Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With Invisible Illnesses

“Living in Stigma” connects with everyone coping with chronic pain, mental illness, and all invisible illnesses.

My blog Living in Stigma was launched in 2007 and originally dedicated to all of us struggling with mental illness.  I felt as if I was living in stigma with my own major depression.

Many forms of mental illness comprise of DepressionBipolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, PTSD, Eating Disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and much more.

I struggle with both mental illness and chronic migraines, and with news articles, social media, research and valued readers sharing comments and opinions on my blog, it’s a reality that invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia, lupus, headaches, recurring back and leg pain, and so many more are also a vast portion of invisible illness stigma.  Continue reading “Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With Invisible Illnesses”

STIGMA – And Mental Illness

What is stigma?

When someone appears to be different than us, we may view him or her in a negative stereotyped manner.  People who have identities that society values negatively are said to be stigmatized.

Stigma is a reality for people with a mental illness, and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life.  Society feels uncomfortable about mental illness. It is not seen like other illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

Continue reading “STIGMA – And Mental Illness”

Lady Gaga Writes a Powerful Letter about living with PTSD

This is a Must Read!

The complete letter: I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After five years of searching for the answers to my chronic pain and the change I have felt in my brain, I am finally well enough to tell you. There […]

via Lady Gaga Writes a Letter About Her Experience With PTSD — Music In the Dark

Migraine Meds Help Some Children More Than Others

We often don’t think of children suffering from migraines and invisible illnesses also. It’s tough coping with pain when you’re a kid. I remember having headaches which began in childhood, later leading to chronic migraines in adulthood.

Lady with the Migraines

When kids suffer from migraines, amitriptyline and topiramate are often prescribed. A study proves these medications are effective for many children but reveals a strong placebo effect.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: health.clevelandclinic.org

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Do You Harbor Resentment?

 

Do you harbor some resentment?  I hate to confess I do; feeling embarrassed with a character flaw such as this, it becomes awkward to discuss.

Resentment, or the strong and painful bitterness you feel when someone does something wrong to you, doesn’t have actual physical weight, but it feels very heavy and can last a long time. Forgiveness is one way to get rid of resentment.  — Source: Vocabulary.com

Resentment can occur under any circumstances although some people’s resentments are deep-rooted, but the best example for me involved a work situation.

I recollect years ago, another woman and I were up for a similar promotion.  We weren’t chummy friends; so that didn’t enter the picture, however, we did work in the same department.  Both of us shared equal qualifications, and employed there longer than her, I assumed I would get the position hands down.  Well, guess what – I didn’t.  You know that reaction when they ultimately drop the bomb, you politely smile yet you are seething inside ready to secretly attack the winner! In retrospect, I was so cheesed off at myself for sitting there meekly accepting my loss and must have had the word “resentment” written on my forehead.

Continue reading “Do You Harbor Resentment?”

Depression and Changes in Appetite ~ How does it Affect People?

For me: As far as those dark depressive years go, it was all weight gain.  The cocktail of medications I was prescribed (including a few antipsychotics), produced side effects causing a huge weight gain. Isolation, boredom, lack of exercise and eating all of the wrong foods (you know the ones that taste better), just contributed to me gaining over 60+ lbs.  It’s so easy to gain weight, but hell taking it off.


This article was found on HealthyPlace.com (Coping & Depression blog) by Erin Schulthies 

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a change in appetite. People who have depression either lose their appetite and eat less than they did before or else their appetite increases and they eat more than they did before their depression started. For me, my appetite has lessened but it’s affected me a lot more than a simple reduction of hunger pangs. Depression and lack of hunger can be distressing.

How Depression and Lack of Appetite Affects Me

Depression affects my eating habits mostly by making me apathetic about food. Flavors feel dulled so I never really enjoy anything that I eat. I opt for really sour candy, ice cream or whatever seems tastiest. I fill up on junk food and then don’t care about fruits and vegetables.

A Depressed Brain is Still Part of Your Body

Continue reading “Depression and Changes in Appetite ~ How does it Affect People?”

Why are there more cases of PTSD in present day veterans than there were in Vietnam and the wars before it?

Wonderful answer to a difficult question. This blogger explained PTSD and Veterans in a clear and precise way. I’ve often asked this question myself of PTSD present day vs. Vietnam wars.

