My 8 Stages of Depression


by Marcus Oakes

I was a typical happy kid. I had an amazing family, I loved sports, and things were good. When I became a teenager it was almost like a switch was flipped. I still loved sports, still had an amazing family, but I wasn’t happy. By the time I was 15 years old, I literally had the worst acne I have ever seen (even to this day). I started taking Accutane, and then it REALLY went downhill. I became very good at acting like the happy boy I once was, but that’s all it was—an act. I had no desire to have friends, I didn’t want to be around my family, all I wanted was to be alone and cry.

The Downward Spiral

Before I even started Accutane, they warned me over and over again about possible side-effects—one of which was depression. Being the “tough guy” that I thought I was, I believed I was made out of steel, like nothing could touch me. I learned pretty quickly that I was not invincible. With the Accutane weighing in, and not knowing that my family had a history of depression, I was hit hard…ridiculously hard.

I didn’t understand why any of this was happening to me. I was a well-known kid at my school and a very successful athlete thus far in my life, yet I had issues that I didn’t think people “like me” would have. After some time, constantly feeling like this ate away at me and I hit what I thought was rock bottom. I was ready to be done.

The Plan

At rock bottom, I had a plan to never feel this way again. I won’t go into detail because it wouldn’t have been very pretty, but I was ready. Still, something held me back. I was raised to believe in God, but I honestly wasn’t too sure up until this point, especially with how I was feeling.

Instead of taking my life at this time, I decided to pray to God, hoping that He was real. For the first time, I really, truly believed He was real and I knew that I wasn’t meant to die yet.

The Constant Battle

Did I overcome everything at that time? Absolutely not. High school didn’t get much easier. My acne eventually cleared up enough that (aside from the scars that will forever remind me of the past) I looked like a typical high school kid.

As briefly mentioned above, sports was basically my life. I played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track for years. I excelled in track and field; my event was the triple jump. When my coach saw me jump before my freshman year, he basically told me I was on track to easily break the state record. I was the first freshman to be pulled up to Varsity at my school for the entire season in as long as any of the coaches knew. Unfortunately, all of this happened before I started Accutane.

What they didn’t tell me about Accutane is that it can basically destroy your joints. I went from a 5’9” tall freshman jumping high enough to dunk a basketball (too bad my hands weren’t very big yet), to a 6’ tall sophomore that could barely touch the rim. This also led to my loss of triple jump ability and me jumping much shorter than my coach anticipated later on. Losing my athletic ability added to the frustration and feelings of worthlessness. Any chance of participating in college sports was definitely out the window.

The Acceptance

It did eventually get to a point where I understood that this was how my life was going to be: miserable (as stated by a one-time therapist of mine). I realized I wouldn’t overcome my depression and everything that goes with it, but that I would learn to cope with it and accept it as part of me. One unfortunate aspect to those that suffer with depression is that the person will often feel comfortable with where they are at emotionally, and they don’t want to be happy. I explained my situation to others by saying that there will be days that are super high (happy) and days that are super low (sad) and instead of having two extremes, I didn’t allow myself to be happy so that when I hit “the wall”, it wasn’t as far of a drop because I was already on the lower end of the scale.

I continued to use sports as a coping mechanism, something to keep my mind off of how I was feeling that day. Music was also a coping mechanism; whether it was singing, playing instruments, or just listening to music, I had a new outlet. The way I felt lead me to find a genre of music that made me feel better (and disturbed my parents, even though it wasn’t as bad as it sounded to them). Screamo music became one of my biggest outlets because I felt that these artists were screaming for me and that they knew how I felt.

The Never-Ending Question

Unfortunately this coping and acceptance of my depression as part of me caused depression to practically define me. The picture I painted with my body language carried into my college years making it very difficult to get out of bed, get to class, or to even do school work. I let my normally good grades slip and I just didn’t care anymore.

I remember very clearly while walking to class, I constantly wanted to jump in front of the passing cars to end it all. As I drove, I constantly felt the desire to swerve into oncoming traffic. I had reached a new rock bottom, and all I could do was ask: “Will this ever end?”

The Help

I had seen one therapist—once—and I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to go to another one but I was running out of options. I didn’t think that anyone could help me by talking with me about how I am feeling. What I didn’t understand then, is stated well by mental health counsellor Sha-Rhonda Davis “People come to [counsellors] with deep problems, and they need to be able to trust that you will listen to them and do all that you can to help them help themselves.” Therapists don’t tell you what to do. They just help you figure it out for yourself.

I gave in and eventually went to another therapist in college, and I literally could not have gotten a better therapist at that time. I plain lucked out because it was a school therapist and he was assigned to me. I knew as soon as I walked into his office that things would be good there (mostly because he had band posters from his younger, potentially rebellious, days on his wall that I would consider equivalent to the bands I listened to). After about two months of sessions, I began to have a better understanding and felt well enough to continue on my own. I met a beautiful woman that made me happier than I had ever been and I was on my way up again.

The Answer

Did I finally overcome my issues? The answer is still no. Will this ever end? Probably not, but I should not, and will not let that get me down. I’m sitting here, ten years after I first felt the desire to end my life, still fighting every single day. But this is a fight worth fighting. Nothing, and I mean nothing, could ever be bad enough that ending your life would make it better. Phil Donahue said that “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”

So the real answer? Giving up is never the answer.

The Conclusion

My conclusion to all of this is that depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, or any other mental health issue, is nothing to be ashamed of but is also something you shouldn’t ignore. These issues may not ever go away but you can learn to cope with them. Don’t be afraid of going to see a therapist because people from any situation (rich, poor, famous, etc.) might need counselling, support, and encouragement, due to a problem that they might deem socially unacceptable. There are always people that are ready and willing to help you in your time of need. More people understand than you might think.

Remember: you are not alone and you can make it through. To quote one of my favorite bands, Our Last Night from their song, Sunrise “When the night is cold and you feel like no one knows what it’s like to be the only one buried in this hole, you can make it to the sunrise.”


