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.

Launching my blog in 2007, Living in Stigma the goal was to share my life experiences with mental illness with others, and aspire to receive feedback from those also struggling with their own depressive illnesses. I felt as if I was living in stigma with my own major depression.

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

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

STIGMA – Mental & Invisible Illnesses

What is Stigma?

When an individual appears to differ from us, we may view him or her in a negative, stereotyped way. People who have personalities or characteristics that society’s values negatively are stigmatized.

Stigma is a reality for people with mental or invisible illnesses and how society judges them is one of their most significant barriers to coping and living their life. We feel uncomfortable about mental illness, perhaps due to not fully understanding this disorder, and with an invisible illness, we sometimes assume they are useless, unable to work or function at all. (Statistics show stigma is less present with invisible illnesses). Continue reading STIGMA – Mental & Invisible Illnesses

Did you know that Friendship can ruin Therapy?

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

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

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

Continue reading Did you know that Friendship can ruin Therapy?

I have no more Migraines. Why?

The definition of the ‘migraine’ comes from the Greek meaning, ‘hemicrania’ or ‘half-headed’ on one side of the head,

Migraine sufferers are Migraineurs.

A migraine is a disease, an invisible illness, and “not just a headache.”

I have been a Migraineur for over 50 years.

My ‘headaches’ began as a teenager; I was about sixteen. They were sporadic but extremely painful. As the years passed, my headaches became migraines and more frequent. The pain was excruciating and “put me out of commission” for several days. It affected my social life; employment, and I often visited the hospital emergency for pain relief.

In my 50s, these migraines developed into ‘Chronic Daily Migraines’ (chronic is defined as 15+ headaches per month). I was fortunate to escape with one or two pain-free days per month. The agonizing pain was unbearable, with some migraines continuing for 7-9 days without a break. I discontinued going to the Emergency as the hospitals in my city did not offer narcotics to relieve pain, only the equivalent of Tylenol.

My neurologist tried many methods to treat these horrible migraines, but nothing was effective.

Life went on, and I accepted that I would have chronic pain for the rest of my life.

My psychiatrist discontinued the antidepressant I had taken for over a year (Effexor) and diagnosed me with severe anxiety. In June 2022, I was hospitalized for depression, and he decided to try Clonazepam (Klonopin) at a small dose of 0.5mg daily.

Clonazepam is used to prevent and control seizures. This medication is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. It is also used to treat panic attacks. Clonazepam works by calming your brain and nerves. It belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines.  Source: webmd.com  

After about a week, my migraines decreased, and I only got the odd headache.

Continue reading I have no more Migraines. Why?

What is Bell’s Palsy? Connected to Migraines?

Waking up one morning, I looked in the mirror and saw a droopy face on one side scaring the heck out of me. Did I have some type of stroke?

I was in my 30s and after some research discovered it may be Bell’s Palsy. After a day, the facial nerves returned to normal, but not perfect. However, I continue to show minor signs around my eyes and mouth (30 years later). It’s interesting to learn that people with migraines have a higher risk of having Bell’s Palsy.

Source: Google Images

Bell’s palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of your face.

They damage the facial nerve that controls muscles on one side of the face, causing that side of your face to droop, which may affect your sense of taste and how you produce tears and saliva.

This condition comes without warning. Waking up with Bell’s Palsy first thing in the morning, a person discovers that one side of their face doesn’t move, and if it affects an eyelid, blinking may be difficult.

FACTS:

1. Bell’s Palsy typically starts suddenly, but it’s not to be confused with the condition of cerebral palsy.

2. There have been links found between migraine and facial and limb weakness, which prompted a study showing that people with migraine may be at much higher risk of having Bell’s Palsy.

3. People who suddenly undergo these symptoms believe they are having a stroke. However, if the weakness or paralysis only affects the face, it’s likely to be diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.

Continue reading What is Bell’s Palsy? Connected to Migraines?

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? A perfect example of stigma.

Now the police are at my door…

A few years ago, depressed as hell, I Dialed the Distress Center Hotline, speaking for what felt like forever with a counselor about my obsessive suicidal feelings and depression. Zilch was helping, and I abruptly hung up on her, which was a dreadful mistake.

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 with no progress, so I didn’t want to talk to this chick anymore.

