How I got misdiagnosed with schizoaffective disorder when really, I had an eating disorder

When I tell folks I was “misdiagnosed” with a mental disorder, I get all kinds of reactions. For one thing, I believe all psych diagnoses are misdiagnoses, simply because I choose not to call human psychic suffering a disease when there’s no real proof that such disease exists. I do recognize that people suffer tremendously, some markedly more than others.

That said, you might wonder how I fell for all that manic-depressive bipolar psychotic baloney when the shoe didn’t fit. Here’s how it happened:

My original therapists recognized that I had an ED, but since they didn’t know how to treat it, they ignored it. They wanted to treat something they could get a grasp on. My very first therapist saw in me only an eating disorder, but she didn’t know what to do. The next ones told me originally that they didn’t treat ED but they’d take me anyway. I was in a program with other people. We had all sorts of groups where we were supposed to share what was on our minds. I was so scared to tell anyone I had ED. The other patients kept asking. This went on for months until I finally admitted it. At the time, my diagnosis, according to my therapist, named Ron, was as follows:

Eating problem (they called it bulimia, but it wasn’t)
Shyness (not a disorder)
Minor family conflicts (like any other family)

And that was it. Yes, they saw my problems as trivial. Still, Ron himself took me as a person very seriously and I really think he had good intentions. He ended up going into some other career for a while, or said that was his plan when he quit.

The next therapist, Annique, decided to take things into her own hands. Some of this is in my book. She was for sure overinvolved with my situation. For sure, I found this offensive, as did the other patients. She was always taking extra time for me. That bothered me and I wanted her to stop playing favorites. The other patients became resentful. I didn’t blame them! For instance, if we were all contributing to a conversation, then there was silence, she’d always call on me to speak, saying they hadn’t heard from me even though I had indeed spoken up. At first, this was merely annoying, but later, it all got rather serious, since she broke the law and betrayed another patient’s confidentiality in my presence. Again, I found this terribly offensive, never mind unethical. I wasn’t sure what to do. My eating disorder got worse, and also, got shoved aside since this interpersonal bullshit seemed so much more immediate to everyone. But that was all a rather temporary situation. Then, Annique announced to me that she had a cure for my ED.

You’re probably rolling your eyes right now, reading this. A cure? This so-called cure was the most insane solution I’ve ever seen to ED. I knew all along that she wasn’t grasping at straws, she was grasping at nothing, not even straws. This was her idea. She told me I was “allowed” to binge a certain number of times per week and I had to stick to that. It was like a contract. When I spoke to her, she forced me to stand too close to her and stare her in the eyes. I hated that so much.  It was a personal space violation, a power play, and also for sure was part of the overinvolvement.  When I left, I was totally disgusted ,and far worse off.

I moved back to Vermont and went back to my old therapist, but she got laid off. I got assigned to another that was antisemitic and abusive. While I was still seeing him I was desperate to find another person to see, but couldn’t find one. In my book, I didn’t mention the switch in therapists since it would have confused the reader. Instead, I invented a compound character, Megan, who played the role of my old and new therapists together. (I explained that I had a few compound characters in my disclaimer.)

This was very bad therapy. You couldn’t call it therapeutic. It was downright harmful. I was frightened and didn’t know how to rid myself of him. Our sessions consisted of the following: I’d show up, sit down, and he would light up one cigarette after another and proceed to bash me and bash my assumed upbringing and my cultural background. He never asked. He assumed, then threw one insult at me after another. I was scared to stop therapy because at the day treatment center they had all of us convinced we couldn’t live without it. I thought the only way I could leave this guy was if I found another therapist.

That was when, as response to his abuse, I did some cutting. I’d never done it before and it isn’t something I really did. It didn’t give me a rush nor make me high. It was a reflection of powerlessness I suppose, yet doing all that didn’t give me the power I needed. My ED was getting worse and I was so desperate I didn’t know what to do. One day, he announced that I “didn’t need therapy” and that therapy was making me worse. Well, duh, what I thought was that his  therapy was making me worse. I believed there might be a decent one out there, if only I could find one.  I was working at the time, but my job ended a month before I expected it to.

