Rummaging through my unorganized closet, I came across an article I wrote during my years in the hospital fighting depression. A roommate during my stay, whom I became close friends with, recalled her descent into hellish depression, as well as her suicide attempt. She gave me permission to write this article (excluding her name).
Dreaming. In tranquil waters. I’m sitting in my dinghy cross-legged, floating. The sea and sky are black.
I awaken. Black. Black is black. The room is black, but it must be morning. I’m all mixed up. I thought I heard the food trays arrive. I sneak a quick look out my room, and yes it is morning, but the halls also look black. All I sense is dread. Am I in a dream world? I shuffle back to bed.
I had never heard of “spoons” and the connection with chronic pain and frankly a bit confused. Noticing how many fibromyalgia sufferers use the term “spoonies“, I realized how it represented the reduced amount of energy for each daily task resulting from chronic pain due to an invisible illness.
Mental illness is surrounded by a glut of half-truths and untruths. If you tell someone that you’ve been diagnosed with, for example, bipolar disorder, they are likely to roll their eyes and say, “I don’t believe it – you don’t look mentally ill…?” What does mental illness look like then?
Which brings me to my question: Do I perchance look like I have Bipolar Disorder? I don’t think I do. Am I perhaps making something out of nothing?
Self-confidence and self-esteem slid into the basement and remained there for too many years. Trudging through the mud, and finally locating a ladder to climb up, rung by rung, I achieved the surface. An awfully scary surface.
This video gave me goosebumps and brought tears of joy at the same time! Imagine tossing a few coins into a black hat as charity could produce a symphony of musical artists collectively creating magic! Love it.
The well-dressed street musician was a member of the Vallès Symphony Orchestra and was participating in a Flashmob in 2012 as a celebration of the 130th anniversary of the founding of Banco Sabadell, one of Spain’s largest banking groups. He played Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and was joined by the rest of the orchestra, then the Lieder, Amics de l’Òpera and Coral Belles Arts choirs joined in for the grand finale.
Thought I’d throw this in for big smiles on a Tuesday! 🙂
You have a great work-out, then BOOM! – the dreaded after exercise headache hits. Sometimes it’s right away, sometimes a couple of hours after you’re done exercising.
What’s causing it?
There are a number of things that can cause after an exercise headache. If you already suffer from migraine, chances are that your exercise is triggering the migraine chain-reaction. It may be that the symptoms are a little different than what you’re used to – don’t let that throw you off. Chances are, it’s still migraine.
If that’s the case, you need to deal with the “big picture” – your overall migraine issue. Talk to your doctor about the various preventative medications that may be right for you. This is for you especially if you’re getting migraine symptoms a few times a month.
Your doctor also may be able to suggest a medication that you can take just before you exercise or just after, that will stop the headache before it becomes a major problem. More on that, and other tips, in this article on exercise induced headache.
There’s a big black hole
Where you thought you’d find my soul
So look into my eyes
And tell me if you find
The night black skies
Evacuate your home
And dive into the
the cracks in my
When I was first diagnosed with depression my mother-in-law termed my illness as a “bad case of the nerves”. I always shook my head at that one, and questioned, what does depression have to do with bad nerves; an incredibly old belief or judgment perhaps?
The term “nervous breakdown” is used by the public to characterize a wide range of mental illnesses. Nervous breakdown is not a medical term and doesn’t indicate a specific mental illness. Generally, the term describes a person who is severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to function at his or her normal level.
I would love nothing more than to attend this summit, but when your income depends on disability payments, money is extremely tight. It’s iffy to travel to the U.S. these days also.
Calling all migraineurs! Do you feel like you have exhausted all treatment options and you don’t know where to turn to next? That you want answers to the questions that plague you daily that your doctor cannot give you or do you simply need help in explaining your condition to loved ones and how best […]
I’ve never really had a great relationship with my mother; and I spent many years questioning if it was something I had done wrong, until recently I came across an article about Narcissistic Mothers and could relate to every single point.
