Should I Tell My Boss About My Depression?

For nine years I struggled with depression, resulting in repeated hospitalizations, and scraping by on disability.  Life was bleak and meaningless, but long story short, I recovered enough to return to the workplace.

In the workplace, I was battling depression every so often,  yet managed to hang onto my position for six years without divulging my secret: mental illness.  There still remains a major stigma in the working world and taking a risk to discuss my depression, unquestionably would have cost me my job in the end, and so, I kept my trap shut.

It’s a personal decision, one that you may feel secure revealing, but what about the other person?  Can they be trusted, will they empathize, or will it bite you in the butt for yearly reviews/raise/no raise?

This article in CBC News (health) is interesting pertaining to this topic.
Mental Illness In The Workplace

Other related articles:
Stigma and Mental Illness
Depression:  Have You Ever Felt Handcuffed To Your House?

(edited and reposted)

Depression – Have you ever felt handcuffed to your house?

 

In our darkest moments, we can still, see some light. cherished79 com  'Living in Stigma'

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

Sounds dramatic, but I was at the time.

For countless years, and at times even today, depression with its dark, unforgiving black clouds still hover over me. Eventually, I recovered from those darkest days.

Recalling the arduous years of major depression, I was housebound and felt isolated from the world.  Blackness overpowered my life; dark and muddy, depression was unrelenting, and the massive hands took hold of me demanding each full minute of my day.

Days upon days were devoted to gazing out my living room window and enduring life in the house, rarely venturing further than the end of the driveway.

Appointments with my family doctor or psychiatrist developed into an enormous production; quizzing what to wear, panicky about riding the bus or mixing up route times, and what to review with my doctors.

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

You Know You…..and chronic illness

(I originally wrote this poem years ago, but it took a lengthy healing journey in therapy to finally reach the point where I felt strong and believed in myself).

******************

YOU know you are strong inside despite what mental or 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’s 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 thick 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 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.

(Edited and reposted)

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019

How PTSD Impacts Our Lives

Been there, done that.

I’m unsure of the author of the above infographic, but I thought it showed a few examples of some regrettable symptoms of C-PTSD.

For me, to this day I experience triggers and flashbacks!  Recalling my childhood, should I spot a man who has dirty fingernails it will literally send me back fifty years with horrid memories. My abuser/neighbor used to work underneath the hood of his old car daily and always had dirty hands and filthy, greasy black fingernails.  It makes me want to vomit recalling him placing his hands on me.

10 Different Types of Personality Disorders

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.

Personality Disorder Types

Continue reading “10 Different Types of Personality Disorders”

MENTAL ILLNESS: Should I Apologize for being Depressed?

shutterstock_Quotestrong4-1 (1)

An odd question. However, this thought has crossed my mind countless times over the years, forever questioning what my life would be like without mental illness.

_____________________________________________

Where would you be if it weren’t for mental illness or depression?

In the mid-1990s, mental illness first tossed me into a life of bleak, depressive despair, feeling hopeless and helpless, coupled with hospitalizations, countless medications, and ineffective ECTs.

I found myself apologizing for being ill, but why? Apologizing for an illness?

I felt guilty for my deteriorating attitude, the considerable burden I placed on my husband, absence and imperfection at work and primarily failing myself.  The slightest bit of self-confidence achieved throughout the years coupled with the status at my current job dwindled now appearing threadbare.  I was losing myself.

Depression focusses on the negatives.

For one, I kissed my livelihood goodbye. As a well-paid accounting supervisor, enjoying my job and colleagues, I imagined a lengthy career with this company, but, unfortunately, due to the constant absences caused by the illness and hospitalizations, I had no alternative but to leave my position.

Government disability followed after a lengthy two-year wait.  You discover swiftly how to become thrifty.

Back then, both hubby and I lived on comfortable salaries and jetted off to balmy climates once or twice per year; it was a routine. I was able to afford fashionable apparel, household furniture or other articles on a whim without fussing over budgeting our money. Peculiar how you take vacations for granted, as of today we haven’t been on an actual vacation in almost 20 years. (Not a priority actually).

Positives

Luckily, I worked through some issues in therapy, medication was stabilizing my depressive moods, and I was capable of returning to the working world after nine years absent.