ROSE COVERED GLASSES

My answer to Why are there more cases of PTSD in present day veterans than there were in Vietnam and the wars befor…

Answer by Ken Larson:

Identification of PTSD and treatment for it did not become available after the Vietnam war until the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Even then the attitude of the military veteran about seeking help had not advanced to the point where it is today.

In 1968, I came home from serving two US Army tours in Vietnam, having been awarded five medals, including a Bronze Star. During my second tour I acquired Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Depression. Treatment would not become available for either ailment until the mid to late 70’s. Returning to the University of Minnesota at Morris, I found that most of my former classmates were either facing the military draft or were violently against the war. I was not…

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“CROSSROADS”-Nayana Nair

Beautiful, love this poem.

it rains in my heart

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I see myself sitting at the crossroads of life.

Scorched under the sun of reality.

Its heat is part indifference

to my existence and my ways.

And part a mocking laughter

at where I have led myself.

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This defeat is not about

smashed dreams or tears of loss.

Just an echo of a sound

that has left my heart.

Just a face I know, I see,

But can never be.

It’s not the loss of illusion

that shielded me from what I am.

The dread that whatever life may give me.

It can never give me back the illusion of control,

belief that I can be whatever I want to be,

when I didn’t want to be me.

When I saw myself as amalgamation

of all life’s mistakes and faults.

The biggest attraction in the exhibition

of ‘live’s gone wrong and people gone astray’.

Yet ,I yearn to be the…

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Survivors Reporting Chronic Neuropathic Pain Struggle to Retain Jobs

Lady with the Migraines

Cancer survivors who reported chronic neuropathic pain 5 years after diagnosis suffered more job-related difficulties.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.oncologynurseadvisor.com

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Shipmates and Soulmates

A thoughtful post and video.

An Unexpected Muse

What Is Needed

From our very first breath in the temporal realm, we’re drawn to certain characters who leave a mark on our lives. Some are known to us, some hidden or not fully realized what their purpose is. They come in verities of disguises; friends, lovers, parents, siblings, acquaintances and so on. Some invade our lives for a short time while others stay longer. These are Shipmates and Soulmates. I’m sure you can name many who fit under these personas and if you think long enough can come up with many fellow travelers who influenced you in the time it takes to inhale a single breath and then they’re gone. Still, in other cultures where

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PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling

PTSD is to blame for my feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness habitually during my life.  Sexual abuse by a neighbor when I was six years old, coupled with the impact of living as a daughter of a narcissistic mother was the catalyst.  With trauma, both sexual and emotional, I experienced negativity leading to depression.  Seeking out therapy has improved the healing process.

On goodtherapy.org they explain Worthlessness

Worthlessness can be described as a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. Individuals who feel worthless may feel insignificant, useless, or believe they have nothing valuable to offer the world. People diagnosed with depression often report these feelings, and children who were neglected or abused may carry a sense of worthlessness into adulthood.

When worthlessness leads one to experience thoughts of suicide or causes other immediate crisis, it may be best to contact a crisis hotline or seek other help right away.

Understanding Worthlessness

Worthlessness, a feeling that may cause an individual to feel as if they have no significance or purpose, can have a significant negative effect on emotional health. A recent study conducted by researchers at Seoul National University found that feelings of worthlessness were significantly associated with lifetime suicide attempt in adults who reported major depression and had also experienced trauma. The study concluded that, among symptoms of depression, worthlessness had the strongest association with lifetime suicide attempt.

Continue reading “PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling”

Does High Self-Esteem = Narcissism?

image: google.ca

I found this research study interesting, misjudging the fact that perhaps High Self-Esteem is Not Narcissism.

High self-esteem is frequently mistaken for narcissism, but scientists say the two are distinctly different personality traits that evoke opposite responses in similar situations.

Principally, narcissists meticulously guard their self-imposed status of superiority to the point of isolating themselves. Even when the narcissist is surrounded by others, any perceived threat to his or her superiority has the potential to evoke a crude, self-serving response, according to research. Such reactions are typically interpreted by friends and acquaintances as boring behavior.

Researchers say the defensive mechanism of narcissists too often involves going on offense when their fragile egos take a hit. New psychological findings indicate narcissists more often battle a deep sense of dissatisfaction with themselves rather than with others.

