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Welcome – Glad you could join me

This site “Living in Stigma” is dedicated to all of us struggling with mental illness, including our spouses, family and friends who are also affected.

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

Mental illness is neither one’s weakness nor a character flaw, however, we regrettably live in a society laced with Stigma.

Featured

STIGMA – And Mental Illness

What is stigma?

When someone appears to be different than us, we may view him or her in a negative stereotyped manner.  People who have identities that society values negatively are said to be stigmatized.

Stigma is a reality for people with a mental illness, and they report that how others judge them is one of their greatest barriers to a complete and satisfying life.  Society feels uncomfortable about mental illness. It is not seen like other illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

Continue reading “STIGMA – And Mental Illness”

5 Things Sociopaths and Narcissists Say to Make You Feel Crazy

When you hear the word “psychopath”, you might think of Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy, but most psychopaths are actually non-violent and non-incarcerated members of society. In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll seem exceptionally altruistic and innocent to the average onlooker.

As described in the Psychopath Free book, psychopaths are first and foremost social predators. With no conscience, they’re able to use charm and manipulation to get what they want from others—whether it be families, friendships, relationships, cults, the workplace, or even politics. The bottom line is, they modify their personalities to become exactly the person they think you want them to be. And they’re good at it.

But when they no longer need anything from you, that’s when the crazy-making behavior begins. Here are some common phrases you’ll hear from a psychopath who’s trying to make you doubt your sanity:

1. “You over-analyze everything.”

Of course, there are people who DO read too much into situations. The difference with psychopaths is that you’ll always discover you were correct in retrospect. They intentionally do things to make you feel on-edge or paranoid, like flirt with a once-denounced ex over social media for the whole world to see. When you question them, they accuse you of over-analyzing the situation. But then a month later, you discover they were actually cheating with that person. Psychopaths want you to doubt your intuition by making you feel like a crazy detective, constantly planting hints to make you feel anxious and then blaming you for having that anxiety.

2. “I hate drama.” Continue reading “5 Things Sociopaths and Narcissists Say to Make You Feel Crazy”

Do you want to know 2 more Nasty Migraine Symptoms?

Anger and irritability are some of the lesser-recognized symptoms of migraine disease. These symptoms are most often experienced during the  prodrome phase.

The prodrome phase comes before the migraine attack itself and serves as a warning of an impending migraine attack. The prodrome phase can start as early as 24 hours before the onset of a migraine attack.

This anger, impatience and irritability are some of the most often misunderstood aspects of migraine disease for family members and friends. We often do not realize these tendencies are related to our migraine attacks and cannot warn our loved ones of this, either. It is not uncommon for those closest to us to perceive us as having a bad or nasty attitude that comes out of nowhere. The reality is that it can be extremely difficult for us to control this tendency, especially when we haven’t yet made any association between these symptoms and our migraine attacks.

Continue reading “Do you want to know 2 more Nasty Migraine Symptoms?”

Impaired Sleep in Fibromyalgia Pain Explored

Patients coping with the complex (pain disorder) fibromyalgia often have difficulty sleeping, and a new study published in The Journal of Pain reports that despite the negative quality of life implications, poor sleep is not a significant predictor of fibromyalgia pain intensity and duration.

The complexity of fibromyalgia as a pain disorder is rooted in the variable, patient-to-patient, influence of physical, psychological, social factors that contribute to clinical pain, and their influence often is difficult to understand. Previous research has shown that variables such as negative mood and the number of localized pain areas are significant predictors of clinical pain in fibromyalgia patients.

Continue reading “Impaired Sleep in Fibromyalgia Pain Explored”

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

 
 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, are able to 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). One who is self-confident is not necessarily loud, brash, or reckless.

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

My self-confidence and self-esteem went down the toilet very shortly after my first hospitalization back in the mid-1990’s 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 I was sentenced to?