So suddenly I was job seeking, collecting unemployment, and therapist seeking. I wanted to go on medication for binge eating. I’d heard about new research done by Harvard doctors. I had pointed out the research to my first therapist but she said the psychiatrist hadn’t heard of the research. Looking back, I think they thought I was looking for addictive sedatives to get high on or sell, but I am not sure.

Nothing was working and my eating disorder was only worse. Finally, my roommate suggested I go to the hospital. She said maybe I could find a new therapist and psychiatrist via the hospital. She told me it was a sure bet I could get drugs that way. All I wanted was to be able to eat normally.

They did, in fact, admit me. I was such a wreck from that therapist. I can’t say that my screwed up relationship with my roommate didn’t also cause a lot of stress. I stayed five weeks the first time. Back then, hospitalizations were longer overall.

Here’s what I discovered: The hospital protected me against binge eating. It was a huge relief to not have food available to me, and even if I could get it, no ability to pig out on it since people were keeping an eye on me. I felt better and better as the constant fullness in my belly from overstuffing went away. My body breathed a sigh of relief. So naturally, I was happier. I was afraid to leave the hospital, since I was scared I couldn’t handle the freedom.

All that, I suppose, appeared to them as if I had some phobia, maybe agorophobia. I didn’t. I was terrified that if I left my eating would get out of control. I didn’t know what to do. Meanwhile, I switched shrinks to a couple of bozos that lied and said they knew all about ED. The psychologist decided I was depressed. Well, due to incompetent shrinks, yes, I was. I ended up going back repeatedly. I knew they would never take me seriously if I showed up and said, “I need help with ED,” so I said I was depressed just to get myself in and away from food. That’s how I ended up a chronic patient.

After a year with the bozos, I became aware of their dishonesty and I couldn’t handle that I had been betrayed. That’s when I overdosed. Betrayal is hard to handle for anyone. After that, my parents weren’t going to put up with the bozos’ nonsense anymore. They found out about Gould Farm, and sent me there.

My parents were concerned that Gould Farm advertised that it treated schizophrenia. I didn’t have it, nor had I ever been psychotic. So we were concerned that maybe it was another bad fit. At the time I was put on lithium, I wasn’t in a manic episode, showed no signs of psychosis or hypomania. The nurse handed me a pill and said,”Dr. Capers wants you to try lithium.” This was at breakfast.  I did what I was told and didn’t give it a second thought.

Lo and behold the lithium stopped the bingeing. It ended after the very first pill. I was told that was impossible. However, more recent research shows that much lower doses of lithium are effective, and the initial dose generally given, 300, is a dangerous overdose.

I had no clue Dr. Capers had put in paperwork for disability based on nonexistent schiz. I learned later that he was practicing medicine without a license (and got caught). I had no clue. I ended up seeing him privately. Another of his patients and I agreed that this guy was a heavy-duty pill pusher. After I left him, I had leftover maybe 50 bottles of pills.

Capers had asked me if I heard voices, and asked what they said. I had no clue how to answer that. I made up stuff sometimes, not knowing how else to answer. I began to envy voice-hearers. I’d listen and try to hear. I couldn’t. Every sound made me turn around, hoping it was a voice. It never was. I felt inadequate and stupid. A few shrinks later a doctor said he didn’t believe I heard voices. I felt pushed this way and that. Yes, they had totally forgotten about my ED, which still had not improved. I begged for help with it, and never got it.

They could never figure me out. Over the years they switched it to schizoaffective. I was convinced I had it for a long time, and habitually took on the symptoms. This is how it happens, that the labeling creates sickness. I feel sorry for my family, that they had to go through all that. I was stuck and couldn’t get out of that situation. Years later, they still  believed I heard voices and had delusions.

I know I’m not the only one. I was stuck in there by accident. Others were stuck in there due to homosexuality even, then labeled, and ended up acting out the label just as I did.

