Interesting information on your Thyroid

This was useful info for me, hope it helps you understand more about the thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is estimated to affect up to 8.5% of people from Western countries, and around 20 million Americans. What’s more worrying, however, is that up to 60% of people are undiagnosed, often because we don’t realise what the symptoms of an underactive thyroid are. Learn more here: http://www.dietvsdisease.org/13-signs-of-hypothyroidism/:

If anyone can add or elaborate, I’d love your comments. Thanks.

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….”

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”

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”

Finally, a clearer understanding of Narcissism & how it relates to CPTSD

If you are a survivor of PTSD, CPTSD or raised by a Narcissist this video is a must.  Don’t worry about emotions, I was tearful throughout the entire video. This gentleman showed empathy and shared his experiences.

TRIGGER WARNING!!!!  This may be upsetting for some people.

He has a series of excellent and informative videos on YouTube explaining various Narcissism and Complex PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) traits. Source: (https://youtu.be/L6l59nEn2ZY)

Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma

Religious Abuse

Each time I hear a mention of this abuse, I shake my head thinking “here we go again, another child/adult child sexually abused, coming forward despite their courage and pain, to be treated like garbage or accused of making it all up and the church deals with it in their own way, which is nothing”.  I seethe inside.

It is difficult to define what “religious abuse” means, as it carries with it implications of forcing someone to believe in a faith, but principally it is abuse committed by someone who is a representative of a religious body.

Usually, the abuse takes the form of:

~ physical abuse

~ sexual abuse

~ emotional abuse

~ neglect

The abuse occurs as a result of the religious representative taking advantage of his/her position of responsibility within the religious organisation.

There has been widespread publicity surrounding the abuse by and criminal conviction of priests of the Catholic Church all over the world leading to several leading legal precedent judgments in the higher courts concerning the scope of the responsibility of the church for the criminal behaviour of priests.

Continue reading “Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma”

Have you ever heard of ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches?

Picture this….You’re relaxing in your favorite chair, or out with friends for coffee or perhaps enjoying a delightful soothing bath, when unexpectedly, BAM!!, you’re struck with this horrendous pain in your head; the worst headache pain you’ve ever felt.  It’s different from a migraine, and termed a “THUNDERCLAP” headache.

During the warmer weather, two years ago, for a couple of hellish months, I’d been lucky to dodge migraines for a few days here and there.  But, no time for celebration, as I was suddenly contending with these sudden ‘BAM!’ headaches as well.  The pain was directed in the middle of my forehead, top of my head and covering my entire face, not a typical migraine for me, which are bilateral.

Continue reading “Have you ever heard of ‘Thunderclap’ Headaches?”

NPD Maternal Narcissism – Mom, describing most of your nasty traits

image: willieverbegoodenough.com

Mom, you scored beautifully on this:  31/33 (and you’re lucky I was being generous!).

How would your mother score out of 33?

(repost)

How do survivors pee after the pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

You may recognize this post from my other blog. Please note – this post may upset some readers

Lady with the Migraines

Image:  Wikipedia  A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

**This article may be upsetting for some readers

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia, and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared today on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But…

View original post 519 more words

Depression: Planning my Escape

Attending a party when you feel like crap? Imagine planning your escape the moment you walk in?

Envision feeling lonely when you are actually with people; with friends, celebrating a birthday party at someone’s house. You experience emptiness. The room is filled with chatter and laughter, yet you are seated; numb.

Depression is lonely. Curled up in a ball – lonely.

This actually happened to me. I was pretty much forced to attend a birthday party, and although I resisted, I soon surrendered due to the fact that it was for a dear friend and I was absent from all other celebrations throughout the past year.

Seated in a Lazy-Boy for part of the evening, I held tightly onto a diet Coke. I thought it polite to rise and finally mingle; show a smile, pretend to enjoy the evening, yet the feeling of hollowness was debilitating. Laughter echoed.

For the majority of the year, I had been in the hospital more than out. Depression was black; I felt as if I was literally dumped into a black hole and left for dead. It was stated there was light up at the top of this hole, yet I was forever waiting to witness any.

Continue reading “Depression: Planning my Escape”

Toxic Mothers: “How was I supposed to handle your sexual abuse?”

