The Beyond Madness webring consists of many internet sites concerning mental disorders. Go to http://www.webring.org/hub?ring=bmadness to look at a list of those sites. (Copy and paste the address).
Find a site in which a person gives a personal account of what it is like to have a mental disorder (choose one of the disorders described in the book) and go to that site. MAKE SURE THAT IT IS A NEW SITE, SOMETHING NO ONE HAS ALREADY CHOSEN. Read that person’s description of his or her experience and answer the following questions:
1. Tell us what you know about the person and what disorder is portrayed. REMEMBER TO CHOOSE A NEW SITE, SOMETHING NO ONE ELSE HAS CHOSEN ALREADY. What difficulties does that person have to cope with that most people do not? What has it been like for that person to cope with mental disorder? (3 points)
2. Does that person’s self-description fit with the description provided in the textbook? Why or why not? Be specific, detailed and GIVE PAGE NUMBER REFERENCES. (3 points)
3. What is your reaction to that person’s story? What do you think it is like to be that person? (4 points)
Here are other answer for another students
I chose to discuss Justin Timberlake who in 2008 admitted that he had ocd and add. I am not a huge fan of his but I appreciate that he suffers from 2 illnesses. As I have depression and add it’s interesting to me how they interact. In regards to Justin I located statements he had made on www.disable-world.com, www.femalefirst.co.uk and www.anxietyguru.net. I wanted to use more than one site to highlight how his symptoms affected him. When I went to the Beyond Madness site and looked at OCD I was surprised at how many people were suspected of having OCD like Charles Darwin and Ludwig Van Beethoven. When you think of the systematic way in which Darwin organized his notes for the Origin of Species one can see that the skills needed for such specific a book would require a person who would be able to give a systematic outline for what they were observing. What I knew about Justin Timberlake prior to this assignment was limited to his work as a performer. He says that his OCD affects many parts of his daily life. OCD is made up of compulsions and obsessions. Both need not be present for a diagnosis to be reached. A person can have obsessions without compulsions. His obsessions include that everything around him be lined up. He also can only have specific foods in his fridge and of course, they must be in a specific place. This did cause problems with his girlfriend Jessica Alba when she moved in and had to work with Justin on this issue. Justin cites that he loves to perform and that in spite of his OCD and ADD he is still able to perform. There is something very stimulating about being on stage so that stimulation may be the boost he needs.It’s helpful for persons with ADD not to be distracted by details but rather able to concentrate on their own activities. Justin’s description does mirror much of what is said in the text book. it’s important to differentiate between what is the busy-ness of the world we live in and when a condition becomes so habitual that new behaviors are created to cope with it. (Myers p. 463) Key components of a psychiatric illness are duration (how long symptoms have been present) and intensity(are symptoms present in all settings or just at home?) I felt very positive about the story and am glad that he has found a livlihood that helps him to have a quality of life despite these issues. Many famous people were highlighted with the OCD disorder. Not just people in show business but scientist such as Albert Einstein and business leaders such as Donald Trump. One can see that the obsession on certain topics has lead to advances in science and technology which may not have been reached otherwise. Of course we want to be aware that just as there are those that can manage and channel their symptoms into a meaningful life there are many more who are unable to and find their lives diminished and unfulfilling.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D), which also use to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MID), is a mental disorder where a person’s mind has taken more than it can handle and divides into “two or more distinct identities” (Meyers, 2011, p. 469). These identities have names and help protect the individual from whatever trauma they have experienced. Each personality controls a different behavior, has its own individual identity, and claims to know nothing about any other existing personality. Where one personality may be shy another may be boisterous and aggressive. The profile of “V” and “J” are exact to this description.
The person’s profile I read talks about 2 distinct persons known as “V” and “J”. At the time the blog was written they were about twenty years old. “V” is the narrator. She calls the body in which they live “She”. “V” claims to be a separate person from “J”, but says together they make up a whole person. “J’s” first memory came about around three years of age when she remembers saving “V” from an underground cage. They identify themselves of being the ones taking care of everyday life responsibilities while “She” is the body in which they carry out their responsibilities. They enjoy writing poetry, listening to music, dancing, singing and drawing. They do things as one but, in order to feel safe and remain functional they have separated memories.
