Category Archives: Mental Health

When PMS & ADHD Pair Up!

When PMS & ADHD pair up, people nearby had better make themselves scarce. Go run errands, work on an outdoor project, visit the library . . . just get away from the woman with the fiery mood!

I say this because I am that woman some months. Right now, in fact, I’m dealing with this pair of clashing hormonal and mental hurricanes. I’ve told my husband some terribly awful things. I’ve alienated my step child. I’ve thrown a glass and have angrily folded/put away three large loads of laundry. That was all in the last hour. Lord help me. Lord help them.

I’m not saying there weren’t reasons why I responded negatively but it shouldn’t have been to the degree I reacted. I know these things intellectually but can’t physically stop the feelings – and have been trying to stay away from loved ones so I don’t hurt them further.

I’ve only known I had ADHD for a few months, and this is the first month the disorder has clashed with a bout of PMS. It feels awful. Like I have no control of my emotions or actions.

I’ll spend the day in my room with a book and ipad. And probably some cookies. Hopefully the cats don’t make me mad . . . Only Kidding!

Lord help us all ~

Midlife Shift. Age 52. 


My mind and body are shifting tremendously during the heights of premenopause. Below are random thoughts about my experience. Some of it is exciting. Other parts are frightening. Feels like my core or my “home base” inside is not quite stable. It’s an unsettling situation. I ride the waves daily, sometimes buried by large waves. On good days, though, interesting new personality changes. Curious new abilities. A song will send me instantly to grief and tears after losing a love. He liked the song but said radios ran it every 10 minutes.  We laughed each time it played. Good but very bittersweet memories. I keep many secrets inside. Ones I’ve shared with no one. They get heavy sometimes. Yet, I don’t share my most personal and treasured memories. Nobody would “get it” anyway. Im an only child and am used to being alone with myself. I enjoy quiet rooms with no TV. Music is important to my mood. I am glad I have a kind and thoughtful partner to grow old with. If PMS is a toddler’s puzzle. Peri menopausal symptoms are a college calculus textbook. Much more intense & advanced material. Upon awakening every morning, I make a cup of strong Community coffee add Splenda and flavored Coffee Mate. I sip, watch the news, and pet the cats. I enjoy that routine. Small joys make life better. It’s bedtime, and I am very drowsy as I write. Earbuds channel favorite songs. I think I’ll come out on the other end of this time of life – in one piece 

How it Feels to be Suicidal

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I have come back from the brink of suicide. I have visited that place several times. During the depression years, before I changed my life circumstances and also found a med that helped, I felt mostly heaviness in my chest and was hopeless, tired, and apathetic. During those 6 years, I “knew” I had no future. I couldn’t hold down a job for longer than 12 months, so I’d be on government aid and not enough of it to actually live a semi-comfortable existence. Severe depression is crippling and scary. I was often afraid I would never find my real self again. Was she in there somewhere or had this helpless slug of a woman taken over completely?

“When I was suicidal, it was because every single day was literally the worst day of my life.”                                                                                                                                Thoughtcatalog.com (13 Heart-Ripping Testimonies of How it Feels to be Suicidal)

I married at 19, and it lasted 25 years. We had two fantastic children who are now successes in their careers and family lives. For reasons that are saved for another blog, I ran away from home and husband at age 44. I ran wild for almost a year before my mind slowed and reality appeared. I was without a degree, training for an occupation, and had no previous work (to speak of) to complete a decent resume. Employers want to hire 20-somethings or 30-somethings. I was past prime, and it showed by the employment rejections. Depression became worse over each year until I came very, very close to speeding my car off of a high , multi-level interstate system. I drove, cried, and considered my options for type of demise. However, there was a tiny flicker of light still within me because before I chose the moment I could jump in front of an 18-wheel truck traveling 70 mph, I turned the steering wheel and exited the freeway. It was my gynecologist’s office exit. I knew Sally would try to help me. She was always empathetic and helpful. It worked, and the emergency feeling lowered to  just plain depression masked with humor. Always crack a joke and no one will know you hurt inside, right?

