Tag Archives: Mental health

Ted Talk By Max Silverman on 1 Invisible Illness~ Mental Illness

Many illness’s are invisible… I have a few of them myself, but this one really hits home for me.

I watch people my age struggle with various diseases… some are even battling cancer. Their treatment causes their hair to fall out, many become thin and will look “ill”. Their fight to live is cheered on… friends and family do everything they can to help. They assist with making dinners, childcare, even helping monetarily with medical and living expenses… they are added to prayer lists… the support they receive is HUGE and no doubt helps them to face their illness and fight it with all their strength. It is beautiful to see communities pulling together to support those battling debilitating illness’s.

This short video opens with just that. This man’s Mother is battling cancer… the help they receive is amazing, and appreciated beyond words.

Max Silverman begins, telling of all the love and support they received… not only to his Mother, but extended to him and the rest of his family as well. Meals were delivered for four (yes, 4) months straight, when he got to school, he was welcomed with hugs and offers of help, questions “How is your Mom? Is she ok? Are YOU ok? Is there anything I can do to help?” Then they would offer their shoulder to cry on. He mentioned to his Mom how amazing it was, and how they should be proud that they had such a caring support system of friends and family…

She just smiled… and nodded her head… and she said…

Where was this when we really needed it? When your brother was sick?”

Max Silverman then proceeds to explain to us what his brother was ill with… which illness it was that his brother was battling for his life over…

… Mental Illness

Take 20 minutes and listen to what he has to say… understanding what he is talking about might make a different in your life… or the life of someone you love. ♥

A Busy Muse On The Move!

Time has slipped by me, as it normally does when I am busy with that little thing called “life”. My wonderful man, S/O, Boyfriend, life-long mate… who I affectionately refer to as “Daddy Long Schlong” with a giggle… has bought us a new home! For several years, we have been living in an awesome 2 bedroom condo, but we have certainly outgrown it this last year… and I expressed the crazy-intense desire to “move”. So after much discussion, we decided to get a house and rent out our condo. EEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (that is my happy squeal)!!!

In about a weeks time, we found the house that was “home”. We looked at several properties, most were “ok”, and a couple we did like and would have settled for… then we came across our “home”. We were already in the area, as we had looked at about 4-5 houses in that housing community alone, and when we pulled up, I noticed the “tidy” front yard, and the US flag blowing in the breeze. It felt promising, and I was already forming a positive feeling for the home. Then we walked through the front door…

I knew instantly… I was “home”.

I felt as though I didn’t even need to look any further, this was the house I wanted, this was where I felt instantly that I was home. All the little things that ‘irk’ me about other houses we looked at, those little things were not seen… it all felt perfect.

Not only was the house very “cozy”, but the backyard was amazing, and very park-like. We fell in love with it instantly! It’s the type of place where you WANT to spend all of your time… the patio is also an observation deck… the stairs had been removed, but we fully intend to get new ones and take advantage of the amazing view of the night sky. We live on the outskirts of town, and it is the perfect place to sit, sip wine, and gaze out into the night… or, watch the fireworks as they are exploding into the night on the 4th of July. (I fully intend to get pictures of that this year from the observation deck, so I will post those to share with all of you.)

Be patient with me… all of this has made me very busy! This weekend we start moving in!!! But first we need to start off by cleaning it top to bottom, steaming the carpet, painting the rooms, and etc… you get what I’m sayin’… and doing tiny repairs. All the while, I have to also get the condo ready for renting it out. I am a very busy Muse…  VERY BUSY.

I can’t wait to share this adventure with you all!

I hope you all are having an awesome Spring! Thank you for riding along on this adventure with me… I will certainly keep you posted…

I am also staying keenly aware of how I am doing mentally. We all know that even those good life events can be the cause of a Bipolar “episode“… yes, I am being honest. This is certainly No joke what-so-ever. It is just the way it is. So I am staying ever observant of how I am feeling, what my thought processes are, and ever-so-important, what is my quality of sleep. To the normal peeps out there, that may sound odd, but sleep is insanely important for every single one of us… even more-so for those of us with mood disorders. Have you noticed how at every single one of your doctor appointments, they ask you how your sleep is? It is CRA IMPORTANT. Research it yourself… Knowledge is power!!

Anyhow…

Here’s a couple pictures of our new home I want to share with you…

1526917_P01_75 1526917_R01_12Both pics are of the backyard. One is looking from the back of the yard toward the house, and the other is from the house, looking toward the very back of the backyard.

ourfirsthomeAwe, our first home together! Not fond of the all brown, but that is easily fixed (insert a winking emoticon here) … add a little paint… and presto!

