(I’m reposting this article from last year, as it was edited and updated)
“Deb, we talk about your weight almost every day and you’re still not losing any. You are just not listening to us. Just remember, if you ever want a boyfriend or get married then lose the weight.” OR
“Deb, I don’t have time to read your “1st Prize” essay right now, I’ll read it later, I’m busy with my knitting and then I have to make supper. Just go and read a book or something”.
Other cruel communications were endless during my childhood, getting to the point where the words went in one ear and out the other ear or I disassociated.
Those words continue to sting until this very day, for I lived in a household with toxic parents, and I’m the unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother. I blame her for the viciousness, lack of empathy and relentless criticisms. Growing up was hell, and she accomplished that.
This well-written article below is from Gerald Schoenewolf, Ph.D. onNarcissistic Parents from PsychCentral.com/Psychoanalysis Now (blog)
Over the years I have often been asked what is the most harmful thing a parent can do to a child. There are many harmful things a parent can do, too many to point out. It is easier to focus on the kind of parent that does the most harm.
The most harmful parents are the parents who have a narcissistic need to think of themselves as great parents. Because of this need, they are unable to look at their parenting in an objective way. And they are unable to hear their children’s complaints about their parenting.
Summary: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on psychological flexibility and behavior change, provided a significant reduction in self-reported depression and anxiety among patients participating in a pain rehabilitation program, new research has demonstrated.
This treatment also resulted in significant increases in self-efficacy, activity engagement and pain acceptance.
To assess the potential benefits of an 8-week programme of group Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in people with persistent pain, measures of pain acceptance and activity engagement were taken using the Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire. Measures of psychological distress using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and self-efficacy were also taken at assessment, on the final day of the programme, and at the follow-up six-month review.
For those chronic pain patients with scores at all three-time points, there were statistically significant improvements in all parameters between baseline and at six months follow-up, including the change in mean score of depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, activity engagement and pain willingness (p<0.001).
“To further validate the role of ACT in the treatment of chronic pain, specifically in a rheumatology context, a randomized controlled clinical trial that includes measures of physical and social functioning within a Rheumatology service would be desirable,” said lead author Dr. Noirin Nealon Lennox from Ulster University in Northern Ireland.
ACT is a form of CBT that includes a specific therapeutic process referred to as “psychological flexibility.” ACT focuses on behaviour change consistent with patients’ core values rather than targeting symptom reduction alone. Evidence for this approach to the treatment of chronic pain has been mounting since the mid-2000’s. A previous systematic review had concluded that ACT is efficacious for enhancing physical function and decreasing distress among adults with chronic pain attending a pain rehabilitation programme.
In this study, patients were referred into the ACT programme by three consultant rheumatologists over a five-year period. Over one hundred patients’ outcome measures were available for a retrospective analysis.
Source: European League Against Rheumatism
Article source: ScienceDaily.com
I was a fraud, a nomad, wandering through the medical waste lands. There was no physically evidence of bruising, breaks, bulges of bone or muscle or discs. Everything was set in place… Mostly, as it should, but the pain, there was physical pain… Warm burning, sharp stabbing, dull aching pains in most places, places I didn’t even know you could feel pain, like the tip of your ear or behind an eye. The pain was very real, although completely invisible to the naked eye, felt only by me and seen by none. So I found myself in this strange state, outwardly I looked fine… healthy even… but my reality was juxtaposed with that.
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I was curious about this definition and found an article on Flying Monkeys Denied.com.
Above and beyond traditional definitions for what the Baby Boomers and WWII Generation grew up calling a “Megalomaniac” is a new definition of a public figure as well. A new classification of “Narcopath” has also emerged to define a “Narcissistic Sociopath” separately identifiable from the terms “Dark Triad” or “Malignant Narcissist”.
Understanding Narcopathy is an emergent academic research discipline evolving in part due to the widespread epidemic of NPD and ASPD sweeping not only across the United States but also globally. Considered emotional terrorists, Narcopaths typically take great pleasure in being in positions of power — places they should never be due to their inability to reign in capricious greed.
Because they are oftentimes temperamental, reckless, and red-faced, when they attain positions of power, they cannot seem to resist the urge to behave selfishly. Frighteningly predictable, they are unable to control their own impulses to behave in ways that do nothing but promote fear or discord in their own lives.
