#26 – Why BPD Should Be Abolished, and What Should Replace It

Natasha Shapiro, ATR-BC, LCAT:

This is great. I am completely in agreement and glad I saw this post. Just a few days ago I was thinking about how BPD is an insulting diagnosis, as those suffering from it have nothing wrong with their personality. Most early attachment issues are caused by early multiple childhood traumas in an invalidating environment which causes extreme trauma. Based on my clinical experience and readings, I don’t think BPD is useful anymore, and that emotional dysregulation really describes the extreme PTSD biological and environmental symptoms that indicate the diagnosis. The current BPD name does not match this emotional , mental and spiritual disorder. Being on the Borderline between neurosis and psychosis as it was originally observed, is more a reaction from doctors, how they felt around people with this condition. It does not match the condition itself.

Originally posted on BPD Transformation:

Do we want people to believe that BPD is a real psychiatric illness that they must manage for the rest of their lives, or do we want to promote a message of hope which says, “You can become free of your emotional distress and live the life that you want”?

By presenting BPD as a severe mental illness which can be managed but not cured, the medical model of the BPD label utterly fails to promote hope. Additionally, the medicalized concept of BPD is scientifically broken: It does not describe a valid illness which is consistent across a population.

Why do we keep using BPD if there is so much wrong with it? Is it possible that we would be better off without BPD?

And if BPD is should be abolished, what should replace it?

This article addresses how to replace BPD.

To this question, my first answer is “Nothing” – that we should simply…

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PRIDE and Supreme Court Decision Celebratory Images

time for dancing disco with clouds and rainbows

All the raining of tears and blood cleared out on

Friday June 26 2015 I’m calling it Rainbow Day

I want a U.S. Postal Service commemorative stamp:

Here’s the drawing I made yesterday that would look cool as a stamp: 

 

Here is a cool photo of the sky somewhere expressing joy, this is a picture of Joy popping out of a lot of pain that the rain cleared away: taken by someone 

 
Of course  there  will be dancing singing parading rejoicing 

And you can’t do that without the right makeup and outfit to wear for PRIDE:

Here are two cool looks!!!! 

  

 

Shame on You – Orange is the New Black

To everyone: producers, director, cast and crew and all directly involved in the recent Orange is The New Black rape episode:
I find it shocking that I cannot find an easy internet site to figure out which episode and when, but I know it was recent, and frankly it really doesn’t matter when you aired this episode.

I don’t have a lot of time for nuances, and there is no need. I must write this plain and simple so I can go on vacation and not be haunted by your behavior, namely not putting a trigger warning at the beginning of your show for all viewers to know. It is our responsibility to all rape victims, victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse (all of which are rapes anyway), that we protect them from unnecessary PTSD relapse to put it plain and simple.

As a therapist who works with very traumatized people, many of whom have been raped, I am disgusted that none of you on this episode had the decency to make sure that the viewer be warned at the beginning of the show that some of the content of this episode contains graphic depictions of rape.

You have power with your show, with what you depict and how you depict it. IT’s a popular show, and it is safe to say that many people watching your show have been raped. The power of one sentence shown before the action of the show began is immense; you could have saved millions of viewers from suffering relapses of symptoms.

If you have been raped or are close to a rape victim, you are aware of all the terrible aspects of this horrible trauma and how much suffering it causes.

Where it was necessary for the arc of your plot to have this happen on your show, you need to be told, and I speak for the patient whom I know was severely harmed and retraumatized by your show, and I hope I am speaking for many rape victims out there whom society has silenced, whose stories have not been told, you need to issue an apology to all these trusting loyal veiewers on your show, that you should have warned them and you could have prevented a lot of needless suffering.

If you don’t get this, I will spell it out, when you don’t issue a trigger warning to a rape victims, guess what happens while they are watching your show, that is caused directly by the content you put on it; they are brought back to the rape event or events they experienced. You might as well be forcing their eyes open and shoving their experience in their face for them to watch someone on the screen be raped. Symptoms will include dissociation, activation of the amygdala area of the brain flight/fight repose and the person’s system will resort to any available coping mechanisms, often the more unhealthy ones such as self cutting, binging, drug abuse and others.