It was incredible the change in me; virtually a child standing behind his mother’s dress frightened to ask or speak up. I was even nervous ordering a pizza via the telephone. Previously, I was forever the one who would enter a room, introduce herself, perform a speech and feel right at ease. Mental illness does this to a human being; and instead of possessing that comfortable leather skin that gets us through the rough situations, we find ourselves now only dressed in chiffon. You feel flawed.

These are rough roads and undeserved journeys. Some of us have taken these roads/journeys repeatedly, and question when will the “under construction” terminate, giving way to 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 managed to endure 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. At times, I’d still rather hide, but I know I can’t, therefore, compelled to be somewhat “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”.

 

PTSD ~ Controlling My Terrifying Nightmares

Image Source: mommysurvivors.com

I’ve had problems with dreams and nightmares for years, and never gave it much thought that it may be connected to trauma (PTSD).  After, discussing memories and flashbacks in therapy, I’m beginning to understand how much trauma can have an impact on dreams.  My psychiatrist has prescribed a medication (Prazosin Hcl 2mg) to alleviate the nightmares, and it has been fairly successful so far.

Those terrifying, nighttime dreams in which you show up at work naked, encounter an ax-wielding psychopath, memories from childhood trauma or other tribulations may become a thing of the past thanks to a discovery reported on Reuters.com.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Controlling My Terrifying Nightmares”

Explain Hoarding Disorder & Symptoms

The main feature of hoarding disorder is a person’s irrational, persistent difficulty in discarding or parting with possessions — regardless of their actual value. This is a long-standing difficulty, not just something related to a one-time circumstance (such as having difficulty discarding property from something you inherited from a loved one).Discarding means that the person can’t seem to give away, throw away, recycle, or sell things they no longer need (or sometimes, even want).

Continue reading “Explain Hoarding Disorder & Symptoms”

Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication

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.

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.

A recent review also suggested that medication only helps a small proportion of those it is prescribed to. The review looked at 12 different medication regimes used under several different circumstances and found the highest success rate was just 33%. And lithium, a drug that NICE recommends as the “first-line, long-term pharmacological treatment for bipolar disorder” was found to benefit only about one in seven patients. It is also a very toxic drug. Recent research has found that around one in three of those taking lithium over many years will go on to suffer from chronic renal failure.

Continue reading “Treating Bipolar Disorder Without Medication”

It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism

narcissist

Ohio State researchers believe they have developed and validated a new method to identify which people are narcissistic.

And, the beauty is that the tool is only a single question.

In a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, the researchers found they could reliably identify narcissistic people by asking them this exact question (including the note):

To what extent do you agree with this statement: “I am a narcissist.” (Note: The word “narcissist” means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)

Participants rated themselves on a scale of one (not very true of me) to seven (very true of me).

Results showed that people’s answer to this question lined up very closely with several other validated measures of narcissism, including the widely used Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI).

The difference is that this new survey — which the researchers call the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS) — has one question while the NPI has 40 questions to answer.

“People who are willing to admit they are more narcissistic than others probably actually are more narcissistic,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

“People who are narcissists are almost proud of the fact. You can ask them directly because they don’t see narcissism as a negative quality — they believe they are superior to other people and are fine with saying that publicly.”

Continue reading “It Takes Just One Question to Identify Narcissism”

Stalked_my tale of horror

Scary. Why do women constantly have to look over their shoulder?

Miss_Pretorius

I love using my personal experiences to get a point across as a) it’s easier to write about and b) it provides credibility to my work. I’ve had an interesting conversation with a male colleague yesterday about sexual harassment that women are subjected to on a daily basis and he agreed that some men “just ruin things for everyone”. About 2 years ago I went through something that I don’t wish on any woman, ever. It all started when he stopped next to me on my way to work. Firstly, do you honestly think that women should be flattered if and when you stop next to her in your vehicle? If we were, we’d all be “ladies  of the night” as that’s how it made me feel. Secondly, I don’t need a ride, did you see my hand stretched out with my thumb raised? If not, then don’t stop and…

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What If You Don’t Like Your Therapist?

therapy

I’ve consulted a few therapists over the years, and it’s always been advised to “give it some time”, but just how long do you “give it”?   I prefer not to ‘therapist hop’, however, even after a few sessions I can sense if this is the therapist for me. I’ve been with the therapist I have now for almost 6 years and knew almost immediately it was a ‘good fit’.

