Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?

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?

Write Down What Concerns You Before Your 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.

Continue reading “Your first appointment with a Psychiatrist, are you prepared?”

PTSD ~ Are you the Black Sheep of your family? I know I sure am

QPTSDSHEEP5-18

That was me, the black sheep in our family of four. There was only me and my brother, he was treated like gold, the golden child, while I….you get the picture.  My brother and I were having lunch one day and these words stung “I don’t know why you have problems with Mom, we must have lived in different houses because I never saw any of this”.

On their PsychCentral.com blog, this article, written by: Jonice Webb, Ph.D, explains:

I’ve met many Black Sheep. It’s my job.

In a recent post called Black Sheep, I talked about some common myths, and how Black Sheep are not what they appear to be. Surprisingly, they are simply a product of family dynamics.

But today, Black Sheep, I have three messages just for you:

1. Research Supports You Continue reading “PTSD ~ Are you the Black Sheep of your family? I know I sure am”

Did you know that Friendship can ruin Therapy?

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

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

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

Continue reading “Did you know that Friendship can ruin Therapy?”

Chronic Migraines ~ What’s with the Facial Pain?

This article was most interesting to me as many of my migraine pain areas are in portions of my face, where sight is impaired and the pain is excruciating. 

YES, THIS IS PART OF FIBROMYALGIA TOO , nerve pain in face and teeth,its never ending!!!:

Trigeminal Nerves

If you look at the entire nervous system only about 20% of the input to the brain comes from the spinal column! The other 80% comes from twelve sets of cranial nerves. Here is where it gets tricky. 70% of that 80% comes from the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is important because it provides nerve stimulation to some very important parts of the head and face such as:

  • The muscles that move the jaw
  • The lining of the sinuses
  • The temporal mandibular (TM) joints
  • The teeth
  • The muscle that tenses the ear drum
  • The joint that connects the teeth to the jaws
  • The control of the blood flow to the anterior (front) of the brain.
  • The tongue
  • The ear canal

Take a good look at this list…how many of you have complaints of ear problems? Toothaches? Sinus problems? Migraines? Jaw Pain? How many of you have been to multiple doctors and have been told that there was “nothing” wrong?

The trigeminal nerve has three branches Continue reading “Chronic Migraines ~ What’s with the Facial Pain?”

Mother, Do you deserve a Card? PTSD – Survivors of Abuse

As an unloved daughter of a narcissistic mother, the cards or flowers I handed to her with ‘love’ throughout the years were given with the expectations and desires that one day she would hug me with love.  Giving her a card each year was presented or mailed with a fake smile or strained “Love you always mom.”

She by no means ever deserved a card, lunch or dinner out, and especially a visit when I was an adult.  When I moved across the country, there was one year I ‘neglected’ to send a card or call.  This resulted in a ‘hissyfit,’ possibly threw one of her notorious tantrums including tears, resulting with my father phoning me, blasting “how could you treat your mother like this?”  I can’t recall my reply, but more than likely, I said I was sorry.

A few days passed, and what do I receive in the mail, a multi-page letter from my mother ranting how self-centred I am, this is the way I treat her after everything she’s done for me throughout my life, took care of me, and will sever our relationship now.  This was due to not sending a card?

To be honest, I feel jealous of others who have/had a wonderful mother.

So to all of those who are survivors of narcissistic emotional abuse, or never received the kind of motherly care, empathy, encouragement, and love; this post is dedicated to you. You are all Warriors!

Hugs,
Deb

It’s not just a ‘headache’ ~ It’s ‘CHRONIC MIGRAINE’

These chronic migraines are not “pop 2 aspirin and call me in the morning” headaches……

Image Source: “Making Migraines Visible” image included in a slideshow by: Teri Robert on HealthCentral.com

Chronic Migraines

That’s me, that’s what I suffer with.   Winter has been unkind to me, especially January through March, where very few days did I escape not having a migraine headache.   The pulsating, throbbing head and face agony had me bedridden most days, and other times unable to wear my glasses due to tenderness over the bridge of my nose.

Since thoughts of jumping over the balcony crossed my mind to end this crap and a trip to the emergency isn’t an option anymore (wait times approx. 10-14 hrs. and their refusal to use narcotics), I had to ‘suck it up’.

My neurologist suggested Botox treatments, but I’m unsure of this method for chronic migraines, and the research I’ve done has shown some people were worse off with the treatment due to constant stiff necks and even more pain + medications.  I am considering chiropractic or acupuncture methods, but for this past week, I’m experimenting with a natural herbal medication which has shown good progress so far.  Fingers crossed!

