Surviving the Storm and Embracing Life When Living With a Child with Bipolar Disorder

Lisa Beresnyak, MS, LCAS-A

Individual and Group Therapist & Yoga Instructor
Gupta Psychiatry and Wellness

My friend just called me last week and through tears and catching her breath she began to tell me the story of her 21-year-old son, straight A senior at Arizona University, now confined to the psych ward at a hospital in Arizona. My friend shared that her son had a “manic” episode and was throwing himself in front of cars, tackling people, and threatening people and had police pick him up and “there was nothing I could do”.   My friend became more emotional as she shared “he did not remember and he is begging for me to get him out, so he can complete school, but I can’t” ….

This story was way too familiar to me. 

My oldest daughter came into this world with a little defiance; after going into the delivery room to find out “your child is breech we will need to turn her or we could do a C-section”, she was coming in the way she wanted to J   We have always joked about this, and what I do love about my oldest was her spirit, her creativity, and her sense of wonder! 

When we begin our families, get married, buy a house, and have kids – the part of life that I was not prepared for was the “picture” perfect idea of how it should look does not always play out the way we always want it to. 

Fast forward to my oldest entering middle school, I would find her up at all hours of the night reading.                                      “What’s up?  It is late!  You have school tomorrow” – “Mom, I can’t sleep”. 

My daughter was in a gifted and talented program at school: straight A’s, could read a novel from front to back in one night and draw the most amazing piece of artwork within moments.  However, when it came to processing all that was going on her head she could flip on a dime and immediately become emotionally distraught.  

The calls from the principal began rolling in.    “Your daughter skipped class”.  Her impulsivity increased, and was it recommended for her to get tested for ADHD.  There was no formal education on “what does a Mom do now”?

The slew of therapist, psychiatrist, and doctors’ visits began in middle school. 

The challenge for someone who has bipolar is to be able to work through their emotions.  It is difficult to hear that your 1st heart throb in middle school breaks up with you – it is challenging… but my daughter decided to take a whole container of Tylenol that ended her up in the ER and then Mental Hospital.

It was around this time that I noticed the scars from cutting.

As a Mom trying to understand and make sense of “what did I do wrong” and/or “what can I do to reach her” took over my mind.   The questions of “But we had the perfect little family” arose.  

Mom was at home to help with homework.  Love was spoken daily.

The kids were on the neighborhood swim team and took piano lessons.

Yet, the invisible crept in and started showing up more frequently.

My ex (daughter’s Dad) decided to leave and then the difficult situations became extreme.  The day I found out he was leaving was the same day that the principal at school called me and let me know that “your daughter has been suspended for skipping”.   The pattern was beginning to follow the highs (mania/impulsivity) working into wee hours getting much done and then slip into a depressive state ….

The call from the police “Ms. B your daughter is at the top of the water tower at Boylan Ave, a police officer is trying to get her to come down”.   The repercussions for this behavior were being sent to a holding space downtown until they could find a place that could Involuntarily Commit her. 

The biggest struggle for a Mom with a child having bi-polar, is to have to tell your daughter that you love her but there is nothing you can do and watch them put her in a back of sheriff’s car to be swept away to a Mental Hospital. 

This was not in the handbook and each storm still hit hard. 

The call on Mother’s Day – “Mom, I got kicked out of my apartment and have been cutting and I am really scared”.  “Mom, I am in the ER I jumped into the bush and split my head open”, “Mom, I think something is wrong I am hearing voices and it is scaring me!”

Two years ago, I received a call at 3:00 am from my daughter’s partner, “Ms. B I don’t know what to do ___ has just taken a bottle of Seroquel and drank a bottle of whiskey and I can’t get her to wake up” –

Once again, another storm. 

Her partner ended the relationship, and it was too much.  I did race to New Hanover at 3:00 am, sat by her side until she woke up, and was fortunate that she survived. Unfortunately, she once again needed a Mental Hospital with a bed. Knowing that this is “not” what she wanted, she prepared to run out of the hospital (with her hospital gown on) and was detained by security and put into another Van to go to another Mental Hospital for a stay. 

Last words “Mom, please don’t let them do this” …. the storm had come again, and we would need to ride it out….

