Lady Gaga Writes a Powerful Letter about living with PTSD

This is a Must Read!

The complete letter: I have wrestled for some time about when, how and if I should reveal my diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After five years of searching for the answers to my chronic pain and the change I have felt in my brain, I am finally well enough to tell you. There […]

via Lady Gaga Writes a Letter About Her Experience With PTSD — Music In the Dark

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

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


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

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

How Depression and Lack of Appetite Affects Me

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

A Depressed Brain is Still Part of Your Body

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

PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling

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

On goodtherapy.org they explain Worthlessness

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

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

Understanding Worthlessness

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

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

Does High Self-Esteem = Narcissism?

image: google.ca

I found this research study interesting, misjudging the fact that perhaps High Self-Esteem is Not Narcissism.

High self-esteem is frequently mistaken for narcissism, but scientists say the two are distinctly different personality traits that evoke opposite responses in similar situations.

Principally, narcissists meticulously guard their self-imposed status of superiority to the point of isolating themselves. Even when the narcissist is surrounded by others, any perceived threat to his or her superiority has the potential to evoke a crude, self-serving response, according to research. Such reactions are typically interpreted by friends and acquaintances as boring behavior.

Researchers say the defensive mechanism of narcissists too often involves going on offense when their fragile egos take a hit. New psychological findings indicate narcissists more often battle a deep sense of dissatisfaction with themselves rather than with others.

Continue reading “Does High Self-Esteem = Narcissism?”

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….”

Triggering Triggers (PTSD)

Trigger Warning!!

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Triggering Triggers (PTSD)”

What is codependency? Am I codependent?

The term “codependency” was coined more than 20 years ago by authors who studied the negative impact of drug and alcohol use on families. Since then, use of the term has been expanded to include a pattern of psychologically unhealthy behaviors that are learned by individuals as a way of coping with a family environment marked by ignored or denied emotional turmoil.

Most people are able to enjoy a sense of healthy, mutual interdependence in their lives. However, people with codependency seem to habitually form relationships that are one-sided and emotionally destructive.

Continue reading “What is codependency? Am I codependent?”

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication?”

My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves

Have you ever had someone enter your life that really made a difference when you were a child, validated your feelings or listened with concern when you spoke?

Perhaps it was a mentor, coach, Girl Guide leader; you get the idea. Reflect for a minute who that person was. For me, it was my high school home economics teacher, Mrs. Fox.

Each day I was greeted with a brilliant smile from her, and the only teacher throughout my entire schooling that I connected with.

I was emotionally abused by my narcissistic mother, forever feeling depressed, apathetic, sullen, despondent and isolated. Her home economics course, for grades eleven and twelve, included both cooking and sewing/crafts (this was back in the early 70’s when it was assumed girls who graduated would ultimately become secretaries or housewives!).

Continue reading “My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves”

Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma

Religious Abuse

Each time I hear a mention of this abuse, I shake my head thinking “here we go again, another child/adult child sexually abused, coming forward despite their courage and pain, to be treated like garbage or accused of making it all up and the church deals with it in their own way, which is nothing”.  I seethe inside.

It is difficult to define what “religious abuse” means, as it carries with it implications of forcing someone to believe in a faith, but principally it is abuse committed by someone who is a representative of a religious body.

Usually, the abuse takes the form of:

~ physical abuse

~ sexual abuse

~ emotional abuse

~ neglect

The abuse occurs as a result of the religious representative taking advantage of his/her position of responsibility within the religious organisation.

There has been widespread publicity surrounding the abuse by and criminal conviction of priests of the Catholic Church all over the world leading to several leading legal precedent judgments in the higher courts concerning the scope of the responsibility of the church for the criminal behaviour of priests.

Continue reading “Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma”

PTSD and Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness

I experienced emptiness during my childhood as a daughter of a narcissistic mother who either ignored me most days or spewed vicious words of criticism and anger. Which was worse, being ignored or the vicious words ~ either way, I felt empty.  *According to the article below, I fall into Type 1, 2 and 3.

Emptiness:   It’s not a disorder in and of itself, like anxiety or depression. Nor is it experienced by most people as a symptom that interferes with their lives. It’s more a generic feeling of discomfort, a lack of being filled up that may come and go. Some people feel it physically, as an ache or an empty space in their belly or chest. Others experience it more as an emotional numbness.

You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, disconnected as if you’re not enjoying life as you should.

People who don’t have it don’t understand. But people who feel it know:

In many ways, emptiness or numbness is worse than pain. Many people have told me that they would far prefer to feel anything to nothing. It’s very hard to acknowledge, make sense of, or put words to something that is absent. Emptiness seems like nothing to most people. And nothing is nothing, neither bad nor good, right?

But in the case of a human being’s internal experience, nothing is definitely something. “Empty” is actually a feeling in and of itself. And I have discovered that it is a feeling that can be very intense and powerful. In fact, it has the power to drive people to do extreme things to escape it.

