anxiety, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, life, mental health, mental health blog, mental illness, mental illness blog, self isolating, social anxiety

Self-Isolating in Mental Illness, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Invisible Illness

Invisible suffering..Invisible illness…Invisible pain…Chronic illness….Mental suffering…Domestic abuse…Mental abuse..Narcissistic Victim Abuse Syndrome…PTSD…Chronic Pain…

These are things that concern me because the people who are enduring these things are not getting enough support. The lack of people supporting  you…or even believing you …causes retraumatization.

There is the initial trauma of the illness, pain, or abuse and then there is a whole new kind of painful suffering caused by what happens next.

People do not see your suffering and so..

…they do not believe you at all..

…they do not believe that it is that bad..

…they think you can just “shake it off”…

…they do not believe that you cannot do the things that they can easily do.

…they think you are lazy…

…they think you are a big baby…

..they  think you should have gotten better by now..

…they forget that you “still have” that invisible illness…

…they get tired of hearing the same things…

..they lose patience with you..

…you do not want to tell people..

…you lose friends…

..You self isolate…

Yes, that is often what ends up happening.  That is one of the reasons that people with invisible illness and invisible suffering turn to the world of blogging.  We have to be able to talk and to connect with someone.

The only people who really understand are people who have been through it or are going through it.

The isolating process can begin with other people giving up on you, getting tired of you, or not wanting to listen to you anymore. You lose one ot two friends and family members. The you are afraid to lose the rest of them. 

You do not actively go out and seek new people because you fear the pain of rejection from them. “Why should you put yourself through this again”….is what your brain is saying.

The isolating can begin with ourselves, because it is too much effort or too painful to interact with other people, especially if they do not believe or understand what we are going through.

The retraumatization can be severe. When people just simply do not believe you or think you are exaggerating, that is one of the worst things you can go through.

Then, of course,  there are people who are predators, and they prey on the weak ones, who are desperate for understanding and companionship. If you have been set up and abused, because of your invisible condition, then it is very difficult to trust people again…or to trust your own judgement of who is safe and who is not.

We can also be retraumatized by bad therapists, counselors and insensitive doctors and nurses. I have heard horror stories of what people have gone through at treatment facilities, rehab facilities and emergency rooms. I have also experienced insensitive therapists and healthcare workers.

So where does this leave us? In pain…suffering…in need of human compassion…and isolated…

Some people physically isolate themselves in their homes. Other people build walls up around themselves and self isolate by disconnecting from other humans emotionally.

We can be around people all day long, yet be completely alone.

Some people cannot leave their house or apartment.

Other people just leave the house to go to work, and do necessary errands, and then self isolate themselves in their house, the rest of the time. This would be me…

When you have reached your limit of being traumatized and re-traumatized, then your mammalian instinct of self protection is going to kick in. Your brain wants to protect itself from any more trauma and abuse.

At some point, the world appears to be a dark and dangerous place to interact with people in, when you are suffering from an invisible enemy. No one can see your enemy and therefore it feels like you are fighting alone.

You energy is going into fighting against your invisible illness, mental illness, or trauma from abuse. You do not have a whole lot of energy left for reaching out to people who might end up hurting you. You do not have a lot of energy to explain and re-explain to people about your invisible illness.

You do not have energy to make new friends, knowing that at some point you have to explain to them about your invisible enemy. There is no guarantee they will understand you or stick around once they find out, anyway.

Your energy is focused on survival. Your little bit of energy that is left, is focused on just getting through one day at a time. Relationships take time and energy and after a while it can seem like there simply is not enough energy to go around.

I do not have any simple answer for this problem. I wanted to at least validate the people who are nodding their heads up and down, as they are reading this.

You are not alone, in being alone. You may be alone in your house at this moment, feeling isolated and different than everyone else. But there are other people who feel the same way.

The isolating is a normal reaction to being traumatized, suffering mental wounds and suffering pain of any kind. It is an instinct to survive be separating from potential danger.

It is also an instinct to preserve whatever energy is left, in order to use to heal and survive.

If there is any approach to this problem that could work, it would lie in the matter of balance. We have to constantly balance the various aspects of our lives. 

