Fraternal, not maternal of course.
Happy weekend, friends.
Read on :)
We’re aware as smart single women that we can’t expect perfection.
But life still manages to throw us curve balls.
Maybe once you’re into your mid-thirties,
it shouldn’t be called dating,
it should be called waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Why is it always something?
Unless you’re in a problem free relationship with TiVo.
- Sex and the City
Despite the fact that the mention of TiVo dates this quote (remember TiVo?!), it still rings true. And you don’t need to be in your mid-thirties for it to apply. Any woman, or person for that matter, who has dated for a length of time knows the meaning of this quote in his or her bones.
You meet someone. It is electric. You connect over so many things. His father passed when he was small too. She loves Quentin Tarantino movies as much as you do. You both want to travel the world with nothing but a backpack. You share a love of fine wine and cooking extravagant dinners.
Before you know it you are sailing off in a sea of hormones and dreams of a future with this new, amazing person. You spend time at work day-dreaming of all the romantical things the two of you will share and your heart skips a beat when you see a new text/call/email.
You are twitterpated. Crushing, hard.
The intensity of these new-love emotions makes you feel as if this person is your destiny. This is deep and something you have never felt before. He is “the one”. You are ready to introduce her to mom.
Suddenly all of your hopes and dreams come crashing down, shattering into a million smithereens.
It could be any number of different things. “Deal breakers” are different for everyone. Prince charming could have said:
At the very least you are disappointed. You might feel devastated. Even worse, you might consider throwing your standards out the window to start a relationship with this individual anyway.
Let’s get real and break it down.
Getting real: You don’t know this person. Really, you don’t. You feel like you do because of the adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin running through you. It is also very likely that you have projected a huge, unrealistic fantasy onto them that has no basis in reality. That whole engagement speech you dreamed he would be reciting on bended knee? Yeah, you made that up in your head. The home-cooked meals and coffee dates with your mother you thought she would be making? Also fiction.
It is so easy to become disappointed and exhausted by dating, and life in general, when we live in the future instead of the present. When we live in the future we set ourselves up for disappointment and hurt feelings.
If you feel wounded by your dating life, only you can change that.
Be present. Make reality your friend.
Being present: Don’t wait for a partner to make your life happen. Enjoy every day. Plan trips. Have fun. Be grateful for everything you do have. You have so much! I keep a gratitude list on my phone that I add to and read when I am feeling sorry for my single self.
Making reality your friend: By realizing that that the initial excitement of dating a new person is not a promise for the future, you will save yourself a lot of heartache. People are often not who you perceive them to be (this is usually not their fault). And while it is frustrating when individuals misrepresent themselves, that is part of the dating game. Have compassion for people who don’t feel comfortable being up-front about who they are, and move on, (without them!).
Putting all your emotional eggs in one basket is your decision. Allow a potential partner to earn that over time. Let them demonstrate through actions who they actually are and that they are trustworthy. As the song goes. “You can’t hurry love, you just have to wait.”
Also realize this disappointment you feel is not personal. It is not a reflection on you. You are worthy of love. Have hope and stay positive. Remain grateful.
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.
- Kurt Vonnegut
Question: How have you and do you endure well when disappointed?
Self-Care Tip: Remember that this disappointment is not personal. Keep on.
Jessica Adams: I am a science teacher in Southern California who thinks about relationships, human health, love and of course science. I am passionate about doing what is right for kids and personal growth.
I’m trying to help explain, “Why temporary memory loss in ECT versus loss of memories prior to ECT?” It is “friendly” to understand our treatment options and dispel stigma, starting with “Me.” Please let me know if this effort is helpful in any way. :)
Community opinion of ECT, largely influenced by the media rather than data, has a very hard time believing that the memory loss is of new memories, (or imprinting memory, ) during the course of the index trial; not memories before ECT, not memories after the index trial is done, not memories when maintenance ECT is going on.
The best way I can explain this, (and this is my own Dr. Q effort,) is that the memory loss is related to mechanical issues, like a cork in a bottle. Think of a rain gauge, for example. After it rains, we see on the gauge that it rained 2.3 inches last night. We uncork it at the bottom, and all the rain water flows out until the rain gauge is empty. We let the water out. The rain gauge may fill again when it is recorked.
The electrical stimulus and subsequent seizure to a brain cell is like the process of uncorking the rain gauge. The natural process of the brain is to “recork” after a stimulus, be the stimulus pressure, magnetic, chemical, or in this case, electrical, and let the cell fill back up each time it happens. The recorking process happens all the time in our brain, (in vitro,) after natural stimuli act upon a cell, be those natural stimuli pressure, magnetic, chemical, electrical, or another.
