resonance

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  1. That sounds pretty obnoxious. I usually need to drink more water than I want to, but at least I still get some feeling of thirst. I've done the phone alarm thing in the past though. Salt can be bad for you but dehydration's pretty bad for you too. Maybe the tradeoff is something you could ask a doc about? (pdoc or gp) The only other suggestions I can think of are all about making water more entertaining to drink: - A tiny bit of lemon juice. Your mouth is slightly more acidic than water is and making water more acidic makes it taste better, IIRC. I've also gotten citric acid in little packets that I think advertised themselves as imitation lemon juice or something similar. - Mess with the temperature. Cold water, hot water, lukewarm water. - Carbonated water. (The cheap stuff, don't drive yourself broke with Perrier) My husband has a machine that makes carbonated water out of tap water and I use that, but you can also buy club soda (or whatever it's called where you live). - A small amount of lemonade or fake lemonade. I used to use the store-brand version of Crystal Light because Crystal Light tastes bitter to me for some reason. - Some people put slices of cucumber in their water although personally I prefer to keep my salad out of my drink (and my drink out of my salad). - Herbal tea.
  2. I did two in 2005 (one three weeks, one one week) and they were both helpful, mainly due to being able to make a lot of med changes and to having external regulation for my schedule. It would have really helped to be in for longer the second time but my insurance wouldn't pay because I wasn't suicidal, I was just too depressed to make food for myself and eat and stuff. The therapist and pdoc I saw while in the program were both pretty good. I wanted to keep them while I was out of the program but they didn't have room in their practices. Edit: The one I was in was partly PHP and partly semi(?)-inpatient - it included people who'd been inpatient and didn't need to be fully inpatient but who weren't ready to go home yet. So there was a range of functionality but most people were on the upper end. It was also a mood-disorders-specific program and most people were in there for depression with a few (not many) for bipolar. I felt kind of out of place demographically - almost everyone was older, I was 25 at the time and I think everyone was early thirties or older with a couple exceptions. I was the only person there in school, although I think some people had jobs that they were on leave from. I thought the music therapy was kind of lame, but they had sparkly gel paints in art therapy. I still have a painting I did. I also liked group therapy and getting to hear about other people's lives and problems.
  3. Hi! I am back recently myself.
  4. It really sounds like going back on lithium so you can get yourself to a safe situation as fast as possible might be the optimal thing to do. Not having emotions is disturbing, and it is not a good long-term strategy, but you are not in a safe place right now and it is going to be much easier to find good long-term strategies when you are. That said, if you think that it is best to ask your doctor about wellbutrin or cymbalta, one thing you could try is writing down what you're going to say ahead of time, and planning to read from it, so that if you start panicking you'll at least have clear instructions for what to say right in front of you. Other things might include dropping by when he's busy and leaving a written note for him at the front desk, or calling and leaving a voicemail after hours. You might still have follow up with him in person, but if you have some of the communicating already done it might make the rest easier. I will also say: don't give up on antipsychotics. I had bad experiences with the first three I tried, but the fourth was a godsend. If you can, put off worrying about your other issues in the attic until you can get out of there. You have enough to worry about right now.
  5. I wish I had something better to suggest to you, but: you mentioned that lithium made you more functional even though it took away your feelings. Is going back on it until you can get yourself to somewhere safer, with more treatment options, an option for you?
  6. I've had a lot of trouble with therapists as well - I was in a headspace for a long time where trying to address specific issues in therapy was a trigger itself. Not fun. Tryp mentioned the skills focus that DBT group therapy has, and I've found that much more helpful than talking about past events. In DBT the individual therapy is supposed to be more about helping you apply skills you learn in group to current events in your life, rather than a more traditional talk-therapy approach to talking about past events - not all therapists may do that to the same degree, though. I've seen two DBT therapists (my regular one is on maternity leave) and they had very different therapy styles - my current one is much more focused on concrete action and planning than my previous one was. (My previous DBT therapist was very receptive to my asking early on to focus on here-and-now issues, though.) You might have a different experience with a different DBT therapist (assuming there's one near you, which there may not be). You can look here: http://behavioraltec...sources/crd.cfm
  7. I have taught mentally ill college students and have been one myself. Based on those experiences, here is a guide to not tanking your exam / your class / your degree while you're having a meltdown. This is probably most applicable to college students in the United States, but there's generally applicable stuff in here too. None of this is easy to do when things get rough, but many of these are minor time commitments that can make a huge difference. 1. DECIDE ON YOUR MAJOR GOAL. If you are clear on what you want, it will be easier to decide what to do while things are going south. If your major goal is to get a good education, get a good job, or go to graduate school, your top priority should be using relevant resources (including those related to mental illness). If your major goal is to avoid treating your mental illness (or using accommodations, extensions etc), evaluate what you are willing to sacrifice (grades, time, extracurricular activities, your job, future salary, etc) and plan what you will sacrifice when. See the bottom of this entry for my opinionated take on this. 2. KNOW YOUR AVAILABLE RESOURCES. If your school has a students with disabilities service, a counseling center, or a health services, and you are not already using them, look them up and find out what they offer. 