Psych Patient, MD: From The Beginning

This page introduces the reader to my very first blog. I have been in treatment for major depression and adult ADHD since I was in medical school. My training for a specialty in psychiatry has been interrupted due to several factors that I am still trying to sort out. I began this blog to help people understand and discuss mental health issues, as well as to help me understand myself.

The entries begin with the very first post and move forward in time, hence "from the beginning." This is a non-interactive page. You will not be able to post comments here. These entries are simply for the reading pleasure of the curious.

Who do I think I am?!
2005-05-31 @ 11:02:20 PM

I am a psychiatric patient. Never thought I would be broadcasting that over the Internet. I have been diagnosed with depression and adult ADHD. I take medication daily. I go to individual psychotherapy sessions once a week.

I also have a Ph.D in pharmacology. And I graduated from medical school and completed two of the four years required post-graduate training for a specialty in psychiatry. But I don't have a license to practice medicine. This blog is not intended to give medical advice. Information supplied here is solely my own personal opinion.

I want to break a stereotype. I am not an uneducated homeless person wandering the streets muttering to myself or screaming at the top of my lungs at inanimate objects. I am an internet marketing consultant, leading a quiet life in a studio apartment in NYC. Although I do not fit the commonly held stereotype, neither am I a rarity among psychiatric patients.

This blog is my forum to express my personal opinions on mental health issues. I am firmly committed to mental health advocacy. I want to lend support and encouragement to fellow psychiatric patients. I hope to supply a unique perspective on mental health care that is colored by my experiences both as a patient and as a clinician. Comments are always welcome.

Again, this blog is not meant to substitute for professional advice from a licensed clinician.

Read Comments (7)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-01 06:27:39
Hey Eva!

I just learned something new about you, my friend!

My mother was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic many, many years ago. She's with God now, but it was a very difficult illness to cope with. Even though she didn't live with us (my father had to divorce her when the insurance stopped paying for the sanitariums so she could get more help). He had 6 of us to raise! The whole thing totally tore him apart as nothing he did helped her to get better. I know they loved each other till the day they died. :)

She suffered the trauma of losing her firstborn when he was only 5 (hit by a drunk driver) and that's when she became sick. Of course, 65 years ago they knew almost nothing about the illness and she was exposed to shock treatments which did not help, maybe made it worse. For all those years, she was a guinea pig for any new medicine that came out. I sometimes think that maybe if she hadn't been on so many different drugs all the time, she may have gotten better.

The last 20 years or so, she seemed to stabilize a little but still needed a caretaker. It's such a SAD, cruel disease, IF that's what it really was. It almost seemed like a possession to me when I was small - I guess because of the personalities. She seemed to be someone else most of the time.

Has anyone found anything that works very well for that type of illness or are they still "testing"?

Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-06-01 08:45:27
My good friends. Learned a lot from you two lately and now even more. Guess we were drawn to each other. My brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in his teens. Been pretty much watching out for him ever since. Still nothing that works well. Meds get changed as new ones come out, but it doesn't seem to make much difference. I'm his caregiver, once again, as I have been, for the last 3 years and off and on all my life, as I have been mom to my family since I was 7. As for myself, I too walk a path of quiet desperation with bipolar disorder. We are not rarities, who knows maybe we are the norm. Career has been varied, first taught at the local university and then did applied research in organic chemistry until physical disease brought it all to a screehing halt. Ironic isn't it? Those years when outwardly successful and all seemed well, colleagues and friends never knew my desperation and accepted me as normal. Now, when that disease has devastated me, physically restricting movement and speech, I am abnormal to all but my own children. Life is life, to be lived to the fullest, and I have found that if I take that first step each day, neither the mental nor the physical matters. I am me and that is enough.

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-01 11:21:53
Have you seen the movie "A Beautiful Mind"? Russell Crowe was brilliant in it, and Ron Howard is a sweetheart for bringing the story to the screen. Excellent portrayal of paranoid schizophrenia. Gotta see it!

Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-01 17:15:12
Hey Karen, we learn from each other; I've learned a lot from you, too! No one knows what "normal" is, I don't let the 'experts' tell me. Your heart and soul seem above average to me! :) All those things you go through ... they've made you the person you are today and that's wonderful. We're all souls borrowing these human bodies anyway (such as they are) :) so when we're done with them, we'll go on and meet together on the other side!

Comment posted by sol_trader at 2005-06-01 21:21:57
Wow, Eva! Great Blog! I can see there is potential to help people in what you are doing here, congratulations. I'm not really sure where I fit into this conversation yet, but I have 'Bookmarked' and I will return regularly to read with interest. Gina and Karen, awesome sharing! I am constantly surprised, when having spent time with people, how little you can really know about folks. It brings to mind something that I heard at some seminar one day. I believe there were probably ten thousand people in the conference and the speaker said, "If everyone in the room could give away their biggest problem, what would it be? And if I asked you to write that on a piece of paper and we put all of those problems into a big barrel up here on the stage. Then I would ask each one of you to come up here and take a piece of paper with a new problem. Once you see that other person's problem, you would be kicking and screaming trying to get your own piece of paper back!" ---- We just never know about other people's life experience until they are willing to share it with us! Thank you all for sharing.

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-06-02 17:39:20
Hi Eva! Wow! On April 11th 1989, I checked myself into a treatment centre! I came to the conclusion that alcoholics (not to be confused with clickaholics) need help with mental health. I felt I wasn't like all the others in the program, but realized very shortly how similar we all were. I was more fortunute than others in that I had a good job, loving family with lots of support. I have been blessed with 16 and some years of sobriety!

Everyone needs help at some point. My heart goes out to anyone that is down and out. My wife wants me not to take money when I drive the city bus because there is always someone who needs it more than me. I guess I feel very fortunate that I was able to get help just like how fortunate you are. There are many less fortunate that don't realize or don't want to admit. They are the ones who I feel sorry for.

Great site, Eva.

Comment posted by Palser at 2005-06-04 10:20:20
Hi Eva,

It is with great sadness, yet a warm feeling to express the thought towards your situation. Sometimes we wonder why bad things happen to good people. I know you've been keeping this feeling inside you for sometime, but just remember. Everything that happens has its purpose. Bless.

Thanks for the response
2005-06-02 @ 07:20:05 PM

Thank you so much for the warm response. I was so scared about starting this blog. I was afraid to even discuss the idea with anybody. I really appreciate the encouragement and kind words. And to those of you that shared with me, a very heart-felt thank you. I needed that support. I just can't thank you guys enough.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by tulip at 2005-06-03 15:19:18
Hi Eva, great Blog. I realize it isn't easy to take this step but I think you will help a lot of people by starting your Blog. We have experienced it in the past in our family, we were sad to see that bipolarity was not understood by some family members.

Comment posted by lizklub at 2005-06-16 09:09:55
I have been diagnosed with depression & anxiety, too. Then recently I discovered I have essential tremors, a hereditary disease for which there is no cure. Finding other family members who have it at a family reunion last summer made me feel better about myself. I was afraid to go out in public cuz my hands shake when I eat, write, etc. My meds control it somewhat, but not completely.

Getting to the truth
2005-06-02 @ 08:05:23 PM

A mental health clinician must sift through the quagmire of a patient's mind to find "the truth." It is crucial to making a diagnosis. Is the patient lying, out of touch with reality, in denial, maybe too mentally challenged to know the difference? As a child, I was taught that it was impolite to ask questions. Basically, if I didn't already know, then it wasn't any of my business. And anyway, who am I to judge others? Does a MD after my name really give me the right to be so nosy?

I knew I wanted to be a psychiatrist before I became a psychiatric patient. I knew that I needed help before I became a patient. But to this day, I still hide my problems from everyone, even my own family. Sometimes even from myself. Now, who am I to judge other psych patients?

I have a difficult time sitting on either side of the clinician's desk.

Read Comments (0)

Physician, heal thyself
2005-06-05 @ 10:33:26 AM

Doctors make terrible patients.

On a fairly regular basis. I dare my therapist to bounce me out of treatment. I tell him that I don't need treatment. Tell him that I'm sick of taking meds. I often sit silently staring at the floor for entire sessions. I threaten to never come back. But I always do. I rarely miss my appointments with him. I take my meds faithfully. I even call him between sessions occasionally. He's always there for me, even though I constantly tell him that he is not.

It's typical patient behavior. I know that legally I can get myself out of treatment anytime by firing my doctor. There are very few things I could do that would get me fired as a patient. I know darn well that my therapist isn't going to willingly let me leave treatment and stop my meds cold turkey. Everything about my behavior says that I don't want to be there. Everything except for the fact that I am actually there anyway.

Every so often he will call me on that -- ask me why I keep coming back. I never have an answer for him. I need him to prescribe my meds. I could see him once a month for 20 minutes to get my prescriptions. But, by my choice, I go in once a week for psychotherapy. Often just to sit there for 45 minutes and not say a darned thing to him.

I don't want to be the patient. I want to be the doctor. But I can't get there from here acting like this.

Read Comments (4)
Comment posted by tulip at 2005-06-05 14:17:45
Hi Eva,
I want to let you know you have touched me today with your post. My story may be not the same as yours, but I think I do understand what you mean, how it feels to have knowledge about your health and to be a patient. It can make you feel rebellious sometimes. I worked as a nurse for 12 years, then I had to stop working because of health problems. I always told my patients the Do and Don't rules but I have to admit I wasn't so precise with my own Do and Do not Doctors advice. Now 20 yrs later I have learned to accept I cannot do everything I would like to do, but that doesn't mean I like it...Sometimes in my head is a little voice that says "you can do it" but my body tells me another story. When I don't listen and go on, I will have to pay for it by being wiped out for a few days. Anyway isn't there a saying Doctors and nurses make the worst patients? Eva, as long as we know ourselves and accept we need some help in life, it is gonna be OK.

God Bless,
Isabella Vreeken

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-05 14:59:12
Thank you, Isabella.

Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-05 18:31:59
Wow, Eva, You are brutally honest with your feelings! Please be kind to yourself, as you are to your friends. You SO MUCH deserve it.

Comment posted by Dwhyl at 2005-06-06 21:41:29
Great courage, Eva. That is what I see in your post. Being able to admit what you're going through to the whole world is bravery at its best. I know, too, what some of your feelings are. After being shot 20 some years ago, I have had many difficult times fighting with myself on various issues. I praise you for your honesty.
Dwhyl (Dennis)

Yes, I DO Count!
2005-06-07 @ 10:27:36 AM

"There isn't any mental illness in our family," my sister stated.

"Uh, yes there is," I replied.


"Me, remember? I take meds. I see a doctor once a week."

"Oh, that. But that's just depression. Does that really count?"

I guess my sister has a point there. Everyone gets "depressed" at some point. You get passed over for that big promotion. The store ran out of your favorite ice cream. Your significant other is out of town. The feeling usually passes on its own with a little TLC. No big deal. People don't get treatment for that.

But what if the feeling won't go away? When is it time to seek professional help?

There is a set of criteria that a person must meet to be diagnosed as clinically depressed. The criteria basically point toward one thing: a person's life is being significantly effected in a negative way.

So have you been feeling down lately? Nothing seems to be working out right? Don't feel like doing the things you used to like doing? Letting things slide at work and/or home? People telling you that you don't seem yourself? TALK TO SOMEONE. ANYONE. Your partner, your best friend, your clergy. Look up a local hotline in your yellow pages. Call your local emergency room and ask to speak with the psychiatrist on call. Maybe all you need is a little TLC. You won't know until you ask.

Take care of yourself. You DO count.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-07 13:07:31
Excellent reading, as usual, Eva. I have a friend who's been very depressed for years, but will not acknowledge it. I'm hoping I can get him to read this. I think it will help.~

ADHD and Medication
2005-06-09 @ 12:46:44 PM

People are curious about my ADHD meds. Yes, I am on a stimulant. No, it hasn't turned me into a drug addict.

I started on Ritalin in 1996. I was a little scared at first, I will admit that. But I felt no different after taking the drug. I thought it wasn't working. Then one day I tagged along on morning rounds on a geriatrics ward (I was officially "on leave" from medical school at the time: long story). About halfway through rounds, I realized that I was actually paying attention!! I heard and registered everything everyone was saying! I actually knew what was going on!! I was learning! It was like someone had switched on a light for me. I was totally amazed. The stuff really works!!!

As for other effects of the drug: I didn't get "high," I didn't crave more meds, I didn't lose weight (darn!), I didn't lose my appetite (double darn!). I got irritable at higher doses. I developed a slight hand tremor for a little while. Changes in doses and/or meds fixed those problems.

I firmly believe in medications. I guess my training in western medicine and pharmacology have something to do with that. But I understand that not everyone is willing to be a guinea pig nor are they willing to subject their child to a potentially addictive drug. Stimulants work for me, but I didn't take them as a child. Use your own judgement and common sense when it comes to medications. Ask your doctor questions until you run out of questions. Find a support group through CHADD or some other organization for patients with ADHD for more information. You are responsible for your or your child's treatment. The decision to include medication in that treatment is ultimately yours.

Read Comments (0)

You know you need help when ...
2005-06-10 @ 12:10:01 AM

I still remember the moment when I realized that I truly needed some help.

I was in graduate school, working full time on my dissertation. I wasn't exactly a star student, but my opinions were respected among my lab mates. I got along great with the other graduate students in the department. The faculty liked me. I was in the best relationship of my life. I was dating someone with whom I had been friends for years before we got together. I knew that this man would spend time with me whether I slept with him or not, and that was a new experience for me. Friends told me that I never seemed happier. And I was happy. Everything in my life was great. I had friends, someone who loved me, respect from the scientific community. I had nothing to complain about. My life was as it should have been.

But, in the back of my mind, I still thought that I would be better off dead. And I hated myself for being too cowardly to take my own life.

That just did not compute. Finally my life was exactly the way I wanted it to be, but I didn't think that I deserved it. If I stepped off the curb and got hit by a bus, that would have been fine with me. I didn't want to be alive anyway. Something was terribly wrong with me.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-10 10:56:51
I am so grateful you didn't step off that curb, my friend! You are perfect just the way you are, and I am happy to call you my friend.~HUG~

A different perspective
2005-06-10 @ 05:08:58 PM

In my first entry, I described one stereotype of a psychiatric patient. Let me throw another perception out there.