There have been many storms over the years, too many to share all but what I have learned is that this invisible illness shows up and erupts when you least expect it.  It can be undetected by passing that person on the street as it could be someone you know or someone sitting right beside you at work.

 The piece that I would like the reader to take away from this read, is to know that my daughter is beautiful, loving, kind, would help a stranger, caring, generous, intelligent, and creative.  She has worked through her demons and continues to manage this insidious illness.  I hope that giving an insightful glimpse of what it looks like for someone to manage this mental illness and how it impacts the entire family is real.

It takes years of storms, many therapist, DBT groups and working with different medications to find the right cocktail of meds that would control her moods, and lots of late-night talks.

There is a need to seek support, understanding and educating yourself and any friends or family members that might look at this illness as “bad behavior” but rather as an invisible illness that is treatable and can be embraced.

There are support groups in the area and as this invisible illness creeps in it can be very scary for those who witness and or have experienced emotions/moods that come from mania and/or depression.

Here are a few resources to help the reader understand and become educated and for those family members that live with a loved one with bipolar disorder – please seek a support group as well!

https://bipolarresources.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5c_-jZbF7wIVyvLjBx33fw8AEAAYAiAAEgLFKPD_BwE

https://www.dbsalliance.org/education/bipolar-disorder/

 

My daughter was Vocational Rehab Counselor in Wilmington and is now living in Asheville, NC.  Thriving and managing her mental illness.  Storms still come, but with each one “she” braces and leans into it – I am proud of how she has accomplished and managed through her storms.

This too shall pass

-Lisa

Posted: March 25, 2021 By: Comment: 0

Straight Out of Comparison Mind

Straight Out of Comparison

Kathleen O'Connell, LCMHC, LCAS

Kathleen O'Connell, LCMHC, LCAS

Individual and Group Therapist
Gupta Psychiatry & Wellness

Our Natural Tendencies to Compare and How to Work Through it

When Dr. Gupta asked me to write a blog a couple months ago, my ideas were endless. I had a flood of possible topics ranging from how-to guides for dealing with anxiety to analyzing secret messages in Britney Spears’ Instagram.

When Dr. Gupta asked me to write a blog due next week, my mind went blank. Almost instantly all the ideas that seemed so exciting a couple months ago were now dull and commonplace.

My mind was off to the races.
I started feeling dread, worry, and disgust.
My heart started beating a little faster and I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I began wondering: How do I get out of this?

I could say no. ——-Setting your own boundaries is totally acceptable, right?

I could say I don’t have enough time? ——I mean, it is not a lie.

I could run away crying? ———What’s wrong with a little career sabotage.

Then I asked myself, “why?” Why did I want to get out of this? What was I fearing? Then, it started to surface:

“I can’t follow that act.”
“I can’t write after Gupta, who am I?”
“What if I sound boring…her blog was interesting”
“What if it does not make sense…her blog was clear”

I realized I was stuck in comparison mind. I had read Dr. Gupta’s blogs as she was posting them. At the time, I was excited and intrigued. She had it all…a medical doctor with imagination, relatability, and sincerity.

Comparison mind is when I get into this tug of war in my mind where I suddenly lose focus on what really matters to me and start picking out the reasons that I’m not good enough and why I can’t do something.
I make judgments. I see division. I measure. I lose sight of what matters, and it usually zaps my passion, creativity, and love.

I also know I’m not alone in this. It’s natural and has biological link. Our tendency to compare is how we are evolutionarily wired. The cavemen made comparisons as a way to survive. For example, this caveman is better at hunting large animals and the other caveman is better at discovering hiding places. 

  • This is all well and good until the worrying and overthinking takes over and limits your brain’s capacity to take action and start planning. Often times, the comparison mind drives your prefrontal cortex off-line.

Sometimes, the way out of comparison mind is going through it rather than trying to stop it. When I recognized I was in comparison mind and remembered the natural and biological reason behind it, it led me to think about the reason I wanted to blog in the first place:

I wanted to blog to bring familiarity to certain stigmatized thinking that a lot of us keep stuffed down. I used my own understanding of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to initiate ways to get into action. 

Working through Comparison Mind

Here are the evidence-based, therapeutic techniques I have used and shared with my clients. These are a few of my favorite steps to help change the relationship to comparison mind and start living life!