We cannot have the same amount of energy every day. Some days we feel better than other days. On our better days, we can try to reach out a little bit. Go somewhere with people or call someone on the phone. Text someone or send and email. Whatever is in your comfort zone for that particular day.

There will be days when interacting with others is impossible. But some days we might be able to reach out, just a little bit. Do what you can and take advantage of any days that are kind of good.

Who you should reach out to and talk to, depends on what is good for you. Some of you have friends that you can all on the phone. Some people would be able to go out to a place where there are strangers and interact a little bit with them.

On good days, I can go to places like a museum or a farmers market and interact with people that I see.

Another way to get some compassionate human interaction, is to do some volunteer work. Nursing homes will often let you come and visit. You may have to set things up, to be a volunteer ahead of time. The people you visit at places like this, will not judge you in the same ways that you are afraid of your friends or family judging you.

Animals are also great. Pets are good companions. As you know, if you read my blog, I get great joy and comfort from my bunny. I also like to go to places with a animals.  There is a place called Sun High Orchard, near my house. They have bunnies and sheep that you can pet and feed.

Sometimes you can go to speciality stores where the people will talk with you. Some places like that would be: comic book stores, craft stores, tattoo parlors, hobby shops and book stores. Any place where people gather, that have a similar interest.

It is okay. Sometimes we need to self isolate for a while to heal our brains. But if the isolation is becoming a problem for you, then do a little bit of interacting on the good days and just rest in bed on the harder days. Balance is the key to most problems in life.

We are supportive of each other here and WordPress has been a blessing for me. I love hearing from the people that follow my blog and I consider the interactions meaningful.

Blessings to all,

Annie

acoa, adult children of alcoholics, avoidant personality disorder, health, life, mental disorders, mental health, mental illness, social anxiety, social anxiety disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder Similarities

Avoidant Personality Disorder

 “afflicting persons when they display a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation”  Wikipedia

This part of avoidant personality is associated with social anxiety disorder. Many people that have APD also have social anxiety disorder. There are feelings of fear of being embarrassed and “not fitting in” due to inability to understand and respond correctly to social cues.

So, some people with APD will avoid social situations in order not to feel the extreme anxiety associated with certain types of social interaction. Different people are different about what kinds of social situations trigger their anxiety. Some people with social anxiety disorder, like myself, are very good at one on one interactions, even if they are with strangers.

Avoidant Personality Disorder causes avoidance of more things than just social interaction. Also some people with APD are not afraid of social situations at all. It is other things that provoke anxiety attacks.

APD will cause people to have anxiety attacks related to things that are threatening to them. Anything that makes them feel powerless, inadequate and unable to handle the task, will be avoided. The problem that occurs is that avoiding things that need to get done will sometimes cause more problems for the APD sufferer.

These are things that end up happening, when someone with APD avoids doing things that are important to get done.

1. Fear of opening envelopes that may contain bills, notifications from insurance, Notifications from authorities, etc.

Bills become delinquent. Fees are added on and make the bills higher. Credit is adversely affected. Accounts are closed. Business relations are injured.

More anxiety is created because these things are the very things that the person was afraid of coming true in the first place. They do not want to see money they owe that they cannot afford to pay. They do not want to feel scolded by whatever it says inside the envelope.

2, Avoiding answering and making phone calls.

There can be an extreme phobic fear of making answering the phone. There is a fear of having a panic attack, if you answer the phone. You miss getting certain information that may be about things you need to take care of’

Making phone calls can be impossible. People with social anxiety disorder do not feel that they know how to handle conversations on the phone. Again, different people are different and will avoid different kinds of calls.

Some people become incapacitated to make any phone calls at all. Email can be a good coping skill for this. I often use email and text to interact with family members and certain other people. I am perfectly comfortable talking to my best friend / boyfriend on the phone. I always answer the phone when I see it is him. So for me, it is not a fear of the phone, but a fear of being dominated by people who are aggressive or more assertive than myself.

I wrote a post about being assertive for the kindness blog. I was researching this topic in order to help myself to become better with this. I am currently working on improving assertiveness skills. I have trouble remembering what I want to say and how to say it, once someone become very dominating in the conversation.