Thank you all for all the love and support! I could never thank you all enough for the wise words you share with me… you always remind me that sharing my world is the right path… you are my inspiration, whether you know it or not. Our relationship is important to me! Please feel free to write to me, whether it’s a simple comment, or you feel the need to reach out in an email. I am always here… always listening… ALWAYS.

The Silent Treatment Explained

What is the silent treatment, and just as important, what isn’t the silent treatment.

The silent treatment is intentional. It is a refusal to speak to someone, and/or refusal to acknowledge someone in any way or form. It is ignoring someone completely… ignoring someone to the point that they no longer exist to the person inflicting the silent treatment. They completely shut down any and all communication. No reply to phone calls, nor to texts, no emails, and if for some reason you and the person dishing out the silent treatment are in the same room together (say at a birthday party, etc), they act as though you are not there, no acknowledgment whatsoever, you are totally invisible. You are dead to them.

Do not confuse this with taking time to “cool off” after an argument or disagreement. A “cool off” period is smart when it comes to effective communication. Perhaps your S.O. said, or did, something that has you so incredibly hurt and upset… addressing the issue right then and there may not be the best choice because often times, hurtful things are said in the “heat of the moment”, and our words can do severe damage. They can “cut like a knife”. So keep this in mind as you read this over… a “cooling off” period is totally different, it is not the same as the silent treatment in any way, shape, or form.

Silent treatment is ABUSE.

I was surprised to learn as I did research, that the silent treatment is a form of abuse. Then again, I was surprised with myself that I never put two and two together and realize that from the get-go. Perhaps because it was used on me quite often from people I really cared most about… maybe that blinded me to that fact for a moment… it isn’t a blatant attack physically, nor verbally… Now I totally see it for what it is. It is manipulative, it is controlling, it is passive aggressive, it’s a punishment, it is dis-empowering… and to quote psych-central, it is a “favorite tactic of narcissists, or others with impulse control, ie…those with more infantile tendencies”.

To punish?? Yes. The silent treatment is used in punishment. In everyday life, we use it with our children daily, especially when they are young. Under this premise, we call it “Time Out”. Until I was doing research for this post, I never put the two together… but now, it hurts my heart to know that I used this with my children. I began this cycle, though well intended. I must remind myself that it was used only when absolutely needed, and never for lengths of time that were inappropriate. I always used their age as the guide. 3yrs old = 3 minutes. In this way, it is beneficial and that is how we correct unwanted behaviors. Used properly, it is very effective for most, and when used in the correct manner, for an appropriate amount of time, we see good results. It is when it is taken to the extreme, when a child is left with their nose in the corner, not for five minutes, but for an entire shift at work during the graveyard shift, that it is damaging… it then becomes (alongside stupid young parenting) abuse. ~ Yes, that last sentence is one of personal experience. It was not abuse, intentional… but rather a stupid young Dad with a drug problem who put his young daughter into the corner for sneakily putting peas from the t.v. dinner into the garbage. It was intended to be a “time-out” for only 5 minutes. Since he was high, high as a downer can get you, those 5 minutes continued on until my Mom got home from her shift at work. I remember standing there and looking over at him, unable to tell if he was awake or sleeping… listening to Mash playing on the t.v. When my Momma got home, she took care of me and put me to bed, she and my Dad fought of course, and that never happened again. In fact, I don’t have any memories of being home alone with him as a small child. My Momma saved me. ~

Again, we see it used  in a more extreme manner with inmates within the prison system… of course it is under a different name… as “solitary confinement”. However, there is a great deal of controversy over whether or not solitary confinement works… especially when it is used for long periods of time. It seems that the longer someone is locked away (away from interaction with others, and confined to a room/cage with only 1 hour out of that room for exercise) and treated as animals in a cage, the more these individuals act out… the more they become less “human”, and more like a wild animal. We tend to act out the way we are treated. Treat humans like animals, caging them and poking them with a stick… don’t be surprised by the end result, you get back what you create, an animal.

How to react to the silent treatment??

How to change this behavior??

How to communicate in an effective manner??

It my next article about the silent treatment, I will address these questions.

I look forward to your comments, your experiences… please share them here or feel free to email me. You can contact me at: Contact Bipolarmuse

 

©bipolarmuse 2015

 

 

The Silent Treatment

In my younger years, I had to deal with the silent treatment all the time. My first “love” used it all the time… and now that we are nearly 40 and not 16, sad to say, he still uses it. This is probably the MAIN reason he is no longer my “love”. I have never even contemplated it as a blog post because it is no longer an issue I deal with in my life… but, I am a bit mistaken.

He (Mr. Silent Treatment) and I have children together… two very grown children. They are now 20, and 19yrs of age and are embarking on their own lives, attending school, working, just living and figuring it out as they go along.