1.) Notice

  • The first step for getting out of comparison mind is NOTICING when you are in comparison mind. When you observe certain thoughts, you are better able to recognize how the thoughts get in your way. Do daily check-ins to ask yourself: “What am I thinking? Am I comparing myself to someone else?” 
  • Studies from UCLA show us that naming and labeling an experience, such as comparison mind, can decrease activity in the emotional side of the brain. 

When we can decrease activity in our emotional brain, we are better able to use other areas of the brain for reasoning and thinking. 

2.) Acknowledge it with some self-compassion. 

  • Try as best you can to give yourself (and your comparison mind) a break. Acknowledge that comparisons are just ways your brain is trying to help you get better, but sometimes it can go into overdrive. 
  • Remind yourself that other people are doing the same thing and you are not alone. Do something kind for yourself as a way to express self-care and compassion. 
  • See https://healthyhappyimpactful.com/50-simple-self-care-ideas-for-a-bad-day/

3.) Get curious and challenge.

  • Once you notice the thoughts, see if you can get curious about them and investigate “what is this thought doing for me?” A helpful question may be: “If I buy into these comparisons, where does it take me?” or “How do these thoughts help me?” 
  • For some more helpful questions for unhelpful thoughts see https://www.innermelbpsychology.com.au/thought-challenging/ 

4.) Get in touch with what matters and take action. 

  • In my experience, I get stuck in comparison mind when I am doing something that truly matters to me. I can choose to take it as a good sign and continue with the task, or I can let it shrink me down and avoid the situation.                            The antidote to comparison mind is taking action. 
  • If you feel at a loss of what action to take, remember it can be as small as organizing a closet while those comparison thoughts are going on in the background. 
  • An action is just defined is a step in the direction you want to take. So, for me, writing the blog is in the direction I want to take. Identifying your core values can often lead us to the actions we want to take
  • For a list of core values go to https://www.actmindfully.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Values_Checklist_-_Russ_Harris.pdf

There will always be a million different reasons to not do something. 

  • People will evaluate you and make judgements because they are evolutionarily wired to do so. They are following their own biological makeup…it’s nothing personal. 
  • YOU will evaluate and judge yourself and others. 
  • Our thoughts about comparisons are often not the main problem, it’s how we get caught up struggling with them or trying not to think or talk about them that causes us distress. 

That’s why I like using these techniques that help you focus on different ways to handle the comparison thoughts rather than stopping them. 

Instead of keeping them inside let’s talk about them together and get connected to what matters in your life.

YOU MATTER.

                           Kate

Recognizing Caregiver Burnout

Recognizing Caregiver Burnout

Jennifer Tangeman, FNP
Jennifer Tangeman, FNP

Family Nurse Practitioner
Gupta Psychiatry

Taking Care of Yourself First so You CAN Take Care of Others

This week Dr. Gupta texted me and asked if I would write a blog post about caregiver burnout.

As a medical provider,  I immediately thought of I am going to write “ways to talk about self-care” and other generic (although helpful) terms we often use to encourage coping skills.

Dr. Gupta said you are the best person to write about this matter. She said, “You are living it”. 

That’s when it really hit me. 

Wow. Here I am a multigenerational caregiver who struggles daily to care for my widowed mother, myself and my amazingly supportive husband, and my daughters, almost two and five years of age.

Not to mention the 20-30 patients I see and care for daily. I also lost my father two years ago and have become the sole caretaker for my beautiful mother. 

Oh, yes….I cannot forget our two dogs (as if I didn’t have enough on my plate).

For years, I dreamed of having this wonderful family and amazing career and I finally have it.
All my hard work had paid off! I should have been so happy. 

 Never did I think that this is when I would reach my breaking point.

All of a sudden I was not feeling the happiness that was supposed to come with all my accomplishments. 

Instead depression set in and I started to question everything.

I was working long hours ( the world’s mental health was deteriorating due to Covid). I was caring for my husband and children. I was making sure my mother’s needs were met and she was safe and healthy.

The guilt never stopped. I felt I was always failing in one department or the next.

I felt worthless.

I felt hopeless.

I felt alone.

I was completely overwhelmed.

I had never felt this level of stress. I realize now this is a level, we all reach at some point. A place I had never been before and it was terrifying.