I want to get to the point where I can keep my thoughts together in order to stand up for myself. especially if I am being accused of anything, or if the person is doing something that violates my rights. If you are struggling with the same things then this post may be helpful to you.

3. Avoiding dealing with bills and credit companies. Over time the avoidance makes situations worse and the anxiety continues. The longer things go unattended , the longer the anxiety continues and increases. This makes it harder and harder to take any action.

The first thing that happens is that we are alerted to a problem that requires action on our part. The net thing that happens is that our brains go into a mental anxiety loop. Obsessive running thoughts are so severe when we think about taking action, that we become paralyzed to do anything. We put it off, in order to reduce the feeling id anxiety, self criticism. inadequacy, worthlessness and depression.

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand with both Avoidant Personality Disorder and Social Anxiety disorder. We know that other people can do these things much better and easier than we can. We are aware that something is wrong with us, that we cannot take care of ourselves the way other people can take care of themselves

3. Lack of Self Care.

In the end there is a lack of taking care of yourself, when you have these disorders. Other people take care of things that need to be taken care of  They have learned how to “parent themselves” better than we have.

Mostly these kinds of disorders come out of abuse and trauma in our pasts. Most likely our childhood lacked the proper support and guidance to learn how to “parent ourselves” as adults

Somehow we need to learn how to prioritize ourselves and our needs that have to be taken care of. Survivors of abuse can often fall into prioritizing the needs of others to the point of neglecting our own needs.

One of our needs is to learn how to parent ourselves, stand up for ourselves. We need to learn how to feel deserving of things to go in out favor. Being assertive and taking care of things, that invove dealing with other people is a skill. It is a skill we have trouble with but that needs to be tended to.

These mental disorders are associated with real neurological differences between our brains and the brains of other people. These changes occurred over time, from repetitive behaviors. We may have developed behaviors as a child, that were needed to survive.

Once behaviors are repeated over and over, they become wired into our brains, To override the feeling of anxiety at making a phone call, we have to change our behavior slowly over time. Find ways to be able to make that call, even if it means having a friend hold your hand while you make the call yourself.

We can rewire our brains. I am still learning how but I believe it can be done.

But in the mean time, I am writing this, instead of working on the taxes.

Ok. I am getting back to that now

Annie

and avoidance of social interaction.[2] Individuals afflicted with the disorder tend to describe themselves as ill at ease, anxious, lonely, and generally feel unwanted and isolated from others.[3]

People with avoidant personality disorder often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. Avoidant personality disorder is usually first noticed in early adulthood. Childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection are both associated with an increased risk for the development of AvPD.[4]

abnormal psychology, anxiety, depression, health, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, neurology, psychology, social anxiety

Mental Illness caused by Psychological Damage and Abuse

* this post is in honor of Silvergirl who is a wonderful wounded healer and has an excellent blog on wordpress*

People with mental illness often have psychological damage from being subject to “Situations that Must never Be”.  This is my phrase for any situation which is causing log term damage to a person in any physical or mental way.

These situations that must never be, are many and come in many forms. Any situation of mental abuse or physical abuse of a person should not be. The sad fact is that these situations occur every day. People are suffering in relationships like these as we speak. You might be one of them.

You have chosen to click on this post because the title of it struck a nerve with you. Most likely you have been abused in your lifetime. It may have been during your childhood and / or it may have been as an adult. Many people that were abused as children , end up in abusive relationships as adults.

The psychological damage from living in abuse is extensive and can cause depression, severe anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. It is also common that people with other mental disorders such as depersonalization disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder , social anxiety and  insomnia have experienced abuse during their lifetimes.

As people with mental illness, we sometimes make choices that are harmful to us that other people would not make. We are so used to things being abnormal and painful that we tend to not notice the red flags of an abusive relationship until it is too late.

The mental illness causes us to end up in codependent , manipulative, abusive relationships. On the flip side, these relationships that cause severe mental suffering break our poor brains and we end up with mental illness that we may not have already had.

Which one comes first? The mental illness, the psychological damage, the abusive relationships? It is hard for us to tell. If you think back through your past , if you can remember, then you will most likely identify abuse against your mental health. 

