Nov 22, 2013

TRUST ME TO TAKE MY MEDS....NOT!

Dear Friends,
If you have a loved one with mental illness, they will invariably ask, plead, bargain, and cajole you to skip their medications.
My advice: firmly say NO!
***
Someone with diabetes MUST take insulin.
No matter what!
People with high cholesterol MUST take their medicine...
NO matter what!
It's the same with mental health.
It took 3 trips to the mental hospitals here in our city to get it right.
And that's not worth any compromise.
***
Today we once again let our loved one try and take their medicine independently.
And tonight I've just found out that they skipped it.
So now it's back to being the 'police' and watching them take their meds.
I need a break!
***
For today's 5 minute break I have a beautiful song by Brandi Carlile. 
It's called "Have You Ever." 
Brandi is one of those folk singers that belong in a group of living legends.
She is an amazing songwriter.





Nov 10, 2013

A GOOD DAY

Our son got invited over to a friend's house to spend the night and then stay the next day.
It's good for both of us to have a break.
Maybe once a month...that would be nice.
***
For today's break we present the 'human beat box' from Japan....Daichi.

I like him because he looks like he is having fun and loving what he does.
Have a great week!
David/:0)



Nov 9, 2013

8 WEEKS OF LOOKING FOR ANSWERS

It's hard to write this journal, but I do it for a good reason.
BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE from the perspective of a family member
dealing with their child with schizophrenia and OCD and anxiety attacks.
***
WEEK 6
Sept. 8-14
Our son is starting to drive again and did well. Driving on feeder roads until he gets used to his car.
Sept. 10...our son drinks a high caffeine drink...very irritated and on edge. Caffeine messes with his anxiety.
Sept. 11...drank a pepsi. Lots of anger, banging on table at night. Our son wants to give up. Hard for us to go to work each day. Our son still in a day care support group.
Sept. 12...third day to mess with caffeine. Why!!! Says he's stressed without it. We dread this current trend.
Sept. 13th...no caffeine. Better day.
Sept. 14th. Our son is always fighting us about taking his medicine. Feels like his medicine is some form of punishment. Very mean words to us. We say it is a form of bullying and send him outside to cool off. We bring him after a minute and tell him that HE IS NOT going to sit in the living room and spout off how terrible his family is. This form of bullying promotes no positive energy and no desires to help our son with his problems.
***
 WEEK 7
Sept. 15-21
Xanax is the only thing helping with nightly anxiety attacks. Why only at night?
Visited with Dr. M.....he did not let us go in the room with our son. We feel utterly alone.
Our son cannot make his own decisions at this point in his life. What can we do?
Thursday...A. is still in half day program but it's nearing the end. Tells driver that his dad is to blame for everything. Ugh!
Sat..Sept. 21st
We go to an all day seminar on how to deal with caring for a child with mental illness.
Great information on how to deescalate events. 
Still battling our son's self-induced anxiety from high doses of caffeine in Mountain Dew.
Stimulants are bad.
From time to time, we let our grown son take meds on his own. He forgot them on Saturday, so that means we take over the responsibility again. (He skipped them while we were at the conference!)
I've taken myself off all caffeine drinks in cans...the last being Diet Dr. Pepper.
August 7th, 2013 - September 7th, 2013...one month of freedom!
***
WEEK 8
Sept. 22-28
Monday was a good day. We found out about an out patient day center called "The Gathering Place".
We will tour it and see if it is a good fit.
Our son has quit shaving again because of fear and anxiety.
Sept.25th
The counselor phone call did not go well. She says that we stress over the little things and tells us not to 'hover'. Huh...why doesn't she come to our home and join the war instead of sitting in a nice room.
She says not to worry about the insurance running out.
I wonder.
Sept. 28th.
My wife and I to a nice restaurant for our 30th anniversary.
One nice break from the constant turmoil of mental illness.
Son has another Mountain Dew with 131mg of caffeine/77 grams of sugar.
This is more than halfway to a full blown energy drink.
The caffeine demon just won't stop!
***
For today's 5 minute break from mental illness, we turn to this very cool song. I don't quite like the pass-a-long video that goes with it. But this girl can sing and the keyboard artist is superb as well as the percussion dude.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtKZKl7Bgu0