“Well back in the ‘60’s, we didn’t know how to handle things like that”

That was my mother’s asinine come back to my question, “Why didn’t you even take me to the doctors’ as a caution?” when discussing the sexual abuse a few years ago. I’ve always questioned this, whether it be any decade, wouldn’t a mother ensure her child was ok? All around, I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother which explains everything.

My parents didn’t believe me when I was 8 years old, revealing that our neighbor was sexually abusing me, and making matters worse, had to ask for forgiveness from the abuser. I doubt my mother truly believes me to this day or recognized that she made a huge mistake or perhaps ashamed how it was all handled.

She has never fully expressed regret for her actions, never acknowledged or empathized with the crap I went through (PTSD, major depression, hospitalizations, etc.) including years of therapy to heal and wipe up her mess. (Showing no validation or empathy is a common trait of a narcissist).

She slept peacefully at night during my hellish years, while I was awake feeling guilt, shame, and worthlessness. I finally severed ALL contact with my mother a few years ago, which was the wisest decision and the only alternative allowing me to continue healing and living freely.

(I finally received validation from a stranger (therapist) 45 years later which began my healing journey from feeling anguish and pain).

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy 2016

Reminds me of my Narcissistic Mother In Law and how her adult children's are always turning a blind eye towards her bad behaviour. My narcissistic mother in law got all her adult children to worship and fear her.:

How true is this?  Hugs to all, Deb

If My Abusive Mother Came Crawling Back, Do I Owe Her Anything?

For me, I positively don’t owe my narcissistic mother anything. Here is the woman who spewed out vicious words, ignored me, displayed rare empathy, criticized, ranted, raved, and left me feeling worthless and undervalued.

My father passed away in 2012 and I (the scapegoat) only have one sibling (my brother, the golden child).

Our last conversation(s) were similar to this:

“Deb, since your dad died it’s been really lonely, I have no friends and have to do everything by myself. You have a husband there all of the time to help you, I have no one. It’s really depressing, all alone in the apartment with nothing to do but watch TV. Your brother is always there if I need him, but you never seem to come over very often. I know you don’t have the car much and I said I could drive you to appointments or to the mall, but you always say you take the bus. We are family and we should do things for each other.

She wants and needs me now, yet she hasn’t changed her narcissistic personality at all, and most likely never will. Am I expected to ‘be there’ for her now that she’s so lonely, yet ignored me throughout my childhood?

She can’t have me now, it’s too late mom you blew it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I really enjoyed reading this article today titled “The Debt” in which it asked just that, do we owe parents who have abused us during our lives anything when we are adults?

See article @ Slate.com written by Emily Yoffe “The Debt” When terrible, abusive parents come crawling back, what do their grown children owe them?

Written and copyrighted by Deb/2016

Originally on my blog niume.com (Deb-Living in Stigma)
https://niume.com/profile/25982#!/posts

Judgment: And you’re so perfect?

Who am I to judge you? Who are you to judge me?

Dictionary: Judgement: the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, esp. in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.

Stigma: a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation; a mental or physical mark that is characteristic of a defect or disease: the stigmata of leprosy.

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In my opinion, judgment intertwines with stigma. Why do we judge?

I have voiced previously about encounters with both judgment and stigma, however, this is an example of stigma from a family member. Not long after my hospitalizations years ago with major depression, my brother-in-law severed ties with my spouse and me fearing for his children (or so he claimed). I really questioned at times if he believed I was going to attack him with a knife!

Continue reading “Judgment: And you’re so perfect?”

77 failed treatments left me feeling hopeless

Image source: http://www.smashinglists.com

My last ECT (electro-convulsive therapy) treatment was in 2002, I felt they did zilch, left me feeling hopeless, helpless and saddled with long-term memory loss. 

To this day, I’m unable to recollect beloved moments such as my wedding day, exciting or extraordinary moments while on vacations, visiting friends, enjoying our marriage and so much more. Bits and pieces have revisited but at a snail’s pace.  Had it not been for the psychiatrist transferring to another hospital, I would have been looking at possibly ECT #78?  She was pro-ECT.

 _______________________________________________________________

Major depression found me in hospitals during the 1990’s, in fact, it appeared I spent more time meandering the halls of the mental health ward than at home with my husband. I was deemed medication resistant, not improving and ECT was recommended as the ‘ magical’ solution.