When I did my psychiatry rotation as a medical student, I was working in a short-term care facility. My patients had both psychiatric and medical problems. That made adjusting medications a challenge because of all the potential drug interactions. A couple of patients received electroshock treatments for depression. Some patients needed long-term placement for continued care. A few patients refused treatment and had to be brought before a judge to be committed for psychiatric treatment for their safety and the safety of others. It was a busy ward. And I worked my butt off to get good recommendations for residency applications. That was my reality.

During this time, I was dating a man who had worked as a psychiatric attendant while he was in college. The patients he had were alcoholics drying out and little old ladies "who needed a vacation" as he put it. He took patients for walks, played cards with them, and generally had a great time with them. That was his reality. He couldn't understand how I could be working so hard on a psychiatric ward. It drove me nuts.

I don't think my boyfriend believed in true psychiatric illness, and that was disheartening for me. We had a discussion once about my stimulant medication. We figured out that the dose that I was taking was enough to keep a lab rat running around its cage for a couple of hours straight. My boyfriend knew that I was not hyper on the medication. But he couldn't believe that I wasn't getting off on it. I told him that I felt no different with or without the medication on board. I believe that his words to me were, "If you can take that much amphetamine and not feel anything, something must be wrong with you."

Um, hello? There IS something wrong with me. That's why I take medication.

He and I broke up a couple of years after that. He couldn't take my depression anymore, and I wouldn't follow him 1700 miles to Connecticut without a marriage license . . . or at least a 2-carat diamond ring ; )

Read Comments (0)

The Door
2005-06-12 @ 01:25:52 PM

I thought that starting this blog might be somewhat therapeutic. I don't share my feelings with anybody, not even my therapist. I've kept everything locked inside for so long that I seemed to have lost the key. Maybe a better way of describing it is that I do have the key, but when I turn the lock, the door is jammed. Maybe I'm just not pushing on the door hard enough. I feel like I've had doors slammed in my face all my life. Maybe I am afraid that if I do open that door, it will just slam shut again. Then again, maybe I am more afraid of what might happen if the door stays open.

I have no problem extending help when I can. I like helping people. It makes me feel useful. It gives me a purpose to be for the moment. Accepting help is a totally different story. For some reason I believe that I must prove to the world that I am self-sufficient, that I don't need help from anybody. Deep down inside, I don't believe that I deserve to be helped.

I can't let the door stay shut forever, but I am petrified of what I might find on the other side. I need help to open that door. I need to let someone help me, regardless of whether I believe that I deserve the help.

As much as I would like to claim this as my own private hell, I can't be the only one who feels this way. If this applies to you, I have no problem telling you to accept the hand that is extended to you. Have a little faith. You shouldn't be alone when you face whatever evil you imagine to be on the other side of the door. I promise to let you know what happens when I finally take my own advice.

Read Comments (6)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-13 03:44:51
You know yourself quite well, Gal. You're always there for me, let me be there for you. I KNOW you deserve it and if you leave the door open, the sunshine can come in.~

Comment posted by tulip at 2005-06-13 10:30:01

Eva, no you are not the only one. It could have been me writing this. I feel the same way. You could say I have built a wall around me to hide and there are not many who know where to find the door. I do like to help others, to listen, to comfort, but the other way around? No, I don't want to get hurt or disappointed again. I am a highly sensitive person; that's not bad, but it can be a struggle too. I not only live my own life, but also the lives of others. Their problems and pain easily become mine. I had a depression a few times, my first at age 16, and in a way it had nothing to do with my personal life but with the situation of a friend. Now that I am getting older, turned 50 this year, I think it has become easier to live this way. I try to be more open, allthough it is never easy.

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-13 20:34:15

You said:
"... I think it has become easier to live this way ..."
I could have written that. I probably have written that in my journals dozens of times. I've probably even said that to those who try to help me. Let me get out of my straitjacket and put on a white coat for a second.

How does building a wall and locking yourself away make living easier? You drown yourself in depressive thoughts and never feel the warmth of sunshine on your face. Look at it from another angle. The people who care about you most are stuck on the other side of the door and can't get in to help you. How does that make THEM feel?

Take advantage of your caring and nurturing side. Give comfort to those who want to help you by cracking open the door.

Now I feel vulnerable. Time to get that straitjacket back on and crawl back into the darkness.

Comment posted by tulip at 2005-06-14 03:07:37
How does building a wall and locking yourself away make living easier?
For me it does help, I am ok with just a few people around me, who do understand me, know how I feel and leave me when I want to be alone. I have accepted my highly sensitive nature. When it is getting out of hand, and I when feel too much is coming my way, I know it is time to step backwards. Sitting behind "my wall" is helping me to NOT fall deeper and deeper. It is a resting place. I pray, read, think, listen to music and I am still capable to take care of the family. I have learned it does help me to keep the long periods of depression out. I do feel stronger and happy when such a period is over.

In a way I think I don't want to get help, I want to do everything on my own. When I have a bad day, pain, walking is difficult and I cannot keep house the way I would like, I never accept any help. Yes I am obstinate. Helping others great, but to accept that I need help, too, sometimes ... No. That's me, cannot change myself, I am happy the way I am now

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-14 11:07:06
So long as you are content with yourself, that is all that really matters.

Comment posted by Bouquet at 2005-06-20 11:31:24
Hi Eva,

thanks for your honest sharing. I know it is hard, as I've discovered too, that not everyone hears what we intended to say. They filter things through their own experiences and ways of processing pain.

I think too, that you're discovering the power of the published word on the Internet. It may look technical on the surface, but we do connect with real people, and with a much wider circle than we do at home.

It is both thrilling and scary. I've been learning to set my own boundaries after harsh comments, and to constantly refine my approach, but basically I find reaching out to people pays off wonderfully in new friends. And I collect friends the way some people collect rare coins. They are my treasures - as you'll see on my main web site,

Blessings, & Thanks for dropping by my blog too,

Antidepressant Medication
2005-06-13 @ 11:29:37 PM

In 1994, I took it upon myself to find a psychiatrist for help. That was when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. I was prescribed an antidepressant. After a few months, I decided that the medication was not helping me. I didn't really feel any different. My boyfriend at the time said that he couldn't tell a difference in me. I went to my doctor and told her my decision. Since I wasn't acutely suicidal at the time, she really didn't have any reason to refuse my request to stop treatment. I hadn't been on the medication very long and was still taking a low enough dose that I could just simply stop taking it without suffering any side effects. So that was the end of that.

Sometime later, I was talking to one of my sisters on the phone. She told me that our parents had remarked that I had seemed different during my last trip home. I was a lot calmer, and I was much easier to get along with. My parents were quite pleased with the change in me. That trip occurred about two months after I had started the medication which would have given it enough time to kick in completely.

Maybe I had been a bit rash in stopping treatment.

Read Comments (0)

YOU diagnose me
2005-06-15 @ 11:54:59 AM

I got an email today about this blog. I don't know the person who sent it. This person expressed the opinion that I am not depressed, I just want to lead a full life and be satisfied with what I am doing.

I have spent my whole life hiding my feelings. I strive to appear "normal" because I think that is what is expected of me. I learned as a child that nobody wanted to hear me whine and that I was to set a good example for my younger sister to follow (ie be quiet). So I have always pretended on the outside that everything was okay as I screamed bloody hell on the inside. I thought that with this blog I was breaking down that barrier, but after that email I have to wonder. Am I still hiding my feelings? Or have I been cured within the past two weeks since starting this blog?

Anybody else wanna chime in? I'm really curious to know what everyone thinks. Am I depressed, or just a whiny, spoiled brat seeking attention? Don't be gentle with me folks. I need to know the truth.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-16 07:21:11
I don't see you as depressed or a whiny, spoiled brat seeking attention. I see you greeting each day with an honest, down-to-earth, practical approach and a sense of humor that leaves me on the floor rolling (rofl!). Who is to say what is "normal," and what is wrong with wanting to lead a full life and be satisfied with what you are doing? Only you can know if you are still screaming bloody hell on the inside and that with this blog the barrier is coming down. Maybe you are seeing things a little differently than the years you were setting an example for your sister. Just maybe in these past two weeks you are seeing that it's okay to have feelings, maybe expressing these feelings is validating, and maybe it's okay to be who you are.

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-16 22:09:56
Eva, I've been holding off writing a comment on your BLOG because I wanted to see how it went. I believe both scenarios could be true from my short assessment. There seems to be a bit of you which craves the attention and reality of confronting conflict head-on. There also seems to be a presence of your 'belief' in the fact that you are depressed ... however, I don't get that from your writings that you are 'depressed'.

Now, I'm no doctor or professional in any way. However, as a budding 'Life, Spiritual, and Professional Coach,' I am learning a lot about how what one focuses on, one gets ... good, bad, or indifferent. That, in changing the questions you ask yourself, the vision in which you see yourself, and in the divine graces you seek - you will get exactly what you want. By changing the questions you ask yourself, the vision you see yourself in, and the divine graces you seek - you'll find that everything changes perspective, your aura, your energy, your visions, your divine graces, everything will change as well. Then, and only then, can 'you' see a change in yourself and others.

Just my 2 cents ...
John A. Gosselin

P.S. In the pursuit of my 'Life, Spiritual, and Professional Coaching' Certification, I need to work with some individuals. I'd like to offer my help anytime in exchange for helping me complete my certification. No charge whatsoever. Just a thought in case you'd be interested. My coaching website isn't completed yet, but I can let you know when it is - just let me know if you'd like to be notified when it's activated. My practice will be called "River of Light Coaching".

Test Question
2005-06-16 @ 08:16:14 PM

During my first year of medical school, I took a course entitled "Introduction to Patient Evaluation." I remember one question we had on an exam that went something like this:

A 24 year old female college student with a history of depression is seen by her therapist. She is appropriately dressed and groomed. Her behavior is appropriate. She states that she is doing well. She reports that she has withdrawn from school for the semester, paid off all of her bills, and has given her beloved pet cat to a friend to care for. What action should be taken by her therapist?

It was a multiple choice question. I don't remember all of the choices. In the end, credit was given for either of the following two answers:

  • Schedule the next appointment for a month from now.
  • Call an ambulance and have the patient admitted to a psychiatric ward for evaluation.

How could both answers be right?

One argument was that since the patient was appropriately dressed, groomed, and behaved, she must have been okay. There was no reason to hit the panic button and hospitalize her. The other argument was that the patient had a history of depression and her report of quitting school, paying her bills and giving away her cat were clues that she was "settling her affairs" in preparation for her planned suicide.

Now, medical students are fiercely competitive, especially when it comes to exams. I had a blow-out with a male med student over this question. He swore up and down that a depressed patient will look depressed and it would be obvious if she was thinking about suicide. I screamed back at him, "Nobody could tell when I was suicidal!" Not the most professional thing I've ever done, especially since we were in a busy hospital corridor at the time. Don't know if I won the argument, but I sure did shut him up! Funny thing is, nobody else spoke to me for the rest of the day either. Go figure.

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Day Dream
2005-06-17 @ 12:33:15 AM

You ever have those dreams where you are trying to scream, but nothing comes out of your mouth no matter how hard you try? The blood rushes to your head and your throat tightens. You strain to force air through your vocal chords, but sound refuses to emerge from your lips. You try breathing more forcefully from the diaphragm, and all you get is chest pain for the effort. You cannot communicate. Nobody can hear you. The frustration is physically exhausting. It's no use trying anymore.

You ever feel that way in the daytime, when you're awake? You can't get your point across. No one wants to listen to you. You cannot find solace. You desperately want some peace and rest, but none can be found in this world -- so you think about the next one, a lot.

I was just wondering.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-06-17 07:55:35
Everybody has some similar one. Days are hard. Hours and minutes are hard sometimes, too. Rest cannot be found by running. But it is too soon to step into the next world no matter how hard or desperate this one seems. Shake yourself, pinch yourself and then remind yourself that waking dreams aren't reality, only a trick. Square your beautiful shoulders and go on. Put one foot in front of the next and live on. No matter how bad things are, each day is worth the living of it. (Message is from K. Alerted her I read this. Email her now; she is waiting. It will take her time to answer as she is not well, but she will.)

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-17 09:08:25
Thanks for the message. Will do ASAP.

2005-06-17 @ 07:09:27 AM

Just part of a song that came to mind last night:

Artist: Skylark
Song: Wildflower

She's faced the hardest times
You could imagine
And many times
Her eyes fought back the tears
And when her youthful world
Was about to fall in
Each time her slender shoulders
Bore the weight of all her fears
And a sorrow no one hears
Still rings in midnight silence
In her ears
. . .
Be careful how you touch her
For she'll awaken
And sleep's the only freedom
That she knows
And when you walk into her eyes
You won't believe
The way she's always payin'
For a debt she never owes
And a silent wind still blows
That only she can hear
And so, she goes

Read Comments (0)

Health or Illness?
2005-06-18 @ 07:26:41 AM

Check out this article at

Mental health: What's normal, what's not

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by tulip at 2005-06-18 09:38:19
Thank you, Eva, for this link. It gives me some answers to many questions I have.

Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-18 13:48:05
Very interesting, Eva. Wish I had this abundance of information years ago. It would have helped me to understand my mother's condition a little more.~

Response to diamondsharp
2005-06-19 @ 05:57:36 AM

RE: YOU diagnose me

Maybe it wasn't fair of me to ask for opinions on my mental state. All readers know about me is what I publish in this blog. This blog is a public forum. I have learned to behave appropriately in public. It is not appropriate to express depressive thoughts in public.

I cover my feelings with humor. I learned early on that people would rather laugh than listen to me whine. Maybe that's how my love for sarcasm was born. Sarcasm seems to be the only socially acceptable way for me to express myself and still be true to my feelings.