"I need your love"







Sep 22, 2013

WEEK 6: GETTING BETTER AND GOING FROM FULL DAY TO HALF DAY PROGRAM

Monday: Trip to College Station has its ups and downs. When the medicine wears off, the symptoms come back in very strange ways. Long day trips have not bee good for stability. 
Tuesday: Our son cannot go to the bathroom! Alarming information. We call doctor and find out it is one of the side effects. Almost ready to go to emergency room. Son finally goes to restroom. We lower the dosage of one of his medications. 
Wednesday: Heat wave makes us all miserable.
Thursday: Goes to half day program. Still taking bus. 
Friday: Our son says he hates weekends. Most people love weekends. I've also seen a pattern where our son wants to complain all weekend about how bad his life is. We try to be encouraging, but it is wearing us out.
Saturday: BIG NEWS. Our son gets his car back. He makes a couple of short drives around the area with great success. This really boosts his confidence and level of freedom.
Sunday: Our son drives to church then along the feeder to a place he likes to visit. He is not taking the freeway yet. Returns home with great success.
End of week.
***
Today's 5 minute break features one of my favorite all time music videos.
The whole thing seems like a party and celebration.
I can go with that.



from our garden

Sep 8, 2013

WEEK 5: OUT OF THE PSYCH WARD AND ON TO RECOVERY

Sunday (last one in August)
Got call from psychiatrist asking if our son was showing improvement during the week in the psychiatric ward. He thought so and so did we. The meds are now covering the paranoia and troubling thoughts.
Monday:
Got call from the staff that our son was being discharged. This is both an exciting moment and then a troubling one. Will he be better at home? Or will it be another roller coaster ride?
The first night was good and he took his medicine without any fights.
Tuesday:
Our son takes one day off from the outpatient program. Everything is good until the afternoon. Our younger son sees him drinking a Full Throttle at the park! This high dose of caffeine coupled with his meds is what got him into trouble in the first place! What a mess.
We all sat down and had another family meeting. He said he would stop.
Wednesday:
Back into the PHP program all day long. This is a good thing.
Thursday:
We visit the psychiatrist and have a family meeting. He agrees that our son needs to stay on the higher dosage and needs to avoid any energy drinks with additives.
Friday:
Good day
Saturday:
Had friends over. Good day.
Sunday:
Went to church and had one friend over. Good day. We are getting hopeful that this might be it.
Ate out with friends at church. First time to socialize in public. All went well.
Monday:
One hallucination about food. Other than that, good day.
Went out of town to visit brother. Strange day for our son. For some reason long trips away from home stir up delusions. Today it was a false belief in things simply appearing. He also thought I could perform magical thinking by making things come true. Very strange.
Had problem when we changed the restaurant we were going to.
Good night.
***
Praise the Lord by Matt Redman (Great song!)
Enjoy your 5 minute break.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM





Aug 26, 2013

WEEK 4: PSYCH HOSPITAL NUMBER 3 FOR THE SUMMER

Monday: Took day off from program. Went to Psychologist to line up appt. Found out that his testing did NOT diagnose mental illnesses. I asked what the purpose would be for any testing. He said it would be for the purpose of finding brain damage and to check memory levels. 
Tuesday: Got call that the outpatient program was finding that the current levels of medications were not controlling the paranoia and delusions. Found out about problem on the bus. Counselor in charge told us that the psychologist needed to change his medication levels and that our son would need to go BACK into a psych ward. This was very sad news at first, but since Tuesday I have to admit that this is the best of any mental hospitals in our city. The gardens are nice, the staff VERY professional, and the facilities extremely clean and well run. Natural lighting comes through all the upper windows and side windows. Unlike the last two places, there are trees and grass to look at. The paintings on the walls are well done and there are positive mottoes painted as murals to encourage the patients.
Wednesday: In hospital. Visitation is during the evening meal so there is something to do with your loved one.
Thursday: same
Friday: same
Saturday: same
Sunday: Got call from our psychiatrist asking how we felt about our son's progress. It is great to find a doctor who actually asks this question. Most just call the shots and a nurse's aid calls later to report what's happened. Instead we were part of the process. We both agreed that the medication was now at correct levels to control the delusions and paranoia.
Monday: Our son is released from the hospital and signed up again for the outpatient program.
He seems much more driven to change for the better. We are seeing progress for the first time since the mental breakdown in late June.
He is still off of caffeine and other stimulants.
***
Today's 5 minute break has the best of titles. It's Terra Naomi's "Say It's Possible."
She's got an intoxicating voice as if she's singing just to YOU and know one else.
I like that.


from my garden


Aug 19, 2013

WEEK THREE....THREE STEPS FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK

The third week after being released from the psychiatric ward had its ups and downs. Thankfully, it ended on a positive note.
Monday....Always wants to know if he has to go to the classes (PHP) and if he has to take his medicine. Took a long time to get him up in the morning. He stayed out way too late with friends.
Tuesday...Worst morning since out from the clinic. Was hostile towards and refused to take his medicine until we told him we would take him back to the lock up facility. Had to go outside to cool off. Hates everything. Had meeting with psychiatrist and staff. 
Met with new psychologist so that we could develop a safety plan and a plan of action for extreme threats and violence (when off meds).
Wednesday...Much better day. 
Thursday....Best day of the week. Had great time at YMCA playing basketball with old friend.
Friday...Had very hard afternoon. Wants car back. Skipped meds and stayed up until 3 am due to heartburn. Feared meds were killing him. Finally went to sleep.
Saturday...Slept all morning. Had family over to celebrate an event. Our son stayed very quiet the whole time. Eating out was not fun due to too high of expectations. Night was OK.
Sunday....Was too depressed to go to church. Had party in afternoon. Part of it was OK and part was to overwhelming emotionally.
Monday....Went to testing center to set up psych test. Had difficult night. Thought everyone was evil at YMCA. Thought hamburger patty was a form of cannabilism. Worried about sharks attacking him. Some mild delusions about food being old because it didn't have the newest bar code on the label.
Called brother to explain it to our son.
***
Time for a 5 minute break.
Here's a great guitar soloist names Sungha Jung. I used to play like this back in my younger days, but was never this well-versed. Great job!

summer 2013 is over
a flower from our garden


Aug 13, 2013

A SONG FOR MENTAL HEALTH CAREGIVERS

Today was difficult.
So much of me wonders if this is going to last forever.
We see a glimmer of hope only to
find such sudden and overwhelming regression the very next day.
I don't see how those of you working in mental health hospitals
can do what you do every day.
I can barely keep up with one patient (our son) let alone
dozens!
My prayers are with you all.
***
As promised, I have a special song for you.
It's by Sidewalk Prophets and it's entitled "Help Me Find It".
Enjoy you break.
David/:0)


