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Mar 11 2013

Monday Miscellany & Questions

This weekend was lovely (if blogging-less). Ashley was in Chicago! Along with her were Sikivu Hutchinson, Ian Cromwell, Stephanie Zvan, and Anthony Pinn for a panel on real world atheism. You might recognize some of those names. I think they…blog, or something? Who knows.

Speaking of blogs, Miri has the liveblog of the panel. Also, I quite like her post about blaming things on mental illness.

Do churches exclude introverts? Something I hadn’t thought about.

Dunno how I missed linking this previously: Northwestern man talks about his eating disorder.

Real Social Skills: People are real all the time.

Some stuff on motivation plasticity and some of how CBT works.

Effective addiction treatment….is mostly not present. SMART Recovery, however, is very evidence based and non-religious and I really suggest it. I’m hoping to get certified as a facilitator myself.

And now, questions for you!

How many of you (lurkers and regular commenters!) are vegan or vegetarian? (This relates to a post, I promise)

What scripts in relation to psych would you like or questions about treatment/seeking treatment do you have? I’m thinking a listicle post answering common questions, but don’t want to miss any relevant ones. 

 

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Miri, Professional Fun-Ruiner

    Fun fact: I almost linked to that Real Social Skills post but then was like “eh, I have enough.”

  2. 2
    Kate Donovan

    …of course. #sameperson.

  3. 3
    Divizna

    I was strict vegetarian for over ten years, recently I started occasionally eating fish.
    Could you please write something about overcoming self-despise and fear induced by bullying / parent abuse?

  4. 4
    michaelbusch

    I am not a vegetarian, but I’ve lately been trying to cut back on my consumption of meat – particularly beef. Monetarily cheap hamburgers come at a high environmental cost.

    Re. the second question: I don’t have any particular thoughts there. But I am confused: are the two questions to be considered as entirely independent from each other, or is there a connection between them that I am missing?

  5. 5
    Andy Semler (@AndyTehNerd)

    Vegetarian sometimes-vegan.

  6. 6
    The Nerd

    D’oh! Forgot to sign in.

    One thing I am curious about is mental self-help. Yes, professional help is best. I’ll never argue against that. But some of us don’t have money/time for meds and therapists. Surely there has to be some next best way to help ourselves.

  7. 7
    Kate Donovan

    Ooooh, that might deserve its own post. Thank you.

  8. 8
    miserlyoldman

    Vegetarian sometime vegan (three days a week with the wife).

    I’m (selfishly) curious about the long-term impacts of mental illness that have been treated with therapy without meds. When I was in elementary school, I was depressed and starting to get suicidal. I got help, but I wasn’t really well for almost a decade. Even until recently, I would have mild depressive episodes, and I’m wondering if that’s just a thing I have to deal with. I’m pretty broke-ish, so I don’t really feel like I can have it properly assessed right now, but I’d like to know in a general sense what the odds are for recurrence.

    Having written that out, I guess I’d like to know more detail regarding the prognosis and long-term effects of some of the mental illnesses discussed on the blog.

  9. 9
    ischemgeek

    What scripts in relation to psych would you like or questions about treatment/seeking treatment do you have? I’m thinking a listicle post answering common questions, but don’t want to miss any relevant ones.

    … is that scripts as in “model conversations”?

    Because if so, I’d like to see one about how to go about getting referral for evaluation for a possible learning disability and/or pervasive developmental disability as an adult, while avoiding assertions of “You seem to have coped fine so far so it can’t be that bad!”

    Because, well, “seem to” is the key phrase there. I’m able to put on a facade of normalcy through the clever use of mental flow charts, but it’s a thin and fragile facade that takes up a huge amount of energy to maintain – and that’s energy that I then don’t have for day-to-day stuff like keeping my place clean, not defaulting to spaghetti for supper for the fourteenth day in a row, remembering to pack a lunch, and balancing my budget.

    So, yeah. Advice there would be appreciated.

  10. 10
    fmcp

    I’m not really sure how to articulate the question I have, but I’ll give it a shot:

    I have Bipolar II, and a huge part of what keeps me healthy is to function at as high a level as possible at any given time. When I’m depressed, it’s incredibly hard to find the balance between self-care and making sure that I push myself enough to fight back against the episode. As a result, I default to presenting as high-functioning, and it’s sometimes hard to get people to understand how bad things are. The only way to really communicate the seriousness of an episode would be to drop the mask, but that can trigger a downward spiral.

    So, here’s the actual question – how do I calmly, rationally explain to a doctor or support person that I don’t feel calm or rational? How do I preserve my defence system while still getting someone else to understand just how bad things are?

    Many, many people have told me that I need to stop forcing myself to stay strong, but that simply ignores the reality of what I’ve learned about how this illness manifests for me personally.

    Oh, also – I think it’s awesome that you’re asking about this. Thanks!

  11. 11
    ebutler

    Very good point, and when you do choose to drop your mask, people blame you for just being attention-seeking, playing helplessness, etc. It can get frustrating, especially in situations where you know you’re about to run out of spoons*.

    * On spoon theory:

    http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf

  12. 12
    movablebooklady

    Omnivore. As to meat, I eat some form of it every day but I try to buy the best quality and support local breeders and butchers. I like vegetables but they’re a pain to prepare.

    As to psych stuff, I’m a believer in experts, but like mechanics, you have to find the right one to help you. And it’s hit or miss, isn’t it? There should be some objective criteria and some customer reviews so one could research a person before spilling all.

    Anecdote: I went to a psychiatrist once re a family issue. Eventually, was told to visualize the person sitting in that chair and tell her all the stuff you’ve told me. I said “I told her all that stuff when she was alive; why would I repeat it?” It seemed futile to me, as did some other “techniques” the expert wanted to use. Anyhow, doctor eventually told me I am inherently stable so I didn’t really need her, and it was over. Worked the rest out myself over time, and can now remember and talk about that person without rage.

  13. 13
    ebutler

    “What scripts in relation to psych would you like or questions about treatment/seeking treatment do you have? I’m thinking a listicle post answering common questions, but don’t want to miss any relevant ones. ”

    By scripts, do you mean like medicine scripts?

  14. 14
    Kate Donovan

    no, sorry. It’s a shorthand for example phrasings for doing things. Examples being a way to tell a therapist you’re no longer interested in seeing them, asking for a referral to another therapist, etc.

  15. 15
    ischemgeek

    Just realized I forgot to add: If the “You seem to have coped fine so far!” is inevitable, how do you answer it without being brushed off as a hypochondriac for being young and female?

    Because I have a lot of experience with being brushed off as a hypochondriac, even when I’m in the ER with an O2 sat of 82% for a severe asthma attack, if I’m scared enough to start crying, my problem is anxiety, not asthma, even though anxiety can’t cause a severe O2 sat drop like that… Part of why I haven’t asked for a referral yet is that I’m scared to be dismissed again.

  16. 16
    Ashley F. Miller

    Wait, who is Ashley?

  17. 17
    Kate Donovan

    She’s this psych student who keeps pretending to be me.

  1. 18
    Brain Self-Help: An Incomplete List of Resources » Ashley Miller

    [...] Andy pointed out that a list of non-going-to-therapy resources would be useful. Insurance, time, frustration with [...]

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