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Author Topic: MLC Monster Feedback on MLC from an expert

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MLC Monster Feedback on MLC from an expert
OP: May 17, 2012, 06:27:11 PM
As I promised AnneJ on my thread I would post the info I gleaned from my discussion with the long-time Doctor of Psychology I have the pleasure of working alongside.  I told him I had some general questions but I think he probably realized my level of questioning was a bit personal.  I decided to post this on a separate thread so that those who don't normally check my thread could be party to the info.  I did not solve the puzzle of MLC, but I certainly came away with some good perspectives of what it might be and how it's perceived by the academia.

On whether or not MLC exists and why it is not recognized by the medical and psychological community:  "It is possible that MLC exists, but when you are dealing with a radical personality change before you can make an accurate diagnosis you have to first rule out medical causes.  Several things such as brain tumors, brain injuries, peri and menopause, andropause and many diseases can cause a drastic personality change."  He went on to tell me the story of a local man who was very successful and suddenly began acting much younger.  His W ordered an MIW on him due to concerns for his welfare and the doctor ordered a CT scan on the man.  What he found was "frontal lobe atrophy" which can occur around 40-50 in males and females and is a precursor to dementia and Alzheimers.  He said that they symptoms can lessen and the person seem like they are returning to normal, but the condition is irreversible and they will inevitably worsen as they age further.  This was news to me, both about the term as well as the fact that no diagnosis can be accurately made without ruling out a medical component.  I wonder if the frontal lobe atrophy may have to do with how some never "come out of the tunnel" so to speak.

On why we should not take what they say or do personally:  We know that if a person is a good person at heart who is very caring, they cannot simply become what looks like sociopaths overnight.  If the person cared before and was empathetic to others' feelings then they will always be that way barring a severe traumatic event such as going to war.  But, even then the core person remains.  He said we should know and accept that the things they do are NOT personal even though they look and feel that way for sure.  If the person were really that way then they would have been that way all along and their lack of regard for others would have shown up in all facets of their life.  He stressed again not to take their words or actions personal.  This is why I thought he might have picked up on it being about me.

On other possible causes for what we term MLC:  He said that some people to become good at hiding behind their jobs or their friends and covering up parts of their personality that are undesirable or that they just don't want others to know about.  When they can no longer hide behind their jobs or the people around them, or when they begin to realize that the people around them have begun to figure them out they may stop hiding and expose their true selves.  This often happens with borderline patients who are able to function in society but are often screaming inside their heads.  They are able to compartmentalize by suppressing those aspects of their personalities.  Notice that this does not contradict with the previous paragraph as the core person never changes, but rather the undesirable traits simply come to light.  I wonder now if my W may fit this description.

He has some literature to give me on how brain functions affect personality and such.  He said that if a personality change happens then it obviously has something to do with the brain or brain chemistry. That was another reason he said not to take it personally as there has to be something wrong upstairs, but we have no way of knowing what it is.  We also discussed his views on covert depression and whether or not they could compartmentalize enough to function in their jobs and society but not be able to function emotionally, and his response was that was possible due to the fact that industrialized societies teach people to do that anyway as the focus is on achievement and attainment.  To me this gives credence to the theory that collectivist societies do not suffer from this epidemic. 

I have alot more to share that we talked about and will post it as I remember it.  I've had a margarita already tonight (strong) and am getting ready for another so it may be tomorrow or the weekend.  I was fascinated by the convo and look forward to picking his brain more when the opportunity arises.  Perhaps the events of the last month really were meant to be for the best.  But again, a good day in Hell is still a day in Hell.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#1: May 17, 2012, 07:40:46 PM
Thundarr - thank you so much for posting his thoughts/opinion on this.
As you know - I've always been really interested in the brain aspect of this, and have always believed the root cause to be non functioning brains - for whatever reason.


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His W ordered an MIW on him due to concerns for his welfare and the doctor ordered a CT scan on the man.  What he found was "frontal lobe atrophy" which can occur around 40-50 in males and females and is a precursor to dementia and Alzheimers.  He said that they symptoms can lessen and the person seem like they are returning to normal, but the condition is irreversible and they will inevitably worsen as they age further.
What's a MIW?
This is really interesting, but a scary thought at the same time.
They also know now that depression reduces blood flow to the pre frontal cortex, so I guess could give similar personality and behaviour changes?  But might be more temporary?  Or not?

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I wonder if the frontal lobe atrophy may have to do with how some never "come out of the tunnel" so to speak.
Or ongoing depression, could be another reason??  Or anything that damages the pre frontal cortex beyond repair?

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He said we should know and accept that the things they do are NOT personal even though they look and feel that way for sure.  If the person were really that way then they would have been that way all along and their lack of regard for others would have shown up in all facets of their life.  He stressed again not to take their words or actions personal
Agree.  Poor brain function leads to bad behaviour, and decisions.

Do you know if he is a fan (or not) of Dr Daniel Amen's brain scanning work?

