Paranoia and its causes

Why do people get paranoid?  I don’t think anyone is born that way.  I sure wasn’t.  I was brought up in the 60’s and we assumed everyone was good.  We trusted everyone and everyone loved everyone else.  We were told that if we needed to cross the street, we should press a button, a light would turn, and all the cars would stop for us.  Or we should find a nice friendly policeman or police lady.

Later, I grew up and had no reason not to believe what everyone told me.  So if during my job interview an employer told me my pay would be a certain amount and I would have certain hours, I believed it.  Often, his words (the boss would invariably be male) wouldn’t be true.  After a few days on the job, I’d notice I didn’t have as many hours scheduled as were promised.  I’d notice the prettier girls were getting raises, and I wasn’t.  The boss repeatedly asked to sleep with me.  Was this how to get ahead in the world?  What the heck was I going to college for?  The other employees had no interest in college.  They just wanted their booze.  Was this what life was about?  But by then, it was the 1970’s, and jobs were scarce.  You had to take what was out there.  It wasn’t like you could pick and choose.

But this, of course, is typical life experience. Everyone goes through shit like this, especially young folk.  You get out when you get the chance, or hopefully you do, shake yourself off, and start afresh.

What causes paranoia?  Very few people become truly paranoid, and it can come in varying degrees.  I think some people are naturally prone to it, and others aren’t.  I think there is a recipe for it, and not being a scientist, I can only guess from what I have observed from my own personal experience and the experience of others.

People who are paranoid are socially isolated.  That is part of the recipe.  They are separated from their peers both physically and in terms of ability to communicate with them.  So this person might live alone, might have limited transportation, might have limited telecommunications, and has few social outlets such as a workplace, club, sports, church, etc.  The paranoia feeds into the isolation and makes it more extreme.

Persecution is also part of the recipe.  A person who is paranoid believes they are persecuted and by the time the paranoia becomes fully manifest, much of the persecution may be imagined, and any onlooker is bewildered as to what is real and what isn’t.

However, this is key: At first, the persecution is very, very real.  Take a kid who is badly bullied.  Many different things can happen to a bullied kid.  I’ve seen a lot.  Often, the kid lashes out and becomes a bully him/herself.  The kid might turn inward, turn to self-harm or attempt or succeed at suicide.  Kids get depressed and get all sorts of mental health issues.

It makes sense to me that a handful of kids would react to the world by becoming paranoid.  After all, someone was mean to them, so it makes sense that maybe the whole world, everyone is mean, right?  You couldn’t trust the bad kids, so you can’t trust anyone at all.

Don’t we see this with women and girls who are sexually abused?  Some of these folks get to the point where they do not trust anyone male.  There was one bad male, or two or three, therefore, half the human race can’t be trusted.  I’ve seen this plenty of times.

We see this with abused animals.  It’s very sad.  The unthinkable happens to an animal, and then this unfortunate pet is scared of people in general, and it cowers and shakes for a long time.  Or maybe the little one is scared of people with objects in their hands.  Or they have certain deep-seated associations with sounds and smells.

So what happened to me?  This is how I see it.  It was a combination of things.  I used to be very nice and sweet and naive.  But a bunch of bad things happened to me that sent me over the top.  I guess I’ll just make a list.

1. I was badly dumped by a bunch of friends.  This changed my whole view of the world.  Thankfully, I have told new people in my life about this incident, and they have assured me that what these “friends” did was wrong.  New people in my life are helping me move past it.
2. I was treated very badly at the psychiatric unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011.  What’s worse, the therapist I had at the time did not believe me that the experience was so bad, and thought I was lying and exaggerating.  All she saw was the “lovely architecture” when she came to see me.  Thankfully, again, I do have folks in my life now that believe me about the inhumane treatment and subsequent trauma I suffered there.  I am still considering a human rights complaint against the unit.
3. The above therapist threatened me repeatedly for months, telling me she was going to send me to the state hospital.  She used fear tactics in her “treatment” of me.  She also repeatedly accused me of doing things I did not do.  She was controlling and manipulative, telling me I would die without her.

After I dumped this therapist about a year ago, I was totally isolated.  Within the months that followed, I had very few human conversations.  I took myself off the drug Imipramine because it gave me side effects I could no longer tolerate.  So I was going through Imipramine withdrawal and going for weeks without any human conversation.  Maybe there would be an exchange at a cash register while handing the cashier some cash or my debit card, but that was it.   There were no phone conversations, nothing.  I was suffering from severe binge eating, weight gain, and suicidality.  I have an eating disorder and I felt that due to weight gain, my life was a living nightmare.  I no longer wanted to live.