Empty is the “unfeeling” feeling. It’s the painful sense that some vital ingredient is missing from inside. I often have talked about the root cause of empty feelings: Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). But the type and depth of emptiness you feel are determined by the type and depth of CEN that you grew up with, plus some other parenting factors.

Three Major Causes of Emptiness:

Continue reading “PTSD and Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness”

Depression: Planning my Escape

Attending a party when you feel like crap? Imagine planning your escape the moment you walk in?

Envision feeling lonely when you are actually with people; with friends, celebrating a birthday party at someone’s house. You experience emptiness. The room is filled with chatter and laughter, yet you are seated; numb.

Depression is lonely. Curled up in a ball – lonely.

This actually happened to me. I was pretty much forced to attend a birthday party, and although I resisted, I soon surrendered due to the fact that it was for a dear friend and I was absent from all other celebrations throughout the past year.

Seated in a Lazy-Boy for part of the evening, I held tightly onto a diet Coke. I thought it polite to rise and finally mingle; show a smile, pretend to enjoy the evening, yet the feeling of hollowness was debilitating. Laughter echoed.

For the majority of the year, I had been in the hospital more than out. Depression was black; I felt as if I was literally dumped into a black hole and left for dead. It was stated there was light up at the top of this hole, yet I was forever waiting to witness any.

Continue reading “Depression: Planning my Escape”

Have you ever felt handcuffed to your house?

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

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

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

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

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

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

If My Abusive Mother Came Crawling Back, Do I Owe Her Anything?

For me, I positively don’t owe my narcissistic mother anything. Here is the woman who spewed out vicious words, ignored me, displayed rare empathy, criticized, ranted, raved, and left me feeling worthless and undervalued.

My father passed away in 2012 and I (the scapegoat) only have one sibling (my brother, the golden child).

Our last conversation(s) were similar to this:

“Deb, since your dad died it’s been really lonely, I have no friends and have to do everything by myself. You have a husband there all of the time to help you, I have no one. It’s really depressing, all alone in the apartment with nothing to do but watch TV. Your brother is always there if I need him, but you never seem to come over very often. I know you don’t have the car much and I said I could drive you to appointments or to the mall, but you always say you take the bus. We are family and we should do things for each other.

She wants and needs me now, yet she hasn’t changed her narcissistic personality at all, and most likely never will. Am I expected to ‘be there’ for her now that she’s so lonely, yet ignored me throughout my childhood?

She can’t have me now, it’s too late mom you blew it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I really enjoyed reading this article today titled “The Debt” in which it asked just that, do we owe parents who have abused us during our lives anything when we are adults?

See article @ Slate.com written by Emily Yoffe “The Debt” When terrible, abusive parents come crawling back, what do their grown children owe them?

Written and copyrighted by Deb/2016

Originally on my blog niume.com (Deb-Living in Stigma)
https://niume.com/profile/25982#!/posts

What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?

Schizotypal personality disorder is characterized by someone who has great difficulty in establishing and maintaining close relationships with others. A person with schizotypal personality disorder may have extreme discomfort with such relationships and therefore have less of a capacity for them. Someone with this disorder usually has cognitive or perceptual distortions as well as eccentricities in their everyday behavior.

Individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder often have ideas of reference (e.g., they have incorrect interpretations of casual incidents and external events as having a particular and unusual meaning specifically for the person). People with this disorder may be unusually superstitious or preoccupied with paranormal phenomena that are outside the norms of their subculture.

Individuals with Schizotypal Personality Disorder often seek treatment for the associated symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other dysphoric effects rather than for the personality disorder features per se.

A personality disorder is an enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates from the norm of the individual’s culture. The pattern is seen in two or more of the following areas: cognition; affect; interpersonal functioning; or impulse control.

Continue reading “What is Schizotypal Personality Disorder?”

Welcome – Connecting With Everyone Struggling With Invisible Illnesses

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

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

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

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

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?”

BINGE EATING DISORDER ~ Different from Anorexia and Bulimia

binge eating

I was searching for information on bingeing and came across this article on (News-Medical.net), where they wrote that binge eating disorder is different from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

It was stated that food addiction is not yet recognized as a mental disorder but certain obese individuals clearly display addictive-like behavior towards food.  To achieve a formal diagnostic status, ‘food addiction’ requires a stronger evidence base to support the claim that certain ingredients have addictive properties identical to addictive drugs of abuse.  This topic is up for debate in the session, ‘Binge eating obesity is a food addiction’.

Continue reading “BINGE EATING DISORDER ~ Different from Anorexia and Bulimia”

Can you tell if I have Bipolar Disorder?

Face, Women, Look, Girl, Think, Eyes

Mental illness is surrounded by a glut of half-truths and untruths. If you tell someone that you’ve been diagnosed with, for example, bipolar disorder,  they are likely to roll their eyes and say, “I don’t believe it – you don’t look mentally ill…?”  What does mental illness look like then?

