Jul 29, 2013


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
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
Today's my 100th post and the song is exactly what
we need.
A fun version of
'Don't Stop Believing' by Vance Perry

Jul 27, 2013


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
 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.

from our garden today.

Jul 26, 2013


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.
from our garden today

Jul 21, 2013


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


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
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:

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.


Jul 14, 2013


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'. 

Jul 12, 2013


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
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.
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


The quick answer....
there is no cure for OCD.
But there is hope that the symptoms and constant anxiety
can be reduced.
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!
"Growing Up"

Jul 2, 2013


This blog has taken a turn...
down a road
that I don't understand
that I can't follow
without God.
How can someone come home from work
each day
and look in their family member's room
his empty room
and remember
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.
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
 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,

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