TREATMENT

It was decided:  Wednesday would be the day. I’ve kept count; it will be #77 this time, one more nightmare procedure producing nil results and I’m once again pessimistic. I have to keep going, plodding along at a snail’s pace – ever so slowly to somehow reach the top of the mountain.

I’ve lost my trust in ECT (electro-convulsive therapy), including most of my long-term memory, but what else is there; what else to do? I should be rebellious, but frankly at times feel “what’s the point to it all”. I’ve been in the hospital this time for one week and told of more ECT’s. Continue reading “77 failed treatments left me feeling hopeless”

Mental Illness: Feeling like a burden for having depression

Despair, Alone, Being Alone, Archetype

For years I felt as if I was one huge burden, a pest that hung on for sympathy and purposely alienated people.

In 1998, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar I. Moods can swing from extremely ‘low’ (depression) to an exhilarating ‘high’ (mania). My disorder was BPII, meaning I still experienced ‘depression’; however, the ‘high’ (mania) is lesser of a degree and therefore named ‘hypomania’.

For a decade, I literally “lived” in and out of hospitals. My wonderful husband stood by me through those turbulent years. Years of endless hospitalizations, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, shock treatments), suicide attempts and a myriad of medications became the norm.

My immediate family (my side) were absent when I needed their support most. Friends? They were supportive at first, regularly visiting me in hospital, but as the years lingered on, friends became scarce. Had this been cancer or heart disease, would they have been more empathic?

I believe it is the stigma attached to mental illness that drives people away.

Are mentally ill people dangerous? No! A family member (his side) completely cut ties with us during the early years of my illness and hospitalizations, assuming I was dangerous and feared for his children. At Christmastime, only my husband’s name appeared on the Christmas card – my name was forever excluded.  We haven’t seen them since 1998.

Continue reading “Mental Illness: Feeling like a burden for having depression”

Imagine asking: Are you even trying to get better?

What kind of question is that? Who would ask someone that? Mental illness stigma at it’s best.

There are still so many comments made by society concerning mental illness, striking close to home with me and my struggles with depression.

Dusting off some old journals, back from my days in the hospital, I came across one stay where I “interviewed” informally some fellow patients enduring their experiences. While there were many more stories; I only selected these three:

