Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mental Illness

Mental illness is a very broad topic, and yet the more people I talk to, the more I see that it exists in many families. That is why I decided to write about it. It's something that is not openly talked about, yet the psychological effects on a family can be devastating. I know this because of experiences within my own family.

I do not claim to take the place of a psychiatrist, (whose job is assessing a patient and providing medication.) I cannot diagnose, treat or provide services rendered by a certified social worker. I have worked in various nursing homes and hospital settings as a social worker and saw what it can do to a family unit. My opinions and advice come from my heart, life experiences, course studies, and interactions with professional colleagues.

The road of a person who has a mental illness is a very long one. To even get a correct diagnosis can be exhausting. That is because, some of the characteristics overlap from one disease to the next. Is the person bi-polar, manic depressive, clinically depressed, have anxiety disorder, mood swings, or are they schizophrenic?

It is very important to go to someone who is professional, has experience and knowledge in the field, and who you can feel comfortable with. Getting the correct diagnosis is key. After that, if medication is needed, a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or pharmacologist can provide you with medication.

I need to stress the fact that the family, and the person experiencing the pain are NOT alone. There are support groups to help the family cope and avoid the feeling of isolation There is one organization called the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) that can give a family resources and tools to deal with the numerous problems that occur. It can be easily found on the computer or getting the telephone number from directory assistance.

I think that there is a feeling of shame when someone is diagnosed. The person and their family are embarrassed, afraid, and angry; all at the same time. This is why support from others is so important. When someone is diagnosed with heart disease and needs medication, people view it differently. We all need to change the way we look at these illnesses, and the only way to do this, is to talk about it openly.

I hope that I have cleared up some of the misconceptions and wish you health and well being. I will write more about shame in my next blog. I believe that anyone can get through this process with professional support, understanding, and guidance.

With love & support


Monday, July 18, 2011

Talk To Deb: Weight

Talk To Deb: Weight: "I believe that weight gain or loss, for most people is a mental thing. When I'm stressed, it's easy to see me at the refrigerator door looki..."


I believe that weight gain or loss, for most people is a mental thing. When I'm stressed, it's easy to see me at the refrigerator door looking for something sweet. Am I hungry? NO...but it would be nice to taste something good!

Emotional eating is tied up with your self esteem. You are craving something, but it's not food. It can be love, acceptance, or a myriad of issues. But, it's Not about Food!

So, we need to dig deeper than that. It's a need for something more...we don't feel filled up for some reason. The real issues are harder to deal with than eating something for a temporary fix. Our emotions are connected to how we behave. If our emotions are out of whack, we eat or sometimes stop eating.

Starving yourself and not eating is another form of self expression. It's covering up feelings of insecurity, feeling less than someone else, or not deserving of food, or other pleasant things. We all need to work hard at looking at ourselves and examining what we see in the mirror. We need to face ourselves and knock down our barriers, to be clear of who we are. The reality is that most of us sell ourselves short, and don't see how beautiful and unique we really are. Let's look in the mirror and see our specialness...We all need to see beyond what a mirror might see and turn inward for the answers.

Suddenly Stressed

I woke up on this Monday morning, and felt very good. I even got on the treadmill and did 35 minutes at mostly a 4.0 pace. This is an accomplishment, mostly because I haven't exercised in months. I used to do 5 miles a day for awhile. I got stressed and tired and stopped. It was like I saw a STOP sign and I put the brakes on.

I was doing laundry, making my bed, and all those things that seem to always need attention, at least on a weekly basis. Then the telephone rang and my step mom told me something that I didn't want to hear. She said that the doctor who was treating my Dad for cleaning his diabetic wounds, decided that my Dad's foot should be amputated.

All of a sudden my throat started to close up, and I started feeling sick. One moment can change everything, and yet we live like we have forever. I guess we do that to stay sane. Anyway, needless to say; I was upset...very upset.

At this point I need to explain my father's condition. He is 80 years old, has diabetes, a shunt in his head, heart disease, and many other medical issues. He is in a nursing home and is in bed most of the time. When he gets moved by a ho yer lift, and put in a geriatric chair, he lays there, unable to feed or dress himself. He is dependent on those around him to fill his every need.

He responds to certain things and recognizes me when I see him. I thank g-d for that, but he has no quality of life.