Situations of trauma cause PTSD. The people who tend to be the most affected are the ones who have had some kind of mental trauma in their past.

There are cases of severe trauma (like military horrors,)  that can cause PTSD , even of the person had a “normal” past. But a lot of the people who endure ptsd that never seems to go away, had some form of abuse prior to that trauma.

It is sometimes difficult to identify abuse from our past/ For some people it is glaringly obvious and for others it has been blocked out by their own brain. The brain wants to protect itself from further trauma and will black out memories and deny us access to them.

People with psychological damage often have more than 1 or 2 mental disorders. Some of us have so many that we feel kind of stupid “showing off our list” to people.

It feels like it will be disbelieved to write out the list such as…

…OCD, insomnia, depersonalization disorder, PTSD,  generalized anxiety disorder, domestic abuse victim, depression,  ACOA, eating disorder,  codependence,  social anxiety and derealization disorder, and avoidant personality disorder.

 See? …Now I feel weird.  My list  looks crazy to me… Really I look at that list and wonder how the hell I get through the day at all…barely by the skin of my teeth sometimes… that is …when i am able to get out of bed…

You are not alone if your list looks as long as mine does. My mental abuse goes back into childhood and I also had abuse as an adult victim of domestic abuse.  Things that occur in life that other people could “suck it up” about and get through, send me into severe post traumatic stress.

anxiety, anxiety attack, blogging, depression, health, insomnia, life, mental disorders, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, ocd, social anxiety, suicude

Mental Illness Bloggers are in Touch with their Vulnerability and Humanity

Blogs about mental illness are some of the most captivating blogs that I love to read. I am interested in the topics they cover but that is not the only reason why they speak to me.

Bloggers that have struggled with mental illness have had to learn to be in touch with their humanity. In order to write your own mental illness, you have to dive deep into the darkest corners of your mind. The descriptions that they write are very vivid and full of human depth. There is a sense of soul searching that draws you into the posts.

I am not just counting the blogs that identify themselves as having mental illness. There are also some bloggers that suffer from OCD, depression, social anxiety and severe mental turmoil that chose not to identify their blog as such. However the content of their posts has very vivid descriptions of the mental torment they experience.

The level of depth to the mental illness blogs makes me feel in touch with my own vulnerability and humanity.

People with mental illness are used to being vulnerable. I am not saying that we enjoy it, but that we have had no choice but to accept it.

There is a strong ability to identify and describe the human condition, amongst mental illness bloggers.

There is also support between the bloggers to deal with the most painful aspects of being human.

We have had to endure such tremendous trials on a day to day basis that we are keenly in touch with human mental and emotional suffering. The reality of our daily suffering is part of our lives. People with mental illness have to deal with extreme levels of emotion every single day.

Our brains cause us to suffer on a regular basis, in ways that most people do not understand.

Other people experience severe emotional suffering when someone they love dies or is severely ill. They experience loss when they lose someone they love to a break up or to death.

People experience fear when they are in a situation of immediate danger, like a car accident of a fire. They feel fear over losing a job and feelings of depression over having to settle for things in life to be less that they hoped for.

People with mental illness experience the extreme levels of depression, severe anxiety, loneliness, fear and trauma on a daily basis.

 We experience the fear of being triggered into any of those severe emotional states. Our brains are a constant threat to our emotional well being and our ability to function.

 The phrase “there is nothing to fear but fear itself” is not a comforting one to us.

Life is always a risk to us. Every decision we make and everything we attempt to do, has the potential to utterly destroy our mental state and in some cases… our lives.

Many of us are in constant fear of interacting with other people due to stigma about mental illness.  We  also fear our inability to interact with people in a “normal” and acceptable way.

Many social activities that other people take for granite are potentially hazardous to us either in a physical way or in a mental way.

We can be easily triggered in a matter of seconds into a completely different mental state.

Since we go through the extremes of human emotion so often, we are very in tune with the human condition. We are very aware that we are vulnerable. We are constantly subject to our own mental vulnerability.

All people are vulnerable but they do not realize it in the same way  that   people with mental illness do. The brain is a very fragile thing. It can become traumatized and damaged. Everyone is in danger of having their brain organization becoming disrupted. People take for granite that their brains will always function in the same way they are currently functioning.

