Sunday, August 19, 2007

Self-Help Cornucopia

Many readers email me to ask my recommendations for good self-help books on a variety of emotional or psychological issues. I thought it might be helpful to some of you (and easier for me to direct requests here) to have a post of my favorite books for what ails you or someone you care about.

I will start with the most prevalent emails and google searches that this site gets: what to read when someone you care about has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). The best book I have found on the topic is Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care about Has Borderline Personality Disorder and its accompanying workbook The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook. These books have very practical suggestions that are easy to implement and help to make sense of the disorder in a way that allows for understanding the person suffering from BPD, yet their focus is on the non-BPD individual who must interact and deal with someone with BPD. You can read more about the books in my post on "Walking on Eggshells" here. If you have a parent with BPD, try reading Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds & Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem. I read this book a few years ago for work and it really gave some good insight into how adult children of parents with BPD could learn to heal their wounds.

Turning to another area of concern for some of you is dealing with anxiety and depression, whether about your job, your family, or life in general. I know I have harped on Albert Ellis's work before but I do believe he has some of the best self-help books around for those with tendencies toward these two common problems. For anxiety related disorders, I recommend Ellis's book, How To Control Your Anxiety Before It Controls You and for depression, I recommend How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable about Anything: Yes Anything! An added bonus of these books is that not only do they teach you to lessen depression and anxiety, they teach how to live in a world where one is rejected frequently without letting it get the best of you.

Another area where of concern for emailers and others is with the emotion of anger. Now, I have to say that I am one who believes that anger can be a positive emotion that leads us to action or anger can let us know that we feel that we are being treately unfairly. I do not believe in eradicating anger, for it has its benefits. However, the way it is expressed may not always be healthy for the individual. If you are dealing with anger that you feel is unhealthy, try reading Ellis's How To Control Your Anger Before It Controls You.Specifially for women who are dealing with anger, look at Women and Anger, Use Your Anger, and The Anger Workbook for Women: How to Keep Your Anger from Undermining Your Self-Esteem, Your Emotional Balance, and Your Relationships. The Women and Anger book is a bit old (1993) but has some terrific academic research and information on why women are angry and what to do about it.

Finally, what are good books if you are dealing with a child who has emotional problems? This is difficult to narrow down as there are so many problems that afflict children. If your child has been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, it's a good idea to pick up a copy of The Bipolar Child: The Definitive and Reassuring Guide to Childhood's Most Misunderstood Disorder by Demitri and Janice Papolos. The book is chockfull of information on how to deal with school, home, medication and other areas that are essential to monitor in order to stablize the mood of your bipolar child. One childhood problem that we don't see talked about much is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; it affects many kids, especially those who tend towards being a perfectionist. If you or your child has OCD, try Stop Obsessing!: How to Overcome Your Obsessions and Compulsions. And last, but not least, if your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, my favorite expert on the topic is Russell Barkley who wrote Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents.

Okay, I have just touched the surface of the self-help world but this post is already long enough so I will stop. Just as an aside, I used to scoff at self-help books and did not believe in them. I found out through trial and error that I was wrong and that many of them are helpful to millions of people--that is, if one can wade through the bad ones and find the gems. So do the rest of us a favor--if you have a self-help book to recommend, drop a line in the comments with the name of the book and why you like it.

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Blogger Webutante said...

I guess I left the diagnostic mode a decade ago when I started studying Bowen Theory which is a systems approach in which there is no "identified sick patient" only the family unit. Anxiety manifests in different ways in different members of the family. The only cure is beginning to differentiate, and it's boundaries but much more. A bit more sophisticated too.

Also, I just posted a video of a session of work by Byron Katie in which she takes people and their projections and turns them around with amazing results. Her work is about becoming a separate self in the midst of a fused family emotional system. This is true freedom and the beginning of selfhood where you can love those stinking family members you used to think were your problem.

Also on my list of favorites is Dr. David Schnarch the famous sex counsellor in Evergreen, Colorado who wrote "Passionate Marriage" about how differentiation of self keeps sexual passion alive in marriage (not to mention strengthens one's immune system). No one is the labeled with bi-polar or anything like that, only with chronic anxiety of the system that manifests in such and such ways and which begins to heal when one person starts the not-for-the-faint-hearted work of differentiation.