I sure wouldn’t want to go back to those days.  The therapist I saw recently (I just wrote about him, if you’ve read my recent posts) said, “Stick with people who are nice to you, like me, and you’ll never be paranoid again.”

Like him?  Like him?  What happened with him has shattered my faith in humanity. But I cannot allow the paranoia to come back.  I will stay strong.

Folks, please don’t tell me what happened with him is my imagination.  That’s not what I need right now.  I need validation.  When no one believed me about M, the therapist that kept threatening to send me to the state hospital, it crushed me.  When no one believed me about Mass  General, that sent me practically over the top.  A person needs validation.  A person doesn’t need to be told, “You are a mental patient, don’t you think you were perceiving things wrong?”  Or, “Don’t you think you deserved that kind of treatment?  Weren’t you asking for it?”  Does this sound a little familiar to you?

 

 

Paranoia

So I thought I’d tell you, briefly, what it’s like
for me

See, for me, it’s like I’m the only little guy
in a room full of big guys
(even though I’m not a guy)
all with their big, big frightening eyes
they are all so tall
and up so high.

They are all plotting and scheming
they are talking about me
I can hear them
I can’t hear their words
but I know they are planning ways
to make me fat.

I strain to listen
I am fascinated with their plan.

I have to get the hell out of here
but not tell anyone
just sneak out the back door.

I can’t let them make me fat
can’t let them get their giant hands on my body
can’t let them contaminate me
poison me
touch me even
I have to wrap myself in lies
to protect myself.

No thanks, I ate already.
I eat plenty, I don’t need any more.
Just water please, nothing in it.

And escape out the back door
just get me outa here
I’m unstoppable now.

How I recently got published in The Alaska Quarterly and Ploughshares…both in the same month

Yeah, my big secret…wasn’t going to reveal all this in a blog post but can’t resist….But let me back up and tell you how it all began.

One night, it was like 2am and I was dealing with my usual insomnia so I got up, sat at my desk, and decided to write.  It’s hard to write anything decent when your mind won’t work right due to lack of sleep, night after night, but I thought I’d try one more time.

So I switched on the computer and got to work.  An hour passed.  Another hour and I was still writing, on my usual topic, that is, my eating disorder, or past eating disorder, as it was at that point, and still is the case.

Then, I stretched, quite idly.  I yawned.  I flexed my feet.  Now there was maybe a big mistake, cuz I noticed something.  The skin on my feet wasn’t right.  It was overly stretched, like my feet had expanded a whole lot and there wasn’t enough skin to cover them.

Don’t worry, I’ll get to the part about the Alaska Quarterly and Ploughshares in a minute, folks.

I’m talking about edema, that horrible leftover condition from my past eating disorder that still haunts me.  Yep, it was all there.  Within minutes, my feet had blown up and had become literally puffy with fluid.  The puffiness began to travel up my legs as well, and I could feel this happening while I sat there, while I was trying to write.

I flexed both feet again at the ankle.  Dang!  I felt the skin crack.  I swore aloud.  Not again.

It is always the domino effect, and it always starts with this edema.  I tell myself I am no good, that nobody likes me.  Sometimes, I tell myself I should stop eating because I need to lose a few.  I tell myself I am a fat pig and nobody wants to  listen to me, that I make a fool of myself all the time, that I am socially awkward and insensitive and ungrateful as well.  That I have never helped anyone, ever.

If I allow this to go further, I tell myself that no way will I go out in public today.  I hide inside all day.  I pick one or two target people that did some miscellaneous evil thing to me way back when and decide it’s all their fault.  Yep, this or that person is to blame for why I’m suddenly fat and despicable and a bitch.  I skip breakfast, just drinking water, and skip lunch, too.  After a while, I feel kinda high and delirious from not eating.  But as long as the edema is there, I keep on blaming and carrying on inside my head.  Everyone has done these awful things to me.  Humans are bullies.  They made me into the fat resentful bitch I have become.

And so now, I am going to have my revenge.  I decide to buy a gun and shoot a few people.  I have vague ideas at first, but then I can’t stop thinking of it.  I’m going to get back at the world for what they did to me.  They’ll get what they deserve.  Not only that, but heck, this is going to be big.  I’m going to shoot someone famous and make a name for myself.  That’s how I’ll show them.