Looking forward to hearing more....
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#2: May 17, 2012, 07:49:14 PM
Here's the link to my thread where I took Dr Amen's Brain Health Survey on behalf of my MLC H.

http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1771.0
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#3: May 17, 2012, 07:50:42 PM
Kikki,

MIW stands for Mental Inquest Warrant.  It's what someone tries to have served on someone who they feel may be a danger to themselves or others.  A judge has to sign it and a Qualified Mental Health Professional has to do an assessment on the person within a set period of time to determine if they meet the criteria to be hospitalized.  I did one on a co-worker 12 years ago and he was committed to a mental hospital for 6 months.  He's okay now and has been thankful to me in our interactions since as he was a danger to himself at the time. 

Anyway, I will ask him about Amen's work.  I know that we now accept that teenager's brains are not fully formed and as such they do not have the decision-making abilities that adults do.  It is for this reason that the field is moving away from diagnosing children as having Conduct Disorder and now even Oppositional Defiant Disorder as it may simply be that they have not matured developmentally.  If an injury or, as you stated, a significant decrease in blood flow happens to this area of the brain then the judgment and emotional regulation are impaired.  This may very well be why we see our spouses exhibit "Monster" behaviors and say things that no person in their right mind would say as they are so cruel.  They truly have no regulation of what they say or how much it hurts someone.  Kind of reminds me of the old lady from the Golden Girls who would say anything and everything with no way of controlling what came out of her mouth.  Truly no one with any type of self-control would say some of the hateful things I have heard my W say.  Or, anyone with any judgment at all would not say some of the absolutely stupid things my W has said (I hate you because you watch wrestling!!).

I hope this is helpful.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#4: May 17, 2012, 08:00:21 PM
Ah, thank you for explaining.

Very interesting about the teenage brain too, and yes agree - your W has said the craziest things to you that make ZERO sense.  It is such a shame that she doesn't have a bung knee, instead of a bung brain (along with all of the other MLCers) - this is what makes this all so tough. 
It's a very cruel 'illness' for the family.

Thanks so much T
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#5: May 17, 2012, 08:54:21 PM
Thank you so much Thundarr. I will read with more detail tomorrow. I already gave it a quick read and it has some very interesting thoughts.

Hugs, A
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#6: May 17, 2012, 11:58:03 PM
I, too, had just a quick read; hope to be able to get to it in more depth at some point.

The thing that jumped out at me was the bit about the caring person, only because in a conversation with my H at the weekend (first face-to-face we'd had in over a year) I saw that; that the good, caring person he was at his core was still there.....  other factors jumbled on top, however.  But that's just a quick hit; no time to go into it now. 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#7: May 18, 2012, 09:46:01 AM

My SIL, I and the doctor from husband’s company wanted my husband to be tested for  hyperthyroidism because SIL and MIL were diagnosed with it and both needed surgery. We were wanting husband to get tested ages before he left. As soon as my SIL found out her mood swing and depressions came from the hyperthyroidism she talked to her brother and insisted we would get tested. He never did it.

I know MCLers physical appearance changes a lot but in late 2009 my husband was terrible thin, like he had come out of a concentration camp. Then, early 2010 he was swallen. Now, this could be just the crisis or it could be hyperthyroidism or crisis + hyperthyroidism. SIL and MIL had severe weight problems and oscillations until they took surgery. I always though hyperthyroidism could be a reason for husband’s behaviour before, right after and during the crisis.

My husband’s always had some not very desirable traits so he was not hiding them for 20 years. And he knew he had them, never pretend he did not have them. He would, on occasions, become very irritable and gloomy since he was young. But nothing compared to MLC monster. Again, if, like his relatives, he has hyperthyroidism that could explain his moods and the two or three depression he suffered since the late 90’s.

But none of that has made the caring and devoted man go away nor has he been awful with me. The hating me thing started not long before he left. Same for blaming me about everything under the sun.

Right now, and for the past 6 years I have no idea where the caring, kind, considered man I meet is. He may be being all that but not to me. I know ti is not personal but it is weird having to deal with all that projection, hear what they say, and see them tranfering affection and financial protection to someone else. Hard not to take it personal. If they would remain on their own and were not capable of behaving no nice and gently with everyone else things would be a little easier. I think it is a case of the caring person to be buried under anger, rage, hurt, maybe several health problems that have not been diagnosed.

Agree, a brain chemical change has occurred for them to change personality so much. That is valid for depression, hyperthyroidism, menopause, peri menopause, andropause, and many, many other things. Problem is there is no way we are going to be able to have our MCLers to go to a doctor and get tested for a series of things.

Also agree with the possibility of covert depression and the capacity to compartmentalise. Collectivist societies (and on primitive societies) do not, as far as my knowledge’s of history and anthropology goes, suffer from MLC. I’ve wrote a little bit about it on Kikki’s previous thread. It is what I refer as the soul being broken. We only feed ourselves material stuff, are all about achievement and success. That has a price and it is a very high one.