The mental illness bloggers talk of fear and anxiety in a very human and real way. We are in touch with the human condition of fear. We can write descriptively about fear very well.

We are also very in touch with depression and sadness. Mental illness bloggers can write very descriptive, artistically worded pictures of sadness and emptiness, that other people cannot access.

Sadness is a very human state. The vulnerability to depression , emptiness and loneliness makes us very in touch with our human side. Being in touch with the humanity in ourselves allows us to perceive life and ourselves in a way that is different from other people.

We have to feel things in a very extreme way. This is what our brains do… They force us to feel… often times..  too much.

If we were a painting, it would have very black blacks and very red reds. The colors would be very dark in places and very bright in others. The grays are harder to come by, unless you are currently on a medication cocktail that will allow for some calm colors for a while.. that is…until you build up a tolerance or …for some reason known to no one…your brain chemistry just suddenly decides that the particular med combination no longer will work.

The struggle to find the right medications, self medicate, and reach out to any form of relief that will hold you, is a constant and daily struggle.

We know what is feels like to be constantly reaching out for help, only to find that real help is hard to come by.  Mental illness bloggers are very in tune with their need for other people. They are able to reach out with their writing to others who are suffering.

Although I am sorry for the suffering of my fellow bloggers, I treasure your blogs. I love to read posts and feel the humanity in them.

Mental illness bloggers have the unique ability to be in touch with the tormented human brain and to write mental pain, in a way that others can feel.

The humanity of the mental illness bloggers staggers the reader’s mind and stimulates the senses. When I read the posts, I feel connected with emotions in myself. I feel validated about my own mental suffering. I feel a kinship with not just people with mental illness, but with humanity.

Blessing to all,

Annie

mental health, mental illness, social anxiety

Social Anxiety / Roots Planted Long Ago that Manifest at Work

Having social anxiety is often rooted in past traumatic experiences. I would venture to say that a lot of sufferers of social anxiety had bad experiences in school with social interaction. It is also likely that the childhood and teenage social interactions in the home were very stressful.

Some of us were bullied in school, to various extents. We had trouble identifying who to trust and what we should and should not say to people. There were people at the school who would take certain things you said and destroy your reputation with them.

I see this same behavior with some adult women. They will act like they are your friend and concerned for you. They ask you a personal question like “who takes care of your children while you are at work.”  I had this happen one time.

I told her my children were home alone but that they were not small children, The oldest was 15 at the time and perfectly capable of babysitting a 10 year old.  It did not take long before women were coming up to me at work and telling me that I should leave my children home alone because anything could happen to them, etc. The part about them being older children was left out of the rumor and it ended up that I left little kids alone.

So what happens the next time that a “concerned” female co-worker wants to ask me questions? I am vague and I come up with an excuse to get the hell away from them. Then she tells the other women that I am antisocial and rude because I will not answer personal questions.

In school, I had trouble dissecting the social etiquette rules and did not really fit into any particular “click” , nor did I really want to. The “click” people were “reputation destroyers”. Knowing how it felt to be criticized and humiliated, I personally, had no desire to belong to a group that inflicted such torment on others.

The same clicks exist between women in the workplace. I feel just as  uncomfortable now, as I did in junior high school. There is one particular nurse at work that  begins whispering her conversation when I come into the office. She and her “click” friends will talk to each other and act as if I am invisible.

In high school, we social anxiety people,  floated on the outskirts of the groups and never really fit in. I have wondered before how much of our identity , had to do with the identity we had at home.

I was an outsider at home. I was the one who always questioned things that I did not think were right. Such as the time my mother rummaged through my step-father’s office to steal his credit cards and cash, while he was away on business.

There was no reason for this.  My mother had a great paying job and my step father bought her anything she wanted.

My mother’s  friend was in on it, so I was outnumbered. I felt like the annoying nerdy girl because they were so mad that I would not go along with them, even help them.  (Would you?) I was the uncool girl and felt like I did with the “clicks” at school.

So I easily fell into the outsider role at school,  because that was my usual role at home. My father had daughters with my step mother .When I lived there I felt like the visitor , more than one of the entire family.