These are samples of mental illness stigma and what society perceives.

~~~

*Denise in her early ‘20’s gave a rather heartrending account of an outing just that evening with her mother.

Denise’s mother picked her up from the hospital for dinner at a mid-priced restaurant. It was trivial talk mostly, due to the fact that she had just undergone an ECT the day prior and depression was relentless. After dinner, they both drove to the mall where they shopped for a new outfit, but it was on the drive home that anger and that feeling of failure set in.

Continue reading “Imagine asking: Are you even trying to get better?”

What If You Don’t Like Your Therapist?

therapy

I’ve consulted a few therapists over the years, and it’s always been advised to “give it some time”, but just how long do you “give it”?   I prefer not to ‘therapist hop’, however, even after a few sessions I can sense if this is the therapist for me. I’ve been with the therapist I have now for almost 6 years and knew almost immediately it was a ‘good fit’.

I found this article in Psychcentral.com interesting.

 

Ambiguous Grief: Grieving Someone Who Is Still Alive

I found this article interesting recalling the grief I experienced while my grandmother struggled with Alzheimer’s, gradually becoming worse and failing to even recognize me.

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My guess is that when people read the title of this article they will react with either a, “what are they talking about?  How can someone be grieving someone who is still alive and what the heck is ambiguous grief???” or a “holy crap, yes!  I have felt exactly that way! Thank goodness WYG is finally covering this topic”.  This is one of those topics where if you have been there, you get it and if you haven’t, you don’t.  Either way, hopefully, you’ll read on.

Before we dive in, if you clicked on this post because you feel like you are grieving someone with a terminal illness who has not yet died, there is another WYG article you should read before you read this article.  Check out our article on Anticipatory Grief, which is about the grief that comes when we anticipate that we are going to lose someone.

In contrast to anticipatory grief, there are times in life when someone we love becomes someone we barely recognize.  The person is still physically with us, but psychologically they are gone. There are a range of reasons this can happen.  Some of the most common are things like addiction, dementia, traumatic brain injuries, and mental illness.  If you have never lived through loving someone in such a situation, this can be hard to understand.  The person you love is still there, sometimes they ‘look’ sick, sometimes they don’t.  But regardless of how they look, they do things they would never have done, they say things they would never have said, treat you in ways they never would have treated you, and they are not there for you in ways they previously were.  This is sometimes referred to as “ambiguous grief” or “ambiguous loss”.

This may sound very abstract, but when it occurs in your life it is very concrete and real.  Your mom, who always loved and supported you, doesn’t recognize you, understand you or says hurtful things.  You husband, who was always kind and considerate, is now lying and stealing to support an addiction.  You son, who was brilliant and driven, is now struggling with delusions and hallucinations.

More on this article @  whatsyourgrief.com

PTSD Survivors: Why is validation so important for healing?

dissociation 3

Throughout my years in therapy, validation was comparable to receiving a gift, at times triggering tears of sadness, yet happiness and contentment at the same time.   Finally, someone was not ignoring me, was respecting my feelings and best of all, no interruptions with cruel words.  As a daughter of a narcissistic mother, very rarely showing any validation, empathy and usually telling me “you’re making things up again.”, this was all new to me.

Validation means to express understanding and acceptance of another person’s internal experience, whatever that might be. Validation does not mean you agree or approve. Validation builds relationships and helps ease upset feelings. Knowing that you are understood and that your emotions and thoughts are accepted by others is powerful. Validation is like relationship glue. – psychologytoday.com

This article from PsychCentral.com explains ‘Validation’.

Have you ever wished you could take back an email that you sent when you were emotionally upset?  Or maybe you made some statements when you were sad that you didn’t really mean or agreed to something when you were thinking with your heart that you later regretted? Or maybe you wanted to be supportive and helpful to someone you love but couldn’t because your own emotions made it difficult?

Communicating when overwhelmed with emotion does not usually work well. Being overwhelmed with emotion is not a pleasant experience. For emotionally sensitive people, managing their emotions so they can communicate most effectively and with the best results means learning to manage the intense emotions they experience on a regular basis. Continue reading “PTSD Survivors: Why is validation so important for healing?”

The Lady Found in the Snow

She was in her fifties and reported missing four or five days ago, a picture of a woman looking cheerful, with striking blue eyes, shoulder length light brown hair wearing a black and green mid-length parka. It was on the news and in the newspapers repeatedly, her picture of a woman with a warm smile.

To me it sounded peculiar, as if intentional or planned; waking in the morning, followed by calling in sick to work then vanishing. When reported missing, the police were summoned, then several friends and relatives began searching also. The investigation dragged on with no success, and it’s as if she went ‘poof’ into thin air, no trace, no use of credit cards.

