October and DV

Yes, I realize today is the last day of the month, but I have to talk about this. One thing I didn’t write about this month is that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. I thought about writing it. I thought about it almost every day, but I didn’t write. This is a topic close to my heart but still I didn’t write.

The reason why this topic is close to my heart is that I spent 7 years in an abusive relationship. He would mentally, emotionally and physically abuse me. I left him on St. Patrick’s Day and never looked back. Someday I would like to write about it in detail, but even after 16 years of freedom, it’s still difficult to talk about sometimes. Someday, when I’m ready, I will tell you all my story.

I know today is Halloween and people are gearing up for trick-or-treating and other fun activities, but please take a moment to think about the abuse that women (and men) are dealing with every day. One in four women have or will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Nearly three out of four Americans will know someone who is or has been a victim. You already know one. You know me.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Why am I not writing?

Even just now, I wrote the title and then left the computer. Why? Why am I so subconsciously opposed to writing? We talked about this in therapy. My therapist wanted me to start a journal. I wrote the first three days, missed a day, wrote, and now it’s been two or three days since I picked it up. Why?

After exploring it in therapy, I know why. I probably didn’t need therapy to tell me this, but I did need to think about it for myself. You see, any time I tried to keep a journal, my mother would read it. I remember one time, I was in junior high at the time, I wrote out on a couple of sheets of paper how I felt about my home life. I wrote that we (my mother, father and I) were three strangers living under the same roof. My mother found it, read it, and beat me for it. It was the last time she ever used the leather belt on me.

I kept a journal for a while when I was recovering from my car accident. I had to stay with my mom because I had no where else to go during my recovery. I kept my journal buried in the nightstand next to my bed. It didn’t matter because she found it and read it. I can’t remember how I found out, but I did.

Since then, I have intermittently kept a journal. I will buy all these cool journals but then never write in them because I feel that they are too good for whatever I have to say. Or I will start a journal and not finish it. I have one, it’s a pretty pink color, that I have intermittently written in since 2008. I’ve gone through about a third of the pages. I would write for a few days, then nothing for six months. When my cat Luna died, I wrote simply Luna died today. The way I wrote it, with such emphasis on the phrase with underlines, I can recall the pain I felt then.

When my therapist assigned journal writing as my “homework”, I went out and got a new journal. I found this composition notebook at the dollar store that has a funky colored cover. I also got some butterfly stickers at the dollar store and decorated it. I could have used my old journal but I wasn’t sure where it was and I wanted to start “fresh”. It sort of worked. I write in it some days. I’ve got no excuse for the most part except that I don’t make time for it. Or I don’t find anything to say. I mean, my life is boring and all I do is worry about being unemployed or money, so what else is there to write. I wrote at first about my therapist, maybe that’s why I wrote so much for a couple of days. Now that that well has run dry (I had no appointment last week) and I’m out of stuff to bitch about. 😉

I haven’t been writing here either. I did have a busy week last week, since I substituted four days. (One full day, two half days, and a 3/4 day.) It definitely kept me busy and I was tired by the end of Friday. I’ll post more on this separately.

It’s all just an excuse, isn’t it? Writing is supposed to be therapeutic, and it is when I have something on my mind, otherwise it’s just a chore. Most of my blog posts take me an hour to write. I spent about three hours yesterday on my next Canvas post on The Compassionate Brain webinar series. I wish I hadn’t committed myself to it. My summaries are two weeks past the air date and they take so much time to write. It all feels like so much effort for me right now. I don’t think I’m really depressed, although I am doing a bit of cycling, but still it feels like so much effort. I can’t imagine if I did this for a living. It takes me so long to write anything! (And it’s not my typing speed slowing me down.)

Well there. I wrote about not writing. Does anyone else have this problem? If so, how do you get around it? Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Compassionate Brain: A webinar series on the brain and compassion

My pdoc recommended a free webinar series called The Compassionate Brain.  The basic underlying principle is to utilize compassion when dealing with relationships and other situations, thus impacting the brain and how it functions.  It’s actually quite an interesting series.  However, I understand that not everyone wants to devote an hour each week to watching a webinar with a bunch of scientists, so I am reviewing and summarizing these episodes on the multi-author blog, A Canvas of the Minds.  I will also be reblogging those posts onto this site, but I urge you to check out Canvas for yourself.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Online Personality Test

I’ve taken this test before and scored very differently so I don’t know what to think of these results:

Disorder Rating
Paranoid Personality Disorder: Moderate
Schizoid Personality Disorder: Low
Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Moderate
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Moderate
Borderline Personality Disorder: Very High
Histrionic Personality Disorder: High
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Moderate
Avoidant Personality Disorder: Moderate
Dependent Personality Disorder: Very High
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: High

Take the Personality Disorder Test
Personality Disorder Info

After talking with my therapist, I’m probably not borderline, even though this test seems to think I am. I answered a couple of questions that I probably shouldn’t have answered the way I did, but oh well. I think part of the problem with this test for bipolars is that bipolar symptoms and borderline symptoms often overlap. So, it could be that my answers relate to being bipolar and not borderline. Or maybe I really am borderline, who the hell knows?

Let’s look at Histrionic Personality Disorder:

Quick Summary:

People with histrionic personality disorder are constant attention seekers. They need to be the center of attention all the time, often interrupting others in order to dominate the conversation. They use grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise. They may dress provacatively or exaggerate illnesses in order to gain attention. Histrionics also tend to exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them. They are often manipulative.(sic)

Symptoms of Histrionic Personality Disorder:

Needs to be the center of attention
Dresses or acts provocatively
Rapidly-shifting and shallow emotions
Exaggerates friendships
Overly-dramatic, occassionally theatrical speech
easily influenced; highly suggestible

Wow. Doesn’t that sound like mania to you? I know it does to me.