This wonderful link provides a more in-depth look at migraines @ HealthCentral.com http://www.healthcentral.com/migraine/cf/slideshows/migraines-visible#slide=1

(updated and reposted)

You are Forever Beautiful

This is one of my favorite quotes.  Wish we could all tell each other that.

You are all amazing survivors and warriors!

Broken Trust

Trust was broken

you knew it was

But that didn’t stop your

desire and craving

~~~

My hands were tied

literally

above my head

to the bed

Who cares, you thought

I’m getting what I want

~~~

This secret between us

no one will know

I’d never tell

because you persuaded me

told me I was lucky and special

to have someone like you

a special person

for protection and care

Trust wasn’t broken

You were was entitled to this

______________________________

Written and copyright by Deb McCarthy/2017

Why doesn’t she just leave him?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

Continue reading “Why doesn’t she just leave him?”

Struggling with Depression

Life with Depression - Imgur:

This is a creative infographic describing depression, and I especially like the way it includes comments from people describing what depression feels to them.

Why is it so difficult to accept Compliments?

Make Someones Day!! PLEASE TAKE A COMPLIMENT Cos you or whoever you are giving to, deserves to be HAPPY! :D | By Lollybug Studio:

I’m notorious for that, receiving a compliment yet responding with something negative because I feel embarrassed receiving the compliment.

Example: I seldom run into any of my co-workers since I went on disability four years ago, and weight loss is noticeable. Several that I have chatted with have complimented me for losing weight and looking terrific, yet my response is “yes, but I have to lose so much more”. Everyone reacts with “Why?”.  Then I panic!

This article was in psychologytoday.com:

Most people like hearing praise but some people bristle when they hear compliments and others downright hate them. What is it that determines whether someone enjoys receiving compliments or whether they turn sour at the first hint of positive feedback?

Compliments and Self-Esteem

More often than not, how receptive we are to compliments is a reflection of our self-esteem and deep feelings of self-worth. Specifically, compliments can make people with low self-esteem feel uncomfortable because they contradict their own self-views.

People actively seek to verify their own perceptions of themselves, whether those are positive or negative. For example, in one study, college students with low self-esteem showed a stronger preference for keeping their current roommate if that roommate viewed them negatively than if their roommate saw them more positively.

In other words, receiving praise from others when we feel negative about ourselves elicits discomfort because it conflicts with our existing belief system. If we believe we’re truly undesirable, hearing compliments about how attractive we are will feel jarring and inauthentic.

If we believe we’re unintelligent, someone lavishing us with praise about how smart we are will feel more like a taunt than a compliment. And if we’re convinced we’re incapable of success, receiving praise about our how capable we are can feel like a set-up for future heartbreak and disappointment.

The Challenge of Complimenting Relationship Partners with Low Self-Esteem

Continue reading “Why is it so difficult to accept Compliments?”

Painful Body – Quote

This describes my week of migraines.  You know you have horrific migraines when it hurts too much to wash your hair!

Can others relate to this?

Would saying good-bye to your therapist cause you trauma?

If you're looking for a therapist, keep these things in mind. 50 Signs of Good Therapy:

Would this be a tough decision? Have you prepared yourself?

Presently, I still require individual therapy from my therapist, for she has been the most successful in tackling the secrets and hurts that I’ve been holding onto for so many years. I remain needy to be heard and reassurance from her, so I will continue on for now, and for me at this moment, it’s distressing to consider parting ways, but I recognize that day will come and I will have to prepare myself for it.

How gruelling therapy is in the first place, and yet to be so secure with a stranger, to trust and disclose your most private inner thoughts, secrets, feelings and emotions; a person who listened to you when no one else does or ever did, never criticized, nor judged and was actually absorbed in what you had to say. It’s a reassuring relationship.

Continue reading “Would saying good-bye to your therapist cause you trauma?”

5 Things Sociopaths and Narcissists Say to Make You Feel Crazy

When you hear the word “psychopath”, you might think of Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy, but most psychopaths are actually non-violent and non-incarcerated members of society. In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll seem exceptionally altruistic and innocent to the average onlooker.

As described in the Psychopath Free book (author Jackson MacKenzie), psychopaths are first and foremost social predators. With no conscience, they’re able to use charm and manipulation to get what they want from others—whether it be families, friendships, relationships, cults, the workplace, or even politics. The bottom line is, they modify their personalities to become exactly the person they think you want them to be. And they’re good at it.

Continue reading “5 Things Sociopaths and Narcissists Say to Make You Feel Crazy”

Am I being punished for having Depression?

Rummaging through my unorganized closet, I came across an article I wrote during my years in the hospital fighting depression. A roommate during my stay, whom I became close friends with, recalled her descent into hellish depression, as well as her suicide attempt. She gave me permission to write this article (excluding her name).