2:22 PM, August 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read Stop Walking on Egg Shells more than once. Hell, I could have contributed to a few chapters had I been asked.

It's a good book for teaching one to guard their loins as it were. Amazing what someone suffering that illness is capable of, and how the legal and medical system side with that person, mainly because no one wants to deal with them (can't blame them either).

I've always heard you can take ten "normal" people and lock them in a room with one who is not, for say, 30 days. You get 11 "nut cases" out, not 11 "normals".

So anyway, explain to me the "no identified sick patient" thing. I really want to hear this. I know four people who are much better off in this world by no longer being around an "identified sick patient". Or maybe it was our fault? I was told that once by an extremely left leaning therapist, who was immediately fired.

5:16 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Webutante said...

Let me see if I can explain my understanding of the "identified patient" just a little...

In family systems therapy, when a family or a couple comes in, often there's one member of the family who is identified as having or being "the problem" by the rest of the may be they're labeled ADD, schizophrenic, bi-polar, asthmatic, or sick in some other way, but nonetheless, they are considered the sick one that everyone else identifies and focuses on as having the problem. That allows everyone else to think they're well and have no problem.

The identified patient often believes they're the problem too and then acts out the entire system's anxiety be it through violence, sickness, delusion....whatever. It's not any one person's fault, it's just the way systems automatically operate. Anxiety travels through the system and often lodges in the weakest, or most willing one, often a child.

It's always a relief in families that there is someone else who can carry the sickness load for all the rest of them...the gig there is that one person is sick and there's always sadly a lot of labeling that goes on to make the diagnosis stick!

Dr. Bowen began to realize when he worked to calm the family system with a schizophrenic down and take the focus off that "identified patient," other members in the family system began to own their stressful patterns and the identified patient started to get well! Often dramatically.

When Dr. Bowen encouraged even one family member to focus not on the "identified patient" but on him or herself and to define and differentiate, the sick one and the whole system often got better and many time the diagnosis fell away.

This is very over-simplified. But for instance, a married couple who has unresolved problems between them might end up projecting these on their young child who acts it out through behavioral or physical problems while they begin to enjoy a certain temporary peace between them while focusing on the sick child who's really manifesting their unresolved stuff.

Bowen said the "identified patient" is merely the symptom of undealt with stress in the entire family system in most cases. And sought to give the sick one a little breathing room in order to be able to get away from the labels. It's an amaazing transformative process of taking personal responsibility for what's yours--the anger, projections, addictions, bad habits---and beginning to stop labeling someone else as sick.

There's lots more if you google Bowen theory, or David Schnarch or Ed Friedman (a student of Bowen theory who took it away from just the arena of schizos and extended it to all family systems.

Every single dysfunctional family I know has some sort of identified patient to some degree or another and has an investment in keeping the focus off themselves and on the identified patient.

It is more complex than this, but that's a little something...hope it helps.

7:46 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Webutante said...

One other thing I forgot: in my experience, much of the helping professions---that does not think systems but individuals-- has bought into the identified patient idea and only, in my opinion, perpetuates and deepens the family situation...

I would never go back, could never go back, to old modalities for therapy. Systems takes one towards true freedom and aliveness without taking prisoners....

7:53 PM, August 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you.

I need to do some digging again, it appears. The dynamic of the family is certainly a part of the deal. Perhaps I had a bad therapist at first.

I was shocked and amazed when told the kids and I could actually make my ex bi-polar and BPD. I assumed that was latent baggage that blew up in everyones face when she hit 40 and both her parents died within a couple months of one another.

Damn it, the kids and I ARE bad people after all.

Sorry for being a wiseacre, but I am a long way from where you are.

8:28 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Webutante said...

Actually I have a long way to go. I can still blow my stack--Mt. Helens style( I become the identified family volcano!!)---once every two or three years and ruin all the good work I do in the meantime... but now do have more of an awareness when I'm projecting my anxieties on others and sometimes when others are on me.

