Daily Archives: December 9, 2017

Thank you, David Susman PhD

Thank you, clinical psychologist and mental health advocate David Susman PhD, for steadfastly supporting fellow mental health advocates and sharing science-based information and resources at DavidSusman.com. Congratulations on three years as a mental health blogger. Dr. Susman recently shared how…

When Therapy Isn’t Therapeutic

Woke in the middle of the night with racing thoughts again. The sleeping pills don’t do it, be it melatonin, vistoril, benadryl…My anxiety level, since my last appointment with doc nurse, has soared to a level that haunts my sleep. Therapy, therapy, therapy, it just keeps stampeding my brain. The fact that I explained why I am so reluctant to go to the only place that takes my insurance and her blatant dismissal of it has me irate and feeling bad about myself. If my mental healthcare professional dismisses me so easily, what hope do I have of finding another therapist that will take me seriously and do more good than harm?

Round and round my mind goes like a hamster on a wheel. A hamster hopped up on meth and cocaine.

I am pondering going to the counseling place and telling them the doc nurse said I need to be counseled so here I am, just don’t count on me opening up to anyone. Since the shift in mental health care from simply venting and learning to process shifted to the cognitive behavioral crap, I’ve found counseling a waste of my time.Having my quirks labeled (Oooh, I talked about vampires during a session and I had pink hair, I am sooo schizotypal!) or hey, I was manic and agitated so I must have histrionic personality disorder…Let us not forget symptoms of bipolar meaning to one counselor that I am DEFINITELY borderline when the therapist before her unequivocally said I am NOT.

How is any of this helpful to me? It’s confusing and it’s detrimental to my self esteem. It’s akin to telling me to go hang out with people who will insult me and invalidate my every feeling and calling it helpful.

Am I just stubborn? Prideful? Unwilling to make an effort?

I guess since my past experiences were so utterly discouraging, maybe I am wary of making the effort again. Especially since the counseling center merged with a big hospital and they’re a ‘behavioral’ health center. Maybe I need to stop drinking when the stress mounts. Maybe I shouldn’t lie so much, but hey, if I tell people I had a bad mental health day instead of lying that I had the flu, they get uneasy and hostile because mental illness isn’t real. And isn’t this behavioral center basically saying the same? That no matter our legit diagnoses of imbalance, we’re all just distorting facts and need to ‘retrain’ our brains to behave in a manner that is current with psych trends?

Honestly, last thing I want is to be labeled non compliant. I also have zero desire to expose myself, again, to an experience that proves far more negative and confusing than positive and helpful.

Because the minute I admit I’ve had bad experiences or disagree with a diagosis or a counselor’s tecnique, bam, I’m gonna get slapped with yet another personality disorder, paranoid, anti social, likely both. Why would anyone want to do that?

Best I can tell at this moment, my biggest problems are A, lack of self confidence, which in part stems from both bipolar disorder and the very treatment I’m receiving for it, and also, a defiant child who physically attacks me. Neither of which have a thing to do with my personality quirks. I will never be changing my rebellious nature, not now that I have grown enough to know I am doing it for the right reasons and not just idly to my own detriment. I am not gonna stop dyeing my hair funky colors or stop wearing black and skulls. I’m not going to stop being introverted (which,btw, there was talk about turning *that* trait into a disorder), I am not going to become a social butterfly. I have zero desire to be any of those things. I want help with what is troubling me but the entire therapy and intake process is to label me with all these personality flaws rather than help specifically with what is causing the most trouble. My green and black hair is hardly a culprit here, even if others find it freakish. (It’s about to become bright red in a few days cos, hey, I can.)

I am so envious when I read others’ posts about how helpful therapy is for them. It’s been so long for me. Probably since the 90’s when the counseling place was on the other side of town and I saw Roni, then Paul. After that, it was all downhill. I liked Denise and Debbie okay, but that last one who changed my entire diagnosis after 3 intake sessions…she did far more harm than good and it’s not simply me disagreeing with her. The therapist who left thus requiring me to see Yoyo said I was not borderline, I just had traits and many could be tied to bipolar cycles.