ECT is a medical therapy that uses the basic recovery methods of our own physical design and perhaps, this is one of the reasons it is so effective.
Unless the cell has that inside content, it cannot lay down new memories. The stimulus and stimulus response does not damage the cell. They empty it. The response is mechanical.
This idea also works to help understand why the memory loss is most often temporary rather than long-term. The cells replenish between treatments. It is a cumulative effect, so the closer the treatments are, the more the degree of memory loss. As the time between treatments increases, the recovery time is so brief, that the patient doesn’t notice memory loss. The patient is able to imprint memories without difficulty. The rain gauge, we could say, has its cork in for longer periods of time.
Question: Have your choices toward treatment ever changed based on dispelling your own stigma? Has information and greater understanding of your treatment options ever specifically improved your self-care? Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: Use information and greater understanding of your treatment options to improve your self-care. Keep on.
This historical post above is what I will start tonight with when we meet at NAMI.
The blooming sense of value that comes when we pause to appreciate our imperfect selves, our abused selves, diseased, pecked at, and unrighteous selves, this we can trust a little more.
I remember the Scarlet Letter by, Hawthorne, and wonderful dirtied Hester.
But, in the lapse of the toilsome, thoughtful, and self-devoted years that made up Hester’s life, the scarlet letter ceased to be a stigma which attracted the world’s scorn and bitterness, and became a type of something to be sorrowed over, and looked upon with awe, yet with reverence too. And, …people brought all their sorrows and perplexities, and besought her counsel, as one who had herself gone through a mighty trouble. …with the dreary burden of a heart unyielded, because unvalued and unsought,—came to Hester’s cottage, demanding why they were so wretched, and what the remedy! Hester comforted and counselled them, …at some brighter period, when the world should have grown ripe for it, in Heaven’s own time, a new truth would be revealed, in order to establish the whole relation between man and woman on a surer ground of mutual happiness.
Once we value ourselves, much of stigma disappears. There is a coming together of that which is “perfect” with that which is imperfect, flawed, “unvalued and unsought,” and we can see the disease in others and not demand perfection in them either.
Everything starts and ends with Me.
Questions: How has stigma touched you? How have you, do you, deal with it? What helps you? Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: Let the imperfect come together with the perfect in you, to deal with stigma in others.
Dear Friends of NAMI,
We hope you’ll join us next Monday (March 24) for our monthly program meeting in Hemet at the Spirit of Joy Church, 3126 W. Johnston (corner of Johnston and Sanderson, near Hemet Wal Mart) at 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Sana Johnson-Quijada will speak on Stigma and ways to turn its negativity around, empowering people with mental illness and those who love them.
For more information, call (951) 765-1850
Mt. San Jacinto NAMI
I go through this almost every time I see a new patient. I often hear that this is all they really wanted, “To know what my options are and that I’m not choosing something way out there.”
First off, most treatments for psychiatric brain illnesses are not done with intention to cure, but rather to restore health and increase quality of life. Healthy is not the same as disease free.
This applies to all the treatments listed here.
Inpatient – 24 hour locked unit, voluntary and involuntary, little psychotherapy, and daily physician care.
Partial Hospital – Day Hospital that runs during business hours such as 9AM-3PM, voluntary only, includes intensive psychotherapy, and weekly physician care.
Talk therapy and exercises of various forms. May be with physician or nonphysician.
3. Stimulation Therapies, such as:
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) requires brain surgery to implant an electrical stimulation device in the specific brain area, controlled by a device implanted in the gut. Effective, but higher risk. Least time consuming for maintenance care.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) – The patient sits in a chair with a magnet at the head’s surface that uses magnetism to stimulate the brain for treatment, 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for various weeks, according to the patient’s need and funding. Few side-effects. Time consuming. Not as effective as DBS or ECT but comparable to some medications.
Electroconvulsive Therapy – Uses electricity to stimulate the brain, inducing a short seizure for treatment. Considered safe and of low risk. Most effective. Response is speedy. Few, and mostly temporary side effects. Does not enter into the body systems. Less time consuming.
Chemicals for treatment in the form of pills, liquids, injections, patches, powders, vapors, gases – enter into the body systems causing physical side effects that, as with any treatment, must be weighed against the benefits.