I never had the self confidence to take a power social position at school or at work. Even when I try to take a leadership position, some female undermines me. I recently was beginning to develop an activities program for the dementia residents.

This did not interfere with my regular work. I had to be in the resident lounge to monitor them for safety. I simply began to come up with art and music activities for them to do while I was with them. The other workers just sit there and have the residents just sit there.

I was watching them but I was setting up and helping them to do crafts and other things, which made them safer anyway. They were less bored and less likely to try to get up and fall.

But someone reported me that I was neglecting my job description because I was doing the activities. Even though this makes no sense, I was “talked to”  by the same supervisor  whe had been encouraging me to do the activities in the first place. She had even offered to buy supplies for me. But as soon as the status quo of the co-worker group in disrupted by non-conformity, I get blasted.

So, yes I have horrible social anxiety at work. It was getting a little better when I was doing what I loved and I was being allowed to be creative. But now I am worse than before. I always do something that is “different” than the accepted boring way.

People that are different are bound to have social anxiety because people are mean to us. They undermine us at school, at work and even in the family unit. My anxiety about making a mistake at work, is not a phobia as much as it is just an inevitable reality.

The problem is that the social anxiety about going to work gets so bad that I can barely get out the door of my house. I get so nervous talking to people there, especially if there are any other people around. I especially hate talking to anyone if we are in the office. I am afraid of saying or doing something that will be misinterpreted.

health, mental health, mental illness, social anxiety

Social Anxiety , Dealing with the Pharmacy and other Businesses

They frequently make mistakes at the pharmacy.

It has  happened to me from time to time over the years. The latest mistake is that last night when I went to pay for my prescriptions, I was tole $100.00 for gabapentin with the good rx discount card. I know that I paid more like $40 the last time.

I asked the pharmacist to double check that he had run the Good RX card.  He said it was already in the system and he did not need to run it. I explained to him that they usually have to run it for each prescription and that the last time I picked this up, it was $60 less.

He would not go to the computer to run it. He gave me a long convoluted story about how some stores have the Good rx preferred brands and some do not. I told him I thought that Gabapentin was a generic brand for Neurontin. Gabapentin is the brand cvs has and it is the same brand that Good RX covers.

But no, he would not check it. So I left the store and was going to have the script transferred to Walmart. But then I rethought it. First I went home and checked on the computer what good rx said the price was at cvs. It was  $17.00 for 30 pills. That should not be $100 for 90 pills. And they usually do not multiply by 3 anyway. It is usually less.

What do you do when something like this happens to you?

Especially if you have social anxiety, it is difficult  to impossible to persist at the moment. That’s ok.

There are lots of people that work at the pharmacy desk and one person can not work all the shifts. Just call back or stop by when a different person is there. If you explain politely that you did not understand why the price had changed and that you think the other person may have not run the card, it is ok.

The person you are talking to is not the one who made the mistake. So as long as you do not generalize and say CVS made the mistake or This Counter made a mistake it is ok.

They will probably check for you. If there is any way to boost the new person’s self esteem then you will be more likely to get their cooperation.

Say something like “I think the other person was new. I always see you run the card each time. Maybe he did not know how.”

That way you make her feel like the smart one. She will not feel any threat from you . Instead of complaining just ask her for her help in finding a solution.

Sometimes people start by accusing the person at the desk. Once you accuse someone , even if the form of “This Store” is awful, you will lose their cooperation.  The person you are with is not the same person you dealt with last night. They are also not “CVS”.

So, I called and asked for help and explained that I thought maybe he did not know how to run the card last night. She went to the computer and ran the card and tada! The meds are $40.00 not $100.00

Now of course, you and I know that the man last night knew damn well how to run the card and was just being stubborn. But if you tell the lady that, then she will feel threatened by you. You are complaining to her about her co-worker. How is she to know that you won’t try to get her in trouble as well?

The approach of ” The other person tried but I need someone more knowledgeable” is much less threatening to anyone. You were patient about the last worker and you are boosting her self esteem by telling her that you have confidence that she will know what to do, even though the other guy did not.