Fifteen minutes later, a loud rap at my door, “Police.” I cautiously opened my door to discover a male and female officer standing on my front veranda, asking if I was ok and could they could talk to me. Me? Why? Police?

They clarified the Distress Center’s “phone hang-up” policy and had no alternative but to call the police. I was ‘distressed,’ and these cops weren’t buying my story that I would be ‘ok’ now.

The back seat of this cruiser was larger than I expected. Neighbors, who usually don’t walk their dogs, now strolled by the police car peering in, along with other neighbors peeking through window blinds and curtains. 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…

The Narcissistic Mother

No one believes you:

This describes my narcissistic mother well.

My Podcast Interview is now available at the Harvard Medical School Library

In May 2011, Dr. Anne Hallward, a psychiatrist from Portland, Maine, who hosts a weekly podcast called Safe Space Radio, contacted me. She has broadcast over 300 episodes on mental health awareness, including depression, bipolar disorder, stigma, social injustice, suicide, etc.

Dr. Hallward read my blog “Living In Stigma” and was interested in interviewing me for her radio podcast to talk about the subject focusing on stigma and bipolar disorder.

Both flattered and delighted that she chose my blog, I was nervous just thinking about talking live on a radio podcast.

The interview went pretty smoothly, and when I originally posted the podcast on this blog, I received wonderful feedback.

Many years have passed, and Dr. Hallward contacted me last week to inform me that she was winding down her podcast interviews. The Harvard Medical School Library has agreed to become the permanent home for collecting all Safe Space Radio interviews.

My Bipolar Disorder and stigma podcast will now be available for anyone to listen to!

Stigma and Being Bipolar with Deb McCarthy

MAY 18, 2011 BY SSRADMIN

interview here: https://safespaceradio.com/?s=bipolar+disorder

https://safespaceradio.com/about/

Managing Treatment-Resistant Depression

Treatment-resistant depression (TRD) occurs when major depressive disorder (MDD) treatment does not work. There is no official definition or set criteria for TRD, but the measure often used is an inadequate response to at least two trials of antidepressant medications.1

The term “treatment-resistant depression” is not frequently used in clinical settings.2

 Terms such as “difficult-to-treat,” “struggling with their condition,” “complex needs,” or “chronic” may be used instead.

TRD doesn’t mean depression can’t be treated. It means different treatments must be tried to find what works for that individual. Read on to learn about how to manage TRD.

What Causes Treatment-Resistant Depression?

The cause of TRD isn’t known, but research suggests risk factors may include:3

  • Depressive episodes that are longer in duration: The longer a bout of depression lasts, the more opportunity for atrophy in specific brain regions (such as the hippocampus). Longer episodes can also result in behavioral and cognitive changes that may be harder to manage.
  • Severity: The most severe and the mildest forms of depression are associated with a risk of treatment resistance.
  • Type of depression: TRD is more prevalent in bipolar depression than in MDD.
  • Symptom duration: Symptoms that don’t improve within the first few weeks of treatment may signify treatment-resistant depression.
  • Comorbid conditions: Anxiety (symptoms and/or disorder), personality disorders (especially avoidant and borderline), and other co-occurring conditions may affect treatment outcomes.
  • Age: Older-aged adults may respond less to treatment.
  • Biological factorsGenetics and biological factors may make some people respond more or less to some treatments than others.

While more studies are needed, research suggests inflammation may play a role in TRD.1

Read entire article @ Very Well Health

By Heather Jones, Published September 21, 2022

 Medically reviewed by Michael MacIntyre, MD

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

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That was me, the black sheep in our family of four. There was only my brother and me. He was treated like gold, the golden child, while I….you get the picture. My brother and I were having lunch one day, and these words stung “I don’t know why you have problems with Mom. We must have lived in different houses because I saw none of this”.

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

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

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

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

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

Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma

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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 implications of forcing someone to believe in faith. Still, 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 because the religious representative takes advantage of his/her position of responsibility within the religious organization.

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 church’s responsibility for the criminal behavior of priests.

Continue reading Religious Abuse ~ A Psychological Trauma

Quote – PTSD – Narcissistic abuse from mom

NARCISSISTIC MATERNAL ABUSE

My mother was uncaring and ignored me for most of my life...and wonders why I ve abandoned her now that she s elderly? cherished79.com blog "Living in Stigma"

I wrote this quote referring to my narcissistic mother. She cannot recall the days of ignoring me, criticizing or showing no empathy, nor caring about me the way a mother should. Her emotional abuse had enormously affected my self-worth, self-confidence, and trust. I was forever feeling guilty or questioning what I had done that she was so displeased with anything I did for her.