Fun to talk about this stuff....

8:43 PM, August 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I don't understand, or I'm not getting through to you either.

Sometimes I wish this site were as fast as instant messaging. A real conversation could occur.

I'm not talking about a dad who blew his stack too often. Or kids who flung poo around the house and spit their peas at their mom.

I'm talking Jekyl and Hide, with the change from one to the other every bit as fast. And permanent.
Three totally freaked kids and a freaked husband / dad.

However, only the immediate family was attacked and otherwise
"gone off" upon.

I hope what you are working on helps others. But no one will ever convince me the kids and I "made" her sick. You haven't lived until - out of the blue - your spouse of 18 years comes at you with a carving knife in a rage.

The killer of it is, I'm not the lone ranger. Millions of men have experienced nearly the same thing.
I can't imagine not having gotten the children. I almost did not get them, believe it or not. My real problem became with the legal system, the police, the medical "professionals".

Quirks in peoples' personalities is fun to talk about. I have a quirk for every occasion. But what I just talked about wasn't fun. I knew better than to poke my nose into this thread. Never mind. Pretend I wasn't here.

9:09 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Bill Peschel said...

Two books have really helped me in recent years (actually, it was three, but for a different reason.)

1. "Stumbling on Happiness" by Daniel Gilbert gave me great insight into the mind and its limitations.

2. "Getting Things Done" by David Allen. I've used this system regularly twice, and even though I've stopped for various reasons, using it helped me get through a lot of tasks that have preoccupied me.

3. "Have a 48-Hour Day" by Don Aslett, who parlayed a home-cleaning business into a line of self-help books. I love Don, I really do, but he had an anecdote that described he and his wife at 3 a.m. building their house in Hawaii. Reading that absolutely insane story made me realize that people are wired very differently. Most high-achievers who seem to polish off 20 items daily on their to-do list are energized in a way that I am not, and that's taught me to not beat myself up because I can't sleep 4 hours a night like Martha Stewart and be at the top of multiple professions.

9:20 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Webutante said...

It takes a while to understand systems's a paradigm shift. But there is no blame, none, involved in any family fact, blaming anyone for anything is simply not a part of the worldview....but you can explore that for yourself wishes!

9:40 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger Jason said...

Fortunately we have a justice system that does assign blame in cases of domestic aggravated assault.

11:29 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger mean aunt said...

Webutante--I have this vague memory of reading "The Family Crucible" many years ago in a psych class. It seems like it was what you are describing. It was a very interesting approach and a good read.

11:57 AM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Serket said...

br549: I've always heard you can take ten "normal" people and lock them in a room with one who is not, for say, 30 days. You get 11 "nut cases" out, not 11 "normals".

Do the 10 normal people recover? I would think there has to be a chemical factor in crazy people that is strong and not just contagion.

2:04 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger leon said...

I have a confession to make here and while it's private and confidential, if it helps others who were in my position, then it's worth it.

I had bad problems with depression. I wasn't Bipolar nor Manic, but things did get bad--especially on Sundays (probably because of work the next day). I would dread Sunday, I would wake up and would rather it be Monday and I was at work already. But it wasn't just Sundays, it was every day.

I've started reading Instapundit a while ago. I like Glenn's outlook but I loved yours even more. You tended to write more from the heart and you weren't afraid to come out and let people know how you felt about every issue. Glenn straddles the fence too much. :)

But I digress.

I never ever read a self-help book. I came from the old school that, as a male, I had a special duty to my family to hide any and every psychological problem from them, to isolate myself, and that I had to get through this myself. That I had to work through it.

When Dr. Ellis passed away, I read your post on him and your book recommendation. Now, it wasn't just what you said about him and his therapies and his approach, it was HOW you wrote about him. My interest was piqued.

That evening I ordered his book. When I received it, when everyone was off to bed, I started reading it.

I had to put it down, make sure no one was looking, for it felt like he was talking to ME, he mentioned every single aspect of what it felt like, what I thought about it, and what I needed to do. After only ONE chapter I immediately felt better. It was as if I finally knew that:

1. I had a problem (albeit not a grand one).

2. I could do something about it.

In just two weeks (yes, I love how this sounds like an infomercial)I changed my life.

