Monday, November 28, 2016

Reality Bytes

REALITY BYTES: Asleep At The Wheel


More often than not, a psychiatric diagnosis is made after a brief interview where the "physician" observes an apparent set of symptoms that fall into some category of dysfunction and abnormality. So after about fifteen minutes in a sterile, foreign environment, the observed symptoms are almost immediately categorized by level of severity and the diagnosis is magically transformed into one of several very expensive, very new, and very over prescribed medications that are often used off-label by psychiatric practitioners.


Did we not learn anything from the Hawthorne studies where we learned that the very act of observation in and of itself changes not only behavior, but also performance of subjects in any given setting?


There simply is no such thing as "natural" observation. The act of observing changes behavior, and I can tell you for certain that the act of being observed sure changes mine!


Largely driven by pharmaceutical conglomerates, a psychiatric diagnosis can be every bit a trendy as a pair of designer jeans back in middle school. It seems that lately, that diagnoses are driven more and more by big Pharma and the latest and greatest pharmaceutical discovery.


It started in the 70's when Valium first became known as "Mommy's Little Helpers."


The 80's brought with it the discovery of Prozac, the wonder drug. And before we knew it, everyone from the Island to the Upper East Side was popping the capsules on a daily basis. Seeing a shrink was the norm, not the exception.. It was almost trendy to be depressed. So long as it stopped there.


But next? Next came the smart pills. The Adderall, Provigil, the nap in a bottle. Stimulants were to late 90's what cocaine was in the 70's. Only this time they were prescribed, and they were socially acceptable, and they were given to children. Parents from Westchester and Scarsdale rushed to the nearest doctor in town to get their children on the fast track to the Ivy League. I would not be surprised if Shire-Richwood (the company that developed the pharmaceutical gem) bought add space in pre-schools. ADD. It's almost cool to be diagnosed with it. shit—look at Ty Pennington. He's a man's man. When I grow up, I wanna be hyperactive too! And bam—there is was in the next edition of the DSM-IV: ADD with Adult onset. You don't even need to be hyperactive anymore, just N.O.S.. (not otherwise specified).


Now we have Depakote & Seroquel and everyone from Britney Spears to the kid next door is suddenly bipolar. And apparently, now I am too! Could it be that I'm just moody or having a bad day? Could it be that your annoying personality and is getting under my skin? Or that maybe, just, maybe I have good reason to be angry or upset? It couldn't possibly be that years of chronic stress have finally just pushed me over the edge?


Or could it?


So after years of being medicated with every pharmaceutical from Ativan to Zoloft, I finally got that golden diagnosis that makes me almost as cool as Britney or Paris, and so, yes-- I have been diagnosed bipolar too. I've also been diagnosed with just about everything else that appears within the spectrum of anxiety disorders, so is it any wonder that I find it a little bit unnerving to place myself in the oh, so capable hands of a shrink who seems to have gotten his degree out of some cracker jack box-- because surely no competent medical professional would dare to place me on just about every sedative and anti-psychotic medication or threaten to have me institutionalized simply because I suggested he may actually want to treat me rather than medicate me... but that would be too labor intensive for a shrink who divides his time between the local community mental health agency and the county jail.


FUN! I'm certifiable now!!!


So rather than take the time to listen to a word I have to say, or try something archaic like actually evaluating my symptoms and reviewing my medical history before treating me with the latest and greatest R&D breakthrough to hit the Pharmaceutical Industry since Penicillin.



I have and taken pretty much every pill.


If I'm happy I'm grandiose. If I'm sad, I'm chronically depressed. If I'm angry I'm paranoid. When I'm confident I'm narcissistic, and when I'm excited I must be manic. Couldn't't it just be that you're constant bullshit is really just pissing me the fuck off?


I have finally become every bit as crazy as I could have possibly imagined one being. Wouldn't it be nice to know that maybe, just maybe, there was some hope before my entire body and mind were tweaked with every artificial emotion --



Unfortunately, the one thing I am not is psychotic, though I often wish I were!


The idea of living in an alternative reality is most appealing! A place where this hell-hole I call home might is sprinkled with glitter and daffodils.


Dust? Not here. Couldn't be. I just vacuumed three years ago and I saw Tinkerbell flying overhead spreading fairy dust while she thought I was sleeping!



No. Unfortunately, I am not psychotic, but I might let you think that I am! It's a little more fun that way… for both of us!


Until, of course, until it gets real. Until I am so far beyond exhausted that I can hardly get my ass out of bed or sleep through my alarm because I pushed myself way too hard for way too long.... I have fallen asleep during my lunch hour, found myself dozing off during a conference call-- or worse--- a webinar!


It is hard enough to navigate a big boxy 5-speed SUV wide awake. Try doing it when your eyes start to feel blurry. Just add a huge ass deer bumper to that contraption, and I'm definitely a danger to others!


