This site is dedicated to the memory of Doug Lyle, and is an information resource for those affected by manic depressive illness, or bi-polar disorder. Please understand that this site is basically under construction, and you are invited to participate by sending your suggestions, and returning to often.

RETROzen was Doug Lyle’s email address, and I never asked him the significance of his email address, but I had this idea after he died. If one could reduce the concept of Zen (as in Zen Buddhism) to 25 words or less, Zen might represent “living in the moment” as a way to experience ultimate reality or god-consciousness.

So, for me, Doug’s email address RETROzen is a joke that says
RETRO = “going back to” and zen = “living in the moment”.

What is bi-polar disorder, or manic depressive illness?

From high to low. From euphoria to depression. From recklessness to listlessness. These are the extremes associated with bipolar disorder, which can be a serious and disabling mental illness. The condition is also known as manic-depressive illness (from manias on the one extreme to depression on the other).

Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 1 percent to 5 percent of adults in the United States. It often begins in adolescence or early adulthood and may persist for life.

Its causes are elusive, and there is no cure. But it can be managed. Left untreated, the condition usually worsens. The flares of bipolar disorder may last for weeks or months, causing great disturbances in the lives of the affected person, friends and family.

Signs and Symptoms

Bipolar disorder is characterized by an alternating pattern of emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). The intensity of the signs and symptoms varies. Bipolar disorder can range from a mild condition to a severe condition.

For many people, the manic signs and symptoms include:

  • Feelings of euphoria, extreme optimism and inflated self-esteem
  • Rapid speech, racing thoughts, agitation and increased physical activity
  • Poor judgment and recklessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Tendency to be easily distracted
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Extreme irritability

In the depression phase, signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, guilt or hopelessness
  • Disturbances in sleep and appetite
  • Fatigue and loss of interest in your daily activities
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide

Additional information and links to other sites are found on the Links page.

It is my personal opinion that anyone who suspects they may have these symptoms, or they know someone who does, should talk with a caregiver to explore treatment options.

Talk to a counselor, or your family doctor. If you can, include a close friend or loved one in your discussion. Learn all you can about the disorder. Look at the Links page here, and search the internet on your own.

Plan your treatment with the help of your caregiver, and family or friends. Be conservative in your treatment options, and study all drug interactions. Keep in contact with your family doctor about your treatment, and do not discontinue drug or other treatment without consulting your doctor.

So, why do I have the Yin Yang symbol all over this website?

The Yin Yang symbol is very old Chinese symbol and concept that (simply put) represents the good and bad forces found in God’s perfect creation. We see crap happening in the imperfect (as we see it) state of the world, yet we know that God created everything, and He is perfect. So go figureā€¦

I think Doug liked the symbol because Ken (his brother) liked it and probably had a couple of items around, like a bumper sticker or something like that.

When we realized (too late) that Doug was plagued by up and down feelings, extreme highs and extreme lows, (manic depressive disorder), then we (Jenni and I) thought that Doug further liked the Yin Yang symbol because it, in a way, might have represented the emotions he dealt with over the years.

You are invited to respond to this website with suggestions for improvement, questions, or to share your experiences. Look at other pages on this site by clicking “back” and using the links at the bottom of the page. (I need to figure out how to add the “links” at the bottom of each page.)

-David Lyle