A flower from my garden



Aug 12, 2013

OUT OF THE MENTAL HOSPITAL WEEK 2: SLOWLY BUT SURELY

I'm so glad I'm writing all this down so that I can see where we've been and where we are going.
Our son is on week two of a Partial Hospital Program as part of his treatment for a mental collapse during this summer. Here's this week's review:
Week 2
Monday: Did not want to go to the treatment program. Did not want to take his meds and asked why we were doing all this. He is on 4 meds right now during this fragile time. Afternoon was good and he was in higher spirits.
Tuesday: Was more agreeable. Doctor added an med he used to be on for mood stabilization. This made a remarkable difference in a positive way.
Wednesday: Better day. Good night. Physical workout each night helps immensely with depression.
Thursday: Same good day as Wednesday.
Friday: Asked why he had to go to program. Difficulty taking meds, but finally agreed.
Saturday: We stayed home for most of the day and relaxed.Went to small party for a friend but was overwhelmed by noise. Went with brother to a coffee shop. This was better.
Sunday: Went to church for the first time in months. Better day.
Went out with friends all day and up until 10:00 PM at night. Too long of a day, but positive until having to take meds. 
Monday: Could not wake up in time to catch bus. Had to take him to classes.
All in all, there's very little depression this week and no violence or outward yelling.
He needs lots of space.
Downside: Short term memory is being wiped out by his medications. No long term effect, but still scary.
***
For today's 5 minute break, I'll take you to a wonderful song by Mandisa. If you've never experienced Mandisa, then hold on. She's a powerful positive influence in this world and I love her music!
Enjoy!!!


drawing by Paul Klee

Aug 6, 2013

FIRST WEEK BACK FROM THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD: DOWN & UP & UP & DOWN

Our son was released from the hospital one week ago. A week that felt like a month.
Minute 1: Upon our greeting he declared that he'd rather live on the street than live at home with us.
Nice start.
Minute 2: We found out that he had skipped his medicine the night before. Great hand off.
Minute 3: He wanted to know how we were going to make him take his medicine now that he was out.
Hard ball....and...at this point we were wondering if we were even going to make it to the door
and into the car.
On the way home we tried to hand him a medication for anxiety and he hit his mom.
We were on minute 14.
We stopped by his psychiatrist (miracles do happen...we could get in and were in the area)
so that we could restate how taking the medicines would save him from going back
to a lock up facility.
We also got the OK to up the dosage since the hospital was going to do it anyway, but instead released him.
(...which now made us the guinea pigs from here on out)
***
Day 2: Better
Day 3: We found the Partial Hospitalization Program that was on our insurance. We filled out the paperwork then went home.
Day 4: We got our son to the program. The counselor met with us and we formulated a plan.
He joined the Second Chance group for those who are survivors of their own suicide attempts. 
(Yes, it's that serious)
Day 5: Lots of rage, depression, anger about the unfairness of life. But still taking meds.
Day 6: Horrible out of town trip. Endless battles with bad attitudes. Trip ended with his idea of wanting to jump off a pier to drown. (Wow, fun trip for all us....wonder if things are going to get better....ever)
Day 7: Better day. He apologized for the 'jump off the pier' ordeal. Lots of exercise and outdoor activities helped. Had friends over. Nice, but a bit of an overload. Build in 'alone' time concept into each day.
Day 8: Second week of Second Chance program. Great talks with counselors and with their psychiatrist. He is formulating ideas of what's going on. Our son is still having huge fears of slipping back into unreality.
We read the Bible and pray each night before bedtime. Psalms 40 is our favorite.
And there ends week ONE & I need a break.
***
Today's 5 minute break brings us back to Vasquez Sounds with a beautiful rendition of Demi Lovato's 'Skyscraper'. This girl can sing...she's got the magic touch. And her two brothers don't miss a beat. What a wonderful family band!

my garden fence




Aug 4, 2013

MUSIC THERAPY & OCD

Music can be a real help with OCD thoughts.
A comforting message,
a smooth rhythm,
a lovely voice.
These can be soothing to a mind on overdrive.
My son has OCD and other mental health issues.
We both agree that music therapy has positive benefits.
What are his favorite songs?
I don't know. 
But I'll tell you one of mine.
***
Today's 5 minute break brings you a new face and a new group from Mexico.
Vasquez Songs consists of 3 siblings....two brothers and their younger sister.
Dad runs a sound studio, so the trio has been around music all their lives.
The videographer works magic here.
All around, this is my FAVORITE music discovery of the year.
Hurricane simulator in Galveston, Texas

Aug 3, 2013

BEAT PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA WITH ACCORDION MUSIC

