Learning Doctor Talk

Repost from 2014 I started seeing my Psychopharmacologist in 1992 and he intimidated me. He’s not a chipper guy and it took years to see through his shell. I was in a very dark place and spiraling down. I didn’t think he understood how depressed I was. He only provides medication management, 15-minute appointments at most. We had a couple of frustrating meetings. I didn’t know how to reach him, I didn’t know doctor talk. He is one of the best in Texas and finding a Psychopharmacologist is difficult. I wasn’t walking away. During another frustrating meeting, he left the room to talk to a therapist he worked with. He did me the biggest favor and no doubt saved my life by asking me to talk with the therapist. I sat down with her and expressed my frustration in getting thru to him. They had worked together for 13 years, she could provide insight into his personality and how best to communicate with him. Once we were on the same page, he was able to give me the help I needed. Psychopharmacology:  is the scientific study of the effects drugs have on mood, sensation, thinking, and behavior.The field of psychopharmacology studies a wide range of substances with various types of psychoactive properties, focusing primarily on the chemical interactions with the brain.Psychoactive drugs interact with particular target sites or receptors found in the nervous system to induce widespread changes in physiological or psychological […]

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Survivor & So Much More *First Posted 4/21/2014*

I am alive, happy, productive and helping other Survivors. I’m very blessed. My childhood and teenage years were so difficult I truly believed suicide was the only answer. My first attempt was at 9 years old, I took all the pills in my dad’s medicine cabinet. I got a buzz then my stomach pumped. Suicide was always on my mind since the abuse was every day. If it wasn’t physical abuse, it was constant mental abuse by my mother. At the same time, I saw my mother physically and emotionally abused by my alcoholic stepfather. At 13 years old I left my abusive life behind. It sounds great but you are so wounded you don’t want to look anyone in the eye, they may hit you or call you names. My mind stripped down and filled with trash, my mother took every drop of confidence I had. Over time my confidence grew and I started building who I am today. I did get called names and had a couple good fights. Sounds like any teenager trying to spread their wings. I have many unresolved emotions, responses, and fears. Who doesn’t? What I can say for sure, I’m a survivor and so much more. Survivors have to dig really deep after being kicked down. It took years for me to discover what I liked and longer to get over my fear of failure. My mother told me I was stupid all the time. I know better […]

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I keep Moving Forward: *Not allowing My past to Chart the Future*

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”    Maya Angelo I am a Survivor My grandparents unconditional love pulled me from the abyss. After years of Therapy, I have a clear heart, no anger or self loathing. Not forgiving….forgetting, to allow myself to move forward. Over the years, people brought sunshine into my life. You were like Angels dropping in when I needed a push or pat on back. My mother and stepfather physically and emotionally abused me until 12 years old. My stepfather beat my mother almost daily starting with hitting her head side to side down the hallway, the hallway ended at my room. Everyone in the house lived in hell, I got an extra dose. As a small girl, I dreamed my father would save me from the traumatic abuse. The dream was over, he started sexually abusing me as a child. It was innocent at first or so it seemed. At 12 years old I moved to my father’s. It’s impossible to wrap your head around sexual abuse at any age. In 1992 my father committed suicide. Estranged since my teens, we talked several times before his death. He called delusional and paranoid. Saying someone was tapping his phone. He told me about committing suicide, I told no one. The news devastated Granny her only child was dead. With a closed casket service it’s hard to reconcile death when you can’t […]

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How to participate once diagnosed with a Mental Illness

Years after my diagnoses with Bipolar Disease. I thought it was time to participate in my medical care. To understand layman’s terms, what to expect and when to call doctor. Getting on the same page as you learn doctor speak and how they hear. A proficient Psychiatrist with a background helping Mentally Ill patients. Please save your time and money going to General Doctor. Most are not versed in how drugs work together or not. Psychiatrist understand drugs, spend more time to make diagnoses and discuss the drugs to help. A Therapist, my foundation in healing. The key to healing is understanding yourself. They can help take the weight you’re carrying around. Don’t stop taking your medication. Medications cause side effects, the drugs you buy at CVS have side effects. Every drug has side effects. It may take 6-8 weeks for the medicine to level off. If you want to change a drug in a week, please understand, there are no short cuts. Short cuts not only prolong the treatment and can be dangerous. If you’re determined to stop medicine, Call your doctor first! If you become delusional, psychotic or determined to hurt yourself go to local hospital. Keep a journal to document the changes in mood. Keeping a log helped my doctor see my mood was cycling. A medication change was needed. There are many ideas on how people were helped or not by medicine. I will admit a couple […]