The situation that created “V” and “J” was the physical and sexual abuse and extreme neglect brought on by the hands of the father around the age of three. Though he took their innocent for years they continued to love him as each personality divided and was unaware of what the other endured. “V” and “J”, the personalities “She” split into, held hands inside of a body they knew existed but didn’t know how it worked. Terrified, “V” and “J” were confused as they felt eyes were watching them all the time. “V” and “J” became separated at some point, only reuniting sometime in their teen years as “She” continued to suffer abuse. When “V” and “J” finally did “come out” they felt like the walking dead having no sense of reality and believe they were not real. “V” feels great empathy for “J” and wonders how she survived all those years of abuse in a body bigger than her. “V” talks about watching “J” from the inside and identifies another personality, Tom, who is also watching and confused by everything.
“She” is who “V” and “J” considers their “essence of death”. “She” is self-destructive and hurts the body to feel physical pain over the pain of abuse, and attempts suicide to escape the abuse. “She” never told anyone about the abuse; “V” and “J” came into unconscious existence to help her cope. The horrible abuse “She” (they) suffered was difficult for her cope with and not only brought on D.I.D, but panic attacks, and eating disorder, sleep problems, nightmares, depression, isolation, and self-harm/ suicide ideation. For “She” to cope with these mental disorders has been a life-time struggle. The psychological and emotional impact has been tormenting, and “She” has the physical scars to remind her. “She” uses the internet, friends, and support groups to help her get well and expresses herself through her writing and drawings.
Along with this profile was a YouTube video about D.I.D. called, “Ritual Abuse and Mind Control-information”. The impact of this video filled me with anger and empathy. This video defines D.I.D. as a coping mechanism that allows the victim to have no conscious memory of abuse and states it usually sets in by the age of six. It also says, “The child’s mind becomes overwhelmed and divides to protect the child from remembering abuse” (J, 2010). This clip talks about how pedophiles know what D.I.D. is and that they use it to their advantage creating intentional and unbelievable abuse in a terrifying environment so that their victims will remain dissociated. If adults remember their childhood abuse they most likely won’t be believed. The National Center for Victims of Crime says, “20 million Americans have been victimized by parent incest as children.”
Our text states that skeptics go fishing for personality disorders. Some psychologist disagrees and believes D.I.D is “a genuine disorder in the distinct brain and body states associated with differing personalities” (Meyers, 2011, p. 469). Ophthalmologists have noted visual changes in the eyes when personalities change which would suggest D.I.D is genuine. Text does support the D.I.D in the profile I reviewed by stating, “Research and clinicians from psychoanalytic and learning perspectives do, however, agree that D.I.D symptoms are ways of dealing with anxiety” (Meyers, 2011, p. 470). Many of the other disorders “She” suffers from are similar of post-traumatic disorders, “a natural, protective response to ‘histories of childhood trauma’” (Meyers, 2011, p. 470). “She” also fits D.I.D. textbook description in the fact that she recalls physical, sexual, and extreme abuse. The profile of “V” and “J” falls on the side of “those who believe multiple personalities are the desperate efforts of the efforts of the traumatized to detach from a horrific existence” (Meyers, 2011, p. 470). I saw no evidence that “She” sought help through a therapist, therefore, I cannot say if the skeptics point may have any ground to stand on.
My reaction, just as it was to the YouTube video I watched, horrified me. My heart goes out to her and all the others enduring such devastating trauma. I have seen firsthand someone suffering from D.I.D and know it is real. Watching someone stick a hot iron to them and not express the pain it had to inflict, and then watching them ask later what happened as they seemed to notice the wound for the first time was astonishing! This woman would behave like a child at times, become violent and aggressive at others. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be so confused and lost. They have no identity and no sense of being. They just exist and wonder why. Living like that cannot be fulfilling, but to relive the abuse could literally kill you. D.I.D shows us how fragile the mind is. It is sad, real, and the tormentors need to be dealt extreme punishment.