Kikki, I fear my husband’s never ending high replay actions will damage is brain forever. I even used to have dream about it. The dreams were in the future and he was on a health farm, totally incapable of recognise me or having any idea what had happened to him.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#8: May 21, 2012, 11:09:55 PM
I don't know if this is the correct way to reply but...
This topic is ringing bells for me.  Because I cannot understand my husband's behaviour, because it is all so completely out of character, I have always had a suspicion that there might be something going on that is not explained by any psychological theories.  Last week I was doing a web search for any scientific research on mlc.  All I can find is the MacArthur Foundation study that said mlc did not really exist and a few discussions of hormone-related mlc.  I am going to ask my doctor what she thinks.
Yes I know I shouldn't be focusing on HIS problem but, imagine if there was a physical cause for all this.  I know I excused myself for some very bad behaviour caused by monthly hormonal fluctuations--I was horrible.  It took me ten years to realise that my husband and I had awful fights.  Once a month.
What if?  Med & psych students take note.  Wide open field of research here.  And please invent a pill while you're at it.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#9: May 22, 2012, 03:21:44 PM
Just to add; before BD I did realise something was very wrong; even H did to some degree (but he hadn't been telling me a lot of what he'd been doing...) -- and he had his thyroid tested, as his sister had been diagnosed with problems.  I remember really hoping that there was a physical cause.

That turned out not to be the case, but I do know that for some it is.   It is always worth checking out. 

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#10: May 22, 2012, 06:41:11 PM
Funny thing today is that the doctor came to me and told me that he had a client who he was seeing who reported his mother making him ashamed due to her being 45 and acting and dressing 17.  When he came out she was waiting and he said he could have fell over as this woman was absolutely pathetic.  Her son said she was dating a much younger guy after leaving his father and everyone thought she was nuts.  Of course she thought all was fine.  The doctor said he wished she would come for therapy, but she was insistent that there must be something wrong with her son.

He assured me he would research further and get back to me.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#11: May 22, 2012, 06:43:23 PM
You're spreading the word Thundarr.  (in a subtle way).  Brilliant. 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#12: May 22, 2012, 06:51:19 PM
and he had his thyroid tested, as his sister had been diagnosed with problems.  I remember really hoping that there was a physical cause.

That turned out not to be the case, but I do know that for some it is.   It is always worth checking out.

Yes it is always worth testing out. Mine never got tested. He did not want to. He can have the thyroid problem or not. No one knows.

Nicely done, Thundarr.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#13: May 23, 2012, 03:55:26 AM
Very interesting. I just read that a PTSD may also cause personality changes due to changes in the brain chemistry. People who were emotionally and/or physically abused as a child and who were never able to talk about the abuse may develop a PTSD later on in life.

My H never talked about his childhood only that it was a happy one. But.. one of his sisters once told me that if she would have been treated like my H when he was a child, she would never want to see her parents again. She didn't understand why my H was still visiting his parents every weekend. She gave me some very horrible examples. Later on I asked my H about this but the only thing he said that he could understand his parents and that some of the things his sister told me were different in his memory.
And the strange thing is that my H after BD had been saying some very strange things to me. Like he was talking to his mother, things like that I had never been glad with him, never wanted him and much more crazy stuff. He doesn't even remember this episode anymore.

About Borderline personalities. People who suffer from Borderline they split people due to their black and white thinking. One day they are all good and the next day they are all bad. But I wonder if it is possible that people can hide such a personality for so long. If MLC is a kind of Borderliner how come that we never noticed something was wrong?
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#14: May 23, 2012, 04:02:01 AM
Niek - that is very interesting about PTSD.  I too wonder if this is my H.  Were you reading about this online?  And if so, would you mind posting a link please?  Thanks.
He has always despised his mother, but was always good to her, but distant.
He was always very vague about why.

Around BD, he did the same as your H.  Said all sorts of things that he had never mentioned to me before - but he was pretty manic at the time, and it was like he wasn't really talking to me. 
He also claims to have zero memory of doing this now too. 

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#15: May 23, 2012, 06:49:57 AM
Hi Kikki,

I am from The Netherlands so everything I read was in Dutch. But here is something in English. http://www.upliftprogram.com/article_ptsd.html

My H was also very good to his mother. Too good I should say. I now understand that he is severely parentified, his brothers and sisters too. They treat her like a little child. He couldn't do anything without his mother. He even wanted her to come and live with us, which I didn't allow.
And yes, he too was manic at that time and doesn't remember a thing.
You should also read about attachment. I always saw that his family is not attached in a normal way. They never communicate, only making jokes when it becomes too emotional, no one knows from each other what they are really doing or what is going on in their lives. His mother once gave my H an apron, saying that he loves to cook. You understand. The only thing he knows is how to boil an egg. There are a lot of other things she thinks about him which aren't true.
H once told me that his father used to beat him.... but his mother never did anything to prevent this. She just stood there and watched. All her children use to run away when they are having a conflict with someone else. Now I understand why.