So I went onto the Internet, and found out real fast how to get a gun.  I found out about a guy.  A local guy.  I made arrangements.  I didn’t even need an ID. It would be a meeting at night, a done deal, and then I’d have what I needed.  I went over and over in my mind this machine, what type it was, how easily it went off, and how careful I was going to have to be with it.  Possession was a very, very serious offense.

By sheer luck, the night came, I did the transportation part of all this, faked my way through this meeting, and pulled this all off quite nicely.  Oh yes, some guy is after me, need it for self-defense, restraining order isn’t working, et cetera.

So now I have this gun in the house, and it’s like living with a curse.  Can’t hide it, worry about it all the time.  (Yeah, yeah, I’ll get to the Ploughshares and Alaska Quarterly part in a minute.)  It’s loaded, and could go off and shoot someone, maybe me, maybe someone, I don’t know, or I could get caught with it, but it sits there like a sore thumb in my life.  I have big, big plans for my life, and my plans are oh so big, and I am going to be oh so famous someday, infamous actually, and get back at all the people who wronged me, especially all the itty-bitty wrongs that don’t even matter anymore, every little abuse you can think of, even stuff that I should have forgiven and forgotten but because I’m a fat edemic bitch, can’t.

So then it’s rather late and no one’s around, so I go pick up my mail. Somehow, amid all the junk mail, catalogs I don’t order from, loan offers, stuff from tire companies (I don’t drive), and stuff put in the wrong box, I find sample copies of Ploughshares and The Alaska Quarterly.  So I bring these back to my apartment. I get curious, and open them up.

I’ll never get published in a magazine like these.  Not a chance.  I open up both magazines to the centerfold, just for the heck of it, to see what’s there, and lay the magazines side by side.

Sure enough, there I am.  What the fuck?  Full-sized photo of me, in fact.  My smiling, bloated, swollen, overweight face.  And underneath, the caption, “Public Enemy Number One.”

And that, folks, was how I got published in both these magazines at once.  Yep, that was me you saw there.  And did they have to pick that photo of me fat like that?

What I’m talking about is psychosis.  I’m talking about paranoia, the condition from which I suffer.  I deal with paranoia daily.  I live with it.  No, I never did buy a gun, and no, I’m not dangerous now, but there was a time that it got very, very scary for me and things could have ended up tragically.  It was a long, long time ago and my life is very different now.

Paranoia is a lonely place.  You can’t get away from that part of it.  You can’t really relate to other people normally when you have this condition.  There is always a certain level of distrust that you are constantly trying to fight off.  You are always questioning other people’s motives.

Finally, my doctor got to me, and put an end to it.  I don’t know why, but I simply accepted what she said, and took the medicine she offered.  I take a very low dose, just the minimum.  Oh, I could dope myself up totally and make myself useless and suffer severe and crippling side effects, but I don’t want that.

What happened was this: I showed up at her office one day and said, “Something’s wrong with me.”  We spoke.  She told me, “You’re paranoid” after I was yapping for maybe six or seven minutes.  I said, “Huh?  I am not.”

People who are severely paranoid have no clue that they are paranoid.  They think everyone is against them, that they are some sort of person who is going to shoot folks, or do some act, maybe big, maybe just a little act, to save the world from this evil.  There is a word for this person and I can’t think of it.  Vigilante.

So it always starts with edema.  The thoughts do indeed start to escalate.  But I’m always able to control them.  I stop them in their tracks.  I see the thoughts coming before they get out of control.  Maybe I do toy with the fact that maybe I’m fat, or maybe I need to lose a few, or maybe I should skip a meal or two, or maybe I should be more grateful and more giving and more loving and maybe there are a lot of yucky things about myself that I don’t like.

But then, I stop myself.  It’s only edema, and it’s going to go away.  Not in a few hours.  It’ll take a few days, and until then, I can wear clothes that hide it.  I won’t feel very good about myself, but it’ll all pass in time, and the best thing I can do eating-wise is to make sure to drink lots of fluids and have protein with every meal (or so I’ve been told).  Running is going to be discouraging for a few days, so maybe I should do the elliptical instead.  It’s raining, anyway.

The most important thing I can do is to try to steer my thinking in a positive direction.  I’m working very hard with Puzzle on this, on teaching her ways to help me with paranoia.  I’m teaching her exercises and tasks we can do together when times get rough.  If I focus real hard on her instead of focusing on how evil the world is, I break into a smile.  It’s fool-proof, cuz she’s got such a darned cute little fuzzy face.