Yes it is a tiny white lie about how frustrated you may feel about the other guy. But your feelings of frustration with him and that you may have wanted to strangle him last night, really are not her business and more importantly will not help your situation.

If the first person is not helpful, there is always another shift in 8 or 10 hours. I do the same thing with the bank, the cable company and other places I call. If the first person makes me feel like I am going to have a breakdown from anxiety then I will politely hang up. Then I will call back to get another person.

With really big companies, you can call back right away because the same person never answers for you twice.I have called back right away and gotten a more cooperative person.

Particularly for people with social anxiety, this tip may be helpful.

Always check everything at the pharmacy. I have gotten wrong medications. Once the pharmacist changed the medication at their whim because they did not know why my dr gave me the brand name and not the generic.

When I asked the pharmacist if this generic brand was safe for pregnancy, he turned green. Lucky for me, I checked in the bag and saw it was not the same med as my dr prescribed.

Another time, more recently, the pharmacist did not put any refills on the bottle label. There were 6 refills on the paper script. The bottle just said “refills require authorization”. I asked him and he said that medication was controlled and could not have refills.

I had already done my research online when the government changed the scheduled for certain drugs. This one did require me to go to my dr to get the initial script but refills were allowed.

Anyway, we should all be healthy and not need the meds. But as long as we do, please check your bottle for type, quantity in the bottle, mg, and refills. Good luck. Hope this helps

Namaste,

Annie

anxiety, christmas funny, disfunctional family, family, funny blog, funny Christmas blog, funny family story, funny holiday blog, holiday funny, holiday story, mental health, mental illness, social anxiety, top 10 list, top 10 list funny, top 10 list holiday, top ten list

Top Ten Things Women Hate About the Holidays – Annie’s Top Ten Lists

10. You spend 40 hours of work to afford the gifts, 20 hours shopping for them, 4 hours wrapping them and they are all torn open in less than 15 minutes.

9. Your mother in law will come to visit for longer than usual.

8. She will re-organize your kitchen, in spite of your pleas not to, and you cannot find the things you need to make the holiday dinner.

7. Little children will leave toys that roll, right at the top of the stairs.

6. All those family members that you have “been too busy to get back to” suddenly realize you are off from work.

5. The men monopolize the tv, with football and yell things a lot.

4. Other women comment on your weight, one way or another. (Why do they do this? Who the hell asked them?)

3. When women end up at your house, before you have gotten any make-up on, they say “Oh, Annie you really can pull off that “natural look” can’t you? I just can’t do it myself. But you can manage to pull it off.

2. You have to tell your 16 year old to pull up her shirt to cover her cleavage better, before Grandma gets there for dinner. Then your 12 year walks into dinner late, with her shirt even lower.

1. Aunt Mary eats your hidden stash of emergency chocolate or Uncle Bob drinks all of your hidden stash of wine coolers which you bought specifically to get through the day.

anxiety, anxiety attack, depression, mental health, mental illness, social anxiety

Depression Phase Bipolar Disorder

My mania has run away from home. I have been stuck in this depressed state for weeks. I can usually shake it off. I always end up being able to get into the crazy “I can save everyone. I have the power. So many great ideas phase.” But where has it gone ??

Reward for my manic phase. I have to find it. I can’t stay here in this depressed state. It is too painful to do anything. I want my manic phase back. Where did she go?

I want to save the world and help everyone. I want my my intelligence and clarity of mind back. This is all low self-esteem and social terror. I feel inept socially and in fear of looking stupid at work.

Hopefully this will pass soon. I miss the mania and feeling smart and feeling empowered. Depression disempowers us.

arthritis, chronic pain, disfunctional families, social anxiety, Uncategorized

Arthritis, Chronic Pain and Social Anxiety

Arthritis is a terribly thing. The pain from moderate and advanced arthritis is impossible to convey to people.

Everything is hard. Driving is hard, especially turning my neck around to back the car up. Holding the passenger seat with my right arm hurts my shoulder. Turning my head and neck to the right to see behind me is excruciating. Turning my head to the left to see over my shoulder to change lanes is very painful.

The extended family I live with insists on parking the cars in such a way that i have to back up, re-angle, back up again, several times. For them to park differently would be easy for them. To get understanding and compassion is impossible.