So that is what I mean. She is not involved and you can really see that she was never able to stimulate her kids. If you are not involved as a mother, and not really love your kids unconditionally a child will feel that I guess. And I think it is too painful and thus you block this from your memory until you are not able anymore to do so.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#16: May 23, 2012, 02:01:09 PM
Thank you Niek, that was very interesting, and seems to fit my H.
I have read a book about attachment theory, and yes, think that also fits.

At BD, my H was shrieking 'She didn't protect us!' (his mother).
Very very sad. 
He had very little to do with his family, always far more attached and interested in my family, until this crisis hit.
What a legacy poor parenting leaves on the next generation. 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#17: May 23, 2012, 04:04:10 PM
If MLC is a kind of Borderliner how come that we never noticed something was wrong?

There are situations in life in which we all may display attributes of different personality disorders or bipolar or other issues of mental instability. In-fatuation itself causes some of these, then add the possessive longing of in-fatuation to a couple where one is technically unavailable... in women that may bring out attributes common to BPD. It may bring out narcissistic attributes in men. MLCmen display high levels of narcissism and MLC women display high levels of BPD. That doesn't mean they are NPD or BPD.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#18: May 24, 2012, 01:03:32 AM
@RCR. Thanks for your reply. This explanation fits my H cause when he met OW he really became manic and left us immediately.

@Kikki. Since my H is in MLC I learned more about his childhood than he ever told me due to the things he accused me of and other strange things he told me. Everybody has childhood trauma's I think. But it is the way you deal with them. If you burry them and never think about them anymore that is something you cannot persist.
I also understand now why H always wants people to like him. I once asked him about that cause why do you want the whole world to like you. It is about the people you love and who are close to you, your friends and family. Not the butcher or the guy from the supermarket. H became furies didn't say a word stood up and ran away. In the beginning of his crisis he was telling me all the time that it was soooo easy making other people to like him. How sad I think. So his crisis revealed the family secrets which they all tried to hide from the outside world.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#19: May 24, 2012, 09:03:24 AM
Thanks for starting this thread. Definitely gives us all something to think about. If MLC is due to some sort of organic pathology in the brain, it makes me somewhat afraid of many of our MLCers never getting better. BF has had depression for awhile, but was unwilling to acknowledge or seek treatment.  He would always say that he "had issues" and that his "mind was going to mush.". Maybe he was on to something and that was his cry for help? Did I drop the ball along the way by not seeing this? Should I have pushed him more to seek treatment for depression?

He hadn't 't worked for a long time.  I subscribe to the use it or lose it theory on intellect. I was always encouraging him to get out and do things and maybe even volunteer somewhere if he wasn't working.  Was this lifestyle choice a precursor to his brain processes going awry?  Was I responsible for not steering down a better path if he was beginning to be unable to do so himself? 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#20: May 24, 2012, 09:09:38 AM
Always know that there's nothing YOU did to cause the crisis, and nothing YOU could have done to stop it.  It's like saying, "If I'd only cooked more carrots, he wouldn't have glaucoma."   I mean, there may be external triggers and lifestyle things that didn't help, but ultimately, this is HIS biology, life experience, and choices that have been the path to this point.  I think we all did the best we could do at any given moment to balance our spousal duties of emotional care with our own self-preservation against what they've done.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#21: May 24, 2012, 10:55:44 AM
I just wanted to stick in my two cents.

There are hormonal changes as well that go on during this time period. Blood tests may reveal that the levels are normal, but the levels may have changed for the MLCer. That is to say, unless they were tested when they were healthy, it's hard to tell that's there has been a drop. For example, my H never needed to have his testosterone and thyroid levels tested, but after this past year he did have these tested after his episode. They came up normal levels. But what were they before? A drop can lead to mood or psychic changes.

Also, H was on a blood pressure medication. While this medication can be useful and of course life-saving in some instances, it has a common side-effect of depression. H has a dependent personality and is passive. He tends to get seasonal depression as well (vitamin D or omega -3 deficiency or serotonin imbalances). He also went on a diet (food deprivation) and got less than 5 hours sleep per night (sleep deprivation) Combine this with lower hormone levels and a few non-physical MLC components and you have a recipe brewing that not many medical doctors or therapists can diagnose. But it's a perfect storm.

Imperceptible mini-strokes, Lymes disease, and even Strep-B exposure can also cause personality changes. For example, my D17 suffers from migraines, and her migraine auras can also cause mini-seizures in the part of her brain that controls emotion; after one of these episodes, she can be bedridden with sadness for several hours. (no worries, she is well-controlled by medication and has been aura-free for years). Even some over the counter supplements or food allergies can be a challenge for some people.

I am not putting the full blame on physiology, but I am suggesting, for conversation, that they can be factors, especially for people who are at high risk for MLC to start with.

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#22: May 24, 2012, 11:36:45 AM
There are hormonal changes as well that go on during this time period. Blood tests may reveal that the levels are normal, but the levels may have changed for the MLCer. That is to say, unless they were tested when they were healthy, it's hard to tell that's there has been a drop. For example, my H never needed to have his testosterone and thyroid levels tested, but after this past year he did have these tested after his episode. They came up normal levels. But what were they before? A drop can lead to mood or psychic changes.
This is exactly correct.
It is not the level of the hormones but the rate of change that exists and this is just one factor out of many that make up the crisis.