3. KNOW YOUR COURSE POLICIES. Take time out of your day to go over your syllabuses with a fine-tooth comb. You need to know your teachers' policies about emergencies, grade appeals, accommodations, and extensions/make-ups. Plan to make use of these where they can help you. 4. STAY IN TOUCH. Many teachers will make arrangements for minor life emergencies if (and only if) you contact them before the assignment due date / the exam date. One of the worst things you can do in a course or a job is to simply stop showing up. You do not have to give them all the details. Some things you might consider asking for extensions/accommodations for include: medical emergency; inability to concentrate due to medication side effects; recently diagnosed and have started accommodations process; etc. If you have a major emergency - for example, being hospitalized for a week without forewarning - teachers are generally more lenient. If you go to talk to a teacher about an extension/accommodation/etc and they're an asshole about it, it doesn't mean you did something wrong. Some teachers are just assholes. See section on escalation below. 5. PLAN AHEAD. Sometimes talking to your teacher is sufficient. Sometimes they'll want a doctor's note, so make sure to get one. Sometimes they'll want documentation from the disabilities office (especially for ADD, since assholes who do not have ADD sometimes try to abuse the system). With accommodations, teachers often have a policy of "the first X weeks of the semester" or "X days prior to the exam". The actual policy may be more lenient - for example at my university we're required to give accommodations up to the exam itself. But it is very difficult to accommodate people on the spot if they need resources (like an extra classroom) that are not easily available. 6. KNOW YOUR UNIVERSITY POLICIES. Like drop/withdrawal deadlines and tuition refunds for different dates of drop/withdrawal, and any policies for medical leave. Put deadlines in your calendar. Nobody wants to drop or withdraw from a course or a semester, but should it come down to it, failing grades on your transcript look way worse than a withdrawal. A failing grade communicates "I fucked up and didn't handle it in time" (even, unfortunately, if that's not the case); a withdrawal says "things got really bad and I'll have to have a good excuse as to why, but I recognized what was going on and handled it as well as I could". Don't be too proud to take a needed break to get your shit together. 7. TRACK YOUR GRADES. If you don't know how much trouble you're in, you won't know what steps you need to take next. If the grade calculations are confusing, go to office hours and ask for help. If you can't make office hours, contact your teacher to see if you can set up an appointment. 8. ESCALATE IF NECESSARY - AND DO SO POLITELY. For example, if you ask a graduate student teacher for an extension for medical reasons, and you don't have a doctor's note, and he/she turns you down, you can go to the professor supervising him/her. The professor may back them up; he/she is not necessarily obligated to reverse a decision. Keep in mind that the professor and graduate students are usually in communication over issues that come up, and will tend to support each other, so being polite to all involved will help your case. If a teacher gives you shit over accommodations, document it and go to whoever manages accommodations at your school. If a teacher is being an asshole to you in general, and your school has an ombudsman, they may be able to help you, or at least give you advice. ---------------- My advice for people unsure of whether they should seek treatment/accommodations/extensions/etc: 1. EMPLOYERS WANT SOMEONE WHO PERFORMS WELL, NOT SOMEONE WHO SACRIFICES GOOD PERFORMANCE IN ORDER TO NOT TREAT MEDICAL PROBLEMS. You are preparing for a job or an advanced degree. A good grade says that you are capable of handling any problems that might make you a poorer employee/grad student; a bad grade says that you did not (or were not able to) handle your problems. A withdrawal looks a lot better than an F. Employers and schools want to hire someone who values performance over pride. They are not interested in whether you pulled off D's because you valued "overcoming your ADD through willpower"; they are interested in hiring people who will do what they need to perform well. (And it's generally a bad idea to tell them about any mental illnesses you have, anyway.) 2. YOU ARE AN INVESTMENT AND YOU ARE EXPECTED TO MAKE USE OF AVAILABLE RESOURCES IN ORDER TO PAY IT OFF. You get help every time a teacher chooses a textbook for you or gives a lecture, and every time an administrator does anything that makes your life easier. You or someone is giving the school money on your behalf, but that money *is not enough* to pay for all the services you receive. So who's paying for the rest of it? The government (sometimes), grant funders (at research universities), and alumni donations (at all schools). Why? Because you're an investment. They're investing in you because they think you will give them a good return, by learning as much as you can and then going and doing good stuff with it after you graduate. Counseling and health services, and disability services, if your school has them, are getting funded this way too. They're part of the investment and part of what you pay for, both with money and with your blood, sweat, and tears. You're not accepting free help. You're using available resources intended for you to use when they will be helpful. If you're refusing or putting off going to counseling services or health services or the students with disabilities office, or refusing to ask for / accept extensions or other accommodations, you're not doing anyone any favors by making yourself a poorer investment for all the people who pay for your available resources, and you're not doing anyone any favors by giving yourself a poorer education. (Feel free to add suggestions)