Well, the silent treatment has found its way back into my life… courtesy of my “adult” daughter. So I decided to do some research about it to try to combat this issue and get communication flowing again. What I am learning has shocked me and I have to say that it makes complete sense… though I am still at a loss over how to “fix” this.

So, to keep these posts from becoming novels, I will break it up into two, or three posts. So stay tuned!

If you are someone who uses the silent treatment… please know that this is extremely hurtful, and it is very damaging. It is NOT effective communication. If you are using this to “punish” someone, it will have a bad ending… maybe not today, maybe not in a couple months, but it will. And you will have nobody to blame but yourself.

Anxiety? “It’s All In Your Head” Naysayers

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Today is suppose to be a fun light-hearted post, courtesy of the Muse on HUMP Dizzle!! But nooooooooo. I shall try to post something more “fun” in just a bit, but I wanted to address something.

Do you get anxiety?? Ya know…. the debilitating kind that makes you pull over on the freeway because you are seeing black “spots” and feel on the verge of passing out??? Well, I do. I have for many years… and while it is better than at other times in the past, it is insanely debilitating all the same.

Now… ever meet Mr/Mrs. Sunshine, the ever optimistic do-gooder born under a lucky star… never having experienced depression “just because” that is how their brain sometimes does… and never having experienced anxiety or a panic attack…?? I have met some of those people… and mental health is a topic to be avoided with people like this. You will only go blue trying to explain it, you will become crazily frazzled, and you will walk away knowing that they are a lost cause. These people see the silver lining to their car being stolen… with their 4 kids in it.

Serious.

I really hate when these individuals pretend to be concerned… and when you tell them you simply cannot do something that would seem easy to them, and they just don’t get it, and out of there mouth, without fail, (said in a condescending voice with all authority and perfection) … “It’s mind over matter, you just have to put your mind to it and do it”…

SAY HUH??

~I wanna choke those words out of there mouth.~ Shit, I bet they may understand anxiety if that happened… but then again, I’mmmmmmmm not so sure. (Shakes head in disbelief).
I want someone to make them drink 10 espresso’s and inject them with epinephrin… and then tell them, “mind over matter… come on, its not that hard, just control your mind, meditate, do deep breathing exercises”… THEN they may learn.

Cause those like me, well we already know– THAT’S NOT EASY TO DO IS IT?!–

I do NOT have to drink caffeine and get injected with adrenaline for that to happen…. MY body and mind like to malfunction and give me hell. NO NEED for any outside source. It is insane. I sit here, and I can completely FEEL little “dumps” of adrenaline, followed by an odd fluttering sensation in my chest… for what you ask??

For NOTHING. It just does. As quickly as it comes, it vanishes…

If you are just a friend or loved one who is just trying to understand better… if someone you love experiences severe anxiety, and severe panic attacks, and it isn’t something you experience personally, please, please … do not belittle the situation. Do not tell them it is “all in their head”. Do not make it sound like all they need to do is sit and practice breathing exercises… (yes, these can help with practice, but it is not overnight, and it does not get rid of them completely).

What ever you do… Do not make it seem their emotions, their fears, are not valid. This will simply worsen the situation, possibly making YOU personally a ‘trigger’ for future anxiety episodes. Wouldn’t that suck when all you are trying to do is help??

© bipolarmuse 2015

A Transforming Musey

Last year was the worst for my blog and I am disappointed in myself for allowing it to fall to the wayside… it is my goal, my dream really, to create a blog that is like a community. A place for others to come because here, they know they are truly not alone in their struggles.

So this year I have come up with a schedule of sorts. Each day of the week will focus on something specific… that way, those who follow along, will be able to foresee which posts they are most interested in. Of course, I hope you read daily (wink wink), but totally understand that sometimes life will not allow free time for everything, and priorities may take over… maybe the cat litter box is over-flowing and ya got to break away from Musey land… lol… I totally get it.

So… my plan?

This may change as I begin implementing the structure, as this is kind of the rough draft, but you get what I am saying.

Mondays will be about Mindfulness, DBT therapy, living in the here and NOW.

Tuesday will be inspirational stories… not always mental health related, but positivity in all its awesome forms.

Wednesdays will be WOOT WOOT… Humpday Humor.

Thursdays will be either “Throwback”, or “Thankful”.

and…

Fridays will be “Freaky” LOL… ok, maybe not freaky, but “Free For All Friday”… I can choose any subject matter. Maybe I can get some followers to write me and give me little excerpts I can share here in Musey Land.

Thanks so much for your patience! I am up and running and so excited to be back… so much to share!

©bipolarmuse 2015

I LOVE Kavinace!!

Over the years, I have had issues with sleep. Insomnia was a big issue, then, when the tables get turned, I can sleep 16hours a day easily. I just never know which it is going to be.