This is like measuring the content of water in a running stream.
You can see what it is right this minute but it could be polluted 4 hours from now and then clear again in 48 hours.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#23: May 24, 2012, 01:20:00 PM
Excellent analogy OP.
Low blood sugar episodes can only be verified if you test the blood immediately upon feeling symptoms. To measure female hormones sometimes they have a saliva test kit to measure it daily for fluctuations. How about people who wear heart monitors or my daughter who had to wear wires on her head to "catch" the attack or seizure? Timing is everything.

But MLC is more than this as we know. I see now how the challenge of diagnosing my daughter has helped me through this. Not knowing she was having auras, doctors assumed she had a mood disorder. She could be frightened -- without cause -- one moment (and then she'd look to rationalize it) and then be depressed. Sometimes for days. We learned that the seizure episode was small -seconds long. But spreading to the mood center of the brain, it commanded the flight-or-fight response. The pituitary, adrenals and all sorts of organs and systems kicked in. the seizure was over, but the horses were out of the barn. The post-ictal phase of anxiety and depression stayed for as long as the resulting serotonin imbalance remained. The more seizures she had, the less likely she could recover from the earlier ones. After diagnosing her, controlling the seizures led to a control of her moods. But how her mind tried to make sense of that taught me a lesson. She wasn't "scared of the teddy on the desk". she was just SCARED. her brain naturally had to find the cause.

So too (at least how I feel about my H's MLC) he looked to find rational answers for an irrational behavior. (ie, the cause of his misery was his life with me and the girls). This may appear over-simplifying it, but honestly it was an "a-ha moment" for me.  After some comments he had made when he was at his worst, I suddenly became detached; i was as i was with my daughter. It isn't what he's saying and doing that mattered, but what triggered him to say and do what he's saying and doing. I was intrigued  to find the root cause, just as I had done with D17. H was OFF. Why? He admits to experiencing complete detachment and depersonalization during that time. why? It wouldn't be as "simple" as seizures. Even if he classifies it as a severe depressive episode, he still has to find out how he got there. While identifying some physical causes, he is still working on addressing the other factors and has made in wonderful progress...

 My sister made her H go for a brain scan before he could come home to her. Many years have passed since their reconciliation and she laughs about it now, and says, "Really, there HAD to be something wrong with his brain!" Turns out, he had vascular and heart issues. Of course he had psychological and childhood issues and "angry at God" issues and all sorts of MLC items, but the interruption of blood flow to the brain certainly didn't help. (he's ok too now).


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MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#24: September 20, 2012, 08:02:48 PM
Okay, as promised here is the summarization of the discussion between myself and my supervisor (Psy. D with several years of clinical and administrative experience with kids and adults) tonight concerning MLC and how it fits into accepted schools of psychology.  The more I have pondered this the more I see it as an evolution rather than a revolution of Conway's and RCR's theories and at the very least it filled many gaps in for me that I have struggled with concerning how such a phenomena can be occurring outside of the spectrum of behavioral science.  Some of the concepts here will be controversial, and as all of you that know me can attest I welcome any and all opinions and disagreements as long as they are respectful and considerate of other parties here.  Now, enough of this and onto the theory.  Please note, due to this post likely being incredibly long I will probably break it up into more than one so that I don't have to go back and re-type things as I tend to write fluidly based on my memory and may lose something important if I have to back-track.  Here goes:

Some popular concepts we often refer to and his take on them:

Covert depression - He doesn't believe in the concept or at least in the context we use it.  He likens it to the term "functioning alcoholic" and stated his take on this is that if a person can hold down and job, support their family and live up to their other responsibilities but choose to drink heavily at night or on the weekends then to what end do we diagnose them as "alcoholic."  On the same note, if a person is able to compartmentalize and go about day-to-day responsibilities then how can we diagnose them with depression, which by definition to be a disorder would have to cause some loss of order in their life.  Interestingly enough, he used the term "dis-order" for both of these concepts and also for MLC later on and noted the hyphen to differentiate it from being a DSM-IV recognized diagnosis.

Resolved and Unresolved Issues - He challenged me to define what a "resolved" or an "unresolved" issue is.  His take is that to determine any issue to be resolved or unresolved we must first assign a scientific method to do so and gave an example that in order to measure this we would have to assign parameters to determine if an issue were truly resolved.  In doing so we would assign a value of 0 to represent a resolved issue (meaning it had absolutely NO impact on a person whatsoever) and a variance between +1 and -1 to represent whether the issue was unresolved and to what degree as well as to determine whether its status of being unresolved has a positive or a negative effect on the person.  He challenged me to not only define these parameters but also come up with a way of measuring them.  There is not a way to do this.  His explanation was that issues were always fluid and never truly resolved OR unresolved as the impact of their presence will vary across different settings and circumstances.  There is no way to measure that an issue will have no psychological impact.