As a result, the people who know them best tend to dread having to spend time around them. Why? Because no one who is not masochistic seldom enjoys being lied to, brutalized, dressed down with zero input of constructive criticism, manipulated, taunted, ridiculed, laughed at, or antagonized.
Like small children or petulant teenagers behaving with an unjustified and/or illegal sense of entitlement, the Narcopath cannot resist the urge to make malevolent mischief no matter what the day or situation.
My guest post today is from Mariah’s blog “Recluse“.
I remember the day I realized that I was in an abusive marriage. I called my mom, who lived 800 miles away blurting out my abuse and fear. I will also never forget how she responded. Mom expressed her opinions and words, and it was if blinders were removed from my eyes.
That was the day I recognized that my husband was violent and things weren’t about to change.
When I was in my first marriage, I was very young. I was 20 when we were married, and I had been with him since I was 17. Needless to say, I was hell-bent on making it work, because I was “an adult now” and that’s what “adults” did. They kept their promises, paid their bills and took care of their responsibilities. Except when they don’t things begin to change.
Soon after getting married, my ex-husband slowly started to show his true colors. Long story short, he was emotionally and verbally abusive, manipulated our finances, was addicted to pornography and video games, had drinking problems, and he had an affair outside of our marriage.
I’m proud that you are voicing your words now.
I have words to speak, but my tongue is
still numb from the flavour of your lies.
I have a truth to tell, but i’m not sure
whetherto swallow it.
Keep it buried where it’s
Who I really am, living in my
making a home behind my ribcage,
stifling my wings.
I have a decade of stories, bursting behind
swollen lips and flustered cheeks, shame
carriedin my face.
I want to find my voice, but I think it got
buried beneath yours in my throat and I
can’t remember what I sound like.
I attempted yoga on two occasions, unfortunately, after each session, I ended up with a migraine. So much for stretching and relaxation!
A women-only spa in Toronto, Ontario, Canada took some massive criticism and triggered a social-media outcry last week, that prohibits some transgender women from using their facilities.
On Facebook, a woman stated that she refused to revisit the spa on account that they canceled her friend’s (who is transgender) appointment due to their spa’s policy which states “no male genitals” rule.
The spa explained, “because we are a bathing-suit-optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors.”
The backlash was extreme from the public, transgender and LGBTQ communities. However, the spa further clarified that it’s a ‘single-sex facility with full nudity, and unlike other facilities.’ They stated they supported these communities, but the spa has policies to adhere to.
This describes me. As a person with PTSD, I always feel “on guard”, and automatically scan a room if it’s a gathering with friends, a crowd of people or anywhere outside my home. Perhaps it’s a trust issue or maybe I don’t ever feel completely comfortable. Does this describe you?
I had to write this quote as it reminded me of a relative who visited me in the hospital. Perhaps she assumed I lost my marbles along with the depression? Perfect example of stigma.
I’ve written many posts about my PTSD (childhood sexual abuse); which was a ‘dirty little secret.’ Have you held on to secrets for years and years?
Recollecting my past, at around eight years old, while my friends and I played in our yard, the predator next door sat on his veranda puffing on a cigarette or repairing whatever under the hood of his car.
I was panicked for them and me, wanting so much to convey to them of the sexual abuse at the hands of this man, yet at the same time felt bewildered.
I had a secret; an ugly little secret, to something that I didn’t cause – or did I?
There was the distressing apology, forced by my parents to blurt out and recite with sincerity to this predator for abusing me. That sincerity was met with confusion wondering how I wronged in the first place. All kinds of feelings swished around: guilt, helplessness, and I was embarrassed.
A 30-year-old man is forcing sex on a child. Would that warrant an apology?
Perplexing also was permitting this predator into our home for Sunday dinners. Were my parents attempting to soothe the predator’s feelings for being wrongly accused?
Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that became widely used in the 1970s for their ability to reduce panic, anxiety, and insomnia. Some also functioned as anticonvulsants, reducing seizures. They are considered “downers,” with sedating qualities.
New research shows that benzodiazepine use, particularly long-term use, comes with risks such as increased mortality and mood instability.
At a 2015 scientific meeting, researcher Jari Tiihonen reported that among 21,492 patients with schizophrenia in Sweden, benzodiazepine use was associated with increased mortality, while antidepressant and antipsychotic use decreased mortality.