Bipolar disorder, a mood disorder in which the person alternates between the hopelessness and lethargy of depression and the overexcited state of mania, this used to be called manic-depressive disorder (Myers, 2011, p. 471). On the website I was able to read posts from women with Bipolar Disorder and a Master’s degree in Psychology. Her post is referenced under the title “My Big Fat Bipolar Disorder”.
She suffers from feelings of depression; it is hard for her to just enjoy a relaxing day without worrying or having severe feelings of anxiety and obsessive negative feelings. Most people would be able to enjoy a day out at the beach, but she is in constant thought and worry. Although physical exertion does help to release stress and worry and help get the restful sleep that bipolar patients seek, it is hard to motivate oneself to go out and function when you are feeling depressed. Your body fights what will make it feel better.
In our book it reveals that women on average suffer from depression more often than men. Men usually have a greater increase of rage (Myers, 2011, p. 473). She tends to like to express herself in artwork. As she express’s her feelings of being trapped in art she then is able to feel better. Our book expresses the fact that mania, in milder forms, shows excess energy and free flowing thinking, which can help one to be more creative (Myers, 2011, p. 472). We learn that a higher number of reported cases of bipolar disorder tend to manifest themselves in occupations of art and music. It seems a correlation not causation that lends itself to the possibility that those that rely on emotional expression and vivid imagery are prone to this disorder. Many performers have had manic episodes where they compose or write many works of art in a mere number of days and then crash.
Another problem that she experiences that most of us do not have to deal with would be a weakened immune system. When she comes down with a cold or flu, she will typically have an episode of depression that follows. Getting enough sleep is essential to keeping episodes at bay. Her husband will help make sure that she stays on her medication and gets her needed or extra sleep in order to help her depression and episodes of mania. Mania is a mood disorder that is marked by a hyper active state, one in which a person is wildly optimistic (Myers, 2011, p. 471). While most people are able to cope with normal stress of a child crying, she gets depressed, negatively criticizing herself, hoping or contemplating death and feeling hopeless. She is always thinking and analyzing her behavior to a point of obsession. She is unable to move on without help from others and medication.
Depression mode is when she is experiencing a desire to sleep a lot, isolate, drink alcohol, focusing on negative thoughts, not taking her meds, she tries to actively change by getting out of bed and gardening, socialize with at least one friend, reduce alcohol, write a gratitude journal, take meds exactly as directed. The following activities relate to her mania states, lack of sleep, being over scheduled, stress that comes from overscheduling, too much caffeine, not taking meds for managing mania. When in this state or mood, she tries to get enough sleep, eliminate tasks, decaf, bipolar meds. Getting exercise is essential for all aspects of bipolar.
All of these expressions or mood swings correlate in relation to our books over view of bipolar disorder. As the book states, when in a manic state one tends to talk fast, get upset easily, does not like criticism and has poor judgment (Myers, 2011, p. 472). She exhibited all of these tendencies’. When triggered she can be argumentative, angry towards her children and work at excess and not sleep.
I feel sorry for all the emotional mood swings that she suffers without much control. I have a grandmother in law that suffered from this disorder as well. She drank excessively, which contributed to her behavior. She would go on lows of depression and highs of spending sprees and drinking. But what goes up must come down.
What I understood from her post, is what many of us also have to deal with and that is real life. We all experience feelings of anxiety, depression and self-criticism to stressful events and living in this world. I feel that her advice is great for all of us to manage our moods. Sometimes I wonder if an epidemic of “medicating” everyone instead of a more holistic approach to human behavior. I can see that relaxation techniques and healthier diet, one with no alcohol, might help many who suffer from milder forms of this disorder. My husband’s family has a history of bipolar on his Aunts’ side and I do see a need for counseling and or medication as a last resort.
Myers, D. G. (2011). Exploring Psychology eighth edition. New York: Worth Publishers.
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