My son did not have a good day. 
I will spare you the details, but let's just say
a vacation day can be ruined in an instant
when  paranoia turns into the idea that 'people are watching you'
all the time.
So now what....are we to take a vacation on an uninhabited island?
Geez....yes, people are going to watch each other at a beach....
but mental disorders take no vacation.
Still, we are back in one piece and the water was a beautiful blue green color.
***
When I'm about to go crazy with my son's mental disorder,
I reach for accordion music.
For some reason, accordion music seems appropriate.
Watch the player on the right's facial expressions.
He's a lot of fun and REALLY gets in to his music.
I could be automatic friends with this guy. 
I NEED SOME FUN PEOPLE IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW..
thank you Mr. Huib Holzken!


on the way....

Aug 1, 2013

KEEP ON PUSHIN' BACK THE DARK

Our son is out of his second round in a Psychiatric Hospital.
He is now in a Partial Hospitalization Program
and he is fighting hard to not be depressed.
***
It's our job as parents to always stay OPTIMISTIC
to stay POSITIVE
to PRAISE the small accomplishments.
Mental illness is not anyone's fault,
and it can happen suddenly
to just about anyone.
Read some of the online stories and you'll see.
***
We take no small victory for granted.
The idea of JOY is slowly returning.
The idea that there is a BETTER FUTURE is creeping into the dark cave
that we call mental illness.
The medicines can meet us half way,
but there needs to be a circle of smiling faces
around the campfire
looking back at each other
and PUSHING BACK THE DARKNESS...which leads me to this song...
***
It's called 'Pushing Back the Dark' by Josh Wilson
Light a Candle and listen
and then listen again and again.
My gift to you, my friend.
You do not sit there in the darkness alone.
I'm here with you.
David/:0)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co2gthaWVrQ
"The Simple Version" of the song:
The "Fancy" Version of the song:

butterflies in a store





Jul 29, 2013

DON'T STOP BELIEVING

Our loved one is coming home today from an extended time in a psychiatric ward.
We have no idea what to expect, but we hope for the best.
People with OCD, schizophrenia, mood disorders, and depression often feel like
prisoners of their own minds. They feel powerless.
Perhaps this little story will help.
***
Victor Frankl had every reason to stop believing.
A prisoner in a Nazi prison camp;
Victor watched as every prisoner came to terms
with losing all and facing death daily.
Victor noticed to his utter amazement that some
prisoners shared their meager rations with others.
No guard could stop this act of kindness.
No force could stop their utter
sacrifice.
The were not powerless.
***
For Victor, he realized at that moment
that no matter how much we have lost
we have one thing inside of us that will always
be safe from any evil force...
that is our decision to be a light
in the face of darkness.
There's much more...but for now
DON'T STOP BELIEVING!
***
Today's my 100th post and the song is exactly what
we need.
A fun version of
'Don't Stop Believing' by Vance Perry
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8C_w3ipMwY




Jul 27, 2013

99th POST & NOWHERE CLOSER TO AN ANSWER

The change in the diagnosis of our son
 marks a change in our path to recovery.
The new medication seems to be working but it's difficult to say
how all this will play out once our son is back home.
I know that
  my pastor wants me to relax and not worry so much.
I know that
 the counselor/psychologist up at the treatment center
has told us
 that our family has to continue in normal patterns
and
 that we
 must find
 ways for our son to fit in with these normal patterns.
I feel like I'm on call all the time
for an emergency.
I jump whenever the phone rings....
Is it the treatment center?
Has something bad happened?
***
I have to give myself a 5 minute break.
***
My all time favorite song for relaxing....
'Fields of Gold' by Sting.
Hope you can relax with me.
David/:0)

from our garden today.