I have hit way too many non-moving objects while awake and focused-- not to mention the times I am tired and distracted!


Asleep at the wheel again!


Them I get home... eventually... and it happens again! Asleep at the wheel of the very worst kind: My mouse wheel!


The Logitech mouse optical bar that controls my entire world! How many times have I accidentally lost or sent files simply from "bumping" the wheel?


I lost a whole hard drive once-- back when they were really, really expensive! At least no one got hurt. Well, not that time!


There was actually one time I fell asleep sitting up with a cigarette burning over somewhere too close to my keyboard. My new laptop that I bought with my very last disbursement of my student loans. It was an all-in-one deal. I must have had a cigarette in my hand, my mouth-- don't even remember... but after a few minutes went by, probably a few hours, maybe even a few days, and I woke up to find my favorite letter melted into the motherboard just beneath the flimsy little keys.


That was no fun, since I had to change all my passwords using a pen jabbing at the empty space on my keyboard where my F-key used to be.


I recently had to put another poor keyboard to rest along with its antiquated predecessors of roller balls, and peripherals that I bought long before the USB port was ever an option! So there lays my keyboard, along with a few outdated mice, printer cables, cable splitters, and a a whole lot of cords that surge protectors.


I can't say why exactly, but for some (pathological) reason, I still have mice that I used to run with DOS before I upgraded to Windows 3.1. Yes-- I have quite an extensive cord collection! Zip drives, Floppy disks, thermal paper that has turned yellow since they I don't think you can even find a fax machine that still uses those 6 foot rolls I used to buy in the early '90's.


They are in there somewhere, tucked away in boxes filled with telephone cords, old school printer cables and hardly modern gender switchers! Buried along with an external zip drive and my first hot swappable floppy disk drive and CD . Because sadly, I do not think I could function in this world if I were attached to a keyboard that was missing the letter "F".


But don't worry—I got a new one. I could not live or die without using my favorite word in the English language. No—that one needed to be replaced. Next generation: Wireless! Woo-hoo! Now we're talking. Falling asleep at the wheel can be a problem—especially for a cat. Poor little thing. She is so used to watching me move it around furiously – just enough to catch the signal at just the right angle, my poor cat thinks it's a toy. The only mouse that is more fun to chase than that bird she once caught when she jumped off the porch. Poor little spotty, she curls up next to the PC tower because it is warmer than my bed. My mouse gets more attention than my poor little kitty cat. Holy shit! My priorities are fucked up!


But still… here I am, huddled over the keyboard while the world waits for me outside. I could be sitting in a bar. I could be mailing a letter. I could be taking a walk—but no. Here I am. Stuck like a zombie in front of the keyboard.




"COMPUTER OFF: MAKE IT STOP!"




I burned of staring at that the computer screen begins to morph into strange little dots in my peripheral vision. I'm so stressed out that I shake when I write, and I'm so stressed out that my adrenaline and cortisol levels are literally damaging my brain. If I'm not crazy yet, trust me I'm well on my way!



There is no diagnosis for being lonely. But if there were how would it best be described? Being in a room full of people. Being in crisis and no one to call-- or worse calling someone when in crisis and no one shows up? Which is worse? I think I'd rather not make that call. Why, you may ask? Because we can convince ourselves that is simply because others are busy-- certainly not because they don't care when deep inside we know the truth.


Do I really want to be reminded that I have spent just under 36 years on this planet and that I cannot think of one person I could rely upon in an emergency. Not a single person to call. No emergency contact number, no permanent home address. And even if I could come up with a name or number, who among them could I possibly trust to take care of Spotty? Shit-- I can't think if anyone who would might even notice that my car hadn't moved -- or that I might have.


This concerns me more than I could possibly let on... who will know t check on Spotty? Who would notice? It is not her fault that I don't play well with others. No one would notice at all-- at least until they actually needed something from me.


Everybody calls me in crisis. And time and time again I come running. But sometimes I would just rather be alone. In silence. In White Noise. Where I am safe. Where I am free. Where I am trapped and where I am completely and utterly alone.


Other times, I just want to run. I don't know where; don't why, just run. So I can be alone in a strange city where it is actually okay for me to be alone. It is easier to remove myself from the social circles of days gone by, high school reunions, Family or College re-unions....


And though I have read quite a bit about the physiology associated with the "fight or flight" instinct-- I still don't know if I am running towards something or away from another.


I am, and always have been, "a man without a country." I am a woman without a home. I always have been, and even as an adult I still felt Homeless at Home. (Durant, 2002)


So I moved as far as I could from the obvious places one might expect me to find me. I am definitely a "New Yorker," but only in spirit and in attitude. So I really can't go home again. That simply is not an option. And even if I were invited to go to one of four possible high school reunions, what would be the point? What for?