Continue reading “Does High Self-Esteem = Narcissism?”

The “Everything Happens for a Reason” statement is Crap

Opinion

I think about this statement often, and when someone utters these words, it pisses me to no end. 

What precisely does it mean, and why do people say it? Are they so narrow-minded, wrapped up in religion, or in another world?

Does it mean when there is a world disaster, a plane crash due to a mechanical issue, a school shooting, childhood sexual abuse, people diagnosed with an illness, serial murderers and rapists, riots, war veterans killed or any other horrible occurrence, it happened for a reason? Please explain.

For me, it goes way back to my very ill years struggling with major depression and my mother once commenting the ever so “everything happens for a reason” words. Really, mom? You mean the sexual abuse, which led to therapy, which led to depression, which led to hospitals, a myriad of meds, which led to suicide attempts, countless ECTs, which led to losing my career, almost foreclosure on my house, hubby losing his job, losing friends etc. What exactly do you mean?

I don’t believe people recognize how much these words can sting, it’s almost a “whatever”. IMO, just support that person, show comfort and most of all keep your trap shut.

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy 2017

Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?

 

Bipolar Disorder Often Misdiagnosed as Major Depression

Researchers Pinpoint 5 Factors That Can Help Improve Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

I’ve been hunting for an article just like this, perhaps info for my dilemma ‘Major Depression diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder’.

 I was diagnosed as BP II in 1997, at which time psychiatrists prescribed mood stabilizers, followed by antidepressants and a myriad of medications throughout the years. 

A number of these medications are still prescribed, so I’m puzzled by this diagnosis, considering primarily fighting off major depression for years.  Episodes of “mood swings”, “rapid cycling” or “mania”, just aren’t there.  I’m demanding a reevaluation; perhaps confirming meds that may not even be necessary.

About one in three people diagnosed with major depression may actually have bipolar disorder, researchers report.

Five characteristics, including extreme mood swings and psychiatric symptoms at a young age, may help pinpoint which patients actually have bipolar disorder, they say.

Bipolar disorder covers a spectrum of disorders in which patients may be sad and down one day and feeling on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose the next.

Continue reading “Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?”

Tell your inner critic to shut up!

This Way Up

“Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up!”

― Ann Bradford

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Do you ever feel like your inner voice is not your best friend? Do you find that voice telling you that whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong? My inner chatter is often telling me that I’m not doing ‘it’ right. It doesn’t matter what ‘it’ is – doing a task, helping someone to do something, even just trying to meditate. I used to think that I was alone in this and that I was just flawed and hopeless. Then I started working with other women in workshops and discovered that almost all of us do this one way or another. It is painful to realize how many of us believe these negative voices in our heads. I wrote about this topic recently on Thrive Global.

Most of us received plenty…

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Symptoms of Mold Exposure …What to look for ~ or is it just Allergies?

Amazing how mold can cause so many health problems.

Lady with the Migraines

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Symptoms of Mold Exposure

People often mistake the symptoms of mold exposure for other things. They might think they are experiencing seasonal allergies, like hay fever. They might wonder if they are allergic to pet dander. They might think they just have a cold or sinus infection since mold symptoms resemble those common conditions. Of course, if you realize you have a mold problem in your home, you might suspect your symptoms are related to mold.

Many people don’t realize they have a mold problem until they start getting sick, though. That’s because mold often grows in places where it’s hard to spot, like inside walls, inside heating ducts, and under flooring.

We encountered mold in an apartment we lived in for about 5 years.  The building was about 40 years old, and although the property and building were well maintained, the carpets in the bedrooms appeared old. We used…

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What is Huntington’s Disease?

You don’t hear much about this disease, and I found it extremely interesting to read about.

Quick Answer: Huntington’s disease is an incurable, hereditary brain disorder. It is a devastating disease for which there is no currently “effective” treatment.

Nerve cells become damaged, causing various parts of the brain to deteriorate. The disease affects movement, behavior and cognition – the affected individuals’ abilities to walk, think, reason and talk are gradually eroded to such a point that they eventually become entirely reliant on other people for their care.

Huntington’s disease has a major emotional, mental, social and economic impact on the lives of patients, as well as their families. Continue reading “What is Huntington’s Disease?”

