Posts Tagged Mental Health
Diary of a Hoarder’s Daughter
by Izabelle Winter
Genre: Family Relationships/Mental Health/Compulsive Behavior
FREE at time of posting!
What is it really like to be the relative of a hoarder – especially if you’re a tidy freak? How much can one person take until they snap? Imagine living in a house where you can only walk sideways, where Christmas lights stay up all year and tins in the kitchen eventually explode with age. Of eight televisions in the lounge, only one actually worked. A new 20ft carpet which arrived, rolled up and ready to be laid in 1974, was still there forty years later. Why would a man with two feet need 173 shoes? Where were his teeth, his hearing aid and the vacuum cleaner? In fact, where was the floor?
Meet my dad – 82, eccentric, stubborn, knows everything and collects ‘stuff’. – His house, his stuff – what’s the problem? For him there wasn’t a problem, until one day he had a nasty accident while up a ladder in his garden and was taken to hospital. Temporarily unable to live in the house, it was down to me, his daughter to make the house safe for him to return. I had to do something with over fifty years of accumulated ‘stuff’. I had to sort the whole house knowing he would freak out if I threw anything away. I also had to tolerate his narcissistic personality which made the whole situation almost unbearable.
Life can be a struggle for anyone. But when you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia, it can sometimes seem unbearable. And often, managing the mental health aspect of a chronic illness can be just as important as the physical aspect.
After all, the mental health struggles that people with fibromyalgia endure can have tragic consequences. And while fibromyalgia itself can’t kill you, the mental toll it takes can. Suicide rates for people with fibromyalgia are far higher than average.
So clearly, taking charge of your mental well-being is important if you’re suffering from fibromyalgia. But how do you manage your mental health when you’re suffering from such a terrible disease?
Managing Mental Health When You Have Fibromyalgia
First, let’s admit that it’s totally understandable that people with fibro would feel depressed. Usually, we think of depression as something that people suffer from with no obvious cause. And that is often the case. Depression can be caused by many things, including an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that leads to long-term depression even when events in your life are generally going well.
And many people with fibromyalgia may have this kind of depression. But there’s also another form of depression that is likely common in people with fibromyalgia. The most familiar term for it is “situational depression.” Put simply, it’s a form of depression caused by a reaction to events in your life.
And when you consider what someone with fibromyalgia goes through on a daily basis, it would be surprising if they didn’t experience this kind of depression sometimes. They have a reason to be depressed when they’re in chronic pain.
The truth is, of course, that while there are ways to manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia, there’s no way to get rid of them completely. Instead, people with fibromyalgia have to find ways to maintain their mental health in spite of them.
It’s not an easy answer. And in an age where there seems to be a pill for just about anything, the idea that the medical community can’t cure you can be a hard thing to accept. But it’s something that everyone with fibromyalgia comes to understand early on.
However, one of the hardest parts of living with fibromyalgia is that sometimes people around you expect you to “get over it,” or they offer up some advice about how you can cure yourself with some bogus remedy. It sometimes seems like the one thing no one wants to accept is that the people in their lives with fibromyalgia are really suffering and that they can’t do much about it.
The first step to improving your mental health is to realize that it is ok to be depressed. It isn’t your fault, and you don’t have to hide how much you’re suffering from others to make their lives easier. If you’re in chronic pain, you’re going to be depressed about it sometimes. It’s a natural reaction to the situation you’re in. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about it, including yourself.
After all, people who don’t have fibromyalgia can’t truly understand what you’re going through. And if they were in your position, they would be going through the same emotions. They have no right to make you feel bad about the fact that you’re suffering.
At the same time, the people who manage fibromyalgia best are those who realize that, at a certain point, they need to take charge of their own health. There simply isn’t another way to do it. And the good news is that there are a number of things you can do to improve your mental health when you have fibromyalgia.
Tips For Improving Mental Health
There’s no cure for fibromyalgia yet. So you won’t be able to completely fix the things in your life that are making you depressed. But you can do some things to make them better. And if that sounds daunting, remember that you don’t have to do it alone.
For example, one of the most common issues that people with fibromyalgia suffer from is that they don’t feel like their medications are working. And the fact is that sometimes, they don’t. There are few drugs designed specifically to treat fibromyalgia, which means that doctors often prescribe drugs for other conditions like depression to treat the condition. And these work differently for different people.
If the drugs you’re taking aren’t working, tell your doctor. It may be as simple as trying new medications until you find one that works for you.
