Top 5 reasons for (a mini) OD

1. when despair and suicidal ideation are not at full blast and the troubled person may see things might be better tomorrow but sees no way of getting through the day without incurring more damage to his/her sense of well being.

2. when a troubled person in question has narrowly focused intense experience of what triggered his/her emotions, urges, ideations of various kinds, the person could care less about how permanent the damage is going to be on his/her body or life. just need a quick solution to get out of the jam that seems to suck the life out of the troubled person.

3. perfect opportunity: when clearly other coping mechanisms don’t seem to work (ones taught in group and individual therapy), the target action, the self destructive behavior which has never gotten itself taken off the roster comes in as a pinch hitter or a pinch runner if you will (using baseball terminology) to get the aggitated person out of an emotional/psychological/physical jam.

4. for more advanced mental health patients/clients – you know a full blown out od/mis-use of prescribed or over the counter meds would land you back in a psychiatric ward for a few days at the least, if not week or months. and you also know when you come out of the hospital, certainly more time has passed. no one promises you that things are going to be easier now after you put in some days in the hospital. no one makes that promise because fact of the matter is, things get harder before they get better. i don’t just mean there are more difficult obstacles to overcome. but also, whatever is going on, by choosing not to engage in target behavior you are choosing to take on the pain, anxiety and suffering that you were trying to avoid by engaging in self -destructive actions.

5. why should i give up what i have until you show me something better? here are skills i have learned in DBT group to self soothe which engages five senses in a positive way to bring positive feelings to be experienced. and there are also many other ways of reflecting what you are doing either by consciously pushing it away or actively picking up something that is unrelated to the crisis you are having. all good right? perfectly sound. except i’m picturing someone in extreme pain such that inflicting physical pain seems to be a better alternative, so what’s the idea here? walk up to him/her and hand over a soft silky scarf and ask them to touch it, feel it, smell it and see it with some kind of hope or promise of their pain alleviating somewhat?

on any given day, on a good day, sure i might be able to go for a walk, enjoy being in nature blah blah blah. but then on a bad day, fair enough, by practice one hopes to use these skills to feel better even slightly better. land when it doesn’t improve the suffering then what? the patient hasn’t practiced it well enough under less stressful conditions or maybe the skill in question is not one that works for him/her. but something ought to work.

and when all else fails, well, then we’re back to square one. go back to your old ways of coping, i.e., your target behaviors, until you find ones that are not as damaging can replace the target behaviors.

sucks to deal with psychiatric issues!

top five reasons 2008 is going to be great!

1. it’s not 2007! 2007 was a hard year for me. i was in and out of the hospital. i didn’t do well over all. i continued to gain weight. i kept getting triggered by by various things, even while watching the elf!

2. new community? i may take a break from my current church to make new connections. and my church is also getting a new pastor which will be refreshing.

3. romance! i feel ready to date again. i’m hopeful about this. i don’t know why. i just am. and since i have lots of knowledge about what i don’t want, figuring out if the relationship is worth keeping will be a piece of cake. 🙂

4. my niece is turning 4! she’s a little girl now. she’s really thoughtful and just lovely. i’m looking forward to spending more time with her.

5. DBT group – okay. so i’m not totally looking forward to joining a group therapy that is going to be so intensive that it’s going to kick my butt. but i think the work will pay off in the long run. i’ll be able to cope with feelings and impulses better. and hopefully that will translate into fewer hospital visits.

note to self: top five reasons for not killing myself

1. there will be no self/consciousness as i know it. sure enough i believe in an after life (a happy one at that – one with jesus). but will “life” after death be of the same kind as life as i know it? i don’t think so. (and this is a bad thing?)

2. people will have to tell my nieces and nephews that they used to have an aunt who loved them alot! i mean a lot! and my family members (especially my siblings) and my friends would be heart-broken. (but would they prefer a living aunt/sister/daughter/friend who is suffering immensely from depression?)

3. family reputation (especially that of my mom and dad) will be ruined. (i see no way out of this one.)

4. if i should fail in killing myself i will once again end up in the ER then in the psych ward for only god knows how long. and my doctors might decide to do ECT on me, what is left of me anyway. (the best deterrent for not killing myself if there ever was one)

5. i can’t think of the fifth reason…maybe god would be disappointed? (i don’t really believe that god would be disappointed. i mean, isn’t god permitting me and apostle paul with the thorn on his side and all to suffer?)

no you didn’t! top five comments my clueless mom and dad made about me in the past 10 days

1. who’s the parent?

my dad told my younger sister that she better marry me off or make me lose weight!

2. as if!

i said to my dad, how can you write a book on how to be wealthy (happy) when your own daughter has made so many trips to the hospital? my dad told me to read the book.

then i said to my mom, how can you help strangers as a psychologist when you can’t even understand your own daughter who has depression? my mom said, depression is not my specialty.

when i asked them both if they have read even one book on depression on my account my dad said, depression is basic knowledge.

yeah, whatever (my response).

3. psych ward vs new otani hotel in tokyo

when my dad found out how much each intake to the hospital costs he said, that’s why i’m not worried when you’re in the hospital. staying at the hospital is cheaper than staying at new otani hotel (where we stayed when we were in tokyo) and because the hospital even feeds you.

4. silver lining

my dad said to me, i’m hoping that when you get over your struggles, that you can write a book on happiness and help others.

okay maybe this one doesn’t sound so bad out of context. maybe you had to be there. it would be okay that my dad made this comment if he made even one comment about how difficult it might be for me to live. and the fact is that this comment and the comment above are the only acknowledgement my dad has made about my hospital visits and my depression. he just doesn’t get it!!!

5. duh???

my sister made the comment (in response to something i did or something my mom said) that it’s more important for me to be alive (meaning not kill myself) than it is for me to not smoke. my mom responded by saying, i wish she would quit smoking at least.

ok, so between having a daughter who is living but smokes and having a dead daughter, she would choose the second option if it means i won’t be smoking anymore?

top five new year’s resolutions

i’m determined to do the following during the year of 2008!!!

1.  lose about 60 pounds/30 kgs.  i gained a lot of weight since my last depression episode.  i know that at least one of my medicines are facilitating weight gain.  i’ve been exercising three time a week for the past six months.  i’m going to try to go to the gym 4 time a week during the new year. 

2.  by the end of january i want to quit smoking for good.  i don’t know if i can.  but i’m sure going to try. 

3.  i want to finish my program in theology by the end of spring semester.  i think i want to write a thesis on nothingness in order to fulfill graduation requirements. 

4.  i want to come off of effexor completely.

5. there shall be no 10th hospital visit!

that’s all for now.  🙂