I hated my life because of few things, mainly my job (which had an outstanding salary which is why I was cuffed via golden handcuffs).

I've decided to go back to school for what I love working on, and that, along with RET approach, I've been a brand new person. I didn't quit my job but it will help finance my school for my love of medicine and while I am too old for MD, I will make a grand effort in getting back to working with people, helping them.

So to all that think that self-help books are for the birds, or (as I used to think) for the weak, think again.

I wanted to conclude this comment by thanking you, Helen. If it was not for your post about Dr. Ellis, I would be going on the same road as I was for the past 15 years.

Words do not describe my appreciation and my gratitude. May one day I repay you in some way.

2:29 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Derek said...

I think it's important to note that a family systems theory approach does not preclude recognition of a diagnosable biological, neurological, or toxicological condition. That condition would be recognized as a component of the system. But a systems oriented approach would also look at how the actions and behaviors of the family may contribute to the perpetuation of the problem (e.g., enabling of alcoholics).

It's also important to note that Bowen's approach is one of several systems oriented approaches to family therapy. An alternative would be the structured family system approach of Salvador Minuchin.

4:03 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


"Words do not describe my appreciation and my gratitude. May one day I repay you in some way."

You just did... thanks for your post.

4:13 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Webutante said...

Derek, that sounds right on to me. While systems isn't a blame game with an identified patient, it does encourage an individual to take maximum responsibility for her actions and the pathology she or he might play in the system, often unwittingly in the name of love.

Trying to talk about systems theory briefly and adequately in a comment section is not very realistic. I'm merely point towards something meaningful to me....

4:35 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Derek said...

Webutante, you mean the Sourcebook of Family Theories and Methods won't fit in a comment box?

4:55 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger E Buzz said...

I recommend Nathaniel Branden's books and tapes. They've really helped me get a hold of myself when I needed some help.

The Six Pillars of Self Esteem is a good one.

Great blog Dr.

5:03 PM, August 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Helen, I need a book on how to deal with the insanity and paranoia of living in a world where I, as a male, can be falsely accused of rape or violence by a woman anytime, anywhere and railroaded through the system and possibly convicted. Any suggestions?

5:29 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger michaele said...

I'm the mother of a 37 year old daughter who was diagnosed with OCD back in the mid 80's. We lived near DC at the time and she was accepted into the NIH trial program for a new drug that was hoped to help with OCD. The drug, anafranil (sp?) proved so successful that they ended the blind study early so all the kids could have a chance at the drug. Ironically, being part of the study has perhaps hampered my daughter in all these ensuing years. She is very resistant to any psycho therapy and depends on drug therapy to tamp down symptoms. As a participant in the study, she was put under the proverbial microscope and had to constantly answer questions about what her symptoms were and their intensity. It's like that used her up for being willing to participate in normal therapy which I think would be hugely helpful for her. It makes my heart heavy that she isn't willing to avail herself of aid beyond medication. I have always respected her sense of privacy and what's right for her but...sigh. Maybe one of this books will help me to help her. Thanks for recommending some.

5:40 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Webutante said...

Touche, Derrick....I now have "brain derangement syndrome" from all this heady commenting....I need to go back to blogging on fly fishing and my favorite roasted okra recipes!

6:16 PM, August 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That was a joke, only. Part of my weird sense of humor is presenting it in such a way where one has to think a minute to see if I'm joking or not. None of the rest of the post was a joke, however.

But thanks for not asking if I was the one, or one of the ten.

6:32 PM, August 20, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


I have just the book for you. Professor KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor have this book coming out in early September-- "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case." It is available at Amazon on Sept. 4th.

5:55 AM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger JJW said...

Probably of all the self-help books I've read, David Burns's Feeling Good had the most profound effect. It's an introduction to doing CBT on yourself. I should note that I didn't really start to get the kinds of results I needed until I did CBT with a therapist...who happened to use Burns's companion handbook as a teaching tool.

