up and down day

Today has been an up and down day. It was an ordinary morning with plans to meet my friend for lunch. After lunch I had errands to run which were preempted by a bad bout of IBSD. I suffered with it for the rest of the day and wondered if I would even be able to write. At the moment I am better. We will see what tomorrow brings. I am hoping that this is just the result of having to take antibiotics for a sinus infection. That would not be surprising.

poor planning

I hate the fact that when this happens anxiety raises its ugly head.  It makes me feel so weak. It reminds me that when well I tend to slack off of my coping mechanisms and this is the result. How stupid can I be. I remember this poem about how people quickly forget the things we shouldn’t. I’m not sure where I learned it but having a husband in the military I never forgot it. It speaks to the problem we all have with not following through with the things we should.

God and the soldier all adore

in times of danger not before

When danger’s gone and all is righted

God and the soldier then are slighted.

tomorrow

Tomorrow I will get back to my routine!

Responsible?

A mother is neither cocky or proud, because she knows the school principal may call at any minute to report that her child has just driven a motorcycle through the gymnasium. Mary Kay Blakely, b. 1957

I found this in a little book of quotes from women. My experience as a mother finds this to be so true. I was never sure what was coming next. Mostly from my son but not always.

no to blame

 

I think the reason it struck me is that even though I love my children  I never doubted that they could make some mistakes of bad judgment. Having received that call I would immediately have known that it was true and one of my children at fault. I wonder if this would be true today. So many parents now want to remove any blame from their children. Somebody else must have caused this.

 

Taking this attitude does such a disservice to the child. If we are never responsible for our actions and there are no consequences we don’t learn. Actions always have consequences. Sometimes good…sometimes bad. When the outcome is bad we need to learn that we have to take responsibility and that may not be fun. Reparations must follow.

Responsibility

I have known families whose children were never responsible for any bad behavior. The sad part is if they don’t learn when the response is minor they may end up in jail for a major offense.

Think about those parents who falsified records to get their children into college. Not only have the children learned that it’s ok to cheat to get what you want but also that it’s fine to laze your way through school. Someone will fix it for you. Those children believe that everything will be handed to them forever. They have no coping skills when things don’t work out the way they wanted.

responsible2

I wonder why parents have come to the conclusion that saving children from their actions is good parenting. I hope that the pendulum starts to swing back the other way.

Decisions, decisions!

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Amelia Earhart

decisions-research

One of my husbands favorite things to say is “no decision is a decision.” He believes that we should gather all the information we can at the time and then move forward. To just do nothing is actually a decision. This thinking makes complete sense when it comes from one who spent two years in combat. No decision could kill you.

Sometimes our decision is right sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter. As they say “hindsight is 20/20”. Most of the time we must just gather as much knowledge as is available and move on. We often blame ourselves later when the choices become clear but remember there were things you didn’t know at the beginning.

The thing we don’t always do is to gather information. Yesterday I wrote about irrational decisions. We are so easily swayed by a bias from our life history. Not considering all the options is heading toward a mistake. To see clearly we must know our own sets of bias and be able to push them into the background. It is so easy to jump to a conclusion and not take the time to see the whole picture.

I often have to stop myself from an “assumption” and you know where that gets us. The word “assume” tells it all.

assume

Decisions are not just about major things but can also be snap judgements.  It is so easy to make up our minds about other people without all the information. We can lose out on some great connections this way.

Decisions may not always be easy and we will make mistakes just don’t beat  yourself up about it. We have to accept our messes and move one. To feel guilty and dwell on them does no good.

Why that decision?

irrational

I have been listening to a most interesting book called  “Sway: the Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.”

 

 

While talking about the many reasons why people make these kind of decisions he talks about the diagnosing of children with Bipolar Disorder. There was a tremendous rise in the diagnosis from 1993 to 2003. In 1993 there were 20,000 diagnosed with the problem and in 2003 there were 800,000. What happened?