I realized I could not do it all. I began to detach and fear every task that came my way. 

Reports show anxiety and depression have more than tripled over the past year. These have increased largely due to the pandemic. Suicidal ideation is skyrocketing in our kids and adult populations.

People are burning out.              They are exhausted.            It has become too much for all of us to handle at times.

We have to realize this will not change overnight. We need to work on a plan to be able to handle this for the long haul. We need to protect ourselves and our communities from falling apart.

Every day I am blessed to listen to so many different perspectives on life, stress, and emotions from my patients. Many of them are caregivers like me. Many are also spreading themselves way too thin.  They are reporting they find they are staying up to late “just to have some down time”.

People are skipping meals ( poor nutrition) and not exercising.

They are multitasking and over extending themselves every day.

People are saying yes every time someone asks for help but forgetting their needs. 


 So, how do we teach self-care in a time when many of us are just getting by?

I’m slowly learning the answer to this. But I can share what’s helped me the most so far. 

First and foremost, PLEASE don’t underplay it and recognize you may be overwhelmed.

  • Trying to hold it together is commendable, but eventually it will take a toll on you and your loved ones.
  • If a close friend or loved one asks if you are ok, please allow yourself to say “not really or I need help.”

ALLOW YOURSELF TO SAY YOU ARE STRUGGLING

A good friend won’t dismiss this. They may be thankful they could help and may also be feeling the same way.

Sometimes we need to stop “faking it until we make it.” We need to fall down and take that long nap. Allow the house be a mess and order that pizza. We need to be okay with leaving things for the next day.

We need to say NO to obligations and not feel guilt.

It is okay to not have a perfect life and say it is not perfect.

It is okay to not have perfectly coifed children and perfectly presentable houses.

It is okay to work in our sweatpants and no makeup.

It is okay to be just okay and not perfect. 

Secondly, (props to my best friend for pointing this out), ask yourself “would I make this a priority for my children or loved ones?”

If the answer is yes, then what’s stopping you from doing it for yourself?!

Finally, please don’t feel alone.

We are here for you as medical providers, therapists, but also as fellow human beings.

We are not perfect and we understand your struggles more than you can imagine because we are going through this too. This is a shared traumatic experience. 

Take it from me as a parent, a wife, a daughter, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and a friend who lives the struggle along with you every day!

We will get through this!

We will persevere together ONLY with each other’s help. 

Mic Drop.           Peace.          Jenny Out.

 

Check out these links for more information on burnout relief:

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/burnout-recovery

https://www.everydayhealth.com/coronavirus/how-to-not-let-pandemic-fatigue-turn-into-pandemic-burnout/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/click-here-happiness/201812/self-care-12-ways-take-better-care-yourself

Posted: March 9, 2021 By: Comment: 0

When Someone you Love Struggles With Alcohol Use

Dr. Mona Gupta

Dr. Mona Gupta

Board Certified Psychiatrist in Raleigh, NC

When Someone you Love Struggles With Alcohol Use

The Daughter of An Alcoholic

I do not know if anyone reads these but it is somewhat therapeutic to write them. I did not think blogging or writing was for me but for some reason I wanted to do it. I actually want to write a BOOK ONE DAY. It is one of my long term goals. 

This week’s topic is Alcohol abuse and Family. First, I would like to give you all some background. I grew up in  South Florida and both of my parents were amazing physicians. They were immigrants from India and came to this country with their medical degrees and a suitcase. They moved around the country to finally call Fort Lauderdale their home. My father was a Gastroenterologist and my mother is a Psychiatrist. I have one sister who is two years younger to me.

I was a daddy’s girl and my whole world revolved around my dad. He was the most special man in the world to me. To me, He was the most handsome and funniest guy in the world.

My parents were very social and often we would come home from their evening parties at 6 am. In the USA, many Indians would cling to each other and have “Indian parties.” Indian Parties were parties where all the Indians would get together on ALL of the weekends. They would cook Indian food and DRINK all night (well at least the men.) At this time, it was frowned upon for women to drink. The Moms would gossip while the Dads would play cards. The kids would be watching movies or running around. 

