that someone on the forum would be interested in signing the petition as it is in French. Thank you for the nice gesture : it really means a lot. Maybe I could ask the administrators of the forum if they would allow me to give the link to the website. I could also propose a translation so that people know what the petition deals with (maybe someone could help me improve it so that it looks like English? ). Concerning the 28 year-old young woman who tried to deface the painting, I would like to know what happened before she did that and what is going to happen. Ok, she is confined in a mental institution, but what's going to happen then? I wonder what kind of care she is going to get and what she is going to do after her stay at the hospital.
  3. Hello Stellord414 (and everyone! ) and thank you so much for your comment, There are associations run by friends and families of mentally ill people who have a very good knowledge of the issues encountered by ill people and their families. They do exist. And they are very active in promoting our cause. I'm thinking for instance of "Unafam", a French association which aim is to help the families and friends of mentally ill people. They say that they want to "help the mentally ill people to find a room in the human community" (I hope my translation is ok). They are currently trying to convince our Prime minister to make mental health and the mental disorders the "great national cause in 2014". Being labelled "great national cause" highlights any particular subject for one year: a campaign of public interest is lead throughout the year, there is an increased visibility of the subject in medias with, for example, free messages on TVs, radios, the Internet and public posters. There is currently a petition on their website that can be signed by anyone willing to support their idea. Unafam is not alone in this project: it works along 15 associations dedicated to the same goal. They all do a great job. But they are hardly consulted by the journalists or the governement, or only when something serious happens. I don't know if it's the same in the USA or in the Uk, Canada, etc., but in France, a demonstration can be aimed at different things: demanding something, protesting against something or... just letting the majority of the citizens know about the existence of an important subject, such as aids or cancer for example. But the facts are clear: it is very hard to get the whole population involved in the issues related to mental illness. Most people feel concerned by racism, by injustice, by the stigmatisation of some of the citizens in the country, by the level of their salaries... but mental illness is difficult for them to identify with. They don't want it in their life, they don't want their children to face such a thing. In one word, it is "disturbing". And in a sense, I don't ressent them for that: I would probably do the same if I were not ill. But that's a reason why many associations prefer to talk about "mental health" rather than "mental illness", even if they care about both issues actually. Now I would like to talk about two different news that I heard on the radio today. The first one was about the advances of the debate lead in our Parliament about the legalisation of gay marriage or "mariage for all" as we know it here. Our deputies have spent more than 110 hours debating the bill. They have spent all their week-ends and a great number of nights on the task. They have eventually ended their discussions this morning (saturday) at 5.40am, after spending another whole night debating. They have examined 4,999 amendments in 10 days. Now the debate is officially over in the Assembly. The official vote will take place on tuesday. There is not much suspense since the majority of the deputies belong to the same party as our Prime minister and our President. So the bill should pass. Then the bill is going to be debated in the Senate. It will start on march, 18th. I think that such vivid debates are great moments in a democracy, even if I know that we are very late on gay marriage compared to many countries, especially among our European neighbours. But there was also a second new that caught my attention. A 28 year-old woman put grafitti on the famous painting "Liberty leading the people" made by Eugene Delacroix. It was the original painting. I would like to say that the painting is fine : that's what all the radios and tvs keep repeating since this morning. But only one radio said (in one sentence) that the woman responsible for the grafitti was sent to a judge and declared "unresponsible" because she was "deranged". She was eventually automatically put into a hospital. It was obvious that the main concern was about the painting (and as a student in arts and literature, I would be very hypocritical to assert that I didn't feel worried for the painting), but... Why so few concern about the young woman? The problem is that most politicians would like to "protect" the majority of the population from the mentally ill people by locking them into hospitals, instead of trying to get them more taken care of, integrated and appreciated. They don't realise that, when they exclude a mentally ill person who is not an immediate danger for other people, they are making the illness worse. All psychiatrists can testify that isolation, loneliness and exclusion trigger more symptoms! Some of them wouldn't even appear if the person was supported! Sorry, for the very long post . Feel free to leave a comment!
  4. Hello Pjfog, The side effects you are mentionning are very common with sodium valproate at the very beginning of the treatment. But don't worry: it is not serious and, as you said, it disappears after a few days of uninterrupted treatment. If the problem persists, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about it. Take care.
  5. ONE afternoon. Yesterday, it took the members of the House of Commons (the British parliament) only one afternoon to adopt a bill allowing the homosexual couples to get married. The bill still have to be voted by the House of Lords to pass definitively. The Conservative party is still split between those who are in favour and those who flatly reject the bill. I don't know if the bill also allows the homosexual couples to adopt children. Nevertheless, contrary to France, there are few debates in the British public opinion: there is more consensus than in France. So it shoudn't be that difficult for France to pass the same kind of bill... Why is it so complicated on our side of the Channel? If any British people on the forum wants to give more information and/or their opinion, they are welcome of course. Don't hesitate to leave a comment!