Since getting my mania in control check (I initially used the word ‘control’ here, but the one thing I have learned from this disorder is that there is no ‘control’. All I can do is learn from my cues, and try to prevent and minimize future episodes), sleep has consistently been better than in the past with the biggest issue being that once I DO fall asleep, the issue becomes trying to STAY asleep. It is quite common for me to fall asleep easily and then in the next couple hours, I wake up and virtually stay up because I simply cannot fall back to sleep… and if I do, it tends to be hours later.

Well, there is a Podcast I love to listen to called “The Dr. Rob Show” with Dr. Robert Maki who is AMAZING! Since I started following his podcast, I have learned so much information that helps me to live a healthier, happier, balanced life. He is the type of Doctor who doesn’t just spend two minutes with you, scribble on a prescription pad, and shows you the door… he is the type of Doc who takes time with you, really listening to treat his patients, not by “masking” the unwanted symptoms we experience in life, but gets down to the root of the issue and tries to fix it there.

During one of his Podcasts, he spoke of Adrenal Fatigue. (You can read, or listen, this episode HERE.) I did not know anything about it and nearly skipped to another episode, but the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue stopped me dead in my tracks, and I wound up listening to it several times. Every single one of us probably have these symptoms and just chalk it up to “life”, and not really taking care of ourselves the way we should. I am not going to go into great detail here, so please check it out for yourself… “Dr. Rob- Do I Have Adrenal Fatigue?”

This episode introduces us to several supplements that our bodies need to run optimally. One of these supplements is called Kavinace.

Do you fall asleep, only to find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to fall back to sleep?? Kavinace changes that. However… it is ALSO for stress, anxiousness, and sleep issues. Sounds amazing, right?!

So what is Kavinace??

Kavinace in an amino acid. It supports optimum GABA levels, acts as a “neurotransmitter, inhibiting nerve transmissions in the brain, calming nervous activity”. Considered as a natural tranquilizer. *** “Kavinase is a precursor to GABA. It will convert to GABA while you are sleeping and help keep you asleep all night. Why not take GABA instead? GABA is such a big molecule that it can be hard to absorb. Taking the Kavinase will help absorbance and converts to GABA for a full night sleep”. – Dr. Rob***

What is GABA? Gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is the most important and widespread inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain… because it is an inhibitor, it inhibits over-stimulation of the brain, resulting in possible relaxation and eases nervous tension. Sounds great doesn’t it?! Using Kavinace in conjunction with Melatonin is ideal. The Melatonin is used to help you fall asleep, and the Kavinace helps to keep you asleep.

It is not a cure-all… and it is possible that it doesn’t work for everyone. Personally, I was completely skeptical… especially because Melatonin has never helped me to sleep. After talking to my boyfriend about it, and doing some research, we decided to give it a try… in fact, we bought all of the supplements recommended for ‘Adrenal Fatigue”. Our results have been great… a noticeable positive change.

Of course, I never put much thought into the Kavinace actually working because I have tried soooooo many remedy’s that were suppose to help. I have tried both “natural” and prescribed medication, and I have not had great results, at least not great enough to mention them here in ‘Bipolarmuse-ville”.  Both myself and my boyfriend noticed that we were sleeping better than we had in a very long time… we were loving it! And oddly, we never attributed it to any one supplement, we just didn’t over analyze it… it simply was what it was. Then…

For a whole month, I took 1-2 Kavinace just before bed, along with the Melatonin. I took no other medications or supplements for sleep. I didn’t notice any drowsiness, nor did I feel like I “took” something, and I took it within 15minutes before bed… I did not take it and then wait a couple hours. My boyfriend did this as well.

My results?? I noticed that I wasn’t waking up throughout the night as I normally did. Normally, I fall asleep, and then somewhere around 2AM, I will roll over and it wakes me just enough where I will start thinking of something for the following day… next thing I know, I can’t fall back to sleep. But that stopped. I actually went to bed, fell asleep quickly, and stayed asleep! If I did wake up, I would doze back off very quickly. In fact, it got to the point where I would lay my head on the pillow, and then the next time my eyes opened, it was to the alarm going off.

SAY WHAT?! Yes, you read that correctly.

How do I know it was the Kavinace? Well, unfortunately my boyfriend and I were not on the ball and we ran out of the supplement… I didn’t really think anything of it because I wasn’t acknowledging that the reasons we were sleeping well was because of it… I have tried so many things with zero results so I was very skeptical that this would work. We went to bed as we normally do… fell asleep fast… and then somewhere around 2AM, we were both very awake and unable to go back to sleep, and once we did, the alarm went off. GRRRRRRRRrrrrr. So frustrating! What sucks even worse is that I am anxiously awaiting the package from Amazon with my new sleeping elixir. I have not had it for 4 days now and I am insanely frustrated and want sleep!