About the Author:

Marcus Oakes has suffered from depression for over 10 years now, since the age of 15. Through these many years he has learned to face difficult challenges. Very few things have been harder for him than dealing with his mental health. He is a recent college graduate and is in a master’s program for forensic psychology. He is married to a beautiful woman and he helps her run her business, Positively Oakes, from home and he is proud of her for what she also has accomplished. Marcus has spent many days helping others work through their own issues and has learned how to use his life experiences to the benefit of others. He lives by these words: “Everything will work out in the end. If things aren’t working out, then it’s not the end” (unknown).

What Would True Mentally Ill Patient’s Rehabilitation Look Like

by Flora G AleanaID-100187425

Every one of them calls her Sara. She insists that they should. She always seems genuinely happy to see them each week. Every milestone no matter how small is a great source of rejoicing for her too. When they cry because of difficult times, even her eyes well with tears too.

Sara loves people. And she tells all who that she loves just how much they mean to her. She is quick to say that if a person doesn’t love the people she is to care for, then fatigue will surely set in.

Her days start early but really she knows she should always be available. All her patients know how to contact her and she encourages them to give her a buzz anytime they are feeling like they are a little under the weather. She always has a lot on her mind and today she is thinking about James.

James found out recently that he is a sufferer of bi polar disorder. Before he knew what was wrong with him, he had visited a host of doctors who really could not tell him what was wrong. From an energetic teenager, he had become a reclusive young man who didn’t want anything to do with anyone this week and the next week he was full of energy and no one knew why. One day, on one of his low days, as he was sitting on his bed, he started thinking of how much he was a failure. He thought of his less than stellar performance at school and how he didn’t make the basketball team. He thought of himself as tall enough. He was quick enough on his feet. He recalled of how he made his first basket at the age of seven. His father played basketball all through his high school years and college days and they always had had father and son games. James knew that he was good. He just didn’t know why the coach didn’t see it.

He then remembered his perpetual tardiness. Every day he got in school five to ten minutes later than the rest of his classmates. Maybe that was it. His records should show that and possibly the coach thought of him as a lazy, unreliable student. He knew who to take all the blame. His mother drops him in school and he imagined that if she got up thirty minutes earlier or spent twenty minutes less in the bathroom, she would get him to school on time.

His heart started beating faster. He made a fist and with every passing second it got tighter and tighter. ‘A car, my own car! That is what I need’, he muttered under his breathe. His breathing got shallower then deeper. He then remembered that his father had said that money was hard to come by so he wouldn’t get a car soon. James got so angry, threw himself on his bed and tears started flowing freely. He was so sure that his parents didn’t love him and wanted him to suffer. Didn’t they know how much he wanted to be on the basketball team? He just saw pure malice on their part.

The next day, James’ mother was surprised that she was ready to go and James wasn’t there to keep pestering her about how they were running late. She just hoped he wasn’t having one of his days where he has aches and pain that just spring up from nothing and the barrage of excuses of why he can’t go to school. She certainly wasn’t ready to start negotiating with him today. That’s when they found him sprawled on the bathroom floor.

At the first meeting James had with Sara, both his parents came. To her, they looked like a happy family. James’ smile won her over. His parents said they were relieved that they now knew what was wrong with their son. James was happy too. He said the drugs were working.

Sara looked him straight in his eyes. He was young. He clearly was scared and he just was trying to act like a confident young man with nothing to fear. So she asked him how he really felt. He looked at her, then he looked away. He stared at the ceiling and one could clearly see that his lips were quivering. Then he cried, just like a small baby.

He didn’t mean to cause himself any harm. He really didn’t mean to. He said to his parents that he is sorry for the worry that he had caused them. His mother was sobbing. His father was just quiet. He was scared that if he talked, he too would cry. They spent the rest of the hour crying.

They knew little about what was going on with their son and once they had some information on bi polar disorder, Sara was certain that things would get better for them.

At the next meeting that they had, Sara noticed that all three of them were a bit ill at ease. Could they have been embarrassed about their emotional display the week earlier? Sara wanted them to relax. She explained that the intense emotion that they felt, that they still feel, was something that every person who receives news that someone that they love is suffering from a mental health issue. Any emotion that they felt they needed to express could be expressed in her office without them feeling embarrassed. James’ mother looked and her and smiled. The pep talk had clearly worked.

School had changed in ways James couldn’t even imagine. The story of what James had done had spread like a wild bush fire. He was certain that no coach would want him on his team. He wasn’t sure of what his friends thought of him now that they knew what was wrong with him. Sara listened carefully to him. His parents looked at her. They had no idea what to say to him so all hopes lay on Sara.

Sara took a deep breathe in. She then asked James to look around the room. He was puzzled. She then told him that the people sitting in that room loved him more than he ever knew. That he now has to start to know who his real friends were. Those who loved him for he was, will never change their affections towards him no matter what. She then asked him to work on changing his view of friendships and if need be, build others and strengthen the ones that already existed.

He now clearly needed something to keep his mind occupied. He really wanted to play basketball but that, at the moment, was not possible. It could happen in the future but he needed something to keep him occupied now. Sara said that during the week, James should sit down and write a list of things that he believes he is good at and then during the next session, they would pick one that would be his after school activity.

At the next session, James came alone. Sara was surprised. He said that he needed to make that hour a time when he could freely express himself without the fear that his parents’ feelings would be hurt. He said that he had a bad week. He had been depressed and he couldn’t tell his parents because they believe that since he is taking his medication, he should be fine. He needed to be told that what he was going through would not be taken care of overnight. There will be ups and downs and what he needs to learn is how to be ok when things are down. He said that he discovered that going for a walk helped to boost his moods. Sara was happy that he had discovered what could help him and she encouraged him to talk a walk every time he felt overwhelmed. She then gave him some brochures which she told him to give his parents. They would learn a lot from it, she said. She reminded him about his list. He took out an A4 sized piece of paper from the back pocket of his jeans. He must have been carrying it around everywhere he went. She reached out for it. As she unfolded it, she saw James’ face drop. When she looked at the writings on the paper, she noticed that on it, he only had written 1 thing.

Am good with cars

A smile crept up to her face. James had thought that it was a short list but Sara thought it was the most impressive thing he had done so far.