As mentioned by another commenter, Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness is wonderful. Not a true self-help book, per se, but it's revelatory when it comes to the things most of us think we want and what we expect will make us happy.

I also read Walking on Eggshells following my split from a Borderline wife. Not to threadjack here, but I feel confident that the only thing to do if you are in a relationship with a BPD person (or other type of abuser) is to get the hell away as soon as you become cognizant of what the situation truly is. Putting effort into trying to live with a Borderline is utterly insane, in my opinion. Martyrdom becomes very few, and you usually only get posthumous recognition, anyway.

Lots of good stuff here, Dr. H. Your posts are predominantly quite interesting, and you seem to draw some rather thoughtful comments.

9:09 AM, August 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have just the book for you. Professor KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor have this book coming out in early September-- "Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case." It is available at Amazon on Sept. 4th."

Wow. I'm underwhelmed. One book. And even this book, as good as it might possibly turn out to be, sounds like a social commentary and not a 'self-help' book. Any other issues for men are almost nothing compared with this issue.

Let me give you a taste of how it feels in terms you can understand as a woman. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow to find that rape was now legal. You would flip completely out, going around saying this is crazy, which it would be. You would be living in a state of fear that would be paralyzing. Then when you mention it to men, the only response they give is: "Not all men are like that," or "what do you have against men, what's wrong with you? You must have really gotten burned- poor thing."

1:21 PM, August 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. What's the matter? Cat got your tongue? That's what I thought. You and everyone else here has just so much to say on here.. about fluff. You people run from difficult issues that are more important than anything else like they were rabid wolves with AIDS. What good are you people?

3:47 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


"Cat got your tongue?"

Give yourself some reality, I have to you know... do my job and other things besides blog every once in a while, believe it or not!

I understand that you are angry and perhaps reasonably so. But you are treating me and everyone here like the enemy when I don't believe that to be the case. I agree that there are many injustices that men are dealing with today. I do not dispute that. I wish I could change that, but I have to deal with the reality of what I can do. Sorry if it is not enough.

6:09 PM, August 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I understand that you are angry.."

Shifting the subject to me. Classic female shell game to yet again avoid the subject. Sorry, I'm not easily fooled. The situation has nothing to do with me, but I would like someone to tell me and every other man how to deal with this reality. I'm making a very important point.

"But you are treating me and everyone here like the enemy..."

No, I mentioned the fact that what you talk about here is fluff. That doesn't make you the enemy, it makes you useless in the face of the most important issues, and that is your cue to rise up to the occasion and quit being so wimpy. You're the 'expert'- act like one and give me some real advice instead the little 'mommy-touchy-feely' advice you would give to a child, but to a man, but then again, I suspect you have never met a real man before.

7:01 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


"That doesn't make you the enemy, it makes you useless in the face of the most important issues..."

Then what in the hell are you doing here? If this place is useless, why waste your time here? Start your own blog or do something that you feel would help the situation. If it's good, I'll link to it and others might also.

7:24 PM, August 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then what in the hell are you doing here? If this place is useless, why waste your time here?"

Wow. Sounds familiar- like most women today- zero accountability. What am I doing here? You're supposed to be an 'expert.' That is supposed to mean 'more than some MRA blog or website.' Why do you have to have everything spelled out for you? You really don't get it, do you? Are you even college educated?

8:16 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger LissaKay said...


You know, I do believe that the name of this site is "Dr. Helen" ... and that would mean that it would be ... "Dr Helen" that decides what is written about here. Strange concept, eh? The blog OWNER chooses the subject matter for her own blog.

Perhaps, and I know this will seem like a really wild idea, you might *ask* Dr Helen to address an issue that holds interest for you. You might even woo her a bit by flattering her by noting her expertise and common interest in similar subjects. I bet she would take you up on that offer, and even ask you for more input from you.

Instead, you barge in, demand she give you what you want, and when she does not cooperate with the demands, you further abuse her.

Sound familiar?

1:26 AM, August 22, 2007  
Blogger LissaKay said...

Back to the original topic of the post ...