(In same article on Thoughtblog.com, the following testimonial was given)                                “I understand that feeling of utter hopelessness that can so easily consume a life. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for most of my life. My mother suffers from bipolar disorder. As a result, both of us have struggled with suicidal tendencies. It’s hard to go through life when your own brain has turned against you. Getting out of bed is a struggle. Taking a shower is a struggle. Looking in the mirror is a struggle. Ah, I wish I didn’t understand. Honestly, for a long time I thought that suicide was the nicest thing I could do for myself. I knew it was selfish to put my loved ones through, but at the same time it was so goddamn difficult to stay alive just for the well-being of others. I could easily rationalize it and say that they were better off without me. God, depression is a bitch. It has taken so much intense therapy and self-reflection and, yes, even medication for me to realize that giving myself a chance to heal was the kindest thing I could do for myself. So I guess I’m trying to say that I empathize with suicide victims. When your own mind betrays you it’s hard to get back up again.”

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Today, 8 1/2 years from the time I ran away from home for a different life, I’m on an antidepressant, remarried to a kind man, keep 4 precious kitties, and enjoy my family and friends again. I live in a house again and not a tiny apartment or noisy duplex. I get to decorate this home and even have the desire to do so. I now drive a 2 year old car instead of a 15 years old one with no sun visors or key fob. We’re going to Hawaii next month and to New York in December. Life did a 180 for me, and it happened quickly! Before meeting my current husband, I had zero hope of gaining the strength to break up with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, moving out of an undesirable location, or having a regular income. Then, a new friend helped me leave the codependent relationship I was in, and I soon (and unexpectedly) found love. Life is settled. The depression isn’t crippling and no more suicidal thoughts. But guess who has moved into my home?! Perimenopause! Ugh. I’m dealing with up and down mood swings – like way down. I still take an antidepressant and keep Xanax on hand for anxiety or insomnia. I’m very thankful that summer is at its end. Not so many hot flashes!

If you find yourself in a depressed state that doesn’t fully leave and that often (or always) confines you to your house or bed, have hope. I’ve been there and stayed there for years. However, you can find the strength to change your life situation – even if you were like me and saw NO way to do that. It just took someone who took charge and helped me jump a few hurdles to make changes for the better. My one take-away from this blog is this: don’t try to kill yourself. It turns out that “they” are correct . . . nothing lasts forever, and you will be happy again. Yes, it’s an every day climb but it’s very worth it. It’s your very existence we’re talking about, right?

I’m here if you need to talk or have questions. Leave a comment, as well. Love to you!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-8255

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Women in Midlife Crisis – Suicide

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I read an interesting and disturbing article today. It seems women in midlife (ages 45-64) are taking their own lives 24% more often than in 1999. That is a very large jump – in the wrong direction. 

I was also unaware that suicide is among the top ten leading causes of death for women.

Reasons? A few were suggested. Aging Baby Boomers are a large portion of these women – even from adolescence. Possibly, it is cultural with youth being celebrated and aging “getting a bad rap.” Social isolation is another explanation for possible midlife female suicides. Spouses die or divorce. Kids are grown with families of their own . . . busy and often living in other cities. A study showed that women who had strong social supports were less likely to have a premature death – by threefold. Another reason given was finances. With a lagging economy came more deaths. Finally, easy access to medications in the home didn’t help depressed situations. Pain killers can kill more than muscle or joint pain.

I’ve personally experienced seven years of Major Depressive Disorder and have medicated, changed my life (gotten rid of most stress), and introduced new friendships and activities to my days. I now have come through times of suicidal ideation and have a firmer grip on my emotions and behavior. Perimenopause isn’t helping much, though. Erratic hormones have turned me into a Jekyll and Hyde but I don’t give up, and I don’t give in.

We women of middle age are strong. We’re resourceful and wise enough to know how to change our circumstances. Fear will get in the way, though, if we aren’t constantly aware of our goals, and it will stall or even stop our progress toward mental and general health.

Remember Rosie the Riveter from the 1940s? We can do it!

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Started a New Book . . . Quick Intro!