James went on ahead to get a job working with cars. His parents supported him and were happy for him when he had saved up enough to buy a second-hand car. He was so proud of himself. He still did experience the effects of his illness but this time round he had people to talk to and ways to let off steam.

About the Author

Flora G Aleana is a freelance writer and currently working for Article Writing Service.  From the experiences of several years in the writing profession, she is capable to deal with academic as well as non-academic papers.

Would You Opt Out of Mental Illness, if You Could?

by Carley Cooper  Click to download this pic on

I’m writing a book about my life.  In my research I watched a documentary called The Stephen Fry Story: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (Click here to watch the 2 hour documentary ).  It’s a fascinating portrait of Bipolar Disorder.  It can help those of us who have it feel not so alone, and the people who love us understand us more.

Where Do You Fit In?

The greater general population travel down a standard ‘road’ in terms of their moods and personalities.  The bigger personalities often wander all over the road from side to side, but they are still within the borders of ‘normal’.  People with Bipolar Disorder go way beyond those boundaries on both sides of that road.  It is a very difficult life which can be dangerous in either direction.  Like most with this disorder, and as much as I have desperately and painfully longed to be ‘normal’ all my life, I can honestly say that my view has changed.  As it turns out, ‘fitting in’ and being ‘normal’ are two different things.  Wow! Who knew?!  What I actually wanted was to fit in.  Honestly, one of my biggest fears, even in the midst of my faith, is that God will bring me through this disorder and out the other end to finally leave it behind; only to find ‘normal’ is boring or restrictive.

It’s OK to Be You

I have learned that the stigma placed on me, or that I’ve picked up myself, is not who I am.  So much of the negative thinking in my head, was not my own.  It was false, uneducated, shameful, fearful myths.  Our words are instruments of destruction, and are among the most dangerous weapons in the world.

I was told once “You do not know how to count your blessings, because if you did then you wouldn’t be depressed.”  This kind of uneducated lie is exactly the kind of myth that the public needs to be taught the truth about.  Sufferers know that judging others by their appearance, words, actions, lifestyle, sex, culture, age, size, or mental illness is about as efficient as judging a book by its cover.  The world needs to know this too.  Once we can escape the barriers that are preventing progress, relationships will improve, needed medical attention will happen; healing will take place.

Enjoy Who You Are

Stephen Fry said “I asked many of my fellow Manic Depressives… if they could press a button to release them from their Bipolarity, would they do so?  Most, despite traumatic moments in their life, said ‘No’.  So, after all this, what would I do?  I wouldn’t press the button and live a normal life; not for all the tea in China.”

I say “I agree with you Stephen.  I wouldn’t press that button for anything in the world.”

What about you…What would you do?  Would you choose to opt out of your mental illness?  Share in the comment section.

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From Being Abused to Being Blessed: Jane’s Story

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by Guest Author, Jane Gibe

I was a battered housewife and just figured that was the way things were.  I had a child at 20 and loved him.  I had him till I was rushed by three big men.  They had to pry him out of my arms.  I was beaten and when I came to he was gone.  I stumbled out of the door and ran to the police station to report that he was taken.  It was my in-laws and when I gave them the name they put it in.  These men looked at me and said if I didn't leave they would arrest me.  They had found out that he was the Chief of Police of Birmingham Alabama.  I sat in the floor and cried.  I knew I had no one. 

By the time I went back to the house everything was gone; clothes furniture.  All I had was the clothes on my back and a pair of flip flops.  I walked till it got dark and I went and slept on the beach for almost a week.  I went to the service station to go to the bathroom and wash my face.  I was hard headed and determined I had to pull myself together. 

I walked back to Charleston and saw a small sign in the window of a small restaurant.  I walked in and I knew I had no money or a place.  God opened a door.  I went to the manager and told him I would wash dishes in the back if he would pay me.  I needed a job and he could tell I had been roughed up.

I filled out a paper and he said “It looks fine”. 

He took out his billfold and handed me $30.00 and said to go and get two black skirts and a pair of white sneakers.  I cried.  He asked me where was I staying.  I told him I didn't have anywhere but would be back at 7 am for the morning shift.  I walked to a small store and bought the things I needed.  I went to the service station and cleaned up and was waiting for him when he opened the door.  He made me breakfast and I worked all day. 

He ask me if I knew where the main road to the Navel Base was.  I said yes.  He pointed to the phone and gave me a number and he said just tell him who I was.  I did.  The man said he would meet me on the first street.  He opened the door and we walked in.  It was small but furnished efficacy.  It was just fine for me.  He said $80.00 a month and everything was included, and he would take weekly payments if that was fine.  I said sure.  I reached into my pocket and he said the payments would begin the first of the month. 

I slept for the first time.  I woke up early and was there when the man opened the door.  I handed him $5.00 and told him to keep track of it.  He smiled.  I started to make a few friends and most of them were sailors.  I had use of cars when they went to sea and I did laundry and took care of their pets. 

Things were going fine but I had a hole in my heart and cried a lot.  I got by.  After about a year I saved enough money to go to Alabama and wanted to see my son.  I could not leave the room.  The following month I went back and they had moved and I could not find them.  I lost.  I tried to get one with life and just figured life was not fair. 

I came home one day and I was surrounded by the police.  They came out of my apartment with a bag and they were going to arrest me.  I couldn't figure it out.  The man across the way came out to defend me. 

I asked “What am I being charged with?” 

They said marijuana possession.  I looked and said that isn't drugs.  I broke the lid to the Italian Seasoning.  The cop opened the bag and he said she is right. 

I had to move around because I was being stalked by them.  I started to work a couple of jobs and met a guy.  He brought me to NJ.  I settled into somewhat a normal life and we decided to get married. 

On the way back to the apartment I said “You Mother gave us a spread”.

All of a sudden he opened the door and threw me out of the car moving.  I rolled off the road and stood up.  I was in the middle of nowhere and walked back.  He was there eating a sandwich and told me how worthless I was.  That was the begging of the nightmare.  He would always say he was sorry and he would never hit me again.  You want to believe it so you go on.