I found Demitri and Janice Papolos' book "The Bipolar Child" to be immensely helpful when I was dealing with the worst of my son's bipolar disorder. It was also very comforting, as a parent, to have these experts "speak" so warmly to me ... for the first time, I was not made to feel as if the bipolar was somehow my fault, a discipline issue or due to bad parenting. It readily acknowledged that bipolar can appear vastly different and that treament varied in their efficacy from one child to the next, and that finding the right combination of medicines and therapies was a matter of trial and error.

"The Bipolar Child" is written in a way that is easy to understand, but not condescending or simplistic. The Papolos' encourage and enable the parents to be wise and empowered advocates for their child, without painting doctors, hospital and schools as the enemy. My only gripe is that it is written to a parental audience that is presumed to be married or a couple, and does not adequately address the unique issues and challenges of handling a child/teen with bipolar as a single parent. Maybe one day I will write such a book ... "First you scream, then you cry, then you get to work"

1:42 AM, August 22, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Hi, thanks for your critique of the Papolos book. I agree that a self-help book for single parents of Bipolar children would be very useful. It is so hard when single parents have to deal with all that goes into providing structure and therapy to such kids. I think the key is getting a team together, at school, perhaps case management if possible and mental health treatment. Easier said than done though.


If you read my "About Me" section in the sidebar to your right, it states:

"I do not provide free therapy or therapy of any type on this blog. I am a blogger and am writing about topics that interest me. I provide commentary on popular culture and society. If you need therapy--seek a therapist."

I am sorry this blog does not suit your needs. I just write about what interests me. This blog does not bash men the way that many do and I try to write about issues that are important to men. What you want is someone who can change the laws and the culture regarding false rape charges and other issues important to men. That takes more than a website, it takes a "revolution"--a change in the way that society thinks and/or subsequently, a change in the laws. That is a tall order. I am not a politician or a magician. All I can do is bring some of the issues here to light on this blog. I can hope this helps. You call this "zero accountability" because I do not prescribe a clear course of action to simultaneously wipe out unjust laws against men and give men such as yourself a guarantee that they will never encounter a false rape charge or other travesty of justice. That is not the work of a blogger--or even an expert--but a god.

I think your main reason for being here, however, seems to be to grumble and complain.

6:02 AM, August 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you might *ask* Dr Helen to address an issue that holds interest for you"

That's what I did. I asked her for a book reference. Learn how to read.

"Instead, you barge in, demand she give you what you want, and when she does not cooperate with the demands, you further abuse her."

Obviously then your definition of 'abuse' is being held accountable for any failings and that is why your only contribution to the world will be excrement.

Nobody asked you for your opinion. If I want your opinion, I'll let you know. Make sure to hold your breath until that time comes. Thanks!

11:34 AM, August 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You call this "zero accountability" because I do not prescribe a clear course of action to simultaneously wipe out unjust laws against men and give men such as yourself a guarantee that they will never encounter a false rape charge or other travesty of justice"

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Nelly! You're going WAY out on a limb there just to avoid the subject. I thought you were supposed to be the cool-headed, rational one here. Go back and look at what I wrote:

"Dr. Helen, I need a book on how to deal with the insanity and paranoia of living in a world where I, as a male, can be falsely accused of rape or violence by a woman anytime, anywhere and railroaded through the system and possibly convicted. Any suggestions?"

I'm asking you how I am supposed to deal with this reality psychologically- or at least refer me to a book that can do that for me, not for you to change any laws. Get a grip.

But you don't even want to touch that that subject do you? So you throw up a smoke screen. This is REAL- this isn't some cutesy, cutesy topic about whether I should spank my children or give them time out.

And by the way, I do not have the time for a blog. Unlike yourself, I am what you call 'employed' and also have a life outside of the internet.

11:51 AM, August 22, 2007  
Blogger LissaKay said...

@reality2007 ...

Wow, the issues you have are way beyond the ability of either blog or book to resolve. I feel sorry for you. That's a whole lotta anger and angst to carry around, especially since it leads you to abusing others on the internet. Sad. Really, sad. Get help, man, and soon!