Which brings me to my question: Do I perchance look like I have Bipolar Disorder? I don’t think I do. Am I perhaps making something out of nothing? Self-confidence and self-esteem slid into the basement and remained there for too many years. Trudging through the mud, and finally locating a ladder to climb up, rung by rung, I achieved the surface.  An awfully scary surface.

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

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

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

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

Written & copyright by Deb

EXPLAINING DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS

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

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

_________________________________________________________________________

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

You Know You…..and invisible illnesses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2017

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”

Imagine asking: Are you even trying to get better?

What kind of question is that? Who would ask someone that? Mental illness stigma at it’s best.

There are still so many comments made by society concerning mental illness, striking close to home with me and my struggles with depression.

Dusting off some old journals, back from my days in the hospital, I came across one stay where I “interviewed” informally some fellow patients enduring their experiences. While there were many more stories; I only selected these three:

These are samples of mental illness stigma and what society perceives.

~~~

*Denise in her early ‘20’s gave a rather heartrending account of an outing just that evening with her mother.

Denise’s mother picked her up from the hospital for dinner at a mid-priced restaurant. It was trivial talk mostly, due to the fact that she had just undergone an ECT the day prior and depression was relentless. After dinner, they both drove to the mall where they shopped for a new outfit, but it was on the drive home that anger and that feeling of failure set in.

Continue reading “Imagine asking: Are you even trying to get better?”

Depression continues…

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

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

Deb

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Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: The Overlap

The two disruptive mental conditions which contribute to the ‘dysfunctionality’ of the normal human behavior, are intricately connected and often difficult to distinguish. An individual diagnosed…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: medium.com

STIGMA – IN THE WORKPLACE

STIGMA ~~

Considering so many people have such difficulty opening up to people close to them, it’s no wonder that there are real fears about being stigmatized in the workplace. The cost of mental illness in the workplace is enormous: 30 to 40 % of disability claims are for mental illness, and the losses amount to about $33 billion a year, not including treatment and health care—plus the unknowable costs in lost productivity by those people who suffer in silence.

Employees should think carefully about how much and to whom they are planning to disclose information. If an employee is performing a job well despite a mental illness, then there would be no obligation to disclose his/her condition. In fact, the benefits and risks of disclosing should be carefully weighed before any action is taken.

Sharing information with co-workers is a matter of personal choice. Trust is the issue, and although there is always talk among co-workers, be wise when or if you choose to disclose. This could be detrimental to your future with your company. Really ask yourself – am I going to be farther along by disclosing or just remain silent. Will it hurt or harm? And is it worth it?

*In my personal situation, I never uttered a word fearing possible job loss.  Trust was one reason but stigma was the main issue.

EMDR Therapy for PTSD?

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

Continue reading “EMDR Therapy for PTSD?”

Depression may pass from mothers to daughters

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Medicalnewstoday.com 

7 Ways To Make Therapy More Affordable

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

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

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

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

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

Psychodynamic Therapy

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

The information on PsychCentral.com site explains:

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

The article continues on PsychCentral.com

Rudolph is banned from the Psych Ward

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Struggling with depression for many years, I found myself spending three joyless Christmases (over the nine years of repeateded hospitalizations) on the dingy psych ward of a medical hospital. Two years of which I was deemed too risky, therefore, forbidden to enjoy Christmas dinner at home with family. Difficult to resign yourself to yet too unwell to converse with people anyways.

Rudolph was banned from the hospital.

So, four of us sat around a laminated and steel table (minus a tablecloth), in the gloomy dining/craft room and picked at our ‘festive turkey dinner’. Each meal consisted of turkey roll, faux mashed potatoes, lukewarm gravy, a scarce array of ho-hum veggies, stale roll, two packets of cranberry sauce and butter.

To my surprise, I did awaken to a gift planted on my side table; a red sparkly colored gift bag stuffed with loads of goodies including handmade crocheted kitchen items and knitted bright aqua mittens, yummy chocolates, which I thought very thoughtful and caring.

The Christmas year when permitted home for a two-hour visit, allotted barely enough time to wolf down a holiday dinner. As memory serves me, I believe we discovered a welcoming diner open Christmas Day, yet unsure if we truly ate turkey!

Christmas mood in the hospital was somber, the three-foot fake tree standing in the TV room was virtually naked due to prohibited string lights, (potential suicide risk) and only a few crocheted and cardboard decorations placed on branches sparingly. Underneath was a dull green round skirt covered with empty wrapped gold boxes assumed to resemble gifts sourced from years before.

TV and dog-eared magazines were there for our amusement, as well as visitors allowed for extended hours. Quick thinking by nurses, miniature candy canes in plastic wrappers were located at the ‘medication station’. Continue reading “Rudolph is banned from the Psych Ward”

Paranoid Personality Disorder

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.

Continue reading “Paranoid Personality Disorder”

Quote: Emotional Abuse

My therapist was the first person who ever validated my feelings, allowed me to speak, and believed what troubled me throughout my adult years due to Emotional Abuse.  My mother is a Narcissist and void of empathy, never taking the time or ignoring any feelings that I had. The only words out of her mouth were cruel and nasty.