Sunday, August 28, 2011

Reality TV

We all know that reality tv changes the lives of those who participate in the many storylines and shows we all now identify as our guilty pleasure.

Recently the soon to be ex-husband of a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills committed suicide.  Were there underlying mental health issues, of course.  But how much can be blamed on reality tv?  The marital issues were apparent on the episodes in which he was featured, but the reported financial issues were not. Both were indeed stressors.

 It is yet to be seen what will happen with Ronnie from the popular show Jersey Shore.  Intermittent Explosive Disorder is playing a large role in his storyline from what we can see.  In my experience in various social situations, many people confuse this disorder with Bipolar Disorder. 

Intermittent Explosive Disorder is characterized by: failure to resist aggressive impulses that cause destruction of property or assault, not due to another mental disorder or medication.  These reactions are not proportional to the stressor, and will likely produce a strong sense of remorse and guilt for the action.

Is it likely that Ronnie suffers from this disorder? Yes.  It is also likely that he could suffer from other mental health issues as well that are left on the cutting room floor.  His bouts with aggression are strongly related to relationship violence and verbal abuse with another cast member.

So does the stress of reality tv cause the event?  Or is there an innate battle occurring within the minds of these tv stars?

Us Versus Them, You Versus You.

As a society we love dieting and we love food.  Multimillion dollar companies thrive on the mentality of Us Versus Them.  At your workplace. are you surrounded by Lean Cuisines and fast food?  Is the conversation about the newest diet or the latest dollar menu item? 

Our society loves to compete.  We often do so with our physical look and our place in society.  Through diet we can be what we want to be physically, but I challenge that we do not have the will power as a country to sustain this fight much past lunch.

A typical day started off with either a cup of coffee or a yogurt and a fruit--the commercials always show lean women eating this, it must work.  By mid morning, you are starving, but commit to make it a few more hours.  Lunch arrives and the appropriately portioned microwave meal and a diet soda round off the hour while you sit and judge the weaker population who has given in to their craving.  You are winning, just like the commercial said you would, and so is that company--what a great team.

Just two hours later you have lost the fight and 1.00 in the vending machine for your favorite snack, the other team is now in the lead.  You want the sugar and you are fighting sleep, plus it tastes so much better and it is only a small bag with no trans fat. 

The whistle sounds and you are headed home.  You are again starving and there are too many options available to sway you beyond the realm of self control.  Plus, the kids and the spouse are not willing to short change their tummies for the sake of the fight.  You indulge in a salad (with so much dressing it equals a fast food small fry), because salads are what the "skinny" people eat and they are so plain without Ranch.  At dinner's end, you snack on the left over mac n' cheese, and before you know it you are head first in the bowl of ice cream.  Why?  Because since you lost the battle today to the cookies from the machine in the hallway, you might as well give it up and start again tomorrow.  The commercials are again filling you with self confidence and tomorrow is a new day!

Deprivation for the sake of weight loss is not effective.  Fighting the good fight in public only to relapse at home is not effective.  Gaining control of your emotions and understanding how food and your body can actually be friends may very well be your ticket to a size smaller with a brownie on the side.

Inspired by this article.

Did I Fail?

When I set out on this journey to encourage others to find a sense of self, and possibly learn a bit about myself as well, I never though it would be less than one year before it fell to the bottom of my priority list.  Why do blogs fail?

I spent some quality time with Google today trying to find out why.  I stumbled upon an article on World of Psychology that dicussed it.

My blog failed for a few simple reasons.

1.  I simply put more time and effort into updating my personal Facebook and Twitter.  The amount of hours I spent on an ordinary evening refreshing those feeds could have been spent on updating my blog.  Upon reflection, my priorities are definitely a little off.

2.  Life.  Simply put, my brain and my body just needed a break.  I have been growing personally and hitting very important milestones.  Has this taken away much of my free time lately, yes.  Do I regret not devoting more time to my sweet little blog adventure, not until today.

So what can I do?  This evening, I am plan to update my blog with the articles that I have been saving.  I plan on catching up, and digging further into the latest of mental health happenings.  I must motivate myself to do this.  Why?  Because it is just me in this world before all else.  It isn't just about the blog, the social networks, the job, hobbies, or anything else.  It is about the self and its purpose.  Is this blog then my purpose?  I don't really know, but perhaps for now it can lead me there and help some others along the way.  Or at least that is the idea.