To be reminded yet again how much potential I used to have?




Why bother going back to the "glory days" of football uniforms and cheerleader skirts? Is our desire to participate in the juvenile, yet ritualistic tradition of seeing how well we measured up against our peers? Is the competition over yet, or are we still waiting to see who has the most toys, the biggest diamond, or the prettiest trophy wife after all is said and done? Are those events driven by our desire to see how far come or how far others have fallen? To see that the girl who fucked my boyfriend in the tenth grade is now wearing his ring? To listen to my sorority sisters who still gossip about eating disorders and drug problems?


Life is sometimes like a car wreck, you don't want to look, but you can't turn seem to turn away. And yes, secretly, deep down inside, we are a bit relieved if not happy that it happened to some extent meone else instead of ourselves. Yep, no question: better him then me!


So for everyone out there who recently promised to help before , during, and after my surgery-- you can all breathe a sigh of relief... You need not worry that I might actually take you up on that promise.


If you don't know me well enough to know how difficult it is for me to ask for anything, then clearly you would be the last person I want to see when I wake up the hospital.


I don't care if it is breast cancer or a broken toe-- you are not welcome here. I don't call during a crisis. Not because I'm strong, not because I'm brave, and not because I'm weak. Simply because I'm not that person. I'm not stoic, I'm not brave, I'm just not that person!


If or when I'm in trouble, disappointment and broken promises are the very last thing I need or want. Even if it out of some misplaced sense of pity or superficial concern. I have been in trouble before. I know what to expect. I am certainly old enough, and apparently smart enough to have learned the rules of the game by now.


So if you catch me feeling sad, lonely, or just plain sorry for myself, take comfort in knowing that I expect you to walk away-- much like you have in the past. And don't worry, it's okay to think to yourself, better me than you.


REALITY BYTES


So instead, I find it is far better to drown myself in White Noise then baby bullshit and pure stupidity.



To distract myself with fancy websites, useless information, self-reflection, loud music... Fancy gadgets, the newest widgets, and everything else that completely distracts us from the reality of our existence.


To keep us from realizing that we may actually be completely alone in this world and maybe even in the next one too...


It is easier to fake a smile and go about my merry way than to be confronted with the fact that nobody gives a shit about how I feel or what I've been doing, unless, of course, I have something they need.


Something of value, something material. Something concrete. Something that can be sold, or something that can be used. Something, of course, other than me.


Because sadly, what gets lost in translation, is the very fact that I am something of value. Something to love. Something to hold on to. Someone who will stay by your side even if it hurts me to do so.


The one thing you will never know, is just how much it hurts to watch you walk out the door. Especially when I knew it was coming, or perhaps maybe the only way it could ever have been.


I think I'm done.


You can come, you can go-- whenever you like. Eventually I do smarten up-- and the one time you come knocking, I may just not bother to let you in.


Yes-- White Noise.



White Noise, Dark Nights. Sanity and Superheroes.




So please don't call me and ask, "how are you?"


Unless you really want to know, don't bother asking. Because one of these days, when you least expect it, I might be ready to tell you. I might be ready to tell the world. I might just tell you to sit your ass down and tell you exactly how I am. And let me warn you: it's not good.



Dark empty nights are only special if you can endure the silence. Not just the midnight hours, but the long stretches of silence and solitude that can only be cherished by those who not only appreciate it, but by those who are capable of creating their own White Noise.


I am lucky that I actually enjoy the dark in the dead of night. Because only then am I am completely free to enjoy the complex whisper of the midnight hour. And finally, just as before the sun comes up, and a quiet calm comes over my body and mind. A single moment where I gain complete control over my racing thoughts and busy mind. It only then when I can actually moment write, post, and submit.






Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.

Nashville, Tennessee



"You may not care how much I know, but you don't know how much I care."



________________________________________________________________




Reference: The Politics of the DSM

LIVE: What's In A Name?

Friday, June 13, 2008 7:13 PM

From: "Elyssa Durant"

To: "Elyssa Danielle Durant" Message contains attachmentsWhat.docx (27KB)




Posted by Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M. 

Friday, June 13, 2008

Labels: Drafts Dark Night, Diagnosis, DSM-IV, Psychiatry, Smart Pills, Sorry Works, White Noise 



^ed 


^ed 



^ed 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Network Analyzer: Information

Connection
- Default Gateway: N/A
- DNS Server: N/A

Wi-Fi Information
- Network Connected: No
- SSID: ChillyWilly1
- BSSID: 84:0:2d:fa:32:8
- Vendor: N/A
- IP Address: N/A
- Subnet Mask: 0.0.0.0
- MAC Address: N/A
- Received Since Boot: 921.26 KB
- Sent Since Boot: 418.99 KB


Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.
Research & Policy Analyst '

Network Analyzer: Information

Connection
- Default Gateway: N/A
- DNS Server: N/A

Wi-Fi Information
- Network Connected: No
- SSID: ChillyWilly1
- BSSID: 84:0:2d:fa:32:8
- Vendor: N/A
- IP Address: N/A
- Subnet Mask: 0.0.0.0
- MAC Address: N/A
- Received Since Boot: 894.79 KB
- Sent Since Boot: 400.27 KB


Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.
Research & Policy Analyst '

The Science of Social Participation

The Science of Social Participation

The Science of Social Participation
from the break-it-down dept.


cold fjord writes in with this story about research that breaks down Twitter conversations in 6 basic types.