Does anyone else get frustrated with the “swipe” style Win 8 trackpad?

I can’t even use the Win8 trackpad! The text jumps around and resizes, links open when I don’t want them opening, the thing clicks when I have no intention of clicking, it right-clicks instead of left-clicking, since there’s no delineation between the two sides. When I realized I was wasting more time correcting my own accidental clicks and swipes I went right back to my cordless mouse and am much happier. Apparently there’s a way to go into the registry and get rid of the “swipe” gestures. You can get them back, too. The following link tells how:

http://www.howtogeek.com/135507/how-can-i-disable-windows-8-swipe-gestures-on-my-laptop/

The “new and improved” trackpad causes text to highlight and then delete itself in a flash. This means hours of work can get wiped out in an instant. This isn’t a common problem on previous Microsoft operating systems. From what I hear, Win 10 does not include an improvement on this situation.

Solution: If you write, use an interface that has an “undo” feature. Copy and paste into those that don’t. This way, you can redo if you accidentally wipe out your entire document, and it’ll reappear. Disabling your trackpad and using a separate mouse will reduce the frequency of wipeouts, but I’ve found that with Win 8, even using a separate mouse it’s still possible to highlight and delete accidentally. If you have a favorite program that doesn’t have an undo feature, write to the developer and ask for one.

Or write by hand on paper.

Radio show with Katherine Hine tomorrow night, August 30, 2015

Here’s the link:http://ppjg.me/2015/08/ .

You can also call in at 917-388-4520

SUNDAY, AUGUST 307-9 P.M EASTERN TIME: BE THERE – MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD! Katherine Hine, host of 3 weekly broadcasts on www.wljaradio.net, has been invited to be a guest on Marti Oakley’s Sunday night broadcast of Truth Squad.  Listen to Marti’s interview with Katherine Sunday evening online athttp://ppjg.me/2015/08/ .Scroll down a few inches until you see the line in large letters saying:
Listen to the live show (HERE!)
or listen to the show live on your phone by
calling (917)388-4520

You can call in to the show during the second part, by calling the above number and then hitting “1”.  Katherine will be talking about WLJA and the issues she and Pastor Caleb cover on WLJA, especially on Bedlam in America, God’s Healing Bounty, and Who Judges the Judges.

Why do therapists claim the therapy relationship is “sacred”?

It’s my personal belief that all human relationships are sacred. What makes therapy any more sacred? For years, I figured the only way I could ever get anyone to talk to me was to pay for it, that is, for my insurance to pay for a professional friend since I had none. I suppose the prostitute-client relationship is as sacred as any. It’s the oldest profession, folks say. It’s my hope that therapy is only a passing fad. In a hundred years, we won’t have to pay anyone to dictate rigid standards for how we all should think, believe, and act. I have a lot of trouble understanding why so many therapists think they are God’s gift to humanity. They aren’t the only ones patching up the world’s boo-boos. For certain, environmentalists, journalists, teachers, and musicians are all doing their part. Some humans are a bit more power-driven than others, and an awful lot of them work as therapists, sadly.

Years have passed, and honestly, I don’t miss any of my former therapists. I miss a few people who have died, and that’s it.

Homemade soup for the extremely lazy

Are you lazy? Or in the mood to do the least amount of work while still (maybe) getting things done? Or appearing that way? Try this:

If you have crackers lying around (or ones you got in your takeout package you never ate), you will need maybe 3 or so, depending on the size. If you have itty bitty soup crackers, use the itty bitty package of them. Dump them into a soup bowl and break them into pieces.

Heat up some tomato sauce or tomato puree. Maybe 1/4 cup of it.

While it’s warming up, add chopped herbs or dry spices to the crackers.

Pour the warmed up tomato sauce over the crackers. Eat it with a spoon.

If you are even lazier, don’t heat the tomato sauce, if you don’t mind cold soup.