I personally struggle with the question of whether I am diagnosed properly. I voluntarily sought treatment for depression in 1994 and withdrew myself from it shortly thereafter. I went back on medication and was diagnosed with adult ADHD as well as depression in 1996 as part of the academic probation process in medical school. I started psychotherapy in 2000 at the not-too-subtle urging of my residency program. I can argue that I was forced into treatment. On the other hand, I have stayed in treatment since 1996. I cannot focus myself without a stimulant on board. Without antidepressant medication, I cannot push thoughts of suicide out of my head. I feel abandoned whenever my therapist takes vacation, which is rarely by the way. Minor disappointments are the end of the world to me. Any mistake I make proves to me that I do not deserve to live. Layer all that on top of my mother's death in 2002, losing my residency position (and quite possibly my chosen career path as well), and having to once again depend on my father for financial support. Am I clinically depressed or simply reacting to severe life stressors?

More comments to follow. Stay tuned.

Read Comments (8)
Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-19 19:05:32

Your comment to my "You diagnose me" entry did not offend me. I asked for input. I asked for honesty. You did not say anything that I haven't heard before.

I don't know what the "right" answer is with respect to my "depression." Depressive episodes have a natural course, and are ususally over in about a year. Many people experience only one episode during their lifetime. I am on my third episode which has lasted several years now. Am I really depressed or just using my psychiatric history as an excuse to do nothing to dig myself out of this hole that I am in? Am I traumatized by my recent failures after being an overachiever all my life? My mindset is that I don't see the point in trying anymore. Is that a mind clouded by depression, or am I just lazy? Maybe I am spoiled and believe that the world owes me something. I don't know. I've heard it all.

Through all of this discussion, I have glossed over the subject of suicide. I have never attempted suicide. I have thought of ways to kill myself, but never actually made any plans to do so. I believe that I am a useless individual and don't deserve to live. I have had that belief for as long as I can remember.

I always minimize my depressive symptoms. I think that is why my depression does not show through in this blog. I find it interesting, though, that in the one entry I posted where I suggested that I have suicidal thoughts, only one person picked up on that. I was contacted immediately and made to promise to keep myself safe. By one person. One person who has been there and knows what it's like. Guess it really takes one to know one. (And I thank that one friend for caring and understanding. I will be forever grateful.)

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-19 20:15:28
Eva, Can you tell us a bit about the things you do in the course of your weekly/monthly routines for other people? Do you belong to any clubs, do you volunteer, teach, participate in any charity work? Also, where do you stand with Religion and GOD?

Depression is a real and emotional struggle. And, be it clinical depression or life - the comment you make above says a great deal:
"I believe that I am a useless individual and don't deserve to live. I have had that belief for as long as I can remember."
This above all else I've read of your writings, I would consider to be a 'KEY' to what is really occurring deep within you. If you were a computer, I'd say you had a virus which is eating away at your hard drive - gobbling up all your good programs and data. As a human, I say you have the wrong focus - the wrong questions which are being programed into your brain - the wrong image of what you see your future being.

I go back to my original posting where I wrote:
"... I am learning a lot about what one focuses on, one gets ... good, bad, or indifferent. That, in changing the questions you ask yourself, the vision in which you see yourself, and in the divine graces you seek - you will get exactly that. By changing the questions you ask yourself, the vision you see yourself in, and the divine graces you seek - you'll find that everything changes perspective, your aura, your energy, your visions, your divine graces, everything will change as well. Then, and only then, can 'you' see a change in yourself and others."
The first question I ask myself when I start getting down and depressed is, "Who have I been helping lately?" I often find myself saying "ME"! And, if I want my depression to start to change and go away, I know I need to help someone else ... something I learned in 8th. grade when I tried to kill myself and my teacher spoke with me. Her name was Sister Margeret. She shocked me and said to go ahead and kill myself, but only after I've done her 3 favors. I was so shocked that I asked what they were, she said:
  1. I want you to spend 1 month doing something good for someone else each day and writing it down before going to bed. She wanted me to give her the paper at the end of the month.
  2. Spend 15 minutes every morning/night reading from the Old Testament of the Bible and writing down my thoughts of what I read.
  3. And every time I said something negative, about myself or someone else, that I had to stop myself right then and there and say "CANCEL THAT THOUGHT" and say the opposite to myself. i.e. "I'm so stupid ..." stop "CANCEL THAT THOUGHT" opposite "I AM SO SMART...".
I thought at the time she was nuts ... basically said "Yeah, Yeah, whatever ..." and left the school. That evening I kept thinking about what she said and decided, what do I have to lose - it's not like I had any grandiose plans at the time ...

I was amazed at the end of the month what had transpired!!! To this day I think of this scenario whenever I get down. And the first thing I do is find something good to do for others.


It takes 21 days to change a habit. It takes 21 times of catching yourself saying that you're a useless individual and "CANCELING THAT THOUGHT" and saying something like "HOW WONDERFUL AND CREATIVE A PERSON I AM" before your BRAIN will register it and cancel the old habit that has been ingrained for so long.

Take Action, Change the Questions, The Vision, Get Inspired through Reading, Reflect on those Changes with writing, meditating and prayer - and watch the changes occur in you.

Will you give it a month of your time to try it out?

What do you have to lose?

What are you focused on today?

My prayers are with you, Eva
- John A. Gosselin

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-19 20:33:51
You are right. I am a lazy, selfish little brat.

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-19 20:50:10
No, you're not ... you're avoiding answering my questions ...

On another note, I just was reading a book and found this:
"... What shows up in your experiences -- the kind of problems and issues that show up, etc. -- the kind of experiences you have are an absolute reflection of how you manage YOUR OWN emotional energy.

I'm talking about the energy of thoughts, feelings, words and action.

How can this help you?

Simple. Whatever you believe, affects the kind of action you take. It also affects what you attract to you!

To change your reality, you must change your beliefs so the outside can change. Maybe you have read this before or listened about it in tapes, but have you mastered the process? You can tell right now by looking at your current reality..."
She goes on to say:
"...Those thoughts you have are literally sending out signals at an energy level that have a frequency, and those thoughts are attracting to you more of the same level or frequency. It's called the Law of Attraction, and most coaches don't truly understand how to consistently tap into the Law of Attraction in their business and their own life."
She continues:
"... One thing that I believe is whatever is showing up in your experiences, you need to see it as an opportunity, to be clearer on what you want. No matter what it is. It is an opportunity for greater clarity and for the next level to be born! Sometimes things that seem to look like failure are the seeds for something more amazing that needs room to be bloom.

A wonderful mentor of mine says that you always have a greater sense of what you do want, when you are experiencing what you don't want. So rather than looking to the outside and trying to change those circumstances from the outside, you need to look within and say, "Ok I am clear on what I don't want in this situation, now how do I want to feel?"

After you have allowed yourself to surface that up, then turn it around and create on paper what you do want AND how you want to feel."

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-19 21:05:47
On another note, I had to write a letter for my daughter's eigth grade graduation last week. Could I share two paragraphs with you? They are:
"Life isn't about how you live it, as much as it is how you deal with it. Everyone can live a life of 'Easy' & 'Carefree' living - that isn't a challenge -- it's really a test of how WE all deal with the 'Challenges' in Life that we are measured. Do we give up? Do we turn to drugs and alcohol? Do we run away? Or do we face our fears, turn inward to GOD and listen to his plan for us? Yes, I said inward ... GOD isn't 'UP THERE' in Heaven, or out there somewhere in the masses of Space -- HE IS WITHIN YOU AND YOUR VERY SOUL! He created YOU in His Image!! He knew you before you were conceived and he "Created" you with a special Plan in Life! Be sure to look "within" and "listen quietly" to hear what He has planed for you! Every answer in life is within you through Prayer and Listening to GOD in your heart. And the Angels are there to help guide you, all you need to do is ask for their help.

Life is like the Appalachian Trail. If you look at if from 10,000 feet up, it looks like a fairly straight line from Maine to Virginia. But if you look at it from 5,000 feet up, you see more details, you see more curves, hills, and valleys. If you are on the trail, and you walk from one mountain to another, you will find that there are areas of flat fields, wooded trails, rocks, stumps and holes, valleys and mountains. Nothing is straight about it when you are experiencing it. There are times when you are on the top of a great mountain and you can see for hundreds of miles in any direction, even above the clouds at times, and there are times when you are in a canyon of rock, thicket, and darkness where the sun can't penetrate the vegetation and stone walls. The question is do you give up when the trail gets tough, dark, lonely, scary, or difficult? Or -- do you press on through thick and thin, knowing that soon there you will be, on the top of another great mountain where all can be seen so clearly and so beautifully? Life is very much like this ... it's not always easy, nor do we always understand "WHY" or for "HOW LONG". That's up to GOD to decide. We need to always give thanks for every day we have together, no matter what -- knowing that in the end, we will be with Him. Just as our Love for you -- it's unconditional!"

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-20 05:43:49
Yes, I am avoiding answering your questions. I already know that I don't have the "right" answers. I have heard it all before. I don't think that YOU hear ME. That is part of the illness. Do you think that I haven't tried? My brave face isn't for my benefit. I am presenting myself as the world wants to see me, a strong, confident, intelligent, independent woman. But the strength isn't there. Nobody wants to hear that. It scares them. It hits too close to home.

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-20 21:05:16
Eva, I'm personally very sorry if I pushed this too far. Please accept my appologies ...

The responses you've received is evidence we do care! Many do hear you and understand, and some even want to know more. Some, like myself, are even willing to work through proven processes - but it needs to be a reciprocal and desired process.

When I first began to read your BLOG, I got the distinct impression that you were actively working on changing your life around and this BLOG was a way of commenting and documenting that process and findings. I guess I really misunderstood ...

Then, when you asked for our diagnosis - well, I guess I took that invitation a bit too far. Sorry about that!

I hope you'll call on us if we can help in any way whatsoever. You remain in my thoughts and prayers!
John A. Gosselin

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-21 07:31:05
John, you should have quit while you were ahead ...

You said:
"When I first began to read your BLOG, I got the distinct impression that you were actively working on changing your life around and this BLOG was a way of commenting and documenting that process and findings. I guess I really misunderstood..."
What the hell does that mean? How condescending can you get? I mean, what IS your understanding now of this blog? That I am just whining for the world's amusement? I am wallowing in self-pity? Grabbing attention any way that I can? How dare you. Did I refuse your offer of help? I thought I was expressing my feelings. I was relating my past experiences, hoping you would understand where I am coming from. But yet again, I'm not ill, just seriously flawed. Obstinate, stubborn, spoiled, you name it, I've been accused of it.

I know that I am not alone in this experience. Depression, suicide, and mental illness are all taboo subjects. This blog is meant to provide support for those who wish to remain anonymous, to let them know that they are not alone, to give them courage and strength to reach for that faint light shining into the dark hole in which they live.

If you believe that I do not want to get better and live in the real world again, be able to hold my head up high, feel confident in myself and my abilities, feel loved, wanted and accepted, then so be it. I will not apologize for not being docile and simply accepting of your "proven processes." I will not apologize for expressing my point of view.

Father's Day
2005-06-19 @ 07:48:19 AM

A Happy Father's Day to all those who mentor and nurture someone.

My father has had the biggest influence on my life. I didn't realize how big until the following happened.

I was living in Philadelphia working on my Masters degree (yeah, I got one of those, too). One day I was talking about my parents with a med student who I had been dating for about a year or so when he gave me the weirdest look.

"I thought your mother was dead," he said (this was years before my mother's death).

"What gave you THAT idea?" I asked.

"You've never mentioned your mother before. You always talk about your father."

I still can't believe that I dated a guy for a year and never mentioned my mother. But, yeah, I guess there is more of my father in me than there is of my mother.

My father is VERY traditional Chinese. I know that it is a huge disappointment to him that he has no biological son, even though he won't admit it. But his disappointment worked out to my advantage. Despite his traditional upbringing, he was able to raise his daughters to be independent people. He fought for the recognition of women in our formal family clan association. He insisted that each of us girls go to college. He encouraged all of us to take our educations as far as possible. He even let me move out-of-state to continue my education; daughters aren't supposed to leave the household until they get married. (I say "he" let me move out because he had to talk my mother into letting me go.) My parents' peers are not that progressive. My mother once told me of her friends asking about me, wondering why I wasn't married yet and why the heck was I still in school (I was 25 and in medical school at the time). To my parents' peers, education is wasted on a woman. Daughters leave their birth family to marry into other families. Why educate a daughter for someone else's benefit? But my parents have always been behind me in my goals, especially my dad.

We still run into conflict over traditional values. He expects his little girl to come home and visit him, but he always gets this strong-willed, outspoken woman instead whenever I show up. He loves me just the same, though. I may not be his little girl anymore, but he will always be Daddy to me.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-20 05:58:58
Ah, Daddy's little girl all grown up....what's important is that you do go home to visit. Sure makes me miss my Dad.~

My Apologies
2005-06-20 @ 10:00:43 AM

To those of you that are following the thread under Response to diamondsharp, I apologize if my remarks about only one person picking up on my possible suicidality hurt you. I did not mean to imply that nobody cares. I understand that writing anything personal on the Internet, especially anything of this nature, is something most people are not chomping at the bit to do. I wrote that remark to point out how I minimize and cover my symptoms. I am sorry that the remark was not interpreted that way.

I never intended for this blog to become so personal. I had intended to comment on mental health issues in general for the most part. I thought that was a risky enough venture to undertake. I never expected the positive response that I received with my first entry. I was touched by the number of personal stories that were generated by that entry. How could I not reciprocate? But I knew that opening up was going to cost me. I just didn't know how much.

I asked for input, and I got it. I even got what I expected. And I responded exactly as I knew I would, irrationally. I knew that I would be upset, even angry. But I did not expect to completely lose my inner peace. I've had a really rough time these past few days, and that is nobody's fault but my own. I wish that I could respond to stressors in the same way most people do, but I can't. My world is black and white. I don't know what gray is. There is no happy medium with my emotions. I go full out at either extreme.

Maybe I am depressed. Maybe I have a personality disorder. Maybe I am a sociopath and expect everything to be handed to me for nothing. I don't know the answer. My therapist isn't telling me if he knows. I can't expect people who don't know me to know what is wrong with me. I never should have asked the question. It wasn't a fair one. I am very sorry.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-20 21:13:48
Eva, I'm very sorry if I pushed this too far! I've posted an appology under the fore-mentioned post below. Please, I hope you'll accept my appologies. I'm sorry the last couple of days have been rough... I can't help but think I contributed to this stress. I will withhold my postings, but remain available via the internal e-mail should you like to discuss any of this in the future. You remain in my thoughts and prayers Eva!
John A. Gosselin

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-21 06:44:26

No apology necessary. I accept full responsibiliry for my actions. No one can make me feel bad unless I let them.

