My Blog Friends

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blogging Break

Dear Blogging Friends,
I have decided that due to my inability to keep up with your blogs and in answering your emails I have decided that I need to spend more time concentrating on a few things at a time. I hope to return to the blogging world one day and visit with all of you once again. I appreciate all of the many friends I have made and the many excellent reads that I have encountered. To each of you I wish that your dreams may come true and that you will find happiness in all you do!


Letters L, M, N

Sorry for getting behind I plan on doing some serious catching up tonight. I have been super busy, but no excuses just getting down to business!

Learning disorders: A discrepancy between a person's cognitive ability and their academic ability in a specific area: math, reading, etc. Or another way to look at learning disorders is by the amount of intervention necessary to help an individual get to the average. For example most kids can learn a subject matter just fine by sitting in the normal classroom. On the other hand, a child with a math learning disorder can't. This child will need extra help such as reading with a peer tutor for extra time or with a reading specialist. It may be that they need to be pulled out of the regular education room for resource.

Malingering: the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, in order to escape something. For example a person wants to get out of military service and so that individual fakes having sever headaches and stomach aches. Malingering differs from factitious disorder in the motivation behind the illness. In factitious disorder you will remember that it dealt with more internal motivation where as malingering deals with extrinsic motivation.

Narcissistic personality disorder: pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have grandiose thoughts of self importance. They overrate their importance , accomplishments, and abilities. Further, they feel that admiration over their accomplishments are long over due. They feel superior to others. In a diagnostic class we watched a video and the teacher asked us to diagnose the individuals. When the video of the individual with narcissism came on we were able to diagnose him with the first few seconds even before he spoke. These individuals entire posture and behavior appears narcissistic. Another interesting thought, most politicians have a streak of narcissism. This seems logical because who else would be able to take the criticism that they do without cracking.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Letter K


An individual with the diagnosis of kleptomania has a behavior of recurrently failing to resist impulses to steal. Kleptomania causes an individual to feel a rising subjective sense of tension right be for a theft and after the theft the individual feels pleasure, gratification, or relief. The theft does not occur out of anger or vengeance but only to release the tension the individual feels. The objects stolen are of little or no significant value. Occasionally the individual will return the stolen items or they will hoard them.

Individuals with kleptomania feel depressed and guilty for their theft. Preliminary evidence shows that females make up two-thirds of kleptomaniacs. However, kleptomaniacs only make up less than 5% of shoplifters.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Letter J

There are no diagnosis that start with the letter J that I'm aware of or that can be found in the DSM-IV-TR. However, there is an amazing psychologist named Carl Jung who I will quote,

"Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throughout the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the stock exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap a richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul."

As writers this applies to us as well. In order to truly write the great stories we need to have experiences. No we are not going to fly spaceships or have magical powers but we can have human experiences that will inspire us and make us step outside our boxes. We can open our minds to those things that go beyond what we have seen a million times and write about the human condition in all its forms. Also, we can put down the books that teach us to write and start writing!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letters H and I

Yesterday got a little busy for as you have probably noticed so today we get two letters. I do not have a spotlight for tomorrow. If I do not get one then I will continue my story instead. If anyone is interested in having a flash fiction spotlighted please let me know.

Letter H:
Histrionic personality disorder: Individuals with this disorder have pervasive and excessive emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals must be at the center of attention or they feel as if they are unloved and unwanted. They generally attract new acquaintances because of their flirty and outgoing behavior. However these acquaintances wear thin and dissolve due to the need of the individual with histrionic personality disorder of always needing to be the center of attention. If they are not the life of the party then they will perform a dramatic act to become the center of attention, no matter what it takes. The behaviors of these individuals is often sexually provocative or seductive. Emotional expression is shallow and shifting. Additionally individuals with histrionic personality disorder express strong opinions with dramatic flair. Further, these opinions are easily swayed and changed.

