While reading this article below, I immediately thought of myself and the difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life with friends. For me, I believe it’s been a huge trust issue and becoming over-sensitive during many of my friendships.
At times, due to a phone call or an e-mail not being returned, I interpreted this as my mother disregarding me when I was younger, and now friends not giving a hoot about me either. Many other traumatic instances during my childhood came into play, thus losing many friendships.
While rarely mentioned, one common legacy of an unloving mother is the daughter’s diminished ability or total inability to form close and sustaining friendships. This is a significant loss since friendship plays an important role in many women’s lives: our girlfriends are often the people we turn to in times of joy and trouble, when we need company or support, or we just need someone to truly listen.
Unloved daughters often have trouble forging these bonds or maintaining them; the emotional isolation they felt in childhood is often replicated in adulthood when they find themselves with few or no girlfriends, or women they can actually trust.
Why is that? Our mothers are the first females we know in close proximity and we learn, for better or worse, not just what it means to be female but how females connect and relate. As children, we absorb the lessons our mothers model through their behaviors, accepting them as normal—we have nothing to compare them to, after all—and these become the unconscious templates for how we believe women act and relate in the outside world.
Even though we’re unaware of them and their influence, we carry these scripts when we go out into the world as children, adolescents, and adults, and make friends with other girls and, later, women.
The internalized voice of the mother—telling you that you are unlovable, unlikeable, unworthy, inadequate—can become especially shrill when you’re in the company of other women, whether they are neighbors, colleagues, acquaintances or even girlfriends you actually long to be close to.
Gleaned from many conversations, here are four pieces of the maternal legacy that directly affect female friendships.
Lack of trust
A loving and attuned mother models live in a world in which people are trustworthy and that extending yourself—leaving yourself open and vulnerable to another person—has great benefits. The unloved daughter learns the opposite and, even worse because her mother never acknowledges her behaviors, the daughter not only distrusts other people but her own perceptions and feelings.
In friendships, she may be dismissive or wary or in need of constant reassurance and proof that her friend is really on her side. Either way, how she acts—even though she may want and need the friendship desperately—effectively sabotages it.
Absent the validation of self a loving mother provides, unloved daughters have difficulty recognizing what constitutes a healthy boundary; they may vacillate between being overly armored and being much too clingy. While this is partly a result of the daughter’s lack of trust, it also reflects her ongoing unfulfilled need for love and validation. “I think I exhausted my friendships when I was in my twenties and thirties,” one daughter, 48, reported. “It took me a long time to recognize that my friends needed space and that, sometimes, my constant demands for their attention were too much. Therapy helped me see that all I was doing was focusing on my needs without understanding the give-and-take friendship requires.”
All unloved daughters have trouble managing negative emotions—they have difficulty self-regulating and are prone to rumination—and, if their mothers have been dismissive, combative, or hypercritical, are always vigilant and self-protective. A friend’s comment or gesture that wouldn’t even appear on a securely-attached daughter’s radar can be totally misunderstood and blown out of proportion by an insecurely-attached one. These can be small things—an unreturned phone call, a late invitation, an offhand remark—that become triggers and flashpoints.
It’s often hard for the unloved daughter to acknowledge her feelings of competition because the culture tends to look away from or minimize rivalry between and among women. Thinking about sisterhood is so much more pleasant, even though the word frenemy has been around since the 1950s when it was coined to describe politics, not rival girlfriends.
Susan Barash Shapiro’s book Tripping the Prom Queen paints a more realistic picture of the complexity of female connections.
Alas, the loneliness of childhood may be unwittingly extended into adulthood unless conscious awareness is brought to bear on a daughter’s reactivity
I was never aware of this type of therapy so thought an interesting topic to include for information. It especially received my attention when it mentioned chronic pain such as migraine/headache treatment.
Biofeedback therapy involves training patients to control physiological processes such as muscle tension, blood pressure, or heart rate.
These processes usually occur involuntarily, however, patients who receive help from a biofeedback therapist can learn how to completely manipulate them at will.
The three most common types of biofeedback therapy are:
Biofeedback is particularly effective at treating conditions brought on by severe stress. When a person is stressed, their internal processes such as blood pressure can become irregular. Biofeedback therapy teaches these patients certain relaxation and mental exercises which can alleviate their symptoms.
Therapists can measure a patient’s performance by attaching electrodes to their skin and displaying the processes on a monitor. Eventually patients learn how to control these processes without the need to be monitored.
During a biofeedback session, electrodes will be attached to the patient’s skin, which sends information to a monitoring box. The biofeedback therapist reads the measurements and through trial and error singles out mental activities that help regulate the patient’s bodily processes.