You have created this directly and made a person sick from watching part of an episode of your show.
When people watch your so called “fictional” episode with a rape occurring in detail before their eyes, the traumatized brain doesn’t care if this really happened or not, because from this brain’s point of view it is happening and this is true. Watching a so called very graphic “simulation” of a rape is much more harmful than hearing a quick description of a rape crime on the news.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, for the future, be very aware of the power you have, and do not abuse it again. These people have suffered enough and been shamed and stigmatized for doing nothing wrong, just being unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. And for rape victims nd others who were effected by this episode, your show was the wrong thing in the wrong place and the wrong time.

The TV show Homeland which like your show, has as its “normal” traumatic events occurring on every episode, actually had the decency to issue a written warning at the beginning of the episode of a big bombing. It was the right thing to do, but there is something wrong with a society that makes it ok to care about people traumatized by 9/11 and the bompbings but not care about a single individual being raped by another human.

Until you issue an apology to your viewers, I urge people to speak up about this. I saw what you did first hand in a session with a survivor and I am still devastaed by the effects and quite concerned for this person’s well being.

One More Article: End Binary Restrooms: The fact that It Needs to be written: We have a long way to go but we will get there

Here’s the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/laura-a-jacobs-lcswr/peeing-while-trans_b_7053582.html

Here’s my thoughts generated about the topic: The issue around bathrooms being divided into “men” and “women” has always been problematic. One woman recently said, it’s not a dress, it’s a cape, transforming the familiar women “symbol” of a body in a triangle shape to differentiate from a picture of a body with two legs and no shape around it, into a political statement.

Images are powerful. The picture identifying the female in this way is limiting and insulting to anyone identifying as female to reduce femaleness to that and maleness to no “dress”. “Get used to it” is right on in terms of choice for each person of which of the two symbolized public bathrooms to use. Unfortunately, these symbols are still there as well as the words “Ladies” and Gentlemen” and “Men and “women. And the binary two restrooms in many public places makes no sense either. See further down, when I break it down to how you deal with this issue of daily toilet use in your own home, if you are lucky enough to have your own toilet and room for it.

I see the future restrooms of the world as having no labels on them unless someone wants to put an image of a palm tree or whatever; you’ve seen them in public bathrooms, some kind of image about life that has nothing to do with gender identity. That’s it. One restroom or maybe a few if the place needs several of them, only they will be necessary for big places and there will be more restrooms in different areas, so really humans will not think in terms of choosing a restroom based on gender when in public places, like we already do with port o potties.

Another thing nobody talks much about is adults and children and the restroom binary choice conundrum. A parent has one, two or more kids with them, whatever genders. This adult is taking the child or children to do whatever in a toilet. What does this adult do when faced with symbols or words that divide the rooms arbitrarily in a way that does not work with the parent needing to go to the restroom with one or more children and keep eyes on the other ones while helping the one, for example. Simple solution, just go into the available restroom with no label and use it as need be to keep kid(s) safe. Port o potties are the evolved restroom of the future. Maybe some restaurants and fancy places will have cool looking well decorated restrooms with fancy sinks still, just for the fun of it, but they will just have one or if there are more, it will just provide extra privacy to any individual or family.

This day will come, and I hope it comes as soon as possible, so I don’t feel the need to write such posts. Get used to public restrooms feeling more like the ones in your home. if you only have one, everyone who comes there uses it. IF you’re weatlhy enough to have more than one bathroom in your home, the vast majority of people would not make sure their co inhabitants and guests are using one for one assigned gender and one for another. Perhaps you have several bathrooms in your house. I imagine you have one for guests, and maybe the other bathrooms are linked to a bedroom or area of the home.