My memories consist of the dads having a great time until someone got upset. Often, that someone, my dad, would push another uncle into the pool. Something of this nature became a tradition at these events. Someone would get loud and belligerent but for some reason all the people knew it was in jest. Never did I think it was a problem. The kids would eventually fall asleep and eventually the parents would wake them up. My dad would get us in the car and off we were going back home with the sun rising. 

On those drives, I remember telling my dad to stay in the lanes. I do not think I knew what that meant but knew he needed to be in the lines for our safety.

At this time in the 1980s, drinking and driving was not frowned upon.

We did not wear seat belts.

Kids did not sit in booster/car seats. 

Often, I would see my mom upset and argue with my dad to stop drinking. I did not understand what the big deal was yet. He would only drink while at parties.

He was a binge drinker.

He never drank at work or while on call. I would actually go on rounds with him at the hospital. He would often say to patients ” the ALCOHOL is going to kill you, buddy. You need to stop drinking.” We would leave the hospital and I would think, but how can he say that and then drink at the parties? I was 8 or 9 years old. I would watch him scope people and he would cauterize people varices (veins)  that had burst because of heavy drinking. The hospital would call him and say “we have a GI bleeder for you.” He would go in the middle of the night to save a “drinker’s life.” He would often order liver functions tests and talk about liver cirrhosis.

He was actually a doctor who took care of alcoholics.

As I got older, I realized my dad had an alcohol problem. It did not look like the alcoholics on the TV and movies. He went to work every day and he was an amazing father. He was for the most part a great husband. He was a true family man. He started a Hindu temple for our community. He was well known among the American and Indian community.

He was almost a DON in Fort Lauderdale.

One day, I was home sleeping and my mom started crying. My dad had been in a car accident and the car was totaled. My dad had miraculously survived. My dad had to enter the physician monitoring program. He was to be drug tested and had to do work on staying sober. He stayed sober for over ten years.

He was clean. He was happy. We were all happy. 

Ten years from the day, I guess he thought I could have one glass of wine. He used to drink Chivas Regal on the rocks, I know because he would tell me to get it for him. 

He drank that glass of wine and was never sober again for more than a few months.

He would drink and he would slur his speech. We would ask him daddy did you have a drink and my mom would chase him at those parties. She would beg him not to drink. I would get so frustrated with her because it was embarrassing. He would drink more if she told him to stop. He started to hide it and drink. He was still a binge drinker but it had changed.

He would often drink because he was lonely and because he had a hard day. It was no longer limited to parties. 

I went to college and medical school. Learned about the medical implications of alcohol and other drugs. I learned about all kinds of things. I knew about all the illnesses he would treat and I would understand the labs he would order. I guess I had started my training at a younger age then all the other medical students.

His drinking became more of an issue after my sister and I left to live our adult lives. He would drink more because of his loneliness and his depression. He would drink if he was upset at any of his family. He would drink because he was happy. I never understood why I never drank or was tempted to drink.

I think alcohol became something that I hated.

I never hated my dad.

He was still my hero and my best friend.

I blamed his sadness or his stress. I blamed the actual bottle of wine or my mom’s nagging. I never blamed him. My husband would even take care of him after one of his nights. He would help him get into bed. He would stay with him. We were all somewhat codependent. 

As time went on, my dad required a stay at a Residential Rehab. He was caught by me drinking and driving my four year old son. His decision making was obviously affected. My sister took him to a program in Palm Beach. My dad was livid. He could not even look at us. He did not have a choice. 

My mother, sister, and I had enough and he needed HELP.

My dad thought he was going to be the DOCTOR there and claimed he was going to teach all the other patients. I do not know, even now, if it helped or not. He was able to be sober for a couple of years but then he relapsed. He kept relapsing for ten years. His relationship with his family at times would be affected. We would get so angry at him and stop talking to him.

I would wait every day for the phone call.

I would wait for the phone call that he had died in a car accident.

I would hate myself for thinking this way but I needed to prepare myself for the biggest loss. I did not know how I would live without him. So I tried to expect it and be ready.

I never got that phone call but I did get a phone call from my youngest child that he was drinking heavily, My child was 8 at the time. He was so young and called me to tell me his grandfather was drinking “vodka.” My son had never seen Vodka before this stay. Apparently, my dad moved to hard liquor. My son called me because his grandfather was falling and walking funny. He was also belligerent so I had to finally take a stand. I never left Florida without hugging my dad but this time I had to teach him a lesson. He needed to stop the Alcohol. I went back home with my kids and took my mother with me.