Pills – generally taken daily, which is a challenge to treatment compliance, and activate internal conflict and personal stigmas.
Injections – generally done in a clinical setting, bimonthly or monthly.
5. Aerobic exercise 50+ minutes, 5 days a week.
6. Sleep hygiene.
8. Alternatives – such as over the counter herbals, naturalistic supplements, meditation, spiritual, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, or no treatment.
Questions: What do you think of your options? What do you choose? And why? Please tell us your story.
Did I miss anything?
Self-Care Tip: Get informed about your treatment options.
Guest Post from Melissa Lesofski.
Melissa is a single, professional, and educated woman who is speaking out about what it is for her, unmarried.
“I don’t think we should live up to a list of what others think we should be. Nor a list from a person we are dating. I think we should make our own and use it as our guide.
Make a list of all of the qualities that we want in a spouse (because ultimately that is the purpose of dating, to discover what qualities are important to Me). Should s/he be funny? Pretty? Christian? Confident? Etc etc. Then go back through that list and hold ourselves to the same standard. My thoughts were when I first did this was that I was never going to find who I wanted to be with if I didn’t hold myself to the same standards that I wanted from my partner….what if the person I end up with is making a list too?”
Does this not relate to us in any station? Be the person we want to be loved by. It sounds awfully familiar to us starting with Me, where everything does, where freedom is. Me, the wonderland where we actually have power to make changes. Me, to who whom we give, and then actually have something to give to others.
Question: How has growing your list improved your connections? What is on your list? Please tell us your story.
Self-Care Tip: Write a list of what you would like to do in your life to be the person you would like to be loved by. Be a friend to yourself.
“…and my mother again would say to me you can’t eat beauty, it doesn’t feed you and these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.”
This woman gets us. Friend to yourself. Keep on.
There are nothing like lightbulb jokes in the operating room to make you plume your feathers. The other day, my nurse “enlightened” me with them.
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? One, but the lightbulb has to be willing to change.
How many surgeons does it take to change a lightbulb? One, because while he holds it, the world revolves around him.
How many nurses does it take to change a lightbulb? If it’s during shift change, no one will touch it.
That is as far as we got, but please share yours, especially if related to psychiatry :).
Lightbulb jokes are common, clean, dirty, and fairly ageless. It does not take the brightest lightbulb in the room (Teehee!) to know that they are so because they capitalize on stereotypes. Stereotypes, likewise, are widespread, and fairly ageless. Even in something as objective, well-defined, and understood as brain disease.
A primary care physician’s assistant, “PA,” was sharing with me the other day about how she deals with stereotypes when she approaches patients who need treatment toward brain health.
I tell them about all the executives and professionals who get treatment ‘because the stress gets to them and they have nervous breakdowns.’ Then they don’t feel so bad about accepting treatment because they associate themselves with these successful people.
Stereotypes can be positive, negative, or neutral. Everyone has them. We clinicians, patients, grocers, those who want nothing to do with medical care, and even executives and other professionals (smile) have them. But what, in dealing with stereotypes, is friendly to Me? It starts there. With Me, one little, or largely valued Me.
We stereotype ourselves and maybe that is why we stereotype others. For example, this struggle of what to call illness of the brain is common, widespread, and fairly ageless. A Menninger Clinic blogger wrote eloquently about it recently, “Does reframing mental illnesses as brain disorders reduce stigma? by JON G. ALLEN, PHD.” Most pithy, I thought was this,
…we should be skeptical of the view that regarding psychological problems as brain disorders will abolish stigma. Although the disease model decreases blame, this shift comes with a cost: It increases pessimism about recovery and might also contribute to perceived dangerousness.
I have never forgotten the Spiral Dynamics idea that in the magical level of consciousness, there is a sense of being disempowered. “Perceive dangerousness” is magical. Behind negative stereotypes, there is magical thinking. We give over what is not to be given and take what is not to be taken. We have fear. We feel victimized. We lose what is freely our own. Disempowerment is terrifying. There is a lot more stigma out there than there is information but giving stigma and/or negative stereotypes power is our own choice.
A fellow blogger wrote to me how he approaches it,
Change brain illness to mental illness. Our problems really are brain illness from physical dysfunction but I can accept that my psyche is sick easier than my brain is sick.
Stereotypes may scare us but they can also inspire. It is up to the individual, to Me, how to respond. As in lightbulb jokes, we who are targeted by stereotypes can take pride in them. They are not the same as “stigma” although there is overlap when negative. Stereotypes can be neutral or even something to be proud of.
