What would you want out of a BPD Mom program?

My boss has given me permission to begin research in the hopes of creating a program for Mom’s with BPD improve their relationship with their children and themselves. I am preparing a survey and in the meantime, I wanted to reach out here! If you do not already know me, I am a Mom who experiences borderline traits.

There is a lot of research out there that bashes Moms who experience BPD. Resources for Moms with BPD are scarce and I want to change that! If you feel comfortable, please leave a response in the comments below or you can wait for the survey as it is anonymous.

Who am I looking to hear from:

  • Moms who have BPD, borderline traits or believe they have BPD and have never been officially diagnosed.
  • Moms (of any age child)
  • Pregnant, first-time moms
  • Women who would like to be moms

What I would like to know is: if you signed up for a program on Mothering and BPD, what would you want in it? What would help you the most improve your relationship with your children? What would make you feel confident in your mothering as a first-time mom or someone who wants to be a mom?

 

The Skeletons in My Closet

Below is a TED Talk from TEDxGuelphU by Dr. Stephen Lewis. I first heard about Dr. Lewis and his research on self-harm at a presentation I “snuck” into with a Phd friend of mine a few years back. It was then interesting to find out that someone I have known since gr. 3 has done self-harm research with him (which is who sent me the link). What I didn’t know was that Dr. Lewis used to self-harm. I admire his ability to share his story and to also use his experience to drive his research. We need more research into self-harm and I am happy to know that someone who gets it is leading the way.

I have found it very difficult to share about my experience with self-harm. I do not like the looks I get from people and for my own sanity I just don’t like thinking about what I have done to my body. It is my hope that I can one day be comfortable enough to talk about my self-harm experiences with the same confidence as Dr. Lewis.

The Media and SSRI’s

Recently, the amazing Robert Whitaker (author of Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic) was featured on CBC Radio and CBC News about the dangers of psychiatric drugs. Now, you can listen and read so I won’t rehash the information because I more so want to talk about the media role in relaying this extremely valuable information.

The media has in the past written about the dangers of psychiatric drugs:

Adult antidepressants suspected in suicides of Canadian kids (2012)

Study casts doubt on antidepressant effectiveness (2008)

Antidepressants may not be worth the risk (2012)

What I am finding disturbing is that the media reports MORE on how mass shootings would decrease if more people were taking psychiatric drugs. This is again despite research that has linked psychiatric drugs to homicidal violence. Mental health is probably the only area of medicine that gives whiplash like this and not just within medicine but within our society as a whole.

It’s not like this research on psychiatric drugs (check out the The STAR”D Project) hasn’t been done or shared before! Aside from the work Whitaker has done, Dr. David Healy and Dr. Peter Breggin come to mind. Both of these psychiatrists have written, presented on the  risks of psychiatric drugs and advocated for better research, public education and holistic approaches to mental health.

Dr. David Healy Book List

Dr. Peter Breggin Book List

Their writing goes back into the 90’s so again, this is not a new idea. Psychiatric drugs have always been a problem for people.

I will never tell someone to go on psychiatric drugs. I will tell someone to come off of them if they are clearly not on the path to management or recovery. I will never deny that some people lead great lives because of the drugs they are taking. Oddly enough though people have no issue denying my experience and blaming my mental health status or brushing me off as someone who is experiencing something “rare”.

Psychiatric drugs should be one tool that we and professionals use to treat a person holisticeyally. This is not happening.

EDUCATION!!! Please educate yourself!

 

 

Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study

Abstract

Background

The classical serotonergic psychedelics LSD, psilocybin, mescaline are not known to cause brain damage and are regarded as non-addictive. Clinical studies do not suggest that psychedelics cause long-term mental health problems. Psychedelics have been used in the Americas for thousands of years. Over 30 million people currently living in the US have used LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline.

Objective

To evaluate the association between the lifetime use of psychedelics and current mental health in the adult population.

Method

Data drawn from years 2001 to 2004 of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health consisted of 130,152 respondents, randomly selected to be representative of the adult population in the United States. Standardized screening measures for past year mental health included serious psychological distress (K6 scale), mental health treatment (inpatient, outpatient, medication, needed but did not receive), symptoms of eight psychiatric disorders (panic disorder, major depressive episode, mania, social phobia, general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and non-affective psychosis), and seven specific symptoms of non-affective psychosis. We calculated weighted odds ratios by multivariate logistic regression controlling for a range of sociodemographic variables, use of illicit drugs, risk taking behavior, and exposure to traumatic events.

Results

21,967 respondents (13.4% weighted) reported lifetime psychedelic use. There were no significant associations between lifetime use of any psychedelics, lifetime use of specific psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote), or past year use of LSD and increased rate of any of the mental health outcomes. Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems.

Conclusion

We did not find use of psychedelics to be an independent risk factor for mental health problems.

Citation: Krebs TS, Johansen P-Ø (2013) Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study. PLoS ONE 8(8): e63972. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063972

Editor: Lin Lu, Peking University, China

 

Received: August 19, 2012; Accepted: April 11, 2013; Published: August 19, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Krebs, Johansen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: Both authors were supported by the Research Council of Norway (grant 185924). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

 

See the full study: PLOS One

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Robert Jacoby

Aside from writing a great novel and providing Pride in Madness with a guest post, author, Robert Jacoby answered some questions I had about There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes.

What made you want to write There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes?

I wanted to write a novel that mattered.

Before I wrote this novel I’d been reading about why novelists choose the subject matter for their books. Something I read by one writer struck me: the most important subjects are life and death. Nothing else matters, because everything else follows from that. So I wanted to write a novel of consequence.

Literature allows us to have human experiences that we might not have. It can be exhilarating, it can be dangerous. I wanted to write something that could alter a person’s worldview.

