Do You Harbor Resentment?

 

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Do You Harbor Resentment?”

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

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


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

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

How Depression and Lack of Appetite Affects Me

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

A Depressed Brain is Still Part of Your Body

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

PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling

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

On goodtherapy.org they explain Worthlessness

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

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

Understanding Worthlessness

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

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

The “Everything Happens for a Reason” statement is Crap

Opinion

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

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

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

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

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

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy 2017

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

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

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

1. Complicated Loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bipolar Disorder – Just The Facts

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

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

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

Now the police are at my door….

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

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

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

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

Triggering Triggers (PTSD)

Trigger Warning!!

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Triggering Triggers (PTSD)”

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?”

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”

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”

9 Things only you will understand living with Chronic Pain

Wow, I identify with all nine of these with my chronic migraines

As many as a third of Americans suffer from chronic pain—a full third! If you’re one of those people for whom low back pain, headaches, arthritis, or one of a long list of other conditions make your daily life a struggle, these nine experiences probably ring way too true.

http://www.prevention.com/health/symptoms-chronic-pain  provides details.

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

Want to know the history of Fibromyalgia?

I was intrigued by this article found on Flipboard.com about the history of Fibromyalgia.

Important Developments of More than 400 Years

By Adrienne Dellwo

You sometimes hear fibromyalgia referred to as a “fad diagnosis” or “new disease,” but the truth is that fibromyalgia is far from new. It has centuries of history, with multiple name changes and discarded theories along the way.

While it hasn’t always been accepted by the medical community, and today its acceptance isn’t universal, fibromyalgia has come a long way and current research continues to offer proof that it’s a very real physiological illness.

This article is lengthy and continues @ Health Care Guide

 

Have you ever felt handcuffed to your house?

Yes, it felt as if I was handcuffed to my house.

Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? But for countless years, and at times even today, depression = dark fog and black clouds. Recalling my most difficult years of major depression, that’s the way things were.

My life was filled with such overpowering blackness; the black, muddy life of depression. The massive hands took hold of me and wouldn’t set me free.

Days upon days were spent just existing in my house, rarely venturing further than the end of the driveway. Appointments with my family doctor or psychiatrist became a major production; organizing what to wear, bus route times, what to discuss. As the months and years progressed, I became a depressive recluse. Outings with my husband for dinner or lunch were a rarity, as well as, a trip to the mall. Life was just too dark.

I lost contact with friends, triggering further feelings of abandonment and isolation; that coupled with not having any energy, just hating life itself, propelled these horrid feelings of “who gives a shit”. I grew comfy in my house, and never a “sleepy” depressive, I forever arose fairly early, planted myself on the sofa and spent the better part of the day there.

Continue reading “Have you ever felt handcuffed to your house?”

Why Am I Still Waiting for my Antidepressants to Work?

Image result for depression

I recall questioning my psychiatrist many times when he prescribed a new antidepressant and feeling nil results. His quick answer, “be patient“, and with that, I’d roll my eyes thinking, ‘yeah, you’re not the one with depression’.

Depression is a mental illness that affects how a person feels, thinks and handles daily activities. Antidepressants are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of depression and help the brain process and use certain chemicals that regulate mood or stress. Unfortunately, existing medications usually require two to four weeks of use before patients respond.

In a recent Paper of the Week in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Mark M. Rasenick and his team at the University of Illinois at Chicago describe why antidepressants have a delayed impact.

Continue reading “Why Am I Still Waiting for my Antidepressants to Work?”

Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With Invisible Illnesses

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

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

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

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

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?”

Difference between sexual assault and sexual abuse?

In newspapers and media reports, it’s sometimes stated women were violated and “sexually assaulted” or “abused”. Although I’m cognizant that abuse is traumatic regardless, “assault” covers such a broad range.

My point here is, are the public aware of the seriousness surrounding the most horrific assault cases.  I located information below on the Gov’t of Western Australia Department of Health  (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) website.

What is sexual assault?

Continue reading “Difference between sexual assault and sexual abuse?”

Can you tell if I have Bipolar Disorder?

Face, Women, Look, Girl, Think, Eyes

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.

To look at me, I hope you’d never guess I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and struggling with PTSD. There’s no sign around my neck, but if you worked with me, for example, you’d soon notice that I’m perhaps “different,” or a little “odd”. For one thing, I’m somewhat negative at times, having difficult moments following directions, have to write everything down or repeated. Sometimes I can’t keep focus, have mood changes and where other people find new work assignments challenging; I sit in self-doubt and bewilderment.

“My self-confidence feels in jeopardy each moment”.

I’m the one who takes their performance review to heart. If I only score nine rights on my monthly performance review and one is negative, I feel total devastation, berating myself repeatedly. A true perfectionist, at least, I try to be, however letting myself down is somewhat of a crucifixion. But, I am your dependable employee,  the one who shows up promptly for work, the gleeful one, the one who shows little anger, and the one touted as paramount in customer service. I must apply a mask for the most part.

Although I felt as if a hex was put upon me years ago, I feel slightly different now. I’m still bitter about the illness at times but realizing that THIS is ME.