I am so amazed over how well the Kavinace worked for me, and also for my boyfriend. It is now going to be a staple in my supplements. Give it a whirl and see if it works for you!

©bipolarmuse 2015

** I am not a Doctor! Before taking ANY medication or supplement, contact a Doctor or Pharmacist to ensure that it is safe for you. Be smart. Be safe.

My Extra Heart Beat

heartbeat

There was a time during 2008 and 2009 when I was under severe amounts of stress that I could not escape from, and no matter how hard I tried to “calm” myself and use “mind over matter”, I could not get it in control. This was the kind of stress that kills people, I am sure. It is a long story so let me condense it for you.

My ex, who was my husband at the time, was deployed when I was 37 weeks pregnant with our daughter. The doctors would not induce, and there was no way to delay the deployment. So, when I was to go in and give birth, I did so all alone. Once I was home, my fears over powered me completely. I developed an irrational fear that I very well may die, leaving my itty bitty baby and her older brother at home with nobody to care for them. I know that seems so crazy, but it truly was a thought I could not get out of my head… and I started going crazy. I became sick with every bite of food, losing 45lbs in 4 weeks. My blood pressure was through the roof and had to go on anti-depressants, anxiety medicine, and blood pressure medicine. I feared for my life every second of every day.

Needless to say, I could not sleep. Every time I started to doze off, I would jerk myself awake because if I allowed myself to sleep, I wouldn’t know if I were to have a pulmonary embolism, and if I did, my babies would be all alone until someone beat down the door… and how long would that take?? I know the fear was completely irrational, but mentally, I could not convince myself of how insane my brain was being.

What were the signs of this extreme stress? Aside from being unable to keep food in… I could hear, and feel, my heart beat, constantly, and I could HEAR every time it seemed irregular.

I WAS TERRIFIED.

Of course, I thought that perhaps seeing a cardiologist would put my mind at ease, and so I did just that and got an appointment instantly. The cardiologist performed several tests including a stress test and he also had me wear a halter monitor so my heartbeat could be recorded as I went along doing my normal activities in my day to day life. The results?? The Doc said, “Your heart is fine. You do have extra heartbeats, which is why you will feel that light “punch” that comes from inside, but I do believe that all of your issues will go away once you get your anxiety under control”.

You would think that a clean bill of health would put my mind at ease and the issues would go away, right?

FALSE

The pounding of my heart continued to scare me so much that my anxiety medicine didn’t even scratch the surface. I felt like it was a placebo… it did nothing. Literally nothing. I tried everything under the sun, and even used Ambien and Lunesta. Neither of them helped me sleep.

Normally, I have very vivid dreams… and at one point, I also practiced “lucid” dreaming, but because of the extreme stress and anxiety, listening to my heartbeat “swoosh” in my head 24 hours a day, sleep eluded me and it took years for me to begin dreaming again… 4 years after the fact. Let me repeat that… it took 4 YEARS for me to dream again. Imagine that. Imagine being terrified to fall asleep, imagine not getting enough sleep and going from several dreams a night to no dreams whatsoever month after month. Wishing to get over whatever crazy thing my brain was going through so I could live, and thrive, and to stop merely existing. To stop feeling so scared and like I was losing my mind. Imagine the crazy depression it caused.

That was my hell.

Then one day… it stopped. Just as quick as it came on, it went away. Not because of anything I did… it was on it’s terms, certainly not mine. The experience was unbelievable. A true testament to how I don’t have “control” over every single little thing. “Control” is an illusion. At any point and time, my brain is trying to get me.

Psychosomatic? Indeed. I was told so anyhow.

Do I still hear my heartbeat in my head?? Yes, from time to time. I have had instances where the “swoosh” came back, thudding, terrifying me and making me pray for it to go away… and luckily, it did go away fairly quick. I hope I never experience it to that terrifying level again, and I am so jealous of those who have never experienced those wicked beats… ignorance is bliss.

©bipolarmuse 2015

Skills For Recovering Your “Self”… Counter-Dependency Post 4

How do you recover your “self” and break the patterns of counter-dependence? Well, we have to really tune-in to our “self” and take certain steps.

These are listed in the book “The Flight From Intimacy”:

  • remembering what happened to you as a child
  • identifying the characteristics of counter-dependent behaviors
  • feeling your feelings
  • learning re-parenting skills
  • becoming an autonomous person
  • learning to take charge of your body
  • developing a spiritual life and
  • learning to live interdependently

Six skills to help you change your counter-dependent behaviors are:

  1. Developing empathy
  2. Setting boundaries
  3. Reclaiming projections
  4. Parenting yourself
  5. Resolving conflicts
  6. Communicating about sex

As you can see, work is involved in making changes to your “self”… it is not something that will come over night but it is possible to change! Don’t be discouraged if it does not come along as quickly as you wish. I have to remind myself that I have these patterns that I need to break, and it is a 38yr habit… that is a long ass time!