Jul 26, 2013

VISITING A PSYCHIATRIC WARD

It is not easy to visit a family member in a psychiatric ward.
But that is exactly what we have been doing for the past 8 days.
Each day is different.
Some visits are filled with optimism and hope (like today's visit).
Some are filled with confusion (why aren't they better today?)
and some visits are filled with dread
 and despair (why are they worse....I thought they were getting better?)
***
When you visit, always stay positive and speak clearly.
Holding hands is nice if they are open to this.
Limit your visit to 5 minutes if they seem disturbed emotionally.
Don't take their mental problems personally.
Some medications are agitating, so don't be surprised if they blame you for troubles.
Avoid confusion by always staying calm and reassuring.
Ask simple questions but just enough to get a handle on how things are going.
Questions like...are you eating?....are you sleeping?...are you taking your medicine?....are enough for one visit.
A great way to connect is to bring photos from a family album.
Bring photos of the loved one's childhood, home, pets or vacations.
Remind them of happier times.
Encourage them that things are going to get better and that this is not forever.
***
Some places allow outside magazines or books
and some allow outside foods or snacks.
Bring some of these during your visit, but
always check first to avoid disappointment.
***
We sometimes bring some paper and pencils and draw together.
Our loved one likes to draw and this also gives us an idea of how he is doing.
*****
After the visit, ask the nurse the same questions you asked the patient to see if they match up.
If you can, find out what medicines are working and what's not.
Research each medicine at home to see what they are used for and the dosages commonly used.
Ask the nurse to write down the names.
Once you get back out (remember, these are locked units), you will probably 
not remember.
Be friendly to the staff....this is the absolute BEST thing you can possibly do.
They have a very difficult job;
a task very few people would want to do each and every day 
of their lives. 
The staff members I've met are always caring and loving...a fact that allows me 
to sleep at night with less worries.
***
Today's 5 minute break is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
It's a bit sad, but one I think you will enjoy.
The song is "Why Should I Cry For You" by Sting.

Thanks to all for your prayers for our son.
David/:0)
from our garden today



Jul 21, 2013

WATCHING SOMEONE SINK INTO PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA

One week ago our son was in reality and aware of his surroundings.
His OCD has not turned into Schizophrenia.
And if you have OCD and you worry about this, I have a simple and comforting sentence for you:
If you have the ability to worry about becoming schizophrenic, then you are not schizophrenic.
Move on with a smile because no matter how many times you worry about this, it just isn't a problem.
Our son cannot worry about it any longer because he is not in touch with reality.
He cannot ask that type of question.
***
Our current idea is that the medications he has taken for the last 10 years that were controlling
his mood disorders/anxiety were also protecting him from the beginning phase of schizophrenia.
The same medication is prescribed for both conditions.
***
He has always been in reality until this last week.
He has not had a formal diagnosis at the hospital, so I am just guessing what to call it.
But his paranoia, constant talk of conspiracy theories, mind control, voodoo dolls, and the doctors plotting against him all point to paranoid schizophrenia.
***
As painful as this will be,
I will try to map out a day to day progression so that those who need this information
can find it. 
Like a message in a bottle floating out there on the internet.
I will start tomorrow.
*******
Today's 5 minute break is called 'Gone, gone, gone' because that's how I feel right now
about our son. 
I hope and pray to get him back soon.


We love you son


Jul 19, 2013

YOU ARE IN A PSYCHIATRIC WARD & I AM WRITING YOU A POEM

Here....we watch
There....they listen

Here....we watch you 
falling into a stare
a stare that goes nowhere.

There....they listen and they work
They work on the medicines that will bring you back
from that vacant stare....
that goes nowhere.

Here...at home we wait.
and there in the hospital...they wait

We both wait for
 the same
cloud
to
lift.
We both wait for clear blue skies
filled with lovely birds
and lovely thoughts
flying, gliding, and floating
Birds free to fly
Thoughts free to fly...
beyond the clouds
beyond the fog
with light everywhere.
For you are never beyond repair..
Grace meets you anywhere...
even inside the stare.
****
Today's five minute break is from Everfound
with the perfect song...
'Never Beyond Repair'

Too see the band:
http://www.youtube.com/user/everfound?feature=watch

To hear the tune:




Jul 16, 2013

Some Terms to Sort Out

Here we go:
OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsession: a repetitive, unWANTED thought
Compulsion: an action that has the purpose of relieving unwanted thoughts

OCPD: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder

Asperger's Syndrome: a person with the highest functionality on the Autistic spectrum.
(my definition)

Asperger's Syndrome with OCB: obsessive compulsive behaviors
This would be different than our loved one with Asperger's Syndrome and OCD.