Finally, I could understand why my mother treated me the way she did. She is a Narcissist! I spent hours on end researching and I started to feel comfort in realising, it is not my fault.
If you don’t know what a Narcissistic Mother is, then let me explain.
Below are some of the most common traits:
She will criticize you any opportunity she gets; even in the most subtle way. She will never tell you that you are doing well, instead she will tell you how good someone else is doing and ask why you can’t be more like them.
This article is wonderful explaining the huge impact emotional abuse and narcissism has on a child growing into adulthood. It’s a bit longer than most of my postings yet well worth the read.
I experienced emptiness during my childhood as a daughter of a narcissistic mother who either ignored me most days or spewed vicious words of criticism and anger. I spent many hours in my bedroom reading, a huge relief from my mother outside my door. Which was worse, being ignored or the vicious words? Either way, I felt empty.
Emptiness: It’s not a disorder in and of itself, like anxiety or depression. Nor is it experienced by most people as a symptom that interferes with their lives. It’s more a generic feeling of discomfort, a lack of being filled up that may come and go. Some people feel it physically, as an ache or an empty space in their belly or chest. Others experience it more as an emotional numbness.
You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, disconnected as if you’re not enjoying life as you should.
People who don’t have it don’t understand. But people who feel it know:
In many ways, emptiness or numbness is worse than pain. Many people have told me that they would far prefer to feel anything to nothing. It’s very hard to acknowledge, make sense of, or put words to something that is absent. Emptiness seems like nothing to most people. And nothing is nothing, neither bad nor good, right?
But in the case of a human being’s internal experience, nothing is definitely something. “Empty” is actually a feeling in and of itself. And I have discovered that it is a feeling that can be very intense and powerful. In fact, it has the power to drive people to do extreme things to escape it.
Usually, when someone is referred to as ‘confident‘ they are referring to self-confidence.
Self-confidence is faith in one’s own abilities. People with high self-confidence typically have little fear of the unknown, are able to stand up for what they believe in, and have the courage to risk embarrassment (for instance, by giving a presentation to a large group of people). One who is self-confident is not necessarily loud, brash, or reckless.
Confidence as a psychological quality is related to, but distinct from, self-esteem. Self-esteem is usually lost as a result of other losses. Losing confidence is no longer trusting in the ability to perform.
My self-confidence and self-esteem went down the toilet very shortly after my first hospitalization back in the mid-1990’s and never really returned, even to this day. The gigantic hands of depression held onto me ever so tight, I lost my thinking process, the career I built and mostly what I lost was me.
I went from working full-time as an accounting supervisor for a large manufacturing corporation, to essentially a ‘piece of fluff‘. People routinely came to me for answers, and when in the hospital, I spent my days sitting in solitude or meandering the hospital halls to pass the time. Was this the life I was sentenced to?
It was incredible the change in me; virtually a child standing behind her mother’s dress frightened to ask or speak up. I was even nervous ordering a pizza via the telephone. Previously, I was forever the one who would enter a room, introduce herself, perform a speech and feel right at ease.
Mental illness does this to a human being; and instead of possessing that comfortable leather skin that gets us through the rough situations, we find ourselves now only dressed in chiffon. You feel flawed.
These are rough roads and undeserved journeys. Some of us have taken these roads/journeys repeatedly, and question when will the “under construction” terminate, giving way to smooth, fresh pavement.
It took years to recover and land back on my feet. I revisited the working world, however, only some of the self-confidence and self-esteem returned; just enough to get me by. Starting all over and learning new computer systems and methods were incredibly difficult, yet I managed to endure employment for 6 years before dark depression struck once again and now find myself unable to work.
I recognize I still lack it, and living jobless makes a difference, away from the working world, not connected to people sometimes hurls you into your own little world where you get to escape and become too comfortable. At times, I’d still rather hide, but I know I can’t, therefore, compelled to be somewhat “self-confident” looking and sounding.