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb? None–the light bulb will change when it’s ready.
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? None. It’s their job to help people find their way in dark places!
There is nothing like the kind of energy in stigma and negative stereotypes to inspire us. Such force, such Magic, these can get the punk in any of us to love who we are.
I used to be quite turned off by the beatitudes thinking I was supposed to want to be a wimp, and couldn’t quite make myself do it. Now I realize, being a wimp is just what it is. The blessing is what is inherently available to Me in my “condition.”
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
What have you found is inherently blessing you from where you find the condition of life to be?
Self-care tip: Use the energy available in Magic to empower you, rather than disempower.
Originally posted on Creative thinker - scientific mind - free spirit:
This post is about a student nurse’s experience of observing ECT during a placement, and what the procedure involves from my understanding (which may be limited, but it was my first placement!).
For my first six weeks placement as a student mental health nurse I was based on a male psychiatric ward. Before we went out I had a long chat with my personal…
View original 1,752 more words
What are you up to?
Lately, I have been working on getting our ECT book done. I am spending more time with the kids, exercising less, quilting more, and eating tons of fruit as it is always in season and “going to waste” (which guts me to see) around our little property. I am still listening to tons of books from audible and I think that my portrait would show me anywhere anytime with earbuds in. It must annoy others. …What was that?
Let us know what you are doing.
Be a friend to yourself. Keep on.
From time to time, I hear complaints that someone’s brain illness got better with medications and/or ECT, but just came back when they stopped. This almost always happens when a patient never transitioned to maintenance ECT and/or medication therapy.
I dub this, the Tower-of-Babel Syndrome. We all suffer from it at some point in life, trying to be like God. Or maybe a lesser god? During this Tower-of-Babel Syndrome, after we have paid the price, after we have complied with the many hard tasks, after we have built ourselves up into something glorious, we are cured from illness. Right? Once we stop perceiving it, illness that is, we are closer to God, more like Him/Her, perhaps more perfect, when we feel better and do not need medical care. Little gusts of wind are all it takes to fill our wings and off we go, living life free from disease laden earth.
But this is a mistaken expression of freedom.
The number one reason for relapse is…? You remember. Treatment noncompliance. Is relapse most often due to life stressors? There are so many. No. All those reasons for why we think we feel what we feel and do what we do, all those forces acting on us from the outside in, they are not the reasons we relapse most often.
There is something like a super-bug growing amongst us who engage in treatment on and off. We do it four or five months out of seven. We skip here and there and do not “over-react” if we do. “They don’t control me, after-all.” We apperceive the situation. We think we, by not being consistent with medical treatment, demonstrate our freedom. We are free when we engage in medical treatment or when we do not. We are free because we are human.
The super-bug in brain illness is a progression of disease process heightened and sharpened by treatment noncompliance. A growing resistance to treatment and an acceleration of our falls, how long it takes for us to drop into a relapse and how hard and far we fall.
Let us work together to take away barriers to consistent treatment. You may laugh when you hear about the Tower of Babel. You can laugh. A bonus.
The Tower-of-Babel Syndrome is familiar to those of us who stop any variety of medical treatments on our own, excluding our treatment team members, (such as our physician, Wink! Wink!) in our decision to end treatment.
By stopping medical treatment, many of us have this sense of eliminating the reason we started in the first place. Take treatment. Disease continues. Stop treatment. We are superior.
When my son was about one year old, he learned that if he turned his head away from you, it was as good as denying your existence. Turn. You are gone. Turn back. You reappear. Turn. And just like that, you have been eliminated. Even now, remembering it delights me.
Not so cute however, is disease relapse. Maintenance ECT and/or medication therapy has a protective effect on the brain, prophylactic against further insult. It does not increase the distance between Me and God. It does not increase a mislabeled dependency on treatment. Maintenance therapy is part of our life journey. It is part of our ability to be present with ourselves. It is friendly.
Self-Care Tip: Stay in maintenance therapy.
Questions: What is your evolving opinions about treatment options for brain illnesses?
When I am an old psychiatrist, I’ll be looking at you through my purple eye folds, with my wrinkled pressed lips, eyeglasses pushed tightly to my face, pride propping up my several chins, incensed with the smells of my own medicated dying body.
Proud of you. Proud of me. Not the kind of pride that squashes humility. For what have we to be proud of if we live without Grace. We will still be receiving what we have done nothing to deserve. The kind of pride that says,
There is Love.
There is one who has suffered and healed and hurt and lived well.