If you are the epiphany of laziness, open a can of Campbell’s or whatever. Using an electric can opener will mean less work.  Eat it out of the can. I can’t say it’s very good that way, though. This might propel even the laziest person to get up the incentive to nuke it. Please take it out of the can first and don’t heat anything in a can on your stovetop and please no metal in the microwave! I know people cook things in cans, but don’t do that unless you have no common sense or no pots.

If you are even lazier, if that’s possible, you haven’t read this far.

Food for thought

If you feel you are overly concerned about eating or weight, it’s time to shift focus. Here are some thoughts for the day:

  1. While many on the planet are starving due to lack of access to food, this isn’t because of a planetary food shortage. On this planet we are blessed with abundance. We are cursed with uneven distribution of goods.
  2. Humans, on a whole, aren’t less healthy. We have shifted our ideals and norms for what healthy is. In some Western countries, what is considered “normal” is becoming narrower in range.
  3. Is “healthy” the same as “normal”? Can we accept that we are imperfect and always changing and growing?
  4. Our shift to narrower ideals is a result of the unequal distribution of wealth, power, and knowledge.
  5. We live in a world where those in power are gaining increasing control over our ideals, our goals, our beliefs, our faith, and our thoughts.
  6. It doesn’t have to be this way.
  7. Personal is political. We all have within us the power to fight back.

 

Good morning to all

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Puzzle doesn’t want to get up. I don’t blame her, do you?

Puzzles Dinner

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This is a typical dinner that I regularly make for Puzzle. The ingredients are simple. The main component is the meat. You won’t need to trim the fat prior to cooking. Most sources I consulted suggested cooking the meat (if you cook it) with skin, bones, and fat still intact. After cooking, remove the bones. You may choose to remove some excess fat as well depending on your dog’s needs. Remember that dogs can handle animal fat very well, and if you are feeding a cat, be aware that a cat needs even more meat fat than dogs. Cat food is also higher in protein. Both species should be eating mostly meat. When you feed home prepared meals you should vary from day to day. Get creative!     Your pet will adjust to eating a variety of delicious meals. Dogs should have added veggies. Which ones? It depends on your dog. Old standbys include cooked carrots (you may need to skin them), bell peppers without the seeds, and whatever your dog’s heart’s desire is. Don’t feed anything that is on the lists of foods that are poisonous to dogs. Dogs love fruit as well but avoid cores, seeds, pits, and sometimes skins. Some fruits and veggies do not require cooking but many do. Softer seeds such as those you find in cucumbers are okay. If you have leftover bread you can give small amounts to your dog but please never give your dog bread that is moldy or contains seeds such as poppy seeds. Dogs don’t handle legumes or corn well. This means meat substitutes should be avoided. If the meat you’ve purchased has had salt added, don’t give it to your dog. Don’t even try to rinse the salt off, as invariably so much will remain on the meat that your dog’s tummy will be pissed. Depending on your local regulations, you may or may not be able to give your dog canned veggies. In the States I found canned veggies were okay for Puzzle if there was no added salt. Here, I have found that Puzzle can’t handle whatever is added in the canning procedure. I tried canned fish but realized that even rinsing couldn’t make canned meat, fish, or veggies edible for Puzzle. Grains are okay but be careful. Ask your vet about fiber as your dog may need it, or not. The safest grain is plain white rice, not instant nor converted. If the rice is purchased in the States,  ask your vet about the added vitamins that are included in any rice called “enriched.” These can be rinsed out of the rice prior to cooking if you are concerned about your dog overdosing on specific nutrients. If your rice originates in the Far East, know that usually, talc is used as separator. It isn’t edible but some say the quantity is negligible. The talc gives the cooked rice a certain stickiness that I guess is desirable in some cuisines.

Your dog doesn’t care what the food looks like and will gobble it up without concern about aesthetics. I believe a that in humans, aesthetics are incredibly important and generally overlooked because these days we are too rushed.

You may need to add extra fat to your dog’s meal. A lot depends on age and breed. Ask the vet.