Actually, this self-esteem/confidence thing is a lot of self-talk, and the support has to be there as you begin the “baby steps”.
People with paranoid personality disorder are generally characterized by having a long-standing pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others. A person with paranoid personality disorder will nearly always believe that other people’s motives are suspect or even malevolent.
Individuals with this disorder assume that other people will exploit, harm, or deceive them, even if no evidence exists to support this expectation. While it is fairly normal for everyone to have some degree of paranoia about certain situations in their lives (such as worry about an impending set of layoffs at work), people with paranoid personality disorder take this to an extreme — it pervades virtually every professional and personal relationship they have.
Individuals with Paranoid Personality Disorder are generally difficult to get along with and often have problems with close relationships. Their excessive suspiciousness and hostility may be expressed in overt argumentativeness, in recurrent complaining, or by quiet, apparently hostile aloofness. Because they are hyper vigilant for potential threats, they may act in a guarded, secretive, or devious manner and appear to be “cold” and lack in tender feelings.
I originally posted this on my Niume.com blog (now edited) and received the most readers of any of my posts (4.4K). Eating disorders may occur at any age, and it’s awfully difficult to accept when you are middle-aged and over 50+.
Two years ago, I was 58 years old and struggled with an eating disorder called anorexia. That was extremely outrageous to me recalling a time when I had ballooned to a whopping 285 lbs.
During the late 1990’s I had been hospitalized too many times for major depression and on a cocktail of too many medications. Countless meds with their side effects increased my weight, and the heaviness remained that way for many years. But, before the gallbladder illness in November 2012, I had slimmed down to 185 lbs.
Yes, the gallbladder fiasco. Long story short, surgeons operated twice to finally remove this painfully unusable organ, and throughout this time, my diet was: “No fried food and no rich desserts or you will irritate your gallbladder.”
December 8, 2014. It was the first day at my first big girl job. I remember sitting in training and I started having this unbearable chest pain. I took some Aspirin and waited for the pain to subside. I’ve had chest pain before, but it was nothing like that. A few days later, I […]
This article was written by: Natasha Tracy from HealthyPlace.com (Breaking Bipolar Blog)
Sometimes people don’t believe I’m particularly sick. They meet me, I look fine, I interact, I charm, I wit and all seems, if not normal, at least something reasonably normal adjacent.
And that’s fine. It’s by design. Being a high-functioning mentally ill person, I can’t really afford to run around with my hair on fire. But faking normalcy, happiness and pleasure is a tricky and very expensive bit of business.
Being a “high-functioning” bipolar doesn’t really have a definition, per se. The term indicates that I’m not in a mental hospital, and I do things like live on my own, pay rent, work, and whatnot. I would suggest that being “high-functioning” seems to indicate that I can fake not being a crazy person.
The difference between sadness and depression? and why so many people get it wrong….. This article below appeared in www.psychologytoday.com written by Guy Winch Ph. D
Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. In other words, we tend to feel sad aboutsomething. This also means that when that something changes when our emotional hurt fades when we’ve adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment, our sadness remits.
Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything. Depression does not necessarily require a difficult event or situation, a loss, or a change of circumstance as a trigger. In fact, it often occurs in the absence of any such triggers. People’s lives on paper might be totally fine—they would even admit this is true—and yet they still feel horrible.
When I went for gallbladder surgery a couple of years ago, it would have been less nerve-wracking had I understood the anesthesia procedure a bit better. Sometimes doctors assume you know after they speed through talks with patients in doctor jargon.
General anesthesia refers to total body anesthesia. The body is brought to a level of sleep where there is no sensation, memory or movement. Anesthesiologists use medications called “general anesthetics” that are given intravenously or are inhaled.
The level of anesthesia is constantly fine-tuned by the anesthesiologist for each patient. General anesthesia is reversed at the end of surgery and the patient is taken to the recovery room.