Letter I:
Intermittent explosive disorder: Individuals with intermittent explosive disorder have occurrences of discreet episodes of failure to resist aggressive impulses that result in assualtive acts either on other individuals or property. In order to qualify for the disorder the acts must be out of proportion to the current circumstances that the assaultive act occurs. Individuals with intermittent explosive disorder generally describe the attack as a rising tension or arousal and after the outburst an immediate sense of relief.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Letter G

Global Assessment of Functioning: A number assigned to an individual rating that individual's overall psychological functioning. Not a disorder but rather an easy way for other professionals to see the lowest level the individual was for the past year. An individual can receive a score from 0-100. For example if a person were to receive a score from 61-70 that individual would have some mild symptoms (e.g. depressed mood and mild insomnia) or some difficulty in a social context such as school or work. The lower the score the lower functioning individual. An individual would be hospitalized if they received a score below 50 in most cases. An average individual has a score above 80.

This score will change depending on the situation. For example an average individual going through a crisis will have a much lower GAF score than if that individual was in a normal situation.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Letter F and Story continued

Factitious disorder: In this disorder the individual is characterized by intentionally producing physical or psychological disorders in order to assume the sick role. The individual may manipulate instruments such as a thermometer in order to show signs of the illness. They might complain of abdominal pain or other symptoms that support their claimed problem.  External motivators such as economic gain, avoiding legal responsibility, etc. are absent.

When presenting their medical or psychological history the individual does it with flair, but are vague and inconsistent with further questioning. They may engage in pathological lying that gets the listeners interest.
A similar disorder that has the same qualities is factitious disorder by proxy. This disorder has the same symptoms of factitious disorder but instead of the symptoms being that of the individual the symptoms are that of an individual the person is caring for. For example a mother taking care of a child may claim the child has an illness that the child doesn’t truly have.

Story Continued:

Tabatha’s legs went weak and she slumped to the floor. The cold floor did nothing to bring the feeling back into her legs and body. Her stomach felt like a black hole had formed and sucked her life force leaving nothing but darkness and cold. She lifted her hands up in front of her face looking for any sign of the truth the man was telling her, but knowing it was true.
There were no memories of a family or of a childhood. Her first memory was waking up in a hospital bed and told that she had been in a terrible accident. The doctor explained that she would probably never regain her memory and there was no record of her in the system. The hospital supplied her with new identification after several months of working with a case worker, and no family had been found.
Tabatha trained with the local defense contractor and excelled in her studies; quickly advancing within the ranks. When the contractor sold out she was once again without work, so she hired on with another company that offered nannies as well as security. Once again, Tabatha was a natural and was soon working for Neil Florantin, a wealthy businessman. This is where she fell in love with the child.
“Tabatha, I need you to follow me,” the man rolled toward her holding out his hand. “I couldn’t tell you earlier because I needed to make sure you were okay.”
The words registered in Tabatha’s brain but made little sense. Her mind raced with the new information that she tried to assimilate with the old. She had never felt love before the child. A single tear rolled down her cheek remembering the child. Is any of it real?  She had been taught that androids have no emotions only that they can perceive what is expected and then act upon that expectation.
Touching her shoulder gently the man said, “I’ll explain everything. It’ll be okay.”
The brunette’s scream reverberated off the walls shattering the wall of fog surrounding Tabatha’s mind. She grabbed the man’s hand and jumped to her feet yanking the man out of his wheel chair. Five guards held rifles, two standing over the brunette and a pool of blood that seeped out into the room.
It was all the man could say before Tabatha whipped the man around and had the crook of her arm around his throat squeezing the rest of his words out like a croak. She backed toward the door dragging the man with her.
“Stop or we’ll shoot.”
A smile crept across Tabatha’s face. She was in her environment now and she knew how this would turn out. She compressed the man’s larynx tighter and he held up his hand stopping the advance of the five men.
A fresh smell of spring swept into the room as Tabatha pushed the glass door open and left the building. Outside she dropped the limp man to the ground and ran toward the parking lot. She smashed the window of the first vehicle she came to. Blood ran down her arm but she didn’t feel it. Tabatha didn’t feel anything anymore.

To Be Continued……….