You should not censor yourself for me or anyone else. Everyone has a right to express an opinion, especially when it is solicited. Publishing this blog is an implicit solicitation. Post a comment when you have something to say.

I have to make mistakes in order to learn from them, and then adjust my behavior accordingly. Strangely enough, I consider the experience therapeutic. Up until a few weeks ago, I was completely numb. Part of the healing process is learning to feel again. I have to take the good with the bad. I have to teach myself appropriate coping skills. I made it through this minor crisis without hurting myself or calling my therapist in a panic. That's huge for me. It's a personal triumph! I give you some credit for that. I have to keep some of the credit for myself ;)

Story of my life
2005-06-21 @ 09:52:29 AM

I used to write poetry in high school. It helped me to sort out my feelings. Let's give it another try. This is a first draft.

My Life

Running from the past
Avoiding the future
Screaming in a sound-proof cell
No one can hear me

Watching the world go by
from behind a glass wall
Only way to participate
is to punch through and bleed

Denied my wants
Others have more need
Feeling undeserving,
waiting silently, forgotten

"Your turn is coming."
"Work hard, you will achieve."
Delayed gratification
Justice denied

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by kstien1959 at 2005-06-22 22:45:55
An interesting piece of poetry. It seems that it is easy for all of us to run from life. I enjoy coming across fresh new poetry.

Comment posted by Milton at 2005-06-30 11:25:44
You obviously have a lot to offer. May you also receive kindness for the nice contributions your writing is making. I know it seems that we always like that little bit when it comes to putting it on paper whether writing or painting. I guess we will just have to enjoy the trip and wait to see what the destination looks like.

Nature or Nurture
2005-06-26 @ 11:36:09 AM

My mother was never formally diagnosed with depression during my lifetime, but on looking back at my childhood, I believe that she probably was depressed. I remember her being tired a lot of the time. She often took naps. My younger sister remembers that, after sending me off to school for kindergarten in the morning, she and my mom went back to bed to sleep instead of starting the day. My mother used to watch my sister and I play together, but never really participated with us. My sister and I did a lot of household chores for Mom. I still remember having to lift my sister and practically throw her into the washing machine in order to get all of the laundry out for hanging to dry. Please don't get me wrong. I am smiling as I remember these things. I love my mother, may she rest in peace. She did the best she could with what she had. I am just saying that one thing I think she had was depression.

After my mother's death, the family, of course, talked a lot about her. My older sisters, who are 8 and 11 years older than me, talked about Mom taking them to the park, playing jumprope with them, and reading books to them when they were little. My younger sister and I agree that Mom was definitely different when we were children.

Mood disorders tend to run in families. Much research is being done to determine the genetic component. But genetics doesn't form the entire person. The environment within which one develops also shapes a person. My younger sister and I both have been diagnosed with mood disorders. Neither of us are married nor do we have children. My older sisters do not have psychiatric diagnoses, and both are married with children.

I do NOT blame my mother for my psychiatric problems. I want that to be perfectly clear. I just thought that it was an interesting observation, the different outcomes between the two sets of girls growing up within the same household with the same parents. One difference between them is the childhood memories that the girls have of their mother.

Hug your kids the next time you see them. Call your mom and tell her you love her. And remember that you are doing the best you can with the tools you have.

Read Comments (0)

Half a glass of water
2005-06-26 @ 08:00:05 PM

There is half a glass of water on the table. Is the glass half empty, or half full? Supposedly, "positive" people say the glass is half full whereas "negative" people say that the glass is half empty.

It is still half a glass of water, no matter how you express it. What purpose does it serve to artificially categorize people based on their expression of speech when, in the end, everyone is correct anyway?

Read Comments (16)
Comment posted by Healthwize at 2005-06-27 02:04:15
Hi Eva

Thats the truth.
Positive thinking is also a great health supplement.
Good luck

Gordon UK

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-06-27 07:53:34
Eva, I think you are 1/2 right. Yes both answers are correct but when one always thinks and talks in the positive (happy) they become (happy).

Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-06-27 23:44:14

What difference does it make? It is half a glass of water. So what are you going to do with it?

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-28 06:01:18

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-06-28 11:10:11
No difference if you drink the water. By having to listen to one who is negative all the time soon you don't listen.

That's the difference.

Comment posted by acpeavy at 2005-06-28 14:55:26
Alright, time for me to chime in, and unfortunately, I think this comment is going to be a little off from this topic, but here goes. First, I love this blog, and greatly admire the courage and fortitude it takes Eva to publish it! It is one of the few blogs that I have found that has actual meaningful content, my own included. So why if I love the blog so much am I just now getting around to adding a comment and showing my support? Simple really, it hits way too close to home with me for my supposed comfort level. Mental health issues, and depression in particular, runs in my family, and I myself suffer from chronic depression. Each time I spiral downward and finally crash, I end up with a new "name" for the condition: so far I've been through "manic depression", "bi-polar disorder", "chronic depression" and many others depending on the terminology of the day. Fact is, I have a depression that cannot be regulated without medication, and it has destroyed my life at several different times. I tend to run in a 4 year cycle, I have four good years, then about 18 months where everything goes south. On a daily basis, and how most people "know" me, is literally a different side of my personality than what I consider "me". How strange is it to think that the person most of you know in conferences and trainings is actually very withdrawn, insecure socially, and completely inept with people on a personal level? That's the thing with "mental health issues", people you know on one level may seem perfectly normal, but on other levels be a complete wreck. What I hope comes out of this blog, and the open and frank discussion that can and should happen here, is an understanding that people are many faceted creatures, and not all the facets shine as brightly as others, but when considered separately they do not do justice to the whole.

Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-28 15:04:51
I know exactly what you are saying, Aaron. That is why I have no faith in the "experts". I don't think they ever really KNOW what the problem is, but if the medication helps, that's great. It didn't always help my mother. Many times over the years, because of my mother's schizophrenia, I have thought that she was simply possessed by an evil spirit. How will we ever know? Maybe it's simply the human "condition" and we all suffer from it in some form or other. We are still all very special and unique.

Comment posted by acpeavy at 2005-06-28 15:33:41
Speaking of medications, I readily admit that I am not on medication. Unfortunately, being male, the medications that work have some rather bad side effects. Basically it boils down to "less depression" versus "no sex life". It's not hard to see why men in particular have terrible times remaining on the medications. (To do justice to the pharmacutical companies, there are apparently meds now that do not have these side effects, or at least limit them greatly) I consider myself lucky, I found a therapist years ago that was able to teach me to ride through the ebbs and flows of most of the depression. It isn't infallible by any means. I have days that I just cannot seem to function, even on a business level. Those are the days I stay away from people. We all have different ways of coping with our limitations.

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-06-2816:16:30
Aaron, nothing is off topic in this Blog. It is the most interesting and helpful blog I've read. Eva, you are special to let us help ourselves with open discussions.

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-29 00:56:21
I like to consider the glass 1/2 full, since I believe that the brain is a big computer - it takes everything in, but doesn't discriminate from thought, word heard, read or spoken. By thinking the positive and saying the positive, I'm hopefully 2 steps ahead in seeing the glass of water for what it is ... not empty. I, too, suffer from depression and have been on medication that ruined aspects of my life. I do everything in my power now to 'Program' my brain in the positive - from reading, writing, speaking, listening, and consciously thinking - all are being recorded by the brain.

Joe Sansoucie's favorite saying is "Just Do It". I agree! Sometimes you need to put the action before the feelings and results follow. By putting the action first, the brain doesn't know any different and, after a while, after practice, intent, written plans, etc., the action creates the feeling which creates the positive outcome and soon enough, you're doing what you set out to do - even if you didn't think you could.

Where am I going with this ... well, maybe putting the action in gear, one can eventually overcome the feelings of depression since depression is a form of fear and no confidence. One of my blog postings talks of using daily devotionals every morning. This is my way of putting the action before the feelings. You can find it here.

Another thought is putting more faith in a higher being than ourselves. Like in relationships, friendships, marriage, children with their parents; there is a level of unconditional trust which bonds their relationships. This bond helps create a level of security, peace, love, contentment. That's where I've learned to put more trust - in my faith. I posted a blog on that here.

Lastly, sometimes we just have to grab the bull by the horns and let go - stretch ourselves, face our fears head on, look at the world around us and step out of our box a bit.

Eva, thank you for sharing your world with us - and everyone, thank you for posting your feelings as it helps all of us as well.

John A. Gosselin

Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-06-29 06:18:26
I second John's thank you, Eva! Your blog is needed and necessary, informative, original, extremely well written, and a favorite at BlogEstates. What I can't understand is why it wasn't chosen for the top ten. Go figure! Thanks, my friend.~

Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-06-29 16:59:41
Why doesn't it matter if the glass is half full or half empty? I should have explained before. Sorry I didn't Eva. Now I will try and maybe it will help either you or me or both or someone else. It doesn't matter if it is half full or half empty because, like other diseases, depression is not all the same and some depression is not as bad as others. There is a depression that most people do not understand that has nothing whatsoever to do with circumstances. It is not influenced one iota by circumatances.

But before I try to explain it to those of you who are fortunate enough not to be familiar with it, let me say something else. John, yes we have tried things like devotions, prayer, just doing it, putting our faith in a higher power; and things like that do get us through another moment, but they do not begin to alleviate our depression. And to those of you who read my blog, I do believe every word I write there and apply it to my own life, but it does nothing whatever to decrease my depression; it simply helps get me through another moment.

There is a depression that is so intense that we can be seemingly enjoying what to others is one of the most wonderful events of our lifetime, but on the inside we are desperate. There is no feeling of actually being a part of what is happening. We are simply going through the motions. Taken from the opposite set of circumstances, our depression is so severe that even the death of someone we love does not intensify it. We grieve, but the depression is already so intense that it is not affected by loss, or for that matter by hurt or deprivation or any other circumstance. It does not matter whether we are rich or homeless, whether we are sick or healthy, whether we are alone or with those we love. We can grieve and suffer loss, but the depression cannot worsen because it is always and unrelentingly severe.

This type of depression is sometimes cyclic. We have periods that are less intense and maybe some are even depression free (not sure as I have never experienced that), and then there are the desperate times that go on for weeks, months or longer. The depression is unrelenting and intense and even wakes you at night. There is nothing that eases it, you just have to go through the motions of living one minute at a time. People around us usually do not know we are depressed, we cope with life moment by moment and put on a good front.

Medication and therapy and all the things each of you have so thoughtfully suggested sometimes help but only momentarily. Some of you, I know, have other types of depression. And yes, those other types can lead to suicide. But the depression we have is not the same. We actually are suicidal most of the time, but are coping and living moment by moment. There are those moments when we can't cope. Eva felt one of those times a short while back. She posted in desperation that day. Later she posted something about only one person noticing how deperate she was. No one noticed because most do not understand the type of depression that is unending and only goes from bad to worse and then, if we survive, from worse back to bad.

Eva is not writing this blog to complain or grumble; she is not by nature a complainer. She is not writing it to be negative; she is not a negative person. In fact, most of you who know Eva and most of the people in her life, did not know she had depression before she wrote this blog or until she told them. She is writing this blog as an open discussion of an illness that few people understand, even those who have it. And as a place that all memtal illness can be discussed freely and openly. You see those of us with these illnesses simply want to find a way to live a life that is more than just coping.

Eva, I admire your courage.

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-06-29 17:25:50
Thank you, Karen, for your comment, for your support, for your friendship, for everything.

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-06-29 21:37:10
Thank You, Karen, for that explanation - it is very enlightening and yet mind-boggling. I have read a great deal about depression, and have read about the type of depression you describe - but never with the clarity and detail which you describe; nor with the finality of just coping. I realize that I need to do more learning and investigating - and you are right, it appears this depression you describe is much more intense than the more common depression.

One question though, are you saying that you believe it's permanent - no cure - no way of getting better? In this day and age, doesn't there exist any glimmer of ever curing this disease?

John A. Gosselin

Comment posted by acpeavy at 2005-06-29 22:57:30
In response to John, all I can say is from my own depression. Mine is caused by a chemical imbalance in my brain, medication will help, but does not entirely replace it. Biologically, my brain simply doesn't seem to know it needs the chemical. So about a "cure", there isn't one. Merely things that help me to cope, and ride through it most days.


Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-06-30 01:02:53
John, there is no cure. Unfortunately I have always had adverse physical reactions to the medications so must depend entirely on coping mechanisms. Aaron's statement, "Merely things that help me to cope, and ride through it most days" tells the saddest part of this type of depression. It is those other days that are the ones we fear most and are the hardest to live.

Guest Contribution
2005-06-29 @ 07:51:28 AM

Posted with permission of the author

Walking The Straight Line
Aaron C. Peavy

Rust and sandy tan marbled swirl through shale,
The floating foundation of existence.
Limited boundaries of reality
Cloud supported finger of land and trail.

Look back as upon a moment of life.
Sight of blue-gray billowing nothingness.
Not a sight or sound from the world outside
Even though you just stepped from it's strife.

Squint your pain blurred eyes to the left and right.
Just the same billowed mass of cloud and fog.
In the space occupied by companion
Emptier void than that of the pitched night.

Forward to future only way to gaze.
Follow with teared eyes the course of the rock.
Imagination vexed by depthless view.
No judgements of distance allowed by haze.

Impossible to retreat to haven.
Once left, sanctuaries form triggered snares.
No use trying to scale either blanked side
Cannot rise minus wings of the raven.

Tread onward in search of life in future.
Unsure of frail trail's continuance.
Narrows to diminished point, fused with clouds
Promised existence no law of nature.

Ambition for movement coming from faith.
Beings dominion over all mankind.
Power of all life encompassed in one,
May it be god, spirit, demon or wraith.

The hiding point of the running torrent.
Moving at speed equal to your approach.
Never glimpse the future, only life of now
Fog shrouds only with your unthought consent.

