His Power in Our Weakness

Good morning☕🌅.
I know we are to run our race. I know we are here to have victory. I know we trust and believe all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28) and no weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

But, I am reminded of (2 Corinthians 12: 5 -10.) That everyday his power works best in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9.)
See many Christians struggle with unforeseen strongholds and we pray for healing and that is exactly what we should be doing.

But, sometimes certain situations are out of our control and deliverance is just not in the plan for us at this time.
But, you know what we gotta tell ourselves?? That his grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9.)
That we are strong because his power is made perfect in and through us!!
That we don’t boast in ourselves.
That we need to boast in him.
That our weaknesses does not make you inadequate💯 Be blessed!!
#mentallyspeaking #thoughtsfortoday

Cool Mood Trackers!!

《Found on Pinterest》

Trauma in the Brain

There are three main parts of the brain which are greatly affected by experiences severe or chronic traumatic events.

Hippocampus
The hippocampus processes trauma memories, by recycling the memory, mostly at night via dreams, which takes place over weeks or months. It then transfers the integrated stored memory to another part of the brain. High levels of stress hormones causes the hippocampus to shrink or under-develop, resulting in impaired function. Childhood traumas exaggerates this effect. The trauma memory therefore remains unprocessed in the hippocampus, disintegrated, fragmented, and feels “current” rather than in the past. Some people can be born with a smaller hippocampus making them more vulnerable to develop PTSD.

Amygdala
The brains “fear center.” The amygdala helps to store memories, paticularly emotions and physical sensations. It also controls activation of stress hormones … the body’s flight or fight response. In PTSD, the amygdala becomes over-reactive causing frequent or near constant high levels of stress hormones.

Pre-frontal Cortex
The pre-frontal cortex helps us to asses threats, manage emotion, plan reaponses, and control impulses. It is the centre of rational thinking. Childhood trauma causes under-development of the pre-frontal cortex, which results in impaired ability to assess theeat through thinking, manage emotions and control impulses.

THERAPY NOTES #1

Everything you do is based on the choices you make. Its not your parents. Its not your past. Its not your past relationships. Its not your job, the economy. the weather. Or an argument of your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.

All Negativity is an accumulation of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry-all forms of fear, are caused by too much future and not enough present.
Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness. bitterness- all forms of nonforgiveness, are caused by too much past and not enough present.
Eckhart Tolle

Distorted Thinking:
Black and white thinking, exaggerating, filtering, catastrophizing, judging, mind reading, forecasting, feelings as facts, labeling, self-blaming, hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness.

Mental Books & Movies..

  • Books ii love!!

Mimi Baird – He Wanted the Moon

Manic – Terry Cheney

The Dark Side of  Innocence – Terry Cheney

Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen

Stonehearst Asylum –  Kate Beckinsale

  • Movies ii love!!

Out of the Darkness – Starring Diana Ross

A Beautiful Mind – Kevin Spacey

Touched by Fire -Starring Katie Holmes

Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen

32 Pills – On Demand  (Ruth Litoff)

Shutter Island – Leonardo DiCaprio

Inception – Leonardo Dicaprio

Infinitely Polar Bear – Zoe Saldana

Gothika – Halle Berry

 

 

The B in Bipolar

Diary Entry #6

The B in Bipolar stands for Being. At least in my world it does. I am constantly in a changing state of being of Becoming or Believing. Being present. Becoming better. Believing in my recovery.

I struggle with the voices in my head. I have learned that my feelings are not facts!! Call it the ego of the enemy, constantly trying to control my ability to do the right thing.

Mentally Speaking Diary #4

Today was my 1st day of intensive Outpatient Therapy. I had anxiety about going. The program has really changed for the better since 2013. My short term goal is to complete the program. Long term to get a part-time job. I’m in good spirit right now. So it’s one day at a time!! I’m excited to set some realistic goals for myself. I also plan to take better care of myself.

If there is a group therapy program in your area take advantage of it. You are NOT alone!!

Mental Speaking Diary #2

Madness-the drift of the rational into the irrational, the lucid to the delusional. Its not always easy to see it as it happens. At what point does joy become mania, sadness become depression, apprehension become anxiety, fear become phobia?