After my father passed away, she felt isolated and lonely. She was elderly now and displayed signs of illness, questioning, “Why don’t you ever visit or come over for lunch because it’s lonely every day in this apartment?”. Hmmm, I wonder why? Typical narcissists do not recognize their own personalities.

I finally went NO CONTACT many years ago as I was tired of her never-ending abuse. It was the best decision I ever made. 

I found out she passed away two years ago and thought she could have had a loving daughter to spend time with, but she threw it all away.

re-edited and reposted August 2022

A Normal Cough or a Deadly Cough?

Lung cancer: How to spot a normal cough from a deadly one, according to NHS experts

Image source: Pixabay

The last few years have focused on respiratory illnesses, with many of us looking for a Covid test the instant we start coughing or feeling under the weather. But, because of this, thousands of people have stopped coming to their GPs when they develop a new or difficult cough.

This is worrying NHS bosses as lung cancer remains the UK’s deadliest cancer and the fifth highest cause of death in the UK. Now, health chiefs are launching a campaign to help the public spot a potentially dangerous cough from a normal one.

The “Help Us Help You” NHS campaign wants the public to know that persistent breathlessness, a bloody cough, or one that persists for three-week should have you calling your GP. While it might not be lung cancer, if caught early, you might not be one of the over 26,000 people who lose their lives to the disease each year.

See the rest of the article @ mirror.co.uk/lifestyle

Living In Stigma August 2022

Before Your Next Trip to the Dentist – Read This

Here’s how to evaluate your dentist’s advice and how to pay less for pricey dental procedures.

When you’re in the dentist’s chair, being told that you need a filling, a crown, a root canal, or some other procedure, should you trust that advice? Or is there another option?

Many factors—apart from what’s best for you—may play a role in how some dentists decide what to recommend. Plus, the scientific evidence supporting some dental procedures is often lacking. When it comes to the best way to handle a problem with a tooth, there’s a whole lot of gray area.

Plenty of teeth do need dental work, and no repair lasts forever, so a tooth with a filling could require ongoing attention. A small filling may be replaced by a larger filling, the tooth might eventually need a crown and a root canal, and you could finally need to have the tooth taken out, says Alexander Holden, PhD, clinical associate professor of dentistry at the University of Sydney. But when should all these steps occur? Or are they even necessary?

Read the rest of this article at consumerreports.org

How The Small Joys Become Big Things With Chronic Illness, Disability & Pain — Invisibly Me

Small joys can enhance our daily life & wellbeing. Here’s how to appreciate those simple pleasures when living with a chronic condition. The post How The Small Joys Become Big Things With Chronic Illness, Disability & Pain appeared first on Invisibly Me.

How The Small Joys Become Big Things With Chronic Illness, Disability & Pain — Invisibly Me

Does life make you feel like an insecure piece of fluff?

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 Usually, when someone is referred to as ‘confident‘, they are referring to self-confidence.

Self-confidence is faith in one’s own abilities. People with high self-confidence typically have little fear of the unknown, can stand up for what they believe in, and have the courage to risk embarrassment (for instance, by giving a presentation to a large group of people). A self-confident one is not necessarily loud or reckless.

They relate confidence as a psychological quality to, but distinct from, self-esteem. Self-esteem is usually lost because of other losses. Losing confidence is no longer trusting in the ability to perform.

My self-confidence and self-esteem went down the toilet shortly after my first hospitalization back in the mid-1990s and never really returned, even to this day. The gigantic hands of depression held onto me ever so tight. I lost my thinking process, the career I built, and mostly what I lost was me.

I went from working full time as an accounting supervisor for a large manufacturing corporation to essentially a ‘piece of fluff. People routinely came to me for answers, and when in the hospital, I spent my days sitting in solitude or meandering the hospital halls to pass the time. Was this the life they sentenced me to?

It was incredible the change in me; virtually a child standing behind her mother’s dress, frightened to ask or speak up. I was even nervous about ordering a pizza via the telephone. Previously, I was forever the one who would enter a room, introduce herself, perform a speech, and feel at ease.