David/:0)

Jul 14, 2013

THE OCD BULLY

It is helpful to think of OCD as not really being a part of YOU.
Instead it is a set of thoughts that come from fears.
We all have fears and our brains can imagine the worse.
But with OCD, the thoughts don't stay small.
The scary thoughts don't seem to listen to reason.
And the comfort and reassurance of others don't seem to count.
OCD has been called the 'what if' disease.
What if I don't check the lights?
What is I don't check the stove?
What if the house burns down?
What if I don't check the locks and a thief breaks in?
What if I don't count things exactly enough times
or put things back exactly like they need to be?
OCD thoughts are like bullies.
But this bully seems to know your every weakness.
If this is the case, please consider getting this book:
It's written by someone with OCD and knows how to deal with this bully.
I'm reading it with our son and it's starting to help.
We are facing the bully we call OCD.
And we are fighting back.
***
Today's break is from Phillip Phillips and it's called 'Home'. 
D/:0)



Jul 12, 2013

I DREAMED A DREAM...TO FIND A GREAT STEP DOWN PROGRAM

When your loved one is released from a psychiatric hospital
the next step is to find a psychiatrist that will 
take care of ongoing medication needs.
BUT also,
there will be the question of WHAT NEXT?
Do we just take them home and watch them go back to their struggles?
****
We had never heard of a day program for mental health.
The term used by doctors and staff
is
 INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM
or IOP.
Wikipedia does a good job describing one:

In our case, the profile is a bit different since our son had become addicted to caffeine and panax ginseng extract and other stimulants in teas and energy drinks.
Most IOPs have programs dealing with alcohol or strong substance abuse.
Still, most of the places we visited took ENERGY DRINK ADDICTION very seriously.
IN MY OPINION,
energy drinks and their cocktails of high octane stimulants have the potential to
wreak havoc on people taking medications for
bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, anxiety disorders, or depression.
I would also be very cautious about mixing ADHD medications with energy drinks and high levels of caffeine.
Stimulants are STIMULATING! Just check your pulse after drinking a MONSTER and you'll see.
****
Our loved one is depressed beyond measure that he cannot control 
this aspect of his life and will need help.
I'm just glad help is out there.
***
Today's break is from a fabulous violin player.









Jul 10, 2013

HOW TO GET CURED OF OCD


The quick answer....
there is no cure for OCD.
But there is hope that the symptoms and constant anxiety
can be reduced.
How?
One story is found on the link above.
If you have run out of hope, it's a great place to begin to rebuild.
Here's a quote from the story on the link:

***
Today's 5 minute break is a fun video
from a friend named Emma.
It's home grown music....plants included!
D/:0)
"Growing Up"


Jul 2, 2013

QUESTIONS...BUT TURN ON THE MUSIC WHILE YOU READ IT

This blog has taken a turn...
down a road
that I don't understand
&
that I can't follow
without God.
QUESTION:
How can someone come home from work
each day
and look in their family member's room
his empty room
and remember
that 
he is in a psychiatric ward?
That's what happened this week. I can't write about it yet.
But I promise
that for those of you have gone before me
I will read your blogs
and listen to your stories.
Because I don't have a clue what's next.
The hospital is nice
and the doctor's are the best.
***
That's good
because he's a complicated case.
Bad things are happening inside his brain right now.
Yet....
somewhere
inside is our son...
the             one        we      used       to        know....
and that we will always love.
***
Today's 5 minute break is a song
with words that comfort
and a message 
for anyone
going
 through
a
 tough time.
The song, "Worn" sung  by Tenth Avenue North.
Thank God for songwriters like these.
And considering this video has over 500,000 views, there are many
others who feel the same.
Thanks for stopping by.
from the ever hopeful,
D/:0)



