Therapy Archive

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  • My Experience with Medical Marijuana as a Psychiatric Medication and Harm Reduction Strategy

    Trigger Warnings: suicidal ideation, grief, alcoholism, drug use.

    When I first came to medical marijuana, I was desperate. Fighting Schizoaffective Disorder, alcoholism, PTSD, the recent death of my wife, chronic anxiety, and newly recovered childhood abuse memories, all I wanted was to be put out of my misery. I told my therapist, “When an animal is broken, you either shoot it or put it out to pasture comfortably, I’ll take either one.”

    Needs

    Recently I started an Intensive Outpatient Program for people with eating disorders. In group therapy one of the care providers said that humans want 3 sorts of things, power and control, attention and acceptance, and security and certainty. Something along those lines, anyway. And she told us our eating disorder tries to provide one or more of these things, and thats why people feel they need their eating disorder. It fulfills a purpose for us.

    Persistent Past in a Present Future

    My therapist has a thing for drawing me charts that she hopes I bring home and post on my wall (I do). It ends up straining both my eyes and my mind. We tend to get into complicated conversations that involve chaos theory and the nature of humans. My most recent chart (a flow chart of such) describes how the past connects us to depression, the future to anxiety, and the present to calm and balance. But I have questions. As I usually do.

    Group Therapy – Panic and Anxiety, Session 2

    This is the second of an 8 week series reviewing panic and anxiety from a group therapy point of view. It is based on the group therapy services available through Langley Memorial Hospital. Feel free to follow along and answer the questions posted in each section.

    Session 2: Don’t Fight Panic

    Did You Know:

    • Resisting or fighting initial panic symptoms is likely to make them worse.

    Tales of the Mental Hospital (Chandler) – Part 1

    It is my pleasure to introduce the newest series, “Tales of the Mental Hospital” to QueerMentalHealth.org. Spending time in a hospital can be an unpleasant and scary experience for many of us. Taking a more lighthearted look at our experiences can be healing for many of those who have had to stay in a mental hospital for some time. Chandler came up with the idea to write about his experiences, and after discussing it together we decided it would be a great idea to make it into a series here. We encourage anyone to add their stories to the series as well!

    During my formerly frequent stays to various psychiatric facilities in MO & FL, I’ve met quite a few characters. They’ve ranged from scary violent psychos, to hilariously deranged schizophrenics, to the just plain bizarre. That statement also includes some of the people who worked there. Sometimes, the staff is just on the wrong side of the desk.Needless to say, each separate hospitalization was a truly unique experience. With all the E/N depression threads I’ve seen pop up, I think now is a good time to share some of the hilarity that an inpatient psych hospital can offer. That’s right, the hospital can be fun.

    How To Set Your Goals The SMART Way

    One issue I’ve always struggled with is goal setting. Never mind that when I’m manic, I tend to set really high goals that I’m super-confident that I’ll reach, but also, when I’m depressed, I make goals that I believe are achievable, and yet I still won’t achieve them. Why? Because even though the goals I set are attainable, they’re made in a way that they appear overwhelming, and inevitably, I’ll abandon the goal, and beat myself up over yet another “failure.” It’s hard to motivate yourself to achieve your goals when they are too vague to actually define what a “success” is.

    Group Therapy – Panic and Anxiety, Session 1

    Trigger Warning: mention of rape, sexual assault

    This is the first of an 8 week series reviewing panic and anxiety from a group therapy point of view. It is based on the group therapy services available through Langley Memorial Hospital. Feel free to follow along and answer the questions posted in each section.

    Session 1: Exploring Anxiety Disorders

    Crisis Checklist

    Inspired by work people have done on madness maps and mental health first aid kits, I decided to make a checklist/flowchart to use when I am having a particularly hard time or am in crisis. It was a good process for me to make because it helped me to really think about what has helped me or caused me trouble in the past. I really like that we can make these sorts of tools for ourselves instead of relying on more general (often judgmental) dos and don’ts or advice from people who never know us as well as we know ourselves.

    DBT Skills: Distress Tolerance

    I’m in a DBT group right now. It’s comprised of four modules, and I just finished my second, which is distress tolerance. Of all the things I could possibly say about it, the most accurate would be that it’s a lot of work. Think of it this way: it’s a lot of practicing things that are aimed at reducing distress, regardless of what mood or state of mind one might be in. Thankfully my emotions are still pretty distressing on a regular basis, so I was able to more or less have something to compare the results to.

    “Trans Affirming” Therapist Video

    This video is based on intake I did with a therapist at the Institute for Human Identity a few years ago. Another trans person had a good experience with a therapist there, but I got assigned to someone else and it didn’t go so well. A lot of the dialogue from the therapist is verbatim what I remember him saying to me. Only some of my responses are accurate to life, though. I didn’t actually tell him he was a jerk, for example, but I found it rather satisfying to do so in this video.