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Letter E

Elective mutism also known as selective mutism. An individual who persistently fails to talk in a given situation where speaking is expected despite speaking in other contexts has elective mutism. The mutism must interfere with the individuals life in order to be diagnosed with this disorder and it must last for at least one month.

Individuals with elective mutism are difficult to work with because they generally have anxiety over meeting new people. I have recently started to work with a child who has elective mutism and have decided to use systematic desensitization also known as graduated exposure therapy which is a type of behavioral therapy in order to treat the child. In systematic desensitization a person will first be taught relaxation skills and then be exposed to the stimuli that causes the anxiety in hierarchy of fears and rewarded for interacting with that stimuli. For example in the beginning I will have the child look at me and then she will receive a reward. Next I will have her do a one word request to receive the reward. This will continue to happen until she is speaking in the situation that causes the anxiety.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Letter D and Guest Author

For those of you who are new to my blog each Wednesday I spotlight an author. Today's author is a close friend of mine who has been a great source of support. Because he is my guest he gets to go first and my letter D entry will follow. Also, if you would like to be spotlighted on my blog please let me know. It is simple all I need is a short bio and flash fiction piece to show off your talent. He is an amazing writer and deserves a huge virtual round of applause. Please show your support for him by leaving a comment below.

My friend didn't give me a bio but a few things about him. He is the director of a non profit organization called the whittier center. . He loves Fiction and Fantasy and is a huge history buff. I know that if I ever need to know about history he will have the answer. He is a wealth of information. We are geeks together and have gotten our families together to play D&D. If you have any other questions for him ask him in the comments.

Marko twisted under the blade swinging for his head and could feel the breeze from its passing as he tumbled forward. Quickly twisting around he got his buckler up in time to stop the dagger thrust from his opponent.
“Who is this guy?” muttered Marko as he jumped up into a proper fighting stance. His enemy said nothing, like he had since jumping Brent in the alleyway.
Luckily Marko was armed like all well to do twenty-third century Thanalians with a rapier and an offhand weapon. Since the Neo-Renaissance revival had become popular early in the century no well-off Thanalian or any Terran went around without looking like they stepped out of sixteenth century Italy. The only difference was the high tech alloys and advanced polymers that went into the construction of swords, knives, buckers and doublets.
Measuring up his opponent Marko saw that he was outfitted similarly to himself but instead of expensive velvets and colorful silks, he was robed in blacks and greys. A cloak shrouded his enemy’s face in shadow. He also used a Smallsword and a dagger in the Florentine style while Marko also used the Florentine style but with a small buckler 30cm across strapped to his left wrist.
Starting with a passata-soto Marko launched into a series of attacks, hoping to test the Shadowman’s reflexes. The shadow seemed to know every move before Marko started; twisting right and left, a parry there, a riposte after a quick attack, and an insistence at the end of an attack sequence. Panting from the exertion of the attacks Marko realized that he could not get past the Shadow’s defenses.
Stepping back into an en garde, Marko beckoned the Shadow forward. “Come on then,” he growled, “show me what you got!” The Shadow lunged forward but Marko parried and riposted with a doublĂ© thrusting into the shoulder of the Shadow. Twisting the blade as he withdrew, Marko whipped his blade into a quarte. Growling with pain the Shadow seemed to withdraw into itself and dropped its blades. Lunging at the opportunity, Marko buried his blade in the Shadow’s throat.
Panting Marko stepped away from the corpse. Taking his blade he flicked back the hood to reveal the face of his enemy. Looking down Marko saw his own face on the corpse. Stumbling back with a look of horror, “Who are you? Who am I?” 

I was going to talk about depression just because of its prevalence. A few quick facts about youth in grades 6th-12th. 34.6%reported depressive symptoms within the last 30 days and 10% reported considering suicide. This is out of a huge sample in Utah (49,707 students). That means nearly 5,000 students of the sample reported that they had considered suicide. Depression is a huge problem, do not ignore it. That is all I'm going to say about depression there is a lot of support and information on the web. 