Dreaming. In tranquil waters. I’m sitting in my dinghy cross-legged, floating. The sea and sky are black.

I awaken. Black. Black is black. The room is black, but it must be morning. I’m all mixed up. I thought I heard the food trays arrive. I sneak a quick look out my room, and yes it is morning, but the halls also look black. All I sense is dread. Am I in a dream world? I shuffle back to bed.

Continue reading “Am I being punished for having Depression?”

Chronic Pain? Explaining the Spoon Theory

I had never heard of “spoons” and the connection with chronic pain and frankly a bit confused.  Noticing how many fibromyalgia sufferers use the term “spoonies“, I realized how it represented the reduced amount of energy for each daily task resulting from chronic pain due to an invisible illness.

Spoon Theory Explained • Chronic Illness • Hidden Illness • POTS | EDS | Dysautonomia:

Image: pinterest.com (hubpages.stri.re)

Can you tell if I have Bipolar Disorder?

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.

Continue reading “Can you tell if I have Bipolar Disorder?”

Invisible Illness Awareness

I think this is one of the more creative infographics describing living with chronic pain and invisible illnesses. 

Sometimes the only control to be had is your outside appearance. Nothing over the top, just enough to help you pretend that all is ok.

Saved from
earthritiscare.com via Pinterest.com

Could I have an Eating Disorder? Women Over 50

I originally posted this on my Niume.com blog (now edited) and received the most readers of any of my posts (4.4K).  Eating disorders may occur at any age, and it’s awfully difficult to accept when you are middle-aged and over 50+.

Two years ago, I was 58 years old and struggled with an eating disorder called anorexia.  That was extremely outrageous to me recalling a time when I had ballooned to a whopping 285 lbs.

During the late 1990’s I had been hospitalized too many times for major depression and on a cocktail of too many medications.  Countless meds with their side effects increased my weight, and the heaviness remained that way for many years.  But, before the gallbladder illness in November 2012, I had slimmed down to 185 lbs.

Yes, the gallbladder fiasco. Long story short, surgeons operated twice to finally remove this painfully unusable organ, and throughout this time,  my diet was:  “No fried food and no rich desserts or you will irritate your gallbladder.”

Continue reading “Could I have an Eating Disorder? Women Over 50”

Dark Clouds and Shattered Sanity

Dark clouds, isolated

Lack of faith

Laughter faded, only tears

~~~

I hate my mind, I hate my brain

I hate my heart for it breaks every day

~~~

I will perish this way I know

I’ve run away from life

I don’t fit outside

I don’t fit inside

I drown in my disgrace

~~~

Black circles beneath my eyes

Hands grip my head

I’m all alone

My life isn’t cherished

Why should I pretend it to be?

I’m not living for me

I’m living for you

~~~

Shattered sanity

Worthless, pointless, hopeless

Tears flow from my eyes

Depression has taken over

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

Originally posted on Niume.com

What’s the difference between Sadness and Depression?

 

The difference between sadness and depression?  and why so many people get it wrong….. This article below appeared in www.psychologytoday.com written by Guy Winch Ph. D

Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. In other words, we tend to feel sad about something. This also means that when that something changes when our emotional hurt fades when we’ve adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment, our sadness remits.

Depression is an abnormal emotional state, a mental illness that affects our thinking, emotions, perceptions, and behaviors in pervasive and chronic ways. When we’re depressed we feel sad about everything. Depression does not necessarily require a difficult event or situation, a loss, or a change of circumstance as a trigger. In fact, it often occurs in the absence of any such triggers. People’s lives on paper might be totally fine—they would even admit this is true—and yet they still feel horrible.

Continue reading “What’s the difference between Sadness and Depression?”

Are you faking PTSD for attention? or is this a scam?

I have CPTSD (sexual and emotional abuse), and just hearing the word “fake” & “scam” was an enough to cause an actual trigger to my past, coupled with huge anxiety and intense anger.

Yesterday, while sitting in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading a book, two women around 30 – 40 years of age sitting behind me, actually had this conversation. True story. I’ll call them A & B.

A –Do you believe in all of this PTSD shit?

B –I don’t know what to think sometimes. I do know a co-worker who’s sister is going to therapy for it, I don’t know what exactly for, but she just said something that happened to her when she was young and has PTSD now.

A –Do you think it’s for real, or is she looking for attention? How old is her sister?

B –I think she’s in her 30’s, not sure. It’s something about molestation or something, I didn’t want to ask and be nosey.

A –Yeah right, like she can remember things that happened when she was a kid!

B –Well it’s her business

A –I’m just asking because I saw a show last night showing how some men in the military and some police are actually faking having this PTSD, just to collect disability. Some of them have collected $100,000.00, what a shame when people that have an actual disability need it.