Days passed, when someone identified her van at a cemetery, and not too distant from the van they discovered her body dead in the snow. The police didn’t reveal information as to the cause of death.

The newspapers stated that she was a registered nurse, worked for twenty-two years at the same hospital, extremely well liked and exceptional at her job. Her spouse was a clergy at the only church in the town where the family lived, and she leaves behind two children.

Continue reading “The Lady Found in the Snow”

PTSD: Why do I have a ‘short fuse’?

Image: pixabay.com
Image: pixabay.com

“She’s such a nice girl”.

I’ve never recognized why I developed a short fuse or experience sudden outbursts of anger while growing up until I was in my therapy session last week. My therapist and I are seldom at odds, yet one particular thing she said ticked me off and I snapped at her which resulted in anger.

We talked it through and resolved the issue, but I was shocked when she said, “when angry, the PTSD kicks in just like that”. I never connected anger, irritability or having a short fuse before with PTSD, but it makes sense.  Yes, I have a ‘short fuse‘ and I’m terribly impatient at times.

I’ve been termed ‘such a nice girl’ often, and to others, I suppose I am. Well-mannered, respectful, soft-spoken, compassionate, but underneath, I’ve held back anger on many occasions. Outside smiles, inside tears.

Continue reading “PTSD: Why do I have a ‘short fuse’?”

Rudolph is banned from the Psych Ward

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Struggling with depression for many years, I found myself spending three joyless Christmases (over the nine years of repeateded hospitalizations) on the dingy psych ward of a medical hospital. Two years of which I was deemed too risky, therefore, forbidden to enjoy Christmas dinner at home with family. Difficult to resign yourself to yet too unwell to converse with people anyways.

Rudolph was banned from the hospital.

So, four of us sat around a laminated and steel table (minus a tablecloth), in the gloomy dining/craft room and picked at our ‘festive turkey dinner’. Each meal consisted of turkey roll, faux mashed potatoes, lukewarm gravy, a scarce array of ho-hum veggies, stale roll, two packets of cranberry sauce and butter.

To my surprise, I did awaken to a gift planted on my side table; a red sparkly colored gift bag stuffed with loads of goodies including handmade crocheted kitchen items and knitted bright aqua mittens, yummy chocolates, which I thought very thoughtful and caring.

The Christmas year when permitted home for a two-hour visit, allotted barely enough time to wolf down a holiday dinner. As memory serves me, I believe we discovered a welcoming diner open Christmas Day, yet unsure if we truly ate turkey!

Christmas mood in the hospital was somber, the three-foot fake tree standing in the TV room was virtually naked due to prohibited string lights, (potential suicide risk) and only a few crocheted and cardboard decorations placed on branches sparingly. Underneath was a dull green round skirt covered with empty wrapped gold boxes assumed to resemble gifts sourced from years before.

TV and dog-eared magazines were there for our amusement, as well as visitors allowed for extended hours. Quick thinking by nurses, miniature candy canes in plastic wrappers were located at the ‘medication station’. Continue reading “Rudolph is banned from the Psych Ward”

Quote: Emotional Abuse

My therapist was the first person who ever validated my feelings, allowed me to speak, and believed what troubled me throughout my adult years due to Emotional Abuse.  My mother is a Narcissist and void of empathy, never taking the time or ignoring any feelings that I had. The only words out of her mouth were cruel and nasty.

 

How do Survivors pee after the Pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

Image: Wikipedia A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But how do survivors live with the pain of peeing, periods and childbirth?

“The first time you notice your physicality has changed is your pee,” says HiboWardere.

Hibo, now 46, was subjected to what is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “type three” mutilation when she was six. This means all of her labia were cut off and she was then stitched together, leaving a tiny hole she compares to the size of a matchstick.

She grew up in Somalia, where 98% of women and girls between 15 and 49 have had their genitals forcibly mutilated.

“An open wound rubbed with salt or hot chilli – it felt like that,” she recalls.

“And then you realise your wee isn’t coming out the way it used to come. It’s coming out as droplets, and every drop was worse than the one before. This takes four or five minutes – and in that four or five minutes, you’re experiencing horrific pain.”

Hibo came to the UK when she was 18, and within months visited a doctor to see if they could relieve the pain she experienced when she passed urine and during her periods.

Her translator didn’t want to interpret her request, but the GP managed to understand.

Eventually, Hibo underwent a procedure called defibrillation, when the labia is opened surgically. This widened the hole and exposed her urethra. It is by no means an outright fix, and can never restore sensitive tissue that was removed, but it did make it slightly easier to urinate.

Sex, however, presented a new hurdle. “Even if the doctor has opened you up, what they’ve left you with is a very tiny space,” says Hibo.

“Things that were supposed to be expanding have gone. So the hole that you have is very small and sex is very difficult. You do get pleasures – but it’s once in a blue moon.”

Image: Wikipedia Female genital mutilation (FGM)

The trauma of the assault also had a bearing on intimate situations with her partner.