Close your eyes tight and now witness the view.
The marbled mesa, light hued sky of spring.
Brightness of future, contentment with world
Picture of such power no mortal drew.

Secret of existence, live while awake.
Let the mind not linger on memories.
Nor continue pondering upon hope
For in this gamble, your self is the stake.

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More on Meds: Intro
2005-06-30 @ 02:21:44 PM

We have all heard about "chemical imbalances." Medications work to correct these balances. But because the chemicals in the brain are capable of doing so many different things, it is difficult to target specifically a single process to fix. Hence we get the side effects of medications. For example, many antidepressants work on a chemical called serotonin which effects mood. Serotonin also regulates sleep and sex functions among other things. I've been on medications that took away the suicidal thoughts, but screwed up my sleep patterns and/or killed my sex drive. When those side effects were no longer acceptable to me, I worked with my doctor to change my medication regimen.

Why don't medications "work?" They do, just not perfectly. In future entries I will address issues with medications, how they work, how side effects occur and ways to deal with them, medical issues that may need to be discussed with a doctor. I will also answer questions as best I can. Just need to add the disclaimer that I am not a practicing physician and any decisions you make regarding your treatment need to be discussed with a licensed mental health clinician.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by Kiosk at 2005-06-30 14:51:05
I enjoy reading your blogs.They ring a bell with me.

My husband worked for quite a long time as a volunteer for the Dutch Depression organization giving advice on depression, meds etc. And often doing not much more then listening to stories of patients, relatives and friends.

He recently finished his study in Psychology with a thesis on depression, self-disclosure and meta-programs with adolescents. I was shocked about hearing how much young people (mostly girls) were dealing with depression. And how difficult this dealing with depression is.

Comment posted by diamondsharp at 2005-07-02 20:18:37
Eva, do you - or anyone reading this - have any knowledge of individuals who have tried drugless solutions, such as hypnosis, accupuncture, accupressure, meditation, or other holistic type approaches to overcoming depression? Also, has anyone noticed changes with exercise, diet, or the amount of sunlight they are exposed too?

I also read an article quite a few years ago that had said that people living closer to the equator [having more exposure to sunlight] were less apt to have any signs of depression, and that per capita, the population saw fewer cases of depression, hypertension, bipolar, etc. I have often wondered if this was true since I live in the Northeast and have a harder time in the long Winters and shorter daylight.

Any thoughts on this?

John A. Gosselin

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-07-03 09:48:38
I had an easier time dealing with my depression while I was living in Texas than I do now living in New York.

New Treatment
2005-06-30 @ 07:27:22 PM

If anyone is interested in a new treatment for chronic depression that is currently under review by the FDA, check out this website and sign up for the free newsletter.

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My Mood Scale
2005-07-03 @ 10:26:10 AM

I've noticed that what I listen to on the radio reflects how I am feeling inside.

At my absolute worst, my world is silent. I won't even have the car radio on while I am driving. Thankfully, it's been a few years since that has happened.

Next step up is talk radio. I'll listen to AM stations that are mostly news or sports talk. Guess I need the background noise or maybe I want to hear a human voice that isn't criticizing me.

Entry level music is instrumental: classical, smooth jazz or new age. I find it soothes my nerves and helps me focus.

Sometimes the next step up is adult contemporary with vocals. Sometimes I skip this step. Slow songs and love songs can put me into a funk, so I usually avoid them. They remind me of growing up in the 70s when everything I listened to was sappy and I was convinced that I would not live to see my 30th birthday.

When I am listening to heavy metal music, I am doing pretty well. I can identify with the emotions typically expressed in that genre. I guess I am getting back in touch with my own feelings at this stage. It's so much easier to express anger than sadness.

Top of the line is dance music. I love to dance, or at least I used to. I was even an aerobics instructor at one time, picking music and making up my own routines for classes. At my best, I have the radio blasting and I'm bopping around the apartment to the beat.

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2005-07-04 @ 01:48:19 PM

Something Karen said in a comment has helped me immensely.
" ... our depression is so severe that even the death of someone we love does not intensify it, we grieve but the depression is already so intense it is not affected by loss ... "

I have felt horribly guilty for not "grieving" after my mother's death. My own family thinks that I am heartless. When my mother went into the hospital for the last time before her death, I was already in deep trouble with my residency program. But I never told anybody that. Not even the other residents in the program knew how much trouble I was having. Likewise, I never told anyone about my mother being ill. I'm sure that the program thought it was mighty convenient for my mother to suddenly be on her death bed at that particular time. But that's for another entry.

When my mother was admitted to the hospital, everyone in the family called me. They did not know I was having problems, only that I had not been home to visit in seven years. They did not know that as a resident, I did not have the luxury of just picking up and leaving the clinic at a moment's notice. I scheduled my own patients. I was responsible for my patients' charts. I had to find coverage for my clinic patients and my overnight hospital calls. I had to reschedule my supervision time with faculty. I didn't have office staff to do any of that for me. But to them, I was stalling. I just didn't want to come home. Maybe that was true, but it hurt to know what my family really thought of me.

I did make it home to see my mom before she died. I could only stay for a day. I had to get back to the clinic and clean up my charts before taking time off for the funeral. My dad wouldn't let me tell my mom that I had to go back to New York. He didn't want her to know that I was leaving. I never got to say goodbye.

I cried at the funeral home the first time I saw her in the casket. I cried at the wake. I cried at the funeral. It was the only time in my life that my father didn't yell at me for crying.

I haven't cried much since then. I still rarely talk about my mother. Right after her death, I was focussed on my problems with the residency program. I couldn't think about anything else. My professional career was sinking fast and nothing I did was going to stop it.

My therapist has tried several times to get me to talk about my mother, and usually I get angry and shut down. I was afraid to tell him that I didn't feel anything when it came to my mother. I thought that something was wrong with me. I wasn't grieving like I was supposed to be. I didn't miss her like I was supposed to be. I didn't feel any different than I normally did.

Thank you, Karen, for making the comment that you did. It makes sense that if I am already depressed, maybe I can't get any lower than I already am. I think of my mother often, and it is always fondly. Rather than cry, I usually smile when she comes to mind. Maybe I shouldn't think of that as weird.

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Self Image
2005-07-10 @ 03:41:56 PM

I cannot accept a compliment gracefully. I attribute anything good in my life to "dumb luck." Everything that I have ever achieved, I did not earn. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Yet it is so easy for me to accept and agree with any and all criticism. Even if someone is just teasing me, I am quick to say, "But that's really true!"

Criticism feels more comfortable to me, like that old worn sweatshirt from college with so many bleach stains on it that you can't wear it in public anymore. You know you should be ashamed to wear it, but you can't bring yourself to throw it away.

I don't know why I accept criticism over compliments. Somewhere along the line I internalized some pretty harsh stuff about myself.

People shouldn't live that way. I can tell you personally that it ain't much fun. I make it a point to praise and compliment others whenever I honestly can. Maybe then they will get used to hearing good things about themselves and criticism won't feel as comfortable for them.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by How2-4Newbies at 2005-07-10 16:32:12
I hear you Eva, and yes, it is sad that we find it so hard to accept a compliment. Then again when you consider we hear the word "no" some 2,000 times before our second birthday, is it any wonder that hearing a compliment can actually feel like shock treatment?

Perhaps the best we can do, is to say "thank you" to the person bestowing that accolade upon our shoulders and not be so quick to wonder if they really mean it? Then, if we are lucky, we will learn our worth is out there and recognized by someone who can make us feel good, if only for one precious moment.
God Bless ~~

Comment posted by tulip at 2005-07-11 05:05:13
Eva, I too find it hard to accept that people really mean it when they say I have done something good. Maybe it has something to do with childhood or nature, I don't know. Most of the times I feel happy with a compliment for a short while, but then it suddenly starts to live its own life. A little voice telling me "you did something stupid, they laugh behind your back, don't think you are somebody, you are nothing" and in a few hours time I can feel terrible. Wrong I know, but the Dutch are not so good in making compliments anyhow; they think it will make you haughty. Maybe we should make compliments more starting with children ...

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-07-11 12:06:21
I do the exact same thing, Isabella! It doesn't take a few hours for me to feel terrible, though. I do it instantaneously.

I tried very hard to be supportive and encouraging to my nephew when he was growing up, but it didn't take. Maybe because I left home when he was 7 years old. Maybe because he grew up in the same household I did.

2005-07-12 @ 01:19:34 PM

I pulled six gray hairs from my head last week. That's a depressing thought in and of itself. I'm not even 40 yet. But I'm not worried about getting older. I'm worried about looking older.

Maybe my depression is beginning to lift after all.

Read Comments (5)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-07-12 15:56:19
rofl! Yup, sounds pretty normal to me! By the way, they say for each gray hair you pull out, two return to take its place. I personally find this to be true.~ :)

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-07-12 16:14:51
That's what hair coloring is for ... I ain't goin' gray gracefully!

Comment posted by tulip at 2005-07-12 16:35:11
Well, I have passed both stations, never made a point of it. Not afraid to get older, and looking older was good for me ... It may sound funny coming a woman, but I always looked too young, it seemed, and I did not always like the way people I did not even know talked to me because of how young I looked. Now I am 50 years young! and with more gray hairs showing up it is a lot better, and I am still judged at least 10 years younger. :) Every age has its beauty Eva, that's my opinion, but you are certainly not alone in your thoughts.

Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-07-13 17:30:50
Aging and looking our age can be funny. I, too, used to be mistaken for younger than my age. When my oldest son brought friends home, they always assumed I was one of his sisters. He thought it was funny to let them think that. One night, he decided he was going to a party that he hadn't planned on going to. It was really last minute, so he didn't have a date. He said he wanted me go with him and pretend to be his date. I refused at first, but he had been pretty down because he was having trouble controlling his diabetes, so I agreed and went. He thought it was hilarious because everyone assumed I was a teenager and the night got him over his depression.

Now it is just the opposite. I look old as life has really changed my appearance. My two youngest (8 and 7 year olds) are often asked if I am their grandmother.

But how old we look is unimportant, living life to the fullest is. I may have one foot in the grave but there are lots of things I still plan to do.

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-07-14 09:46:35
When I was very little, people thought I was a twin because my younger sister is only 18 months younger than me and we were always together, dressed basically alike, etc. When I got into my teens, people thought I was a twin of my sister who is 8 years older than me. Go figure.

I don't really think about my age until I am forced to think about the ages of my family members. My dad is almost 80. My niece just turned 16. I don't feel old until I think about those facts. When people ask me how old I am, I have to think for a minute to come up with the number. That number is just a label to me, and I don't deal with labels.

Funny to think that I am just 3 years older than my mom was when she had me. People always asked me if she was my grandmother. If I were to have a child now, no one would ever make such an assumption.

Age really ain't nuthin but a number.

Where Drugs Work
2005-07-15 @ 02:16:34 PM

The main targets of antidepressants and other psychoactive medications are brain chemicals called serotonin, dopamine, and norephinephrine. These chemicals are used by brain cells to communicate with each other and regulate most brain functions. These chemicals do not exist only in the brain, though. These chemicals are used by cells throughout the body to regulate all kinds of body functions. So how do drugs know where to act? They don't. Medications will do their thing wherever they find a place to do it. Drugs are easiest to dispense as pills or tablets taken by mouth. When drugs are swallowed, they travel throughout the body before they even get to the brain. Side effects occur from drugs acting where they were not intended to act. Unfortunately, science has not found a way yet to "target" medication such that it will work only where it is supposed to, short of direct administration to the site. I don't think that the world is ready for people to walk around with tubes stuck in their heads for pouring in their antidepressant. I know that I'm not volunteering for the surgery that would be required for that!

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2005-07-19 @ 09:27:19 PM

Occasionally, a person with clinical depression reports an irritable rather than a depressed mood. The best way I can describe irritability is persistent PMS, because that is what it feels like to me. I have no frustration tolerance. Patience goes right out the window. Nothing in my world goes right. Everybody that crosses my path does so deliberately to annoy me. I go from zero to b*tch in no time flat.

I have been told all my life that I am "hypersensitive." I get ticked off by the stupidest things with no warning. Talking about it doesn't help. No one can calm me down. I just need to be left alone so that I can quiet myself. So often I will just walk off without a word. Some people think that's rude of me. Others call it childish and immature behavior. I have found it to be the only way that I can keep my friends. I know when I am about to say things that I will regret later on. When I was younger, I used to just blurt things out. I never kept friends for very long when I was a kid.

I guess what I want to say is, when someone says to drop the subject, it might be best to do so, at least for the time being. Rational discussions can be held only when both parties are willing and able to do so.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by PrairieMade at 2005-07-20 13:08:23
Why not take the Bible with you when you have those quiet times? The Lord promised us the comforter when He left, until He returns again. :o)

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-07-21 08:23:03
There have been times when the Bible gave me comfort, but I have to be in the right frame of mind. When I am angry, upset, frustrated, and so forth, I cannot accept the word of anyone, God or otherwise. Clinical depression is a very lonely place. The core of my being tells me that I am worthless. I don't believe that I am worthy of anyone's attention. I've tried to accept Christ as my savior, but I can't because within my heart, I can't believe that I am worth saving. Until I can turn to myself and convince myself that I am "okay," I can't take the word of anyone else that I am truly loved and accepted as I am.

Comment posted by tulip at 2005-08-07 14:55:02
Eva I know what you feel, hypersensitive? maybe what's in a name. That is just a label, you don't need it ... , important is how you respond to those feelings and when walking away is the best thing to do for you, you should not worry about what others will think or how they will judge you. Real friends will accept it, I am sure, and they will love you still. It is always better then feeling sad or ashamed afterwards, when realizing you have been too sharp with words. I think you do know me a bit by now and you know Eva, I do something similar and call it my "turtle behaviour", back into my own shell :) At that point I do what prairiemade says, and it does help me. Eva, in God's eyes there are No worthless people, there is no one who understands us better then He does. Even better than you understand yourself, with your ups and downs. It really touches me when you think you cannot accept Yeshua (Christ) as your Savior, because you cannot believe you are worthy. Eva, He already knows how you feel, be open and tell Him how you feel...I don't say it is easy but it will be ok to tell how you think about yourself, there is No one who loves and understands you more ...

