Linda L Kruschke

@lindakruschke | contributor
I believe that our stories are powerful. Hearing the stories of others gives me hope and a feeling of not being alone. Sharing my story with others gives me a sense of purpose as I give hope to them. We were not created to be solitary creatures. We need relationship and I've found that those of us who struggle with pain, trauma, and illness give more to the relationship equation than those who have it all together.
Community Voices

Is The Mighy a dating site?

How many of you have received “chat” requests and you accept, thinking someone wants to talk about MH issues? They start off just saying “hi”, how are you doing today? I ask what brings you to The Mighty? No response! Then, where do you live? Are you married? Children? I love your name?? Want to talk about other issues, etc. I then look at his profile: no posts-hasn’t joined any groups. (Something I should have done in the 1st place)! I blocked immediately! I reported to the Mighty staff and they found out it was the same person. I was told he was banned from the site. Guess what? He’s back! I got a request today. I accepted. He looked familiar. I checked his profile. No posts. No groups. I played along for a while, then I blasted him! I blocked and contacted the staff again. The name he’s using now is George davit. The Mighty is supposed to be a safe platform for us to talk about our deepest issues and to support others. I now feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. Something has to be done. (This is my 1st post, and I’m very upset writing this so please excuse me if I didn’t word it correctly).

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Community Voices

My therapist makes me uncomfortable, is it normal for everyone?

Ok so I have fibromyalgia for more than 5 years and I've been taking medication and I changed my food habits lifestyle habits etc., recently I'm attending CBT sessions. But in multiple occasions therapist made a point that my pain is not a big deal. I know she's trying to motivate my but sometimes that makes me doubt myself. 😔 Is my pain really not there? is it completely psychological and I'm exaggerating it? Am I being a cry baby? We don't have kids yet because I wasn't able to manage by myself. It's this year that I didn't have any unexplained flare-ups. She told me to have kids as they will provide distraction and also she again mentioned that my pain is not a big deal. It's not like I don't want to have kids I'm also aware of biological clock. But her comments make me little uncomfortable and I feel like I'm being unheard. Am I wrong to feel that way? #ChronicDepression #Anxiety #Fibromyalgia #ChronicIllness

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We Need to Take the Trauma of Sexual Coercion More Seriously

We need to talk about sexual abuse and violence across its wider spectrum. One form that isn’t discussed much but leaves survivors struggling with the aftermath — often without the ability to put language to their experience — is coercive rape. Coercive rape is just that — rape. It isn’t sex because the consent is fabricated. If you manipulate someone this isn’t seduction. It’s exploiting them for your own gain. It’s getting them to change their behavior and actions. If saying “no” isn’t respected, a “yes” cannot be valid. If that “yes” is worn down, if that “yes” is given out of fear of the consequences, or if that “yes” is achieved under emotional duress with constant pressure before or after refusal, it’s not really a yes. This is coercion. It is not enough for us to discuss the fact that no means no, we must also see how the yes is obtained and when the yes is invalid. We need to start looking at freely obtained consent, and even more than that, a freely-obtained enthusiastic yes. We cannot arrogantly assume consent or put the responsibility on someone to tell us to stop or say no. If someone respects you, if they are attuned to you and your body language as they should be, then they can see if you are uncomfortable and stop to ask or stop altogether to be safe. Looking away, crying, saying “not now,” or looking distant and vacant are all things that indicate no, and should be taken as signs to stop. Abusers use this tactic because we don’t talk about it as much, because it gets ignored, and because it’s not given the severity it deserves. They know they can get away with it. There is no law as of yet to tackle this. But the truth is, sexual coercion is abusive and it can still cause sexual trauma. Sexual coercion is unwanted sexual activity that happens when you are pressured, tricked, threatened, or forced in a nonphysical way. Coercion can make you think you owe sex to someone; it can be someone trying to get you tipsy or drunk so it’s harder for you to refuse them; it can be someone pressuring you when you don’t feel ready; it can be someone convincing you to have unprotected sex. It can be verbally egging someone on or using social pressure like: “Everyone is doing it,” “It has to happen sometime,” You can’t be a virgin all your life,” “You’re old enough,” “What’s wrong with you?” “You’ll enjoy it once we get started,” “It’s not like we haven’t had sex before.” It can also sound like threats ( “I’ll leave you if you don’t,” “I’ll tell everyone about it.”) or can be achieved through guilt ( “If you loved me you would,” “Come on, it’s been so long,” “You’ve led me on, I’m aroused now you can’t just stop…”). Like emotional abuse, it can be hard to identify or to pinpoint because it’s not always blatant. As mentioned, it can be persistent attempts or using a relationship to make you feel obligated. It’s important to remember that no matter how it takes place, the bottom line is if you didn’t want to have sex, and even if you technically said yes after feeling pressured, there’s a reason you feel violated. Abuse is abuse, no matter how it is done. It can happen to anyone, and it’s also important to note that adults can be groomed, too (another subject we don’t talk about enough that can make adults feel alone or shamed). We are all vulnerable no matter who we are or how old we are. Sexual coercion is sexual abuse, you should never feel forced into anything you’re not comfortable with or don’t feel like doing. Rape and sexual abuse don’t have to be achieved through physical means and physical force — and it’s time that the world understood this. We shouldn’t accept anything that lacks respect or violates our boundaries. It’s time we talked about this, fight to make the changes, change our own behaviors and address this head on.

