Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Powers That Beat: There Are No Victims Here! - Sent Using Google Toolbar

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.
Nashville, Tennessee
(615) 424-8810


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

______________________________


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Elyssa Durant <elyssa.durant@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 7:41 PM
Subject: The Powers That Beat: There Are No Victims Here! - Sent Using Google Toolbar
To: ed70@columbia.edu


The Powers That Beat: There Are No Victims Here!


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The Powers That Beat: There Are No Victims Here!

Friday, June 13, 2008

What's In A Name?

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)


What's In A Name? Does a Diagnosis By Any Other Name Smell Just As Sweet?

More often than not, a psychiatric diagnosis is characterized by a set of apparent, subjective perceived set of personality and character traits observed by a "clinician" in a sterile, foreign environment. Did we not learn anything from the GE study where the very act of observation in and of itself changes the not only behavior but also performance of the subjects in a 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 Guess? jeans back in middle school. It seems that lately, the diagnosis is driven more and more by the latest and greatest pharmaceutical discovery and the next generation of off-label used. 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. IO wouldn't 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 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. It couldn't be that I'm just moody or having a bad day. It couldn't be that your annoying obnoxious personality and annoying little jokes are really just pissing off. Or that constant stress and incompetence has finally pushed me over the edge? Or could it?

Yeah, I've been diagnosed bipolar. I've also been diagnosed with everything from A-Z 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 telling excited I' must be manic. Couldn't it just be that you're constant bullshit is just pissing me the fuck off?

The one thing I'm not is psychotic—although I often wish I were. The idea of living in some alternative reality is most appealing—a place where hell-hole I call home is sprinkled with glitter and daffodils. What's that you see? A cob web? What cob web? No, that's not a cob web. What are you talking about? What dust? Allergies, you say? Couldn't be. I vacuumed three years ago and the tooth fairy just sprinkled glitter and pixie dust all over the living room!

No. I'm not psychotic, but I'll let you think that I am. It's a little more fun that way… until it gets real.

Until I am so far beyond exhausted that I can hardly get my ass out of bed or so fucking tired that I mumble in my sleep. I'm so god-damned tired that I start mumbling in my sleep—and whadda ya know? sleep at the wheel again? No, not the steering wheel. The Logitech mouse that controls my entire world!

But at least no one got hurt—that time! Then there was the time I was fucking tired I fell asleep sitting up. Sitting up with cigarette in my hand. Well, shit! Now I have to change all my passwords because my favorite letter has melted into the keyboard. So I put my poor keyboard to rest with its antiquated roller ball mouse and hot swappable floppy disk drive. Because sadly I could not 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. Couldn't 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 35.5 years on this planet and that there is nobody that I can call? But yet everybody calls me in crisis. And time and time again I come running. Knowing that I my good nature, or attachment / affiliation needs will supersede basic, human, good common sense. So 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.

Yet other I just want to run. Don't know where, don't why, just run. So I can be alone in a strange 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 Re-unions, and college get togethers.... What for? To be reminded of how cute I was back then? To see the girl that fucked my boyfriend in the tenth grade now wears his ring? Sorority sisters who still gossip about eating disorders and drug problems? Are those events driven by our desire to see how far come or how far others have fallen?

It's kind of like a car wreck, you don't want to look, and though you can't turn away, you are secretly happy inside thinking to yourself, better him then me. So I don't call in crisis. Better to drown myself in white noise then baby bullshit and organized chaos. To distract myself with fancy websites, useless information, self-reflection, loud music and fancy gadgets that distracts us from the realization that we are completely and utterly alone. In this world and maybe even the next... Who wants to be confronted with the reality that nobody and I mean nobody gives a shit. Unless, of course, I have something they need. Something of value. Something material. Something concrete. Something they can sell something they can take, or something they can use. Something other than me, of course. 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. But I'll never let you know just how much it hurts when I watch you walk out the door. Maybe next time, instead, I just won't let you in. Yes-- white noise.

Does anybody really give a rat's ass about how I really feel inside?

So the next time you call someone and casually ask, so how are you? How have you been? I hope you are prepared to sit your ass down and listen up because you might just really find out!

Because unless you really want to know, don't bother asking: and be forewarned that one of these I just might tell you. I hope you have a few extra hours on your hands, because one of these days, when you least expect it, you'll find me just lonely enough, or maybe even just angry enough that I might be ready to tell you. I might be ready to tell the world. I might just sit your ass down and tell you exactly how I am. And let me warn you: it's not good.

So we suffer in silence. Endure the long nights, and cherish the white noise.


Reference: The Politics of the DSM
________________________________________________________________

Elyssa Durant, Ed.M.

Nashville, Tennessee

Reply to: elyssa.durant@columbia.edu

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

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Posted by Elyssa Durant at 5:29 PM Links to this post

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Finding My Voice in the Silent Hours: White Noise

I have put a lot of myself out there lately from my deepest secrets to my deepest fears. I'm too old to start over but too young to forget. Like so many women-- no... like so many people... I'm a little bit of everything... so for those of you who are listening (and those of us who are "kicking ass and taking names," enjoy the ride!

The curious can find anything and everything! I often wonder why it is so much easier for others to to get my information than it is for me to get about myself!

I'm a digger. To be clear, that is "digger." I never use the "N" word, and I'm way too proud to marry for money.

I'm a digger. I love information. I love to find, I love to collect it, but most of all, I love to use it.

Posted via email from ElyssaD's Posterous

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