Mental illness does this to a human being. Instead of possessing that comfortable leather skin that gets us through rough situations, we only find ourselves dressed in chiffon. You feel flawed.

shutterstock_Quotebeautiful3-20

These are rough roads and undeserved journeys. Some of us have taken these roads/journeys repeatedly and question when the “under construction” will end, giving way to the smooth, fresh pavement.

It took years to recover and land back on my feet. I revisited the working world, however, only some of the self-confidence and self-esteem returned; just enough to get me by. Starting all over and learning new computer systems and methods were incredibly difficult, yet I endured employment for 6 years before dark depression struck once again and now find myself unable to work.

I recognize I still lack it, and living jobless makes a difference; away from the working world, not connected to people, sometimes hurls you into your own little world, where you get to escape and become too comfortable. I’d still rather hide, but I know I can’t, therefore, compelled to be “self-confident” looking and sounding.

Actually, this self-esteem/confidence thing is a lot of self-talk, and the support has to be there as you begin the “baby steps.”

Re-written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy/2022

(edited and repost)

Mom – Narcissistic Abuse

Make your own photo about Mom did you decide not to love or care about me because your mother never cared for you ... on PixTeller

Depression: Why Do We Push Others Away?

Image: Pixabay

I googled this question for myself and thought it must apply to others struggling with depression. I have a few friends who have invited me to meet them for coffee or lunch, but I don’t feel the urge or energy to do so. In fact, I dread the fact of leaving the house and chatting.

This article explains exactly what is going on in my head!

When we have depression, we often withdraw from our loved ones and sometimes, pushing people away. We don’t always know why, and it’s not always a conscious thing either. It’s confusing, painful and unsettling.

It can confuse those around us, too, because if we don’t know why we’re pushing them away, they won’t know why either.

WE HAVE NO ENERGY

Feeling like we lack energy can be tough when we’re alone. We must be careful when managing our little energy, so we don’t completely exhaust ourselves. Having no energy when we’re around others can be even worse. We’re expected to talk. People expect us to smile. We’re expected to join in. Sometimes, we don’t have the energy to be around others. We don’t have the energy to follow conversations or think of things to talk about. We push people away because we don’t have the energy to be around them. We worry we won’t meet their expectations of us.

WE STRUGGLE WITH CONCENTRATION

It takes a surprising amount of concentration to follow conversations. When we’re low on energy and have the concentration span of a flea, following conversations can be impossible. This is stressful because we worry about looking silly or rude or losing track of what’s going on. The fear that we won’t be able to keep up can make us freeze. It feels easier to push people away than worry about having to do things we don’t feel able to do. We just don’t want to let anyone down.

This article continues here @ blurtitout.org

Living in Stigma August 2022

Trauma Therapy ~ 4 Important Things to Look For

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse. This could include combat experiences, a natural disaster, or a violent assault. How can this be done when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being re-traumatized. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek a person with whom you feel a personal connection.

Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.

With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:

Knowledge. Your therapist should, of course, be up to date on treatment options–techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches new ways of thinking about old experiences; neurofeedback, which can help rewire the brain to overcome trauma-induced changes; equine therapy, which can be a helpful supplement for those who find it hard to trust human connections; and EMDR, which can help with moving beyond the past.

Continue reading Trauma Therapy ~ 4 Important Things to Look For

12 Telltale Signs of a Narcissistic Grandmother

Narcissists defy logic. A small minority is self-aware enough to seek help. Some seem pretty functional and even successful. But the majority are blissfully ignorant of the devastating impact they have on the people around them. 

A narcissistic grandmother is a latter type. She doesn’t realize the extent of her issues, and she tends to find fault in everyone but herself. That is typical of most narcissists.

So before we get to the specific signs of a narcissistic grandmother and how you can cope with her, let’s look at what narcissism is. 

This article is written by Lana Adler, founder of Toxic Ties.

Source: The Narcissistic Life

Living in Stigma July 2022

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 believed me when I was five years old, I wouldn’t have been in therapy for 20+ years, healing from the impact of their ignorance. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

C-PTSD — Patricia J Grace

The chronic PTSD, like a hidden, lurking scary intruder melded into my wiring, takes off without permission. When my new computer, only 8 months old, went capooey once again, only after a few weeks since the last time, my stress level rose. and the C-PTSD invader took over. The thought of talking to that fast […]

C-PTSD — Patricia J Grace

Elder Abuse – Who Is Being Abused?