Your dog will enjoy a variety of meat. Most love chicken, beef, pork, lamb, and many types of fish. A rule of thumb to start with is as follows. Ten percent organ meat, and the rest, that is, the majority divided equally between chicken and red meat. Organ meat is high in fat and dogs go nuts over it. Your dog may or may not be able to handle bones. Please be careful! Dogs can choke. Above all, know that dogs vary and many have allergies and sensitivities just like people. They also have differing tastes and odd habits, some downright disgusting. Ask your dog what she wants for dinner tonight and spoil her rotten.

The answer

It’s annoying that I am always coming up with an answer, totally convinced that, “This is it!” and then I get all excited only for one more idea to fall flat. Either it requires other people’s commitment in some form, or I can’t afford to implement the idea, or I come up with something that has to be sold or marketed in some way. I can’t even sell hotcakes. Whatever I have to offer, no one wants! So these are the main reasons nothing has gelled for me in the past few years.

I came up with yet one more answer I think is so terrific that I immediately burst into tears and asked myself, “So why did it take so long for me to figure this one out?”

I can hardly believe I’m at this point. Of course, I am always ending up disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged, dismays…Oh dear, are there any more disses? Yeah, disordered, the worst of them.

My dog is named Puzzle for rather random reasons. Sometimes, though, when I find the right idea, the one that is going to work, it fits right in, just like that last puzzle piece I’ve been seeking for ages.

Creative activities, for me, take on a mathematical nature for  me. I suppose that’s because I am rather oriented that way, even though I’m way out of practice with actual math, that is, things like algebra or calculus. But I suppose problem-solving, finding solutions, can be done a variety of ways depending on how one’s creative process works.

What happens in your mind when you create? Do you brainstorm and then, pick the idea you like? Do you play around with the materials and see what works? Do you remove yourself from the situation, so that you then can approach it as if it is a blank slate?

Writers use freewriting sometimes, but I’d say some find if more useful than other writers. Some write a whole bunch in their heads before actually doing the physical act of writing. Some write, throwing all their resources into one place, then rearranging what they have written into a work  of art. Some take a walk first, and by the time they’re at their desks again, they are already packed with ideas.

Writing is a solitary activity. You might see many writers together in a coffee shop, but they’re each writing separately. One mind, one writer. Joint ventures are usually done by alternating the material back and forth between two or more writers. The activity is still done in solitary fashion.

I like that. I like it a lot and seeing as I suck at group projects of any sort, I found that I could write as much as I wanted. No one else’s laziness would hold me back.

Well?

I will always be a writer and always write. I suck at the business end of things as do many other writers. So why keep trying when…….

There are always new doors to be opened. However, I need to tell you all a secret. If you are traveling to a foreign country where you need to learn the basics of the language spoken there, here are the two most essential words to learn. (No, not “Where is the hotel?”)

These two words are “push” and “pull.” In Spanish, the words are tire and empuje. Guess what happens if you don’t learn these? You will walk into a lot of glass doors. I have yet to see entire homes here made of glass here, but if you ever live in one, you can throw all the stones you want but don’t throw them real hard at your wall because the entire house might crack. I don’t think Humpty liked being a cracked egg, by the way, although it was nice for the paychecks of All The Kings Men, wasn’t it?

See you later.

How to get rid of unwanted suitors

The old standby solution to this is to fart in bed. I have heard that this method is rather reliable to get rid of unwanted suitors. Tell him you have cancer even if you don’t. Get way too drunk or otherwise embarrass him. Have your period every day for months till he quits asking. Make sure, when you take your wallet out of your purse or pocket, that he sees your welfare card (or your friend’s that you borrowed) and not the credit cards. When he wants to know where you grew up, name the poorest part of town. Dress unbecomingly. Call him 20 times a day till he is dying to get rid of you. If all else fails, gain 100 or 200 pounds and that might get him off your back.

If he still hangs around, guess what? He might really love you. He might actually love you for who you are, not for your money or your body. You might as well count your blessings. Toss out the welfare card, lose the weight, quit farting and have a great life together.

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