How To Be a Good Mental Patient, Part 1: Before You’re Medicated

Very useful! Will have my own thoughts on recent events in my life up soon.

Miss Misery

(Note: I am not a medical doctor and cannot give professional advice. All of the following is my opinion, based on my experience as a patient.)

Psychiatric doctors are fascinating people*. They, more than most, are able to understand human consciousness as a function of biology. They see right through the misconception that the mind is greater than what the brain is capable of generating.

And they also have a medical degree, so you should probably listen to them.

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The questions that are asked in this article are the questions I would have deeply benefitted from knowing the answers to when I first stepped foot into a psychiatrist’s office almost ten years ago. Hopefully, the answers I have provided (which are, at best, all partial) will aid you in your journey toward finding effective psychiatric help.

Q) Will taking psych meds change my personality?

A) The short answer is…

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I’m Fine Redux

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I am very much not okay.  It’s why I haven’t blogged in so very long.  I am an emotional wreck.  Remember how I was having trouble sleeping?  Well, that’s over.  I’m now sleeping 10/11/12 hours a day or more.  I am making it to appointments.  I do eventually drag myself out of bed and take care of the critters.

My partner has been cooking for me.  Finding delicious ways to meet my restricted dietary needs.

I’ve been dreaming vivid dreams about old friends and places.

A dear friend gave us money when things got dire at the beginning of the month.  Really hoping my disability appeal will go through.  Though I think we’ve found a few things to cut expenses.  But medical stuff continues to stack up.  We’ve both had our medications tweaked.  We both need dental procedures.  My partner is getting a couple of other necessary medical procedures.  My orthotics cost more than expected. Not a lot more but still.  ~sigh~

I just want to disappear in a puff of despair.

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The Degentrification of Urban Fantasy

Chronicles of Harriet

Originally posted by the author onFacebook.

The cosmic. The weird. The fantastic. The spiritual.
Whatever we call it, we all have a profound need to glimpse, experience, or at least believe in, some greater reality beyond our mundane existence.
That is why Urban Fantasy has become one of the most successful genres in modern publishing.
Urban Fantasy is unique in its willingness to see the stuff of horror – the familiar cast of vampires, were-creatures, zombies, demons and other monstrous entities – not simply as horrific and repellent, but also as darkly fascinating and appealing.
Vampires have always embodied the darker aspects of human sexuality, but in urban fantasy, those aspects are allowed full rein to express themselves. However, there is far more to Urban Fantasy than steamy encounters with glittery bloodsuckers.
Authors of African descent are taking Urban Fantasy by storm and, as author Daniel José Older

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Post Convention Drop

My partner took me to Westercon 70, the western US regional general sf/f con that moves to a different city each year.  It was in Tempe this year (and why folks thought it was a good idea to have a con in July in AZ, I just don’t know).  It was fun.  I got to see some old friends and perhaps, I made a few new ones.  However, I am an introvert and now I just want to hermit for the next month or so.    So tired.

Overdrawn at the bank.  Bills coming due.  My partner covers all of our living expenses including pet care.  So.  ~sigh~

Lots of chores undone around the house because we were away.  So much laundry!  Did I mention, v. tired?

The disability claim is still pending.  I have an appointment next week for a medical eval and then a couple of weeks after that for a mental health eval.  ~sigh~

But there’s good news.  I got out of the house for the weekend!  My A1C dropped from last reading (this is an improvement).  Woot!  My other numbers look pretty good too.  Plus my new doc has referred me to specialists.  So just gotta get myself up for making a couple of phone calls.   Trying out a new antidepressant as well.  Hope it helps.

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Mental Health Month

is over.  Done.  I spent much of it in a sort of mental health haze of low-level depression and lack of motivation with some lovely dips into deep depression and paralyzing indecision, fear and doubt.  Fun times.

So that month is over.  What will June bring?  Warmer weather certainly.  It’s regularly been in the 100s here. I imagine it will start heading towards 110 pretty soon.  Plus monsoons!  Yay!

I still haven’t heard any decision on the disability claim.  Sent back a ton of paperwork though.  I know it took me a while to complete so I imagine it is being reviewed closely and carefully.

I was going to take a couple of classes this summer to occupy my mind but my mind is pre-occupied and unfocused and stuff.  And things.

The world continues to be a mess.  Reading the news fills me with despair, rage, sadness and makes me feel powerless.  Though there are bits that are somewhat hopeful.  People taking stands and resisting and fighting back.  I do what I can.  I write to my reps and state my opinions.  I sign petitions and pass along fundraising for causes I think are worthy.   I actually donated $5 because I felt so fucking impotent.  It was all I had to give and I hope it helps.  I think groups like SPLC, ACLU, PP and others are fighting for me and I should support them as I am able.

Plus, Sense8 was canceled. It was a show that filled me with hope and wonder.  I am sad I won’t get to see the whole story.   WoW doesn’t hold my interest anymore.  I log on and run around a bit and then sigh and log off.   Maybe I’ll go play Neverwinter or SWTOR or GW2 or Tropico.  Yeah, Tropico.  I can be a benevolent dictator and create my own city.

My booster campaign to raise money for NAMI was a bust.  ~sigh~

My campaign to help me with copays and the like and other debt is still running here:  A Helping Hand  or if you wish to help keep me writing:  Tip Jar

I need to go see a dentist but the copays for dental work plus the thought of the work I need done overwhelms me with anxiety whenever I try to look for a dentist and make an appointment.  I’m still working on it and will get there.   Bleh.  Need to get a fasting blood draw.  I was supposed to get follow up labs last month but somehow May evaporated.  Time sure goes wonky when you are depressed.

Thanks for reading this far.  I’m totally rambling now and could ramble forever but I’ll sign off for now.

Making your own Family

Chosen family. This is wonderful. I’ve written some before about this topic. I loved this movie and this is why.

Steven Barnes

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One of the things that gets me excited to wake up in the morning is that I never know what people are going to be talking about on my pages.  What emails or texts I might get about one or another issue.   What will be a theme for the day?  How can I help people?

Well, today what came up is painful childhoods.  Abusive step-parents, bullying, neglect.  Painful stuff, damaging our self-worth and what I call “self-love.” Without it, we search for love outside ourselves.

For instance:  I have a student who has a girlfriend who is more sexually experienced than he is.

He won’t leave her, but thinks of her as slutty.  Wants to be the greatest lover she’s ever had, and is constantly repelled and angered by her descriptions of previous affairs and their…attributes.

He constantly asks what’s wrong with her.  My answer is that as far as…

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