The Pew Research Center and the Social Media Research Foundation analyzed thousands of twitter conversations going back to 2010. They found these conversations occurred based on the structure of the individual's Twitter network. For example, the subjects and content that a person tweets about, the people they follow, the people who follow them and the way they network creates a structure of social activity. In a recently released report Pew reports that they uncovered six distinct patterns for these structures. 'These are data-driven early steps in understanding Twitter discussion structures that contribute to the emerging science of social participation,' Ben Shneiderman professor of computer science at the University of Maryland ... 'This new field is emerging right before our eyes and could eventually have a large impact on our understanding of everything from health to community safety, from business innovation to citizen science and from civic engagement to sustainable energy programs.' ... 'These maps provide insights into people's behavior in a way that complements and expands on traditional research methods ... '



Elyssa D. Durant, Ed.M.
Research &  Policy Analyst

Community Apathy


Community Apathy in Nashville, Tennessee

April 13, 2009

 

Can you please tell me who I could speak with (preferably informally) about a situation with Section 8 and MDHA.

 

I have already spoken with Pat Clark, director of MDHA, and she has been an unsympathetic to the fact that there has been an ongoing problem with drugs and violence with children in the same complex.

 

 

Legal Aid / or pro-bono refused to will represent me since my parents are attorneys. They told me I would have to get the money for court fees and a court reporter from them. That just ain't gonna happen.

 

 

I am 36 years old.

 

If there is someone in particular who works closely with the housing authority and utilities, kindly ask them if you can release their name to me(or vice versa) so I can make sure it on the record before I loose my section 8. The landlord is paid in full, but I still have to move by the 22nd.

.

 

Thanks so much. If there is anyone you can think please let me know. There is stigma and judgment that comes long with a person who lives in public housing, but can assure you it would not be my first choice.

 

Thank your discretion and assistance.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Elyssa Durant

ed70@columbia.edu

6154248810

 

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

 

UPDATE: This has yet to bet settled. I received no response to my last inquiry received no response. I have lost my apartment and my section 8 coverage willl end on the forst of the month yet I cannot find an apartment due to the negative reference from the last landlord.

 

After spending 4 days in court, judges insisted that I hire (and pay for) a court reporter since they would not accept an affidavit from my an attorney in Pennsylvania.

 

The landlord did a "garnishment execution" without my knowledge for several hundreds of dollars which included attorneys fees, however the attorney refused to speak with me directly throughout the entire process, and told me if I wanted any information about my account, I would have to have an attorney contact him.

 

I have received no response from anyone in Metro despite multiple communications with virtually every office ranging from the Metro City Council, the Mayors Office of Neighborhoods, Metro Social Services, my Congressman, my state representative. I am truly disgusted by the apathy and lack of decency and courtesy that I have received from a city I have thought of as home for the last fourteen years. In fact, the only time I received any calls or emails from people I once respected and supported, were in reference to campaign contributions asking me to support them at upcoming events and elections.

 

That makes me sick. I have volunteered my time and money even when I didn't have it. I have decided to leave this place, however I don't even have enough money to do that. I do not have an address so I cannot even update my drivers license or voter registration.

 

I spend my nights sitting outside CyberSquatting since the temporary housing facility I have been staying at removed the modem to prevent me from filing complaints. The other residents have destroyed my property, disposed of my food and became violent with me. One came within inches of hitting me with a waffle iron simply because I asked where I could place my food since it keeps getting thrown out or moved. I have been told by instructed not to call mobile crisis since they do not want to neighbors to know that this place is really just a nut house in disguise.

 

My personal items including paperwork that is necessary to appeal my Social Security disability scheduled to be terminated on the 1st as well as other benefits I receive such as food stamps to help me scape by on $606.00 per month.

 

I had to pay substantial fees to obtain certified documents from Court in order to verify that the account had in fact been settled, yet I still cannot find a single person to assist me in resolving this horrific situation and face homelessness, yet even homeless prevention services is unable to assist me.

 

Welcome to my city: Nashville, Tennessee. You #fail

 

Updated July 27, 2009 8:45am

 

Elyssa Durant

Hell, USA

 

 

 

 

 

 


^ed