As I get further ahead in the book, exercises will be used to help in the healing process. If you are following along, feel free to follow me in working through these exercises. I will be sure to post each so you can easily do so… AND please share your thoughts and progress, if not here, feel free to email me on my “contact” page. I would love to hear about your strategies, and of course, your success.

WE CAN DO THIS!!!

 

Psycho-Babble Self-Help Books Amuse the Muse

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I crack myself up.

I love books… I ESPECIALLY love psychology books and love to buy new ones any chance that I get. I can spend hours in my local bookstores, literally sitting in the aisles with several books sprawled out in front of me like they are auditioning… I read through them, choosing random pages, and I often will buy them all. As you can imagine, that gets very expensive! At one point I had to limit myself because spending 100$ a week on books is not a good idea when you barely have money to spend. So I reasoned with myself that I could buy one book a month… and the other 5 I think I need, I borrow from the library. 🙂 The plan was a success!

So here I am at home, bored with what is on Netflix. I think of all my awesome books and I rummage through the shelves until I am satisfied with the ones in my grasp. I sit down with them and ambitiously scour through them, looking for whatever may pertain to me in this moment… big or small.

Within minutes, my desire to psycho-analyze myself has passed and I am once again participating in life… the stack of books sitting here, notes scribbled about, collecting dust. I never want to put them away, because I could certainly need them in a quick moment and should have them within reach… right?

Right.

That is how I roll.

©bipolarmuse 2015

Counter-Dependence Self Quiz

This is from the book “The Flight From Intimacy”… how Counter-Dependent are you??

This is lengthy but will give you an idea of how many characteristics you have.

Place a number next to each sentence… indicating the degree to which the statements apply to you. Then tally em up at the end!

1=Never, 2= Occasionally, 3= Frequently, 4=Almost Always

Start Quiz*******************************************

I feel a kind of free floating anxiety when I have nothing to do. ___

I look to other people, substances, or activities to make me feel good. ___

I have a difficult time knowing what I want or need. ___

I fear that I will be smothered if I get too close to my spouse or friend. ___

I have a difficulty knowing how I really feel inside. ___

I exaggerate my accomplishments a bit when I meet someone new. ___

I get anxious when m  partner wants to be intimate with me. ___

I’m afraid people will find out that I’m not who they think I am. ___

I demand perfection of myself and others. ___

I work long hours and never seem to get finished with my work. ___

I don’t like to ask other people or help, even id I need it. ___

I prefer to work alone rather than with others. ___

I feel controlled by what others expect of me. ___

I feel it is really important to have the “right answers”. ___

I get afraid of being consumed by the needs of others. ___

I function best in structured situations where I am in charge. ___

I feel important when someone asks me for my opinions. ___

I find it difficult to form and maintain intimate relationships. ___

I have trouble deciding if I want sex or nurturing touch. ___

I have trouble relaxing, and I have chronic tension in my body. ___

I enjoy being the center of attention at social gatherings. ___

I don’t like to admit to a mistake. ___

I reject offers of help from others, even if I need it. ___

I have thoughts about sex each day that interfere with my work. ___

I see myself and others as either all good or all bad. ___

I compare myself to others, feeling either better or worse than them. ___

I am told that I am not aware of the needs or concerns of others. ___

I feel hurt when an accomplishment of mine is not recognized. ___

I deny my problems or discount the importance of my problems. ___

*** Total score (add all the numbers) ______

Here are the results:

102-120 VERY HIGH number of counter-dependent behavior patterns. Can have a serious effect on your functioning level.

79-101 HIGH number of counter-dependent behavior patterns. Can have a moderate effect on your functioning level.

56-78 SOME counter-dependent behavior patterns. This range has a minor effect on your functioning level.

30-55 FEW counter-dependent behavior patterns. This range has little or no effect on your functioning level.

This quiz is taken directly from the book itself, I do not take credit for it of course, because it isn’t mine. This is simply a guideline… a quiz to make you more self-aware. If you scored high, I recommend scheduling an appointment with your Doctor to discuss what these results mean for you. ALWAYS seek medical advice from a Doctor. I am not a Doctor, nor a therapist. I am simply someone riding the roller-coaster of life and sharing it with you.

©bipolarmuse 2015

A New Thought~ Counter-Dependence

Introduction to Counter-Dependence

Counter-Dependence Post 2, I never was super woman

Counter-Dependence Post 3, This is gonna take forever!

2015 Out Of The Darkness

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This next year will be a great year, and I look forward to the walk for suicide prevention and education.