Written & copyright by Deb

EXPLAINING DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS

DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS: are so-called because they are marked by a dissociation from or interruption of a person’s fundamental aspects of waking consciousness (such as one’s personal identity, one’s personal history, etc.). Dissociative disorders come in many forms, the most famous of which is dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). All of the dissociative disorders are thought to stem from trauma experienced by the individual with this disorder.  

The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping mechanism — the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience too traumatic to integrate with his conscious self. Symptoms of these disorders, or even one or more of the disorders themselves, are also seen in a number of other mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

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Dissociative amnesia: This disorder is characterized by a blocking out of critical personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature. Dissociative amnesia, unlike other types of amnesia, does not result from other medical trauma (e.g. a blow to the head). Continue reading “EXPLAINING DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS”

You Know You…..and invisible illnesses

YOU know you are strong inside despite what mental illness or a chronic illness has dealt you.

YOU know you are doing the best that you can, with what life has handed you.

YOU can pat yourself on the back right now, for a job well done. Mastering and surviving each day with an illness, in my eyes, is a full-time job.

Only YOU will know when it’s time to return to the working world; if that is your goal. It’s alright to be coached and nudged, but you are really the best judge.

Only YOU know the blackness felt during depression – how the pitch black mud swallows you up and is unforgiving.

Maybe YOU don’t know how very precious you are, and that you didn’t ask for this illness, and you didn’t choose to be ill, and that mental illness is not a character flaw.

YOU will find society’s thinking and attitudes on invisible illness stigma still remain, but with education, perhaps people will alter their opinions and/or judgment.   

But YOU know YOU, and that is all that is important.

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

Chronic Pain: 16 Things We Want You To Know

It’s not just in our head. The pain is there and always would be even if there is no apparent reason for it. Our pain is real and will not just go away after we take some pills for a week or two. It would always be there and we have learned to live with it. Here are 16 more things we wish you knew about us!

1. We Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Molehill

You think you can imagine our pain? Now multiply that amount by 10. No matter how sympathetic you are, studies have proved that people tend to underestimate other people’s pain. Chronic pain by default is hard to imagine unless you have experienced it in your life. It’s invisible, but it is always there. We urge health care not out of hypochondria or the need for attention, but because of our severe physical state.

2. We Need to Balance Actions Carefully

We use the Spoon Theory.  We have a limited amount of spoons each day we could use for different actions. Getting up, getting dressed, taking a shower, driving, walking, picking up the phone — each action requires us to use one of our precious spoons. On good days, we finish with a few spoons left so we can do something fun. On bad days, we borrow spoons from the next day and need extra recovery afterward. So if we suddenly cancel our plans with you or tell we can’t do it now — it’s just because we ran out of spoons today. Try to understand this.

3. We Struggle to Find a Good Doctor

Sadly, a lot of health care pros lack knowledge in pain management because it is rarely part of their training. We often visit numerous specialists before receiving a proper diagnosis and wait months to years to see a real pain specialist for treatment. Doctors often fall victim to the cognitive error of underestimating another’s pain and a small number of doctors are willing to take the legal risks involved in prescribing powerful pain pills.

Same goes with the nurses. Finding a good one who can really understand and help us relieve the pain is hard! Luckily, there are some online schools like Sacred Heart University that are training future nurse leaders to overcome these issues in the future and provide better care for patients.

While you may think it’s crazy, we’re willing to travel further to find a good nurse with this kind of training and rave about it when we find one.

4. We Are Not Lazy

Continue reading “Chronic Pain: 16 Things We Want You To Know”

Is there a Link between Caffeine and Depression?

COFFEE1

What is the relationship between caffeine and depression? Does caffeine make depression worse?

The exact relationship between caffeine and depression isn’t clear.  There’s no evidence that caffeine — a mild stimulant — causes depression.  However, some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than are others. In such individuals, caffeine may worsen existing depression.  How or why this occurs isn’t clear.  But several theories exist.

·         Although caffeine initially gives you a “lift,” it may later have the opposite effect as the effects of the caffeine wear off.

·         Caffeine can make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.  A lack of sleep can worsen depression.

·         Caffeine appears to have some effect on blood sugar, especially in people with diabetes.  Fluctuations in blood sugar can be associated with mood changes.

Continue reading “Is there a Link between Caffeine and Depression?”

Depression and Caregiving

Could the sadness, loneliness or anger you feel today be a warning sign of depression? It’s possible. It is not unusual for caregivers to develop mild or more serious depression as a result of the constant demands they face in providing care.

Caregiving does not cause depression, nor will everyone who provides care experience the negative feelings that go with depression. But in an effort to provide the best possible care for a family member or friend, caregivers often sacrifice their own physical and emotional needs and the emotional and physical experiences involved with providing care can strain even the most capable person. The resulting feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, isolation, exhaustion—and then guilt for having these feelings—can exact a heavy toll.

Continue reading “Depression and Caregiving”

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?”

Depression continues…

I didn’t compose the words in this quote, and for the past few months, I’ve been struggling with depression several days per week.  Researchers state that there is a connection between migraines and depression, and living daily with excruciating migraine pain; who wouldn’t be depressed. I’m pretty much housebound. Depression seems a never-ending crawl through muck.