The D disorder is dissociative identity disorder. I picked this one because it is not as well known. This is best known by the multiple personality disorder. Many psychologists argue that it doesn't occur, but it is in the DSM and Psycho (the movie) is a great example of this disorder. Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct identities or personalities. These personalities recurrently take control of behavior and there must exists an inability to recall personal information beyond mere forgetfulness. 

This disorder is marked by the inability to integrate various aspects of identity, memory, and consciousness. Each personality has a distinct personal history, self-image, and identity including name. Generally there is a primary identity that has the individuals name which is passive, dependent, guilty, and depressed. The other identity is generally aggressive, hostile, controlling, and self destructive.The primary personality has gaps in memory whereas the alternate personality has a more complete memory.

The number of identities that have been reported range from 2-more than a hundred. Half of the case reported have 10 or fewer identities.

Individuals with dissociative identity disorder frequently report having experienced sever physical and sexuak abuse, especially during child hood.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Letter C

Cyclothymic Disorder: a chronic fluctuating mood disturbance including hypomania. Hypomania is a state of euphoria or irritability. The symptoms of depression and euphoria are less severe than in bipolar I or II with rapid cycling, but has a similar cyclical feature. However, the individual can't be symptom free for more than two months at a time and the symptoms must have been ongoing for at least two years. The cycle goes between euphoria for about 2-3 days and then the individual crashes into depression.

These individuals may be regarded as temperamental, moody, unpredictable, inconsistent, or unreliable due to the quick changes in mood that may affect them and how quickly their moods can change.

Happy A-Z blogging!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Letter B

The letter ‘B’ is for borderline personality disorder. This is characterized by a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects. Impulsivity needs to begin by early adulthood. Individuals with this disorder make frantic attempts at avoiding real or imagined abandonment. They become angry and panic when separation may or may not be happening even when that separation must occur (end of counseling session). 

Individuals with borderline personality disorder have a pattern of intense and unstable relationships. They idealize caregivers or lovers on the first meeting demanding to spend a lot of time with the caregiver or lover. They will often talk about past relationships and how horrible the other person was and will quickly turn on the current caregiver or lover.

These individuals can nurture others, but only with the expectation that the other person will be there for them in return and if not they will quickly and suddenly change their feelings toward that person.
They also have sudden shifts in self-image. Further, their impulsivity is damaging in at least two areas (gambling, sexual relationships, binge eating, etc. They have recurrent suicidal behavior and 8-10% complete suicide.

Those with this disorder require extensive counseling and support that generally causes distress in the caretakers and loved ones. There are a few interventions for this disorder perhaps the most researched is DBT.

This next section is a continuation of my blogstory. If you want to start from the beginning you can start here.

Remember this is unedited and may have some wholes so don't judge to harshly :)