Now a surgeon steps in and feels his leg needs amputation! He must be kidding me. My Dad has no quality of life now, and they want to put him through surgery...I don't think so! I feel that many doctors operate when they don't have to. I remember when I worked in a proprietary hospital and a surgeon wanted to operate on a 88 year old women because she had the beginning stages of breast cancer. The family refused, and rightfully so. Why operate on an elderly person is it's not going to improve their life. There is one answer to the question...Money.

This got me very upset. I don't want to put my father through anymore surgeries. He has had enough of them. He is not in any pain now, and is comfortable. I refuse to make his life any worse than it has been.

The morals of this story is you must speak up when you feel something is not being done right. Another moral is life can change on a dime, so appreciate those you have; good or bad. The last one is how people respond to stress. For me, my throat closes up, I get TMJ, or my back goes out. I think we all have physical ailments that act up when we are stressed.

In closing, I want to thank you for listening, and I hope we can all can understand how pressure can affect our physical bodies and our mental outlook. I found that I needed to absorb everything first, and then make sense of it. Writing this has helped me, and I thank you for listening.


Talking to you, from TalktoDeb

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Future

Our future is a blank slate; which we have the key. If you think about it, our future is ours to make. No matter how many mistakes we make, how many hurts we have, we have the future to do what we want with. It's a great way to look at life, and a bit scary to. We are responsible for what we create in our future. We can make changes, so that our future looks nothing like our past. Basically, we can transform our future to something totally different from what we knew.

It gives us the opportunity to make changes...What changes can you make that can have a positive effect on your future?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today is the Day for Action

Have you been thinking about writing a book, traveling somewhere, or applying for a new job? Whatever it is that you want to do; just take the first step toward doing it. It doesn't have to be perfect, or timed exactly right. If you just take some action, you will have started the whole process. Once you begin, you will get more comfortable doing it, and it will become easier.

Sometimes we hold ourselves back from trying something we always wanted to do. What could happen? The world won't end if you take a chance on yourself. Just do it, plan it, or arrange for it to happen!

Once you do, you will feel so good about it. We all have fears that need to be overcome, so why put it off? Make that telephone call you have needed to make, write a couple of pages in your book, or send your resumes out to different places, and you'll be so glad you did.

Is there anything that you want to do and you keep saying that the time isn't right? Go do it!
Taking action always makes us feel so much better!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Live Your Best Life

How can we fully enjoy our life? We have to be engaged in it and commited to our personal growth. What does that mean, you may ask? It means you have to give a damn about yourself, your relationships, and your life. If you are not ain't happening.

How do we commit? As the years go by, I find myself more concerned about my health, who I choose as friends, what I have in common with the people I surround myself with, and in giving more to myself. More of what? More of everything, if it's pleasurable. (and that includes more vanilla ice cream and more colored sprinkles!)

I know now that time is fleeting, and I don't want to waste it on anything I don't enjoy. The years are passing so quickly now; and I know that we only have limited time, so why not choose to enjoy yourself? This means making an effort to go somewhere because you know you'll have fun!

The one good thing about getting older is that you give yourself permission to be, do what you want, when you want to. You know that this isn't a dress rehearsal, so why not live, laugh, or even cry if you feel it.

How do you live your best life? You do it by letting go of the should haves, would haves, cannot, and will not, and do what you really want to do. Taking action is key to living your best life. If it doesn't work can change it.

So in this stage of my life, I will try new things, do old things that I enjoy, (my husband comes to mind) and find what's meaningful to me. I will discover, create, and post things I think about on this stay tuned...there is more of this good stuff to come!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Getting Away

We all need to take some time for ourselves. It's not an easy task. Our minds resist it. We think of all the reasons why we can't, shouldn't, or won't. If we can get past that, and give ourselves the permission to get away, we see how much we needed it. It's literally a break from our routine. As much as we love what we do each day, a break can give us perspective.

Getting away can help us answer questions, that have been unanswered. It can provide an opportunity to get to hear ourselves think, breathe, and be. It's a needed opportunity to get a different glimpse of our partner, children, or significant other. (crazy name for almost a spouse!)

So, in conclusion, take that break, time away, and change up your routine. It might be what you have secretly needed, and didn't give yourself the room to do. I highly recommend it! Short or long, it's necessary to give yourself the time you need.