Public vs Private: How Open to be Online?

This is a question I’ve been considering more and more these days. One of my favorite pop tarts ran into some trouble with publicity and privacy and now I find myself questioning some of the same things.

Mainly, my birthday is coming up relatively soon and I’m not sure whether I should release that information of when my birthday is to you all on here. Especially for the rest of you that exist BEYOND where this blog reaches WordPress users.

I’m leaning more towards just blogging about my birthday without mentioning exactly WHEN that day is, maybe to some of my closer blogger friends I’ll mention it, but not to the whole LOAD of you out there. Don’t take offense, though. It’s just a matter of personal safety.

For instance, maybe shouldn’t have my first and last name online. Ah well. You don’t know my middle name though! NO ONE DOES BUAHAHA Not online technically speaking at least.

I mention what state I’m in, where I go to school, often to places sometimes that I’ve been or will be at, I have my name out there and photos of myself….it feels okay and right for right now for me to keep when my birthday really is more to myself than to you all. I’ve had it up before on my DA account and even though it looks REALLY weird without it there, I’ve taken it off for now.

Maybe things will change in the future but for right now, I’m weary (wary?) and unsure.

I also think I will keep my Mom and Dad and other siblings under my tongue for now, too. I.e not posting pictures of them, at least my parents, my brother’s already out there in the world too. Lmao

So yeah, I think that is what I’ll do. I’ll post about my birthday when it comes but I won’t mention explicitly when it is or anything. I notice I haven’t spoken publicly about my age yet on here anyways, which is just by chance. (let’s not calculate the alpha % of that right now, shall we?)

I don’t know, what do you guys think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and where you stand on the topic about what is too much information sharing and all that jazz.

For now, I’m going to cover up my tracks. If I change my mind in the future, well, I change my mind. Thank you for being understanding and listening. ❤ ❤ ❤

Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified | Book Review

Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified by Robert O. Friedel, MD.

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 PLOT/WHAT IT’S ABOUT:

This book, BPD Demystified by Robert O. Friedel is a decade old account of sufferers with borderline disorder, treatment options (medications and modalities), hope, research, what the symptoms are and the biological basis/risk factors are, as well as including two personal anecdotal accounts of people living with the disorder.

I would recommend this book to anyone suffering from this condition–from family members or friends who know someone dealing with borderline disorder–as well as anyone in the general public or mental health realm (i.e. studying psychology) who is open to learning more about the conditions’ basics  and what people who live with it may commonly go through.

Since this book is from 2004 I’m very curious and interested to spend some of my next free time looking and reading up on any new research studies about the condition. This book is out of date in regards to the DSM but if you use it as a guide and not a permanent rule book, you can gather a lot out of this reading.


RECOMMENDATION SCORE:

5/5 DBT’s


QUOTES:

  1. “People who suffer from medical disorders benefit greatly from the information that is available to them. This knowledge helps them see that they have a well-defined illness and that others share their condition. It also enables them to understand the nature and cause of their illness and to realize that doctors have well researched and effective treatments for their illness” – p. XIII

From this, we can gather how effective and helpful it is to have a community of understanding and compassion when it comes to mental health disorders.

2. “(Insert BPD misconception here) To a significant degree, BPD is the result of disturbances in brain pathways that regulate emotion and impulse control” – p. XIV

So any of you dip shits out there: stop being a dip shit. (I’m mainly talking about those people who think mental health issues don’t “exist” somehow. :roll:)

3. “Because of the chronic, recurrent and episodic nature of their symptoms, and the additional problems they experience, they, their families, and their friends lose hope” – p. XV

😦 Wait for it, though!

4. “If you have BPD, please do not lose hope. Be persistent in your efforts. Participate actively in the development of your treatment program and then stick to it” – p. XVII

5. “It takes great courage to struggle on with the symptoms of BPD, but do so with the knowledge that others have persevered and have been rewarded by gaining much more control over their lives than they ever believed possible. You can, too” – p/ XVII

6. “[author will use the term borderline disorder] because I’ve had many patients tell me that the term borderline disorder is less offensive to them and helps them to accept the fact that they have this medical disorder” – p. XVIII

I’d randomly like to say in this moment that this post will be LONG and has taken a long time to get out, sadly D:

7. “The emotions of people with BD are often very unstable and undergo rapid changes that they have difficulty controlling, referred to as emotional lability
– p. 3

8. “You may find that you become very upset when something bad happens to someone else. You may even feel that it is almost happening to you” – p. 3

I think the second part of that, beyond BD, can be experienced by other people too. So it may be the case that sometimes more of us without BD can relate to those with BD that deal with this truth as well. In which case, HUGS FOR EVERYONE (unless you don’t like hugs).