Out Of The Darkness walks are coordinated in different cities and college campus’s across the nation. It is the opportunity to bring awareness to mental health disorders. To educate. To remember those lost.

You can register as an individual, or, and what I would like to do, you can join or start a team. I am considering registering as bipolarmuse and recruiting team members to share this experience with me. Wouldn’t that rock?! In order to do that, I would need ten team members. Each team member would need to collect 150$ in donations to get a free T-shirt… And if we get 1000$ in donations collectively, our team name will be printed on our T-shirts. Hmmmm… I believe I understood and explained that correctly, and if not, I will certainly make an update with the correct info.

Will you be planing to participate in your local area??

Anyone in the Henderson/Las Vegas area who wants to participate? Be sure to let me know if you are interested, I would be honored to walk with you!

❤️muse

Counter-Dependency Post 3— This Is Gonna Take Forever!!

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LOL! Yes, this is going to take forever!!

I am kind of losing my excitement for this book, “The Flight From Intimacy” about counter-dependency because it is going over the different stages we ALL go through as toddlers… yes, as itty bitty babies… and I feel weighed down with this information. It is interesting… however what interests me more is that I want to get busy working on ME. I don’t want to feel as though I am taking a refresher course in psychology… which I find interesting that I am annoyed with seeing that psychology is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE subject in the world. But I want to get to the nitty-gritty and start working on me.

So what to do??

I am just going to skim over this info and then will dive right into the more interesting “helpful” parts of this book.

I do find it very interesting though that if we do not “complete” a certain step as little ones, like proper “separation” from our parents (not in a literal way, but mentally), we will continue these patterns in our relationships as adults, attempting to complete what we missed as we developed the first few years of life. Isn’t that crazy to think of??

Up to 24 months of age, this time is critical in completing your psychological birth. During that time you made the decision to become a separate entity (emotionally) from your Mom or you stayed co-dependent.

HOWEVER…

IF you experienced abuse emotionally, physically, sexually, or experienced neglect…. you could have decided oneness and closeness was scary and not safe. In order to protect yourself you may have separated emotionally and developed more counter-dependent behaviors… Like walling off your feelings, utilizing defensive behaviors to push people away, and of course, you created a false “Self” that showed you were strong, capable, and not in need of anyone. You may have developed an inflated importance… in this way, you would not need to show anyone your vulnerability and wounds.
I think this is where I may have become stuck… what can I do to fix this???

I will need to re-parent myself. Our psychological birth is insanely important… time to be re-born.

©bipolarmuse 2014

A New Thought ~ Counter-Dependence

Counter-Dependence Post 1

Counter-Dependence Post 2

My Medicare Hates Me

I was very lucky when it came down to applying for Social Security Disability. I waited as long as I could before filing… I didn’t want to apply for it until I truly needed it to survive… and when it finally got to that point, I had to rely on family to help me through it. I believe I have written about it before, but if not, I will post my experience soon.

Then, what sucked WORSE than needing it in the first place was that after being approved, I had to wait a full year for Medicare. Can you say, “Are you serious”? I tripped out and frantically asked my case worker what I was suppose to do for a year with mental health issues and no other insurance… I NEEDED the medicare in a bad way.

Guess what she said??? Drum roll please…. “Go to the emergency room.” HUH?? If any of you have visited the emergency for mental health issues, you know that they do not prescribe psychotropics and they give out handouts about “sliding fee” psychs, but you learn quickly that as much as we like to think it is that easy, it is not. Every number I called was either out of service, or it was inaccurate information. It is worthless…

So, for a year I waited. I still needed to rely on others for help because my entire disability check was going to “out of pocket” medical expenses, including my prescriptions.

Once my Medicare kicked in, it was a God-send (even if for just a moment). Then, it got bad… really bad. My Doctors started dropping Medicare, no longer accepting assignment. AND, every Doctor that they tried referring me to, well, they also were dropping Medicare. I don’t live in a small town. I live in a very busy, highly active city… a 24 hour type of place… and I can’t find a doctor to treat me… not an MD, and of course, no Psychs. This is completely ridiculous.

I am stuck in this revolving door. Now that I have medical insurance, the Doctors out there are refusing to take Medicare any longer. Why?? Well, I don’t know if what I am going to say is completely true, but it is true in my situation…

Medicare SUCKS.

When a medical office tells me they no longer accept Medicare Assignment, I ask to speak to someone in the billing office… or someone in the “prior auth” department… so I can speak to them to figure out what my options are. What is the consensus?? In short, Medicare is failing me. 😦 This is totally unacceptable. I think of all the elderly patients who struggle to afford their medical care… often cutting their prescriptions doses to help with their costs… or not using their air conditioning in the summer, nor their heater in the winter, resulting in serious problems, and the worst of course, death. It is disgusting to think of all these people who struggle and can’t get the care they worked hard for, and they have to make serious cutbacks just to survive. This is tremendously heartbreaking.

