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About Cerberus

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    Not Entirely Human
  • Birthday 12/29/1966

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    The Abyssal Inn

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  1. I had no childhood diagnosis. Like Gearhead, I didn't get a diagnosis until well into adulthood, in my case, in my early 40s. The relief, for me, came in that I suddenly had a rational explanation for my brain - a Consolidated Theory of Everything that put my senseless world into perspective. I had spent my entire life asking myself (and other people) Why am I different from everyone else? Why don't people understand me? Why does everyone's behavior baffle me? Why don't I get it? Why don't I want to get it? Now, suddenly, Eureka! I know why. Admittedly, at first, sorting through what it meant left me with some self-doubt. What is this 'disability' word? What do they mean 'disorder'? What do they mean by 'deficit'? I was a National Merit Finalist, for God's sake. My IQ was measured at the genius level (then I went to work for the government, so it's probably taken a dive since then). How can the diagnosis be telling me that I'm actually a factory second? I mean, according to the standards set by the Neurotypicals, I'm not keeping up the pace! Eventually, however, I've come to realize that the way to succeed at the game is not to play. No, I'm never going to meet Neurotypical expectations; I don't have the wiring. If I assume that Neurotypicality is the best way to be, then I have to accept that I can never be the best way to be. But I choose not to assume that. So what if they're Star-Bellied Sneetches? I'll be damned if I'm going to run through their machine to try to get a star on my belly. I don't need it. I was made this way, and I am perfectly functional as a Homo sapiens aspergensis. I do not, by the way, give two snaps what the compilers of the DSM have decided about what to call the Spectrum. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome; the diagnosis was fitting and correct; and I have Asperger's Syndrome. I will continue to have it no matter how many times some Neurotypical decides to deprecate the term, because I own my autism. HopelesslyBroken, I don't imagine that my approach to the question is much help to you. From my earliest efforts to cope with a hostile world, my strategy has been to build a fortress within myself and defy the world that did not understand me. I decided to stand alone, to become everything that I needed (not always successfully) so that I would never need to leave myself vulnerable. I would become as perfect as possible so that I could not be rejected (a desperate gambit) and I would develop the ability to internalize and absorb my own emotional pain until it became a reflex. Once I learned my autism diagnosis, all those early defenses clicked on like a suit of armor, and now I really don't care one bit if I fit into the Neurotypical world. They can learn to get along with me. I am different, but equal. The difference between me and you, perhaps, is that you don't try to deceive yourself into believing that there is no pain. Unlike me, you may ultimately find a resolution.
  2. When my old tdoc ever made the mistake of commenting that I was looking better than I was feeling, I had mastered a miasma-radiating stare that, I think, bore some resemblance to this: Then he would say, "Oh. Guess not. Well, where do you want to start?"
  3. Members - The Moderating Team is of the opinion that the post from member "Virgo" above may be spam for this "Alternative Meds Center" and not a genuine first-person account. We caution readers to assume it as such unless and until Virgo returns to prove that he or she is not a spammer. In any event, the post is not in keeping with the CB philosophy, and we strongly encourage everyone to give it a big, juicy raspberry, thus: :Ð~ PTHBPTHTHPB!!
  4. Psilocybin was classified a Schedule I drug under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and as such is not recognized for medicinal use. Its cultivation is illegal in several nations. As such, this topic would be a violation of the CB User Agreement. I'm afraid I'm going to have to close the topic.
  5. Virgo - Rubbish. Let me say that again. Rubbish.
  6. Ethansmom - Effexor is a MRI - a Multiple Reuptake Inhibitor - which means that it affects the reuptake of different neurotransmitters at different dosages. At the low dosage range, it works best on serotonin. In the mid range, it affects norepinephrine. At the high end, it's effective on dopamine. You don't mention your exact dosage, but if you've left the serotonin range and entered the norepinephrine range, it may be that norepinephrine isn't the neurotransmitter that needs tweaking. In my case, for instance, I had a problem with anxiety when taking Wellbutrin on its own because Wellbutrin had a high affinity for norepinephrine. You may ask your pdoc what the strategy is with the Effexor. The way my pdoc uses my Effexor is to pair it with a release agent for the same neurotransmitter the Effexor is targeting at my dosage. Six weeks is a long time to wait for signs of change. Normally you would expect to see results within 3-4 weeks at most.
  7. Manipulation?