2005-07-20 @ 05:04:35 AM

Fear not that thy life shall come to an end,
but rather fear that it shall never have a
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman
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Irritability and Mood Disorders
2005-07-22 @ 12:24:08 PM

My medications got to be such a nightmare at one point that I suddenly announced one day to my psychiatrist that I had quit everything cold turkey. My sleep was screwed up, I was constantly nauseated. And I was irritable as hell. Just couldn't take it anymore.

I was sent to another psychiatrist for a consultation about meds. My irritable mood earned me a lithium prescription. Lithium, a poor antidepressant on it own, is often used in conjunction with other antidepressants for treating depression. Lithium is also used as a mood stabilizer for bipolar disorder, or "manic depression." My irritability brought into question my diagnosis. Did I have unipolar or bipolar depression? Maybe I wasn't responding to medication because I wasn't being treated for the correct disorder.

This happened just before I moved to New York, so it must have been during the spring of 2000. I was in treatment for about four years at that point. Did I have a new diagnosis? I never had an obvious manic episode, an extended time period during which I was euphoric, didn't need to sleep at all, felt like I could do anything and got myself into trouble trying to do just that. One manic episode would have given me a bipolar disorder diagnosis right off the bat. But bipolar disorder is divided into Type I and Type II categories. Type I is defined by manic episodes. Type II is defined by "hypomanic" episodes, a kinder, gentler mania you could say. There were times in my life when I did some pretty stupid things, but nothing that would have gotten me into serious trouble. Maybe that's what I had. Then again, maybe my antidepressants just needed a little boost. Only time would tell.

I'm not on lithium anymore, or any other mood stabilizer. Still on the antidepressants. Still don't know what I got.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by acpeavy at 2005-07-24 20:36:54
I understand this one completely! At least from a patient's point of view. I am bipolar, Type I, but the manic phases are not present all the time. In fact, there have been years between them. Trying to explain them to a doctor gets some very strange looks! The most common response I get is, "Well, stop drinking coffee!" If it was that easy, I would surely do it. Unfortunately, I tried that once. I still stared at the wall 10 seconds, paced the floor 15 seconds, drummed my fingers a few, before I went back to counting bumps in the plaster on the wall. Only difference being, I was thirsty!

2005-07-28 @ 07:50:35 PM

I used to get so mad when my mom would bug me about dating and getting married. I thought of it as her not-so-subtle way of telling me that I couldn't take care of myself. I thought she was telling me that I would be nothing without a man.

Then she died.

At the funeral, my older sisters had their husbands and children with them. My younger sister and I, both being single, kinda got stuck with each other even though we hadn't spoken to each other in years. That was awkward. During the entire process though, it suddenly hit me what my mother wanted for me. She wanted for me to have someone to depend on for love and support. She wanted me to have a soft place to fall when I couldn't stand on my own. She wanted me to be able to turn around and find someone there ready to hold me and comfort me when I needed it. She wanted me to feel that sense of protection that she tried so hard to provide for me. She didn't want me to feel alone like I did on that day.

My mother was trying to teach me her idea of the natural order of things. Children grow up, get married, and have children of their own. Family perpetuates. She saw me stuck in limbo. She wanted me to move forward to the next milestone. Not because I couldn't make it on my own, but because I shouldn't have to. Life is so much richer when the joys and sorrows are shared with someone you trust to stand by you, to protect you and to love you unconditionally.

During my last moments with my mother before the casket was closed, I whispered to her, "I get it now."

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-07-29 00:20:16
Yeah. Why does it take us losing them until we get it? I'm of the opinion that our mothers are the only ones who have ever or will ever love us unconditionally.

My daughter is of the same mind and thankfully, won't have to wait until my soul has left this world to understand that.~

2005-07-30 @ 10:19:50 AM

You know how there are certain people in your life that just really get on your nerves? You know the ones. The mere mention of their names makes you roll your eyes. Just the thought of them makes your blood boil. Every little thing they say or do absolutely drives you nuts. I once heard that the things that really bug you about other people, are things that you do yourself.


What do you think? Do you hate in others what you hate about yourself?

Read Comments (5)
Comment posted by inforeso at 2005-07-30 14:11:21
Definitely. That's why I try not to judge others because usually the faults or things I dislike the most in others are the faults and annoying habits I have. Gee, no wonder I don't have tons of friends, I have tons of annoying faults.

Comment posted by acpeavy at 2005-07-30 18:52:43
hmm that's a difficult proposition. If we dislike in ohter's what we see in ourselves, doesn't that distill into self-loathing? There are many things I know I have to improve on, but I do not know that I dislike myself merely because of them. But then, even to myself, I'm not a very likable guy!

Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-07-30 21:14:44
I have lots of annoying habits myself but I don't see them in others. Nobody irritates me like I do myself. I guess they are uniquely mine!~

Comment posted by zoe at 2005-07-31 07:57:21
I think the worse one, is something you used to not like about yourself. If you had a bad habit, and worked your butt off to get rid of it, then you REALLY notice it in someone else!!

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-08-02 08:18:44
I couldn't agree more with you, Zoe.

Something to Ponder
2005-07-31 @ 05:29:50 AM


To realize The value of ten years:
Ask a newly Divorced couple.

To realize The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.

To realize The value of one year:
Ask a student who Has failed a final exam.

To realize The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn baby.

To realize The value of one month:
Ask a mother who has given birth to A premature baby.

To realize The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

To realize The value of one hour:
Ask the lovers who are waiting to Meet.

To realize The value of one minute:
Ask a person Who has missed the train, bus or plane.

To realize The value of one-second:
Ask a person Who has survived an accident.

To realize The value of one millisecond:
Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics

Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
you can share it with someone special.

To realize the value of a friend:
Lose one.

To realize The value of a sister:
Ask someone Who doesn't have one.

Taken from resource-a-day: Your Internet Resource Page

Read Comments (5)
Comment posted by integrity at 2005-08-01 17:35:44
Thanks Eva, I needed to read this. Enjoy today, now. I always remember the following song by Cat Stevens (I think)? No or it's by someone who had a few good songs then died? Harry Chaffen? Anyone remember his name?
"When you coming home Dad?"
"I don't know when. We'll get together then, Son. You know we'll have a good time then ..."

"When you coming home, Son?"
"I don't know when. We'll get together then, Dad. You know we'll have a good time then!"
So true! Hug and love your kids today. Nothing is more important then being with and helping your kids grow.
Randy Martin

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-08-01 17:37:39
Eva, your site is wonderful and helpful. Thank you so much!

Comment posted by acpeavy at 2005-08-02 07:07:07
Integrity, song done by Harry Chapin, title Cat's in the Cradle

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-08-02 08:13:35
for Randy
Lyrics for Cat's in the Cradle

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-08-02 13:17:09
Thanks Aaron and Eva

I am very close and love my kids more then anything but I regret not spending enough time with them. They know I love them and I know they love me but it still bugs me. That song always makes me think.

Good Intentions: Bad idea?
2005-08-03 @ 12:23:10 PM

During my last days as a physician-in-training, my supervisors and other well-meaning people tried to help me look on the "bright side." One suggestion made to me was that now I would have the time to start a family. Right. Not married, not in a relationship, just lost my only means of financial support and could see no opportunity of ever becoming financially stable. Yeah! Point me to the nearest sperm bank. It's time to have a baby!

I know, intellectually, that people were trying to help me. They wanted to see me catch up on all the things that I had put off during my training. They believed that I now had the opportunity to lead a fuller life. And that was true. I now had time to focus on other things in life. But emotionally, it killed me inside. I had devoted my entire life to building a career. Now that career was gone. A baby was going to fix that? How was I suppose to raise a child out-of-wedlock with no visible means of financial support and no stable family life? It was a painful reminder of how alone I was in the world and how misunderstood I felt.

If you ever make a suggestion that isn't well received, don't take it personally. We all have our own frame of reference influencing our thoughts and perceptions. Not everyone will see eye-to-eye.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-08-04 06:35:45
A classic case of trying to help, yet only making matters worse. Maybe the best thing in these kinds of situations is to heed the advice given many times in reference to consoling those who have lost a dear loved one: If you're not sure what to say, a simple "I'm sorry" will express sympathy adequately. During any devastating event, most don't feel much like conversation anyway. Those who do need to talk will do so; in which case maybe the most generous thing we can do to help is to listen.

Comment posted by JadeLady at 2005-08-04 11:13:32
First off I would like to say thank you for the encouraging words in my never ending goal to lose weight. I would like to comment on your most recent blog, and tell you I learned the hard way that trying to give advice to friends and loved ones can be very difficult. I have a friend who has a disease called Colitis. She just had some really upsetting news. I tried to encourage her, apparently evryone else that day had said pretty much the same thing I had. She lost it and told me she wanted one day where she could just be upset, and she was sick of being strong. I told her that we may come across as patronising, but it is only because we are at a loss, and don't know how to fix the problem. I wish I could wave my magic wand and make her problems disappear, but it doesn't work this way. I say Do what makes you happy hon, but know that the people closest to you are there for you if you need them. You are never alone.

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-08-04 18:29:28
JadeLady, think of it this way. Your friend felt secure enough with you to let you know exactly how she felt. I imagine that it was very liberating for her to be able to express her feelings openly like that. She knows that you are on her side. That is very special.

Random Thoughts
2005-08-07 @ 09:42:24 AM

I thought that I was incapable of grieving for my mother, so why was I crying while thinking about her a couple of weeks ago? And why has her funeral service been running through my head lately?

Why do people insist on rubbing their triumphs in your face when they know darn well that you are having trouble just getting started in the very same arenas? I just can't believe that they are sincerely trying to "motivate" you.

What does it mean when your therapist tells you that he can hear the joy in your voice, but can't see it in your body language? Where is the disconnect?

When will I be able to feel happy and not feel guilty about it?

Read Comments (0)

Don't ask, don't tell
2005-08-12 @ 09:29:09 AM

Wall Street Journal-July 21, 2005-Depression

In an article titled "The Latest Rules On What Not to Talk About at Work", the writer gives an example of a top-rated manager at a Kansas health-care company, who was diagnosed with depression. He decided to tell co-workers on the well intentioned belief that "people like me must take chances if we want to destigmatize mental illness". He should have called me for advice. I still fight the stigma of depression and probably will for the foreseeable future. Depression is not a career booster. Ultimately, the corporate executives at his company believed that depression would hurt his performance. He eventually resigned. The Wall Street Journal listed depression, mental illness and substance abuse as "taboo" topics at work.
taken from today's Bulletin, a monthly newsletter about Vagus nerve stimulation and depression

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by copperhair at 2005-09-30 23:08:26
I worked in a Mental Health Agency and thought that it would be fine to discuss this. It was a good feeling to be able to talk about it to a degree, sort of a free feeling...a coming out of sorts. It is not a wise thing to do at work though, I am afraid. I too felt that it was important as far as fighting stigma was concerned, but on a personal work basis, it wasn't a good choice.

2005-08-14 @ 04:33:38 PM

I always get anxious whenever I am about to take on something new, something that I know other people would like to do if given the chance. I get anxious because I am waiting for the "talk" to start. I am waiting for the whispers about how I don't deserve the opportunity, that I somehow finagled the chance by trickery rather than by earning it, that I will fall flat on my face because I dared to reach far beyond my limited capabilities.

When I was in high school, I wanted to do a lot of things. I desperately wanted to be yearbook editor. I joined the yearbook committee only to quit a few weeks later because my father didn't think it was proper for me to go out searching for advertisers to help defray the cost of producing the yearbook. I know that I was talked about for that one. From sophomore through senior year, I was a joke to the yearbook staff. I can prove it with the deliberate snide inaccuracies about me throughout the yearbooks. High school is a tough time. Adolescents trying to distinguish themselves and establish an identity can be cruel to other teens.

With each new endeavor that I undertake, I relive that agony from high school. I anticipate harsh words from critics. I expect friends to become enemies. I wait for the rug to be pulled out from under me. Failure is always lurking just around the corner. It doesn't matter how many awards or degrees that I may accumulate. Nothing comes for free, and people soon realize that I never had the currency to pay my dues.

Or maybe I just think that they do, because that is what I think of myself.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by tulip at 2005-08-15 04:07:09
Memories, making you feel sad or a fool, I have them, too, and it seems you never get rid of them no matter how hard you try. Maybe not exactly the same, but I know the feeling. Somehow those negative feelings always show up when trying to start something new in life or just because I feel depressed. Not even knowing why I have a hard time and feel like a total misfit. It doesn't take long for all those nasty memories to pop up again, telling me I am a fool, everybody is laughing about me, thinking how I hurt people in the past with my behaviour, and the list grows and grows in those moods. I know it is silly to let memories that happened 30 yrs ago or even longer rule my life. I try to push them away, but they keep following me. It would be great if we could erase them just like unwanted computer files ...

Comment posted by How2-4Newbies at 2005-08-15 07:40:54
Everyone likes to think we always have choices about what we want to do in life. We can go for it or we can pass on it. No grey matter - it is a decision we get to make and we live or die by it. Nice thought. Life is never that simple.

However, having said that, there are variables to this issue of choices. The dream is ALWAYS ours. The decision to want something and go for it is ALWAYS our choice. Just as the decision to follow through better be ours as well or we deserve the just criticism.

As a dependent child, your decisions can be over-ridden by a parent. As an adult, they are yours to make and yours to live or die by the results.

If what you reach for is built on the pain of someone else, you will never enjoy the fruits of your labor. But that applies only if you are guilty of trespassing on their rights, not if what you want is your dream and is built on honesty and clarity of intentions.

Critics? There will always be critics. There is nada that you or I can do to please the world at large, nor should we try to. If what we do is good and just and benefits others for our work, then that should be enough to satisfy you and me. After all, it is for ourselves that we do the things we choose to do. We have something to offer. If others are offended, then they have the problem. Do not make it yours to bear.

My walls and storage compartments are filled with awards for one thing or another I strived for. They are the paper acknlowledgement of my skills. It is how I have used those skills that I will be judged by. Some people collect awards as some sort of proof of worthiness in their lives. For others, those paper awards are the beginning of friendships and associations that help all who come in contact with these people grow, feeling all the better for having known this person.