This is a ‘must read’ for anyone who has suffered the impact of maternal narcissistic abuse and now your mother is a grandmother to your children. Perish the thought!
If you have children who have been exposed to your narcissistic personality disordered mother, protect them from further exposure.
A new drug valbenazine (trade name Ingrezza) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of tardive dyskinesia.
Tardive dyskinesia, a side effect of long-term use of antipsychotic medication, consists of involuntary movements of the tongue, face, torso, arms, and legs. It can interfere with walking, talking, and breathing.
The approval followed 20 clinical trials of valbenazine that included a total of more than 1000 participants who had symptoms of tardive dyskinesia in addition to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder.
In a 2017 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, researcher Robert A. Hauser and colleagues reported that patients who received 80 mg/day of valbenazine had a significant reduction in tardive dyskinesia symptoms after six weeks compared to those who received placebo. Participants who received 40 mg/day of valbenazine also had reductions in symptoms, although not as dramatic as with the higher dose.
How can people live with themselves when taking advantage of others? I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I was ripping off a relative.
Financial abuse is a form of abuse that often goes hand in hand with other abuses. It’s also an all too common form of elder abuse. Anyone who is frail, sick, in an institution or unable to handle their own finances completely and with understanding, is vulnerable to financial abuse.
Frequently, financial abuse is a part of domestic abuse, being employed as a way of controlling the victim and preventing her from being able to escape the abusive relationship.
Financial abuse is often a part of another abuse such as domestic violence or emotional/psychological abuse or even bullying. It can result from drug or alcohol addictions too.
Financial abuse is any abuse involving money. It can be perpetrated by an individual or an organisation. If someone forces you to take money from your account to give to them, takes money from you, pressures you into giving them money, borrows from you and refuses to repay the loan, forces you to sign something without explaining the full implications or allowing you to read the small print, takes your benefits or charges for services you have not received or requested, it is financial abuse.
Financial abuse can also involve cowboy traders who undertake work and leave a substandard job after receiving payment.
On another infographic, I found a person who had their second set of nerve block injections: Continue reading
WHERE WOULD YOU BE IF IT WEREN’T FOR MENTAL ILLNESS?
WHERE WOULD YOU BE IF IT WEREN’T FOR DEPRESSION?
This thought has crossed my mind many times over the years, forever questioning what my life would be like without mental illness.
Beginning in the mid-1990’s, this illness first tossed me into a life of bleak depressive despair, feeling hopeless and helpless, coupled with hospitalizations, countless medications, and ineffective ECTs. With it came a loss of so many things, as well as myself. I found myself apologizing for being ill, but why? Apologizing for an illness?
For one, I kissed my livelihood goodbye. As an accounting supervisor, I had a well-paying position, enjoyed my job and colleagues, and imagined I would have continued with my career with that company.
A misfortune, becoming so ill with depression and hospitalizations, I ultimately lost my job, then hanging on for over two years frantically waiting for government disability to kick in. You discover swiftly to become thrifty.
I thought this was an excellent infographic explaining all forms of PTSD and displaying the horrific impact it has on a person in the future.
A must read! An excellent post by a blogger who is writing to her narcissistic mother.
These words have been very hard to write and I have postponed this post for awhile. It is personal, heartfelt, dark and honest. I am releasing my inner most honest heartbroken feelings. I need to let go of the pain & heartache I carry with me. It is no secret that I have a very difficult with the one person who should be my biggest fan. I have and always have had very deep, dark & painful feelings about our relationship. I don’t remember every feeling like you wanted me. I feel like you had expectations of who and what you thought I should be but I’ve never measured up to what you wanted. So you used me as your proverbial verbal punching bag.
I was a good kid. I did pretty well in school. I never got in trouble at school and maintained the honor roll through High School. I have never done drugs. I have never even gotten drunk. Even as an adult today, I will have…
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Did you know you could have what’s called a ‘silent migraine‘ without actually having a headache? Surprisingly, migraines can occur without the classic pulsing head pain. In fact, about 3 to 5% of people with chronic migraines experience such headache-free migraines, known as “silent migraines.” But how can you know when you’re having one if you’re not in pain?
Silent migraines occur in older adults who have previously suffered full migraine symptoms, headache and all.
