In the Bleak Midwinter

For Prozac Monologues readers whatever your state this holiday.



In the bleak mid-winter frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter long ago.


Bohemian Chanukah

A great miracle happened there.

 

Happy Hanukkah to all Prozac Monologues readers.
Let the light shine!

Holiday Shopping for True Happiness

Last minute holiday shopping -- I shop later and later every year. I even blog about it later each year. This year I have to do three  blogs in the week to get my shopping guides for the perfect Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Christmas present done. Here is the link for if you are mentally interesting and shopping for the normal in your life, here is if you are shopping for your diagnosed friend.  The second is even diagnosis specific. The most popular pick turns out to be a bluetooth phone for the one who talks back to his/her voices, but is trying to pass. Who knew.

But less than a week, people. Internet.  God bless the internet.

Another year I wrote a post on happiness. This post's holiday shopping picks (a updated rerun from 2011) gets to the heart of it -- where to get what makes for true happiness on the internet.  No, really!

Holiday Shopping - The Mentally Interesting Version

From December, 2009:

A friend once described what it was like to have cancer. Like having a paper bag over your head, you can't see anything outside the bag. It's all about you and your cancer.

Mental illness can be like that. Try it yourself. Put a bag over your head. Make sure it's not plastic! Do you even notice a difference? Our issues can be all consuming, our fears, doubts, grief, hysteria, voices... We lose track of the world outside our paper bag.

But outside that bag are friends, family, allies. There are more of them, and they are truer to us than we can imagine when we are inside that paper bag. The bag, our absorption in our own concerns, makes certain life skills difficult.


Like holiday shopping.

Holiday Shopping for Your Diagnosed Someone

Black Friday, the traditional start of the Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa shopping season has left us in the dust. Are you still wondering what to get for your neuro-diverse friend or relation? Here is Prozac Monologues' attempt ever to be helpful to my dear readers.  As my therapist said, Virgo -- your destiny is service.  Get used to it.  (I once had a therapist who said stuff like that.) The following is a holiday shopping list to guide neuro-typicals who want to please their loved ones.

This is a repost from ten years ago. So the pricetags have probably changed. But the links have been checked.

Crazy Meds can be your one stop shopping for Straight Jacket T-shirts, when you're crazy enough to let your medication do the talking, with a range of messages for any diagnosis, medication or level of in your face. The lettering is made by arranging real medication capsules for that homemade, from the heart touch. If you are shopping for me, medium size, long-sleeved, and black, of course.  My favorite message: Bat Shit Crazy.  In three years nobody ever took the hint, so I finally bought it myself.  If you are shopping for me, today I'll go with Mentally Interesting.  I'm still into black, and still refusing antipsychotics, so still a medium.

The following gift suggestions are targeted to differential diagnoses.

People With Schizophrenia Who Recover

Among the top five factors that limit recovery for people with mental illness:

The false belief that it's all about the medication.

Medication indeed is part of mental illness recovery. It's a bigger part for some mental health issues (like schizophrenia) than others. And its effectiveness varies from drug class to drug class.

I created a bit of a twitter storm when somebody tweeted: Please quote this tweet with a thing that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.

To which I responded: Antipsychotics cause loss of brain matter.

 Last week's post described the research study that demonstrated that claim. The study was led by Nancy C. Andreasen, MD of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. One should not reject antipsychotics on the basis of the study. They do what they are supposed to do. They reduce the positive symptoms (like, psychosis) that cause so much suffering. Payoffs and price tags. But they don't do the whole healing.

I continue this week with a broader picture, the what else of recovery in schizophrenia. This post was first published in 2013 with the title:

Fabulous People with Schizophrenia

Antipsychotics and Loss of Brain Matter

What are antipsychotics doing in your brain besides preventing psychosis? This is a report on a study conducted from 1991 to 2009 that looked at that question.

Here is the context:

Progressive brain volume changes in schizophrenia are thought to be due principally to the disease. However, recent animal studies indicate that antipsychotics... may also contribute to brain tissue volume decrement. Because antipsychotics are prescribed for long periods for schizophrenia patients and have increasingly widespread use in other psychiatric disorders, it is imperative to determine their long-term effects on the human brain.

Before I get to what the study revealed, here is the investigator, National Medalist of Science winner, Nancy Andreasen.



Is It Time to Call a Therapist?

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