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY 1940-1992 **A Daughters Elvis Tribute**

Original post 8/2014 Elvis Presley had a lifetime fan in my father. I remember playing his Elvis records at 4 yrs. old. Jumping on my friends pink canopy bed with hair brushes belting out Jailhouse Rock. After the divorce Daddy would visit driving to a mom & pop store, we’d get bottles of RC Cola, sitting in-car belting out to the radio. We had to drink  in the parking lot because the bottles required a deposit, after finished daddy would  take back for the deposit. I think it was a dime. My father was one of my abusers, I have few good memories, they’re cherished. I forgave my father, choose to focus on this nugget. My father was mentally ill, committing suicide in 1992. Abuse complicates grieving,  warm tears roll down as I write. Tears for my grandmothers pain and the years I didn’t have a father. He was reading the Book of Job during his last struggle, the last moments between him and God. To daddy

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Do you know me at all?

Original post 3/2014 It’s been an emotional month with thoughts of my father’s suicide and writing about him for the first time. I never grieved my father, the emotions caught me by surprise. It’s been very confusing because my father was one of my abusers. I am having health issues which is stressful. The Black Dog has come to see […]

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Nine years old living in Hell

Original post 4/2014 My brother and I called our stepfather a Nazi because he was mostly German and he would beat our mother unmercifully. Her crimes as we knew were not having dinner ready or not warm enough. The kids were to loud, noise was not allowed in the house, he was an alcoholic with major control issues. I was 9 years old, my brother six & half years old and our two-step brothers where much younger. They came to live with us after Houston Social Services found my stepfather the better parent. Of the choices, he was. Their mother was a drug addict. He never saw the boys after the divorce. By the time they were in the court system, they had been left at home for up to two weeks with no food, nothing. The youngest in the same diaper. The youngest experienced trauma so severely he regressed to a baby. Her addiction took over her life for that matter she may have forgotten she had kids until she came down enough. I hated my stepfather from the beginning, he didn’t wait to start controlling everything. He rarely talked to my mother it was always yelling. It was very complicated for me. I hated my mother for abusing me but it still hurt when he beat her. We had a long hallway that passed our bedrooms. When he was out of control he would walk my mother down […]

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Randstein nominated me for Once a Victim Now a Survivor Award

Thank you my friend Randstein A special thank you to Randstein for nominating me the Once A Victim Now A Survivor Award.  Randstein is a good friend, always happy to help, writes the most fantastic stories. His short stories give you plenty to think about. Randstien’s blog is hyperionsturm.wp.com. He’s a founding member of survivorsbloghere.wp.com I’m glad to have met him, my life has expanded. This award is for those who have gone through mental illness of any kind, abuse, trauma, and especially PTSD. The Rules: 1. Thank the blogger that nominated you 2. Nominate 5 – 10 bloggers to pass the award to 3. Post 5 questions for your nominees to answer (you may use the same as these below) 4. Inform your nominees and post a comment in their blog to let them know they’ve been nominated Questions: 1. In what ways do you feel that blogging can help people with psychological trauma or mental illness? I think writing can help in many ways. It’s perfect outlet to share, work thru pain and trauma. Blogging provides support from people who are a few steps ahead. The experience of putting your pain in a post can give a feeling of success. Writing thoughts down can help you see what needs more work. Posting takes a load off, no matter how small. We gain confidence one step at a time.   2. How has blogging helped you with your healing, or your personal journey? I started […]

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Throw Back Thursday *Memories…Good Times…Regrets*