Community Voices

Red flags, friendship and depression

So this morning, the other shoe dropped on a situation that started a few months back. Someone who I thought was a friend stopped speaking to me out of the blue (at least to me anyways). There went a 12yr friendship. Over what, I'm still not entirely sure (like what was the breaking point, the final straw).

This morning as I was getting around, my phone accidentally called this person. And I thought I had canceled it before it connected but apparently it did because they called back. And rather get into what transpired on the less than 30 second call, let's say that the last 6 months of silence were on purpose.

And after that call, I realized that I've been worried and thinking about a person who purposely chose to ghost me. And I started thinking why. Why would they do that? That's when I realized that during that time is why my depression was the absolute worst it's been ever. I wasn't the nicest person to be around at that point. And even though I wasn't mean to them per-say, I was being mean in general. My attitude was awful, I was constantly in a bad mood/mind set and there were times that I did take it out on them. I would excessively cuss when speaking to them (they hate cursing in general).

I doubt this person and I will be friends for a long while. They don't understand mental illness. Truth be told, I'm pretty sure they don't "believe" in it and I think they have their own issues. That doesn't deminish my own roll but it may be hard to be friends with someone who won't even ask if your ok before they nope out of the situation.

Even though we have depression or anxiety or whatever, we still may be someone else's red flag. It sucks to lose friends when we are in the middle of a mental episode but the people around us are still entitled to their boundaries and are allowed to take only so much.

Sorry for the vent. I needed to get this out of my head and put it somewhere where people may understand.
#Depression #Friendship

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The Descriptive Pain Scale I Use as Someone With Fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, struggle with migraines or have some other chronic pain illness, I think you can develop a skewed view of pain. Then when you go to the doctor because of some new or acute pain, and they ask “What’s your pain level on a scale of one to 10?” I wonder if the answer is the same as it would be from someone who is otherwise “healthy.” I think that it may not be. I think when you deal with chronic pain what level of pain you consider tolerable— because there is no choice but to tolerate it —is much different than the person who is accustomed to living with a zero pain level. It used to frustrate me when doctors would ask what my pain level was because I had no frame of reference for what was a three and what was a nine, or anything in between. Finally, a pain specialist gave me a pain chart I found very helpful in that it provides a description of each number on the pain scale. (I had to chuckle that they include “Zero. No Pain” on the chart because I have no idea what that is like and wondered what the point of including this on the pain scale, except maybe to torment those of us who can never honestly say we are at zero.) I recently shared this pain scale in a comment here on The Mighty, and several people replied they’d never see such a thing. I decided to share it in an article for those of you who have never had a doctor kind enough to give you a somewhat objective frame of reference. (I say somewhat objective because, as I said above, I think chronic pain can skew your view of what is tolerable pain, what can and cannotbe ignored most of the time.) 1. Minimal = Pain is hardly noticeable. 2. Mild = Feel a low level of pain; aware of pain only when paying attention to it. 3. Uncomfortable = Pain is troubling but can be ignored most of the time. 4. Moderate = Constantly aware of the pain but can continue normal activities. 5. Distracting = Pain is barely tolerable; some activities limited by the pain. 6. Distressing = Pain preoccupies thinking; must give up many activities due to pain. 7. Unmanageable = Constant pain that interferes with almost all activities; often must take time off work; nothing seems to help. 8. Intense = Severe pain makes it hard to concentrate on anything but the pain; conversations difficult. 9. Severe = Can concentrate on nothing but the pain; can do almost nothing; can barely talk. 10. Immobilizing = Pain is excruciating; unable to move except to seek immediate help for pain in emergency room, etc.; bedridden. Hindsight Is 20-20 A number of years ago, I experienced a pain in my side and abdomen that was different then and in a different place than any pain I had ever felt before. After talking to an advice nurse on the phone, I went to urgent care because she said I needed to be seen right away. She was concerned it might be appendicitis or gall stones. Once at urgent care, the doctor asked me the million-dollar question, “What’s your level of pain on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt?” I wish I’d had my handy pain scale with me right then. If I compared the pain I was in that day to the worst pain I’ve ever experienced (which happens to be a 10 on the above scale), it really wasn’t that bad. I think I told him it was a three or four. But based on the above scale it was more like six or seven. It turned out I didn’t have appendicitis. And it took my doctor quite some time, several tests and persistently advocating for myself before she figured out what was wrong. As I thought about my experience with this urgent care doctor, a guy who didn’t know me at all, I wonder how seriously he took my complaint of pain since it was only at a level of three or four. I wonder if someone else coming into urgent care whose “worst pain ever” was only a five on this scale would have answered his query much differently. Reducing pain to a subjective number doesn’t seem that helpful to me. Does a number that is skewed by the patient’s prior pain experience really help a doctor with a diagnosis? I don’t know that it does. So I’ve saved a copy of the above pain scale in my Color Note app in my phone so whenever I’m asked that question, I have an objective description of my pain to tell the doctor. You Matter And one last note: Even if your pain on a given day is only a three or four on the above objective scale, you still deserve to be heard and taken seriously. You have a right to proper diagnosis and treatment. Don’t ever let a doctor tell you otherwise. Advocating for oneself can be exhausting and especially difficult if you are already exhausted by chronic pain. But I hope being armed with this objective measure of your pain condition will make the road ahead just a little easier.