And that, folks, was how I got into the Alaska Quarterly and Ploughshares in the same month.  If you don’t see my face in there, right in the centerfold of both magazines, then Puzzle’s cute little fuzzy face must be in there instead…I suppose.

This is Puzzle’s image on a tie I have.

 

WordPress dot com users: Do you use the "Pubicize" feature? I am a klutz at Facebook

I am not good at Facebook settings. As a matter of fact, I am a total Facebook dummy and can’t even post a photo without messing up and posting ten of them.  For whatever reason, messed up “Publicize” I suppose. I think this all occurred when I quit Facebook temporarily and then got back on, or possibly when WordPress repeatedly disconnected Facebook and then asked me to reconnect.

I think what has been going on has been that my posts have ended up on that page that says my name on it and Puzzle’s photo REAL BIG, but not on that nice big wall of everyone’s posts.  So unless someone gets mighty curious about what’s going on with me, they haven’t seen my blog posts.  So this is the big explanation as to why I’ve gotten no clicks whatsoever from Facebook lately.

Now getting no clicks from Facebook and no reaction whatsoever from that end of the world was beginning to make me wonder if maybe I should post a headline such as, “I got published in The New Yorker,” and see if anyone bothered to click on it.  Those of you who have been reading my blog a while know I’m prone to paranoia, and you know my thoughts tend to get the best of me, so stuff was starting to build, like me wondering if maybe people thought bad things about me, or maybe no one liked me anymore, or something like that.

What really got it all figured out for me was when I posted something in the form of a regular public post.  Sure enough, it showed up on that wall and got an immediate reaction.  This was just one sentence about an accomplishment I feel decent about.  Yet another accomplishment that was in the form of a blog post didn’t seem to show up on that public wall at all.  I have no clue how to change the settings to fix this, so I am disabling “Publicize” for now, and posting my posts as “links” to see if all this changes.

Like I said, posting post after post and getting no clicks and no feedback whatsoever was getting to be breeding ground for paranoia.  Of course, I was wrong that “nobody likes me.”  It was just that nobody could see me.

Big diff.

Thoughts on paranoia, "treatment," etc…When you are paranoid, you are the Center of the Universe, yet you suck

Wow, I had to go way, way back, and I found this:

pretty much a description of what I thought was the cause of the “anger machine.”  This is a phone call from the hospital when I’m describing how I felt since October.  It was all kinda unfolding just then.  But what they discovered was that there was indeed something wrong with my kidneys, a condition called diabetes insipidus due to having taken Lithium for 12 years.  The doctor who gave me lithium did not monitor my lithium level properly.  My parents, I recall, were disturbed about this.  I told them to mind their own business.  They would call Dr. C and nag him.  They had trouble with Dr. C to begin with over billing.  He was in Massachusetts but not far from the Vermont border.  They asked him to please become a Vermont Medicaid provider so they would not have to pay so much of the bill.  He complained that it was too much paperwork.  They took the trouble to mail him the paperwork and demanded that he fill it out.  This went back and forth and the long distance calls were expensive for my parents.  Meanwhile, writing the prescription for this lithium level to get done would have cost Dr. C nothing and my insurance would have paid for the blood test.  But he insisted that if my level was off, he would be able to tell.  Meanwhile, I was a shaky, pimply, bloated doped up mess.  I was sick of the hour drive all the way to see him, never mind that I could barely keep my eyes open while driving.  I believed he was more competent, certainly, than any of doctors in Vermont.  There were no therapists around, only this doctor, Dr. C. and his multitude of pills, Lithium and one antipsychotic after another.  Finally, I decided he himself was delusional, and I fled.  I moved in with my parents temporarily with intention of finding my own place in the Boston area, somewhere, anywhere I could find a cheap apartment.  I figure this was Boston and there must be more competent people in the Medical Hub of the Universe.

What became of Dr. C?  Oh, I did find out.  See, I found out through my friend A.  Turns out Dr. C did not have a license to practice medicine.  He got booted out.  Yep, that ‘s right.  I don’t know the whole story and I can’t find out any old dirt on him.  I think it’s all become hush-hush by now.  The institutions where he used to work have covered it all up.  As far as I can tell, it’s all been wiped from his record.  You can Google it and there’s nothing.  I don’t see “malpractice” anywhere and I don’t see “practicing without license” anywhere.  I don’t see any record of his having worked at Gould Farm, where I met him.  I have no clue if he’s alive or dead.