    Howling Wolf - By your account, I'm considerably more inclined to be concerned about the manipulation from your aunt, which is not at all subtle. Threatening to take away your child, applying a curfew to a 27-year-old woman, keeping you under video surveillance? All of these things shout C-O-N-T-R-O-L, which is the goal of the manipulator. With regard to the boyfriend, the pattern is less clear. It must be pointed out that you have directly contributed to the behaviors of his that you question as being manipulative. If you are aware that your being on dating sites concerns him, why do you persist in going there? You say that he saw a place where you and your ex had been flirting - flirting while you are dating this man? Why would you do that? Did you tell him you would remove your profiles? If so, why did you not do as you said you would do? Even though you are aware that these things concern him, you give him access to your accounts so that he can see them. Is this sensible? While you may have had no other motive than to chat with friends, the overall appearance of your behavior might easily lead the casual observer to conclude that you were unsatisfied with your relationship. Your boyfriend, who has a committed stake in the affair, would have to be a model of forbearance not to form a similar conclusion. The fact that he has reacted negatively, or has withdrawn somewhat, does not necessarily point to manipulation on his part, although it may be an exaggerated reaction to cause you to notice his distress, as you seem to be unaware of your ability to cause it. From your description, it sounds to me as if he can see through the manipulation your aunt exerts on you, does not like it, and is trying to both protect you (subverting the surveillance system) and encouraging you to be more independent (i.e., get out from under your aunt's control). Your suggestion that he is encouraging you to be more independent because a clever manipulator encourages the person they want to manipulate to be independent is illogical. A manipulator might encourage you to be more dependent upon him than upon others, but not more dependent upon yourself. The more dependence you have on yourself, the more resistance you have to any manipulation. If he suffers from PTSD, it is not improbable that he deals with a certain amount of paranoia himself, which could translate into a degree of paranoia about you cheating on him or leaving him. This could cause him to behave in ways that he hopes will draw you closer to him or endear you to him, which is not the same thing as manipulation. Were that the case, every human interaction would have to be termed a manipulation because we are each always trying to encourage another to behave the way we would like. Is he trying to court you? Probably. Is he trying to control you? Probably not. Your aunt, on the other hand, sounds like a whack job, and dangerous. The cameras would be a signal, at least for me, to get the hell out of Dodge.
  8. It bears pointing out that as a result, Prometheus ended up chained to a mountain having his liver constantly eaten by Zeus' favorite eagle. Worship of Prometheus? Probably not so much - there is very little evidence of an actual cult of Prometheus in ancient Greece, but everybody worshipped Zeus to some degree.
  9. Forgive me for interjecting here, as I do not suffer from this and have no relevant understanding of dissociation. My question may be irrelevant, and if so, I apologize in advance. Dewey, you say that you feel that while dissociating you would not be able to think clearly enough to either escape or defend yourself. That is, you would be able to neither flee nor fight. Yet neither of those is a cognitive response - they are innate human instincts. Fight, Flight, (and in certain circumstances) Freeze. One thing that I wonder is whether you may have an overactive instinct to Freeze, bolstered by your dissociation, which makes your dissociation more difficult to manage in threatening circumstances. Have you ever done a thought experiment in which you imagined that a person actually did lay their hand on you? Or knock you over? I wonder whether deeper-seated instincts would behaviorally override your cognitive confusion and cause you to act in self-preserving ways. Have you ever considered taking a basic self-defense course for women? Such a course might give you a measure of confidence on which to ground a cognitive resistance to an episode of dissociation... assuming that the course didn't cause you to dissociate to begin with. Again, I don't usually venture out of my own dx. Forgive my ignorance, and I hope this question hasn't been inappropriate.