“First you have a psychological block because the only thing you associate with that part of you is pain,” says Hibo.

“The other part is the trauma you experienced. So anything that’s happening down there, you never see it as a good thing.”

Figures released by Unicef in February raised the number of estimated FGM survivors by around 70 million to 200 million worldwide, with Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia accounting for half of all victims.

In the UK, FGM has been banned since 2003. Last year the government introduced a new law requiring professionals to report known cases of FGM in under-18s to the police.

Activists and the police have raised awareness about the risk of British school girls being flown out of the UK specifically to be stripped of their genitals during what is known as the “cutting season” over the summer.

Image: Wikipedia FGM in Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen, as of 2015
Additional source for information: Wikipedia 
Article continues @ http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36101342

Originally posted on my Niume.com  blog

Did you know that these Famous People are Narcissists?

There are many famous people all around us that suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), more commonly referred to as narcissism. There are many well-known individuals who display characteristics of narcissism, if not full blown NPD. They range from politicians to celebrities, from ministers to business leaders.

Some writers and researchers believe that successful and famous people have acquired or situational narcissism; they do show narcissistic traits but only after they have worked hard, sometimes for years, to get there. But that success often produces a personality pattern replete with narcissistic traits. Others believe that these people were narcissistic to begin with and sought out opportunities and fields that would satisfy their narcissistic needs.

Either way, once they become famous it leads to narcissistic thinking and behaviors; they have lots of money and/or fame, don’t wait in line at restaurants or events, have limo service, and are asked for photographs and so on. This often leads to demanding behavior, feeling they are above the law, becoming more exhibitionistic and many have public social or emotional meltdowns (frequent run-ins with the law, drug and alcohol abuse, attempting suicide, etc.).

kayne3
It was reported in Feb/2016 that Kayne was trapped in heavy debt. Kanye West Tweeted “I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome…”

Famous people with Narcissistic Personality disorder:

Let’s take a look at some of the famous people who show personality traits that suggest narcissism. Most of them show grandiose thinking and exaggerated self-importance, many believe or fantasize about the power they have, most believe they are special, need to be admired and feel entitled.

Many dictators and criminals had or have narcissistic personalities as well as the Hollywood celebrities; some are negative role models and some are positive.

Hitler and Stalin both had grandiose self-images as did Casanova, Marquis de Sade, Peter Sellers, and the heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard. Other likely suspects are Madonna, Margaret Thatcher, Paris Hilton and O.J. Simpson.

Here are just a few of the many famous narcissists:

Jim Jones

Saddam Hussein

Warren Beatty

Donald Trump

Ryan O’Neal

Alec Baldwin

Sharon Stone

Elvis Presley

William Shatner

Joan Crawford

Pablo Picasso

Ike Turner

Lee Harvey Oswald

Kayne West

Charlie Chaplin

Marlon Brando

Eva Peron

Simon Cowell

Liberace

madonna1
Madonna has claimed that she used “Cabbala fluid” to neutralize radiation at a Ukrainian lake. Her exhibitionism and larger-than-life ego are well known.

Article source:  The Narcissistic Life

Narcissism ~ Should we forgive the abuser?

TRIGGER WARNING!!!!
These series of videos have excellent info on the subject of Narcissism.

My Interview: Views on Stigma, Depression & PTSD

image: niume.com

Nuime.com is a blogging platform which contains postings I selected from this blog, as well as, personal articles that I have written over the years with a mixture of other topics.

I was delighted when chosen “Niumer of the Week” and the opportunity to be interviewed.  Here’s how it went:

Depression and mental illness affect many people all over the world, but despite its prevalence, it is still met with stigma, silence and even scepticism. There is still a notion many hold, that people who claim to be depressed are ‘making it up’, ‘seeking attention’ or just ‘feel sad’ and will get over it in time.

But the question still remains, why do we shy away from this topic and what do people who suffer from mental illness go through on a day to day basis?

Niumer Of The Week, Deb from Living in Stigma, bravely gives us her thoughts and explains what we can do to understand this issue better.

1) How did you discover Niume and why did you decide to use it over other blogging platforms?

Niume approached me via Twitter, so I checked your site out and was impressed by the layout and features offered. I have ‘signed up’ with other blogging platforms but my posts were not acquiring much exposure and others didn’t have well-defined spheres to post in. It became frustrating and I soon left.

2) Which of the others spheres do you enjoy browsing through?

I browse through most of the spheres, however, my favourites are Literature, Interesting, Humour, Lifestyle, Photography, Music and Art.

3) What are some of the biggest misconceptions about depression and mental health?

One word – Stigma. Mental illness is not a choice; it’s an illness. Who would choose to have an illness, and be so embarrassed and ashamed of it? This leads to isolation, fear, fake smiles, feeling hopeless, and worthless.

Continue reading “My Interview: Views on Stigma, Depression & PTSD”

Why Was I A Disappointment?