Liminality - This is the big one that lead into the full-blown theory explanation.  His assertion is that we are all fragmented by the different parts of our personality and that we create constructs of ourselves to adapt to different environments and situations based on what we learn from experience does and does not work.  For example, our identity at home when interacting with our spouses and children may be much different than our personas at work.  We may be in administrative positions which require us to be rigid and have an air of authority, but that persona may fail miserably in the home environment.  We learn to pick and choose which fragments to use in a given situation and sometimes try on different ones to see how others react. (Note from me - this sounds VERY much like the MLCer trying on different identities and keeping their 2 lives separate as their personas in the 2 lives are likely very different). 

Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development - This forms the framework of his theory about human development, of which MLC is only a small part.  Apparently the popular belief on Erikson's theories are that they are accurate BUT they are not independent of each other despite being sequential.  We commonly refer to not resolving the crisis of a particular stage and revisiting it later in order to resolve said crisis.  His assertion is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to not resolve the crisis of a stage that you are moving through.  Also, each stage is affected by how the ones before it were resolved and each of them continue on until death.  This was the eye-opening part for me and I will continue it in the next post so that I don't lose anything.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#25: September 20, 2012, 08:35:30 PM
Okay, here is his take on Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development and how they play out.  Notice that at times I will reference questions he posed to me as a way to help me connect the puzzle pieces on my own based on what I know of the concepts.  Given the technical nature of what I'm getting ready to write it may be advisable to re-read it in its entirety in order to better form an opinion one way or another.  I personally have gone through it multiple times already.

1.  He does not believe in the clean curve of development that has been accepted in the past, but sees development as a jagged continuous line with many bumps along the way.  Drew an illustration on the board to represent the timeline of a person's life from birth until death and put hashmarks on the line to represent each of Erikson's stages.  Now, Erikson's first stage is Basic Trust vs. Mistrust ("Can I Trust the World?) and the question he posed to me was whether I thought this stage could ever truly be "resolved" or not.  He gave an example of a person successfully navigating the stage according to the classic belief and said we shall say this person had their needs met as a baby and went on to form a basic trust of others.  Now, will that person ALWAYS hold that level of trust no matter what happens in their life?  What if their mother abandons them at 15 or if they have a string of unfaithful relationships?  Will they continue to trust everyone like they did as babies?  NO!!  It would not be good for their survival for them to continue trusting others after being taken advantage of and abandoned.  The "resolution" of their first stage of development could theoretically be altered based on their later life experiences.   Also, if they DID NOT have their needs met as babies and adapted to learn that trusting others to care for them may be dangerous then will they always feel that way?  And if they do finish this first stage with a basic mistrust of others what hope do they have to complete the later stages with the "desired" outcomes?  The person would likely seek out ways to trust people and research has shown that people can LEARN to trust others despite their early life experiences.  He drew the line of Basic Trust vs. Mistrust all the way from birth till death.  I will reference this paragraph toward the end when describing how he sees my W as fitting into this.

2.  If the latter stages are affected by the resolution of the first one way or another, it is likely that the person WOULD resolve the later stages in a negative way.  BUT, given the position that Erikson was only right about when the stages BEGUN and that they actually continue on from their beginning until death then that person has the opportunity to skew toward the positive of each stage he has begun SO FAR.  It is entirely logical to assume that the stages would have to begin at certain points in a person's life as their brain development and experiences would prevent them from beginning stages they were incapable of experiencing (for example, a baby would not likely deal with feelings of generativity or stagnation as the baby would have no frame of reference). 

3.  The effect of the person skewing more toward the negative outcome of each stage would only worsen as the person gets older.  Once they reach the stage we so often see MLC show up in, Generativity vs. Stagnation (age 40-64 according Erikson and illustrated by the question "Can I Make My Life Count?") the impact of skewing the negative direction would reach a crescendo.  He likened it to a person running out of gas and having to stop and look around at what their life REALLY is.  Perhaps the most controversial position he had was that the crisis the MLCer faces DOES NOT begin at this stage but rather it was ALWAYS HAPPENING.  The person has been in crisis since at some point they leaned toward the negative side in one of the stages and headed through each negative outcome until finally being on a dead-end course with stagnation (hence the fear their life and contributions were meaningless).  He believes there was chaos underneath all this time but it started out small and kept on building and building.  It WAS NOT one stage that they did not resolve in the desirable way but rather a progression of events that was never stopped for one way or another.  He sees the MLC as that person's attempt to get the train back on the tracks in order to head toward generativity before it is too late (OP, I think I've heard you say something similar to this...).  The problem is, as he states, that by this time the MLCer has several people in tow behind them and has attached all these labels to themself (husband, wife, mother, father) when the labels may not be them at all.  Once they are forced to see the chaos that has been there ever since the train first derailed then they must decide which pieces they want to keep.  * He sees the resolution of the MLC NOT as them dealing with "unresolved issues" but rather finding adaptive strategies to live with the chaos they now realize their life really is.  He believes the tendence IS to integrate their true selves with their "fake selves."