The 3 Most Devastating Kinds of Loss ~ but how do I recover?

“The human heart has a way of making itself large again even after it’s been broken into a million pieces”. ~~ Robert James

Understanding what kind of loss you’re experiencing can sometimes help you find your best self in the situation, say the authors of “You Can Heal Your Heart”.  Especially if you use these specific affirmations. (By Louise Hay and David Kessler)

1. Complicated Loss

To put it simply, a complicated loss is any loss that is complicated by other factors. Most of us know that we will experience loss when a relationship naturally ends. When two people mutually agree on separation and divorce, that is an uncomplicated loss.

When the death of an elderly relative happens in an expected way, after a good, long life, that is also an uncomplicated loss. How many of these are there? How often does everyone agree on endings, and how often do things end well?

Everyone’s lives are complicated, and so are their losses, of course. Losses become complicated when you don’t expect them to happen. In other words, the loss was a surprise. While you may name it, and it may well be a complicated loss, no matter how complex, the possibility for healing is always there. Let’s look at some examples of how we can change our thinking.

In a relationship, when one person wants a separation and the other doesn’t, you may want to add this to your thinking: “While I don’t understand this separation now, I will accept it as a reality so the healing can begin.”

This same thinking can be used with divorce: “I don’t believe we need to divorce, but my husband wants to (or, my wife has filed the papers). While I don’t agree with it, I do believe that we choose our own destiny, and my partner has chosen his (or hers). Everyone has a right to choose to be in a marriage or not.”

Remember that while the loss may be complicated, the healing doesn’t have to be. Continue reading “The 3 Most Devastating Kinds of Loss ~ but how do I recover?”

Bipolar Disorder – Just The Facts

In my opinion, for years now, whenever bipolar disorder is revealed on social media it relates to some heinous, horrid crime. Mass shootings or some horrific crime such as a vicious assault, or violent murders.  Less often is anything else said about bipolar, such as research or how the average person struggling with this disorder lives.

No surprise there is a stigma with mental illness, let alone bipolar disorder or depression.  I was diagnosed with BP in the late 1990’s due to a few hypomanic episodes, however, my history shows I’m usually in the “basement”, staggering through the muck, fighting depression.  I wonder how thorough that test was for the doctor to diagnose me as Bipolar?For me, it’s a label, but I hate to even divulge I have BP.  Shame really….imagine being ashamed of an illness?

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

Now the police are at my door….

Dialing the Distress Center Hotline, speaking what seemed like forever with a counselor about my obsessive suicidal feelings and depression, then abruptly hanging up was a terrible idea. Thoughts danced in my head for days, dreaming and planning for ways to kill myself, yet I still reached out for help. The counselor’s voice was grating on my nerves, we weren’t making progress, so didn’t want to talk to this chick anymore.

Then a loud rap at my door, “Police”.  I cautiously open my door to discover a male and female officer standing on my front veranda, asking if I’m ok and can they talk to me.  Me? Why? Police?

They clarified the Distress Center’s “phone hang-up” policy, so they had no alternative but to call the police. I was ‘distressed’ to say the least, and the cops weren’t buying my story that I will be ‘ok’ now.

Neighbours, who as a rule don’t walk their dogs, now saunter by the police car peering in, along with other neighbours peeking through window blinds and curtains. The back seat of this cruiser is larger than I expected, however, I am seated with my mind in a muddle, confused, uncertain of the future yet despising the present. Continue reading “Now the police are at my door….”

31 Honest Answers to ‘How Are You?’

I’ll admit I usually answer ‘dishonestly’.

Lady with the Migraines

I was hoping an article about this very subject would appear.  Whenever meeting someone for lunch, a colleague that I haven’t seen since 2011 or a gathering, I’m usually fumbling around for words.

This article appeared in The Mighty.com written by By Sarah Schuster

When someone asks, “How are you?” do you answer honestly?

This question is often thrown around as a casual greeting, so much so that we default to “I’m good!” or “I’m fine!” — even with our closest friends and family. And while we’re maybe less hesitant to open up about a stomach ache or that we’ve come down with the flu, our true emotional state can feel like a dirty secret — we don’t want to give it up.