If their own people can’t agree on anything….I fail to see how they are going to help me. They’ve already done enough damage, pardon me if I’m not anxious for them to do more. And honestly, if I go in there with an attitude and I truly feel I cannot be open there as R’s daughter works there so she’d have access to all my session notes and she’s known for telling her daddy about clients….

Being placed in this hellish position angers me, dismays me, and frustrates me.Which is probably why not even sleeping pills can keep me down at night. I’m being haunted with the threat of being labeled non compliant if I don’t get therapy yet the only therapy available is more damaging to my psyche than no therapy.

Talk about a catch 22 from hell.


You Can Survive The Shits

Well, life is not going my way.  But somehow I am still okay.  Yay!!

Ok, I’m done rhyming.  The job is still shit.  Most of the time I have nothing to do, so I sit there and look at my screens.  It’s kind of bullshit, because they know I have nothing to do, but I still have to look busy, for appearances’ sake.  The boss will come up and ask what I’m doing, and I make something up.  It’s really ridiculous.  But this boss has a bit of a short fuse, and I think he could impulsively say “pack your stuff, you’re not needed here,” and that would be the end of my collecting paychecks.  And, even though this is torture to me to sit there like an asshole, I need to collect the paychecks until I can find something else.

Speaking of finding something else, it is slow going.  The one thing that looked really promising has fizzled.  I had one phone interview, and I was told I’d get a call for a second interview, and it never happened.  I emailed the guy and never heard back.  It would have been a really good position for me.  (Fuck!)  I am anxious and worried about finding another job.  I’m hoping to stick out the current job until January 12th, because I should be able to save a decent amount of money, which would give me a little time to try to find the right job for me.  I know I don’t want another contract job.  One of the things I have been reflecting on is my need for security, and a contract job gives me no security.  A permanent job at least gives me the illusion of security (they could still fire me at any time).

To make the week even harder, my favorite nephew, four years old, has been in the hospital, in terrible pain.  This has had me so sad I’ve been constantly on the verge of tears.  Thankfully, he’s doing better this weekend.

Finally as you know I went down on my dose of Wellbutrin XL to 300 mg.  Aside from being a little more teary, my mood seems to be holding up.  I am actually surprised that I am doing as well as I am.  I hear myself trying to make this job situation into a catastrophe, and I have to talk myself down, like, yes, you can go to work, no, it’s not terrible, it’s just boring, you can stand boring, you can do this for a paycheck, don’t count the days left, take it one day at a time, and so forth.  But I see what my brain does to sabotage me and I’m trying to counter it with some grown-up, calm talk.  I hope the grown-up in me prevails and I don’t do something impulsive, like say “fuck this shit, I quit”, which would be stupid and not serve me well.  Fighting impulses like that is a big part of my Bipolar illness.

Today, rather than laying around all day, which is what I usually do on a Saturday, I’m going to a Tiny House Holiday Village.  I love the idea of Tiny Houses because in theory you could pay cash for one and then you’d have your living situation solved but in practice where would I put all my shit?  But anyway I am looking forward to seeing the tiny houses with my wacky friend Chris aka Crispy Fries.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I almost forgot to tell you!!!  I QUIT SMOKING!!!!!  Tomorrow will be two weeks.  It hasn’t been that bad, just at certain moments I really want a cigarette, but then I chew a piece of Nicorette.  I think Nicorette gives me the hiccups, but whatever.  It beats the shit out of a heart attack, or cancer.

Hope you all had a good week, let me know how you are!  Peaches to yer Mama!


Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Smoking, Bipolar and Work, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar Lack Of Impulse Control, Psychology, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Blogging, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Penny Positive #37

From An Optimist’s Calendar


An Intense, Nerve-racking, But Ultimately Fulfilling Book Talk!

Park Hall Community Center, December 7th, 2017 Dear Friends, Last night was my big book signing/educational presentation – it’s the last one I’m doing this year. I had done a ton of publicity in advance of my talk—I arranged and gave 3 local newspaper interviews, I posted flyers all over the valley, I used social media, … Continue reading An Intense, Nerve-racking, But Ultimately Fulfilling Book Talk!