Image source: differentdream.com

WHY WAS I A DISAPPOINTMENT?

why was I such a big disappointment
and what age did you start loathing me
your son wasn’t treated like that
and I tried everything in me to please

the sexual abuse wasn’t my fault
yet you made it and believed it to be
to save face in the neighborhood was so important
keeping the secret didn’t destroy you as it did me

Continue reading “Why Was I A Disappointment?”

Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?

I used to ask myself, almost every day throughout my depressive illness; is this it?  Does it get ever any better?  Am I stuck here in this black hole forever?

Sounds pessimistic, but my history of recurring hospital admissions and medications that were ineffective, coupled with suicide attempts and unrelenting depression, didn’t illustrate a positive picture.  At separate hospital admissions, I was frequently greeted by the same bed, same patients and same nurses who precisely dispensed my medications.  Many years ago, hospitalization was a sort of an incarcerated life; that of daily rituals, set meal times, social activities, lights out at 11:30 pm, and scheduled visits from visitors.   Finally, discharge, after serving my “time”, which meant adjusting to home life all over again.

With zilch changing; I’m asking “is this as good as life gets?”

It’s both upsetting and scary, no one should ever have to endure this type of life, and depression, for me, proved a dreadful existence.  After spending months in the hospital, I would continually sense that I was one footstep away from hospital waters every waking day.  Continuously, just a step away from hell; surviving only on the surface.

Continue reading “Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?”

I’m cranky and I have a migraine…

Existing with chronic migraines in February, March and April are normally unkind to me, lasting 24/7 at times.  No cures for migraines, but I am used to the pounding pain which is mostly caused by changes in the barometric pressure.

I was up during the night watching TV, my migraine unbearable, and up pops an infomercial for the “cure-all” for migraines and back problems.  My exhilaration quickly sunk when what appeared was……wires with small black pads, fastened to one’s forehead, then connecting to a “powerful” machine.  The woman “patient” was amazed at how her migraine just “disappeared” in no time.

Hmmmm, wouldn’t that be magnificent! NOT! I’m somehow skeptical.  I believe they were giving away 2 for the price of 1 for a limited time only.  Gotta go, phone right now, 4 payments of just $49.99 + S&H.

So, bottom line….I will be posting a bit slower for the next few days.

Why I Created “Living in Stigma” and 9 Ways We Need To Stop Mental Illness Stigma

stigma_2

When I activated my first blog in 2005, it focused on humorous articles only.  During that time I was struggling with major depression, yet amazingly I was competent enough to write posts, and surprisingly these articles were a remarkable success.

I continued on and gathered many followers, all the time questioning whether to write about my mental illness, yet frankly, I was very embarrassed and uncomfortable to share my thoughts and life of hell with any of my blogging buddies, the blogging world, or should if anyone in my circle of “personal people” were ever to uncover my ‘secret’, I’d be devastated.

I eventually mentioned it to two trusted blogging friends my apprehension, and them replying, “why are you so embarrassed, it not your fault you were ill, write about it, who cares if people don’t like it, go by ‘anonymous’, not using your real name this time”.  And so I did, in 2007, I began this blog.  It’s been an enormous success from day one, with so much support from the blogging community and it was the stigma that held me back from starting this blog sooner.

I was living in stigma (shame) thus the name “Living in Stigma” –Deb

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Continue reading “Why I Created “Living in Stigma” and 9 Ways We Need To Stop Mental Illness Stigma”

Friendship Ruined Therapy

The therapist I have been working with for over five years has been amazing, we’ve dealt with some extremely emotional issues including PTSD sexual abuse and maternal narcissism.  She validated my feelings and showed the kind of empathy that I’d never received as a child, therefore, I’ve often craved her as a friend.  I soon understood boundaries, and realized it just wouldn’t work; therapy isn’t friendship

A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist.  She had been meeting X every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted X entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.

When she was pregnant with her second child, also experiencing difficulties with her spouse, X was there to convey her thoughts to.  By the time the baby was to arrive, they worked through marital issues, which alleviated the situation at home and for her.

After the baby was born, she didn’t see X for several months, however, she did phone her to shout with joy that it was a baby girl, and X exclaimed “hooray!”  She was ‘on the fence’ about sending baby pictures, yet she did send a few via e-mail in the end and X asked to see more.

Continue reading “Friendship Ruined Therapy”

PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again

Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback.  Seems whacky, doesn’t it?

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.  You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.  You may feel like you’re going through the event again.  This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.  Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran.
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.    Source:  WebMed.com

Continue reading “PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again”