When introspective, I fall in to music. Music defines a time and space. The memories are not all good, many are from rough times in life. No one knows what each song means to me or why, the answers locked away. A  favorite U2 song is ” Running to Stand Still”. Etched in my soul, reflecting on my life.  Pull up a chair or lounge with a lover, Enjoy the beverage. I would pick a Merlot to relax and take in the moment.    XO  Warrior 

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Bring Change 2 Mind *End the stigma of Mental Illness*

BRING CHANGE 2 MIND-END THE STIGMA Dear Friend, Every story shared brings change and helps to end stigma. Here’s mine: I never aspired to be a mental health advocate. I’m an entrepreneur, a business guy, a creative type with an appreciation for the bottom line. If things don’t work, you fix them. When one of my three beautiful children became sick with a mental illness, our family faced tremendous pain and confusion. Stigma kept our struggle private, fear kept us on heightened alert, and treatment options were hard to navigate. We were now on the front lines of mental illness, and experiencing stigma first hand. My daughter, Emily, lost her courageous battle with a borderline personality disorder and depression on March 17, 2013. She is forever in our hearts. In her honor, our family has vowed to end the terrible stigma that surrounds mental health challenges and to promote wellness. Our hope is that other families never confront such pain and loss. As the Chairman of the Board of BC2M, I am humbled to see the number of people that we have touched through our website, PSAs, social media sites, and programs. We are creating change, and starting conversations where there once was silence. To keep the conversation going, I am compelled to help raise funds to support BC2M. This month, my company, mybody Advanced Probiotic Skincare, will partner to support Bring Change 2 Mind by donating 20% of the […]

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NAMI reports finds there's a long way to go on Mental Health Parity

ADVOCACY REPORT UPDATE NAMI Report Finds There’s A Long Road To Go On Mental Health Parity So, you have health insurance. What mental health and substance use care can you get? From which providers? At what cost? Do your benefits compare to coverage for other types of medical conditions? To answer these questions NAMI surveyed over 2,700 people nationwide given new protections under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act. Read all about it in NAMI’s new report: A Long Road Ahead: Achieving True Parity in Mental Health and Substance Use Care. Our survey found that people with mental illness and substance use disorders have trouble getting mental health care even when they have health insurance coverage. Specific problems found include: Significant difficulties in finding mental health providers in health plan networks; Denials for mental health care at rates far higher than for other types of medical care; Inadequate coverage of psychiatric medications in health insurance plans; High out of pocket costs in health insurance plans that sometimes cause people with mental illness or substance use disorders to forego needed care; Lack of transparency and information about health insurance plans that make it very difficult for consumers and families to make informed decisions about the plans that are best for them. Read more.  http://www.nami.org/parityreport NY Attorney General Scores Fifth Mental Health Parity Victory In a mental health parity victory in New York, Attorney General […]

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I talk about Mental Health because my family deserves a voice…Glenn Close

BRING CHANGE 2 MIND Dear Friend, I talk about mental health because stigma prevents too many people from seeking the help or support that they may need. At BC2M, we talk about this 365 days a year. And, each May, we talk about it with a wider audience reached through the increased media attention generated by Mental Health Awareness Month. Are you talking about mental health? What are you saying? We want to know! On May 1st, we are launching a new campaign, #ITalk, as a way to start and continue these conversations around the world. Throughout the month, we will be sharing stories, images, and reasons why members of the BC2M community are talking about mental health, and we hope that you will choose to join us. To share your #ITalk motivation, please send or post your photo with 5 to 7 words on why you talk about mental health. Additionally, please continue to send us photos and messages when you see our latest PSA, #StrongerThanStigma. We love hearing from you about where this powerful piece is raising awareness around the unique challenges that men face when discussing mental health. During May, it will be in heavy rotation on television, in theaters, print, and outdoor placements, including on the big digital screens in New York City’s Times Square. This month, and every month, we thank you for your incredible support, and for your continued efforts to help BC2M start […]

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Dr. Christoph Correll on Antipsychotics and How to Keep Kids Healthy