My dad was out of control.

Anyways, my dad felt abandoned. He drank heavily for ten more days and his brothers tried to help him. 

My mom decided to go back to Florida. She felt bad for leaving. She had never ever left my dad. She returned and they talked and he promised to quit the Alcohol. 

I do not know if I made the right decision that day. All I know is I regret it every day. My dad ended up dying from an ARDS (similar to what is seen in COVID – 19.)

I lost my dad to something else, not the phone call I was expecting.

I am writing this because I have made it my life’s mission to help families and people with substance abuse issues, like alcoholism get help.

I want to help people before they regret it. 

If you or your family member need help, please email teresa@guptapsychiatry.com or call our office at (919)870-8409.

Our team at GUPTA PSYCHIATRY & Wellness, is here to help recovery be attainable.

We hope to help patients and their families have a support system locally to be here for your continued recovery or your unfortunate relapse.

We have individual substance abuse therapy, intensive outpatient programs, and partial hospitalization programs. We also have medical treatment for addiction including outpatient detoxification from Alcohol or other substances and we also have medication assisted therapies. 

We partner with our community and work with many hospitals and rehabilitation centers across the country. If we need to find a treatment that is better suited for you than our program, we will.

You and your family are important and deserve it.

                Alcohol and Drugs do not make you or your family member a horrible person.

It is a disease just like Diabetes.

We are here if you need us.

Some links: Samhsa.gov                         www.al-anon.org                                     www.aa.org

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Posted: February 8, 2021 By: Comment: 0

“Lets Talk About Sex Baby”

Women and Sexuality

I have been wanting to write a blog for a while. I did not know where to start. So I decided to get personal. Sometimes talking about yourself is the way we can help others.

I am a psychiatrist and have my own practice in NC. I have been married for almost 20 years. I have three teenage children. I have so much material to share with the world but just didn’t know what should be tackled first.
I have decided to talk about the hardest topic first. SEXUALITY.

Everything has to be easier than talking about your sexuality. I am a first generation Indian American. I was taught sex was bad and it was never discussed. I was taught to believe you fall in love after marriage, as my family believed in arranged marriage, and never to have premarital sex.
I married my husband at the age of 22 and was a virgin. I followed all the rules. Somehow I still felt sex was something wrong and felt guilty when my husband would try to initiate. I was also told it was my duty to “keep my husband happy.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! I would resent those statements and it would further make sex just a DUTY. I felt for some reason MEN had to be made happy and no one ever asked women what made them happy. My husband was not taught to MAKE ME HAPPY.

As I have met people, I have learned this is not just an Indian phenomenon. This is taught by all kinds of cultures and religions. People in Western culture are taught to “save yourself for marriage.” If a woman
has casual sex and has had multiple partners, she is called names such as “SLUT or HOE.” Men are often applauded for the same actions; they are high fived and revered.

In my practice, I meet all kinds of women and men. Men will talk about their sexuality with ease and are not shy when talking about sexual side effects of a medication or lack of intimacy in their relationship. Women often feel shame and guilt. They rarely share it unless the physician or therapist brings it up.

Women are complicated.

We have to have the perfect conditions to be in the mood. We can hear all
kinds of noise and chatter from our past and present when trying to get in the mood. We have physical needs but our emotional needs take precedence. Women have hormonal changes throughout our lives
that lesson our libido and desire. We have environmental changes that can do the same.

FIRST, girls start having periods, which I call the monthly Gunshot Wounds. We then get pregnant or try to get pregnant. We then have babies that are ripped out of our bodies. And our bodies are forever changed. We then become milk producers. Then after doing this a couple of times, we stop bleeding and enter Menopause. That is a whole other beast. It is filled with hot flashes, vaginal dryness, weight changes and mood changes. Men do have some changes of their own but I mean C’MON. They have increases and decreases of TESTOSTERONE. I have discussed all of this so I can tell you what I have learned.

I have learned I am not ALONE.