Friends criticize because they are offended by an action. It often means they are way outside of your decision making. Friends support because they see the value in an action, which means you have not left out the very people you need to support your decisions. Friends do not leave unless they know what we know to begin with, what we did is not just or fair and it is beyond the value of their friendship.

Those are the results of the choices we choose to make. Those are the results of not thinking through the penalty of our actions. If it holds true that for every action, there is a reaction, then it serves one best to make decisions we can live with. If the decision is worthy of us then we have no need to question.

From your post here, I have no true idea of where this is coming from, but if you feel so concerned then perhaps you need to reconsider your actions and decide if this is what you really want and if that decision is worth the agony you appear to be sending out in this post. If you do not make peace with yourself, then count on adding this decision to a growing pile of previous fears - you will quit it too.

Our greatest friend stares back at us from the mirror - we cannot compromise that friendship.

Good luck
Fran - How2-4Newbies

Comment posted by tulip at 2005-08-15 08:58:44
In my opinion it is always better to go on with realizing your plans, even when in your mind it whispers to you something different in this kind of situation. When giving in on negative thoughts, you only give it a chance to grow and get worse. Life can be difficult, but it does not mean we have to go the easy way by giving up everytime we feel anxiety or fear to fail.

Making Decisions
2005-08-19 @ 04:41:04 PM

When I was a kid, I discussed everything with my dad. I listened to him whether or not I agreed with him because he was my father. Every decision I ever regret making while I was growing up, I blame on him.

Now, as an adult, when it comes time to make a major decision in my life, I refuse to discuss it with ANYBODY until I have my own opinion firmly formed in my head. I don't want to be able to "blame" somebody else for the outcome of my decisions. Funny thing is that it's NOT because I believe that someone will influence me into making a decision that is not in my best interest. On the contrary, I am very liable to make a decision simply to prove somebody wrong!

Do my decisions effect the people around me? Most definitely yes. Does my decision-making process matter to anybody besides me? I think that is my own private business. I've lost many "friendships" along the way because my decisions and my way of life were not understood by people who claimed to care about me. In my opinion, those friendships were lost because those people did not care enough about me to stick around long enough to pick up the pieces that they predicted were sure to fall due to my foolishness. And if they came back around when my life did fall apart, I sent them packing. In my definition of friendship, friends stick by you no matter what, and only then do they earn the right to say, "I told you so."

Is this inflexibility a result of depressed thinking? Maybe. Thought processes seem to become more concrete in depressed people. Am I a stubborn, pig-headed mule? Well, yeah. I admit that. It's part of my charm.

; )

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-08-19 17:52:18
Those are EXACTLY the words my father used to describe me as I was growing up. My stubborn pig-headedness infuriated my family incessantly. As a wonderful mentor and friend, Rob Gehring, said the other night: "Just tell me I CANNOT do something and I most certainly WILL!" Perhaps they're not such bad characteristics after all. :) ~

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-08-21 17:15:21
I'm not talking about being challenged to do something that I wanted to do in the first place. I'm talking outright rebellion. I'm talking about doing something that I really ought to know better than to do simply because someone decided to advise me against it. I hate being told what to do!

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-08-25 21:39:13
Eva, talking and mutual respect work! Forcing, telling from Liars leads to hatred. Just ask Bush and Blair.

Bumper Sticker
2005-08-25 @ 02:22:27 PM

Seen today while walking the streets of NYC:
"If you are NOT outraged
You are NOT paying attention"

I don't know about that. There are times when nothing bothers me. Then there are times when the mere fact that other people are breathing just drives me nuts! I guess I just haven't found my "passion" yet. My raison d'etre. Any reason to be.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by copperhair at 2005-10-01 00:34:28
After the past few months, I could truly relate to the shirt. It just seems as though so many bad things have happened and that the world doesn't seem to be paying attention to what we would have to do to make things any better. I am glad though that I found your blog. I find it very interesting. I am at blogger, but I registered here so that I could make comments. I found the link to your site at the head docs. He is great, so I do check out his links as he adds them.

Stick it to them Sept 10!
2005-08-26 @ 08:52:30 AM

Okay, this isn't a political blog, but I want to pass this info on and this is the largest platform I have. I received this email message through a safelist of which I am a member.

This is a public notice I thought you may like to read.

Subject: STICK IT TO THEM - Prices of gasoline

It has been calculated that if everyone in the United States did not purchase a drop of gasoline for one day and all at the same time, the oil companies would choke on their stockpiles.

At the same time, it would hit the entire industry with a net loss of over 4.6 billion dollars which effects the bottom lines of the oil companies.

Therefore, September 10th has been formally declared "STICK IT TO THEM DAY" and the people of this nation should not buy a single drop of gasoline that day.

The only way this can be done is if you forward this e-mail to as many people as you can and as quickly as you can to get the word out.

Waiting on this administration to step in and control the prices is not going to happen. What happened to the reduction and control in prices that the Arab nations promised two weeks ago?

Remember one thing, not only is the price of gasoline going up, but at the same time airlines are forced to raise their prices, trucking companies are forced to raise their prices which effects prices on everything that is shipped. Things like food, clothing, building materials, medical supplies, etc. Who pays in the end? WE DO!

We can make a difference. If they don't get the message after one day, we will do it again and again.

So do your part and spread the word.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by PrairieMade at 2005-09-07 00:44:07
Eva, I had that email as well way up here in Canada. I passed it on, whether it will do any good or not I don't know but it doesn't hurt to try.

Comment posted by Jacquie at 2005-09-07 14:06:01
When 'petrol' got too expensive here in the UK they started selling it by the litre instead of the gallon (as if that fooled anyone). Currently prices are hovering around two pounds sterling per litre, that's around $3.67 a litre (around a pint and a quarter)

Comment posted by candc at 2005-09-07 17:36:50
Very good IDEA Eva, think about this what will happen if we the "NATION" won't buy any car for, oh let's say 2 months. Then you will see their "employee discount" going to the bottom.

Let's DO IT!!

Writer's Block
2005-09-05 @ 11:13:27 PM

You ever want to express something so badly that the words just won't come? I hate it when that happens.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by copperhair at 2005-09-30 23:11:26
What I think of as writers block is when I sit down in front of the screen and can't think of a single thing that I have to write about. It has happened to me lately and I am hoping that it doesn't last too long.

What I Did This Summer
2005-09-06 @ 12:26:46 PM

On Memorial Day this year, I took a chance on getting to know someone new. My life hasn't been the same since.

That same week, BlogEstates launched and I started this blog. I told the world about my "dirty little secret" of chronic clinical depression. The overwhelmingly positive and supportive response that I got to my very first entry shocked me.

Many doors have flown open for me since that time. I have met many wonderful people, found support in a few surprising places, and discovered strengths that I didn't know I had.

There have been disappointments along the way as well, as would be expected in the normal course of life. But I am learning to deal with disappointment and setbacks in a healthy way. At least I am not hiding anymore. And I am beginning to remember that the person I need to please first and foremost is myself.

I have come out of my shell. I am more social now. I am actively participating in the internet marketing community. I own and run three safelists; and I just launched my first joint venture, Nexus Exchange.

My therapist can hardly contain himself now when he sees me. It's been a long time since I've seen him smile broadly when I enter his office.

What a summer it has been. Thank you everyone for your support.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by Jacquie at 2005-09-08 01:40:22
Have you seen this?

Comment posted by integrity at 2005-09-08 06:39:11
Eva really nice! Soon as I heard I joined right away! Quality people , Quality Exchange.

Comment posted by evajmah at 2005-09-08 12:27:57
Yes, Jacquie, Aaron and I have seen the latest issue of Hit Exchange News. We are estatic about the comments made! Nexus Exchange has arrived!!!

A big thank you to both Jacquie and integrity for joining the exchange and giving both Aaron and I your votes of confidence. We really appreciate the support.

Beat the high cost of meds
2005-09-10 @ 11:42:37 AM

Prescription medication cost is a joke in the United States. Consumers demand state-of-the-art medicine. The pharmaceutical industry delivers with no holds barred on the cost of development. The people who suffer the most, I believe, are psychiatric patients. The armory of psychiatric meds is expanding rapidly, vastly improving care and management of the psych patient. But psychiatric patients are probably the least likely to be able to pay for the new medications that are coming out onto the market.

As a psychiatric resident, I learned that many pharmaceutical companies have "patient assistance" programs. These programs are designed to give FREE medications to those who meet defined financial qualifications. All kinds of medications can be obtained in this way, not just psych meds. Usually, you and your doctor fill out forms to send to the company. If you qualify, the medication will be sent to your doctor to give to you, free of charge.

Here is one place where you can look for patient assistance programs:

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by tmeven at 2005-09-13 14:20:55
Hi Eva... thanks for the info. I know of someone in great need of this. He is manic depression/bipolar at a serious level. Costing him hundreds per month for prescriptions unless he can get samples from the doc. I will pass this info on to him.

Thanks, Tammy

Comment posted by Jacquie at 2005-09-15 07:16:31
I am so thankful for the National Health Service here in the UK.

Ain't it funny?
2005-09-17 @ 12:34:01 PM

Ain't it funny how you spend the best years of your life raising your kids to be independent adults, and then, when you need them most, they up and leave?

My dad will be 80 years old next year. He taught each of his kids, all girls, to be strong and independent. Except, of course, when it came to HIM. Can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Daddy is Daddy," meaning that he is the leader, and we follow the leader. That was fine when I was growing up. Heck, it's probably what kept me out of trouble as a kid. But that logic doesn't fly with adult children, at least not in my family.

My mom passed away in 2002. My father expressed fear that with mom gone, nobody would visit him anymore. We all told him that would not happen. I like to think that we didn't lie intentionally to him. But visits from the kids and grandkids are probably less frequent now than they were when my mom was alive. Worse yet, the expectation that one of the daughters, out of filial duty, would move back home to care for Daddy, was never fulfilled. Are we rotten kids or what?

THIS kid, has the excuse of living 3000 miles away, lame as it is. But Daddy accepts it, and that drives the other kids nuts.

I wonder if it's guilt about how I've treated my parents that makes me so patient with other people's parents.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by Jacquie at 2005-09-18 12:41:05
The hardest thing as a parent is to accept that we are not given children, only leant them. My own kids are still small (5yrs and 11 months) but already I have had a taste. When my elder daughter started 'big' school it wasn't her with tears streaming down her face! I have every admiration for those that sacrifice their own lives and relationships to care for elderly parents but I know that if I had to do the same I would become resentful at best. This does not mean I do not love them or would ever abandon them but of course this self-knowledge carries the price of guilt.

Comment posted by aalbury759 at 2005-11-07 13:50:53
As you know you shall receive many suggestions for help.

I looked at your Mom's Picture yesterday, the two of you sharing in a way only your heart and soul will understand.

Moms are always with us watching and attempting to guide us.

When your heart cries, write for the world to see. Someone will drop by and deliver her message to you.


Right vs. Happy
2005-10-07 @ 04:03:30 PM

Dr. Phil often asks, "Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?"

Cantcha be both? lol

There are some people in the world that you can argue with until you are blue in the face, yet nothing can ever be settled.

Then there are people who back down right away, just to avoid confrontation. I hate myself whenever I do that.

I went through a phase during which I absolutely HAD to have validation that the world was doing me wrong. Don't be pulling any of the "reality check" crap on me 'cause I wasn't buying it. I was done wrong, and I was pissed about it, and dammit somebody besides me was going to recognize it.

But that wasn't going to make me happy.

Dr. Phil talks about "right fighters," people who have to be right no matter what the subject. They just can't back down, even for the sake of peace. I couldn't back down, even for my own peace of mind.

There are things in life that can't be changed. Accept them and move on. The things that CAN be changed are worth focusing on, can make your world "right" and might even make you "happy."

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-10-07 18:48:29
I went through that phase once or twice

2005-10-09 @ 01:31:48 AM

When everything is going your way, are you ever afraid of waking up in the morning and finding out that it was all a dream?

I never realized how much happiness scares me. I want to crawl into a hole and hide, so that I can treasure the moment and keep it safe. I am afraid that if I share it with anybody, it will be taken away.

I've never had anything that was truly mine to keep. Maybe such a thing doesn't exist.

Why is everything I experience tainted with fear?

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-10-13 02:24:57
Everything going my way usually is a dream. lol

Way I see it, we own only our human bodies and our thoughts are really all that exists.

Happiness is there if we think it so, therefore it belongs to us and can't be taken away. Unfortunately, it works the same with unhappiness and fear as well.~

Comment posted by drkelp at 2005-10-13 21:30:37
Hi Eva - I think the only things we get to keep are the things we give away...paradoxical really, but I know what you mean.

Girl Talk
2005-10-29 @ 06:31:28 PM

I miss my mom.

I never talked much with my mother about "girl things." I didn't really talk much with her at all. I was busy with school. She just wanted to know about the social life that I didn't have. In our culture, children become adults when they marry. I think she was waiting for me to get married before she shared "grown-up" things with me. But she has passed on, and I'm still single. Now what do I do?

My mother will not be at my wedding. I will have to pick a dress without her. My mother won't be there to calm my father when I argue with him about planning the event. Who will advise me when I have problems dealing with my husband or in-laws?

My mom will never hold any of my children in her arms. Who will I go to with questions about pregnancy and childbirth? Or parenting for that matter? I don't even know when my mother went into menopause. She barely explained menstruation to me.

I will be more lost without my mother as an adult than I ever was as a child.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by kkylara at 2005-11-03 15:59:33

I am lucky, my mom is still here, but she is 85 and I have to think about her being gone. I wrote a poem for her birthday a couple of years ago about that. It is on my poems page if you want to read it.


Comment posted by SeaLady at 2005-11-05 16:05:04
I feel so badly for you Eva. I am one of the lucky ones, I still have my Mom and we can talk about anything under the sun, always have been able to. But she's 72 now and not in the best of health. I hate living 5 hours away from her and only seeing her 2 times a year.

Here's what I suggest: Do you have a best friend? That can be a great help. You can also get into support groups online, you'll be amazed at how much empathy and support you can get from support groups.