9. “Emotions do not return to their normal level as quickly as they do in people without BD” – p. 4

10. “She added that, when severe, this feeling was so emotionally painful that she would do almost anything to relieve it, even cut or burn herself, although the emotional pain always returned shortly thereafter” – p/ 6

It may be the case where I don’t add too much in between quotes in this review, as there are legitimately 42 quotes I’ve written out for this piece. Like I said, it’s a LONG post. I’m hoping it WILL come out this Tuesday though.

11. “If you receive proper help you will not reach this level of desperation (drug abuse) either. You have a much better opportunity to receive effective treatment for your disorder than has ever been available before” – p. 43

A truth which can also be a possibility for others suffering from all sorts of conditions as greater expansions and treatments are revealed each day of the future with science and medicine. 🙂 YAY!

12. “I deeply believe that the effort you devote to learning as much as you can about BD ultimately will be well rewarded by your gaining a great deal more control over your life than you have experienced in the past. Knowledge is the edge that gives you an advantage in life” 0 p. 46

13. “The consistency of the symptoms of BD over a 65 year period of careful observation and research is a major indication that this diagnosis has validity and integrity” 0 p. 49 (AKA, don’t be a dip shit)

14. “This meant the issues of excessive dependency, clinging behaviors, unrealistic expectations and overly negative reactions had to be dealt with consistently and in a nonjudgmental manner” p – 50

15. “Projection is the unconscious psychological attempt to deal with anxiety by attributing one’s own unacceptable attributes to the outside world” – p. 52

Ohhhh, me and projection! We just go WAY BACK! XD

16. “The symptoms of BD have been recognized since the time of Hippocrates” – p. 60

17. “What is inherited are genetic mutations that impair the normal functions of those neural systems that control the core behavioral dimensions of BD: regulation of emotion, impulse control, and perception and reasoning” – p. 66

18. “Considering the enormous number of neural pathways and connections in the brain, it is not surprising that some of these pathways and connections do not always develop correctly. The greater the number of incorrect neural communications in the brain, the greater the likelihood is that a developmental disorder will occur” – p. 67

19. “Society rarely provides children at risk of BD with values that they can emulate and that would help stabilize their precarious view of life. In such an unstable environment, they are unable to feel secure about their fate and what the future holds for them” – p. 70

20. “This doesn’t meant that they no longer have any symptoms, but that the symptoms are significantly reduced in severity, and that they cause less disruption in the patients’ and their family’s lives” – p. 81 (about RECOVERY)

It’s important to remind ourselves of what recovery IS and what it is NOT. And it’s most certainly not a measure of the LACK of existence of a mental illness, but that that mental illness is no longer in the majority of control over your life. I.e. that your symptoms are less severe and you can still manage to LIVE WITH the disorder.

*Gwah, one other post out of the way*

21. “One of the main factors that determines the rate and degree of your improvement is your remaining in treatment as long as necessary” – p. 85

22. “It’s important to understand that the severity of BD is not the same for everyone who has it. Some people have very mild forms of BD and respond extremely well to treatment. Others have more severe forms of the disorder where the treatment plan is more complex” – p. 85-86

This applies to other mental health/physical conditions as well. I know it may be obvious, but I know I tend to forget this at times. Remember to gauge the person you’re addressing and how their experience is affecting them, rather than what that situation is itself. (i.e. it’s not how ‘bad’ the situation is but how badly it’s affecting someone).

23. “If you or a loved one suffers from severe BD, the situation is not hopeless. It does mean that you’ll have to expend more effort and patience to get better” – p. 86

True for many other conditions at well. It’s not that you can’t do it, it’s that you may not have the tools available to you at this moment to get better effectively and in a positive manner. ❤ ❤ ❤ Keep working at it though!!!