Now, as to how this relates to my W.  The funny thing is that it wasn't until after he had told me all of this that I said that he had probably deduced that I was picking his brain on this topic for selfish reasons and he smiled and said that he was aware from the get-go given my level of knowledge on the topic.  I told him my story for the first time (I've consciously chosen not to make my private life too open at work) and to my surprise he did not seem shocked at all.  He asked me if I wanted him to diagram it based on what we had been discussing.  I'll cover his take in the next post and I apologize to those who may not be able to follow given their unfamiliarity with my story but I would advise going back to my first ever post on here for reference if need be.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#26: September 20, 2012, 08:53:47 PM
He likened it to a person running out of gas and having to stop and look around at what their life REALLY is.  Perhaps the most controversial position he had was that the crisis the MLCer faces DOES NOT begin at this stage but rather it was ALWAYS HAPPENING.  The person has been in crisis since at some point they leaned toward the negative side in one of the stages and headed through each negative outcome until finally being on a dead-end course with stagnation (hence the fear their life and contributions were meaningless).  He believes there was chaos underneath all this time but it started out small and kept on building and building.  It WAS NOT one stage that they did not resolve in the desirable way but rather a progression of events that was never stopped for one way or another.  He sees the MLC as that person's attempt to get the train back on the tracks in order to head toward generativity before it is too late (OP, I think I've heard you say something similar to this...).  The problem is, as he states, that by this time the MLCer has several people in tow behind them and has attached all these labels to themself (husband, wife, mother, father) when the labels may not be them at all.  Once they are forced to see the chaos that has been there ever since the train first derailed then they must decide which pieces they want to keep.  * He sees the resolution of the MLC NOT as them dealing with "unresolved issues" but rather finding adaptive strategies to live with the chaos they now realize their life really is.  He believes the tendence IS to integrate their true selves with their "fake selves."


Wow, my wife used some of these very words to me - that her life was 'derailed' when her parents split up, and that now she could get it back on the rails after her dad died.

I can relate to a lot of this assessment.

The thing is, this is a whole new derailment. New chaos. Isn't it a moving target?

Thanks for this.

bnw
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#27: September 20, 2012, 09:02:28 PM
Thanks, T. it is very interesting a lots of food for though.

My notes/comments on each of the topics:

Covert depression – I understand why he does not believe in the concept or at least as we use it. The classic and normal definition of depression demands that there is a loss of order in a person’s life. Still, can someone only de depressed part-time? Are our MLCers "functioning depressed"? A "functioning alcoholic" remains an alcoholic. I know a few, they do manage to hold jobs and support a family, then, at night, or when they go to bar, they drink to oblivion. I remember when my husband has his 2 depressions/burn outs many years ago. He managed to keep working for ages until the day he crashed. On this issue of depression, many of us have had our MLCers saying that they were depressed before they left/BD.

Resolved and Unresolved Issues – Agree, issues are never truly resolved or unresolved. Also, I’ve always had troubles to determine to which extent would issue A or B would be the cause of the crisis or when it was resolved/being resolved. I’m one of those that think the crisis has a huge chemical imbalance factor that is aggravated by the stress, adrenaline and so on provoked by all the running and replay.

Liminality – Yes, we all construct ourselves to adapt to different envirements. Like you wrote, we are not the same at work and at home. We are not the same with our parents and we are not the same with partner A and partner B. Circumstances demand that we adapt our persona and at times we all try different personas to see how it works and how it makes people react.

Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development – Ok, if it not possible to crisis of a stage that you are moving thought, then, our MLCers are taking ages to solve a crisis of a certain stage. It makes a certain sense that each stage is affected by previous state and how things were resolved before. What I think happens in MLC is that the stages and the resolutions of the problems of those stages stops being fluid. Or, at least to us, LBS, it likes they are stuck for a long, long time revolving around something. It is not normal for a person to need years to realise that what they are doing is not leading them to the result they are looking for. Let alone to repeat the same mistake (here I’m talkimg specifically of my husband and his insistence on court cases.). Something at this stage is totally different from other ones. I don’t think MLC is only a small part of human development. If it last 10 years it will more than 10% of the lives of most of us. Even 4-6 years in human life time frame is a lot. Granted, teenage years can last some 7 years. That is still a lot in times of woman evolution.

1.  Would say that it depends. Some people seem to have a clean curve of development and some a jagged continuous line with many bumps along the road. No, the person will not always held the same levels of trust no matter what happens in their live. It changes with what comes along into our lives. And, yes, people can learn to trust other despite their earlier (or even later) live experiences.

2.  If there are stages, yes, they would have to begin at some point. Makes sense that the stages can only begin when we are ready for that stage.

3.  Don’t think it is possible that MLC was always happening. It certainly was not happening in a baby. And I don’t think it was always there. At least not like we experience it. There may have been things that were always there but passed unnoticed or become worse. That is in line with the leaning towards the negative outcome as the person gets older.

