Saturday, May 28, 2005

Dissolving stigma - page 128

"Are you embarrassed by your diagnosis?"

I was ashamed of my diagnosis until I began to see that others had the same symptoms as me!

Now I transcend my "label" and I am no longer neurotic about my "psychotic features". Anger can be treated and diminished. Anger must be vented and sublimated. Deep breathing and shouting obcenities in private helps me. That way I don't turn it inward on myself only to produce more symtoms later. Anger is expressed and shame is defeated. Anger management is a reality therapy for me.

What do you do for anger?

Dave :>)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Kathleen Crowley - chapter dissolving stigma

Page 121 of The Power of Procovery:

"Over time, consumers begin internalizing expectations of not making progress or not achieving the same things in life as their peers".

Maybe we can not achieve the same as our peers but we can acheive different successes than those peers.

I will never have the American dream of a wife a house a two car garage with our two cars and our kids but I may achieve the rich harvest of having lived a happy and joyful life of peace and freedom not having to be obligated to a church or the responsibility of children. I'm rich with all my friends who are also happy and joyful people not fretting or worrying about all the burdens of parenthood or house upkeep or mortgage expenses. My heart is truly free from false expectations. The matter just becomes the ability to see the other 'happy' side of the coin!

Peace and joy,

Dave :>)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My procovery

Dear viewer:

I have been doing my own watered down version of procovery for a while. I just never realized it. My procovery "takes a licking but keeps on ticking". This I say because when something goes wrong I just get down and unfocused. Sometimes my effort stalls while I try to understand why I failed and just what happened to me. I ask did I do something wrong or did I just get attacked? Was I verbally assaulted? Sometimes I am thoroughly stunned for awhile. But then later I see what overwhelmed me and I pick up the broken pieces and put them back together and my procovery goes on. Kathleen Crowley has verbalized to me what I have been trying - very weakly - for a long time. Now I have a word for my "rescueing and ministry" and it is Kathleen's word: Procovery!

My hero Spong said: "Wholeness for everyone is required before any individual can be whole.."

LOOK OUT everyone because I want to be whole!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

To Brighten your DAY!!

Here's a bright red and yellow tulip I photographed at the Missouri Botanical Garden, just the other day.
1k-tulip-7481 Originally uploaded by creativity+.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

PROCOVERY - Dissolving Stigma

On page 16, of The Power of Procovery, Kathleen Crowley writes:

"There is a great deal of talk about stigma, meaning negative judgements and discrimination by others. But the most powerful and destructive stigma of all is inner stigma. " (from the Power of Procovery, copyright 2000, used with permission of the author)

Those words strike me as being so very true. So often, we blame others for attaching negative labels and meanings to mental disorder. We think, "If only THEY would think more positively of us, things would be better." It takes only a moment of reflection to realize what a powerless, victimized approach that is.

Do you realize that people with a mental disorder are about the LAST group to "come out of the closet"? Alcoholics have done it. Gays and Lesbians have done it. We seem so ashamed, as if there were something "wrong" with us.

The starting point, quite certainly, is our views, concepts, and feelings about ourselves. Other people have simply been "reflecting" what we see in ourselves. If we see someone looking forlorn, we assume he's sad. If we see someone who looks ashamed of what they are, we think there's something shameful about them.

Once we become comfortable, even proud of who we are, we will flash those feelings like a lighthouse to all around us. Then, when they've come to know and respect us, we can share about our disorder comfortably.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Humor - for the kid inside you

Three somewhat hard-of-hearing old ladies were outside talking. The first one said "Windy, isn't it?" The second replied, "No, it's Thursdy". The third one said, "So am I, let's go have a cup of tea!"

Q: Do you know of a fish that has two knees?
A: Yes, the Tuny fish!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Misouri Medicaid Basics

My friend Beth sent me a link to a wonderfully clear and concise description of Missouri Medicaid: Click on the Title above that contains the link. On the right-hand side click on the word PDF under "Misouri Medicaid Basics". You will need Adobe acrobat to view this file. You can download Adobe Acrobat at:
Missouri Medicaid distribution
(Click on image for a larger view)

Source: Missouri Foundation for Health

Friday, May 13, 2005

Part of naming 100 things that make me happy.

6) Snuggling with my wife.
7) Talking to a good Friend.
8) Taking photos
9) Lying on the grass on a warm, breezy day
10) Having hands and feet
11) Having eyes and ears
12) wiggling my toes in mud
13) watching a sensuous sunset
14) traveling – Period
15) becoming more self-aware
16) gaining insights into how people function
17) singing and playing my guitar
18) making music with others
19) singing with a good choir
20) listening to almost any kind of music
21) the sound of a brook burbling
22) watching a blue morpho butterfly fly past me
23) seeing a child’s eyes light up with delight
24) seeing someone be pleasantly surprised
25) looking at my sweetheart’s face (yes, that’s my wife).

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Peanutty Checks The Weather Forecast

Partly cloudy, with a slight chance of mice. Just a photo to brighten your day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Missouri budget 2006 nears completion.

EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA! On May 5th, the Governor's Medicaid cuts won out in committee! That means Medicaid benefits are almost certain to be cut.
This is very bad news for people relying on Medicaid in Missouri. Medicaid is the program that pays for medication and in-home care for people with the least income. Medicaid is the health program that serves the most poor and needy of the state's children, disabled, and aged.
Click on the title for a link to the Missouri division of budget and planning . Of special interest is the HB-10 Mental health budget on the right of that webpage. Thanks to someone using her "noodle" for this tip!

Over 90,000 people will loose their medical benefits. Let's look at what that means: (and according to one friend, Molly, she knows of a case exactly like this) It means many people with a mental disorder will not be able to afford their medication. Some pills cost as much as $8.00 per pill per day, or nearly $3,000 a year. Now let's say that a person who has been cut goes off medication, because their Medicaid got cut. They were doing OK under medication. With no medication, in a psychotic state, they go and rob a convenience store. Now they are in prison, costing the state $30,000 per year in funds (plus court costs). Over 10 years that works out to $300,000 for the unmedicated/imprisoned version. The cost out of jail or institution is only $30,000 for the person who had Medicaid to stabilize his mental disorder. Looks to me like society is worse off, and the State of Missouri just got $270,000 deeper in debt. So first we de-institutionalize people, then we give them medical assistance, then we take Medicaid away, then they can be re-institutionalized. Only this time, it's not a mental hospital, it could be a prison.

Sometimes budget cuts look good short term, but have terrible consequences long-term.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

HUMOR - comic relief is welcome.

I don't want us to get bogged down in too much angst. So, If you've heard any good jokes lately, Email them to me from my Profile page. Here's my first attempt (you'll see why you should mail me some jokes!):

Q: How do you catch a wild rabbit?
A: Make a noise like a carrot

Q: How do you catch a tame rabbit?
A: Tame way.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Depression - in pictures

This picture reminds me of the bleak isolation of Depression. No joy. Little activity, interest or motivation. The world turns rather drab and uninviting. Depression tends to isolate us. We often feel that to be alive is useless, at best.
Window shopper Originally uploaded by av_producer.

Some tips for people with a mental disorder

A mental disorder does not have to end your life! Sure there is a stigma. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. If you are suicidal try taking ACTION (other than hurting yourself). There are many choices other than ruminating about suicide. Assertiveness training is a key to taking action. Affirm your own care and selfworth when you have negative thoughts. Example: If my thought is 'I am not worthy of life' than my affirmation would be 'I am worthy of life'. If my thought is 'I would be better off dead' then my affirmation is 'I would be better off alive'. Assert yourself by making a positive thought into a positive action. Example: 'I would be better off alive' so I will go buy some chocolate to treat myself and make my life better. Make positive choices: [simple things first, complex things later].

  • Buy some chocolate
  • Read a book
  • Watch a ballgame on TV
  • Call a friend
  • Go to the library or a bookstore
  • Go to the cafe or diner for a cup of coffee; treat yourself to a meal
  • Get on the computer and send emails; surf the internet
  • Take a walk; volunteer for people less fortunate; etc.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Steps towards Mental Health


Here's what has worked for me:
  • Assume control and responsibility for the disorder (it's a disorder, like diabetes, not an illness). You will likely live with it your whole life.
  • Get a TEAM together: friends, partner, parents, a GOOD psychiatrist, and also a therapist. You are the COACH of that team, not the football.
  • Be zealous about taking the medication prescribed for you. It's a neuro-chemical disorder, and can be minimized with the right medicines.
  • Participate in self-help groups. Peers understand better than anyone what you are going through. One organization that does this nationwide is the DBSA (depression and bipolar support alliance)
  • Have hope! It has taken me 4 years to go from 6 months a year of severe depression to 2 months a year of moderate depression. It CAN be done!
  • Read all you can get your hands on about your disorder, whether it's panic attacks, attention deficit disorder, depression, bipolar, schizo-affective, or anything else. Knowledge and understanding are your allies.
  • There are now magazines for many disorders: BP magazine (not British Petroleum, Bipolar, silly).

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Humor - How my Depression cured my Panic Attacks

I used to have anxiety attacks, and get completely panicky and scared I was going to die. Then, later, I started having depression. Funny thing is, my depression cured my anxiety attacks, because the panic attacks were fueled by the fear of dying. Once I was depressed I didn't care if I died or NOT, so I stopped having the panic attacks.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Being passionate about anything is grand.

Watching TV (or drinking for that matter) is not a bad thing in and of itself. But almost anything done to the point that it dominates my live requires some close attention. Why am I doing it? There’s usually an unmet NEED. Often I use TV (or food, or computers) as a DRUG to numb myself from what’s going on. But trying to get myself to change is like trying to rip an old, crusty bone out the jaws of a dog. It’s much easier to throw down a juicy steak (e.g. an inspiring activity). Then the dog will DROP the bone, and go for the steak. What I mean is, I’m finding wonderful things to do that I can be passionate about, and I’m devoting less and less time to watch TV. Without really trying, the less valuable things drop away, as long as my focus is on wonderful things.