The Descriptive Pain Scale I Use as Someone With Fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, struggle with migraines or have some other chronic pain illness, I think you can develop a skewed view of pain. Then when you go to the doctor because of some new or acute pain, and they ask “What’s your pain level on a scale of one to 10?” I wonder if the answer is the same as it would be from someone who is otherwise “healthy.” I think that it may not be. I think when you deal with chronic pain what level of pain you consider tolerable— because there is no choice but to tolerate it —is much different than the person who is accustomed to living with a zero pain level. It used to frustrate me when doctors would ask what my pain level was because I had no frame of reference for what was a three and what was a nine, or anything in between. Finally, a pain specialist gave me a pain chart I found very helpful in that it provides a description of each number on the pain scale. (I had to chuckle that they include “Zero. No Pain” on the chart because I have no idea what that is like and wondered what the point of including this on the pain scale, except maybe to torment those of us who can never honestly say we are at zero.) I recently shared this pain scale in a comment here on The Mighty, and several people replied they’d never see such a thing. I decided to share it in an article for those of you who have never had a doctor kind enough to give you a somewhat objective frame of reference. (I say somewhat objective because, as I said above, I think chronic pain can skew your view of what is tolerable pain, what can and cannotbe ignored most of the time.) 1. Minimal = Pain is hardly noticeable. 2. Mild = Feel a low level of pain; aware of pain only when paying attention to it. 3. Uncomfortable = Pain is troubling but can be ignored most of the time. 4. Moderate = Constantly aware of the pain but can continue normal activities. 5. Distracting = Pain is barely tolerable; some activities limited by the pain. 6. Distressing = Pain preoccupies thinking; must give up many activities due to pain. 7. Unmanageable = Constant pain that interferes with almost all activities; often must take time off work; nothing seems to help. 8. Intense = Severe pain makes it hard to concentrate on anything but the pain; conversations difficult. 9. Severe = Can concentrate on nothing but the pain; can do almost nothing; can barely talk. 10. Immobilizing = Pain is excruciating; unable to move except to seek immediate help for pain in emergency room, etc.; bedridden. Hindsight Is 20-20 A number of years ago, I experienced a pain in my side and abdomen that was different then and in a different place than any pain I had ever felt before. After talking to an advice nurse on the phone, I went to urgent care because she said I needed to be seen right away. She was concerned it might be appendicitis or gall stones. Once at urgent care, the doctor asked me the million-dollar question, “What’s your level of pain on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the worst pain you’ve ever felt?” I wish I’d had my handy pain scale with me right then. If I compared the pain I was in that day to the worst pain I’ve ever experienced (which happens to be a 10 on the above scale), it really wasn’t that bad. I think I told him it was a three or four. But based on the above scale it was more like six or seven. It turned out I didn’t have appendicitis. And it took my doctor quite some time, several tests and persistently advocating for myself before she figured out what was wrong. As I thought about my experience with this urgent care doctor, a guy who didn’t know me at all, I wonder how seriously he took my complaint of pain since it was only at a level of three or four. I wonder if someone else coming into urgent care whose “worst pain ever” was only a five on this scale would have answered his query much differently. Reducing pain to a subjective number doesn’t seem that helpful to me. Does a number that is skewed by the patient’s prior pain experience really help a doctor with a diagnosis? I don’t know that it does. So I’ve saved a copy of the above pain scale in my Color Note app in my phone so whenever I’m asked that question, I have an objective description of my pain to tell the doctor. You Matter And one last note: Even if your pain on a given day is only a three or four on the above objective scale, you still deserve to be heard and taken seriously. You have a right to proper diagnosis and treatment. Don’t ever let a doctor tell you otherwise. Advocating for oneself can be exhausting and especially difficult if you are already exhausted by chronic pain. But I hope being armed with this objective measure of your pain condition will make the road ahead just a little easier.