To diagnose it before 1980 most doctors were expected to see someone admitted to the hospital with a manic episode .  The DMS III guide updated in 1980 added less severe symptoms for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.  The new criteria includes feeling sad, tearful, fatigued, having insomnia, indecision, more talkative, distratibility, and inflated self esteem. Symptoms that are not uncommon in teens.

DSM

At the same time pharmaceutical companies were developing medications they wanted to sell that could be used for this diagnosis.

(He talks about the other reasons we might have seen a rise such as more people seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist and several other reasons that he is able to discard.)

His conclusion for the rise comes under the idea of diagnosis bias. First off the symptoms could be found in most teens and secondly the pharma companies were pushing for drug use.

Whether Ori and Rom Brafman (the authors) are right or not it is an interesting idea. It does make you wonder how many individuals were and are receiving diagnoses because of diagnosis bias. I am not as familiar with the idea in mental health care but I have certainly seen it work with physical symptoms.

There is no easy way to know if a mental illness diagnosis is correct. We certainly understand that once the person is labeled it would be difficult to erase it. As I have said before my physician was hesitant to use the diagnosis of anxiety for me due to the stigma attached. We want no stigma attached to a mental health diagnosis. Doctors also need to be careful about coming up with the right diagnosis.

We all need to rid ourselves of our own bias regarding labeling of any kind and work to reduce labeling due to mental health issues.

Here are some reasons why irrational decisions are made. Not just regarding bipolar disorder but any decision.

irrational-behaviour-list

I am enjoying this book which goes into many different ways that  irrational decisions are made in a wide spectrum of places. A good read.

It is us!

I wrote this some time ago but was thinking about it today. We are responsible!

 It is us!

we see
Hurt, anger, pain
everywhere
 
Do the flowers
Feel pain
As their petals fall?
 
Are the trees sad
When they are gray
In winter?
 
Is the river
Angry with
the sea?
 
No
No
No
 
More often it is us
Who give
The pain
 
It is us
Who cause
The anger
 
It is us
Who bring
The hurt
 
 
We pluck
The flower
From its stem
 
We cut down
The tree
While it lives
 
We spill oil
Into
The river
 
It is us
 
We bring
Pain
Anger
Hurt
 
It is us
 

Can we learn soon?

In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people. 
-Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation

I have always admired the insight of Native Americans. Their wisdom seems to reach a depth not always found in our society. When I look around at what we have done to the earth it is apparent that we don’t look ahead at all. Too often it is all about money and/or power. Two things that are so transient.

World.in.our.hands (2)

To nurture the earth will allow human life to continue. If we don’t we don’t survive. I was talking with someone recently about “Mother Nature” and how she always seems to bite back. If we find an antibiotic to cure a disease it has the potential to change to something that we can’t fix. Eventually the earth itself will kill us off. Either as a direct result of what we have done or by what has evolved because of our hubris.

The Episcopal Prayer Book calls the earth: “this fragile earth, our island home.” The earth is fragile and I weep for what has been done.

I still have hope that people will wake up and change. In my experience we often wait until such a crisis occurs that there is no option but to change. I hope we don’t wait too long. Whatever is in our future I hope that we will learn, change and care for the earth. It is our only home.

 

Teach that everyone makes mistakes

It is obvious that we learn more from the mistakes that we make than from the things we do right. It is important that we teach this truth to children. We spend a lot of time lauding success but little time talking about failure in a positive way. When children learn that only being correct on test or questions answered then they become fearful of making mistakes. They become less willing to answer or try something out.

willrogers1-2x

I know it sounds crazy to reward failure and that is not really what is happening. We need to take time to discuss mistakes and errors and ask what has been learned. Someone who is more into education than me needs to come up with a curriculum that allows time to discuss “boo boo’s,” understand what they taught and maybe find amusement in them (when appropriate). This time should include the mistakes made by the teachers as examples of how everyone is included. They could discuss what might have been a better path for next time.

Maybe this way we won’t stifle creativity. Most inventions came after many failures.