So we asked our Mighty community — people who experience disability, disease, mental illness, parent children with special needs and more —  how they’re really doing. What we got…

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Low Back Pain Emergencies Could Signal Neurological Injuries

Lady with the Migraines

When physicians pick up a chart in the emergency department and see that the chief complaint is low back pain, most have a similar reaction: not another lumbosacral sprain, not another drug-seeker, or not another patient nothing can be done for. Most often, the cause of the low back pain is benign, and many physicians feel ill-equipped with the tools needed to help these patients in any significant way.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.acepnow.com

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Triggering Triggers (PTSD)

Trigger Warning!!

Triggers can pop up just about anywhere.  Just when you think that you have tackled an issue, whether it is dealing with a traumatic experience or re-living memories in a disorder called (PTSD), post-traumatic stress disorder, triggers may resurface.

A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.  PsychCental.com

For me, traveling the tough therapy road, confronting issues relating back to my horrid past of childhood sexual and emotional abuse (PTSD), I lived with flashbacks and frightening dreams.  Certain smells, certain surroundings…..hard to pinpoint, can trigger a recollection.  Luckily, I have moved on with my life and can swiftly shove these painful thoughts aside.  It took years though to be able to achieve this.

A couple of years ago, a tough test for me tackling triggers was put to the test.  Nine years of hospitalizations ended in 2002, and I had not visited the inside of any hospital ward since that time.  My psychiatrist’s office was in the hospital, and although I had to pass by the doors to the ward for each appointment with him, it never bothered me due to the fact that I was an outpatient now.

Continue reading “Triggering Triggers (PTSD)”

What is codependency? Am I codependent?

The term “codependency” was coined more than 20 years ago by authors who studied the negative impact of drug and alcohol use on families. Since then, use of the term has been expanded to include a pattern of psychologically unhealthy behaviors that are learned by individuals as a way of coping with a family environment marked by ignored or denied emotional turmoil.

Most people are able to enjoy a sense of healthy, mutual interdependence in their lives. However, people with codependency seem to habitually form relationships that are one-sided and emotionally destructive.

Continue reading “What is codependency? Am I codependent?”

Lupus: Help, I’m losing my Hair ~ Tips to Prevent Hair Loss

Many of these tips apply to everyone taking medications

Hair loss is a huge concern to many lupus sufferers, at times very slight and unnoticeable or unfortunately for some, it can be quite severe causing significant anguish.

The list of tips below may help you prevent lupus hair loss:

Is it Lupus or my Medication?

Determine the reason for your hair loss. Could it be lupus or perhaps your hair loss may be caused due to the medication you’re taking? If it’s medication-related, please consult with your doctor about possibly changing medications.

Follow Your Medication Instructions

Always take your medication as instructed including the right time of day. Don’t skip your medication for any reason, and phone your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions.  This is extremely important.

Start your Lupus Treatment As Soon As Possible

Lupus treatment should begin immediately preventing you less anguish from hair loss.  Consult with your doctor and insist on getting a diagnosis as quickly as possible if you show any signs of lupus.

Always Be Aware of the Medication Prescribed Continue reading “Lupus: Help, I’m losing my Hair ~ Tips to Prevent Hair Loss”

Our child within

Stay strong everyone, you are all warriors! 🙂

Courage Coaching

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Love Athina ♥

© All blog posts and images are owned by me and Courage Coaching. Please don’t use without consent and only re-blog if you would like to use the information on here.

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Cold Therapy: what is it?

I’ve never heard of this therapy. An interesting read about Narcissism.

Lucky Otters Haven

narcissusflower

Narcissus flower in bloom.

Cold Therapy is a new therapy developed by Sam Vaknin for people with NPD and other disorders.   It sets up a scenario that creates a facsimile of the original trauma that that set off their disorder (retraumatization).   The “cold” refers to the idea of recognizing the narcissist is an emotional child and allowing them relive the trauma without offering any “warmth.” The narcissist is then given emotional tools to handle the traumatic event differently, thereby “rewiring” the brain.    It has had hopeful results on several people diagnosed with Cluster B disorders, including NPD and ASPD, and other disorders.

