Mental Health Monday–Self-Evaluation

Part of mental health treatment includes identifying goals and monitoring progress. Having objective measures helps. Why? Well, it’s hard to see how far you’ve come when you’re neck deep in the mire of day to day life. It’s also hard to see improvements when your eye is focused solely on whittling away at the negatives. I dare say it gets demoralizing and exhausting after a while.

So what’s the solution? Stepping back to look at the big picture. Assess how far you’ve come. Compare where you’re at now to where you were “before.”

Writers need to do this too. (I’ve recently been reminded of this, hence the post.) I stew and stew over how much work I have left in front of me to improve my writing. It makes me tired…and whiney (sorry, crit partners, you are the poor saps super supportive peeps who get to listen to me grumble).

What better way to celebrate progress than through a blogfest? Yup, that’s right, a blogfest. Check out Christine H’s blog, The Writer’s Hole, for deets on an upcoming blogfest/contest comparing “before” and “after” writing skills. Read her tale of working on a WIP for FOUR years and how she managed to stick with it.

On Saturday, February 5th, I’m ponying up and sharing some “old” writings (pre-“training”) and sharing lines from a more recent WIP to show the difference.

Who’s with me? Go on then, sign up! *nudge nudge*


Don’t forget to check out Lovely Lydia’s post on Medical Monday.

Be sure to pop on over to Sarah’s blog for her super awesome psychology post!

Flake-out Friday–BLOGIVERSARY!!!!

Wow. I’ve been blogging for ONE YEAR! My, my, how time flies!!!

(Thank you, internet search for “blogiversary” for such great pics!)

To celebrate, I’m having a super-fun, hopefully interactive, giveaway. You see, I found this super cute ornament at the Yankee Candle Flagship Store in Deerfield, MA a couple weeks ago and automatically thought of my writer peeps, blog buddies, and writerly pals.

The ornament is approx 4 inches long, 3 inches tall, and 2 inches wide. It’s hard to see, but there’s glitter on the wings and horns.

Here’s how to enter the contest if you’d like to have this charming little guy (or gal) grace your home:

  • 3 points for: Use your creativity and NAME and develop a SHORT bio (like a sentence or two is fine!) for the dragon–he or she needs a name and story, right?
  • 3 points for: blogging about the contest.
  • 1 point for Tweeting the contest.
  • 1 point for Facebooking the contest.
  • 1 point for following my blog (either via subscription or NetworkBlogs).

Feel free to tally the number yourself.

The contest will run for ONE WEEK–It ENDS November 5, 2010 at MIDNIGHT EST! Then, a winner will be selected by

Thanks for celebrating with me!

Mental Health Monday–Impulse Control AND Contest Winner for Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students

Drum roll please! The contest winner (generated by for Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonseca is:


Please send your address to my e-mail ( I’ll forward it to Christine and she’ll send you signed copy of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students!



The DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines a subset of disorders called Impulse Control Disorders. Little is known about the specific biologic basis of these disorders, but they are considered part of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder spectrum, a subset of Anxiety Disorders.

They include:

  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder (sudden, minimally provoked episodes of rage, anger, verbal outbursts, physical violence, and/or destruction of property)
  • Kleptomania (stealing, not necessarily shoplifting, though)
  • Pathological Gambling
  • Pyromania (fire-starting), and
  • Body-focused repetitive or compulsive behaviors such as trichotillomania (a compulsion to pull one’s hair out), onychophagia (biting nails), and dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking).

The individual is unable to control their impulses and as a result, they can face significant disruption in their functioning and quality of life because they act way before they take the time to consider options or consequences. In many cases, the individual can feel regret for their behavior, but before hand, it’s almost like they can’t stop themselves.

Various treatments include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, medication management (with SNRI’s or SSRI’s/anti-depressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, even anti-psychotic medications in some cases). The success of therapy and meds is largely dependent on when symptoms started, how severe they are, and how long the person went before seeking treatment. Symptoms often fluctuate with the amount of perceived stress.

So, have any of your characters developed or displayed any of these impulsive behaviors? How did it get expressed?

Remember, this post is for writing purposes only and is NOT meant to be construed as medical treatment or advice.

Check out Lydia’s post for Medical Mondays!