What do we talk about when we talk about mental illness?? There may be no important in the mental health field.

We are often afraid of people with mental illness, We fear their unpredictably and our inability to fully comprehend their illness. We fear what looks like volitional behavior.

Language doesn’t operate in a vacumm. It is both a shaper and a But language can help breal the cycle. Only  when what happens will the people who suffers with disorders of the mind receive the compassion we so readily extend to those with disorders of the body.

When persons with mental illness do behave violently, it is often, although not always, for the same reasons that non-mentally people engage in violent behavior. One of the most insidious and heartbreaking results of stigma is that it discourages people from people from getting treatment.

Bring Back Black Box!!

ABC 2014 TV Series starring Kelly Reilly (from Heaven is for Real) plays Catherine Black a neurologist who has full blown Bipolar Disorder!! 

(online on iTunes)

Catherine Black plays a beautiful, brilliant neurologist who uncovers the mysteries of the brain. But, get this!! She has full blown Bipolar Disorder!! For me, her performance/character was captivating because it proved that mental illness has no limits. It showed that every case is different and should be treated with care. This role gave Kelly depth in her acting abilities and me the courage to be myself and hold on to the ones I love!!

As a doctor Catherine’s treatment was coming from some place real, reaching far beyond science and anything you could ever learn in a book. As the series progresses Dr. Black is torn between two love affairs, keeping secrets from her family and co-workers and struggling to manage an unpredictable illness. I was so sad to see this show end after one season. But, it definitely draws you in and is certainly worth binge watching.

Sorry, I don’t do spoilers!!

But, you can check the show out for free on *Daily Motion* (or pay $34.99 on iTunes) and be sure to come back to post your episode-by-episode commentary if you are so lead!!


Also, check out the NBC 2013 TV Series Do No Harm

(Online on YouTube, iTunes and Google Play)

DO NO HARM — Season Pilot — Pictured: Steven Pasquale as Dr. Jason Cole/Ian Price — Respected neurosurgeon Dr. Jason Cole has it all: a great job, a winning personality — and a dangerous alternate personality. For years Jason has been able to keep his other self — a devious, borderline sociopath who goes by the name of Ian — in a chemical prison with a powerful sedative, but his body has developed a resistance, allowing Ian to escape. And Ian is angry about the time he has lost. With so much to lose, Jason must find a way to stop Ian from destroying everything that Jason has worked so hard to build.

My take on “THE ACT.”

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When my daughters finally convinced me to watch this show on Hulu, I was skeptical at best and slightly bored with the way they described it. Its a true story. I had heard of people who manipulated the system to get what they wanted so I thought it was pretty typical. Of course, I told them, “NO SPOILERS” and got to watch them squirm in their seats as things slowly began to unfold..

First of all, I was in shock because it all took place so close to where I live and I had never heard of the story. Secondly, the 1st episode was may more than I expected!! As I sat and stared at the scene where the mother opened the cabinet where all her daughters’ medicine was stored. I was literally sitting there with my mouth hanging open trying to wrap my mind around what kind of mental illness would cause this type of behavior on this level?? But, it was a familiar feeling and very uncomfortable. I had the same response when  I watched Hoarders for the 1st time. I mean I knew people were sick (me included) but this was sick on a whole other level!! If you haven’t heard about the story by now, don’t feel bad.. I was lost too. It stars Patricia Arquette (CSI: Cyber) playing the mother and Joey King (Ramona and Beezus) as Gipsy the daughter. For decades, the single mother (Dee Dee) suffered from Munchausen by Proxy and learned how to manipulate the system and gain sympathy from people, doctors and hospitals all over the world to keep her daughter sick, broken and dependent on her. Ultimately, Gipsy gains her freedom through one unspeakable “act” that forever changes the trajectory of her life. (Trying not to give too many spoilers lol.)

thO3P5HILCContrary to popular opinion, we all judge when it comes to things we don’t understand and mental illness is no exception. We may not like to admit it. But, every mental illness is different and usually shocking to people who don’t struggle with it and even more shocking for people who do. We tell ourselves “at least my issues aren’t that bad” or “Thank God I will never struggle on that level.” We put ourselves on these pedestals and that’s why we can’t relate when we hear about a mental illness that is outside of the “norm.” Hopefully, Gipsy’s story will shed new light on Munchausen and other people will get help for it before its too late.