We are living the obvious at home. It’s time to take that out of the home and make it a regular normal reality in public. When you give it just a little thought, it’s logical and rational to do this. What we have now makes no sense and is not that safe for all kinds of reasons. Nobody should be worrying about anybody doing anything to them or saying anything to them that is not ok when they are entering a restroom. All humans use them and we all equally need to be able to feel comfortable entering them when in public. The obvious and simplest answer is sometimes the only sensible right action!

Nutrition or Food Science: New Blog Series!

“You are what you eat.” By the end of my series of blog posts, let’s ask if that might be true, even if it’s not a “fact”.

This series will focus on all aspects of food science and nutrition. Here’s one statement about the difference, lifted from an online forum:

“Food science is oriented toward the food, nutritional science toward the person who eats it. Food science majors tend to be looking toward careers in the food industry, often in product development or food engineering. Nutritional science majors tend to be looking toward more health-oriented careers. Some will become dietitians, for example, and others are aiming at medical school.”

Why? Number 1 reason to do this series is to educate myself about both related topics. I admit that my knowledge is severely limited, and it’s taken a long time for me to start being more mindful of food intake and related things, in terms of really knowing what the whole process is about. This will help me work with all my patients including patients with eating disorders, as I know a lot about the psychological element and cognitive issues, but not much about nutrition and food science.

Number 2 reason: there is an epieimic in our country that will result in some staggering health issues and prevalence of diabetes. One projection: By 2020, 52% of all US adults will have diabetes or pre diabetes.
(http://www.diabetesadvocacyalliance.org/html/resources_diabetes_facts_future.html)
Therefore this is an urgent topic to start exploring or revisiting and work on how we feed children, who are the next generation of humans.

What: blog posts that focus on different categories of topics. See topics list.

When: as often as possible. I’m aiming for one post per week on this topic.

Where: I will get facts from books, films, articles and internet sites. Question all findings for accuracy, as I tend to get excited about information; I need to slow down and fact check but I am hoping you, the reader, will help with facts and opinions. Tell me what you want to know. Tell me stuff you know that I don’t know, etc.

Categories of Posts:

1.) (why)Food global epidemic: what’s going on everywhere that obesity and normal weight people with pre diabetic issue are on the rise and endangering us as much as (put here any dire human global situation.)

2.) (what): Food science: Facts about food and what is harmful and not harmful. Facts about what the world is eating at this moment in history. You judge: how bad is it? and we will together come up with another what: what would be good to replace all the not healthy foods with? What are recommended and by whom?

3.) (who and why) Education and “psycho education”: where, what, why and whom do we need to educate about food and HOW? Easy answer is “everyone age 2 or older”.

4.} New good habits: what can an average American do on a daily basis to have a good diet and how?

5.) Psychological component: more of “what”. How does food affect mood? what are eating disorders and what is disordered eating? How can food be used for mental health for everyone, as well as people with mental/emotional (and medical- the brain is in the body) struggles. A lot has been written about depression and food. We can look into that, but what about other kinds of struggles: can food affect PTSD and Anxiety Disorders? ADHD? Neurological and Cognitive Issues? How is food “medication”? What is mindful eating? what is intuitive eating? What do therapists and psychiatrists need to know and talk to all patients about?

Starting with the last one, I will write about my personal journey, some of it anyway, with food. Adult life: did I use what was taught me through action in childhood in my adult life up to now? The answer is no. The reason I am doing these posts is that this topic is very interesting to me. It’s personal, political, etc. You are engaging in a political act when you bring a healthy lunch to school or make sure your child or children are eating healthy at school. Drinking water instead of sodas and orange juice and other beverages, uncluding flavored water, is a political act.

Recently probably due to starting a yoga practice again over last summer, I started thinking more about mindful eating and slowly increasing my awareness of what liquids and solids I have been and do put in my own body. I was actually inspired by a patient who was trying out a stringent diet for good reasons of her own, including cutting out added sugar. In March I started a “sugar detox”, which I have been on ever since, with a few slips here and there. what is so great about this topic is that I am getting an education about a life and death matter. During the first weeks of the detox I became aware that I don’t just have a “sweet tooth”, I am addicted to sugar. A few months later, I have figured out that while I felt embarrased admitting it as a mindful vegetarian, I am part of the majority of humans on this planet, especially in the US. If you and your children are not addicted to sugar you are in a healthy minority. It is very easy to get addicted to sugar whether or not you think you have a prevalence for addiction. A study with rats found that cocaine addicted rats will all pick sugar water over cocaine. Make of it what you will, to be explored further with looking at research on food. I will find statistics later.