I found this article in Psychcentral.com interesting.

 

Aching to be held

Beautiful poetry but sad words.

thefeatheredsleep

Our outstretched arms

slowed and folded when

you were born

we didn’t know how

to parent your screams or

those red-eyed moments when

longingly we looked to

strangers or even, empty benches

It wasn’t a lack of love

maybe a lack of duty

you see, we weren’t taught

in our irregular and ragged growing

ways to go beyond self-protection

and you asked things of us

we didn’t know how to cleave

past trying to survive

closing off deeper feeling

So when you grew up

and hated us for

not really existing

I understood better than most

the pain of listening for love

finding only

buzzing flies with old food in shelves

that sag and grow dust like

empty promises

old discarded corners

aching to be

held

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How do Survivors pee after the Pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

Image: Wikipedia A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But how do survivors live with the pain of peeing, periods and childbirth?

“The first time you notice your physicality has changed is your pee,” says HiboWardere.

Hibo, now 46, was subjected to what is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “type three” mutilation when she was six. This means all of her labia were cut off and she was then stitched together, leaving a tiny hole she compares to the size of a matchstick.

She grew up in Somalia, where 98% of women and girls between 15 and 49 have had their genitals forcibly mutilated.

“An open wound rubbed with salt or hot chilli – it felt like that,” she recalls.

“And then you realise your wee isn’t coming out the way it used to come. It’s coming out as droplets, and every drop was worse than the one before. This takes four or five minutes – and in that four or five minutes, you’re experiencing horrific pain.”

Hibo came to the UK when she was 18, and within months visited a doctor to see if they could relieve the pain she experienced when she passed urine and during her periods.

Her translator didn’t want to interpret her request, but the GP managed to understand.

Eventually, Hibo underwent a procedure called defibrillation, when the labia is opened surgically. This widened the hole and exposed her urethra. It is by no means an outright fix, and can never restore sensitive tissue that was removed, but it did make it slightly easier to urinate.

Sex, however, presented a new hurdle. “Even if the doctor has opened you up, what they’ve left you with is a very tiny space,” says Hibo.

“Things that were supposed to be expanding have gone. So the hole that you have is very small and sex is very difficult. You do get pleasures – but it’s once in a blue moon.”

Image: Wikipedia Female genital mutilation (FGM)

The trauma of the assault also had a bearing on intimate situations with her partner.

“First you have a psychological block because the only thing you associate with that part of you is pain,” says Hibo.

“The other part is the trauma you experienced. So anything that’s happening down there, you never see it as a good thing.”

Figures released by Unicef in February raised the number of estimated FGM survivors by around 70 million to 200 million worldwide, with Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia accounting for half of all victims.

In the UK, FGM has been banned since 2003. Last year the government introduced a new law requiring professionals to report known cases of FGM in under-18s to the police.

Activists and the police have raised awareness about the risk of British school girls being flown out of the UK specifically to be stripped of their genitals during what is known as the “cutting season” over the summer.

Image: Wikipedia FGM in Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen, as of 2015
Additional source for information: Wikipedia 
Article continues @ http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36101342

Originally posted on my Niume.com  blog

Multiple Risks of Benzodiazepine Use

benzodiazepenes

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs that became widely used in the 1970s for their ability to reduce panic, anxiety, and insomnia. Some also functioned as anticonvulsants, reducing seizures. They are considered “downers,” with sedating qualities.

New research shows that benzodiazepine use, particularly long-term use, comes with risks such as increased mortality and mood instability.