He was a nice guy I guess, just misguided.  “A” said he had a secretary and she wasn’t doing his job, but to tell you the honest truth, I never saw this supposed secretary.  I don’t think he had a secretary.  I think he did his own paperwork .  My parents would have known about this secretary because they would have gone through her regarding Medicaid.  When I called him, he picked up his own phone.

What was this “black box warning” I spoke about in the recording?  Dr. P, my current psychiatrist, says it was not a side effect of Imipramine, but that it was my paranoia.  I must have begun to feel paranoid around the time I began taking Imipramine, or Desipramine, which would have been last fall, like October or so.  I felt like I was getting the “black box warning,” that agitation feeling.  I was really, really scared, and I kept it all secret.  I thought what  I was going through was from the antidepressant, but the antidepressant was helping with binge eating, so I didn’t want to stop the med.

The paranoia didn’t go away and of course, I was surprised because I mistakenly thought it was temporary.  I was wrong.  I lived with it and lived with it.  At the time that I made this recording, I was hoping that maybe they’d find that this “anger machine” thing, whatever it was, came from the kidney problem, and if they could solve that, the whole problem would be solved.

Well, they were wrong about that, too.  As far as the anger machine went, they just threw their hands up in the air.  I left the hospital with the problem unsolved.

The only question that got answered was, “Why do I drink so much water?”  I left pissed off (as you know), scared, angry, with nothing solved as far as my eating disorder goes, and of course I was thirsty and dehydrated.  They didn’t even treat the binge eating I came in for!  They know nothing about binge eating there.  They do not treat this behavior at the inpatient level and they should have been straight about this with me to begin with instead of stringing me along.

So it was my psychiatrist, Dr. P, who told me that the “black box warning” I describe in this recording was not from the Imipramine at all.  It was the insidious creeping up of psychosis as a result of being entirely off antipsychotic medication.  You think you’re fine and you don’t know it’s happening to you.  A doctor might ask, “Do you see things that aren’t there,” or, “Do you believe things that aren’t true,” but how do you know this if you are psychotic to begin with?  How do you know these beliefs are bizarre?  If you are psychotic, you don’t recognize that your beliefs are unusual.  You think you are normal.  You think something’s wrong with everyone else.

When you are paranoid, you feel persecuted.  You feel wronged.  It’s incredibly uncomfortable.  You have very low self-esteem, and yet when you are paranoid you are always the Center of the Universe.  You are always very, very angry and you feel that everyone is angry at you and everyone is centered on getting back at you.  Everyone is onto you.  All eyes are upon you.  When you walk into a room, they are all looking at you.  There are always cameras.  You are so, so important, and yet you suck.

It’s so perfect being Jewish and paranoid.  Oh, I can be anorexic and persecuted and paranoid too.   See, I fell into the role.  Any kind of disabled and discriminated against will work fine.  I got back on my antipsychotic and poof!  Paranoia gone.

Insomnia plays a role in paranoia.  Problem is, anorexia causes insomnia.  The insomnia I’m going through now is purely physical due to past starvation.  No, I do not have nightmares, I’m not anxious or racy at night and I do not have poor sleep hygiene.  Peggy Claude Pierre mentions this insomnia frequently in her book, which I am now reading, but I have not gotten to the specific cause.  Apparently she is going to lay it out, or I hope she does.  I’m wondering if it has to do with protein or water balance.  Lots of the girls at the hospital were given sleep meds, but I don’t want to go that route.  Most were given Seroquel to make them gain weight, by the way.  The nurse freely admitted this to me when I confronted her. The patients were routinely lied to about this side effect.

So, what now?  Where do I go from here?  What goals do I set?  What can I accomplish?  

How can I change the world?  How can make life better for folks like me?  Folks who are misunderstood and misinterpreted and misdiagnosed?

How can I see to it that folks with eating disorders get treatment that is accessible for EVERYONE, treatment that really works, treatment that isn’t forced, treatment based on choice and knowledge and mutual trust and understanding?

How can I see to it that nobody gets me discouraged or convinces me to give up the fight?  This is not “phase”…..I really AM going to make these changes, I really AM going to follow through!

Maybe the first step is to make sure I keep after DMH and see to it that my “telephone rights” human rights claim from about three weeks ago is followed up on.  So there’s a phone call I need to make.  Those a-hole staff have not seen the end of me yet…when they see those walls built around the phones, they will be shaking in their boots, knowing that yes, that obnoxious patient they lied to and tried their darndest to SHUT UP did indeed get something done!