I am told that many offices are dropping Medicare because Medicare is not paying. They are notorious for taking a very long time to reimburse the physicians, and when they do, of course it is at a fraction of the cost. They make it incredibly difficult for the Doctors to submit payment, often refusing because they somehow did not file the appropriate paper work, diagnosis codes, or somehow missed a step that Medicare requires of them. It isn’t because they are incompetent, it is because Medicare makes them jump through so many hoops, hoops on fire, and claims get rejected. Then more man-hours are spent correcting the mistakes and resubmitting for payment. Often not receiving payment for months and months, and sometimes, years.

I also learned that Medicare often will come back and claim that patients were “over-billed”, therefor causing Medicare to “over-pay”, and years after the fact, they come back and inform the Doctor that they over paid by 2$ and want the 2$ back, only now it is 200$ because of interest and penalties and if they don’t pay up in a short amount of time, Medicare threatens a lawsuit.

I have been completely disappointed and at a loss. I cannot get additional insurance through the marketplace, so I feel stuck. I had Medicare Original to start and I chose it because it is basically a PPO, and I could choose any doctor I wanted as long as they accepted assignment. Well, that didn’t go so well… so I just changed it (which can only be done one time a year during open enrollment). I went online and compared the Medicare Advantage Plans and chose a Humana PPO in hopes that I will have more options for physicians and specialty practices.

I am nervous and hoping it isn’t any worse than it is right now… and considering I have to pay quite a bit more for this plan, it better be an improvement.

I am staying positive about it, and I will keep you posted on how things go.

©bipolarmuse 2014

Why Am I “Losing Time”… I Certainly Don’t Have Much To Spare

Have you ever lost time?

Seems like a crazy question, doesn’t it?

Over the years, I have noticed “gaps” in time where I do not remember certain time frames, and certain events. Obviously this is my brains way of coping and surviving trauma, but what really ticks me off is that if it is going to happen, make it count and help me “lose” all the horrible life experiences that have taken their toll on my life and still cause my pain today. Stupid brain, get with it!!

What I am concerned with is that over the last few years, I am noticing those “gaps” in time, but now, others notice my time gaps as well.

We all might forget what we ate for breakfast, or what time a dinner party begins… but it is something different entirely when you don’t recall movies watched in a theater and at home. I am not talking about “forgetting” I watched a certain movie, plopping it into the DVD, and then realizing I did indeed watch it, I just forgot the name of it. No, I am not talking about something as simple as that.

What I am talking about is moments totally GONE. I repeat GONE. Asking my boyfriend to play the trailer to a movie I want to see, and then lovingly informed I had already watched it. I deny it and have him play the movie trailer anyways, and as I am watching it, it looks like a brand new movie I have NEVER seen. Again, I am told I have seen it and that, as a matter of fact, we had watched it at the movie theater down the street from our house less than two weeks ago.

No, he has to be wrong. I would certainly remember a zombie movie with Brad Pitt in it…. wouldn’t I??

You would think that at some point when re-watching the movie I “have already seen”, that I would recognize something, anything, during the nearly 2 hours of productions right? Yet, NOPE. I recall absolutely nothing other than stating 3 weeks ago that I wanted to see that movie.

One such movie was a kids movie… which my boyfriend would never watch on his own cause it isn’t his thing… and he swore up and down that we already watched it. I told him he had to be mistaken and that I had been wanting to see it for quite some time so I would certainly remember watching it. I turn it on and as a certain scene comes up, my boyfriend tells me what is coming up and even proceeds to tell me of the comment I had made during that particular scene in the movie. None of this is familiar at all… not even a fleeting moment of dejavu… it is as though I am watching it for the first time.

This type of “lost time” is quite scary to me. I don’t understand why it happens, I don’t know if something specific triggers it or if it just comes and goes as it wants.

I also get a weird feeling from time to time… and this TERRIFIES me… where I will be shopping or something, and I will glance up and look around, with panic creeping up quickly because I do not “recognize” where I am at. It only lasts for a moment or so and then I start calming down. Why does this happen??

I understand when I lose time over a time frame or a horrible past moment… that makes sense… I know my brain can’t cope, so it resorts to that in order to survive… but why in the world would I lose time during normal day to day living that is not traumatic in any way. It always feels “tragic” without my children, but it isn’t painfully traumatic, mournfully traumatic… just tragic because I do not want to live without them with me, but I am forced to do so.

So why is this happening?

I have ruled out medications, leaving pretty much nothing else to question. Are these early signs of Alzheimer’s or Dementia?

Oh my gosh, I hope not… I am not even 40 yet…