Image source: Pixabay

Abuse can happen to anyone — no matter the person’s age, sex, race, religion, or ethnic or cultural background. Hundreds of thousands of adults over 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited each year. This is called elder abuse.

Abuse can happen in many places, including the older person’s home, a family member’s house, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. The mistreatment of older adults can be by family members, strangers, health care providers, caregivers, or friends.

Who is being abused?

Most victims of abuse are women, but some are men. Likely targets are older adults who have no family or friends nearby and people with disabilities, memory problems, or dementia.

Abuse can happen to any older adult, but often affects those who depend on others for help with activities of everyday life — including bathing, dressing, and taking medicine. People who are frail may appear to be easy victims.

Read the rest of this article @ National Institute of aging

Living in Stigma July 2022

7 Signs Someone May Have Asperger’s

What doctors look for when diagnosing Asperger’s.

About 1 in 44 children has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to the CDC, although health professionals say the number could be much higher if early symptoms are missed. “A lot of adults with autism feel lost,” says Lisa Croen, director of the Autism Research Program at Kaiser Permanente. “It’d be great if physicians had some more general training and awareness. Just like with any other condition, they really have to take into account that particular person in their office and adjust what they’re doing to meet the needs of that patient.” Here are seven signs of Asperger’s, according to experts.

Social awkwardness and difficulty understanding social cues could be a sign of Aspergers, experts say. “With autism, social skills are impaired because of communication; the individual does not know the right things to say,” says Mariela Tapia Hernandez, MEd, RBT. “It causes challenges with interpreting social cues, facial expressions, and tone of voice. They might not understand personal space and stand too close or talk too loud. These traits differ from someone with social anxiety.”

By Ferozan Mast July 18, 2022

Read the rest of this article @ eatthis.com

Living In Stigma July 2022

New Study: Ketamine for Depression

At-Home Ketamine Treatment Safe For Patients?

A new clinical study of sublingual ketamine telehealth is adding data to the notion that at-home ketamine treatments can be safe and effective for moderate-to-severe cases of anxiety and depression. 

The study was conducted by psychiatrists and researchers from MAPS, the Cleveland Clinic, UCSF, NYU, and Houston Methodist. Across a cohort of 1,247 patients, 89% of participants presenting anxiety or depression showed an improvement in their symptoms after four sessions, and 62% fewer patients reported reduced suicidal ideation after the sessions.

See the remainder of this article @ Benzingo.com by Lara Goldstein

Quote: “Learning from the Old Me”

Living In Stigma (@livinginstigma) | Twitter cherished79.com  D. McCarthy
Written by: Deb McCarthy reposted July 2022

Unloved Daughters and Problems with Friendship

image: QuoteForest

While reading this article below, I immediately thought of myself and the difficulties I’ve experienced throughout my life with friends. I believe it’s been a huge trust issue, and becoming over-sensitive during many of my friendships. 

Because of a phone call or an e-mail not being returned, I interpreted this as my narcissistic mother disregarding me when I was younger, and now friends not giving a hoot about me either. Many other traumatic instances during my childhood came into play, thus losing many friendships.

If there is a single area of life unloved daughters report having the most difficulty with, it’s certainly initiating and maintaining close and sustaining friendships. This is true even of women who have been able to manage successful marriages or intimate connections, the other aspect of life unloved daughters may struggle with. It’s not going to surprise anyone that women who have close friends tend to be happier and have more support in life, especially when there’s a crisis; there’s a body of robust research that shows that close friendships positively impact our health and well-being. The work of Patricia Linville shows that the more ways we have of defining ourselves—and being a friend is an important one—the more resilient we are when we face down stress or a major life change.

Seeing Mom’s long shadow

The difficulties we may have with friendship are fed by many streams, some of them relatively common and others more personal. There are the unarticulated generalizations about women we’ve drawn from our mothers, the first women we’ve encountered on an intimate basis; if they make us feel unsafe, the chances are good that, unconsciously, we’ll feel self-protective and unsafe around other girls and women. We may make it hard for girls to befriend us because we need to test their loyalty and trustworthiness first; because we approach friendship with our guard up, we may not understand other girls’ openness and misread their gestures and words. Because we are sensitive to even the hint of a slight, we may bring unwelcome volatility to every friendship.

