From mental health

Six Steps: Part III

When I spoke with my friend Jean, who hasn’t let go of me despite my absence from social media, I told her about my reticence in blogging. I’m struggling, and I had the absurd idea that I should be much further recovered before I write anything. Well, I didn’t realize how absurd it was until we spoke. ūüôā She reminded me that you all, like me with you, would want to share in the struggle. We need to know we’re not alone. Here, then, are the last two of the six steps. 5. Your choices are yours.¬†It might be tempting…

Six Steps to Take Back Our Control: Part Two of Three

Good morning. ūüôā If you are just tuning in, you can find steps one and two written in the previous blog post. 3. Politely listen but don’t necessarily follow well-meaning advice from family and friends.¬†It’s human nature to want to tell someone or share with that person our ideas about what we think should be done in certain situations. In some cases, this helpful advice comes from family members who have heard us sound entirely different than usual. In my case, it was other siblings who heard me on the phone coming off slurred, drugged, or very sleepy. That’s alarming.…

Six Simple Steps to Take Back Our Control: Part One of Three

I’ve been having the most difficult time putting my words down here. It can’t be because I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong. It’s my story, my life. How wrong could I get it? It seems that my most effective/popular blog posts have been when there is a specific list to help change something in one’s life. Hey, who doesn’t like lists, right? Six Simple Steps to Take Back Control 1. Question everything, and don’t be afraid of your doctor.¬†When we lose or think we lose control of our lives, it’s not always with a crash and broken bones. It’s sometimes…

Are You Happy? You’ll Live Longer!

May is¬†Mental Health Month, so – while I most likely will not post every day – when I post, the date will coincide with the letter of the alphabet from A-Z. Today is May 8th so we will focus on a mental health trait starting with the letter H. According to this article from the¬†National Institution for Mental Health, ¬†life expectancy in the U.S. has definitively increased. This should not be surprising, if we consider medical treatments, technology, and vaccines available today that weren’t in the early 20th century. The article states that longevity has increased “from 51 years in…

Gaslighted? Five Steps to Help

According to Dictionary.com, the loaded word¬†gaslight¬†means “to¬†cause¬†(a¬†person)¬†to¬†doubt¬†his¬†or¬†her¬†sanity¬†through¬†the¬†use¬†of psychological¬†manipulation.” If you’ve ever seen¬†¬†Gaslight the movie then you might relate to Ingrid Bergman’s character, Paula Alquist Anton.¬† If you¬†have¬†been gaslighted, here are five things that I hope might help: You are not insane. You might¬†feel¬†like you are, but you’re not. Gaslighting is powerful. Do not think of yourself as weak. It takes someone quite strong to overcome such manipulation. If someone says things like: “You’re too sensitive; that’s not what happened; no, that’s not what I said, you must’ve misunderstood; you’re overreacting; I never said that; you must be confused again,”nine times…

Juvi Syed‚Äé Cognitive Care Center P.C

Are You a Mono- or Multitasker?

I have a confession to make. I’ve never been a good multitasker. I envied my friends who could, especially if they had kids or other distractions. I mean, I even have trouble listening to the radio and driving at once. Usually, I drive in complete silence, at least within my control. Rain lends itself to the patter on the window, the wipers going back and forth, not to mention thunder. I love a good storm, but only from the inside looking out. The only inside sound I will (need to) put up with for a while is Stella, my VZ…

Desperation, Tears, Laughter, Hope

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I swear on my beloved dog Lucy’s grave in the backyard. Tuesday, my shrink’s nurse notified me that she had called ahead to (hospital), explaining the situation, that I needed to be taken off all the psych meds I was currently on. Then I would be moved to (psych hospital) to start fresh, a clean slate, to see what would work to make me happier. But let me backtrack just a little. My family physician¬†promised¬†me that he would basically look into every nook and cranny until I was…

Self-conscious much? Do something!

Probably each of us has, at one time or another, felt self-conscious about ourselves. I’m sure even actors (John Cusack), and people in high-powered positions have those times when they’d really rather not be there. It’s too hard sometimes to be with other people you’re¬†sure¬†are better than you; a better person, better wife/husband, daughter/son, mother/daughter, people in¬†general.¬† I’ll tell you something about myself, but you have to promise to keep it secret. “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.” There are many things I do ritualistically and some things I can’t do at all.¬†IF¬†I go to…

Social Media CON-nections

So okay. First I want to explain my choice of title for this post. Social media connections have many positive effects on people and individuals. What bothers me is it seems a little – like chocolate (for chocolate lovers). So if you love chocolate, you’d at least want to taste it, right? It would be weird not to. Then suddenly, there is more and more chocolate, as far as the eye can see. And it’s still tasty, sure, but there’s starting to be kind of a chalky after-taste, like the chocolate “mouse” in Rosemary’s Baby. If you ever saw that…

How Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

Happy New Year, one and all. I hope you are doing well so far as we approach the half-way mark of January. Did you make any resolutions/promises to yourself? How’s it going? Were they realistic, or did you shoot for the moon? Have you kept them? If not, don’t lose heart. You might need to¬†lower¬†your expectations. For many of us, the word “lower” is negative, and sounds an awful lot like “loser.” Is that how you feel? Well, I haven’t managed to keep my promises to myself, totally, yet. Sometimes I might hit one or two. But I figured out…

20 Ways To Get Yourself Out Of That Rut

All of us get “stuck in a rut” at some point. What we do to get out is the important thing. Here are some¬†suggestions.They’re not researched, or written in stone, or anything like that. They’re just guidelines, from me to you. 1. Change the way you normally workout. 2. When you drive home after work or school, try a different way. 3. Clean out your desk drawers, or your glove box in the car. 4. Wash your car yourself instead of taking it to the car wash. 5. Change up your food choices when you go grocery shopping. 6. Make…

Ten Reasons You Should Be Glad You’re Type B — Part II

Type As get all the attention. We love reading about Type A characteristics, we admire Type A people, and we really don’t know a whole lot about Type B people. There is no supreme personality trait. But when it comes to type A and type B, it is simply more acceptable to cop to being an A: a hard-charging go-getter who gets stuff done. The implication being that type Bs lack drive, ambition and ability, which is not the case.¬†The B type personality is laid-back, but it is also patient, creative, collaborative, and even wise. So, without further adieu, here…

How Do You Respond To Stress? Part One

You’ve heard talk of Type A and Type B personalities. The first part of this two-part blog series on stress is about the Type A personality. Here are 25 things you might not know (or might!) about this complicated personality: 1. They don‚Äôt procrastinate. They hate the idea of wasting time so they do things the moment they come to mind. Why wait and do it later when you can just do it now? 2. They always have a task list ‚ÄĒ a never-ending one. If there is another day to be lived, then there is another set of tasks…

Performance Anxiety Redux

All right. This is not an apology, this is an explanation. There’s a reason I have been so flaky lately with my posts . . . well, this whole entire month, specifically. Last year, when I tried to crochet Christmas presents, I didn’t start working until like October or even November, and of course didn’t get finished in time. I have a large family. So this year I began in January. So far I have two granny square blankets crocheted. I just have to put them together. I’m working on my third (pictured above) which looks like snowflakes! I have…

“All The World’s A Stage . . . “

I just had to post this anxiety meme, and like larger than life, because as soon as I saw it I laughed so hard I almost choked on my¬†coffee. It’s¬†so totally¬†true. Every time I’m ever with my therapist and we’re talking about something that makes me anxious, or we try to do something on the fear ladder and I get anxious, she immedately goes for the “Okay. start your breathing. Try to take yourself down to at least a three.” Right. I must’ve been breathing wrong before! ¬†If that worked all the time, psychiatrists would be completely out of business.…

Self-harm

Self-harming, or cutting, serves many purposes. If you talk to eight different cutters, you will most likely get eight different reasons why they cut. It is as much individual as is the individual who engages in the practice. Take me, for example. I used to cut on a regular basis. In fact, I attended the S.A.F.E. Program (Self Abuse Finally Ends) in Chicago several years ago to help me stop. I cut for several reasons. I hated myself, felt numb, invisible, was angry, felt¬†soooo¬†much pain and cutting relieved it, was intensely sad, and intensely anxious. I did not yet know…

The Lake Wobegon Effect

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” — which is the immortal question asked by the narcissistic Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Several psychological studies have shown that in real life most people have a touch of the Evil Queen’s vanity. Including a huge range of measures, from good looks and popularity to driving ability and memory capacity, the typical person believes they are superior to most others. Our misplaced confidence is thought to explain a number of common human weaknesses, including what seem to be irrational health behaviors such as…

Follow The Leader

Most of us remember the game “Follow¬†The Leader,”¬†which involves a child being the leader of a line of other children. The children are supposed to copy everything the leader does. Those who fail to do so are out of the line, until one is left standing behind the leader, who then ¬†becomes the new leader. It’s similar to the game Simon Says,¬†¬†which requires a group of at least three children, preferably more. The leader gives directions to the other participants, trying to catch them out. If they follow the directions starting with “Simon says touch your toes,” for instance, they…

The Bystander Effect

According to Wikipedia, the bystander effect, a.k.a. bystander apathy, “is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders.” The first case that caused research into this “effect” took place in 1964. At that time, 28-yr-old Kitty Genovese¬†was raped and stabbed to death in front of her apartment. The attack lasted over 30 minutes and was witnessed by several dozen people (at least, it was reported, but later found to be…