How did you go about researching what it was like to experience a mental health issue and life inside a psychiatric hospital?

I knew people who’d been hospitalized, I did some research on my own online, and I made some phone calls to institutions and gathered what I could to include for certain elements of the story. I’ve suffered from serious bouts of depression myself, so I tried to make that aspect of the novel as realistic as possible, too.

Do you see yourself in any of the characters?

Saying “Richard” would be too easy, because the novel is lived through his mind, his eyes. As I’ve gotten older (I started writing the novel in 2001), I’ve come to see more of myself in the caretakers, the doctor, the nurses, and the parents.

 What is the character you find most interesting and why?

Eugene. He’s the patient with schizophrenia. As I was writing him he became more interesting to me than most any other character, including Richard. (Small Spoiler Warning.) I liked his character so much and wanted to explore it in more settings later on in the book, so I wrote him to become Richard’s roommate. Then I gave all four boys a “day out” together, just to see what would happen.

I think I found Eugene most interesting because he more than any other character pushes the boundary of “normal”. Eugene just is, though; he has no pretensions; he sees the world as he sees the world. He wants to fit in somewhere, but he’s feeling the system work against him, not for him. Still, he cracks jokes, he can poke fun at himself, and even when he’s suffering his hallucinations, he’s just rolling along with it, taking things as they come, trying to make the best of it. I like that kind of attitude toward oneself and towards life. It’s the attitude: no matter what, I am who I am, and I’m going to be true to that.

I read in another interview you gave that writing certain parts of this novel was difficult. How did you cope in those moments?

That’s a really good question. And it’s an important question. Because when I was writing difficult parts of the novel it felt as if some part of me was going through this experience. These were frightening and harrowing moments.

I knew that I was writing a novel, of course, but I was writing it in such a way (close third person point of view) that I wanted to expose absolutely what this single character was thinking and doing, constantly. At times it became very claustrophobic, and unhealthy.

So I had to pull away from it, just walk away from it. Sometimes I worked on other portions of the book that were not so traumatic for me. Sometimes I set the book aside for a day or two or more to give my mind a rest. And, I had (and still have) an extremely understanding partner who, when I exhausted myself on writing, I could go to and rest with. Her support and comfort was the gift of allowing me to be me, and I’ve learned over time that that can be a very rare and special gift indeed.

Another way I coped, in the novel, was with humor. When things got too heavy for me, I lightened things with humor.

 Did you learn anything important from those moments?

I learned I never want to experience them again. I learned how horrible it is for anyone to live with those excruciating feelings and thoughts.

But, those moments were crucial to the story. I had to capture them so that others could feel the moments, too, to help them understand what someone suffering depression experiences.

My sense of it was (and still is) that empathy can help. If we can’t understand how and what another person is feeling, how can we hope to engage with them fully?

Is there anything else you want to share about Noah?

My novel touches on a wide range of mental health issues (besides suicide and depression): defining what it means to be “mentally ill” and “mentally healthy”, diagnoses, treatment plans, living in an inpatient unit, family relations after a suicide attempt, relationship to self and others, and so on.

It is a novel, it is fiction, and I would tell readers to read it as a story, of human interactions, with self and with others, not as “statements” about this or that issue. I didn’t want to use my book as a soapbox for any single mental health issue; I wanted to write a novel about life and death and love and hope.

As a person who has suffered from sporadic bouts of depression going back many years, I can say this: Actions (and inactions) have consequences, and although you may feel bounced around by life, you do, ultimately, have choices to make.

To borrow a phrase from my novel: “Your life is in your hands.”

Robert has also offered to have a book giveaway of ‘There are Reasons Noah Packed No Clothes’! I do recommend this book to my readers! Here’s how to enter!

Rules of the Signed Book Giveaway
1. Giveaway will be open until July 6.
2. U.S. entries only
3. Send an email to rajacoby(at)gmail(dot)com with the subject line: Book Giveaway Pride in Madness Blog
4. One winner will be selected to receive a signed copy of the novel and have 48 hours to respond.

Book link:

Author’s homepage: 
http://robert-jacoby.com/

Author’s Goodreads page, blog, and book reviews: 
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14571.Robert_Jacob
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Contact the author for interviews, book club events, appearances, etc. at robert-jacoby.com[link to www.robert-jacoby.com].

Nonsuicidal Self Injury Lecture Worries

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Talk of self harm

A Mad friend of mine asked if I would like to attend a lecture with her about nonsuicidal self injury. We’ve RSVP’ed but I keep finding myself thinking about the lecture.  The following is the lecture description:

“Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) represents a critical mental health concern. NSSI has high rates of enactment, concomitance with psychiatric factors, and confers risk for varying degrees of physical injury; it may also elevate suicide risk. Accordingly, investigators need to know about a number of ethical issues related to NSSI research and ensure participants receive high quality NSSI resources at the end of research studies. This is particularly salient in the context of online research. This presentation will outline several key ethical issues in the context of online NSSI research and discuss an online outreach initiative providing research-informed and recovery-oriented resources for individuals who self-injure.”

Just seeing the term “nonsuicidal self injury” makes me feel that nervousness in my stomach. I can’t talk about self harm in detail, in particular about me personally, so how am I going to last 2 hours listening to ethic considerations involving the behaviour? This will be an event where they will not be thinking about who is in the room and what is there experience. It’s assumed that academics do not have these experiences.

I’ve emailed my friend and asked if she has any way of contacting organizers of the event to find out if there will be picture or anything else. The more information I have the better I can be prepared. This may not be a good idea at all, for me to go, but I feel it’s important that I attend in order to learn and give feedback as I’m assuming there will be a Q&A.

If I have too, I’ll step out and my friend will be there and we can mutually support each other.

Ok enough of this, I feel like I’m going to be sick with stress.