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Hello blog followers and friends! I’ve begun a new book. Will you read this brief intro and tell me your thoughts? If I “lost” you anywhere, etc. Thanks!

(This material copyright March 15,2016)

I stood at the precipice’s ledge – between me and whatever lies out there. My bare toes lined the craggy rock edge on which I stood. Such a place to be, present between two realities. Will I wake up somewhere else or just die and never again know what if feels like to inhale, filling my lungs with cold, moist air? Never again go to bed with an aching heart – a heart that never behaved properly anyway. It loved those who didn’t deserve it and was hurt by those closest to me. I teetered on the rock, almost falling before I was ready. Was I ready? Was living one more minute worth it? I’d only feel the pain from the fall for a short while but living was torturous every moment of every day.

I was ready to jump, eyes focused on my footing then on the expanse of sky in front of me – a cloudless, blue day. Quickly fighting with losing my balance, and righting my stance, I inhaled deeply, knees bent. Then, I propelled my body from the rock. Rushing wind pushed my hair back and gave resistance to my descent. I thought the fall would be faster, easier but time crept and gravity eased its grip on me.  Scents of mountain air, fresh water running below, and evergreen trees invaded my nostrils. It was a wondrous mix of smells but fear – realizing I’d actually done this – kept me from lingering on the beauty. Then, time sped, between hitting a large, jagged piece of rock sticking out from the mountain – first with my left shoulder then the opposite hip. Searing pain enveloped me. Raw, opened flesh and broken bones diverted any attention I may have given anything else. The whip of pine needles on my injured arm from passing saplings stung and gave final insult. Before I lost all thought, I wished I had held on . . . tried to live longer.

The wind continued to rush past my then unconscious body. Face downward I fell silently, as though no other thing in the world existed but my beating heart and faint respirations. Down, down, face into a rocky creek bed. The impact of my landing presented a unique and dull thump on the earth. Heavy, pushing out what air was left in the lungs. Breaking facial bones, skull. Gray matter as gelatin, neurons firing to communicate. Pulsing without answer. Firing without returns. There was no life. No time. No second thoughts. No second chances.

My question, though, was answered. There was existence beyond an earthly one, and I stood staring into it.

Why Creative People Sometimes Make No Sense

 

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This is a complete re-blog from the link below:

http://www.matthewschuler.co/why-creative-people-sometimes-make-no-sense/

I’ve been having an insightful shuffle through Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People. Mihaly is a seminal professor of Psychology and Management, and is the Founding Co-Director of the Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont. He writes:

“I have devoted 30 years of research to how creative people live and work, to make more understandable the mysterious process by which they come up with new ideas and new things. If I had to express in one word what makes their personalities different from others, it’s complexity. They show tendencies of thought and action that in most people are segregated. They contain contradictory extremes; instead of being an individual, each of them is a multitude.”

Nine out of the ten people in me strongly agree with that statement. As someone paid to be creative, I sometimes feel kaleidoscopic in my views or opinions, and that “multitude” of expressions sometimes confuses those around me. Why does that happen? My thoughts make cohesive sense to me, yet others sometimes feel that I am contradicting myself or switching positions. What is wrong with me?

Mihaly describes 9 contradictory traits that are frequently present in creative people:

01

Most creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but are often quiet and at rest. They can work long hours at great concentration.

02

Most creative people tend to be smart and naive at the same time. “It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure, and that most creativity workshops try to enhance.”

03

Most creative people combine both playfulness and productivity, which can sometimes mean both responsibility and irresponsibility. “Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not.” Usually this perseverance occurs at the expense of other responsibilities, or other people.

04

Most creative people alternate fluently between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality. In both art and science, movement forward involves a leap of imagination, a leap into a world that is different from our present. Interestingly, this visionary imagination works in conjunction with a hyperawareness of reality. Attention to real details allows a creative person to imagine ways to improve them.

05

Most creative people tend to be both introverted and extroverted. Many people tend toward one extreme or the other, but highly creative people are a balance of both simultaneously.

06

Most creative people are genuinely humble and display a strong sense of pride at the same time.