The job I accepted was a call center position (collections), but with a prolonged absence from working for nine years, it was a daunting, rocky road in the beginning.  I was appreciative that this company gave me a chance at employment even with a spotty resume.

I survived six years with this company, only to find myself ill with depression and severe migraines, leaving me with no choice but to accept long-term disability.  But at the same time, I wouldn’t have realized the enormous extent of stigma in the workplace.

I have progressed to the point that I’m no longer hospitalized and can function daily. Extensive psychotherapy has resolved the heaps of painful issues that have been haunting me most of my adult life.

I envisioned participation in the writing field in some capacity. It has forever been a passion of mine since I was a child, jotting daily in my diaries.

It’s doubtful I would have been invited to appear on a radio show, speaking engagements, ghostwritten articles for other bloggers, or requested articles as a guest writer discussing mental health, depression, bipolar, etc.

I also wouldn’t have this fantastic blog (since 2007) that has allowed me to express my feelings about my experience struggling with PTSD and depression.

If not for mental illness, I’m uncertain I would be the compassionate, understanding, and accepting person that I am towards others now. I have enormous patience when speaking with anyone struggling with mental illness or other invisible illnesses. Also, a thirst for knowledge on subjects related to medical information, and if not afflicted, I may not have researched.

I continue to struggle with depression on an odd day with frustration, regrets, and tears – but that’s not unexpected, I suppose. We’re courageous, but must forge onward, and be strong.

We’re in this together, you and I, and we must never apologize for our illness.

(edited and reposted)

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2019

 

How Graphic Design Has Helped My Migraines

As you have noticed, it appears that I have deserted my very own blog! 

I suppose this is accurate, but you see, I’ve been on a bit of an adventure, and spreading my wings too thin.

I’m delighted I kept this blog open and sincerely thank everyone who continues to read all of my earlier postings while leaving comments that I’ve neglected.  I genuinely apologize for that.

In early fall 2017, I began writing articles for a site called Virily.com (they pay writers for their work) and thoroughly relished writing quizzes of all things.  My writing has steered me to various spheres, but I’m new to inventing a quiz!

What was most exhilarating was realizing an old passion; art design!

When I was on Virily, a blogging friend revealed that she designs for a site called “Redbubble.”  This miffed me, but as soon as I heard the word ‘design,’ I needed to investigate.

Redbubble.com is a ‘print-on-demand’ (POD) marketplace whereby a designer or artist uploads an image of their design to appear on a multitude of Redbubble products.  They sell merchandise such as framed prints, apparel, mugs, pillows, duvets, cellphone cases and laptop sleeves, clocks, tote bags, etc. via online shopping.

All production, shipping and customer service is their responsibility, therefore, you don’t have to carry your own inventory and uploading is free.  They pay you a percentage of each sale.

Continue reading “How Graphic Design Has Helped My Migraines”

PTSD ~ When a child comes to you…

Make your own photo about LISTEN to the child BELIEVE them VALIDATE their feelings and PTSD Childhood Sexual Abuse ... on PixTeller

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

The Fog Between My Fingertips

BLACK DEPRESSION

Hollowness, loneliness

Black hole

No light at the top

Drowning

No one saving me

Why?

No future

Just black dreams

Despair

Feels like a prison cell

Handcuffed

Black fog

Feeling the fog between my fingertips

Nothingness

Empty

No treatments working?

No doctors helping?

Why?

What kind of life is this

Black death sentence

Written & copyright by Deb McCarthy

 

Guest Post ~ A Little Piece of Me

 

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. 

https://thisismysilenceblog.wordpress.com/


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:

Continue reading “Guest Post ~ A Little Piece of Me”

What is a Narcopath?

I was curious about this definition and found an article on Flying Monkeys Denied.com.

What is a Narcopath? 

Above and beyond traditional definitions for what the Baby Boomers and WWII Generation grew up calling a “Megalomaniac” is a new definition of a public figure as well. A new classification of “Narcopath” has also emerged to define a “Narcissistic Sociopath” separately identifiable from the terms “Dark Triad” or “Malignant Narcissist”.

