Thursday, May 6, 2010

Random thought of the day!

Are there animal therapists? Because I believe that my cat may be bipolar.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Conner (Depression & Sexual Abuse)

Conner is the type of guy that everyone thinks has everything. However, his past life has caused him a lot of harm. At first he has a lot of sexual thoughts. He feels like there is a sexual connection with him and his therapist that is a woman. He thinks that every girl in the treatment center wants him. Before he came to Aspen Springs he had developed a relationship with an older woman that was one of his teachers. She broke it off because of the pressure and he felt like his world was over. His controlling mother doesn't think that Conner should be on medication. She says that people who take medication are freaks; they have no future. Well this statement is NOT true. Conner therapist prescribes him Valium and Ativan to help him sleep. However, because of his mother's comments he decides to take himself off the medication. This is NOT a good thing. Someone canNOT take themselves off their own medication. It can cause the person to become even more depressed and this is exactly what happened to Conner. At the end of the book we find out that Conner's nanny touched him at the age of 12. He thought that this was the real way to show love because his mother never hugged him or showed him any physical love. He says, "woman in my life Dr. Boston, Leona, Emily--tried to please them--because of wanting attention from my mother." Conner was taught the wrong way about love because of his nanny. This sexual abuse caused him to become insecure which is why he had a lot of sexual thoughts about a lot of different woman. Conner kills himself at the end of the book because he was so depressed. This is why people should NOT take themselves off their medications. It's dangerous!

Tony (Addiction)

Tony has always had a hard life. His mother went from man to man and didn't care what happened to him. One of her boyfriends sexually assualted him at the age of 8. He tried to tell his mother but she called him a "liar." After taking the abuse for so long he took the boyfriend's gun from his truck and killed him. Tony had to go to a juvenille detention center for 6 years. After he was let out he decided to live on the streets. While on the streets he became addicted to drugs. He would do anything to have drugs at all times. He became street smart. The fact that one of his mother's boyfriends sexually assualted him made him believe that he was gay. On the streets he used men to get to the drugs. He met a man by the name of Phillip, whom was also gay, who took him in. He showed Tony that love doesn't always have to come through sexual actions. Phillip took Tony to church where he became a Christian. Religion helped Tony a lot after Phillip dies; however, he doesn't feel loved anymore and tries to kill himself by overdosing. His father, that abandoned him and his mother, puts him in Aspen Springs for treatment. While there Tony craves for drugs but is strong willed. At the end of the book he falls in love with Vanessa and develops a relationship with his father. He finally feels loved and doesn't need the drugs anymore.

Vanessa (Self-mutilation & Bipolar Disorder)

When Vanessa is first introduced in the book she is into self-mutilation--she can't help but to cut herself. This action helps her cope with all her problems at home. It's her way of dealing with the pain. "Cutters" tend to feel hatred toward themselves and the only way to take out that hatred is to hurt themselves. To help her the therapists prescribe her prozac--"a white, crystalline psychoactive drug, CHFNO HCl, used to treat depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive neurosis, ect..." ( However, after 6 weeks of taking the drug Vanessa still doesn't feel better. She complains that she tosses and turns during the night and can't get to sleep. She talks about her blue to white back to blue phases: "...why is mania bad, if it means you're on top of the world, where everything is white" (73). She went back and forth from manic episodes to mania episodes. During manic episodes people feel hyperactive, rushed, agreesive, and angry. During mania episodes people feel more depressed and lonely.
Her mother had bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia. Since her mother had BPD Vanessa is more likly to have it because it is a genetic disorder. Vanessa's therapist finally hears about her mother and prescribes her lithium. This drug has many side effects like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, muscle weakness, and ringing in the ear. Vanessa experiences vomiting and diarrhea after starting the lithium; however, she keeps taking it and after more then 8 weeks she starts to feel a lot better.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

For my psychology class I read a book called Impulse by Ellen Hopkins. This book was about three main characters--Conner, Tony, and Vanessa--that each share a different background yet become friends. In the beginning of we learn about each characters' problems and what brings them to Aspen Springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted suicide. By the end of the book--which is a period of 6 to 7 weeks of treatment--these three characters all become friends, and their lives are forever changed because of their new friendships.

Conner is a preppy athletic boy who seems to have it all: All that is except for love. His parents push him to his limits. They compare him to his tiwn sister, Cara. They expect the very best from him and there's no room for failure. Conner becomes overwhelmed and can't take it much longer. He decides to end his life by putting a gun to his chest and pulling the trigger; however, he fails in his attempt and is put into treatment at Aspen Springs where he tries to learn how to deal with his depression.

Tony has always lived without love and support. "I had nothing to lose." His mother went from man to man just so she could have a supplier at all times. One of her boyfriends sexually assaults Tony at the age of eight. He tries to inform his mother but she refuses to believe his "lies" and he is left to defend for himself. Because his mother refused to believe him he ends up killing the man which lands him in juvenile detention for about six years. After leaving the juvenile detetion facility he decides he will not live with his mother and her new boyfriend, so he lives on the streets. He becomes obsessed with drugs and does whatever he can to get more. He believes that he is gay because of his actions while living on the streets. After trying to commit suicide his father, who abandoned him at a young age, puts him into Aspen Springs. He starts to build a relationship with his father that he thought would never be possible and falls in love with a girl by the name of Vanessa.

Vanessa only feels a sense of release when she cuts. She becomes free and can stay away from the "blue." After attempting suicide, by cutting her wrist, her grandmother has sent her to Aspen Springs. She is taking medication for her depression; however, the medication is making her feel even more depressed. While in treatment she decides she will not tell her therapist that her own mother suffered from bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia. BPD is genetic; therefore, her antidepressant medication was causing her to feel even more depressed. Finally her grandmother informs her therapist about her mother and they prescribe her lithium. This drug makes her very sick at first and she doesn't want to take it; however, she sticks it out and finally feels like the "blue" is gone. At the end of the book she falls in love with Tony and knows what it's like to finally be loved.

These three characters all came from different backgrounds and had different stories. Yet they still crossed paths and became friends. I will be discussing some of the abnormal behaviors described in this book.