We will have made a lot of mistakes. We will have made and continue to make amends.
The kind of pride that kids pressed shoulder-to-shoulder know of when the spinning roundabout slows down. We will be able to hear,
Here is one in whom I am well pleased.
We will hear that and not be ashamed.
When in the exam room, we do not want it to be about the physician. However many of us don’t want it to be about the patient.
Some of us want it to be about the system, whatever system we are in, so that the system can run as smoothly as possible and get all our protocols met. Are we are making physician-robots? We isolate them and ourselves. There is a pressure when working in a system to sequester the physicians, such as wizards from the Muggles.
As physicians, we care better for our patients when we realize what we are getting out of the relationship. We give much better when we know what we are hoping to get and perhaps hoping not to get. We give better even with medical care. Is it comforting to think that when it is medical, it is objective, about data? More safe, perhaps. However, this binary logic, is false. We do not practice in such. We practice in a place where people smile and cry and bond and connect and receive from us and give to us. When we practice, it is personal. It is obvious that it is professional. The delusion is that professional is an either/or condition. Either professional or personal. Not both. Never both. That is a buttered wall to grip before sliding into patient doctor sexual relations. Sneeze.
There is a term called, Grace, you may have heard of. Grace is the condition of receiving without purchase. Having been gifted and celebrating in the gift without qualifying it. Perhaps getting a great review from a patient on-line you are expected to respond to, and just saying, “Thank you.” We have a hard time with this in our world. “Getting” well.
I struggle with “getting.” I cannot describe yet how to get well. How to receive. When a patient gives to me, I struggle not to qualify what I am getting in the same way I qualify taking a trip to Hawaii, “Oh, I’m going to a medical conference.” Or, “Look at this new patio set I got from Home Depot! It was totally on sale. I got a great deal.”
In practicing medicine, we need to grow to an acceptance of what we receive, and receive with Grace.
I am sure being a patient is better when we realize what we are getting from the exchange too. We get more, or perhaps differently, than what the insurance and copay gives purchase to. I hope the patient-doctor relationship is more than what can be had on the street of a Turkish bazaar.
Self-Care Tip: Get you some Grace, with Grace.
If you are not deeply grounded in who you are and what you are doing, if you have not done your own work on your own entitlement and issues, you will by snagged be what others think about you. This is why what YouTube comments have nothing to do with the video.
When you actually make something and take the risk and roll up your sleeves, when you choose to get off the couch, you become a wall for others to bounce off. Think of movie reviewers who sit for two hours in a movie and write their review, but never spent a minute on the set nor participated in the grueling effort to create it. What right do they have?
The sense of being disempowered is terrifying. This motivates both sides of this relationship – the creators and the responders. The people who are the very best, work very very hard on the basics and that is why is looks casual and easy.
Bruce Springsteen’s new album drops today. A man of hard labor and great flow in performance. How old is he now?! He targets everyday people searching for redemption. He has been around long enough to gather criticism but here he still is, productive, creative, connecting with the world.
When you receive criticism, step one is not to defend. Do not send them to the website where they can learn more. Step one is to find out what else is in the room.
You may go down the trail of defending, whip out your power point, only to find out that their question is a place holder. They do not understand why you got off the couch and started talking. Understand where the criticism is coming from. You defuse things this way and also get to the question behind the question.
Say, “Tell me where that is coming from.” Or, “Tell me more.”
The sooner you can figure out what else is in the room, what other associations are made from what you just said or did, the sooner you have connection and efficacy.
- This post is credited to thoughts gleaned from Rob Bell. Thank you Rob Bell.
Self Care Tip: Own your own junk and let others own theirs to connect.
He takes care of me.
Marrying for security is like bombing for peace. It was not too long after saying this when Amy told me she had been served divorce papers. She had been seeing me for several years. In that time, we had worked through her most recent episode of major depressive disorders and a debilitating anxiety. She had done marvelous. Courageously fought for her own health, to be accountable to herself and grow. Is it that surprising that when that happened, he left her?
Abuse. When one partner uses the power in them to dominate and control the other.
On the other side, there are those of us choosing the abused role such as for the security of logistics. Example, “I take care of his/her basic needs, s/he buys me health insurance.”
Marriages, or committed Love bonds, require full dependence on each other. That is different than power. It is not qualifying that each of us have different levels of power. Of course. But using that power to generate intimacy is like having sex to become a virgin.
Self-Care Tip: Move away from power as a method to increase intimacy.