Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Baaaackkkk!

Here I am again. It's 2am. I should be sleeping but I can't. I worked this past weekend and when I work (overnight shift) it usually screws me up with my sleep patterns. I won't be back to normal for a few days. So here I am. If you're here at the same hour as me, I'm sorry. I hope you aren't being beat by insomnia, or pains, or worries. Maybe my posting can serve as a sedative...heheh.

So...what's on my mind tonight? Something I heard this morning as I was getting ready to leave work. There was this radio program on overhead at the hospital (they pipe in music all night and the radio station switches to talk show format in the morning on Sundays) where they were talking to some medical experts of some kind. I don't remember precisely what their specialties were, but they were studying something or other at Harvard Medical School.

They had "discovered" a new psychological disorder and were sharing this with the world - at least the world that was listening to that station at 6:30am on a Sunday. This new disorder that they had "discovered" was called IED...which stands for "Impulsive explosive disorder" or something like that. The characteristics of this new disorder included that the person "flew off the handle" frequently and had "incidences of temper."

When did losing your temper become a disorder? I find this incredible. When I was growing up it was simply called "being angry." My husband tells me about how as a kid if his mom was angry you stayed out of her way. Would that be considered a "treatment?" So as a child my husband instinctually knew how to treat his mother's "disorder?"

I think that the true disorder is that we think of being angry as a disorder. Something that needs to be treated. Everyone tries so hard to be politically correct. They want to turn the other cheek, to be kind and patient and understanding. In polite society we don't get angry. We get passive-aggressive. We "forget" things. We develop other disorders to avoid admitting we are angry.

I am currently reading a book called "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls." The author is a clinical psychologist who has treated hundreds of adolescent girls and their families for various problems. In her book she talks about how 8 million girls in the United States suffer from anorexia. That's one of every five girls. Anorexia is a disorder that is a metaphor for what young girls and women cope with when they face a western culture that has very unhealthy views of what a woman should be. Anorexia is "...a young woman's statement that she will become what the culture asks of its women, which is that they be thin and nonthreatening."(p.175, "Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls)

Both men and women avoid admitting to many anger issues by turning to alcohol, drugs, extremeisms, and suicide. A professor I had in college spoke of depression as anger turned inward. Why must we turn anger anywhere other than where it should be directed? Why is it so unsafe to express anger?

I was planning to explore this topic in my writing, and will at another time, but my son just appeared and needs my attention. Lest I leave him with any issues that would cause him to develop IED, I am going to sign off and tend to his needs. I will write more on this later.

Here are my five things:

1.) I am grateful for my sister-in-law who wrote me a beautiful note on facebook the other day. It lifted my spirits.
2.) I am grateful for my son's love
3.) I am grateful for good books that make you think
4.) I am grateful that I am working out my own anger issues
5.) I am grateful that we are half way through the winter

My bucket list:

1.) Before I die I want to "talk someone down from the ledge."
2.) Before I die I want to stop feeling angry all the time
3.) Before I die I want to experience unfettered and unpunished joy
4.) Before I die I want to cause someone else to feel unfettered and unpunished joy
5.) Before I die I want to give someone refuge

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