Click on the book to purchase!

 

Why I temporarily disabled my Facebook page, and why I don't miss it

It all goes back to why I began using Facebook to begin with.  I resisted.  A couple of years ago I was invited to Facebook and I took one look and decided I wasn’t interested.  What on earth was it for?  A public place to post photos?  Show off where you’d vacationed?  Tell everyone you showered that day?  It seemed, in a word, stupid.  I opened an account and never used it.

I called it “Fucking Facebook” because it seemed to take up way too much of everyone else’s time, especially those games, which served no purpose except to waste time.  Did the games cost money?  I never did find out.

There was this “farming” game that seemed very, very addicting and I thanked God (or whomever) every day that I was not addicted to this farming game.  I never played it and it always seemed stupid to me.  Absolutely idiotic.  Like child’s play.

So then I realized that a whole bunch of Goddard students were on Facebook, and maybe it was a good way to keep in touch.  I was in touch with my Goddard friends via phone, after all, and this was a way of keeping us all together.

Or so I thought.

Gradually, Fucking Facebook began to replace those precious e-mails and phone calls.  It totally sucked.   Instead of meaningful conversations, we had one-liners, such as, “I agree!” or, “I am keeping you in my thoughts,” or, “Yay!”

I mean, honestly.  I don’t even hear laughter anymore.  Hardly any complete sentences.

If I see one more quote from God I am going to scream.

I started posting my blog posts up on my wall, and this may or may have been a mistake.  I got very few comments.  All this fed into my paranoia.

Then, one day, I phoned a friend and decided to go check Facebook to see when she was leaving town. Perhaps she was out of town already.   She is a non-Goddard person.

Then I saw it: No posts.  Nothing.  And this: ADD FRIEND.

Yeah, she unfriended me.  And her partner as well.

Jaw drop.  My heart actually skipped a bunch of beats.  Or so it felt.

Was this really necessary?  I didn’t think these people were that immature.  Also, they are tech savvy and know how to “hide” people.  But yeah, I’d been unfriended.

How did I react?  I immediately felt extremely sleepy.  I fell asleep for several hours.  I woke up and thought it through rationally.  Should I say something?  Should I ask them why?  Clearly, they chose not to approach me and chose not to say anything to me.  So I decided to pretend I hadn’t noticed.

Then, later, I made the decision to get off Facebook entirely.  I decided that if folks find (or, rather, found) me that unpleasant to be around, then I should bow out.  And I did.

I have the diagnosis of paranoia, and it’s not good to hang around Facebook if you have paranoia, medicated or not.  Paranoia can be paranoid schiz or paranoid personality disorder, and I have neither, just paranoia.  I looked it up and it fits me to a “T.”

There is no cure…yet…that I have discovered from looking online.  There are a bunch of things that can cause it including dementia.  A lot of folks with dementia have it.

I had to concede to taking meds for it, unfortunately.  And I feel one heck of a lot better.  I am taking the minimum lowest dose to keep the paranoia at bay and I am watching for TD.  I am not taking a med that will make me gain weight.  It does not dope me up.

I searched and searched for alternatives to meds.  They say B vitamins for voices…or live with the voices…but for paranoia, nothing…just meds.

Until….

The missing Puzzle piece: Tomorrow I am going to see Dr. P, bringing with me papers to sign….Puzzle will be officially Service Dog In Training!  Yay!

Yes, I believe assistive animals can be key for people with illnesses such as paranoia.  There are a lot of folks with schizophrenia who are helped by service animals.  Puzzle helped get me out of the house while I was going through really bad body dysmorphia.  I believe that body dysmorphic disorder is an illness that is so misunderstood and so underresearched that there is much to be discovered in the use of service animals for these sufferers.

It has been a few weeks now, and we have pretty much already made the “transition.”  It is incredibly hard to describe this pet-to-SDIT transition to someone who has never been through it.  I guess you can liken the depth of it to transitioning from one gender to another.

Looking back, no, it didn’t happen overnight.  I think it started in May.  The seed was planted when I started cooking for her.

I cannot begin to tell you how everything is now falling into place.  I have had a rash of good luck.  Or maybe it’s just how I  see things.

No, I don’t miss Facebook.  And no, no one has contacted me asking me where I’ve been.  I don’t feel hurt by this.  If I do go back, it will be as the This Hunger Is Secret fan page, in professional capacity.  Well, maybe.
PS: No, I’m not going to stop the meds.