I am not the only woman who deliberately avoids sexual encounters
(pretends to be sleeping or waits for her partner to be sleeping before going to bed). I was also really good about making excuses and saying the kids needed me. I did not like to be touched or approached by my husband if I knew he was seeking sex. I could not relate to my friends when they would talk about sex. I felt lonely and guilty about not wanting to have sex with my husband. I felt like I was broken and did not know how to fix it. I would have duty sex for our relationship. My body may have been in it but
in my head I was going through my to do list. This was destroying my marriage. I loved my husband but could not show it to him in a sexual way. I loved him but just had no interest.

Interestingly enough, I had read about low desire and even treated people with hormonal or medical treatment. However, I was always shy or even embarrassed when trying to treat my own issue. I do not know why I felt no one would understand. Being a physician, I had many physician friends that I would try to ask for help. I found myself hearing the same things. My friends would say things like maybe you should try different ways, watch sensual TV or movies. They would say maybe you need testosterone or
some supplements. They would ask me if I was upset with my husband and maybe counseling would help. I tried several of these with no avail. I would think maybe it’s because I was tired and had three young children. I had a full time practice and jobs. I was working long hours. I looked for reasons. I
started to think maybe I was abused or had something happen to me. I could not find the answer. For some reason, it did not occur to me that maybe I had MEDICAL CONDITION.

I do not know why medical professionals can diagnose others but do not see the same diagnosis in ourselves or are families. While treating patients, I could diagnose and treat Hyposexual Desire Disorder ( HSDD). I just could not see that maybe that was my issue. One day last year, my husband sat me down and told me he was struggling. He did not understand why I
could not sleep in the same room and why I would shutter with the thought of intimacy. In the past, we would just argue about not being intimate. This was different.

I felt our marriage was in need of an intervention.

I saw my marriage crumbling.

I saw the end of our marriage and I was starting to feel helpless.

I didn’t think I would be able to fix it. I decided to do my own research and thought maybe I have HSDD. Getting desperate to fix my marriage, I went to one of my physician friends and had hormonal evaluation and discussed the possibility that I MAY HAVE HSDD. My hormones were actually in
the normal range so we decided to try the first medication approved by the FDA for females for Hyposexual Desire Disorder, ADDYI. I started the next day. I started taking this medication at night. IT helped me sleep and my mood felt better within a week or two. The benefits of sexual interest occurred in a very natural way. I didn’t even notice when it changed. All of sudden, I was sleeping in the same room as my husband. I was able to enjoy the caresses of my husband. I found myself actually initiating intimate connections. I can not tell you exactly when it happened but I can tell you I feel this medication has saved my marriage and my relationship. My husband and I actually enjoy each other’s company. I miss him and look forward to seeing him everyday. I always loved him but now I cannot imagine my life without him. I am not saying this is a miracle drug but it has literally changed my life and because of this

I want women and men to ask for help.

WE ARE NOT BROKEN. WE CAN BE HAPPY IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS. PEOPLE ARE FIGHTING FOR US. WE NEED TO STOP THIS CYCLE OF EMBARRASSMENT AND SHAME WHEN IT COMES TO SEXUALITY.

I have been working on my own preconceived ideas and beliefs about sexuality. I am trying to understand the thoughts of previous generations and why us women were held to different standards than men. I understand we can have multiple complications including disease and pregnancy. I believe it is time to teach our children that sex is natural and it can be fun. It is not only for having children.

We can enjoy it and not be “sluts.” THIS WILL OBVIOUSLY HAVE TO BE A GENERATIONAL CHANGE. We have to start somewhere and I have decided to use my voice to help start the discussion.

We need to be safe and use condoms, or other types of protection. We need to be worried about pregnancy and diseases. We need to take care of ourselves and our partners. We do not need to wait until we are married to have sex, because, let me honest, I am probably the ONLY ONE who actually
listened.

TAKE IT FROM ME, HAVE FUN AND PLEASE USE PROTECTION. ( I will go over safe sex practices in another blog as many people need a reminder)

FOR NOW THANK YOU FOR READING.

Posted: February 4, 2021 By: Comment: 0

Hello World!

Welcome to Gupta Psychiatry & Wellness!

Keep an eye out for us on My Carolina, CBS 17 for interviews on Mental Health and Substance Abuse Topics #MentalWellnessWednesday’s

Below are the links to a few that have aired so far:

Posted: February 4, 2021 By: Comment: 0