Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trip the Light

I have noticed, people who are buying more guns seem to be more scared than the rest of us.  It is about pattern formation, the anterior cingulate cortex.  It can be your friend, or it can be your enemy.  Come on, people.  Have you forgotten Christmas so soon?  We can do better.  Like Matt here --



If all the days that come to pass
Are behind these walls
I'll be left at the end of things
In a world kept small

Travel far from what I know
I'll be swept away
I need to know
I can be lost and not afraid

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ring The Bells That Still Can Ring

Liturgical Christians, Catholics, Lutherans, Episcopalians keep a season called Advent, four weeks before Christmas.  It is a difficult practice, because it calls us to be thoughtful.  Thoughtful?!  You mean making a list and checking it twice?  No.  Advent is a time to acknowledge the truth that we hide from, behind our shopping lists and party schedules, the truth of emptiness and brokenness, in ourselves and in the world.  We are surrounded by Ho Ho Ho.  Advent says Hmm.

Advent says, Yes we will rejoice, because the baby, The Baby is born.  And yet.  And yet...

This has been a hard week.  Our defenses against the darkness have been found wanting.  And yet.  And yet...



Monday, December 17, 2012

Prozac Monologues Goes to the Movies

This is not a regular post.  It is a call for your help to create a future post.

Periodically, Prozac Monologues goes to the movies.  This time, I want to do a piece on spirituality at the movies.  It will feature half a dozen titles, each with a short descriptive blurb and a couple prompts for pondering and/or discussion.  Maybe your support group or book club or Bible study could use the suggestions to mix it up a bit?

Here is an example:

Groundhog Day: Self-centered weather caster, played by Bill Murray gets caught in a time warp, reliving one day over and over and over and over.  The only thing he can change is himself.  What is the life worth living?  How do we get stuck in a life that isn't?  Where do we find the power to change?

Power, grace, forgiveness, redemption, hope, dignity, the meaning of life, the universe and everything -- What are the stories that help you think about these things?

Put your suggestion in the comments.  Whether it is included will depend on the number of suggestions received, whether I understand it, and whether it fits what goes on at Prozac Monologues.  Looniness is appreciated, though not required.  Deadline for inclusion: December 31, 2012.

Thanks!
image of popcorn from FreeDigitalPhotos.net
dvd cover from Amazon.com

Friday, December 14, 2012

More on Mood Charts

This is my personalized mood chart.


You can find a larger and clearer image here.  It was inspired by the one my mental health insurance provider sent me when I began taking mood stabilizers.  Last week I described how their chart works and how people with mood disorders benefit from using any of the great variety out there.

Cigna's chart primarily tracks mood.  Using theirs, I learned that lamotrigine made a difference to the course of my symptoms.  After years of inappropriate prescriptions of antidepressants, I had moved to rapid cycling.  No, rapid cycling means several cycles in a year.  More like, I was spinning, from the depths of depression to raging agitation within each week, week after week.  Lamotrigine did modify that pattern.  It stretched the cycles, down from four to two a month.  By recording the pattern, eventually I concluded, and I had the evidence to support it to my doctor, that the costs of the medication (dizziness, fourteen hours of sleep and grogginess a day, losing words) outweighed the benefits.

More Than Mood

But Cigna's chart was missing vital information.  Mood disregulation was only part of my experience.  It was the agitation, sense of urgency, poor concentration, lack of sleep that put me on the disability roles.  And, I began to suspect, these disturbances in energy levels were driving my suicidal thoughts as much as my depression was.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mood Charts Revisited

Mood chart is one of the top search terms that bring people to Prozac Monologues.  I wrote about mood charts in July, 2010, first as a recovery tool and later as a way to illustrate the differences between various mood disorders.  Both posts promised sequels, promises that remained unfulfillable until now that I have spent several months doing cognitive remediation at Lumosity.com.  Maybe cognitive remediation is worth another post -- later.

Following last week's tale of misdiagnosis and mistreatment, this week's long delayed return to mood charts seems timely.

What is a Mood Chart