Jun 30, 2013

TIME TO BEAT OCD AGAIN & AGAIN & AGAIN

This week was the most difficult of all for our son.
He has come to a point of giving up 
because
his OCD thoughts block him at every move.
His violence and rage is aimed at those around him.
And especially his family.
So he is getting medical treatment at a hospital this week.
PRAY PRAY PRAY
That something good will happen!
***
In the mean time, it's time to BEAT OCD...
even if it is symbolically with drums and bongos.
Here's a fantastic Danish drumming group called Safri duo.
David/:0)



Jun 27, 2013

FAMILIES WITH DISABILITIES: HOLD ON TO YOUR DREAMS NO MATTER WHAT

It's fun to dream about your child becoming an Olympic star,
or running the marathon,
or being a professional athlete.
Many children dream of such.
It's a dream that stays alive in children...
the dream of becoming famous someday.
At some point,
our children grow up and start to realize
that their dream 
was a part of their childhood;
a part just like the little teddy bear
or the little toys
that remain on the shelf 
long after the children go off on their own
***
Children with disabilities have dreams too.
Dreams that
bring a 
knowing smile (and a touch of sadness)
to their parents' hearts.
Parents with children that have mental disorders
also hold on to dreams.
But mental challenges and disorders are an invisible
wall for an otherwise able-bodied child.
And thus the sting of reality for these parents is often twice as 
hard to bear.
But don't despair. You need to watch today's 5 minute break.
Here's one of the most
hopeful, most stirring, and most inspirational moments
I've ever found on my search to bring you
a wonderful, and joyous 
5 minute break.

David/:0)
***
Meet 14-year old Jack Carroll

our kitten


Jun 25, 2013

OCD + CAFFEINE (STIMULANTS) = CHAOS

The line up of 'bad guys' when it comes to caffeine
MOUNTAIN DEW THROWBACK = 54mg caffeine
SUNDROP= 63mg caffeine
Lipton Can of Tea (not shown)=  only 8mg caffeine
AMP energy = 142mg caffeine (you'd have to float away drinking 17 3/4 cans of tea to equal the caffeine)
FULL THROTTLE=200 mg of caffeine (equivalent to 20 cans of Lipton tea!)
***
Only after the terrible mood swings, anger, verbal attacks, irritability, and threats
did we start to suspect that our son had added something to his diet.
The energy drink addiction started when he was given a FREE sample 
at the local rodeo when he was 14 years old.
Caffeine addiction is a threat to many people with OCD because
it puts their intrusive thoughts into overdrive.
For our son, he appears frozen in place like a statue
after having too much caffeine.
That's because every thought and action is blocked
by his OCD mind telling him
 that
 'if he moves this way or sits down
or goes into his room' 
the world
 will end.
So he does nothing but freeze
out of fear of doing something wrong.
Such is our life with OCD & caffeine addiction.
Working through caffeine withdrawal is horrible & also my next topic.
Stay tuned.
Thanks for stopping by.
David/:0)
***
For today's 5 minute break I'll show you something very different
and very wonderful. 
Shadows will never be the same.



Jun 24, 2013

DO PEOPLE NOTICE MY OCD IN PUBLIC?

A common theme with our son and his OCD
is the constant worry
that someone
is noticing his rituals
when he is in public.
He does not eat in public because of this
and he seldom wants to talk to others
due to his Aspergers condition.
I'm sure other people with OCD worry about public places and being 'watched'.
Well, I have great news for you...
I think after watching this music video you will feel
very relieved.
This dancer went to an airport terminal and danced like crazy
just trying to get someone to notice.
But to no avail.
Just watch and see. It's great therapy! 
I laughed to think of our society and how 'self-contained' we have become.
***
Here's the video, "Dance Like Nobody's Watching: Airport Version


from our garden
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