24. “Many people with BD have difficulty effectively controlling their impulses and behaving in a reasonable and rational manner, especially when they are in a highly emotional state. At such times, you may find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to calm yourself down and to reassure yourself. Because of this, you don’t have time to think through the situation you’re in carefully in order to make a well-balanced decision on how to handle it” – p. 89

25. “Low to moderate levels of stress and emotional response appear to increase memory while high levels interfere with memory formation and recall. This close relationship may explain why some people with BD have episodes of long lapses of memory when under high stress” . – p. 98

26. “BD is the result of disturbances in specific neural pathways in the brain and is not a result of intentional or willful behavior” – p. 104

27. “The use of alcohol and street drugs leads to a dramatic worsening of BD symptoms and also decreases the effectiveness of medications and therapy” – p. 113

This tends to occur with other mental health issues as well, of which I’m quite wary of ever drinking now in the future. ^^’

28. “Medications can help lessen the severity of symptoms and can also set the stage for the best possible results from the work of therapy” – p. 130

Again, another notion that can be applicable to other mental health conditions. Using medication is less of a sign of weakness or a crutch and more of something to just help take the edge off the worst of the worst symptoms and aid one in recovery by allowing the person ability to move through the behavioral aspects safely.

29. “In order to be effective all forms of therapy require changes in old behavioral habits that do not work well. Habits are difficult to break, especially when they need to be replaced by new behaviors that are at first a little strange and frightening” – p. 130

We are ALMOST DONE.

Pro tip in this spot: If you are working on changing some old negative coping strategy behaviors, practice the positive coping strategies when you are feeling WELL. That way when you feel bad, you’ll more likely recall and act on a positive coping strategy that you’ve built up a good relationship with and then use it when you’re down and TADA maybe it helps and you get some free time to just enjoy yourself from whatever hellhole you were in before.

30. “The successful journey to a more stable, happy and satisfying life for people living with BD depends on a number of factors, but it’s essential that you understand clearly and believe deeply that you , more than anyone or anything else, have the ability and responsibility for gaining control over your own life” 0 p. 131

31. “You have to take responsibility for building the foundation for your own recovery. Patience and persistence are crucial to your success. You must learn to exert the self-discipline required to do what needs to be done. These can be developed, especially with the proper help, and as you achieve small and large successes, failures become less common” 0 p. 131

32. “It’s critical that you have a safe, supportive and effective relationship with a person who is able to help you learn about your illness, how it affects you, and how to make those changes that will enable you to gain the best possible control over your emotions, impulsive behaviors, thought patterns and relationships” – (forgot page number whoops)

33. “In DBT you are usually discouraged from using the hospital as a means of controlling your emotional tensions, since the goal of treatment is to learn to manage the current emotional crisis in more effective ways” – p. 156

34. “It’s particularly reassuring to attempt to help one another deal more effectively with these problems by discussing new strategies that have been attempted and their results” (On groups) p – 156-157

35. “They viewed their bedrooms or apartments as safe havens, except when they felt depressed or desperate. At these times, some realized that it was dangerous to be alone because of the great impulse to hurt themselves” – p. 185

36. “It’s clear that it’s very helpful to stay involved with your family member with the disorder. Understanding their perspective is an important early step in the process” – p. 186

37. “But if you think about it, there’s no reason to assume that a complex organ like the brain is less susceptible to diseases that affect behavior than are other bodily organs that result in physical symptoms” – p. 191

38. “Realize that people with BD didn’t acquire their problem through any actions of their own nor do they enjoy having the disorder” – p. 191

39. “Accept that you cannot get someone into treatment. Timing is important as to when someone might be ‘open’ to hearing the idea” – p. 192

40. “Remain positive and optimistic about the ultimate result of treatment especially when your loved one has had a setback” 0 p. (I forgot)

41. “I can assure you that to try your best given the information you have, is all you can do” – p. 196

42. “I believe in the sentiment that extra ordinary achievements are accomplished by ordinary people with an extraordinary passion” – p. 208

 

THAT IS ALL. I AM DONE. GOOD NIGHT FOLKS.

Finallyyyyyyy.

 

Suicide and Mental Health Are NOT ‘Jokes’.

*TW: Suicide and mental health are discussed in this post.

Today’s Prompt = Joke

The problem and the beauty of humanity is that we all have different experiences, different opinions and different senses of humor. We’re all so unique and individual while at the same time so similar and familial.

It’s time for me to take another stand.