I had my first daughter.  I had one dress and no coat.  I started to walk to church and I had to be back before He was.  I had to have dinner ready and if not.  I would get a lashing so I had to keep up.  I bought a ringer washer and dried diapers on the Franklin stove.  I pulled the wood in and had to keep the house warm. 

My daughter was only about three months when I got sick.  I went to the doctor only to find out I was going to have another baby.  A lady became my friend and tried to help.  I wouldn't go to church if I had marks.  It was I who took the beatings.  Between the yelling and degrading of my dignity I felt worthless and trapped.  He moved us again and again. 

The girls were four and five.  I started to buy things and resale.  I had a small business going; cleaning houses and reselling.  I was doing better as long as I stayed out of his way.  He started to notice he could cash in.  I told him how and what to look for.  The next thing was yard sales and flea markets.  I was running all of the different businesses.  He was happy.

Then I found out I was going to have another child.  He kicked me in the stomach till I lost it.  The doctor was a little curious of why.  I never went back.  I didn't talk much and cried a lot, but I just thought this was normal.  No it is not.  I began to faint and got sick.  I had sold everything I had cause I didn't want to have any more children.  I had to go to the doctor only to find out I was with child.  The doctor told me to get dressed and I will meet you in the office.  It was then I was faced with the cold truth.  I had Cancer.  He suggested I abort and have a hysterectomy.  I couldn't do it.  He said fine.  I had to go in and have a biopsy every month.  If the cancer looked like it was taking over and growing fast I would have to deliver then. 

I made it the nine months.  It snowed and it was blizzard conditions.  He dropped me off across the street and I had to walk to the hospital.  It caused the labor to start and the nurse called him back.  The guards were called cause he was cussing me out for having to come back to the hospital.  The team was called and my third girl was born and she was fine.  I had lost a lot of blood and they put a plea out for anyone who could donate in my name cause I wasn't going to make it. 

People came and I pulled out.  A friend came to pick me up and take me home with my other girls.  She was so upset cause I had to make breakfast lunch and dinners and he had just pulled them out of the fridge and ate and threw them in the sink.  It was pilled and so were the clothes.  She called and had a few others come and do things and get me back to rights.  I was so grateful. 

I can't recall how many times I had been punched in the face and kicked to the side at sales or Auctions.  People would ask if I need the cops.  I just said no.  He was my husband.  It hit me when I was called at a home where I was cleaning that my girls were out in the street and a neighbor had them.  I then found out he was locking them out of the house so he could watch porno films.  I had enough.  I had to scream “enough”.  Every time I went to leave the deacons would show up and called to me attention.  "Wives be submissive to your husbands".  It took me 13 years to just put a stop to it. 

I went back to school.  He had everything three cars and the money the house.  He had it all.  I took nothing but the children in tow.  My father and brother bought me a Alabama State car at a car auction and it had no heat and it is so cold here in NJ.  I am proud to say I got on my feet again and received my degree for Teaching.  One Paper I wrote was almost the same as this.  Why Women Accept Abuse. 

If you are reading this, go to your Bible and look up the verse.  The Deacons were correct in saying “Wives be submissive to your Husbands”.  But it goes on to say “Husbands love your wives as Christ Loves the Church”.

Now you think I live in shame and fear?  No, believe it or not.  I am not sure of why God Loves me so much.  He sent a man into my life and a family of a Godly mother-in-law and his siblings that surrounded me with love and grace.  Why do I deserve this?  I am waiting to ask God when I see Him face to face.  I have been married for a little over 18years.  We do not fuss or argue.  We do not look at money as an idol nor do my children that this Godly family has taken in.  They have raised me up and loved me.  My friends that know us just shake their head.  We are just so happy and laughter fills our home.  The grandchildren we have just loves us, and if someone is down  we lift them up.  If someone needs help my husband is the first to reach in his pocket and give when they take up collections at work for someone being out and in need.  I have seen it.  He takes what is in his pocket and hands it to them. 

You need to hear this: read John 3:16 and place your name in the spots where whosoever or where it says God so Loved_________ He gave His only Son for_________ that if you accept Him you will have eternal life.  Think upon this old life and make sure you are in check.  You are not guaranteed the next breath.  There is no expiration date.  Don't let this pass you by.  You are worth your weight in gold to Him.  You are a million dollar baby.  You are not replaceable.  You are needed by your children and by Him.  If He can use me, He can use you.

In His Love,

Just Me


Jane Gibe lives in Southern NJ with her wonderful husband Robert.  She has 4 children (3 girls and 1 boy).  She has 8 Grand Children and is a devoted Christian.  She runs a Military Ministry and does a Nursing Home Ministry once a month.  She moseys over a couple of times a week to visit at the nursing home.  She teaches with the GCN network.  She loves to knit and make baby blankets with booties and hats for the women that are in the States while their husbands are away defending freedom.  She does some for others also, and enjoys just giving them away.  She loves to make people smile.  She loves animals and wrangles them out of the road at times. 

Remission – Is it a Good Thing?

by Carley Cooper  Click to download this pic on

I think one of the less talked about aspects of Bipolar Disorder is what happens when one is stable.  I mean we hear lots about both the depression side and the mania/hypomania side.  But, what about life as a stable person? Some call it remission. No depression and no mania.  Most people would think this is a non-issue. For the average person who doesn’t know BPD it isn’t an issue.

For those of us who only know living in extremes, it is unknown territory to be stable; to stay coloring inside the lines.  That’s where I’ve been for at least a year now.  It’s the first time I’ve been to this place for this long.  The strangest part is I’m not sure I like it.

I Miss the Extremes

I’m tempted to adjust my meds to make myself go into hypomania just a little bit.  The problem is there is no ‘little bit’.  There’s only ‘wanting more’ and more of the same.

There’s Always a Flip Side

Of course, having hypomania experiences means having depression episodes as well.  The logical side of me knows this.  I also know that wanting to mess with my medication is also a bipolar trait.  I have to be careful not to fall into that trap which could potentially derail me completely.

Change is Part of Life and Bipolar

This could be a whole new chapter of my life. Maybe the discomfort I’m feeling lies in the fact that I don’t like change much. Then again, bipolar is all about change.