I was excited to find a doctor talk about the treatment medications for mental illness and side effects including weight gain. His approach is working with the lowest amount medication and stay very aware of the metabolic issues. I’m a firm believer mental illness effects everyone in family and their peers. He shares ideas on how to work with/off set the weight gain. After thirty plus years with Bipolar Disorder, taking over 40 medications, weight gain is a given with certain types of drugs. If you have a child,spouse or family member with mental illness please watch the video together to open dialog. Young girls have many pressures with weight already. Open dialogue may help down the road. He provides a short overview of types of drugs with high risk of weight gain or metabolic problem.

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Guilt is the Shadow in the Mirror

All he said is your daddy has done away with himself. I screamed then said on the way. Calling right back to ask were they sure he’s dead? Yes. I think years of abuse left a permanent hole in my heart. I go there to do actions requiring no emotions. It’s like auto pilot, it has served me well. I started to think about work, who I needed to call. I’m driving with emergency lights on going 100 mph calling my work team. I stayed in auto pilot until I pulled up to my grandparents. Estranged since a teen, I thought it odd when he started calling. He sounded delusional and extremely paranoid. Nothing made sense, he was not talking in sentences. I pieced together he didn’t have any money and couldn’t work. Why he could not work must have come from the madness. I would do anything to avoid my granny being hurt. I paid his bills. Over the next several months the phone calls were my hell on earth. He would threaten to kill himself then go off on what didn’t sound like words. I couldn’t make out anything he was saying as he yelled in the phone. I would keep trying to redirect him back to our conversation. I did not tell anyone what daddy said. He was mentally ill. It had been years since we talked, maybe this was his norm. I didn’t know. Everyone sitting in […]

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New PSA #StrongerThanStigma in partnership with Brandon Marshall's Foundation

http://bringchange2mind.org Start the conversation. Change the stigma. We are incredibly excited to share our new PSA, #StrongerThanStigma, with you! Produced in partnership with Brandon Marshall’s foundation, Project 375, this campaign features four men who have each made mental health advocacy a part of his platform. These headliners are Brandon Marshall, NFL All-Pro wide receiver for the Chicago Bears; Michael Angelakos, lead singer of indietronica band Passion Pit; Wayne Brady, comedian and actor; and Ben Scrivens, NHL goalie for the Edmonton Oilers. Each shares his story, and encourages men to start the conversation and end the stigma. For the past thirty years, the rate of suicide among men has been three to four times that of women. Traditionally, however, men have shied away from talking about their feelings because it is viewed as weak. In addition to a reluctance to seek help, men have higher levels of isolation, higher rates of drug and alcohol misuse, are at a greater risk for homelessness, display more externalized and destructive behaviors, and are more involved with the criminal justice system. Underlying many of these experiences are complex psychological problems, but we rarely empathize with their causes. We want to erase stereotypes, create a new narrative by raising awareness of the mental health problems that men face, encourage dialogue, and promote help seeking behavior. We hope that you will be a part of this significant opportunity to talk about the harmful and pervasive discrimination that […]

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SPEAK UP FOR EQUALITY IN MENTAL ILLNESS HEALTHCARE

CHANGE.ORG PETITION UPDATE Fix Mental Healthcare Theresa Kinley Norcross, GA Jan 6, 2015 — I would like to thank everyone who signed or commented on my petition to Cigna. Unfortunately, Cigna is quite accustomed to people complaining about the level of care they provide–or don’t provide–to their premium paying customers; they simply blocked the petition and signatures. The insurance companies’ behavior has finally received some attention from the media, specifically a 60 Minutes piece about Anthem denying care to the seriously mentally ill. I would like to build on that momentum by launching a website dedicated to the stories of those who, in addition to battling serious mental illness, must also battle their insurance companies to get treatment. To the insurers trying to cut costs these people don’t matter; we know they do matter. I would like to encourage anyone with a story to tell about the their experience in dealing with an insurance company while seeking treatment for a mental illness to visit http://fixmentalhealthcare.wordpress.com  to submit your story. Thank you again and God bless you all. Fix Mental Health Care Fix Mental Health Care Mission Statement: With this website we are seeking to raise awareness of the harm the health insurers do to those… HTTPS://FIXMENTALHEALTHCARE.WORDPRESS.COM