My heart broke for Gipsy and I initially felt a deep rage and anger toward her mother.

At first..

Then I got to see just how sick she actually was and I felt an incredible sadness for her as well. She gave me a inside look at how far a mentally ill person would go to ease the pain and suffering she was feeling inside. I could only imagine the mother’s childhood and the things she went through before she had Gipsy. At one point, I had even more sympathy for her. Dee Dee used Gipsy as her security blanket. Just as a baby uses one for comfort. Gipsy loved and adored her mom and never wanted to do anything to hurt or upset her so she went along with her mother’s “act” even when she could sense something was wrong. How many of us have felt that way?? Before our diagnoses?? After?? I remember growing up and pacifying my mother’s behavior. I remember overlooking all the dysfunction just to feel some type of genuine love in my heart. Dee Dee was Gipsy’s world and I didn’t blame her for protecting her mother.

So overall, once I got over all the shock I could see a lot of their behavior in countless stories I have heard over the years and even in a little bit of my own story. So my take away was that we need to allow people to use their voices and share their story, Especially, when it comes to criminal justice!! Not everyone is just “acting.”

Girl, Interrupted – A Review

Woman, Interpreted

Entertainment Feature
Susanna Kaysen saw her troubled past re-created by Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted
By Sarah Saffian
Us, February 2000

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WHEN WINONA RYDER FINALLY MET Susanna Kaysen, the writer she would be playing in Girl, Interrupted, the movie star was very nearly speechless. “She said. ‘lt’s you … I’m you … you’re me… I’m me!'” recalls Kaysen, who wrote the best-selling 1993 memoir on which the film is based. Like the movie, the book begins in 1967 when Kaysen, then 18, was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder after she swallowed 50 aspirin. In the wake of this suicide attempt, Kaysen was whisked off to McLean Hospital, near Cambridge, Mass., where she spent two years in a ward for teenage girls. “Of course, I was sad and puzzled,” Kaysen writes. “I was 18, it was spring, and I was behind bars.”

But Kaysen wasn’t sure if she was insane or simply suffering from a bad case of late-teen angst, symptoms of which include a fragile self image, moodiness and uncertainty about the future. All in all, it’s a situation to which Ryder could relate. Six years ago, when the actress first read Kaysen’s book, she was reminded of a similar breakdown in her own late teens: After having chronic anxiety attacks, depression and insomnia, she checked herself into a psychiatric hospital for a week and began working with a therapist. The experience, though troubling, eventually helped Ryder bring depth and resonance to the character of Susanna.

“Winona’s own memory of what it’s like to feel alienation added gravity and a sense of purpose to her work in the film,” says Girl’s screenwriter-director James Mangold, 36. “Significant aspects of her personality–her sensitivity, the way she is so affected by things–fused well with aspects of Susanna’s. The movie is about who Winona is as much as it’s about who Susanna is.”

Still, Kaysen, now 51, was initially skeptical about the movie. When producer Douglas Wick approached the writer about buying the film rights to her memoir, “I thought he was crazy,” says Kaysen. “It’s not a narrative. It’s rather static and intellectual, and it has no obvious story line. How could they make a movie from this? I figured they would have to do radical things to it; otherwise, it’s just a bunch of girls sitting on the floor smoking cigarettes.”

Indeed, in adapting the book for the screen, Mangold decided to craft a cohesive, chronological narrative and to intensify the relationships between the characters. Most crucially, he fleshed out Susanna’s friendship with Lisa, a charismatic sociopath (played by Angelina Jolie) who serves as a symbol of rebellion and escape from the cares of the adult world. “In facing adulthood, Susanna can go two ways,” Mangold explains. “One is the way of the pod people in her parents world, marching off to war or college or family life; the other is Lisa’s way of seductive freedom.” Kaysen didn’t mind the changes. “If someone had told me what to do in my book, I would’ve killed thern,” she says. “But the movie is another endeavor, a variation on a theme. They can’t change what I wrote or my experiences in my life.”