In other cases, adults over age 40 develop these headache-less migraines out of the blue. Here are six names associated with silent migraines:
My regular migraine blog is Migraineur Mutterings
Dual diagnosis is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance abuse problem simultaneously. Dual diagnosis is a very broad category. It can range from someone developing mild depression because of binge drinking, to someone’s symptoms of bipolar disorder becoming more severe when that person abuses heroin during periods of mania.
Either substance abuse or mental illness can develop first. A person experiencing a mental health condition may turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication to improve the troubling mental health symptoms they experience.
Research shows though that drugs and alcohol only make the symptoms of mental health conditions worse. Abusing substances can also lead to mental health problems because of the effects drugs have on a person’s moods, thoughts, brain chemistry and behavior.
See more at: NAMI.org
In a survey of adults with anxiety or a mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, about half reported experiencing chronic pain, according to researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
“The dual burden of chronic physical conditions and mood and anxiety disorders is a significant and growing problem,” said Silvia Martins, MD, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, and senior author.
The research examined survey data to analyze associations between DSM-IV-diagnosed mood and anxiety disorders and self-reported chronic physical conditions among 5,037 adults in São Paulo, Brazil. Participants were also interviewed in person.
Among individuals with a mood disorder, chronic pain was the most common, reported by 50 percent, followed by respiratory diseases at 33 percent, cardiovascular disease at 10 percent, arthritis reported by 9 percent, and diabetes by 7 percent.
Anxiety disorders were also common for those with chronic pain disorder at 45 percent, and respiratory at 30 percent, as well as arthritis and cardiovascular disease, each 11 percent.
Individuals with two or more chronic diseases had increased odds of a mood or anxiety disorder. Hypertension was associated with both disorders at 23 percent.
“These results shed new light on the public health impact of the dual burden of physical and mental illness,” said Dr. Martins. “Chronic disease coupled with a psychiatric disorder is a pressing issue that health providers should consider when designing preventive interventions and treatment services — especially the heavy mental health burden experienced by those with two or more chronic diseases.”
Article source: ScienceDaily.com
“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 Depression, Bipolar 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
This describes my mother well.
These lines that connect to my heart, pass through landscapes devoid of human presence. This frail thread passes through valley of flowers that have no color. Through balconies overlooking desolate streets and sky crowded with stars. Through stairs leading to floors that no one visits. Through the branches of old trees broken in the storms. […]
Here’s a question that you probably don’t consider every day – how does celiac disease impact a person’s mental health? In honour of Celiac Awareness Month (which is ending today!) I wanted to explore this idea a little bit on the blog. So what is celiac disease? According to the Canadian Celiac Association, celiac disease […]
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.
Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared and this article would have come in handy. Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were any questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned.
This article was written by: Natasha Tracy on Healthyplace.com
Recently, someone wrote me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because, essentially, people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will be asking you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?
Many people get in front of a psychiatrist a freeze, completely forgetting all the issues that brought them there in the first place. This is extremely common. So, before you head off for your first psychiatric appointment write down all your concerns. Everything that has been odd and everything that you think might be odd should go down on the list, with examples.
Every day, millions of people across the world suffer from migraine headaches. They come on quickly and viciously and invariably ruin your day. Often, these headaches are caused by certain foods. Knowing which foods are most likely to cause your migraine headaches can provide a vital step in determining what your headache triggers are, and help you avoid these unpleasant episodes in the future.
Red wine is a famous headache trigger, but many people don’t realize that all alcohols, particularly dark liquors, have the potential to be headache triggers. While the causative agents for migraines are not well known, it is postulated that the histamines and tyramines present in alcohol may act to promote headaches. Added to this is the dehydrating effect of drinking alcohol, which, as we all know, can be a surefire way to get a splitting headache.
Headaches are caused not by caffeine itself, but by the withdrawal symptoms experienced afterward. Research indicates that a withdrawal headache can result after ingesting approximately 200 milligrams of caffeine, which amounts to around 2–3 cups of coffee. Stick to just one cup of coffee a day and lay off the cans of coke to avoid these withdrawal headaches.
While the research regarding cheese as a migraine precursor is limited, it is thought that aged cheeses such as Swiss, cheddar, Gouda, Parmesan and blue cheese are more likely to give you a headache. This is due to the greater concentrations of tyramine in these cheeses, which forms as the proteins in cheese break down over time.