But it might also be a good idea to try another doctor. Treating fibromyalgia sometimes requires a doctor who specializes in the condition, so consider researching doctors in your area who have experience treating fibromyalgia. Or you might try a chronic pain clinic, where the healthcare professionals on staff may have more experience treating chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia.
Of course, there are times when the physical symptoms of fibromyalgia aren’t the only problems you’re facing. Fibromyalgia can take a toll on your relationships with friends or loved ones, and it can make it hard to work, which leads to a host of financial stresses.
Luckily, there are professionals who specialize in dealing with these problems as well. If you are worried that your relationship with a spouse is suffering, consider seeing a marriage counselor. They can help you work through some of the issues that you might be facing.
If managing your responsibilities at work or trying to find a job is getting you down, consider seeing an occupational therapist. Occupational therapists work with people who have chronic health conditions to find jobs that will work around their health issues and provide therapies that can help them rejoin the workforce.
Often, one of the best ways to manage depression caused by fibromyalgia is exercise. Of course, if you’ve had fibromyalgia for a while, you’re probably tired of hearing this advice. After all, it’s hard to exercise when you’re constantly tired and in pain and the effort can make your symptoms worse.
That’s completely understandable. But there’s a lot of evidence that even light exercise can significantly improve fibromyalgia symptoms and mental health. Start slow, with a short walk. Build up to more advanced forms of exercise. Or try another, low impact alternative like yoga.
Again, consider working with a professional therapist who has experience helping people with chronic conditions exercise and develop a healthy diet. They’ll be able to give you advice on your situation.
A large part of managing your mental health when you have fibromyalgia is seeking out the people who can help you and learn to deal with the people who just make your life worse.
Most of all, you’re struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, talk to a mental health professional. It’s not a situation you should try to manage on your own.
Start with small steps and do the best you can. By taking charge of your mental health, you can improve your overall quality of life.
The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.
Even though loss shaped Olivia Chandler’s life, she never learned how to deal with it. Thrust into the foster care system as a child, little Livvie Chandler was told to ‘just forget’ and ‘be good.’ And for twenty-eight years, that’s what she did.
In this short snippet, Olivia finds out Willis Benson is terminally ill. The executor of her father’s will has been protector, mentor and surrogate father to the closed-off attorney.
Olivia moved on after her father’s death and her mother was sent away, but this could be the loss that sends her spiraling out of control.
Excellent tips for dealing with depression! 😉
Depression. It happens to the best of us, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to walk away from this post feeling encouraged, and understanding that depression happens, no matter who you are, what you do, or how good life is. As someone who struggles with feeling down at times, I wanted to put together a list of things that help me get through it – they work for me, I know they’ll work for you. So let’s get started.
- Firstly, understand that being depressed does not make you a bad person. It does not mean you are unworthy, or that you deserve to die. Some of us suffer from depression with no triggers, and some of us feel its claws only after we’ve gone through something painful. Depression happens, but it doesn’t have to control you.
- As a Christian, this is the best piece of…
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The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World
by Desmond Tutu, Mpho Tutu
Genre: Mental Health & Self-Help/Spiritual/Emotions
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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chair of The Elders, and Chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, along with his daughter, the Reverend Mpho Tutu, offer a manual on the art of forgiveness—helping us to realize that we are all capable of healing and transformation.
Tutu’s role as the Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission taught him much about forgiveness. If you asked anyone what they thought was going to happen to South Africa after apartheid, almost universally it was predicted that the country would be devastated by a comprehensive bloodbath. Yet, instead of revenge and retribution, this new nation chose to tread the difficult path of confession, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Each of us has a deep need to forgive and to be forgiven. After much reflection on the process of forgiveness, Tutu has seen that there are four important steps to healing: Admitting the wrong and acknowledging the harm; Telling one’s story and witnessing the anguish; Asking for forgiveness and granting forgiveness; and renewing or releasing the relationship. Forgiveness is hard work. Sometimes it even feels like an impossible task. But it is only through walking this fourfold path that Tutu says we can free ourselves of the endless and unyielding cycle of pain and retribution. The Book of Forgiving is both a touchstone and a tool, offering Tutu’s wise advice and showing the way to experience forgiveness. Ultimately, forgiving is the only means we have to heal ourselves and our aching world.
This post is from Facebook. I do not know Jessica Porten (https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213174920945414&id=1166947031) and saw the post because my daughter shared it. I have not altered or edited the post in any way. The photo belongs to Jessica. I’m sharing this to help get it in front of more people.
What was done to this woman was cruel and unnecessary, especially since she was reaching out for help. This angers me also because nearly the same thing happened in Michigan fifteen years when I tried to get help for my son, who was twelve at the time.