Those experiences have been, by and large, internal. Kaysen has lived a fairly sedentary existence, as perhaps befits a writer. She has lived in Cambridge most of her life, including a brief stay on a commune. Although her father, Carl Kaysen, was an Ivy League economics professor, Kaysen resolutely avoided college, drifting instead from job to job, making a living as a copy editor and writing all the time. In 1987, she published her first novel, Asa, As I Knew Him, about a woman imagining her old flame’s youth, and followed it up with 1990’s Far AfieId, about an anthropologist doing research in the North Atlantic’s Faroe Islands. According to Kaysen the genesis of her memoir actually stemmed from her work on the latter novel: “There were paralels between being dropped into a foreign country and being dropped into the loony bin,” she says. These days, Kaysen still lives in Cambridge and suffers from depression, but says she has made peace with her demons, periodically seeing a psychologist, whom she calls her “tuneup woman.” She has also made peace with being alone. Although she was briefly married in her 20s, she has been single for most of her life. “I’ve been looking for a date for 10 years,” she admits, a fact that success hasn’t changed. “Fame, she says, “doesn’t bring a woman in America a date.”

SARAH SAFFIAN

http://www.saffian.com/womaninterpreted.htm

32 Pills: Suicide & Ruth Litoff

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Blown away!! The 1st two words I could think of to best describe my take on this riveting documentary about the life and suicide of Ruth Litoff told through the eyes of her sister Hope. The documentary was released in 2017 and is currently on HBO OnDemand. I had this on my watchlist for about a month and just decided to check it out last night. I was not prepared for the depth, tragedy, artistic expression  and passion of Ruth’s life. Now I’m not really an “art” person. But, check these out for yourself:

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Original art of Ruth Litoff via Goggle Images.

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Nice, right??!! Ruth was creative and artistic beyond description. There are tons of original pieces on Google and more information about her life and legacy. I did not want to start with the details of her suicide because she was much more than mentally ill. Her family and friends speak of her as complex, beautiful, secure within herself and much more. Although the documentary had a lot of nudity, it really captured the essence of who Ruth was. One of my favorite movies, Gia, about the life and death of Gia Carengi, one of the 1st American supermodels who contracted AIDS in the 80s, is very similar.

blog2Ruth & Hope in happier times.

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They should have been twins, right?? Adorable!!

Ruth literally wrote every detail, kept every medication, every picture, medical document in tons of storage containers in an effort to share her creativity and inner demons with her sister Hope. In certain scenes of the documentary Hope became obsessed with Ruth and it began to really affect her life and family in negative ways. To the point that Hope started drinking to cope with the pain and guilt of losing her sister.

Her “favorite person”… “Her everything.”

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Ruth kept pills from every prescription she ever had. Wow!!blog5

Hope putting the pieces together…

I was definitely in research mode after watching this!! There a lot of similarities between bipolar and BPD (bipolar personality disorder.) You may also want to check out Girl, Interrupted, the autobiography of  Susanna Kaisen. I know you remember the movie with Winona Ryder, Brittany Murphy and Angelina Jolie. Borderline people are toxic together. I would say Ruth was codependent and Hope was controlling. But, that’s just my opinion.

This blog entry was created to raise awareness of mental illness and its many dimensions. Let’s continue to share our stories with truth and transparency.

Brain On Fire (Netflix)

My Take of Brain On Fire. Now on Netflix & also based on true events and the memoir of Susannah Cahalan.

Great news followers!! I am so excited!! I added this movie to my list a few days before I decided to check it out. I was anxious to see if it would give me more education on the topic of mental illness or at least a great storyline to share on this blog. It did not disappoint!! From beginning to end, I was hooked. The movie was based on a true story about a 20s something woman named Susannah Cahalan (played by Chloe Moretz) who was misdiagnosed with mental illness. She also experienced debilitating seizures, while also exhibiting classic bipolar and schizophrenic symptoms. Her family and doctors were baffled on what was going on with her and how to treat her symptoms.

Susannah had been written off as an alcoholic..under too much stress…partying too much etc. Actually, she had a “very rare” brain disorder that was very hard to treat. Her suffering broke my heart. But, hope took its place. Diagnosed in 2013 with bipolar disorder and suffering with depression all my life, her story hits close to home. It definitely made me wonder about my situation.