I also noticed that by cutting out all sugar except the sugar in fruits and dried fruits, that I was also not even trying to but cutting out a lot of other “ingredients”, additives, preservatives, etc. and learning some common vocabulary about substances that could be argued to not be food, depending on the definition of food, such as what is xantham gum. What is dextrose? What is maltose? What are all those ingredients I eliminate by not eating “added sugars” of any kind? Along the way I had some other great discoveries. Number 1: I want to know what I am putting in my body and why, and I think all people need to know the basics. I learn by doing and then asking and finding answers. For example, I immediately learned that orange juice is like soda, but I can add an orange to my juice that I make in the juicer.

The detox also told me interesting things about my body and taking care of it. Mood, anxiety level, spikes in moods which are typical of too much sugar in diet were improved. Digestion issues such as IBS can be almost “fixed” by rethinking your nutrition. I also found out that going to the grocery store is a huge education; food shopping is actually more fun for me as I now enjoy looking at ingredient lists and asking more questions, learning more about my ignorance! I could go on, but you get the picture. I was also inspired to start watching documentaries about food and the politics of food, as well as looking up articles on the internet and generally reading more about everything from what is malted barley flour? to how much “added sugar” is ok for the average adult? with zero being the ideal. Look at the ingredient list on some food you bought or see in the supermarket. Look at the amount of “sugars”. Why is there no RDA percentage next to it, and there is next to everything else? One answer might be that the sugar industry doesn’t want you to know. Another reason some people believe is that there is no RDA of added sugar. Given that you’re not starving, you don’t need sugar and its derivatives including artificial sweeteners at all. You could eat such that you have none of it in your diet, and you will actually benefit. The real answer is over 100% too much, as in “zero” percent.

Anyway, all this food info caused me to think about my own childhood and what I learned about food.
To be covered in another post continuing my personal journey…

Story Spheres

Natasha Shapiro, ATR-BC, LCAT:

I love these images. Read more to find out about participating in The Big Draw!!!

Originally posted on Love & Curiosity:

SketchBetter Story Sphere - 003 Radioactive

Welcome to Story Spheres, a project by SketchBetter to mindfully draw real life emotions and human experiences into a small circle.

Story Spheres will be exhibited as part of the world’s largest drawing festival, The Big Draw in October 2015. Every Drawing Tells a Story.

How to Contribute:
1. Draw a circle in pencil, 95mm in diameter
2. Take a minute to focus on your breathing
3. Grab a black fine liner (0.1mm is good) and doodle your story sphere.
(Tip: Consider what’s going on in your life right now and how you are feeling… right now? There’s no right or wrong here)

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Only In Art Therapy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly… First story: Saudi Arabia

If you’re reading this and you are a patient of an art therapist or have been or if you are an art therapist, and have a story of an incident, please let me know and I will post it here.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, whats’ that?: Basically there is great news and exciting things going on in the field of art therapy, like an article in National Geographic about art therapy with veterans with PTSD and photos of their masks, and bad and “ugly” things, like annoying portrayals of art therapists in current Tv shows and movies, as well as a lot of misconceptions about what the scope of what we can do is and whom we work with. I will use the pronoun “they” when talking about patients to further protect identities.

With the not so great news stories, I will follow with the question: So what can we do to change this NOW? because we’re in a better place today than ever before with respect for the profession, but not enough…
I’m not satisfied!

I will start this series off with a great story I found on Facebook linked to an article about art therapy in Saudi Arabia: Using Art Therapy with Former Jihadists, turns out it is a very effective modality for lots of reasons:

http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/using-art-therapy-to-open-the-minds-of-jihadists