I wish you much luck ...

The SAD time of year
2005-11-11 @ 06:26:37 PM

It is the time of year that I always dread. The holidays? Not specifically, though I have never been especially fond of them. No, it's the time of year when days get shorter in the United States. You see, I'm one of those lucky ducks with a depression that worsens at the drop of a hat. Okay, maybe not the drop of hat. But wintertime, for sure, gets difficult for me, much like it does for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short.

People with SAD get depressed when daylight period of the day/night cycle gets shorter. It is thought to be related to disruption of the human circadian rhythm. It is treated with light therapy. There are special lightboxes that are made to simulate natural daylight. You sit in front of it for a couple of hours a day to make up for the lost daylight hours. These boxes run about $400 each. My therapist that insurance will often pay for one if a prescription for it is written by a doctor. I'll let you know if that is true when I get back on health insurance. Until then, look for me by the window.

Read Comments (5)
Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-11-12 00:34:03
hehe...yep, I'll be by the window, too. ;)

Comment posted by c261262 at 2005-11-12 18:24:02
The SAD time of year, I can totally relate to that Eva. It's the same here in the United Kingdom, evenings drawing in before day gets a chance to get started.

Kind Regards
Clive Anderson

Comment posted by bizybee at 2005-11-12 20:46:48
Hello Eva,

My Son also has this disorder in the winter time. I had a therapist tell me to use florecent lighting in his room, it seemed to help. Aroma Therapy might also help, as well as music, to lift your spirits and moods.

I will be asking our creater to shine his brilliant light on you and help you to overcome this, and lift your spirits now and all year long, as well for Gina and Clive.

Wishing you the Best with Abundance, successes, happiness, and loads of life's Joys.

Dorothy McCracken-bizybee

Comment posted by zoe at 2005-11-13 07:15:36
I always feel like I'm a plant, and in the winter I don't get enough sun or water. hah! So there you have it, Eva, you're actually a rose bush.

Comment posted by Jacquie at 2005-11-13 09:14:33
Craft/needlework shops sell 'natural daylight' bulbs. These are not strong enough to use as light therapy but are much easier on the eyes than normal bulbs in desktop lamps if you find you are getting headaches. I have found some internet friends in Australia, so my cunning plan is to follow summer round the world. Just need to earn enough for the airfare now, lol

Divided Longings
2005-11-23 @ 05:41:02 PM

It is Thanksgiving in the United States, and I am feeling blue. What a shock! But it's not because I am alone and lonely. I feel blue because I am torn about where to spend my holiday time.

I am flying to California to visit my nephew. I love him dearly. We grew up together. We have always had a special bond between us. I haven't seen him in over a year. I should be excited. I usually am when I visit my family. But this time I am hanging back. I want to be somewhere else.

I want to stay where I am because I have finally started having a real life again. I am no longer alone nor lonely. I have a wonderful man in my life now, and his family has accepted me as a part of his life. I feel like I am in a TV sitcom where despite the everyday problems, everyone truly cares for one another. I didn't have that feeling growing up in my own family. I almost prefer to stay here rather than return to the world I knew as a child.

And that makes me feel guilty. I have a family in California that loves me, even if most of them aren't speaking to me at the moment. And there's my mom, may she rest in peace. I feel like I am betraying her most of all now by being the daughter that I should have been to her with someone else.

But you know what? I'm not depressed about it. I am sad. I feel blue. But I know that these are normal feelings. I know that they will pass. The world is not going to end, and I don't particularly want it to.

There is hope for me yet.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by drkelp at 2005-11-23 18:58:59
Hi eva

Sounds like a nice dilemna to be in. I'm happy that you have found a fruitful relationship.


Comment posted by gweiss at 2005-11-27 14:19:11
Absolutely! You be back soon. HUGS!!!

Gina G Weiss

Comment posted by SeaLady at 2005-11-30 02:55:46
Eva, I know just what you mean about the holidays and the blues. For my family it's a rough time because of money. As for me, well, every year gets worse. i.e., the commercialization and high prices. Plus, everyone seems to forget what Christmas is really all about. It's very sad and depressing.

I also know what you mean about the winter blues. I get them too, really bad. I could just go to bed and hibernate just like a bear for the winter.

But you don't have to buy those expensive light boxes. Try buying light bulbs that are advertised as "daylight spectrum " lightbulbs for your lamps and light fixtures. They aren't nearly so expensive. I've got them in a couple of lights in my house and it helps some.

The other day I was so bad from SAD that I just could not keep my eyes open. I went to bed and slept most of 2 1/2 days! That's how bad it gets for me sometimes. Then woke up with a migraine had to put my night mask and icepack on, take some medication and go back to my dark bedroom to go back to sleep. We need a new mattress for the bed in this RV. I think I get migraines because of that sometimes.

I'm just trying to throw myself into my computer work as much as possible and I don't think about the winter blues so much. And spring will be upon us sooner than you think! In fact, it's time to start getting gardening magazines and picking out what I'm going to grow next year! HA!

Try to cheer up, ok? And don't feel guilty. Your mom is in a better place and you'll see her again someday. But here in this life you deserve to be happy and live a full guilt-free life. Go have fun already! :)


2005-12-01 @ 01:53:16 PM

I don't dream very often, but since I have arrived in my childhood home, I have been dreaming every night. The people are from my past and present, the situations change, but the themes remain the same. I am disappointing someone or I have not reached my goals or I feel rejected. I hope that these dreams will stop once I get back home. But if they do, what does that mean? That my childhood was a disappointment? I never felt loved as a child? I grew up in an atmosphere of negativity? Why can't I just get over it?

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by zoe at 2005-12-03 09:23:46
I have a friend who has nightmares when they go back home. I think it's a spirit thing - there's spirits at their house that like to taunt them. I think the majority of problems they have at home are the same thing. Not always, but sometimes I think there's a third party directly causing problems for and between people. If that's true, you aren't 'over it' because it still harasses you when you are there. See what you can do to get rid of it! :) zoe

2005-12-12 @ 06:25:16 AM

Quotation of the Day:

"A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal
relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient
-- Bertrand Russell
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Goodbye 2005
2005-12-21 @ 12:24:34 PM

I bid farewell to sadness and fear
I have to replace them goodwill and great cheer

I shed a shroud outgrown and try new things for size
With high expectations of bringing light to my eyes

This year has been good, well the last half at least
Because I found the music to soothe my inner beast

Don't know the future, can only learn from the past
But so far so good, may this peace last and last

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When to say I love you
2005-12-24 @ 12:58:01 PM

  • when you really feel it
  • when you really mean it
  • when you feel it and mean it at the same time
  • when you don't need to hear it back
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2005-12-28 @ 10:31:18 AM

Someone commented to me that it must be nice to have found a new family within Aaron's household. His parents do make me feel very welcomed, and that is a very nice feeling. I enjoy my time with Aaron's family, parents, pets and all.

I just wish that my family of origin wasn't fractured beyond repair.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by integrity at 2006-01-06 04:31:26
Hi Eva beyond repair? Anything is possible! One day at a time and you may be suprised how quickly it can begin to repair itself.
Happy New Year!

Comment posted by evajmah at 2006-01-08 11:34:45
Hey integrity! Great to hear from ya!! Happy New Year!

You are right. Anything is possible. But with my family, too much has happened that probably will never be forgiven. Everything went to hell after my mom died. My dad will be 80 years old this year. Even with family, it is hard to get a roomful of stubborn adults to agree to disagree.

2006-01-11 @ 08:35:26 AM

Fear is an awesome force. It can propel you forward, or stop you cold in your tracks.

Read Comments (2)
Comment posted by tulip at 2006-01-11 09:09:51
True, sometimes the decision to leave the comfort zone and to enter the fear zone can bring you where you never thought you could be. You might discover you are stronger and can handle more than you think. Not so brave myself, remembering this keeps me going :)

Comment posted by zoe at 2006-01-11 22:17:58
I like roller coasters - they're scary, but you know you can get off in a couple minutes ;)

Unless you change ...
2006-01-15 @ 10:26:24 AM

Without change

the day would never dawn
the sun would never set
Spring would not bloom
Autumn would have no color
Without change

tadpoles don't become frogs
caterpillars don't become butterflies
babies don't become walking, talking adults
Without change

there is no growth
there is no development
there is no life
Without change

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by zoe at 2006-01-18 11:49:36
plus...stuff would be really boring. you know, the spice of life and all that! ;)

Kiss and Tell
2006-01-19 @ 10:24:28 PM

What you should ALWAYS tell your therapist ...

What I actually tell my therapist ...

Is it any wonder?

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by zoe at 2006-01-23 22:49:08
I bet your therapist says, "the ones that need to talk to clam up, the ones that i don't want to hear from, won't shutup!" ;) Funny how people work!

My Source
2006-01-31 @ 10:31:02 AM

This is something that I have never quite settled for myself. What is the difference between believing in yourself and your own power versus belief in a higher power?

I have no formal religious training, so please excuse my ignorance. It just seems to me that if you can believe in a higher power living inside of yourself, then why can't that higher power just be yourself? I have read parts of the Bible. I like listening to Christian radio programs and agree with many of the concepts presented. I think that what my parents taught me about right and wrong generally follows Christian principles. But I would not be considered a Christian because I am trying to have faith in myself as opposed to having faith in a higher power.

I guess that I am equating religious faith with dependence on an outside source of strength. I fear dependence. I consider dependence a weakness. That is really my problem.

Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by integrity at 2006-02-26 21:12:11
Great question.

For me a higher power has saved my life many times. As an alcoholic (sober for 17 years), putting my trust in God saved my life! I am sure I would be dead by now with no wife and Kids that love me. Dependence or love of God has given me greater strength and to me this is not a weakness.

Try it Eva!


2006-02-02 @ 08:46:08 AM

Your Blog Should Be Purple
You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.
What Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?
Read Comments (1)
Comment posted by Dariana at 2006-02-07 10:25:23
I love the color purple in any shade!

Problem solving
2006-02-13 @ 08:07:12 AM

Quotation of the Day:
"The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the
same level of thinking with which we created them."
-- Albert Einstein
Read Comments (0)

Chemical Dependency
2006-03-05 @ 12:13:31 PM

"I'm so happy
because today I found my friends.
They're in my head."
--Lyrics from Lithium by Nirvana

How come I'm not "normal" unless I am on drugs?

I weaned myself off of my antidepressant two months ago in an attempt to save some money. That was a month from hell. Crying spells, crawling into bed and throwing the covers over my head in the middle of the day, unable to make the simplest of decisions. I felt emotionally paralyzed. I wouldn't wish that experience on my worst enemy. The only good thing to come out of it was that I realized something. Before the tapering my antidepressant, I was NOT depressed. What my therapist was telling me was actually true. I have gotten better since last summer. I have moved forward with my life. I feel better about myself. I am willing to take risks with my ego.

Thank you, Aaron. Thank you for kicking me when I need it, leaving me alone when I ask, and always being there with open arms to give me a hug no matter how childishly I behave.

Read Comments (0)

2006-03-24 @ 10:27:52 AM

You Have a Melancholic Temperament
Introspective and reflective, you think about everything and anything.
You are a soft-hearted daydreamer. You long for your ideal life.
You love silence and solitude. Everyday life is usually too chaotic for you.

Given enough time alone, it's easy for you to find inner peace.
You tend to be spiritual, having found your own meaning of life.
Wise and patient, you can help people through difficult times.

At your worst, you brood and sulk. Your negative thoughts can trap you.
You are reserved and withdrawn. This makes it hard to connect to others.
You tend to over think small things, making decisions difficult.
What Temperment Are You?
Read Comments (0)

2006-03-25 @ 11:51:15 AM

Your IQ Is 120
Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average

Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius

Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional

Your General Knowledge is Above Average
A Quick and Dirty IQ Test
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Mental health coverage
2006-05-07 @ 09:43:31 AM

Hey! I found out that I can fill a New York state prescription in Massachusetts! And one for Adderall at that!!

I've really got to do something about my meds. Currently I am running between Massachusetts and New York to get my prescriptions. My doctor is in New York. He has been good to me. I have been with him for almost six years now. He has stood by me through thick and thin. Because of that, I do not mind driving 3 hours (six hours round trip) to see him. He knows that I spend all my time in Massachusetts with Aaron, and he accomodates that. I only have to see him once a month now instead of once a week. And he charges me hardly anything since I do not have health insurance.

Now the sensible thing for me to do would be to find a doctor in Massachusetts, which I will do once I officially move residence. (Yes, I still have my apartment in New York...that's another story) Aside from having to start all over with a new doctor, which will be a pain in itself, I have to figure out how to afford it. I am sure that the state of Massachusetts has a wonderful public mental health system, but will I have to apply for public assistance to access it? My budding internet entrepreneur ego won't like that. SIGH.

Everyone join CacheArticles so I won't have to make that ugly decision ... LOL

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On the move
2006-08-31 @ 02:23:42 PM

Amazing what a difference a year makes. My entire life has changed because I stepped out of my comfort zone. I still wage war on clinical depression and ADHD, but I do win a battle here and there. I am surrounded by people who care about me and for me. This is the most normal lifestyle I have ever led in my entire life!

I will always have problems with my mood. That is a fact that I have come to accept. All I can do is plan to make each day better than the last. That will never change.

But life must change in order to make it worth living. Constancy equals stagnation. Remember that in biology, life is a steady-state system; there is constant movement. Systems at equilibrium are dead.

Read Comments (3)
Comment posted by road2freedom at 2006-12-01 13:44:31
I'm glad to hear that things are looking up for you. I have been away for a while (maybe that's why you're better), but it's good to know that you're moving right along. Have a GREAT day.


Comment posted by evajmah at 2006-12-02 09:37:08
Garrey! You're alive!! I've been wondering what you've been up to. Drop me a line or IM me.

Comment posted by integrity at 2007-02-01 09:51:09

Hi Eva Happy for you! Your last post is so true. Keep moving and trying. All the Best!

The kid comes back!
2007-03-16 @ 06:20:23 AM

Look for Psych Patient, MD to return on Blogger!

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New Home
2007-05-02 @ 07:25:35 AM

This blog is moving. Look for Psych Patient, MD here.

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