Tabatha rubbed her legs trying to get the numbness out, the cement floor was cold and it seemed to seep through her entire body, turning it to ice. She had been left in the cell for more than a week now with no interaction from the outside other than a tray of food pushed in through a slot twice a day. The room had only a small toilet in the corner and was made of metal. There was no light other than a sliver that came in under the door.
She had lost track of time but knew that her food arrived like clockwork. The food was always the same; an energy bar with a little water. It was surprising to her at how little she could live on.
Steps sounded under the doorway and Tabatha jumped to her feet. She held a make shift rope that she had made out of ripping pieces off of her clothes and then braiding them together. The latch to the food slot clanged and the slot opened. A man’s hand was visible only an instant, but that was all the time Tabatha needed. She had planned her escape for days, but this was the first time she saw a hand.
There was a yelp as the rope tightened around the wrist and Tabatha pulled harder.
“Let me go,” a male voice sounded from the other side.
A stream of blood began pooling around the rope and Tabatha pulled harder. “Open the door and I’ll let you go,” Tabatha said through clenched teeth.
Silence. Tabatha pulled harder. The man screamed.
“Alright. Alright.”
Blood was now running down the side of the door and falling to the floor. There was a jingle and then a clank as the lock turned.
Tabatha shoved on the door and pulled on the rope at the same time, pulling the man’s arm through the slot. Tabatha’s head was pounding from the strain but the fresh air invigorated her and she was able to tie the rope on the handle.
A shiver ran down Tabatha’s back as the screams of the man echoed down the dimly lit hallway.
A key chain hung out of the doorknob and Tabatha grabbed the keys. She hit the man hard in the temple knocking him unconscious. Dragging the pudgy grey haired man into the cell was almost more than she could handle.
The door was heavy but it swung easily as Tabatha closed it on the man. Tabatha grabbed several energy bars and a couple of bottled waters from the food cart that was sitting nearby; then crept down the hallway.
A bang came from one of the doors to Tabatha’s left when she had almost reached the door at the end of the hallway. Tabatha stopped. She slowly lifted the latch to the food slot and opened the slot door.
“Who’s in there?” Tabatha whispered.
“Help me,” a woman’s voice said.
Tabatha bit her lip and then shoved the key into the lock and turned it. She pulled the door open and the light flooded in and exposed a blonde haired woman who looked as if she was almost dead. The woman covered her eyes and blinked furiously.
“Thank you so much. You are the first person I have seen in…” she paused and looked down and began to cry.
After a few moments Tabatha said, “We need to get going. I don’t know how long it will take them to notice that their guy hasn’t come back.”
The woman nodded and wiped her face with the back of her hand. “I’m sorry; it has just been so long.”
“I understand. What’s your name?”
“It’s Melanie. Melanie Stevens.”
“You can call me Tabatha.”
Tabatha turned and headed toward the door, the woman following close behind. The door wasn’t locked and opened easily into a large open room with a desk off to one side. There was an elevator on the other side. There was a sign above the elevator that read Subfloor 3. Tabatha looked behind the desk and found a key card with the pudgy man’s face on it and the name Howard Donniver printed under it. There didn’t seem to be anything else of use in the desk.
There was a brief pause after Tabatha pressed the elevator button and the door slid open quietly. Inside the elevator there was a bank of buttons from S3 up to 25.
“We must be in the city,” Tabatha said.
Melanie just nodded.
Neither of the women talked as the elevator ascended to the first floor. The elevator door opened up to another room where a young brunette sat behind a large wooden desk. The brunette’s jaw dropped when she saw Tabatha and Melanie. Tabatha ran toward the brunette as she lifted her hand to her ear.
“Don’t or I swear I’ll kill you,” Tabatha said as she grabbed the woman’s wrist. “Where are we?”
The brunette sputtered then said, “I can’t tell you that. You’re not supposed to be up here. Why are you out of your rooms?”
“Where are we?” Tabatha said again gripping the woman’s wrist harder.
The woman whimpered a tear forming in the corner of her eye.
“I can answer all of your questions,” a man said behind Tabatha.
Tabatha jerked around yanking the brunette hard. An old man in a wheel chair smiled across the room next to an open door.
The brunette’s hand slid from Tabatha’s grip as Tabatha squinted at the man. “I know you. Where do I know you from?”
The man’s smile broadened. “Of course you know me. I’m your creator.”

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Letter A

Today is the start of the A-Z challenge. I’m very excited to participate this year. Last year I started blogging right after it started and so I didn’t participate, but I still made a lot of friends from it. I will continue to post my regular scheduled events below the A-Z challenge so those trying to get to everyone in the challenge will not need to read as much and I will still be able to continue spotlighting amazing authors and continue my blogstory.

My theme is going to be all about the different mental illnesses the DSM IV-TR diagnosis. Each day I will post a new mental illness.

To start it all off with the letter ‘A’ we have Agoraphobia.

The symptoms of this  mental illness is an acute anxiety of a situation that a person has difficulty escaping from or that might cause extreme embarrassment. The anxiety may be too many different situations: home alone, outside the home, surrounded by many people, etc. Avoidance of the situation causes problems for the person’s life and if not avoided it may cause a panic attack or symptoms like a panic attack.

Friends Meetup Party - the perfect line