But, writing is my passion, keeping me sane, and distracting my mind off my thumping head.  I’m starting Somatic Experience Therapy next week, anyone ever heard of it? Does it help for trauma?

Deb

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EMDR Therapy for PTSD?

A friend has struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for many years, and has just started EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  She found it unusual and felt uneasy at first, but after a few sessions could feel a positive effect.

Continue reading “EMDR Therapy for PTSD?”

Depression may pass from mothers to daughters

Depression appears to be passed down from mothers to daughters, say researchers who have been looking at similarities in brain structures between generations. The research is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Around 8% of Americans aged 12 years and over are affected by depression. It is commonly found in both mothers and daughters, previous human studies have reported.

Animal studies in the past have shown that when mothers are stressed during pregnancy, this is more likely to be reflected in the brain structure of daughters than of sons, specifically in the corticolimbic system.

The corticolimbic system is used to assess danger, and it is also where emotions are processed and regulated. It includes the hippocampus, amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and stress are reflected in changes to this system. These structural changes are most likely to be passed down from mothers than from fathers; they tend to affect daughters rather than sons.

Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), led by Dr. Fumiko Hoeft, PhD., an associate professor of psychiatry, studied 35 families, none of whom had a diagnosis of depression, in an attempt to link the two study areas.

Source: Medicalnewstoday.com 

7 Ways To Make Therapy More Affordable

There’s no denying therapy is a huge financial burden: Affordability was the number one reason people avoid mental health services according to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Depending on where you live and what kind of insurance you have, the price can be upwards of $80 to $200 for one 45- to 60-minute session.

But here’s the truth: Therapy doesn’t have to be expensive in order to work. There are multiple options to get the help and treatment you deserve — and getting that help is crucial.

“Mental illnesses do not just ‘go away’ on their own, and they usually do not get better over time without treatment,” Leslie Swanson, a clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, told The Huffington Post. “One of the major benefits of therapy is that you will learn skills that you can use to manage your mental health and well-being throughout your life.”

Below are just a few ways Swanson says you can fit therapy into your budget. Continue reading “7 Ways To Make Therapy More Affordable”

Remembering Carrie Fisher, Princess of Hollywood

She helped take us to a galaxy far, far away. But the late actress’ Earth-bound achievements were equally impressive.

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

Remembering Carrie Fisher and mother Debbie Reynolds RIP

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

Psychodynamic Therapy

My first involvement with therapy back in the early 1990’s was Psychodynamic Therapy, and at the beginning I was uncertain what it involved.  This form of therapy was used to confront the issues dealing with PTSD, but little did I know I was in for an incredibly bumpy ride.  Back then there wasn’t much information on types of therapies used, and wished I had researched and had use of the internet and resources that we do today.

The information on PsychCentral.com site explains:

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.  The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.  In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

The article continues on PsychCentral.com

7 Ways to Avoid Re-Traumatizing a Trauma Victim

I found this article somewhat helpful appearing in PsychCental.com.

Trauma is a complex phenomenon. Many of us have probably experienced an event that we struggle to not only forget, but emotionally cope with. If I were to ask you if you have ever experienced a traumatic event what would you say? Was it severe, moderate, or mild? Was it long-term or short-term? Were you able to easily get over it? Whatever the case may be, a traumatic experience must be an event that we find difficult to cope with over time. Sadly, many people who tend to lack knowledge about trauma fail to recognize that anything a trauma victim comes in contact with can re-traumatize them.

For example, I previously had a client who witnessed his mother slit her throat and commit suicide. Prior to this suicide, the mother had been playing hiding-go-seek outside with all 4 of her children. This child struggled with understanding why his mother would walk away during hiding-go-seek and kill herself. Now, at the age 10, he watches movies with his father that often include crime scenes, murder, and suicide which tends to trigger memories of his mother’s suicide. He is unable to sleep at night, relax, or put the past behind him. Yet, his father is unaware of the reality that he  is possibly re-traumatizing his own son with these movies.

This article will discuss 7 things we, who are close to trauma victims, should be mindful not to do. I will also give suggestions on what we should do instead.

It is sad to say but a large amount of individual, families and parents come to therapy with unrealistic expectations about the therapeutic process. I often have parents and families ask the following questions when they see me for the first time:

  • “How often will he/she see you?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that if the child/teen sees me more often throughout the week, progress will happen faster.
  • “Will you make him/her talk?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that I am someone who should make an individual talk about the “bad” things that have happened to them in order to stimulate great progress.
  • “Has she/he talk to you about what happened to them?” This question is also asked with the unrealistic expectation that an individual, who just met me and may be slow to warm up, will open up like a fountain and start talking. Many families often tell the child/teen “your therapist is not going to judge you so just open up.”
  • “Why isn’t he/she talking about what makes him/her so mad?” This question is asked with the unrealistic expectation that if the person talks about their past, they won’t be so angry anymore.

Remainder of this article @
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2015/06/7-ways-to-avoid-re-traumatizing-a-trauma-victim/

(repost)

 

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”