Has anyone else struggled with this? How have you dealt with it?

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Managing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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by Guest Author, Roselen Fernandez

5 million Americans are known to suffer from OCD in their lifetime. It affects men and women equally. It can also manifest in about 1 in 100 children. Almost 75% of person with OCD suffers from symptoms of depression.

One simple example of OCD case is driving long way back to your house after a recurrent and nagging thought of your bedroom window being unlocked or your iron unplugged or your faucet dripping. This won’t matter if they are founded, but sometimes they can be compulsive already and you did go back and find it done, faucet closed, window locked and your appliances unplugged.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a condition that manifests in millions of people worldwide. For some it can happen by obsessive hand washing, fixation on certain things or thought, etc. These symptoms may not only be possible among adults, OCD can manifest among the young as well.

What is OCD?

OCD is a disorder of the brain and behavior. It involves obsession and compulsions. Most of the time, some of these are not harmless but it may also get in the way of important activities and daily life of a person.

Person with OCD has this thought stuck in their mind over and over again. No matter what they did, it won’t go away and it feels like covering them and hindering them to function well unless they do something about it. These are often accompanied by anxiety and fear. This can be because the warning system of your brain is not working properly thus it tells that you’re in danger although you are not.

People with OCD have different brain structure in some areas as scientists say.

People with OCD may not realize that their obsessions are unreasonable already and their repetitive behavior is a sign of a medical condition. But some who are aware of it feel powerless to stop these thoughts. These ritualistic behaviors often are way to ease fears.

OCD Causes

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder isn’t fully understood when it comes to causes. Experts still find it hard to pinpoint the real reason why it happens. But there are theories and these include:

1. Biological causes. OCD is a result of several changes in the body. It is said to be a change of the body’s natural chemistry and brain functioning. It is also said to be genetically hereditary but specific genes still are yet to be identified. A study states that a gene called SLC1A1 causes OCD though further studies are needed to prove this.

2. Environmental cause. Environmental factors are known to be a part of OCD reasons. It can be triggers such as infections and other external factors.

Symptoms of OCD

OCD is often repetitive, unwanted and obsessive. It can distress those who are suffering it. Here are some obsessive signs that you may be having it.

1. Fear of dirt contamination.

2. Fear of being contaminated by touching objects or shaking hands with somebody.

3. Likes things to be orderly and symmetrical.

4. Aggressive and horrific thoughts of harming oneself or others.

5. Unwanted thoughts that includes aggression, sexual subjects

6. Nagging doubt about door being unlocked or appliances not turned off

7. Stress when objects aren’t in their prior places.

Compulsive signs that may signal OCD are often repetitive. These repetitions aims to reduce anxiety related to obsessions. Therefore compulsive behaviors are often done to alleviate fears and distress from the obsession. These compulsions are often only a temporary relief. Sometimes these compulsions are not directly connected to the prevention of the feared event.

Here are some themes, signs and symptoms of compulsion.

1. Washing and cleaning. Washing hands until skin is raw.

2. Counting. Counting in certain patterns or counting the numbers of certain objects to make sure that it is in right number.

3. Checking. Checking doors to make sure they’re locked, stoves are off, and appliances are unplugged, faucet turned off, etc. And it’s done repeatedly.

4. Demanding reassurances from people around you.

5. Following a strict routine from morning until night.

6. Repeating prayers, words or praise.

7. Orderliness. Like making sure that all your pens in the desk are upside down or the canned goods in your pantry are facing the same way or making sure that all bottles you have are grouped with their same height.

These symptoms may vary in severity at times and may gradually tone down or may drastically worsen. These symptoms worsen when one is under stress. OCD is a lifelong disorder that can be disabling if it’s not treated.

Some perfectionists though don’t necessarily mean that they are obsessive compulsive. Once you suspect that you have OCD, and then you should see your doctors since treatments are always possible and available.

OCD Treatment

Psychotherapy. CBT or the cognitive behavior therapy is one technique used to treat OCD. It tries to enhance a person’s way of thinking, and behaving. It also helps patients by teaching them how to react to situations which will help them to react less fearfully and more positively to stressful situations.

Medication. Medications for OCD are also available and have long been known to help in the treatment. The commonly prescribed medications include anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants. They work right away but should be taken for long period gaps since it may have some adverse effects as well. Anti-depressants can also be a possible choice.

These medications are effective but maybe risky for some like children, teens or those in younger age. Monitoring of medication is highly advised. Some person with OCD may react positively with these treatments while some may not. Combination treatments are available and some augmentation treatments are also made available and are being innovated.

OCD Management Tips

Here are some tips to help you manage OCD. These tips though don’t guarantee that it can stop everything but it can surely manage and lessen symptoms and help you focus.

1. Stop and go. Use timer and let it go off. Go do something else after. Always plan ahead and schedule everything. Be strong enough even though it is stressful and painful to do.

2. Thought patterns. Reframe your thoughts and find alternatives to better attitude.

3. Allow for mistakes. You are not perfect. Do something different to change your thought pattern.

4. Refocus. Refocus and accept failure.

5. Time. Time is an asset. You own it. Enjoy your precious time.

Today further studies are being done to come up with the best possible solution for OCD. These new studies focused on neurobiology, genetics and treatments. It also aims to seek and discover the causes to address it further. More effective therapies are being studied to help patients as well as families to give support.

New range of interventions, medications and cognitive techniques are already on the way. Some who are in difficult cases of OCD a form of neurosurgery called Deep Brain Stimulation is already under evaluation in clinical trials.


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A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story




A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story


Patricia E. Day


by Carley Cooper

A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story is about a woman struggling throughout her life to get past a childhood of living in an abusive home with an alcoholic father.  I fell in love with Eleanor almost instantly because right from the beginning I could relate to so much of what she felt and struggled with. 