I’m tired of seeing suicide joked about by those who don’t understand it, haven’t gone through it or who I mistake for not having gone through it when they have. Some people don’t hold the same opinions as I do, shocking, I know. So I only speak for myself here, to offer one thought amongst the many that are being written and spoken.

I don’t smile when I hear someone say someone else “committed” suicide.

I don’t smile when I see someone wrote that X or Y thing or person is “crazy”.

I don’t laugh when someone doesn’t take another suicidal remark seriously–wherever that remark occurs (in real life and online).

I don’t laugh when someone misuses a mental health issue as some butt end of a joke or statement that when knowing what the actual term MEANS in reality, makes absolutely no sense in the joke itself. I.e. “The weather’s been so bipolar” Actually, no, bipolar disorder is NOT what you think it means. And now you just look like an idiot, perpetuating stigma about mental health issues and showing how ignorant you really are.

I’m tired of people tossing around the term “Ohmygerd, that is soooo OCD”. Like, no. Stop. Your idiocy is showing in remarkably HIGH levels.

Now, maybe I’m just a sensitive idiot, fine, I’ll go by that. But it’s 2016 for god’s sake and it’s time we ALL start changing as a SOCIETY. Not just in America, in every place in the world. I know, it’s a high feat, but it’s a battle worth spreading. Why?

Because people are dying every day by suicide.

Yeah, people die every day. But suicide? That can be preventable.

We can’t always stop cancer from spreading, or radiation from taking over the sky, or a cough and its viral particles landing in our soup. I don’t even believe we can stop ALL suicides, but I know damn well that we can try and help to save someone else from themselves. Because one life we save may change the ripple effect of the rest of our experiences.

Imagine how things could have been different if some of our most important historical figures had made just one different decision. What if things hadn’t gone the way they did, what if one small decision could have changed the fabric of this reality that we know and live in right now?

Life is beautiful and it is precious. It’s also a major bitch, but we’re here anyway, so we might as well have the best time of it that we can.

 

You do NOT have to die by suicide. You CAN choose a different path. You ARE strong, you ARE worthy and you CAN recover. It does not have to end this way. You ARE important, you are a SURVIVOR and you may be the very reason someone else is alive today–or you could be for someone you have yet to meet in the very future.

 

If I had died by suicide, I wouldn’t be able to speak to you all right now. I wouldn’t have made the new artwork that I did, I wouldn’t be making the new friends that I am through this community, and I disclose that because it’s IMPORTANT.

We all have to take suicide and mental health issues more seriously. No, your handbag is NOT OCD, your wardrobe isn’t bipolar, your dog isn’t ‘crazy’.

People who suffer from mental health issues are PEOPLE. God knows, animals who also suffer from mental health issues are still animals.

Not even someone who is out of reality, is ‘crazy’. They’re ill. There IS a significant difference.

You or your friend or your family member or your fellow stranger–they are living with a medical condition that affects their brains. It EXISTS, other people EXIST with it TOO and it doesn’t make them weak for having it. In fact, having to deal with any mental health or physical health condition makes a person a whole lot stronger, keeping up with life’s shitty hands they were dealt with and living their lives despite it.

 

What’s my point in all this? It’s okay to ask, I forgot it, too.

My point is that suicide and mental health issues are not jokes. Some people can laugh at a joke about suicide–maybe they’ve gone through it themselves, maybe they laugh because it feels true to them, maybe they laugh for a hundred other reasons. And, some people don’t laugh. Some people get triggered-and no, Internet, that doesn’t mean what you think it means. Some people deal with flashbacks to their darkest days of considering suicide, some people have lost someone they knew to suicide or by suicide in the manner that you’re joking about, some people have contemplated suicide in that manner or are now thinking of it based on that ‘joke’ you mentioned for a fraction of a second.

We don’t know what each other is going through. We all have our struggles. Does this mean we should never joke about anything ever?

No. Humor can be a helpful tool in recovery for those who have struggled. It’s often actually that people who can joke about mental health issues or suicide have struggled with it themselves. It may be a way of confessing their inner demons, of trying to relate to someone else, of talking about such a dark subject in a humorous manner. It may be a way of healing, and their way of healing may likely not be the way you heal.

Does that mean your reaction isn’t valid? No. Your emotional reaction is your emotional reaction. That experience is yours and yours alone. We can’t exactly argue with other people about what they really think or feel, because only they truly know for themselves.

