The Doctor is In

Peanuts

It’s so right that we need is a warm hug and a pet as a companion to soothe our delicate emotional disorder. This is my favorite clip of Peanuts.

When I was hospitalized due to major depressive disorder, the good doctor at Lions Gate Hospital brought pets to work, massive greyhound dogs. Four of them. They were therapy dogs.

I am not a pet person. Never been. Needless to say, I stayed away from the dogs.

For a person with a mental illness, I supposed it shows on my face and behavior even when I don’t talk about it.  A sensitive person however, may emphatically pick up on it.  A wise manager who lives next door to me in the complex mentioned that it would be good for me to have a cat. So I did.

Enter Maurice and Lucy.

Little did I know, these cats would have a life-saving impact on my life for 20 years.  They were kittens when I adopted them. My life changed in a way that my thoughts became focused on them instead of being consumed by automatic thoughts. The cats know when I am feeling down. Instinctively, they come closer to me wanting cuddles when I lie down. There are times that it can be a bit too much when they want attention. I don’t mind it all, it’s a distraction from staying in my head. Who knows, maybe they have given me one of their nine lives or their calm nature made me feel relaxed

Not knowing the benefit of having pets, I paid more attention to the science of how animals alleviate the pain and sufferings of mood disorders. Talking to people on the walking their dogs on the street made me realized I became a social being while the owners are socializing their dogs.

The show The Big Bang Theory made me laugh when I heard what Raj had planned for one episode: “First I’m going to go to one of those spas in Koreatown, take a steam and get a massage. Then I’m going to stop at a pet store and get licked by puppies.”

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Sounds silly yet it’s essential to my health– to have a ‘me’ day just like Raj did. I go to the pet store and look all those colorful living animals, from fishes to reptiles, bunnies to rodents.

So, what is your story?

 

–Perpetua Siglos

“Bottom Line – The greatest tool you have is to listen. Do this first.”

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Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NP

*According to heretohelp, symptoms of NPD include: pattern of feeling overly important, needing admiration from others and having a lack of empathy.

I spent most of my younger years putting others first and not paying attention to a lot of my own health issues, both mental and physical, and that is something that I definitely needed to do — I had five kids.

But then I had Oprah–and her show–come along in order to teach me (and millions of others of course!) that I needed to start taking care of myself before I could give the best care to others.

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* * *

“You can’t give what you don’t have” was the idea that resonated with me the most.

And so I learned a lot from the many experts she had on her show about how important it is to balance everything; eating, sleeping, working, having fun, relaxing, and socializing.

But — now, as I have gotten older — and much wiser — I realize that I need to be careful that I don’t go too far the other way! I was raised by a mother who had had Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Our family not only didn’t know that she had it! but didn’t know it existed until just a few years ago. As a consequence of THAT I was very mixed up about the self-care issue. I’ve come to understand that I have subconsciously picked up some narcissistic traits, even as I tried to do the opposite!! And I need to be careful not to let self-care become self-centered. Because I always understood narcissism to be self-LOVE.

It was only while educating myself about NPD that I found out that it’s not self-love at all (my mother seem to hate herself most of the time!) Narcissism is self obsession.

And I am learning that the best cure for that is coming full circle — helping others!
– Dale