07

Most creative people are both rebellious and conservative. “It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.”

08

Most creative people are very passionate about their work, but remain extremely objective about it as well. They are able to admit when something they have made is not very good.

09

Most creative people’s openness and sensitivity exposes them to a large amount of suffering and pain, but joy and life in the midst of that suffering. “Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities, and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories where the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable.”

Sometimes what appears to be a contradiction on the surface is actually a harmony in disguise. My problem has been primarily one of communication. I am learning to let people know what I am thinking and why, and explaining myself in a way that helps them understand why I am discussing multiple perspectives instead of just cleanly stating my own. At first it might not make sense, but give me/us long enough, and it will.

Photo by Sophia.

Toxins in My Tears – A Poem

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(photo from deviantart.com)

ARTICLEhttp://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/05/29/7-good-reasons-to-cry-the-healing-property-of-tears/

Maybe if I cry hard enough for long enough, I can get rid of ALL of the toxic feelings inside my chest.

Maybe that knot will go away. Just maybe the gnawing will subside.

There are toxins in our tears. Did you know that?

Tears of stress or grief . . . release toxins and bacteria.

I should be clean enough to stop the pain I carry around but it hasn’t happened. How do I cry enough?  I’ve shed more than my share of tears. What IS my share?

So, I fight the inner feeling that makes me feel like there is no beauty in the sun on the autumn lawn or the soft music coming from my laptop.

The fall leaves don’t matter – yellow or red. Used to be my favorite season. Now, I wonder if I’ll see another autumn and realize I don’t really even care.

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I am better today. That was yesterday.

Oh, the difference a day makes.

Denial, Floods, and Small Talk

Denial – the action of declaring something to be untrue

I deny so well that if the behavior were an Olympic sport, I’d have the Gold. Actually, no, we’d all be in the running for the Gold medal.

In this post, I’m wondering why most of us  walk around acting like we are perfectly fine, our world is 100% on track, and nothing is bothering us. We smile and exchange pleasantries but are inside often lonely, hurting, frustrated, confused, or angry. Why can’t we open up more with one another?

 

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“You doing okay these days?”

“Oh, yeah. Great. You?”

“Sure thing. How are the kids?”

 

 

 

 

The older I’ve gotten, the more open and honest I’ve become. It’s liberating yet embarrassing at times – because others don’t share their weaknesses or what’s wrong in their own lives. Leaves me feeling alienated, y’know, or different from the norm? What really “is” the norm?  I admitted to starting on antidepressants again the other day to a friend. She blurted out that she’s on about three! I felt closer to her immediately. The honesty was air-clearing.

Ever feel completely overwhelmed? I did about a month ago (when I got back on antidepressants). I felt like I was drowning in a flood of cold, dirty water but nobody paid attention. I realized I was denying my feelings to those closest to me, trying to make the bad feelings go away. But they didn’t. I reached out for help . . . before my chimney went under. 😉

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So, can we try to reach out to one another more? Share our truths more? I won’t judge you; I promise! I may suggest a counselor but I’d never judge you. 🙂  Let’s stop “pretending” everything is okay and going about our days in denial about how much something may be bothering us or altering our lives. Stop biking in the flood, my friend, and admit there are about two feet of water at your feet! The rest of us will help you dry off and find a canoe.

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Serhiy Tkach, Serial Killer and Rapist of Dead Females

 

 

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(Wikipedia exact wording source) Serhiy Fedorovich Tkach, Ukranianborn September 15, 1952, is a former police criminal investigator, originally from Russia, and a convicted serial killer who claimed to have killed 100 people.

He suffocated girls aged between eight and 18 and performed sexual acts on their bodies after they were dead. Although Tkach admitted his crimes and demanded the death penalty, after a one-year trial, a tribunal sentenced him to life imprisonment for the rape and murder of 36 women over more than two decades.

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Over the years, nine people had been wrongly jailed for some of the murders of which Tkach was later found guilty. One of the men who was wrongly accused killed himself. Another was not released until March 2012.

What kind of mind does these acts? Thinks these things? Lives with himself each day? How do we stop this?

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