My issue is less with people who joke about suicide or mental health issues knowingly–but with the people who joke about these topics withOUT knowing what it is like to deal with them. And, honestly, we can often tell pretty well–because you sound uneducated, like a plain idiot and you perpetuate stigmatization rather than opening a discussion about these serious topics. You make it sound petty and flippant without having experienced it yourself or known others who have.

Or maybe you’re just an Asshole. They exist, too.

 

This post is more a flow of consciousness than a succinct, understandable argument. But one point of mine led to another and then another. And still, it feels unfinished. If you’ve made it this far, I encourage you to read on until the end.

Suicide by mental health issues and by non-mental health related issues is preventable. When we lose someone to suicide, it is a tragic loss. Who knows what that person could have done with their lives had they been able to live another day. Many mental illnesses are treatable and recovery is very often possible and able to be experienced. Even the most hopeless person can find their way to recovery with enough hard work, effort and hope and a good leap of faith.

So much of our society is scared or uncomfortable talking about suicide and mental health. Suicide IS a scary topic. To find out someone you love is thinking about ending their lives is frightening. Why? Because that’s someone you love and care about. That’s someone you want to see live a happy life and go on to fulfill their dreams and have a positive brightness to the world around them. That’s someone you know–or it’s someone you don’t know. But it’s someone you COULD know if they stay alive, rather than if they wind up dead.

But society gets complicated–with laws, with religion, with the government, with stigma, with treating people as people. Unfortunately, it may be like this for a while. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth putting each and every effort into the world to make it a better, safer place.

Suicide is scary because we have to confront the fact that other people may not be experiencing life the same way we are–or worse, exactly in the same way we are. Suicide is scary because it forces us to face the fact that we cannot and will not be able to control the actions of another person. That IS truly frightening. If we don’t have control, what do we have?

We still have empowerment, the tools of recovery, the positive coping strategies, the warmth love and support of a fellow human being, the ability to listen in a nonjudgmental way.

So you don’t know how to approach someone who is struggling with suicidal ideation? Read up on it. Google it. Search for the answers that are out there. Search for the blogs that talk about it, that shed light onto such a dark and lonely experience. Dare to be open and dare to be willing to learn about it.

Dare to talk about suicide. Dare to talk about mental health issues.

Every time we educate ourselves and those around us, we spread a new ripple into the ripples of the past. Things change by what we DO–or, what we don’t do.

When you feel safe, secure and ready to do so, speak out about suicide and mental health. You may want to tread more carefully online, but if you find something concerning talk to the person about it. They may or may not be willing to talk about it, respect that unless you feel they are truly unsafe in their current state.

 

If joking about suicide is a way for you to express how dire your situation is, I suggest you keep doing it. I also suggest for those around you to learn how to approach you about the subject–by asking you about it abruptly, saying the words “Are you suicidal?”

Talking about it is better than not talking about it.

We lose too many people day by day to the silence wrapped around suicide and mental health issues like a glove. It’s about time we start cutting off the threads of that glove. It’s time we start lighting up our candles and our lighthouses and open our mouths to talk about these important, potentially life or death (or high injury) topics.

People don’t die by talking about suicide. People DO die by not talking about suicide.

 

Sometimes the only way I could communicate my distress was to make a joke about suicide, about wanting to kill myself. More than 90% of people laughed at my joke. Only a small handful ever questioned my sincerity.

Please. If someone is openly (or not so openly but you are noticing signs and symptoms) talking about suicide, ask them if they are suicidal, if they have a plan, if they have intent. And get them the help that they need.

They may be angry with you, but an angry person is better than a dead person. A dead person who, with enough time, could have saved themselves.

 

Remember, someone who is mentally ill, is just that: dealing with a sickness. Just like your common cold, your hepatitis, your cancer. No one chooses to have a mental illness. We don’t go to the grocery store called life and decide to choose to have depression or schizophrenia. It just happens to us-by whatever means. It’s up to us how we deal with it and what responsibility we take a hold of our lives.

Before you say something flippant about suicide-think for a moment who might be listening. Consider the impact of your words, because words ARE powerful. They can both free us and damage us. And we don’t know exactly who may be affected by such syllables.

 

 

Stay safe. ❤ ❤ ❤