  6. Hey LoriJ, Don't worry about the double post, I'm sure the other one will be removed or something like that. I am also manic-depressive with extreme episods and psychosis. I have been taking lithium for 2,5 years and it has changed my life. I'm not saying that everything is fine and lovely in my life, but it's so much easier now to manage my difficulties. I am able to study, to work and to make projects, which was simply not possible for me a few years ago. It is not a problem to have several mood stabilizers at the same time. I have two: lithium and lamotrigine. They work on different sides of the illness and are very complementary. My psychiatrist told me that, if needed, he could even add a third mood stabilizer: it is not something unusual. So don't worry about the two mood stabilizers. It's great that you already find a difference after 1 week of lithium: it's very encouraging ! Now don't forget that this med takes some time to be fully effective. You will have to be patient and try to adopt a certain self-discipline (sleep enough, have balanced meals, watch your own behaviour to prevent a relapse, avoid some situations that could trigger a new fit, etc.). Don't forget to get your lithium level checked with a blood test when your doctor tells you to do so (that's very important). In the meantime, things should improve very much. I hope it will, LoriJ. But if it eventually appears that lithium is not effective enough for you, don't worry: there are other mood stabilizers to which your p-doc can add other mood stabilizers or antipsychotics at a low dose if needed. A few time ago, I was desperate about my state and I thought that I would never have a real life. Now I celebrate my lithium birthday every year (the 15th of may). I know it sounds crazy but I don't care. I think you should just give this med a try and see what happens. Take care, LoriJ.
  7. Thank you for your reply, Aoibh . That's great that you are able to manage your illness . With time, the difficult years I've gone throught have taught me one or two important things about my illness (and life) too . So I really cannot complain about my situation: there have been times when I was desperate, but now I have projects and goods reasons to live even if it's not easy everyday. Like for major depressive disorder, it is possible for manic-depressive people to have a more or less normal life. But the balance is quite hard to reach and it usually takes time. Even when we get more balanced, we need to be very careful and to find strategies to be aware of the moments we are relapsing. It can be very tricky. I have my personal "warnings lights" : when the lights all turn red, I know it's time to react quickly before things get worse. But that's another story... If anyone wants to leave a comment, don't hesitate!
  8. Hello Drek and thank you for your comment, I think that you are mixing two different things: religious marriage and civil marriage. The bill being currently discussed in our parliament deals with civil marriage. In the French Right, civil marriage is defined by the "Code civil" also known as "Code Napoléon". It dates from 1804 and gathers all the laws concerning our French civil Right. These laws originally came from a text called "la Coutûme de Paris" (the Custom of Paris) dating from the 16th century, from the written Right from the South of France and from the ideas that had emerged from the Revolution of 1789. There is neither any spiritual connotation nor any religious reference in it. Now, as any law in democratic countries, ours can be changed when the situation of the society has evolved . Today the fact is that a part of our population is obviously prejudiced by this law. Exactly like women, who were largely left apart of the society in term of rights till a few decades only. Or like mentally ill people who were not even considered as human beings. And it is not acceptable that a law doesn't include a part of the population, as if it didn't exist. The objective of the homosexual couples is to gain the right to get married if they want to, as any other citizen because it is a fact that some of them live together, have children and want to prepare their future. They want to be able to bequeath what they want to their children. And if they separate, they want that things can be peacefully solved. Today, when a homosexual couple with children splits, one of the two partner sometimes never sees the children again. In my opinion, the real fact here is that there are families in France that are considered as less legitimate than others. Now if you reckon that this view of marriage doesn't suit your personal notion of what marriage is (or should be), I respect your opinion . But keep in mind that it has nothing to do with any religious tradition. It is about civil marriage .
  9. Hello Beaner, I also experienced it when I was a child and still today as an adult. As a kid, I became extremely anxious on sundays because I knew I had to go back to school. I was a very good pupil and I constantly had the impression that I had to bring the best grades at home or my mother would be very disappointed with me, would regret to have had a child like me and would cease to love me. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I went on with this pattern in highschool and in university. I was so used to putting all my strenghs in my studies that I had forgotten that there was also a real life apart from work and studies. I think there is a time for work and a time to relax and have pleasant activities (or even to do nothing!). Too much pressure and stress is dangerous for manic-depressive people: contrary to most people, we have to organize our life according to our illness and the limits that it imposes to us. You can't spend your whole life working like crazy and expect your illness to get better. Being too demanding with yourself can make things getting worse. It means that the more you work, the less effective your work is going to be. You need some time to live your life. I bet your depression is going to get better if you leave a little bit of your professional responsibilities: maybe you could delegate a little of your work or obtain longer delays? Take care, Beaner.