The story takes us through how damaging childhood abuse can be even well into adulthood.  Eleanor found it difficult to make friends or have healthy relationships.  Her psyche was so badly hurt that she didn’t really know right from wrong, or have a true concept of boundaries between people.  Her ability to trust was destroyed and she wanted to run to protect herself when people got to close.  She believed that she wasn’t good enough.  She always felt like an outsider, and very inadequate in most of her relationships; and would lash out if she felt she wasn’t being treated fairly.  She had an intense need to stay hidden from the world in darkness where no one could see her.  Other people saw her as being anti-social, when inside she was longing to step out and be a part of events and relationships around her.  She was reserved and ‘on-guard’ all the time. 

Later in her life, she re-committed herself to God.  As she got close to Him, she started to heal, and began to give her pain to Him.  She started to like the new woman she was becoming instead of wondering who she was.  Even the people around her began to notice the growth and maturity within her as she let go of all the pain that she carried for so long. 

She realized the bible is the manual for a good and happy life.  It helped her emotional problems come to the surface where they could be dealt with and healed.  She was also very much aware that she still had more healing left to do.  She learned to walk in a new direction with the help of new people that God brought into her life.  She found an inner peace that she knew came from God and being obedient to Him.

"Until that point of welcoming Jesus into her life, her self-respect and confidence levels were practically non-existent.  God heard her cries and He sent angels, in the form of friends, to help her move from being bewildered, to being amazed  It was in that state that she began to grow spiritually and emotionally." ~pg. 184

She learned to turn to Him when she needed support, ask for His help, and trust His judgement.  If only she knew years sooner. As she looked back, she could see that He had been with her, her entire life. 

Even though my own abuse story is much different than Eleanor’s, so much of her story is my story.  Therefore I know that so much of her story is that of other abuse survivors as well.   A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor’s Story is a book that will let survivors know they are not alone, and those who want to understand what it is like living in that world will indeed get a good look inside.  This in turn will help heal hearts, mend relationships, and dismantle some stigma around the issue of abuse. 

Starts Strip 5-stars

My Over-all Rating


Patricia E. Day

Patricia loves spending time with family and friends.  Past-times include gardening, reading, photography, walking and listening to good music.

She is married to an awesome Christian man, who has shown her that true love is enduring, kind, forgiving and supportive. She is a mother to two wonderful sons, of whom she is extremely proud, as well, step-Mom to a pretty neat son and daughter.  They have all blessed her with the incredible title of Nana or Nana Pat, ten times.

Her devotionals and other ramblings can be seen at:

She also contributes to Under the Cover of Prayer devotionals
Guest blog on and

Ebook version of of A Stolen Childhood - Eleanor's Story is available at:
Print Edition available.  $20.  Shipping extra.

Patricia always appreciates your comments.  So feel free to give her your opinions or any prayer requests.  Of course, it goes without saying that your review would be appreciated, after you read my book. 



BTW:  What inspired you to write A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  Friends told me ‘I could do it’.  They enjoyed my devotionals and said I needed to share more.

BTW:  Is there any part of A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story that is based on our own life (that you're comfortable sharing)?

PED:  The children and grandchildren are based on my own.  My children have always believed in my ability to be more, to do more.  Their inclusion is my tribute to each of them, so they know how very important they are to me.

BTW:  What was your favourite part of A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  The end.  Oh, not because it was finished – although it was a huge relief; but because the end evolved into a lead-in to the story of character, Priscilla – for another book.  It happened quite unexpectedly, and so I know it is for a purpose. 

BTW:  What was the hardest part to write in A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  The beginning.  What to write.  How to begin.  It was easy to be encouraged to write, and I appreciated everyone who told me to get started……..but word for word – day by day, year after year, I thought I would never accomplish it.  A contest gave me the kick start needed.  NANOWRIMO 2011 catapulted me into writing with the challenge to write 50,000 words in one month.  I committed to it, not truly believing I would reach that goal, but I did.  In fact I wrote over 52,000 words and got a certificate of achievement.  I have to thank my friend and mentor, author – Brenda Wood ( for daring me to do it.  

BTW:  Is there anything you wish was different about A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  Not really.  It is proof that I could do more than I had believed I could do. 

BTW:  Do you have any favourite authors or favourite books?  What is it that really strikes you about their work?

PED:  I read a lot.  Books by many authors and of various genres.  My greatest respect is for the writers who have not yet receive world-acclaim.  They have bravely gone where others have not dared to go.  Writing from their hearts, reaching out with their talents, despite the critics and their own self-doubt.

BTW:  Tell us your latest news?

PED:  I continue to write.  I have a children’s book in the development stage, I submit devotionals, as well as update my blog, and am working on my second full-length book.  I am learning the art of being bold.  This is hard for a private person, but marketing a book calls for audacious behavior.  I still have a long way to go.

BTW:  What book(s) are you reading now?

PED:  1.  My guide:How to write a novel by Rebecca Richmond and Claire Pickering.

         2.  25 Ways to Communicate Respect to Your Husband by Jennifer Flanders.

         I feel there is always more to learn about anything, no matter what your age or status.  It keeps life work living and current. 

BTW:  Did you learn anything from writing A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story and what was it?

PED:  Reaching out for help is easier said than done.  While I write about it, I understand it is difficult to take that first step.  It brings into the light of day that you have a need you cannot handle alone.  It is often something you would prefer to keep under wraps, but if your health is suffering and you do not feel safe, you absolutely need to seek help.

Once done, I have heard time and again, ‘If only I had done it sooner.  I could have saved myself, and loved ones, so much anguish.’

BTW:  Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

PED:  If you have someone in your life, who is holding you back; hurting you or destroying your hopes and dreams – get professional help.  Numerous agencies are established to give support.  No cost.  No judgement.  What you will find is a caring ear and another human being who understands your fear, and access to resources the general public is not aware of.

BTW:  Where can people buy A Stolen Childhood: Eleanor's Story?

PED:  The author.  Me.  Cost $20 plus shipping, but if ordered through referral from you pay $15 plus shipping.

Contact me:

My Sexual Assault Story


by Guest Author, Becca Moore

The topic I am going to write about is a very sensitive subject for many people. We have either been effected by it ourselves, or we know someone personally that has experienced such a horrific event in their lives. I SUGGEST THAT IF YOU ARE TRIGGERED EASILY TO PLEASE SKIP READING THIS TOPIC. 