According to Vaknin,

Cold Therapy deploys tools from the arsenal of child psychology to treat these disorders because of their roots in attachment dysfunctions and arrested development. The therapy seeks to recreate an environment conducive to the replication of original childhood traumas so as to…

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My chronic migraines ~ I’m cranky

I’ll admit I’ve been cranky with an awfully short fuse lately, however, I’ve also been bedridden with ice-packs stuck to my head, isolated, and living in dark spaces for months. Winters in Canada aren’t kind to me, the barometer changing from day to day and week to week promotes wicked chronic migraines. Weather changes are my triggers.

I’ve posted previously about my 40+ year struggle with these crappy recurring headaches doing anything to prevent a trip to the hospital emergency for an IV drip to end the agony. The waits are lengthy (8-12 hours), torturous and almost always have some nitwit beside me who wants to chit chat.  Leave me be, please!

Currently, in my city, though, migraine sufferers cannot be treated with narcotics relief at any hospitals only providing Toradol which is comparable to placing a band-aid on my forehead.  Best to remain at home and suffer in peace.

Continue reading “My chronic migraines ~ I’m cranky”

Hey, are you filling my prescriptions properly? Beware!! 4 Pharmacy errors that can spell danger

This is critical information for everyone.  Each time you pick up your prescription – check it!!

How to avoid pharmacy mix-ups that can mean serious consequences for your health

How often do serious pharmacy errors happen? Actually, nobody knows. There is little data tracking the problem across Canada.  So what do you need to know to stay safe? Here are four errors to watch out for that can have serious consequences for your health.

CBC News and Marketplace have been investigating pharmacy errors for several months in the largest hidden-camera test of its kind in Canada. Follow our continuing coverage at cbcnews.ca. Watch the complete investigation, Dispensing Danger, on Friday at 8 p.m. on CBC TV and online.

According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada, medication problems are often caused by a combination of factors. Here are some problems to watch out for:

Illegible prescriptions

Continue reading “Hey, are you filling my prescriptions properly? Beware!! 4 Pharmacy errors that can spell danger”

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?

Those struggling with Bipolar Disorder and substantial weight gain will be especially interested in this article!

This article appeared on a new site I found Science20.com discussing Bipolar Disorder.  The words ‘Lithium’, ‘weight gain’ and ‘olanzapine’ are mentioned which are all too familiar to me.  Having gained about 60 pounds, I never put two and two together that meds were contributing to my expanding waistline.

Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis given to people who experience periods of intense low mood but also periods of elation and increased energy which can lead to impaired judgement and risky behaviour. The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that around 1% of the adult population experience bipolar symptoms at some point in their life.

UK guidance for the treatment of bipolar disorder has an emphasis on medication. However, more than 60% of people with the diagnosis stop taking their medication at some point. This is often because of the common and severe and unpleasant side effects that drugs such as lithium and olanzapine can produce. These include dizziness, diarrhea, slowed movement and substantial weight gain.

Continue reading “Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?”

What is Hashimoto’s disease?

Valuable information on autoimmune disease and your thyroid gland 

Hashimoto’s disease, also called chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis or autoimmune thyroiditis, is an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s own cells and organs. Normally, the immune system protects the body from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances.

In Hashimoto’s disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing inflammation and interfering with its ability to produce thyroid hormones. Large numbers of white blood cells called lymphocytes accumulate in the thyroid. Lymphocytes make the antibodies that start the autoimmune process.

Hashimoto’s disease often leads to reduced thyroid function or hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a disorder that occurs when the thyroid doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone for the body’s needs. Thyroid hormones regulate metabolism—the way the body uses energy—and affect nearly every organ in the body. Without enough thyroid hormone, many of the body’s functions slow down. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

What are the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease?

Continue reading “What is Hashimoto’s disease?”

My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves

Have you ever had someone enter your life that really made a difference when you were a child, validated your feelings or listened with concern when you spoke?

Perhaps it was a mentor, coach, Girl Guide leader; you get the idea. Reflect for a minute who that person was. For me, it was my high school home economics teacher, Mrs. Fox.

Each day I was greeted with a brilliant smile from her, and the only teacher throughout my entire schooling that I connected with.

I was emotionally abused by my narcissistic mother, forever feeling depressed, apathetic, sullen, despondent and isolated. Her home economics course, for grades eleven and twelve, included both cooking and sewing/crafts (this was back in the early 70’s when it was assumed girls who graduated would ultimately become secretaries or housewives!).

Continue reading “My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves”