Struggling With Dueling Personalities

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As my 18 year old daughter pushes through her second semester in college to become a RN she has come face to face with the fact that there are many psychology and sociology classes to attend. She knows the human brain really fascinates me and she knows I have my own out of the normal box way of thinking, meaning I question everything. Because of my age and personal experiences I tend to have a jaded opinion about my fellow human beings. It makes me hard to talk to at times because I don’t want to talk about “how” I got where I stand today because much of my personal past is still unknown to even the closest people in my life. Simply put, there are things I choose not to discuss, its just the way it is.

Anyway, she had a paper to write about personality disorders versus mental disorders. She didn’t know the “line” between them is often blurred, often confused, often misidentified, and very often a person gets mislabeled. Now, she is familiar with bipolar disorder since her brother struggles daily with it. She had to learn the “disorder” in order to live in peace with her brother in a comfortable manner for both of them. She thought she had this paper nailed until she asked me to review it. Its not that she had it all wrong, because she didn’t. But, because the terms are confusing, it makes the information available confusing. Jokingly, I told her that the specialists who study these and other disorders make it difficult to learn for job security, which is both true and false in every conceivable way. So, I gave her my interpretation, whether it helped or not we will have to see when she gets her grade. Below is how I see it.

Sometimes people confuse two mental disorders, only one of which could be referred to as “common” within the population which is bipolar disorder and then schizophrenia. This confusion has largely resulted from the common use of some of these names in popular media, and as short-hand by people referring to someone who is grappling with a mental health issue. The disorders, however, have little in common other than the fact that many who have them are still stigmatized by society.

Bipolar disorder is a fairly common mental disorder compared with the other two disorders. Bipolar disorder is also well-understood and readily treated by a combination of medications and psychotherapy. It is characterized by alternating moods of mania and depression, both of which usually last weeks or even months in most people who have the disorder. People who are manic have a high energy level and often irrational beliefs about the amount of work they can accomplish in a short amount of time. They sometimes take on a million different projects at once and finish none of them. Some people with mania talk at a faster rate and seem to the people around them to be constantly in motion.

After a manic mood, a person with bipolar disorder will often “crash” into a depressive mood, which is characterized by sadness, lethargy, and by a feeling that there’s not much point in doing anything. Problems with sleep occur during both types of mood. Bipolar disorder affects both men and women equally and can be first diagnosed throughout a person’s life.

Bipolar disorder can be challenging to treat because, while a person will take an antidepressant medication to help alleviate a depressed mood, they are less likely to remain on the medications which help reign in the manic mood. Those medications tend to make a person feel “like a zombie” or “emotionless,” which are feelings most people wouldn’t want to experience. So many people with bipolar disorder find it difficult to maintain treatment while in their manic phase. However, most people with bipolar disorder function relatively well in normal society and manage to cope with their mood swings, even if they don’t always keep on their prescribed medications.

However, schizophrenia is less common than bipolar disorder and is usually first diagnosed in a person’s late teens or early to late 20’s. More men than women receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia, which is characterized by having both hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. Delusions are the belief in something that isn’t true. People who have delusions will continue with their delusions even when shown evidence that contradicts the delusion. That’s because, like hallucinations, delusions are “irrational”, the opposite of logic and reason. Since reason doesn’t apply to someone who has a schizophrenic delusion, arguing with it logically gets a person nowhere.

Schizophrenia is also challenging to treat mainly because people with this disorder don’t function as well in society and have difficulty maintaining the treatment regimen. Such treatment usually involves medications and psychotherapy, but can also involve a day program for people who have more severe or treatment-resistant forms of the disorder.

Because of the nature of the symptoms of schizophrenia, people with this disorder often find it difficult to interact with others, and conduct normal life activities, such as holding down a job. Many people with schizophrenia go off of treatment (sometimes, for instance, because a hallucination may tell them to do so), and end up homeless, without friends or family, and sometimes end their life as a plausible solution.

All people suffer, period. No person wants or needs to be a “lab rat” in the discovery of what ails them mentally. But, society dictates we label and judge others based on our opinions, ignorance, lack of understanding, and the pure lack of compassion. I know what y’all are thinking, and yes I do judge people myself in regards to stupidity and the utter lack of common sense. So, I do live the double standard in many ways, I ride that double edge sword like the evil bitch she is. Its one of many of my personal faults. I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, but in my defense I have read about and studied this topic for many, many years because the subject is very near and dear to me. Nor do I claim that what I have interpreted or formed my own opinion on is dead nuts accurate. As with all things, interpretation is the ultimate devil in the woodpile.