No one should be treated this way… NO ONE! We must demand better treatment and care of anyone seeking help for mental disorders and especially women with PPD.
I have much respect for Jessica and her husband for trying to handle things the right way… by seeing a doctor…that by the way, they never saw!
Feel free to share!
I had a really hard time deciding whether I should post something about what happened last night, since putting it on Facebook wouldn’t help the situation. But I don’t know, I feel like this has to be said out into the world so you can all see how little support mothers get from our healthcare system.
I had an OB appointment yesterday, my first since giving birth 4 months ago (because they kept cancelling my appointments), which is inhumane in my eyes. I went to the appointment alone with Kira. It was at 2:10, and I was not called back to a room until 3:15. A nurse practitioner comes in (one I don’t particularly care for) and I tell her everything my husband told them when he scheduled me the appointment a week ago. That I have postpartum depression that is manifesting in fits of anger, and I want to discuss my medication options. I tell them I have a very strong support system at home, so although I would never hurt myself or my baby, I’m having violent thoughts and I need medication and therapy to get through this. She rushed through my pelvic exam, barely spoke about medication, said she needed to talk to the doctor about my PPD, and left the room.
They called the fucking cops on me.
They had a staff member sit with me for over an hour waiting for the police to arrive. The cops show up and we’re trying to figure out the logistics of how they’re going to escort me to the ER because I have Kira and her car seat. The cops can clearly see I’m of sound mind and that this whole thing is bullshit, so they allow me to drive to the ER with Kira in my car while one cop drives in front of me and one follows behind. We arrive at the ER and I’m checked in, triaged, blood drawn. I am assigned a security guard to babysit me. I wait for over an hour and Scott is finally able to come down to support me (he was watching Luna and did not have her car seat so he had to wait for my dad to get home before he could come over). They finally get us a room, which they only did because we have a baby.
They take me to the bathroom so I can give a urine sample. They make me remove all of my clothes (including my flip flops, which they replaced with socks) and then take them away from me and lock them up. We missed dinner, so a nurse gives us two shitty little turkey sandwiches. I am not seen by a social worker until 10:45pm. She decides she does not need to put me on a psychiatric hold, and they process my discharge.
Not once during all of this has a doctor laid eyes on me. Not once. Not even before they decided to call the cops on me. The social worker hands me some papers and discusses the information in them, telling me she thinks these “will probably be good resources for you.”.
I leave the ER at midnight, my spirit more broken than ever, no medication, no follow up appointment, never spoke to a doctor. This was a 10 hour ordeal that I had to go through all while caring for my infant that I had with me. And that’s it. That’s what I got for telling my OB that I have PPD and I need help. I was treated like a criminal and then discharged with nothing but a stack of xeroxed printouts with phone numbers on them.
I’m still processing all of the emotions that are coming with being treated this way. I’m not exactly sure what to do here. I will say I am deeply hurt and upset, and above all angry and disgusted and disappointed by how this whole thing went down.
Ladies and gentleman, our healthcare system.
The photo is of Kira playing on the hospital bed. My poor baby did not sleep longer than half an hour for over 10 hours 😔
EDIT 01/19/18 at 3:38pm – I want to say, I will not be taking any legal action with this. I want this to spread far and wide so that awareness can be made. And then I want to fix this broken system. Because the fact of the matter is, even if I was mentally unstable, suicidal, and unfit to parent (which I am not), the way the situation was handled is not helpful to people. Let’s do better Sacramento. I want you all to ask yourself and those around you some questions.
-Why is the way I was treated standard procedure?
-What can we do to improve standard procedures for all postpartum mothers, but also specifically those at a higher risk for developing PPD and presenting with signs of PPD.
-Who is most qualified to make suggestions for improvements?
-Who is actually capable of making the changes to standard procedures, and how can we can contact them?
Let’s crowd source ideas and bring about some real change.
EDIT 01/19/18 at 11:06pm – I have some more questions I need to add this list. I may be marginalized as a woman, but I am white and heterosexual and hold privileges in these places. I am scared for our mothers of color and our LGBTQ mothers who seek out help in these situations.
-Why was I let go, when so many others would have been put on a mandatory 72 hour psychiatrichold, and had their children taken away?
-Why do a disproportionate number women of color who have PPD not receive the services they need, even when they initiate treatment?
-Why are a disproportionate number of women of color who have PPD misdiagnosed?
-Why are black women half as likely to receive mental health treatment and counseling as white women?
-What can we do as a community to lift up our marginalized memebers and make sure they receive the quality care that we ALL have a right to?!?