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Throw Back Thursday * Santana Bending Strings…Live From Germany *

The idea for this weeks Throw Back Thursday came to me several weeks ago, I didn’t even think twice. My life overflows with sunshine everyday because of you. Every like, comment, follow, friendship, laugh, words of encouragement, allowing me into your life and above all your prayers. You have touched me deeply by allowing me to comment, knock on your door and allowing me into your life. There is not a day go by without thoughts and prayers for my WP family. My husband understands how important blogging is for me, what is hard for him is how people can touch my life without meeting. I started blogging to share my experiences with others. I didn’t have a clue where the first steps would take me. The thought of my heart expanding with joy never crossed my mind. I am thankful for so much and hope to see you often in 2015.   XO Melinda    

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Brave Heart Award

The Brave Heart Mission Statement To encourage all those (men & women) who have been abused (all abuse) to share their hope with others so that they will no longer be a victim but a survivor that knows they are loved.   A Victims Journal nominated me for the Brave Heart Award. There are not enough words to express how helpful, positive and inspiring she is to me. I admire her raw and honest post. The feedback she gives is no less raw. Her sixth sense of knowing when you need a boost or a little prodding helps keep me on track. I feel like she reads all of my post and always has a hug and positive affirmation.  Rules of Acceptance: Thank the person who nominated you. Answer 12 questions put before you. Nominate/award 12 bloggers. Notify nominees/awardees with a link to their blogs on yours. 12 Questions Asked 1.Tell us a bit about your blog. Who designed it The blog is an avenue to tell my story of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. I believe it also serves as a resource for men & women alike. I used a Word Press template and designed myself. 2. What is the title and description of your blog? Looking for the Light is my blog which focuses on my story of abuse  and Mental Illness. 3. Who is your intended audience? Anyone who has suffered trauma. I believe we can all help […]

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Where I Surf and Blog

This is where I start my day, you can see I’m on the organized side. My office would be perfect if I didn’t have three animals in there. They are like children either fighting or having a melt down. Life could be so much worse. Truly I know how blessed I am. I like to buy all kinds of cool things for the office, that way I don’t get bored. This is very close to the office of my dreams. I like it that way because I have to dream. Maybe someday I’ll get that expansive office with built-in wall to wall bookcases. You know a little more about me and a person’s desk says it all. Have an awesome day. Warrior  

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Stations of the Cross

This post does not preach or try to convert anyone of any religion. It’s the story of my intersection with the Catholic Church at 13 years old. In my recent post “I Almost Killed My Father” I told of spending a year at a Convent for bad girls. It is here I became familiar to the Catholic Religion. Growing up we did […]

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About Looking For The Light Blog

My mother, stepfather and father abused me until I was a teenager. All the scars hurt particularly of my father who sexually abused me. It’s hard to wrap your head around sexual abuse. My father committed suicide in 1992. It was an extremely difficult time, my grandmother never recovered he was her only child. In my father’s suicide note he wanted me to take care of all the details. Estranged for years but the heart still breaks. Because of the manner in which he killed himself we had to have a closed casket funeral. It’s very hard to reconcile death when you can’t see them. I gave the eulogy however I don’t remember. I struggle with Treatment Resistant Bipolar Disorder and the anxiety it brings. I was diagnosed  at 19 years old struggling for years without medication or over medicated. In 2005 I had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator implanted. The device sends electrical signals to the brain to increase Serotonin. I have taken over 40 prescriptions or cocktails. Some worked for a while then you have to try another mix. I thought the VNS device would keep me on the rails. Naïve thinking on my part. I was not as lucky as many in the FDA clinical trial. I realized the device was like any other prescription and it was another that didn’t work. I’m 50 years old now and the Black Dog drags me down deeper as I age. I’m alive with […]

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