We can learn allot by paying attention and observing our fellow humans, but more often than not we choose to just ignore the people around us. We have become dependent on others to guide us in life for some fucked up reason. However, I do know two doctors, y’all know who you are, who take a different approach to medicine, they look at the person first, not the diagnosis. They take into consideration that we a people with feelings, emotions, and look at alternative ways to treat the various symptoms of life. I appreciate my two friends a great deal, one day I would like to shake the hands of Kris and Rexi because they have taken time out of their lives to include me into their lives. They are both amazing women in my opinion and anyone who has them in their daily lives are truly lucky.

Anyway, in closing, helping my daughter helps me more often than not because it gives me a chance to reevaluate the things I think I know well and opens my mind to the possibilities that there are other options. I get pretty set in my damn ways sometimes but my thirst for knowledge will never be quenched as long as I’m still breathing. My dad once told me, the summer he died, that people prey on the closed mind, they prey because the closed mind is that of a victim, and they begin with the upper hand because they know how defenseless a victim is. Is it true? I still challenge myself to this very day not to be a victim with a closed mind. Do you?

The Web Doctor Told Me I Am Dead

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You wish, but this is not about me nor does it have to do with me except the person I will be talking about just happens to be in my life. Its 3:16 in the morning, yes this morning, and my wife is getting a phone call from her ex-husband, which she promptly ignores because it is 3:16 in the damn morning. Moments later she gets a text from him, “please call me its an emergency!!!!!!!” For the purpose of this true story we will call her ex “Mike” or “Fucktard” which both will refer to him as this person. This is not Mike’s first 3 in the fucking morning life threatening emergency, only one out of thousands in the last 15 years that my wife and I have been married. Now, before we get to deep I need to plant the Mike seed in your brain so you might understand better how this always goes down. You see, Mike is a hypochondriac with a very severe case of anxiety and depression which leads him to believe he has some deadly disease that is killing him or that everyone around him hates him and wants to kill him. I think the later is true in life more often than not. I don’t personally hate him but I do think he is the perfect example of a rectal fucktard, make that the rectal fucktard poster child, Yea, that’s a better way of describing him. The sad thing about Mike is that he has a very successful high six figure income in charge of 90 plus employees and is very well educated with 3 different Masters in accounting, which is good because he is a corporate accountant (CFO) with the company he works for. Poor dumb bastard is one book smart motherfucker but a real fucktard of a person in real life. Oh, and by the way, he thinks of my wife still as his possession and therefore she is at his disposal 24/7/365.

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Anyway, back to his most recent dilemma. By the time my wife calls him back his is all worked up, crying, deliriously blowing things excessively out of proportion. She has him on speaker so I can enjoy, I can’t begin to thank her enough or go back to sleep. Okay, that’s not entirely true, I did doze off a little in the beginning and missed most of his “symptoms” but once I heard death came for him for real this time the fucktard had my full attention. If y’all are asking why he thinks my wife has expert advice, besides the fact he still worships her, its because she is the office manager for an association of doctors that include family practice, mental health, orthopedics, sleep study, and a handful of others I can’t pronounce, so he believes her to be an authority on most things medical. Which is funny, really, because her degree is in people and financial management, not diagnosing illnesses or treating them, but she plays his game, mostly just letting Mike do ALL the talking. She recommends visiting his PCP 80 to 90 times just in this last crisis alone. She never tries to explain or define things to him, she just listens and tries to sooth the soul of this grossly misguided fucktard. I gotta love her patience and I do admire her for it but I am beginning to think its time to go ahead and cut the cord, but she is too nice and way too accommodating. After roughly an hour she calmed him down, soothing the savage beast within the confines if Mike’s skull and then it was over.

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But was it? Is it really over? Not if I have anything to do with it, now its time to play. Around 6 in the morning I went to his house, I knew he would be heading off to work soon, so now it is my turn. With my best drug dealer moves I went up to him carrying a small paper bag I found on the side of the road, minus the beer can now, and told him I had his answer. Just screw everything you ever read, heard, or what has been told to you, I hold the answer in this brown paper bag. There are 4 capsules, take two right now and two after lunch, and all of your problems will disappear. I told him it was very hush hush and not to tell a soul. He agrees and takes the first two capsules. Quietly I whispered to him it was called Fukitol, the best medicine for whatever ails him. He asks if he should tell his doctor later in the day when he goes to his appointment and I told him it would be a good idea so maybe he can get his own prescription. Then I left, watching him drive into the sunrise. Don’t worry, the capsules are from a gag gift, they are filled with that shit they put in Pixie Sticks. So, a sugar rush is all he will get. He calls me later in the morning to thank me because he feels the best he has felt in 25 years. Just goes to show y’all, a little sugar candy goes a long way in the mind of an anxiety filled hypochondriac. Have a nice day, Mike, have fun at your doctors appointment.

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