It is a topic many of us have difficulty talking about. But it is my hope that I can reach out to someone who has been effected by sexual assault and let them know they are not alone. Maybe they are working through a particularly hard aspect of what happened to them and I am able to offer them just that little bit of hope that things will get better. Or maybe someone is just starting to work through it and they need to know they are not alone, that there are others’ that have experienced the same kind of fear they are feeling at this time.

I know many people are uncomfortable with this subject. Many don’t want to read what has happened to someone they know and care about. All I can ask you is to be understanding or not to read the subject at all. It is a touchy one, I do understand that and I do not ask anyone to traumatized themselves by reading this.

In November of 92′ a friend’s parents had gone away on vacation. She thought it would be fun to have a little party at her house. She knew a lot of people who could help get us alcohol. Considering that my mother either worked all the time or spent her free time at the bar, I was game. I believe it was around Thanksgiving time and I believe I had just turned 15, not 14 as I initially thought. That truly was a big milestone for me as it was the beginning of the suppressed memories surfacing. My friends’ boyfriend showed on time, but mine didn’t and he did not answer the phone. The guy my friend had called to bring us alcohol was friends’ with my boyfriend and he said he knew where my boyfriend was and he’d take me to him. I did not know this guy very well. He was in his 20′s obviously and a friend of my girlfriend’s and my boyfriend’s, but other than that, I knew very little about him. That was my first mistake…..I agreed to go with a stranger to find my boyfriend.

My thinking was we’d just find him, bring him back to the party and that would be the end of it.

I don’t remember much of the car ride and I can’t say it’s because I was drunk. I only had a few wine coolers’ and although it’s not something I’m particularly proud of, it takes more than a few wine coolers to get me out of my mind drunk, even at the age of 15. We found my boyfriend standing outside of either a bowling ally or skating rink (I can’t remember which and it’s not a vital memory) with another girl, a very pregnant girl. There wasn’t much I could say or do, but I did hop out of the truck to make my presence known. I will never forget the look on my boyfriend’s face when he saw me. This had been my second mistake…..I left my drink behind in the truck, with a stranger. I just stood there staring at my boyfriend and he stared back at me for a while. Knowing I couldn’t do much, I just got back in the truck and said I wanted to go back to my friend’s house.

We started to drive in that direction, I light a cig and took a big sip of my drink, big enough it was almost gone and I wished I had another one. “The Stranger” (as I will call him), said he had to stop at home, it wasn’t too far to pick something up. Being 15 and naive I didn’t really think too much about it. When we got to his home, I said I’d wait in the car, but he insisted I come inside, he’d only be a few minutes, but to be quiet his Mom was home. My thinking (I was 15 remember) was had his mom seen him with a 15-year-old girl she’d probably freak, so I followed him quietly in the house. My third mistake…..

He disappeared and I expected a light to turn on, but one never did. The room was so black I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face. Trust me, I tried. I kept backing up and trying to get closer to the door. I guess my instincts started to kick in at this point. My leg hit a table or something and I assume that was enough noise to let him know just where I was. Before I knew what was happening, he had a hold of me and we were falling onto a bed, my head locked between his legs. I couldn’t move or fight for myself. I was trapped and couldn’t go anywhere, believe me, I tried. I kicked my legs but that only assisted him in getting my pants off. I couldn’t scream because my head was being crushed by his thighs and although my arms were free, there wasn’t much I could do against an almost 300 pound man. He most certainly would have laughed and ignored my attempts to defend myself. I could feel my brain getting a heavy, snowed feeling. I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I now know that the date rape drug was available in the early 90′s and this is most likely what was slipped to me in my drink.

There is not much after that, that I remember. I woke up the next morning and dressed quickly. The only words I managed to mumble was I wanted to go back to my friends, which he drove me there and dropped me off on the side of the road.

I didn’t go into my friends. She would have known by the look on my face what had happened and I was ashamed. I walked home instead knowing my Mom would be gone to work already. I remember it was cold, there was snow on the ground and my brain kept feeling like it was popping up against my skull. I could actually hear it happening.

Once I got home, I showered over and over trying to get him off of me. I was ashamed, scared, repulsed, humiliated…..every bit of my innocence and trust was gone. I can remember just trying to get rid of the taste in my mouth and I threw up so many times and just kept brushing my teeth but nothing worked. Finally, I fell asleep, but it wasn’t restful. It was filled with the nightmares I sometimes still experience today.

A few days later I came home to my kitchen table, counters, stove and even some tables in the living room covered in roses. I thought they were roses from my Mom’s boyfriend as he had a habit of doing stuff like that. But they were roses from “the stranger”. I don’t know if he was trying to apologize in some sick way or if that was his way of saying “Go ahead blame me! They will never believe you! I sent you roses!” Either way… creeped me out and haunted me for years. Sometimes it still does.

I never actually knew what happened after I passed out. But after working through this while I was inpatient, I remembered the bruises on my wrists and the bruise on my thigh. I remembered the way I “felt” physically, emotionally and mentally afterwards and that was enough for me to KNOW for sure what happened without actually having the image in my head.

As you can see, I pointed out a bunch of mistakes I made a long the way. For years I blamed myself for what had happened to me. I always said I should have known better. But truthfully, it never was my fault. No, I shouldn’t have gotten in the car with a 20 something year old male stranger….but I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING RAPED! That is all on him. My only regret now is that I should have told someone all those years ago and he should have been serving his time instead of me being the only one to serve time. Either way, I would have suffered, but justice would have been served and he would have went to jail. Once I got in that car, I’m not responsible for the way he acted and the choices he made. Had this happened to one of my daughter’s I would have never blamed them for what the outcome was. I would have been there for some, been compassionate, showed them love and care, just like I need to do for myself.

I still have difficulty and I do still have flashbacks. I know people who know this person personally and I keep myself on high guard knowing that. 36-year-old me has herself much more protected than 15-year-old me had herself. That post is for another time!

What helped me the most was writing a letter to myself forgiving myself for the mistakes I made when I was 15 years old. When I read that letter back and thought of myself as a child, it helped me to sympathize with myself instead of blaming myself.