Community Voices

Well, I know what this is ,,, taking guesses....

<p>Well, I know what this is ,,, taking guesses....</p>
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Community Voices

All i see i jusst a road of darkness with no where to go but straight and the road is neverending, can someone pls help me with some support?

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When People Dismiss My Fibromyalgia Pain Sensitivity

I have long, straight, super-fine hair. When I was a kid, it would often get tangled and I didn’t like to brush it. So my mom would brush it for me, yanking the brush through the rat’s nest knot. “Ow, quit yanking,” I would say with tears streaming down my face. “That didn’t hurt.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that phrase, I could buy a small mansion. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I did hear it a lot. Sometimes I still do, or variations of it. A Lack of Understanding Several years ago, my sister and I visited an aunt and cousins in Texas. We got to meet one cousin’s grandkids who lived with him. The impish face of one granddaughter was adorable. I so wanted to play this game she’d made up. “Hold these,” she chirped, and handed me three pine cones. I don’t even know where she got pine cones in Houston, Texas. I hadn’t seen many pine trees. Try as I might to hold them lightly, I could barely stand having them poke my tender palms. “I can’t hold these,” I finally said, as I set them down on the coffee table. “They hurt my hands.” That was an understatement. My sister looked at me with puzzlement written on her face. “Does that really hurt?” At least she’d asked. More Failure to Understand On another trip, this time with my husband and son, Mexico was the destination. Cancun, to be specific. A place of sunshine and beautiful coral sand beaches. Mid-trip, my husband decided he wanted to have his hair cornrow braided by a merchant in the local outdoor market. He talked me into having mine braided too. I should have known better. While he was enjoying what felt like a wonderful scalp massage, I endured torture worse than all my mom’s hair brushings rolled into one. I felt certain the woman braiding my hair was going to pull every hair out of my scalp. I will not be doing that again. Ever. I took the braids out the very next day because the pain wouldn’t cease until I did. My husband still didn’t understand. Looking for Answers The denial of my physical pain by those who know me best often makes me wonder if I’m losing my mind. Because it does hurt. At least that’s what my brain tells me. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that a doctor gave my sensitivity to pain a name: fibromyalgia. No one could tell me why I had this thing that can’t be tested for or proven. Sure, there were theories. One pain specialist asked if I’d ever been sexually assaulted, because that kind of trauma is connected to fibromyalgia. I was, when I was 14, but I’d been ultra-sensitive to pain long before that. An online article suggested a link between the Epstein-Barr virus, also known as mononucleosis, and fibromyalgia. I had mono when I was in the seventh grade. But again, my pain sensitivity existed before that five-week illness. The first doctor to mention fibromyalgia to me wouldn’t commit to a diagnosis. She prescribed amitriptyline saying that “empirically that’s what we’re treating you for.” In addition to the chronic muscle pain, I have osteoarthritis, although I’ve been told the degeneration in my neck doesn’t look bad enough on an MRI to cause the pain I complain about. In other words, it’s really all in my head. Happening Upon Relief As with most fibro patients, I have some other health issues, including GI problems. At one point, my doctor suggested I quit eating gluten. When I replied that I hadn’t eaten gluten in over a year, she suggested I quit eating dairy. I rolled my eyes, feeling like she had no real solutions. But I did try it. She also wanted me to quit taking ibuprofen, which I wasn’t happy about because it was the only thing that took the edge of my chronic pain. For four weeks, I read every label. If a food contained whey, casein, or any dairy products, I didn’t eat it. Then one day I realized my muscles didn’t ache all over. I didn’t even wish I could take ibuprofen because I didn’t need it. So I kept it up. I didn’t eat dairy at all for four months. Then came my birthday and dinner out at The Cheesecake Factory. I decided I’d been good, so I deserved a piece of cheesecake to celebrate. I ate the whole thing, which, if you’ve ever been to The Cheesecake Factory, you know is a huge slab of pure dairy and sugar goodness. The next morning, I awoke to a feeling like I’d been hit with a Mack truck. Every muscle ached. I’ve been mostly dairy-free for several years now and feel much better. Still Pain Sensitive Which is not to say I don’t still deal with pain. I still don’t understand why pain scales have a 0 on them. Are there people who, at times, don’t feel any pain? I suppose there are, but I wouldn’t know about that. Every day something aches or I do something that results in acute pain beyond what those without fibromyalgia would feel. But the pain is more manageable without the added inflammatory reaction from bombarding my body with dairy products it doesn’t like. It’s also easier to deal with when I quit listening to those who don’t understand tell me, “That didn’t hurt.”

Community Voices

Three Life Rules!!!

<p>Three Life Rules!!!</p>
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