Every once in awhile a movie is made or a book is written that gives you chills or changes your life forever. It was heartbreaking to see her suffering, but it was also refreshing to see something real and tangible when it comes to mental illness diagnosis. Chloe Moretz really played this role and I believe it will catapult her acting career. She definitely has versatility, being so young and “up and coming” in Hollywood. This movie just proves that when you get the right doctor and the support of your family, anything is possible!!

I won’t give all the good stuff away. (No spoilers.)
I encourage you to check this movie out. Grab your tissue. Open a dialogue about mental illness. Share your story and keep pushing for your breakthrough!! Your future is not blocked. You got this!! There will be brighter days.

Bipolarized: The Movie

bipolarized-rethinking-mental-illness

http://bipolarizedthemovie.com

The movie follows Ross McKenzie on his journey to discover the reasons for his mental breakdown in his early twenties.

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Ross’ psychiatrist told him he would live with the disorder for the rest of his life and that he would have to take lithium to control symptoms. To Ross, taking the drug daily felt like a chemical lobotomy, leaving him in a foggy, drug-induced haze. Ross ultimately decided to resolve his symptoms outside of conventional medicine. He progressively reduced his use of the psychotropic drug lithium, at an experimental clinic in Costa Rica. What ensued was a self-exploration into alternative treatments to treat his condition and a journey delving into the root cause of his mental breakdown.

The film uses Ross’ personal experiences to tell a larger story about medication. It will reveal how we are labelling more and more people with mental illnesses and how, in tandem, we are prescribing more and more toxic psychotropic drugs to treat these illnesses.

BIPOLARIZED weaves together a series of interviews with activists, psychiatrists and other psychiatric survivors who have challenged the status quo as well as recounts some of the alternative therapies Ross uses to maintain his mental, emotional and physical health.

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His strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Secret Window

secretwindow“The only thing that matters is the ending.” Mort Rainey

(2004) starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro, directed by David Koepp (also wrote Panic Room). The story is based on the book by Stephen King.

Johnny Depp stars as Mort Rainey, a reclusive heartbroken writer suffering from writers block who is being terrorized by a menacing stranger accusing him of plagiarism.

Secret Window is one of my all-time favorite psychological thrillers. It is a terrifying edge-of-your-seat story that will keep you guessing until the very end. I picked this movie for this weeks review because it is timeless and its a clear example of what can happen to the mind when one traumatic event changes the course of your life. I always say, ‘there is a fine line between truth and reality.’ We are all capable of unspeakable terror when we are pushed to the limit. No one is exempt!

Stephen King is a genius at bringing the literary world to life. Johnny Depp truly captures the essence of suspense in every scene. His performance is classic! John Turturro also gives a lot of depth to his passion for writing. So the question is: Is his character “Shooter” just a wild figment of Mort’s imagination or does he really exist?

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His strength is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9

Infinitely Polar Bear

infinitely_polar_bear_poster

On a scale from 1 to 10 I give it a 7. Truly a fascinating story! Infinitely Polar Bear is the story of a bipolar individual (Mark Ruffalo) who takes over sole responsibility for his two spirited daughters while his wife (Zoe Saldana) attends graduate school in New York.

The 1st time I watched it I was speechless. I decided to watch it again to really tune in to the experience of what its like for a family coping with a mentally ill father. The movie gives a multi-dimensional look into what it feels like to go completely manic only to come crashing down and fall into severe depression. The story takes place in 1960s Boston.

However, I wouldn’t advise watching it while kids are present until you see it first. Aside from the bad language it really gave range into the acting ability of Zoe Saldana. Movies like this are powerful for up and coming actors/actresses because it takes them out of their comfort zone into unknown territory. Mark Ruffalo gave an awesome performance as well! The storyline was very raw and relevant for 21st century mental illness sufferers. Every bipolar experience is different and this one was timeless. I would recommend it for people who suffer from the extreme highs of bipolar disorder. You can watch this one for free at http://putlocker.com

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His power is made perfect in weakness.

2 Corinthians 12:9