If you have been through something traumatic maybe you could try this as well. There are many support groups out there that deal with sexual assault (I’m working on joining one now). There’s also workbooks out there to help as well.

If you know someone who has been through something like this, the best thing you can do is be there for them. Support them and let them know they can always lean on you. Sometimes words aren’t enough, it’s your actions they need the most.


Becca Moore is a 36 year old bipolar mom of 7 children, who authored the books "Moorestorms A Guide for the Bipolar Parent", "Moorestorms Bipolar Warning Signs" and releasing soon "Moorestorms The Storms of a Bipolar Marriage".  She is married to her high school sweetheart Dan, who helped her co-author her last book. As you can see writing is her passion, and she has run her own blog at Moorestorms for the past 3 years. Becca and her husband have lived in Pennsylvania with their 7 children their entire lives and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

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Changing Bipolar Disorder: Through Forgiveness

by Carley Cooper  Link to this pic on

This is the fourth article in, what’s turned out to be, a series on Changing Bipolar Disorder. If you haven’t read the first three they are:

Journaling has given me the tools I need to gather important information. Healthy food and exercise have helped improve the physical part of me. Positive Thinking helped to make my mind healthy. However, being whole and healthy involves 3 aspects; body, mind, and soul. If any one of those is unhealthy, the whole package is flawed.

So What about the Soul?

Personally, I’m a strong Christian; but whatever your spiritual beliefs or practices, it directly affects your soul. Belief in a higher power helps us to realize that we are part of something larger. There is a place and a purpose for each one of us. No one is an accident; and we are each very loved by God. This kind of peace of mind can help mental health issues as much as medication, therapy, food, or exercise. Everyone longs to feel these things. It’s a basic human need.

Forgiveness is the Key

Forgiveness. Do you know the definition? I’m willing to bet that you believe you do. I know that because I believed it myself. The one biggest things that has helped my state of mind the most is letting go of all the burdens that I was carrying. To let go, means to forgive; others, God, and myself. It wasn’t until I learned how to forgive that I realized I didn’t truly know the definition to start with. The dictionary defines it as 1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve. 2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).

An Exercise in Letting Go

I figured out what forgiveness is all about during a counselling session. I was asked to write letters to each person (including myself) that I needed to forgive telling them that I forgive them and why. I didn’t send them. I didn’t need to in order to forgive. You see the most important point about forgiveness is that it’s a gift to yourself. It’s not something you do for the other person. Forgiving does not mean that you’re telling them what they did was OK. Nor does it mean that you suddenly have to go back to being best buds. What it means is that you are letting go, in your heart; the pain, anger, and frustration that the other person has caused you.

When I wrote the letters my counsellor had me rip them up stating out loud that “I forgive ____ for ____” as I ripped. Then I tossed them into the trash. At first I wasn’t sure that ripping up paper was really going to alter my whole life; but it did. The symbolism of throwing out the problem and the hurtful person released the pain from my heart. As such the confusion and other ugly pictures were let go from my mind. I no longer carried the pain or bad memories. Granted I didn’t actually forget, but the memories are no longer painful or haunt me. In some cases I had to continue to forgive over and over for a while, but eventually all was gone. I even forgave my abusers. I can think about those people now and what happened and I no longer feel anger, hurt or frustration. The bad dreams have stopped. I feel lighter and at peace.

The final steps are faith in God, and to talk to Him (or your higher power) on a daily basis. God loves you. He wants you to be at peace with Him, others, and yourself. He wants us to be happy. What greater treatment do we need to help BPD than to be at peace?

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First Breakdown

by Guest Author, Becca MooreLink to this pic on

I don’t remember all the details of that night or what inspired the events that were about to take place. I imagine my father and mother had gotten into some kind of tug of war match over me and it was the last straw that broke the camel’s back so to speak. I can remember I had locked myself in my room. I wanted to be alone, but I was so full of rage over everything that was going on I couldn’t contain it any longer. I had my door locked, but my mom wasn’t going away so I blocked my bedroom door with the dressers I had in my room so I was sure she couldn’t get in. Where I had that strength come from I’ll never know. I was 13 years old and maybe 85 pounds.

I remember the screaming, I was screaming so loud, no coherent words, just screams of absolute rage. I thought about busting everything in my room and began throwing things. When things wouldn’t break, I began hitting the walls. I just kept hitting this one spot over and over and over again until finally my hand went through it.

As fast as it all started, it stopped and I flopped on my bed in exhaustion. Somehow my bed was away from the wall and right in the middle of the floor. Another thing I don’t remember doing in my fit of rage. I could hear my mom on the phone with someone and I thought maybe it was the cops, but she had called a family member for help to try to break into my room.

In hindsight, looking back on how I acted and how I would act in the future when stress got to be too much, that call should have been for an ambulance. My mom had known from the time I was about 6 or 7 years old I had a terrible time sleeping. I would go days without sleep and I was always hearing and seeing things that no one else saw. I was always filled with paranoia and anxiety. Although my mom may not have known what bipolar was, she absolutely had to know something was not right with me and she should have sought the kind of help for me that I am now seeking for two of my own children. I believe had she sought that help for me, living a life as a bipolar adult wouldn’t be so hard sometimes.

But my mom didn’t believe in mental illness, much like the rest of my family and for those that do believe, they believe it should be hidden. I can say this because not only when I was breaking down in rage at the age of 13 was my cry for help ignored, so was my success for writing a book and having an article written about me in the newspaper. My mom is long gone now, but not another single family member has called to wish me congrats on any of the accomplishments that have come from this book. It hurts and it hits hard sometimes, but I know I have my husband and my children’s support and that’s what truly matters!


Becca Moore is a 36 year old bipolar mom of 7 children, who authored the books "Moorestorms A Guide for the Bipolar Parent", "Moorestorms Bipolar Warning Signs" and releasing soon "Moorestorms The Storms of a Bipolar Marriage".  She is married to her high school sweetheart Dan, who helped her co-author her last book. As you can see writing is her passion, and she has run her own blog at Moorestorms for the past 3 years. Becca and her husband have lived in Pennsylvania with their 7 children their entire lives and couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

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