The procedure for general anesthesia goes as follows:
Prior to surgery, the anesthesiologist may collect information from the patient to determine the safest combination of drugs and dosages. This information includes:
3. Health history
4. Current medication being taken (prescription, over-the-counter and herbal supplements)
How does a parent with mental illness impact their children?
Also known as Sociopaths, have personality disorders, characterized by their use of charm, manipulation, deception, and lack of remorse for their continual vomiting of cruelty towards others. They tend to ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving their playing field littered with massive chaos and destruction and they maintain a grandiose sense of entitlement. “They selfishly take what they want, and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret (Robert D. Hare, Ph.D.).”
Because Psychopaths are master manipulators and typically wear cloaks of deceit to mask their true identity, it is often difficult to recognize them, unless you have the great misfortune of living in their household. It is their immediate family members that are able to see the inside of their real world, however, it is the immediate family members who are manipulated the most; and their world of chaos soon becomes their norm.
THE TYPES OF PEOPLE THEY CHOOSE AS MATES OR POTENTIAL VICTIMS
They include: lonely (often rebounding from a hurtful relationship or not currently involved in a satisfying relationship), financially stable, have good credit, believe in the basic goodness of others, do not consider themselves very attractive or have a lower self-esteem, enjoy helping others, are not street-wise, are typically very nice people, and believe in honoring their commitments.
When the sad feelings overwhelm the happy ones. When the bad words said drown out the good. When no matter how nice the clothes or the make up, you still feel ugly.
When I want to be treated like a person not a clothes size, when no matter how much someone says they care or worry, the other things they say are the ones that hurt you.
When deep down you know they refuse to understand the person you are, no matter how much you try and share. When you’re made to feel guilty for something you also aren’t happy with.
When the problem someone has with you, is a problem you have with yourself. Looking in the mirror at the overwhelming rolls, the dimpled skin, the body that’s deemed disgusting by some of society. If I think its horrible, and they do,it must be right.
I have CPTSD (sexual and emotional abuse), and just hearing the word “fake” & “scam” was an enough to cause an actual trigger to my past, coupled with huge anxiety and intense anger.
Yesterday, while sitting in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading a book, two women around 30 – 40 years of age sitting behind me, actually had this conversation. True story. I’ll call them A & B.
A –Do you believe in all of this PTSD shit?
B –I don’t know what to think sometimes. I do know a co-worker who’s sister is going to therapy for it, I don’t know what exactly for, but she just said something that happened to her when she was young and has PTSD now.
A –Do you think it’s for real, or is she looking for attention? How old is her sister?
B –I think she’s in her 30’s, not sure. It’s something about molestation or something, I didn’t want to ask and be nosey.
A –Yeah right, like she can remember things that happened when she was a kid!
B –Well it’s her business
A –I’m just asking because I saw a show last night showing how some men in the military and some police are actually faking having this PTSD, just to collect disability. Some of them have collected $100,000.00, what a shame when people that have an actual disability need it.
And, their discussion continued……..
PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. PTSD is a real illness that causes real suffering. (source: psychiatry.org/ptsd) Continue reading “Are you faking PTSD for attention? or is this a scam?”→
Understanding the risk factors associated with these five cancers is the first step to take in minimizing your personal risk.
A cancer diagnosis can often be directly linked to your family medical history, your lifestyle choices, and your environment. You can’t control your family medical history and only some aspects of your environment are up to you. But lifestyle choices like diet, weight, activity level and smoking are yours to manage.
“Preventive measures are so heavily underutilized by people. And yet they work. Everything in moderation really works,” says Richard R. Barakat, MD, chief of the gynecology service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
While the overall odds are that two out of three women will never get cancer, 700,000 women were diagnosed with cancer in 2008 (the most recent year for which CDC data is available), most with one of the following types:
–Breast cancer accounted for 26 percent of female cancer cases and 15 percent of the 272,000 female cancer deaths that year. A woman’s odds of getting this cancer: 1 in 8
–Lung and bronchus cancers accounted for 14 percent of female cancer cases and 26 percent of all deaths. A woman’s odds of getting this cancer: 1 in 16
I’m still on the fence about this method for relieving chronic migraine pain, however, some people have said they’ve had wonderful results for their pain.