  10. Hello, I feel a little better as days pass. I am less and less irritable and I try to be careful about my level of stress and agitation. I still have too much energy but I manage to sleep more hours, at least. That's the most important . At work I try to be aware of not hurting myself because my gestures are still very abrupt. It happens very often when I have a hypomania. The overflow of energy makes my gestures hard to control and I don't always feel when I'm hurt. Now my left hip aches and is painful when I walk. Fortunately I have two days off: I'm going to see how things go and maybe take an appointment to the doctor if needed. My job requires many physical efforts: I have to carry heavy things, to hurry all the time, to make wide gestures... If you give such a job to a manic-depressive person, there are chances that this person madly hurls themself on their work without paying attention to their own security. The only good side of it is that I managed to lose a little of weight. Besides, I am also glad to say that what I sowed a few years ago was not entirely bad because it is also giving me some good things to reap today. I got a wonderful letter of recommendation from a person I used to work with, two years ago. I didn't expect it. It was some very good news to me and I find it reassuring. It means that I am also able to make good things, that the illness is not controling all my life, its whys and wherefores. I can feel a true happiness in the same way that I was able to feel a true "coffee-flavoured" sadness a few weeks ago. I would be glad to read your own experiences on the subject . Have you ever had backlashes because of your behaviour during depressive or manic episods, even much later, when you eventually got better? How did you manage the situation of being abruptly brought back to the mistakes you made while you had a fit of depression or mania? Have you found strategies to prevent the problem in the future? Don't hesitate to leave a comment. Take care.
  11. Hello, Thank you for your reply, Aoibh. I was also appalled by some of the violent reactions and comments I heard yesterday on the radio and on TV. But I cannot deny that I also like to talk with people who don't share my point of view and to discuss arguments with them, as long as we all remain respectful. It can be very interesting and those discussions can lead me to think of issues I had not even thought of. What strikes me the most is the evolution of surveys. There are still more than 50% of people who are in favour of the bill, but the more time passes, the more this percentage is decreasing. Do some people have doubts? I agree with you, Aoibh, when you say that the sky didn't collapse on the head of those whose country adopted the law . Today, 8 countries in Europe have adopted a law allowing homosexual couples to get married: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. They all adopted the law between 2001 and now. 6 among them are part of the European Union, which makes 6 out of 27 country. It is not much but the process has accelerated in the past few years which is the sign of a change in people's state of mind. Some other European countries are currently having a debate about gay marriage and are thinking of a future bill. Now some journalists are surprised that traditionnally very catholic countries like Spain or Portugal were among the first in Europe to adopt a law on gay marriage. To me, it indicates that it is not a question of church and religion only. A few days ago I heard on the radio the interview of a couple of two women. They were both practising catholics and explained that christianism was a religion of love. They didn't understand why their couple was supposed to be contrary to their beliefs. I think that the real problem is more about the idea some people have about what a family is. Some people cannot bear the idea of a family with two moms or two dads and kids. It breaks their traditional view too much. They don't realize how much things have changed since the beginning of the 20th century. It will probably take time but those people will understand that certain things need to evolve because they no longer suit their time. My mother told me once that when she was 22 years old and that she wanted to open a bank account, she needed the agreement of either her father or her husband to do it! My two grandmothers were allowed to vote in 1945 and voted for the first time in 1947! It sounds crazy to me now, but at the time when women voted for the first time in France, some journalists (men) found it disgraceful. Some others said that, after the great role women played in the society during the two World wars as men were fighting, they plainly deserved the right to be fully considered as citizens. I hope that one day - maybe in 50 years or one century? - people will look back and find it insane that their predecessors considered some couples as more legitimate and better parents than others. Look at all the kinds of families we can find nowadays in our societies: married/unmarried/in a civil partnership couples, with or without children, with biological/adopted/born thanks to medically assisted procreation children, single parents, single persons, and I'm not even mentionning children born thanks to a surrogate mother, which is legally forbidden in France but exists all the same. Concerning mentally ill people, I think that the problem is slightly different. The strength of homosexual couples is that they can show that they live like any other persons, that their kids are quite normal and that they have exactly the same preoccupations in their everyday life than any other family. They can be self-confident. They can prove that they are as efficient at work as anyone else. But for mentally ill people, it is impossible to show that we live like any other person because we don't. Our behaviours are specific to our illnesses and we have other problems in our everyday life. We cannot "prove" that we are like anyone else. As a manic-depressive person, I can spend several months being maniac, that is to say hyperactive and unstoppable. In general I become talkative to an extreme point, I talk very fast and loudly, I laugh all the time about anything. My attention goes from a subject to another (everything