See the full article @ Psychology Today by Peg Streep

Living in Stigma July 2022

Antidepressants Affecting Orgasms?



Image: Pixabay

Zara, a 27-year-old woman living in London who asked to change her name, has been on antidepressants for around five years. She takes Sertraline to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety. She says that the medication has significantly reduced her desire to have sex.

Sertraline is a type of Serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) — a type of antidepressant that doctors often prescribe at the start for many patients. Noted side effects include loss of libido and difficulty in reaching orgasm during sex or masturbation.

“I’m struggling with [the medication] as I used to be a really confident and sexual person,” she tells Mashable. “It’s frustrating for something that was a big part of your life to be cut off or taken away from you.”

Remainder of this article @ mashable.com

Living in Stigma July 2022

Do you know How to leave a Narcissist?

This is an excellent site flyingmonkeysdenied.com for articles on Narcissism and PTSD.
I found this post, “How to Leave a Narcissist: Four key things to expect (step by step) 

How to leave a narcissist (I have edited some of the content)

Step one — understand walking away means planning to lose half of the money and personal possessions and what they own.

  • Know they will do whatever it takes to destroy you socially, financially, psychologically, physically, and emotionally — more so if THEY were 100% at fault for the demise of the relationship (not less).
  • Expect zero help financially, physically, or with moral support; offering closure or remuneration to a victim is something a Narcissist resists, noting that they will repeatedly interrupt even the grief process to make sure a target does not have it.

Step two — Plan your budget based on your ability to produce income — not theirs.

  • Understand if you set your budget based on what you can cover that, you will never end up short; conversely, if you expect alimony and child support and rely on a dime to pay your bills that, you will have given them a highly effective manipulation tool to harm you directly every month a payment arrives late or never comes in.

Step three Prepare to have your heart broken as they will perpetually strive to estrange children, family members, your entire emotional and social support network, and friendship circles from you with bonus points for their own ego if they can throw a hometown very public smear-campaign into the mix. Continue reading Do you know How to leave a Narcissist?

PTSD – Why Are We Keeping Secrets?

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I’ve written many posts about my PTSD (childhood sexual abuse), a ‘dirty little secret.’ Have you ever held on to secrets for years and years?

Also, who are we protecting? The abuser? Our parents or caretakers who were supposed to be caring for us? Why were we supposed to be the ones to “keep the secret”? We did nothing wrong. It seems so unfair and convoluted, doesn’t it?

As I recollect my past, at around five or six years old, as my friends and I freely played in our front yard, the evil predator would either sit next door on his veranda, relaxing, puffing on his cigar, or in the driveway repairing whatever was under the hood of his old car.

I felt panicked for both my friends and me, wanting so badly to warn them of this sexual deviant and express to them of the sexual abuse at the hands of this man, yet felt compelled to “keep the secret.” I had a secret; an ugly little secret to something that I didn’t cause–or did I?

There was the distressing apology forced by my parents to blurt out and recite with sincerity to this predator for abusing me. While apologizing to this revolting man, it bewildered me, wondering how I had wronged him. All kinds of feelings swished around: hate, helplessness, and frankly, it humiliated me. My parents warned me never to tell anyone about this.

Continue reading PTSD – Why Are We Keeping Secrets?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder “My face looked wrong”. What is BDD?

I woke up one morning and was horrified at my face. Two cosmetic surgeries only made the problem worse

The problem started with the mirror. 

As I was doing my hair one morning before work, I studied my face in the mirror. Something just looked… wrong. I moved my head closer, swiveled from side to side, and was immediately flooded with alarm. The face that stared back at me looked crooked and malformed in a way I’d never noticed. I ran to another mirror in the house, hoping for a different result, but to no avail: no matter where I looked, the same thing. Overwhelmed with anxiety, I checked and re-checked my face  for six hours. Engulfed in a desperate need to fix the problem, I started making calls to plastic surgeons.

Six months later, emerging from surgery for a chin implant and rhinoplasty, I was more devastated than ever. I hated the results and immediately wanted the implant removed. I was having debilitating panic attacks accompanied by around-the-clock obsessing. I struggled to go to work and take care of my young daughter. I was in deep psychological pain, but had no insight into what was happening. 