I’m also really baffled by the Narcissistic, Antisocial, and Schizotypical ratings. (I’ve taken this test before and scored low in these areas – see below.) The descriptions of these disorders – you can follow the link to any of these disorders above – seem to either have nothing to do with my base personality or relate to how I feel when I’m manic. Am I manic now? No, not at the moment, but if you take the test, you will note there are words like ever and occasionally, and other misleading terms. I might occasionally dress provocatively, because I’m manic or maybe I’m just feeling a little feisty and I want to look hot for my husband. I would still answer yes to the question, but it would give the wrong impression to the test. “Do you have trouble not taking criticism personally?” The double negative in this makes me so confused that I’m not sure how to answer the question.

Now, I took the test a second time and got answers more similar to what I have gotten in the past. What I did differently is to eliminate anything that corresponds to mania. Where I might have answered yes to something because yes, this happens when I’m manic, I answered no this time because this is not my normal mode of thinking. Here is my second set of results.

Disorder Rating
Paranoid Personality Disorder: Low
Schizoid Personality Disorder: Low
Schizotypal Personality Disorder: Moderate
Antisocial Personality Disorder: Low
Borderline Personality Disorder: Low
Histrionic Personality Disorder: High
Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Low
Avoidant Personality Disorder: Moderate
Dependent Personality Disorder: Very High
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: High

Take the Personality Disorder Test
Personality Disorder Info

Note how different these results are. Yes, I have issues, and I will easily own up to dependent and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I am still baffled by histrionic and schizotypical but maybe there is some truth in there that I’m not seeing in myself. I’ll also own up to avoidant because there are many times when I will avoid things, people, and/or situations in order to not deal with them. I don’t think I’m socially inept, but I do feel a little intimidated at parties, especially if I don’t know anyone. Or not. Sometimes I am quite the social butterfly. Really, it all depends on my mood.

I guess what I am getting at with all of this is don’t take these online tests too seriously. If you think you have one of these personality disorders, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. Only a trained medical professional can diagnose you properly, and even then they don’t always get it right.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 16

Another card!

Stamp image copyright House Mouse Designs(R)

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote a 30 Days of Creativity post but then I haven’t been feeling very creative lately. This is a card that I made for my husband. The photo is not so good (slightly out of focus, I fear) but the battery died on my camera and I couldn’t take another one right away. Anyway, I think you get the idea.

This is another House Mouse stamp, one that belongs to a friend of mine. The reason why the mice look so lumpy, is because they are covered in flock, and that really doesn’t translate well in a photo. What is flock? Flock is made up a tiny fibers, so that when you glue it down, the image becomes fuzzy. So if you were to touch the card, it would be fuzzy! It’s difficult to get the image to be fine in the flock department, so it looks a little lumpy. 😦 Overall, flock is fun! 🙂

The image itself was square, and I put a border on it (another sheet of blue, cut larger than the original and glued to the back) but square does not center well on rectangle. So I decided to put it off center and then do something along the side to make it look balanced. I wasn’t sure what to put along the side, however. Then I found this squiggle punch. (I have one just like it and love it!) So I punched out squiqqles and glued them down along the edge. I was going for random, but when you are going for random, you often don’t end up with it – it’s just the nature of the human brain. Ultimately, I just wanted it to look good.

It’s not my best card-making effort, nor is it my best photography, but it is cute and it served it’s purpose. Just a little support card for my husband. I want him to know how much I love him and support him and giving a hand-made card is one way of accomplishing that task. He loves whatever I make for him, and I love him for that – and a million other reasons!

If you ever want to make a card with flock, just contact me. I have suggestions that may help. 🙂
 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fight Stigma!

In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as National Mental Illness Awareness Week.  Here we are 22 years later and it’s still not acceptable to call into work as a sick day due to depression or other mental illness.  What happens if you tell your employer that you suffer from mental illness?  If you’re like me, you will lose your job.  Wait, that’s illegal!  Not if you work for a small company.  Check the fine print before you accept a job offer.

Some statistics for you to chew on…

Anxiety: 18% of the adult U.S. population, 23% of these cases are considered severe.  Women are 60% more likely to suffer from anxiety than men during their lifetime. (This includes Agoraphobia, GAD, OCD, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Social and other phobias)

Bipolar:  2.6% of the adult U.S. population, nearly 83% of them are considered severe cases.

Major Depressive Disorder: At any given time, this affects about 7% of the population, but when looking at lifetime prevalence, this increases to 16.5%.  Women are 70% more likely to suffer depression than men, and when looking at age groups, young and middle aged adults are most likely to be sufferers as compared to those over the age of 60.

Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.6% of the U.S. adult population.

Schizophrenia: 1.1% of the U.S. adult population.

I have selected to give you statistics for only a few of the major mental health issues.  Many more statistics can be found on the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml

While these numbers may seem small, these illnesses affect millions of people.  Millions of individuals with families, jobs, and responsibilities that can be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with while suffering from an illness.  For some people, illnesses are comorbid (occurring together) but this doesn’t make the numbers less formidable.  For example, anxiety and depression often go together, which makes coping extremely difficult.

Although Mental Illness Awareness week is at a close, I hope you will keep in mind some of these statistics.  For those of you who are sufferers, you are not alone.  For those of you who are friends or family of someone with a mental health disorder, we appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.  For those of you who are neither… please join us in the battle against stigma.  Together we can make the world a kinder place.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.