Blog-Jacking – by Rick C.

Hi Everyone… I thought I would kind of write a guest blog today (call it blog-jacking even) DQ did not specifically asked me to do this, however, I do not have any clear recollection of her specifically asking me not to do this either. With this in mind, I would like to let you know about my unique relationship with DQ (I am just going to write DQ because I have a very limited attention span and am likely to have two or three great ideas flow through my brain by the time I type Dr. Sana Johnson-Quijada and then I also start wondering if she has a middle name too and how she fits all those letters into those forms that have the little boxes on them). Anyway… I communicate with DQ on a regular basis and get interesting insight on a variety of topics. This makes me feel unique and special until I realize that most of the people reading this have the same opportunity. Then I kind of ask myself… “What kind of group have I joined?”

To begin, I would like to talk a bit about my psychiatric qualifications. I spent six years attending college. Technically, these were at a community college, but I did take at least one psych course while I was there. In addition, I am an alcoholic and drug addict in recovery who has previously attempted suicide. I take medications for both depression and ADHD. I had to go through a variety of medication to find the right combination because almost every medication I tried made me sweat profusely and/or break out in a rash. As part of my ongoing training, I am going through a nasty divorce which has caused me to be temporarily unable to see my son or live the life that I have become accustomed to. In addition, I have just lost my job of fifteen years due to cutbacks. All of this in the same month that I turned forty and should be free to seek out a quality midlife crisis.

The fact that I am laying in bed with my shoelaces in my possession in a nice room that I am free to come and go from as I please over two weeks after the divorce/job loss week most likely indicates that I am totally delusional and only think that I am happy or that I actually am. Either way, I am content in the place that I am at. This, to me, is pretty amazing.

I am grateful for that I have been through all the things that I have been through in my life because they have given me the strength and experience to go through what I am going through. Even though I did not do real well in school, I somehow did well enough with a big corporation that they are willing to give me a severance package that will basically pay me for the next four months as long as I do not get a job or accept one of the positions they have offered me. Basically, a bunch of paperwork and legal terms that say to me “Paid, vacation!”

Being an alcoholic and a drug addict have led me to become involved in a program that connects me with others who have previously tried to use alcohol and drugs as a solution for coping with life. These people are a great source of support and experience. As for the prescribed drugs, I am not even really sure that I need them all the time; however, I sure as heck am glad that I was on them when my “Perfect Storm” kicked off. Oh yeah, as part of my challenging week, I found myself with no place to live and immediate access to very little money. A little rational thought and I realized that I have an amazing amount of airline miles from years of travel. In fact, more than enough to take up residence in a nice beach front condo for the next month.

Why am I sharing all of this? For several reasons — First and foremost, I am newly almost single and think that this is a great way to meet ladies without having to ever think about the awkward point in a relationship where I will have to explain my past. In addition, the fact that everyone here is reading this most likely means that you have experience with challenges like mine and I can always use others that I can relate to. Lastly, I have found out that when I have felt that I have a very unique situation, I am usually wrong and that I am actually just not in a group of people who feel comfortable sharing their experiences. It would be kind of cool if everyone just wore a signs with their three biggest “issues” on them. I have a feeling that if everyone formed a group with only the people who had at least one issue in common with them… we’d all be in the same great big group called life.

Thanks for reading to this point. What do you think about this? Are you female and single or considering becoming that way? Could this really be a worse idea than matchharmoneyfinder.com or whatever it is called? Keep on and be a friend to yourself and stuff.

Oh yeah….DQ, please get better soon because this blogging stuff is cutting into my busy schedule!

 

A Little Bit is Not Enough – Claim Full Health

The good news is, I just ate 3 chocolate chip cookies.  You already know the bad news.  Has nothing to do with my post.  I’m just sharing it for the sake of your own

Schadenfreude 🙂

…Onward.  Question:

Does emotional disease get worse even while on medication therapy?  Sometimes.  It does so more often when the disease process is treated but only partially treated.  Read a little more about this in this post if your interested.  A primary care physician recently told me, “I think the term ‘Partial Responder’ is a marketing gimmick to get physicians to prescribe more medications.  I don’t think it even exists.”

There’s a lot to be said about interview skills in sussing out the partial responder.  If I asked someone if they felt better, many things play into their response. Everyone’s responses are biased of course.  We don’t have sterile minds.  For example there’s the patient who wants to please their physician.  “Yes I’m better!”  i.e. “Yes you’re a good doctor!”  There are the patients who don’t want to be patients and minimize whatever they’re going through.  There is the physician who leads the interview.  “So, you’re feeling better?”  “The medication is helping?”

Partial response means that at the end of a full treatment initiation period, there is some disease remaining but a reduction of disease.  For example, in depression, I may no longer be suicidal, but I still have trouble feeling pleasure in life.  In cancer it means that there is tumor reduction of at least 30%.

Now why would a physician presumably agree that there is a partial response in cancer, but not agree that it happens in mental health?  Anyways….  (Ahem.)  When we partly respond to mental health treatment and don’t push further for full response, about 70% will relapse.  Versus maybe 25% in those who reached their pre-disease baseline emotional health through treatment.

Don’t get lost in this.  The point is, get treated and get fully treated.  Mental illness is progressive and causes changes at the cell level.  The brain is connected to the rest of our body.  The brain is human.  A bit better, is not enough.

Self Care Tip #61 – Go all the way!  Claim health.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  Did you find this to be true in yourself or someone you know?  Please tell me your story.

An Honorable Goal

“I feel things I had no capacity to feel before!  I can’t believe how much better life is for me.”  She was 2 months into medication therapy and she felt like she was back to whom she wanted to be.  Who she thought she really was.

Before medications, she was “making it.”  Although she was irritable, easily activated by simple triggers, edgy, she was mostly not acting on it. Making it to the end of the day every day was a victory.  Now she realized that if someone told her the difference before treatment began, she would have never believed them.  She hadn’t perceived how rough things were for her.  Now that she knew, she felt joy and sadness.


Getting well is never all good.  There is the daily reminder that you need help.  Every time you take a pill, you have to argue down all the reasons not to.  Sometimes that argument doesn’t last long.  Sometimes you spend more time than any one looking at you would guess.

The justifications for medication don’t only come from ourselves.  We have others “in the know” saying how much better we are.  Or what ever their opinion is.

Some of us are entirely on our own.  Hiding our pills so we don’t have to hear it.  When something goes wrong, the pills are to blame.  It reminds me of menarche and listening to the boys saying empathic things like, “She must be on the rag!” Things said about us when we behave or feel in a way others don’t think we should, can be just as humiliating.

Is there anything that draws more public opinion than behavior?  Being your own advocate may be easier said than done.  However, difficult as it is, it has to be done.  It starts with “me.”  If I don’t fight for my own self, choose for my own self, …well, it results in so many things.

What is surprising is how things look so different once we do take action.  Sticks and stones make more sense.  We have the confidence that inevitably comes when we gave our best towards an honorable worthy goal – a healthy self.

Self Care Tip #33 – Accept help.  Be a friend to yourself.

Question: What do you think?  Agree or disagree?