Read the remaining article at Salon.com by Tammy Rabideau

People Ignore this #1 Colon Cancer Symptom

MANY PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE THIS IS A SERIOUS RED FLAG.

Colon Cancer Illustration – commons.wikimedia.org

Colon cancer is a deadly form of the disease—it’s the second leading cause of cancer deaths across all genders—with symptoms that can be sneaky and easy to miss. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance estimates that 52,580 people will die from colon cancer in 2022. Even scarier is that this type of cancer may not cause symptoms at first, so people might not even realize they have it. Read on to find out about one subtle symptom that doctors say many people ignore and why they say it’s a major red flag that you need to get checked for this deadly disease.

Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common,” says the American Cancer Society (ACS), going on to explain that most colorectal cancers begin as a type of growth—known as a polyp—on the inner lining of the rectum and colon.

Not all polyps become cancer, according to the ACS. Polyps can be adenomatous (adenomas are considered pre-cancerous, as they sometimes become cancer); hyperplastic, and inflammatory (these are common but generally not pre-cancerous); sessile serrated polyps (SSP) and traditional serrated adenomas (TSA), which are frequently treated as adenomas, as they have a greater risk of colorectal cancer, says the ACS.

Read the remainder of this article @ Best Life

Note: In 2018, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. I had been experiencing off-and-on constipation for months; sometimes there would be a small amount of blood in my stools, and other times not. Eventually, there was blood each time I had a bowel movement, and I was becoming concerned. The day I went to the ER, I woke up to a toilet bowl filled with blood. I had numerous tests, including colon cancer screening and scans. I was diagnosed with rectal cancer (Stage 1), and surgery (ileostomy) followed. I’m a survivor; it is now 2022, and I’m cancer free.

Deb, Living in Stigma July 2022

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

11 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack — Keep Women Healthy

This is a helpful article regarding Panic Attacks, and although they suggest benzodiazepines (benzos), please take caution as these medications are highly addictive and can cause massive problems.  

Panic attacks Panic attacks are sudden, intense surges of fear, panic, or anxiety. They are overwhelming, and they have physical, as well as emotional symptoms. Many people with panic attacks may have difficulty breathing, sweat profusely, tremble, and feel their hearts pounding. Some people will also experience chest pain and a feeling of detachment from…

via 11 Ways to Stop a Panic Attack — Keep Women Healthy

The Med Change Blues — Normal is out there

If you have been mentally ill for more than a week or two you’ve probably been through the dreaded “med change” before yourself. But for the uninitiated let’s just take a moment to look at it. Generally we’ll be prescribed a medication that some marketing company is billing as the next big thing in bipolar […]

The Med Change Blues — Normal is out there

“Assisted suicide” is not the same as suicide.

More than 20% of Americans live in a state with access to a medically assisted death.

Several states around the U.S. are currently considering whether to legalize medical aid in dying terminally ill patients. More than 20% of Americans already live in a state with access to a medically assisted death. Despite this rapidly changing legal climate, the language for describing this new way to die remains surprisingly antiquated.

The term that continues to dominate media coverage on the issue is “assisted suicide.” The American Medical Association uses the term “physician-assisted suicide.”

See the entire article at Big Think on July 18, 2022, via Flipboard.com

Living in Stigma July 2022

Your Psychiatrist – Are You Prepared For Your First Appointment?

Reflecting on my first appointment, I was clearly unprepared, and this article would have come in handy. Bringing someone would have helped immensely, and when the pdoc asked if there were questions, it would have prevented me from sitting there looking stunned. 

You may be visiting an outpatient psychiatrist due to an ER visit. If the emergency department sends you home (even after an overdose or other self-harm situation), often they will refer you to an outpatient psychiatrist.

This article below was written by: Natasha Tracy on Healthyplace.com

Recently, someone wrote to me and asked how to best handle a first psychiatric appointment. This is a good question because people are walking into the vast unknown. If you’ve never seen a psychiatrist before, how could you possibly know what to expect? And, the kicker of that is, the doctor will ask you why you’re there. So you’re supposed to know what to say when he says that. So how do you handle your first psychiatric appointment?

Write What Concerns You Before Your Psychiatric Appointment

Continue reading Your Psychiatrist – Are You Prepared For Your First Appointment?

Quote: Do you understand Chronic Pain?

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