  10. Think in terms of "out of balance". Ideally, the brain should produce just enough of each neurotransmitter to carry the needed signals across the synapses, and then, when the neurotransmitters have been used, recycle them, all nice and tidy in time for a fresh batch to be introduced. Unfortunately, it appears that several things can go wrong. 1) The brain may not produce enough of one or more of the needed neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine (these are the big three we usually deal with in talking about depression). When this happens, signals that try to cross the synapses don't make it, resulting in our mental distress. Even if our reuptake system is working normally, it's not helping here because we really need the small amount of neurotrasmitters we make to stick around longer. That's why we take reuptake inhibitors. On the other hand, it might also be effective to use a dopamine release agent like Adderall or Vyvanse to stimulate the brain to make more, if dopamine is the problem neurotransmitter. One or the other might work. 2) The brain may produce enough neurotransmitters, but our reuptake system may be sucking them up too quickly. This results in the same situation, and again, calls for a reuptake inhibitor. A release agent, however, would not help here. 3) The brain may not be producing enough neurotransmitters, and the reuptake system may be sucking them up too quickly. Double whammy. This may explain why neither the reuptake inhibitor nor the release agent helps very much its own in some treatment-resistant cases; you need to employ both to treat both problems. I'm not suggesting that - eureka! - here's the solution to depression - I've been staring into the Abyss for over three decades. It's just that this theory, as it has been explained, makes the most sense to me, and the practical application of Number 3 is the only thing that has kept me alive. There must be something to it...
  11. Rather than try to mangle an explanation with my own words, I will refer you to the Wikipedia article on Reuptake. It's actually not so much a sense of one's reuptake system being "out of control" as it is that the reuptake system is not being actively controlled to manage the neurotransmitter levels present in the brain of the person suffering from depression. In theory (everything science "knows" about the workings of the brain at this level is still largely educated guesswork, according to my pdoc) one potential factor affecting the brains of depressives is that the reuptake system is too efficient, removing neurotransmitters from a ready state before they can be used, especially if they are not being produced in sufficient abundance. The use of a "reuptake inhibitor" - the 'RI' in SSRI or MRI - delays the system from reabsorbing those neurotransmitters, leaving them in place in the synapses longer so there is greater potential for them to be used. In my case, my pdoc believes that by using both a reuptake inhibitor and a release agent at the same time, we basically produce more dopamine and keep it there longer where I need it. We think.
  12. But, if you look to an MRI like Effexor in the high therapeutic dosage range, you actually get dopamine reuptake inhibition to complement the dopamine production stimulation you get from the Vyvanse or Adderall. That is to say, you make more, and you keep it longer. That, at least, is the theory my pdoc and I have been operating under for the last eight years, and it's kept my head above water. I recently added some Wellbutrin to the mix to smooth things out and reduce my reliance on Adderall, and that seems to we working out well also. @sming, as I read through your posts, I found myself wondering if you're suffering from a failure of Vyvanse, or whether your dopamine reuptake has become uncontrolled and therefore the effect of the Vyvanse as a dopamine release agent is negated. I assume you've tried a norepinephrine/dopamine reuptake inhibitor in the past, but have you ever tried one in conjunction with your stimulants? My depression has been treatment-resistant for at least 35 years, and the combo has been the only thing that's ever laid a glove on it.
  13. Memes that make you go hmm 🤔

    It's not that the "coolface" meme doesn't make me think; it just makes me think things like: "The devil makes work for idle hands" or "The person who drew this is an imbecile". But some memes, such as the ones folks in this thread are sharing, are actually worth seeing, so let us now return the thread to those...
  14. Memes that make you go hmm 🤔

    More than meets the eye. I find some memes more like a stiff poke in the eye than anything else.