looks terribly interesting) and I am unable to focus on anything in particular. My brain works like crazy day and night which provokes an increased capacity to solve very difficult intellectual issues, a perpetual will to try risky challenges, and a mixed feeling of plenitude and anger at a level so high that I am always on the verge of having a fit. To put it in a nutshell, I feel like I'm about to explode and nothing seems to be able to relieve me. And then I collapse into a psychotic depression for several months or years. Seeing my behaviour, any employer would think that I am not reliable, not balanced, not trustworthy and that the quality of my work is too irregular. This employer would certainly feel fooled, duped because they trusted me when they hired me. Thus, the only thing I can prove is that the frame of the society I'm living in is too tight for me, not flexible enough. So, as mentally ill persons, our daily challenge is to prove that we can add a real value to our society without being "in the norm", without working or thinking or behaving into the frame of a traditionnal shape. There's always a threshold beyond which we are no longer considered as reliable and sensible persons. That's why we are eventually rejected in my opinion. It doesn't make sense to consider homosexual people as "abnormal" people because concretely there is absolutely nothing about them which would prevent them from being full members of the society. But it is different for mentally ill people. The society is like a square-shaped opening. Heterosexual people are like blue squares and homosexual people are like red squares. They both fit the square-shaped opening even if they are different. But mentally ill people are changing figures - sometimes circles, sometimes triangles, sometimes squares, sometimes other strange and undefined figures - trying to fit a square shape: sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't.
  12. "Marriage is contracted between two persons of opposite sex or of same sex" (approximative translation). That's done. :holiday: The first article of the bill was adopted by our deputies with 249 in favour and 97 against. The debates were very virulent and violent today. Some deputies shouted and threw insults at each others. The president of the parliament had a very hard time to keep them calm and to force them to be civil and respectful. Their "spectacle" aired on TV was not flattering for them. Today our parliament looked like a shambolic playground. It was also a great mess in the streets where many many people demonstrated against the bill. The atmosphere is getting more and more strained. It probably won't get better as there will be still the issue of adoption for all couples at stake in the next few days. Let's see how things go. But considering the balance of power in the Assembly I would be very surprised if the bill wasn't adopted. Then everything will still have to be made because it is more and more obvious now that a law cannot change people's mind like a magic formula. Our society needs a deeper change, a new state of mind. I think that what makes our societies (in general) unbearable has something to do with our unability to respect differences on the one hand and to look beyond labels in the other hand. Thank you Aoibh and Linda for your replies. If you feel like reacting on the subject, don't hesitate to leave a comment.
  13. Hello, Following my previous post, I would like to let you know how the bill on "marriage for everyone" or gay marriage (and the right for homosexual couples to adopt children) is going in France. As I am not very familiar with the vocabulary you use in the USA, Canada and in the UK (and many other countries) concerning the process of the voting of a law, I hope you will excuse me for my possible mistakes in English and that you will let me know if certain expressions and sentences I am using are not very clear. Today was the first day of the examination of the bill by the members of our parliament. Last november during our "Conseil des ministres" (Council of ministers), the bill was presented to the other ministers: it proposed to give homosexual couples the right to get married and to adopt children. The bill was approuved by the other members of the government. Today was the next step of the process: the debate and then the voting at the parliament (that we call "Assemblée nationale"). The opposition parties have proposed more than 5,000 amendments. In France we already had the "Pacs" (contract of civil partnership) voted in 1999. But since then, the debate concerning marriage and adoption for every couples had been a little forgotten. In may 2012 we elected a new president. The proposal of the "marriage and adoption for everyone" was part of his political program. Since then, the debate has been brought back to life: many demonstrations from pros and cons have taken place in the last few months and have strenghen in the last few weeks. Many artists, politicians, bloggers, cartoonists, etc. have given their opinion about the bill. I personally have had many exciting discussions with some of my friends, colleagues and members of my family. In the restaurant where I am working, many clients read the newspaper and talk about the bill between each other, from one table to another one, even when they don't know each other. Whatever their opinion is, I think that it is globally a very positive debate: even when they disagree, people seem to prefer a sound discussion, exchanging thought-provoking ideas, rather than insults or sterile disputes. This is what I see from my town of 80,000 inhabitants. Maybe people in bigger cities in France see a different aspect of things. The debates at the parliament will last till the 12th of february and they will probably go on being fiery. I will let you know about the advances if you are interested in them. Don't hesitate to ask me if you have any question. I am also very interested in your opinion. I will be very glad to read your feelings about the subject. Take care!
  14. Maybe there is too much enthusiasm, optimism and energy in what I'm doing. With time, I have learnt that when "sadness tastes like coffee" it is rarely a good thing. I need to be more careful.
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