Arthritis, bulging discs, herniated discs, stenosis, some scoliosis. All of it painful. All of it invisible. I can get help and sympathy from some coworkers but usually people that have pain issues themselves.

It is hard to live with chronic pain but what is harder is the invisibility of it.

They don’t believe the level of pain. It is invisible. They get annoyed when you ask them to drive easy with you in the car. They think you are picking on their driving or trying to be bossy and controlling.

Anyone who knows me well would know I am not bossy or controlling. So why would I suddenly change personalities and become that way in the car?

They don’t think. It is too much trouble for them. They say their back hurts too. Their neck hurts too. They think that their stiff neck in the morning is the same as the pain of severe arthritis. But if they had this level of pain they would not be twisting , turning and bending so easily , the way they do.

They think I have a low pain tolerance. They think I am exaggerating the level of pain and difficulty of movement.

The worst part of chronic pain is the interaction with other people. It is the mental torment that becomes a constant pain in your heart from not being understood. From not being shown the compassion that you should be.

The chronic pain turns into frustration getting through the day. It begins to create a new problem which is social anxiety. There becomes a fear of being forced into painful activities by people who do not understand and will not take no for an answer.

It turns into fear and anxiety about how to get through the day. I worry starting in the morning about how the errand, chores, work and social interactions are going to be painful, difficult or impossible.

I worry about how to tell people “no” when they ask me to do something i can’t do without being perceived as rude. I get anxiety over how to communicate with people. They don’t take time to listen and understand. They want what they want.

Then I feel as though i would rather avoid potentially painful situations, rather try to get people to understand. I will find excuses to avoid family functions and other social situations because of the chronic pain.

I doubt that I am the only one who feels this way. I hope that this post was effective in validating people.

abnormal psychology, addictive personality, anorexia, anxiety, body image, eating disorder, empowerment, family, gender issues, mental disorders, mental health, mental health disorders, mental illness, obsessive compulsive disorder, self-esteem, social anxiety, suicidal ideations, suicidal thoughts, suicude

Body Image and Eating Disorders, Young Women and the Media – Let’s Be Proactive for Our Girls

Body Image issues seem to be part of life for women and girls these days. The magazines still show these anorexic looking models. They should know better than to only show the super thin models.

There are plenty of perfectly beautiful girls and women that are a size 9 , size 12 and size 16 and more.

Magazines create the illusion that the perfect body image is thin. It has been proven that girls look at these models as a role model for body image.

There has been an increase in eating disorders over the last several decades (research by Pyle, Halvorson, Neuman and Mitchell). Research shows that there are 10 times the amount of articles and advertisements promoting weight loss in women’s magazines as compared to men’s.

In a study by Irving in 1990, there was evidence that women exposed to pictures of thin models experienced a drop in self esteem and a dissatisfaction with their body weight.

Young women ( and some young men) are becoming ill and some are dying due to the irresponsibility of the media to show the truth. Internalization of a thin ideal weight has a direct correlation with body dissatisfaction and consequently eating disorders.

The young girls see the super skinny, computer enhanced images and think this is normal. They wonder what is wrong with them and think they need to starve themselves to be beautiful.

The results of this are malnutrition, inhibited development, slower cognitive function, lower test scores, severe anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, suicide and other co-morbidities. Anorexia can cause muscle tissue loss, heart failure and brain damage.

There becomes a tremendous sense of lack of control of their bodies which turns into mental illnesses. In their attempt to match these super skinnies, they end up losing their beautiful figure and becoming a malnourished person who has a lower resistance to infection and disease.

Is this how we want things to continue?

The media needs to take some responsibility and be held accountable for the unrealistic body image they are portraying.

Be vigilant with your daughters, sisters, friends and students. Point out the pictures of the skinny, anorexic looking models and tell your them that it is unhealthy and not the norm. The average size of adult women in the US is size 12, not size 2.

The girls think that men only like skinny women. This is not true. Men love women of all shapes and sizes. Men have individual preferences. Let the girls know that there are lots of men who love curvy women.
Protect our young women with awareness!
God Bless,
Namaste,
Annie