At a 2015 scientific meeting, researcher Jari Tiihonen reported that among 21,492 patients with schizophrenia in Sweden, benzodiazepine use was associated with increased mortality, while antidepressant and antipsychotic use decreased mortality.

At the same meeting, researcher Cristina Albott reported that benzodiazepines may interfere with the rapid onset of schizophrenia usually brought about by intravenous treatment with the drug ketamine.

In 2010, researcher Roy Perlis reported in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry that in STEP-BD, a large study of people with bipolar disorder, benzodiazepine use was associated with an increased risk of recurrence of mood episodes.

*Editor’s Note: Benzodiazepines can also exacerbate symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and regular use can lead to a decrease in lifespan. It now seems as though there are many reasons to exercise caution in the use of these drugs.

Article source:  http://bipolarnews.org/?p=3765  May 16/16

How does Depression and Lack of Appetite Affect People?

Image source: http://kimberlysnyder.com/blog

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

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. Flavours 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 “How does Depression and Lack of Appetite Affect People?”

Did you know that these Famous People are Narcissists?

There are many famous people all around us that suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), more commonly referred to as narcissism. There are many well-known individuals who display characteristics of narcissism, if not full blown NPD. They range from politicians to celebrities, from ministers to business leaders.

Some writers and researchers believe that successful and famous people have acquired or situational narcissism; they do show narcissistic traits but only after they have worked hard, sometimes for years, to get there. But that success often produces a personality pattern replete with narcissistic traits. Others believe that these people were narcissistic to begin with and sought out opportunities and fields that would satisfy their narcissistic needs.

Either way, once they become famous it leads to narcissistic thinking and behaviors; they have lots of money and/or fame, don’t wait in line at restaurants or events, have limo service, and are asked for photographs and so on. This often leads to demanding behavior, feeling they are above the law, becoming more exhibitionistic and many have public social or emotional meltdowns (frequent run-ins with the law, drug and alcohol abuse, attempting suicide, etc.).

kayne3
It was reported in Feb/2016 that Kayne was trapped in heavy debt. Kanye West Tweeted “I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt… Please pray we overcome…”

Famous people with Narcissistic Personality disorder:

Let’s take a look at some of the famous people who show personality traits that suggest narcissism. Most of them show grandiose thinking and exaggerated self-importance, many believe or fantasize about the power they have, most believe they are special, need to be admired and feel entitled.

Many dictators and criminals had or have narcissistic personalities as well as the Hollywood celebrities; some are negative role models and some are positive.

Hitler and Stalin both had grandiose self-images as did Casanova, Marquis de Sade, Peter Sellers, and the heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard. Other likely suspects are Madonna, Margaret Thatcher, Paris Hilton and O.J. Simpson.

Here are just a few of the many famous narcissists:

Jim Jones

Saddam Hussein

Warren Beatty

Donald Trump

Ryan O’Neal

Alec Baldwin

Sharon Stone

Elvis Presley

William Shatner

Joan Crawford

Pablo Picasso

Ike Turner

Lee Harvey Oswald

Kayne West

Charlie Chaplin

Marlon Brando

Eva Peron

Simon Cowell

Liberace

madonna1
Madonna has claimed that she used “Cabbala fluid” to neutralize radiation at a Ukrainian lake. Her exhibitionism and larger-than-life ego are well known.

Article source:  The Narcissistic Life

Triangulation

Psychopath Resistance

triangulation

Triangulation is a fun game for the narcopath and an effective “divide and conquer” technique. It rewards with a satisfying sense of being smarter than and superior to others, especially the unwitting targets playing the parts they have been assigned. Stirring up animosity between others is also used to rally supporters and to divert attention away from the devious scheming the narcopath is engaged in.

Triangulation is used in all social contexts, including the workplace and among interest groups and friends. Abusers discover their manipulative abilities in childhood and refine these conniving skills over a lifetime. It is virtually impossible to catch them in the act.

via Red Flag of a Narcissist #25: Triangulation | Narcissist Support.


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