Sessions are typically less than an hour long – most people will begin to see positive results after 8 sessions. However, some patients may need a as many as 50 sessions.
The remainder of this post @
I learned this bit of wisdom from my therapist during one of our many sessions discussing my narcissistic mother. She explained it very clearly how a parent has children (plants); she waters some and helps them grow and flourish, yet the others who aren’t so lucky receive less attention and ignored. I now understood how my mother cared and treated my brother vs. myself. Do any of you feel this way?
How passive you are depends on your personality, your perceptions of the world and your place in it, your feelings of empowerment and entitlement, and of course, the specifics of a given situation.
Passivity can be a useful strategy and a healthy coping mechanism in some situations. But it can also become habitual. When passivity begins to dominate our responses and interactions and determines our general approach to life, it can end up doing more harm than good.
The problem is we often do not realize how passive we’ve become and we often significantly underestimate how apparent our passivity is to others.
If my parents had of believed me when I was eight years old, I wouldn’t have been in therapy for 20 years healing from the impact of their ignorance.
Thank you, Mom and Dad
You will find 10 distinct types of personality disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, (DSM-V). The different personality disorders are put into one of three clusters based on similar characteristics assigned to each cluster:
Cluster A personality disorders – odd, eccentric
Cluster B personality disorders – dramatic, emotional, and erratic
Cluster C personality disorders – anxious, fearful
It’s common for people to receive a diagnosis of more than one of the personality disorder types, most commonly within the same cluster. As we explore further, you’ll begin to see how the four common features come together to manifest in the different personality disorders.
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.
No light at the top
No one saving me
Just black dreams
Feels like a prison cell
Feeling the fog between my fingertips
No treatments working?
No doctors helping?
What kind of life is this
Black death sentence
Written & copyright by Deb McCarthy
My guest poster today is J.E. from her blog “This is My Silence”. (Trigger Warning)
Hello, I am J.E., 23 years old, and a PTSD survivor.
I’m married to a wonderful man who has been my rock and encouragement throughout those days when I didn’t believe in myself, nevertheless, he believed in me. I’m also delighted that I’m a working mother of two children (‘superheroes’), as the joy I see in their faces every day provides me with every reason, now realizing how past abusive years has an enormous impact on your life.
Writing is cathartic for me, and I’m using my healing journey to perhaps healing others. “This is My Silence” is my first blog, and here is my story.
A Little Piece of Me
Typing and deleting, typing and deleting. As I am sitting on my couch, I’ve come to a realization that this is now my second draft and remain struggling with a conundrum. It’s challenging to write about your journey, even though you may have memories floating around inside your head, writing them down on paper (computer) is difficult.
So, Where is my beginning?
I lay my jars of memories around me and search, and peering into each jar I take a moment to remind myself to breathe for a moment after each one. As I continue my search, slowly opening and closing each jar, I come to a standstill, noticing that every single one of these memories speaks my story, but only one conveys the beginning of my life. So I will begin like this:
(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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creativity knows no bounds. But we as humans are finite, so where does that leave us with creativity?
Truth be told, having the gift to create is not evident to all. It is through our innate and rather inhuman ability to dedicate time and hone our crafts until we achieve awe-inspiring greatness which serves as the true measure of creativity.
While there are starving artists who put value in the quality of their meticulous creations, some are just are as artistic without having to adhere to certain cliches that limit the worldview of what creativity truly means.
In fact, you, dear reader, may be one of these highly creative people who are not fully aware of their gift.
Whether it’s playing sudoku or doing your math homework, both of which require you to flex your problem-solving muscles, your propensity for finding solutions to the problems in front of you is a sign of creative mind. While there is the debate on whether creativity and critical thinking work in the same plane of consciousness, both are nonetheless interconnected because problems let you draw solutions from your knowledge and experience.
There is a beautiful stubbornness that exists within motivation. While it encourages bull-headedness and a determined mentality, motivation allows us to pursue our passions to the extent of our finiteness, if not beyond it. According to Gordon Torr’s book Managing Creative People, the higher the intrinsic motivation (doing something for its sake), the greater the creativity of that person will be.
Success is never achieved overnight. You will have to fail countless of times before getting it right. By the time Thomas Edison was able to develop thousands of patents and created revolutionary devices (which laid the groundwork for the technology we use today), his teachers have told him that he was “stupid to learn anything” and was fired in this first two jobs for not being productivity.
Lesser men would cave in and submit to defeat, but rejection will only fire the courage in creative people like Edison to not only prove their naysayers wrong but also pursue their passions regardless of popular belief.