Understanding Narcopathy is an emergent academic research discipline evolving in part due to the widespread epidemic of NPD and ASPD sweeping not only across the United States but also globally. Considered emotional terrorists, Narcopaths typically take great pleasure in being in positions of power — places they should never be due to their inability to reign in capricious greed.

Because they are oftentimes temperamental, reckless, and red-faced, when they attain positions of power, they cannot seem to resist the urge to behave selfishly. Frighteningly predictable, they are unable to control their own impulses to behave in ways that do nothing but promote fear or discord in their own lives.

As a result, the people who know them best tend to dread having to spend time around them. Why? Because no one who is not masochistic seldom enjoys being lied to, brutalized, dressed down with zero input of constructive criticism, manipulated, taunted, ridiculed, laughed at, or antagonized.

Like small children or petulant teenagers behaving with an unjustified and/or illegal sense of entitlement, the Narcopath cannot resist the urge to make malevolent mischief no matter what the day or situation.

Continue reading “What is a Narcopath?”

PTSD ~ Marriage is Supposed to be for Love

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.

The Beginning

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.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Marriage is Supposed to be for Love”

Stigma Quote

Mental illness stigma cherished79.com

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.

Study shows: Chronic Pain showing in adults with Anxiety or Depression

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

Image: cherished79.com

 

Continue reading “Study shows: Chronic Pain showing in adults with Anxiety or Depression”

Featured

Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With All 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 All Invisible Illnesses”

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

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.

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?”

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?”

A ‘NERVOUS BREAKDOWN’? what exactly is that?

WHAT IS A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN? WHAT CAUSES PEOPLE TO HAVE THEM?

When I was first diagnosed with depression my mother-in-law termed my illness as a “bad case of the nerves”.  I always shook my head at that one, and questioned, what does depression have to do with bad nerves; an incredibly old belief or judgment perhaps?

The term “nervous breakdown” is used by the public to characterize a wide range of mental illnesses. Nervous breakdown is not a medical term and doesn’t indicate a specific mental illness. Generally, the term describes a person who is severely and persistently emotionally distraught and unable to function at his or her normal level.

Continue reading “A ‘NERVOUS BREAKDOWN’? what exactly is that?”

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

“High Functioning” Bipolar Disorder

45 Truths People With Bipolar Disorder Wish Others Understood:

This article was written by:  from HealthyPlace.com (Breaking Bipolar Blog)

Sometimes people don’t believe I’m particularly sick. They meet me, I look fine, I interact, I charm, I wit and all seems, if not normal, at least something reasonably normal adjacent.

And that’s fine. It’s by design. Being a high-functioning mentally ill person, I can’t really afford to run around with my hair on fire. But faking normalcy, happiness and pleasure is a tricky and very expensive bit of business.

High-Functioning Bipolar

Being a “high-functioning” bipolar doesn’t really have a definition, per se. The term indicates that I’m not in a mental hospital, and I do things like live on my own, pay rent, work, and whatnot. I would suggest that being “high-functioning” seems to indicate that I can fake not being a crazy person.

High-Functioning Weekdays

Continue reading ““High Functioning” Bipolar Disorder”

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?”

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?”

Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?

 

Bipolar Disorder Often Misdiagnosed as Major Depression

Researchers Pinpoint 5 Factors That Can Help Improve Diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder

I’ve been hunting for an article just like this, perhaps info for my dilemma ‘Major Depression diagnosed as Bipolar Disorder’.

 I was diagnosed as BP II in 1997, at which time psychiatrists prescribed mood stabilizers, followed by antidepressants and a myriad of medications throughout the years. 

A number of these medications are still prescribed, so I’m puzzled by this diagnosis, considering primarily fighting off major depression for years.  Episodes of “mood swings”, “rapid cycling” or “mania”, just aren’t there.  I’m demanding a reevaluation; perhaps confirming meds that may not even be necessary.

About one in three people diagnosed with major depression may actually have bipolar disorder, researchers report.

Five characteristics, including extreme mood swings and psychiatric symptoms at a young age, may help pinpoint which patients actually have bipolar disorder, they say.

Bipolar disorder covers a spectrum of disorders in which patients may be sad and down one day and feeling on top of the world, hyperactive, creative, and grandiose the next.

Continue reading “Bipolar Disorder ~ Were you perhaps Misdiagnosed?”

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….”

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.

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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.

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