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Letting Go of Dissociative Living

Letting Go of Dissociative Living

I’m weary. I’ve been living on the wrong side of my stress threshold for a while now. Part of the problem is that my stress threshold is maddeningly low. But part of the problem is that major things keep happening in my personal life lately; things that create enormous stress even for the most mentally healthy among us. As a result, my Dissociative Identity Disorder symptoms have amplified steadily over the last eighteen months. In the words of my fellow blogger Natasha Tracy, “When life gets nasty disease gets nasty too.” She’s right, of course. But I kept thinking, ‘hey, life is really turbulent sometimes and you just have to rise to the occasion.’ I failed to recognize, though, that doing so usually involves letting go of other, less urgent occasions.

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Time Line to Leave Abuser

Time Line to Leave Abuser

Once victims realize they’re being abused, many of us immediately think, “I’ve gotta get out of here!” And the pressure’s on…the victim to DO something about the situation. Right now.

We know abuse victims often return to their abuser many times before leaving (if they do leave). We know our family, friends, and society tells us to “Get Out Now!” We know we want to leave. We know we fear the abuser on many levels as much as we fear being without them. We know that leaving is an option…but at what cost?

Leaving is not always an immediate option, but everyone outside of ourselves (and our abuser) seem to think you must leave NOW.  Now that you realize what is going on, the only answer supported by others is you packing your bags and walking away into the “good for me” sunrise. And we victims buy into that idea, and that’s when a new kind of self-punishment begins.

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Volunteerism

Volunteerism

If you have trouble working as many of us with bipolar disorder do, volunteering is a practical and purposeful way to contribute and expand on your personal assets. You can receive and experience some real world training. You can use this situation to get into the routine; a daily schedule or a weekly schedule with daily or weekly routines is one of the benefits to you when volunteering. Meeting people, especially new individuals, is a skill and needs to be cultivated. If you are looking for a limited amount of hours per day or per week, volunteering is the way to go. There are many ways and places to contribute and do and feel better.

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ADHD: You Don’t Have To Click On Submit

The adult with ADHD can often lose track of time, especially when becoming hyperfocused on something like expressing their opinion online. If a blog or article sets me off, I will let myself write away, but when I am done I check to make sure I haven’t written too much. Sometimes I’ll edit it down to a manageable size. Many times I’ll just delete the whole thing and move on. I have found that there are moments when the comment isn’t worth the time it would take to edit it. Not every ADHD turd can be polished into a shiny comment. Sometimes it’s just a rambling turd.

ADHD: You Don’t Have To Click On Submit

I have been blogging for nearly seven years about ADHD. In that time, I have had many, many intelligent comments made on my articles. I’ve also had some doozies. I won’t reprint them here because I don’t want to embarrass anybody, but you’ve probably seen them and scratched your head. Some of them may have even been written by me.

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Your Family and Mental Illness: Can Happiness Return?

Your Family and Mental Illness: Can Happiness Return?

Today is the start of the “Jewish New Year”, Rosh HaShana. No matter what your community, there always seems to be a period of time set aside to reflect on what has happened in the past year, how you are going to process it, and how you hope/plan to act on what you learned in the future.

Next week the journey continues, during Mental Illness Awareness Week. Maybe those of us living with mental illness in our families can inspire awareness and thought in others, as we consider our own situations. Reflection can lead to realization, and to change.  This is not merely a matter of what has happened to you and to those you love;  it is more a reflection on how you eventually choose to deal with it.

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Bipolar Disorder – Can You Trust What You Feel?

Bipolar Disorder – Can You Trust What You Feel?

One of the most terrifying things about mental illness is that you can no longer trust what you feel. Oh sure, you feel it just as sure as day, but can you trust it enough to act on it? Not really. At least, not if you want to keep your job, friends, marriage and so on.

You can no longer simply feel and act. Now you must feel, think and then contemplate acting. It’s exhausting and not a particularly reasonable thing to be expected to do.

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The Difference Between Stigmatizing Mental Illness and Labeling It

The Difference Between Stigmatizing Mental Illness and Labeling It

I touched on this in an earlier post Removing The Labels of Mental Illness: I believe that labels are intrinsically different than stigma. Mental illness is, at its very core, attached to stigma. Although this is becoming less than it once was, it is damaging nonetheless. First, it’s important to examine the connection between the two.

The Connection Between Stigmatizing and Labeling Mental Illness

Primarily, the feelings associated with both stigma and mental illness are the same: damaging. Feeling as if others may think less of you, perhaps they are afraid of you, and living with the notion that you are, in fact, different.  Stigma and feeling labelled instill fear. They are negative feelings and something that we cannot always control. But we can control how we react to them.

Defining Stigma Related to Mental Illness

Stigma is a word that is not used as much as it once was. People who live with a chronic mental illness probably feel it more than they hear it. It is not, shall I say, politically correct to publicly stigmatize someone. This does not mean it does not happen. 

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This Bipolar Girl is Ready to Date…But Who?

This Bipolar Girl is Ready to Date…But Who?

On Monday, I told my psychiatrist that I wanted to start dating again. Since  I said it aloud, it must be true or at least close enough to my conscious mind for it to spill out of my mouth. Though I’ve had a few bad dates, I haven’t had a relationship since before my bipolar diagnosis. So brimming with self-awareness off I go back onto the market…but what am I looking for?

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The Three Top ADHD Medication Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

The Three Top ADHD Medication Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

One of the most effective management strategies for minimizing the challenges and symptoms of ADHD is medication. This might not be the most popular statement I have ever made, but research over and over again has shown that ADHD medications can “level the playing field” for adults with ADHD. Medications can be effective in helping adults with ADHD increase their focus on less interesting tasks, reduce impulsivity of actions and words and calm inner restlessness. I often hear clients describe the experience of being on the right medication as similar to having “the fog clearing”, “the water globe settling” or a “light switch being turned on”. They feel more focused, energetic, calm and productive. However, many adults never have the chance to experience the full benefits of ADHD medication due to three problem areas that I call “ADHD medication pitfalls”…taking the wrong medication, the wrong dose or taking medications at the wrong time.

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Why Don’t You Just Eat? — Educating People About EDs

Why Don’t You Just Eat? — Educating People About EDs

I have run into many people who just don’t understand eating disorders since I developed anorexia in my early forties. Many people would ask me, “Why don’t you just eat?” They did not realize I was terrified to eat. In this video, I talk about some common misconceptions about eating disorders and what we can do to educate people.

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