And, their discussion continued……..

PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. PTSD is a real illness that causes real suffering. (source: psychiatry.org/ptsd) Continue reading “Are you faking PTSD for attention? or is this a scam?”

Do I want Group Therapy? Yikes!

funny

Most of my therapy has been individual, and I shied away from group therapy due to the fact that I was uncomfortable sharing my problems relating to depression and sexual abuse with a bunch of strangers.  To be honest, my biggest fear was losing it and looking like an idiot if I started bawling my eyes out!   However, I had no choice at the eating disorder program, it was 90% group and about 10% individual therapy.

I loathed it initially, others speaking out about themselves, revealing deep dark secrets that they had been holding onto, and slowly I became to trust them and I opened up.  In short, it was very helpful in my recovery, yet I have to say honestly, I still prefer one-on-one.  Give it a try though, it may suit you.

This article appeared in PsychCentral.com

Individual psychotherapy will always be the staple. It establishes the bond. It explores the ups and downs of that bond and probes the depths of the psychodynamic patterns of that bond and other bonds. It is the primary mode of understanding. It exists of and for itself and is not dependent on anything else. Group therapy is an adjunct to individual therapy.

Continue reading “Do I want Group Therapy? Yikes!”

What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?

There has been a secret you’ve been concealing, that’s most likely eating you up inside, however, you now have mustered enough courage to tell someone you trust. It’s rough, and you’re just a kid.

Protection and trust have already been shattered by your abuser; you just couldn’t take it anymore, now it’s time to receive compassion, tenderness and told you were so courageous for coming forward and that person will be punished.

It may perhaps have been very positive for you, you were believed, acknowledged, obtained love, affection, sorrow and apologies for this ever happening; possibly counseling. You went on to recover with perhaps some difficulty, but you received support.

OR

Instead, it was the most regretful day of my life.

Continue reading “What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?”

I was incarcerated because I panicked

This was my first time “behind bars” taken via a police car and booked tonight just because I panicked. One feels this is jail, tossed into a cold cell awaiting the guard to slam shut the heavy metal door. Lying there frozen, shivering, alone peering down to shackled ankles. Why do I deserve this? Jailed because I have a mental illness?

Bolted down. Incarcerated.

Eyes open slowly and encircle a dingy room. Everything is bolted; windows, a desk, chairs, and including this bed. The windows have bars attached, walls are an ugly light pink and the curtain dividing my neighbor’s bed looks hideous also, but what was I expecting; a hotel room?

Is it daybreak? A rap on the door startles me, followed by a female voice stating, “breakfast and meds”.

I prefer not recalling what happened last evening, dialing the Distress Center, talking for what felt like hours with a counselor who had a monotone voice about my obsessive suicidal feelings. Thoughts danced in my head for days, dreaming of ways to carry out my demise. Then, at some stage in this conversation, I became irritated and slammed down the phone, prompting an unexpected visit from the police. Next a knock at my door where I was unconvincing as to my state of mind, and there a decision was made, I was to be transported somewhere?

Neighbors, who don’t as a rule, walk their dogs, now saunter by the police car, peering in, along with others peeking through window blinds and curtains. The back seat of this cruiser is larger than expected, however, I am seated with my mind in a muddle, confused, uncertain of the future yet despising the present.

Both police officers chat quietly in police jargon; I assume they are awaiting word of which hospital to take me, then suddenly I’m on my way. The drive is a speedy drive, yet for me, a lengthy one. A time to reflect… a time to sob…. a time to sit in wonderment. In the back of a cruiser – how can this be? Punishment? I’ve never committed a crime in my life. Will I go before a judge; am I to be sentenced and charged for suicidal ‘thinking’ and (to some) selfishly wishing to end my life?

Continue reading “I was incarcerated because I panicked”

Is your psychiatrist helping you, or is it time for a trade-in?

Wow, I have had my share of psychiatrists throughout my mental illness journey, both as an inpatient and outpatient, beginning in 1994. I won’t list them all, simply the ones who stood out.  

#1-Dr. C. I’m convinced this man was 80, coughed his brains out with every visit, and actually asking “are you sure this is depression you have”? Hmmm…..He left me feeling desperate, confused and asking myself if I did have depression. I know I did, others doctors confirmed the diagnosis.  He was the only doctor available at the time so I was ‘stuck’ with him for a couple of years.

#2-Dr. D. He was the lead psychiatrist who was responsible for my care during the severest years of major depression and hospitalizations. Opting for quick visits while an inpatient, his attention appeared to be given to more youthful patients. Dr. D. was forever ready with a script pad for a refill or new medications and believed in the power of useless ECT’s. Continue reading “Is your psychiatrist helping you, or is it time for a trade-in?”

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?”