12:44 PM, August 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"That's a whole lotta anger and angst to carry around, especially since it leads you to abusing others on the internet. Sad. Really, sad. Get help, man, and soon!"

Hm. Gosh, let's see, you mean help from a therapist? That's a great idea! You know, it's really great that you brought that up because another item on my list to get help with is how to live in a world of pathetic parasitical zeros/bozos (laughingly called women) like yourself, and I also need to learn how to cope with the fact that women today are worthless and don't do anything for a man at all amymore.

Can you give me a referral?

2:16 PM, August 22, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reality2007 - You could just ignore the women. Who needs 'em? They have cooties anyway...

BTW, have you ever considered running for office?

1:33 PM, August 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"BTW, have you ever considered running for office?"

Have you ever considered the fact that you are about as clever as the script for a Grade-B TV sitcom that gets cancelled in it's first season?

2:19 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger PatHMV said...

I'm afraid I just can't buy into this "no identified patient" bit. Certainly when one individual is deeply off his/her rocker, it behooves all family members to learn how best to cope with that individual's mental illness.

But one of the most insidious things I've seen disturbed individuals do is make their loved ones doubt their own sanity. They'll deny doing things that they actually did, so vehemently that the non-crazy (to use the vernacular) family member truly begins to doubt their own reality. They deflect accusations and observations back on to other people.

I'm watching a dear friend at the moment go through a divorce from a seriously bi-polar man who is also addicted to alcohol, drugs, and sex. He's screwed up. He's spent the last 10 years trying to use her and screw with her mind. Sure, she bears responsibility for tolerating such abusive behavior for so long, but that doesn't make her mentally ill like he is. To treat her as if there were no fundamental difference between his craziness and her reaction to it does nothing more than help perpetuate his on-going abusive behavior.

I'm sure there are some situations where the "no identified patient" treatment might work. But one of my pet peeves about many psychological theories is that they assume that ALL cases fit under that theory, no matter what. They don't. Sometimes one of the people is crazy, and the other people around aren't, they've just had the misfortune to be connected to the crazy person in some not easily dissolved manner.

6:16 PM, August 23, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

I know this thread went off the rails, but I just saw it and wondered if you have a recommendation for dealing with a family member with paranoid schizophrenia. My family wants to know how to do what's best to help our family member. Any ideas or suggestions?

9:06 AM, August 24, 2007  
Blogger Helen said...


Hi, just saw your comment. There is a book entitled, "The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia." You can read a few pages of the book at and see if it is something your family would find helpful. Here is the link to do so:

7:45 AM, August 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How does one tell someone who is paranoid that that person is acting paranoid, without them getting all paranoid about it?

9:51 PM, August 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I agree with you. Bi-polar disorder and other things that "go along for the ride" are extremely difficult for the family. The sufferer of the illness too, eh?

But what kind of plans can you make? Anything more than five minutes ahead is impossible. A family vacation is out of the question. Going out to dinner as a family is impossible. The neighbors stop coming over, the neighbors' kids stop playing with your kids, etc. Sad, tragic, and no way to live. Hell, you CAN'T live that way.

Being a therapist is sort of like being a grandparent in some ways. You can come over and visit, bounce the problem on your knee, wipe its mouth and nose, straighten its clothes, hand it back when the time is up, and go home.

I can see not blaming an individual. But I have no such compassion for the illness. It gets very difficult to breathe when you see no way out for such a long time, you want the best for your kids, a better life for yourself and the the spouse suffering the illness - even though they are trying to destroy you. Then you are blamed for it on top of all that. And you reach a real low point when you realize there is nothing you can do to change things, to bring that person you loved so much for so long - who has disappeared - back. All the decisions are now being made by people who have not lived with it, and do not have to live with the decisions they make.

I am not a believer in no fault insurance, either.

10:27 PM, August 29, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did not mean to leave on a sad note. Hopefully, when one bottoms out they have a rubber butt and can bounce back pretty high eventually.

I still possess my rugged good looks, boyish charm, and naturally curly hair. What have I got to be down about?

7:02 AM, August 30, 2007  
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