Some of the earliest medical acupuncture texts have survived since 200 B.C. and are still being used to teach students today. When you consider the fact that acupuncture has been used to treat patients for nearly 3,000 years, microsystems acupuncture is a relatively new practice.
Ear acupuncture, or (auricular therapy), is a type of acupuncture that approaches the ear as a microsystem of the body. Similar to reflexology, it treats this one body part in an attempt to treat symptoms elsewhere.
It was popularized in the 1950s by a French doctor, Dr. Paul Nogier, and was created as a bridge between Eastern and Western acupuncture. These days, most acupuncturists will use it in tandem with full-body acupuncture.
Most of my therapy has been individual, and I shied away from group therapy due to the fact that I was uncomfortable sharing my problems relating to depression and sexual abuse with a bunch of strangers. To be honest, my biggest fear was losing it and looking like an idiot if I started bawling my eyes out! However, I had no choice at the eating disorder program, it was 90% group and about 10% individual therapy.
I loathed it initially, others speaking out about themselves, revealing deep dark secrets that they had been holding onto, and slowly I became to trust them and I opened up. In short, it was very helpful in my recovery, yet I have to say honestly, I still prefer one-on-one. Give it a try though, it may suit you.
This article appeared in PsychCentral.com
Individual psychotherapy will always be the staple. It establishes the bond. It explores the ups and downs of that bond and probes the depths of the psychodynamic patterns of that bond and other bonds. It is the primary mode of understanding. It exists of and for itself and is not dependent on anything else. Group therapy is an adjunct to individual therapy.
After years of depression and hospitalizations, I finally returned to the working world.
I worked for my company for six years, left unexpectedly due to “can’t function at this job any longer” depression, resulting in long-term disability over four years ago.
During those years of employment, it was never disclosed to anyone (including supervisors or managers) that I was struggling with a mental illness, namely depression. My reasons were largely due to trust issues and stigma. The lunch ladies weren’t honorable; a bunch of gossipers with loose lips who thrived on spreading news, so I imagined my secret escaping could impact a job loss in the future. Therefore, on my final working day, people questioned why.
Away from this company for those years, I’ve only run into about five colleagues, but then I’m somewhat of a recluse and luckily a quick ‘hello’, or ‘good-bye’ ensued. However, yesterday I was shopping for groceries, passed by my former manager in one of the aisles, but was uncertain if she spotted me or merely strolled by.
I’m always looking for other reasons that cause migraines or headaches and came across this:
Chiari malformations (CMs) are structural defects in the cerebellum (the portion of the brain that controls balance).
For the most part, the cerebellum and parts of the brain stem sit in an indented area at the lower position of the skull but above the foramen magnum (funnel-like opening to the spinal canal). But if part of the cerebellum is below the foramen magnum, these are Chiari malformations.
~ Structural defects in the brain and spinal cord during pregnancy, possibly genetic or absence of proper vitamins or diet
~ Excessive draining of spinal fluid from area of the spine
“PTSD can drastically impact a person’s ability to communicate and connect with others, truly interrupting their lives and preventing experiences of joy,” says Joe Bienvenu, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This is why our findings are important and why it’s so critical that we continue to research ways to prevent PTSD.”
Similar research was done in years past, but there was much less data at that time. “We now have a larger data set to review and learn from,” says Ann Parker, a fellow in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. “These data could help us develop better prevention methods for ICU-induced PTSD.”
Through a systematic literature review, the research team looked at 40 studies of 36 unique patient cohorts with a total of more than 3,000 patients who survived a critical illness and ICU stay. The researchers excluded patients who had suffered a trauma, such as a car crash, or brain injury because those patients’ cognitive and psychological outcomes can be affected by the injury itself, rather than the critical illness/ICU stay. They found that the prevalence of PTSD in the studies ranged from 10 to 60 percent.