“He believes there was chaos underneath all this time but it started out small and kept on building and building.  It WAS NOT one stage that they did not resolve in the desirable way but rather a progression of events that was never stopped for one way or another.” With this I can agree. The chaos could had been there for ages (it most certainly was but for many years the person managed to, one way or another keep it under control). Still, I would say many LBS also have chaos inside and they don’t end up having a MLC.

“He sees the MLC as that person's attempt to get the train back on the tracks in order to head toward generativity before it is too late “ It is, from our view, a terrible way or trying to get the train back on track.

“The problem is, as he states, that by this time the MLCer has several people in tow behind them and has attached all these labels to themself (husband, wife, mother, father) when the labels may not be them at all.”
What about never married single people with no children that have MLC? And, I would say many of the labels were not imposed on them, they were willing to take them on their own free will.

“Once they are forced to see the chaos that has been there ever since the train first derailed then they must decide which pieces they want to keep.  * He sees the resolution of the MLC NOT as them dealing with "unresolved issues" but rather finding adaptive strategies to live with the chaos they now realize their life really is.  He believes the tendence IS to integrate their true selves with their "fake selves."
As you know, dealing with unresolved issues does not make much sense to me. I can get that emotional issues triggered something but I’m not a big fan of the unresolved issues theory. But the crisis made the chaos even worse… Had they managed to solve it before and crisis mode would had not be reached. Makes a certain sense that true and “fake” self are integrated. I think it can be translated with the keeping the new parts that fit along with the old ones that do.

Did he have any ideas why, after the crisis, they tend to come back to the LBS? Is it an attempt to minimize the even big chaos that they have created?
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#28: September 20, 2012, 09:08:02 PM
T, shouldn't you change the thread symbol to the discussion one?...

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#29: September 20, 2012, 09:08:20 PM
Thanks so much for sharing this T.  Really interesting.

Quote
Covert depression - He doesn't believe in the concept or at least in the context we use it.  He likens it to the term "functioning alcoholic" and stated his take on this is that if a person can hold down and job, support their family and live up to their other responsibilities but choose to drink heavily at night or on the weekends then to what end do we diagnose them as "alcoholic."  On the same note, if a person is able to compartmentalize and go about day-to-day responsibilities then how can we diagnose them with depression, which by definition to be a disorder would have to cause some loss of order in their life.

I understand what he is saying - but isn't that kind of like having the ambulance waiting at the bottom of the cliff?
A 'functioning alcoholic' is still an alcoholic.  They may remain functioning, but may eventually cease to function, or kill themselves with an alcohol related illness.
Interestingly, apparently most death certificates will record something like pancreatitis or esophageal varices. Not death by alcohol!

Wouldn't the cessation of functioning with (house/ spouse/family/children/pets etc) responsibilities indicate some loss of order in the MLCers life?  Many do also tend to cease functioning at work, or cease functioning well at work.  I know your wife has been able to function well in this area Thundarr, as has mine.

But from a 'medical'/diagnosable perspective, it does help explain why MLC will probably never be in the DSM.

Quote
Note from me - this sounds VERY much like the MLCer trying on different identities and keeping their 2 lives separate as their personas in the 2 lives are likely very different).
Yes, I thought the same thing.

Quote
The effect of the person skewing more toward the negative outcome of each stage would only worsen as the person gets older.  Once they reach the stage we so often see MLC show up in, Generativity vs. Stagnation (age 40-64 according Erikson and illustrated by the question "Can I Make My Life Count?") the impact of skewing the negative direction would reach a crescendo.  He likened it to a person running out of gas and having to stop and look around at what their life REALLY is.  Perhaps the most controversial position he had was that the crisis the MLCer faces DOES NOT begin at this stage but rather it was ALWAYS HAPPENING.

This is really interesting, and makes a lot of sense. 

Quote
He sees the resolution of the MLC NOT as them dealing with "unresolved issues" but rather finding adaptive strategies to live with the chaos they now realize their life really is.  He believes the tendence IS to integrate their true selves with their "fake selves."
Could you explain this a little more?
Where does the MLC persona fit in?  True or fake self?

Thank you so much T.  A lot to ponder. 

I'm posting this before I have read your response Anne, so we might be discussing the same ideas here :)
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#30: September 20, 2012, 09:12:21 PM
I'm posting this before I have read your response Anne, so we might be discussing the same ideas here :)

We're discussing some of the same ideas, yes but I think we have already make different questions.  :) T is going to have a lot to reply/debate because we girls are really, really curious.  :)
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#31: September 20, 2012, 09:15:40 PM
Quote
we girls are really, really curious. 

We sure are  ;)
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#32: September 20, 2012, 09:16:05 PM
After I had explained my story to him he went back to when I first started to notice symptoms of MLC and this was after what I believe is the triggering event, my MIL's diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and subsequent advancement to where she did not recognize any of the family.  He started from there and said that may well be where W actually went off the rails as we can assume she grew up basically skewing toward Trust based on her experiences in the first stage.  She was always close to her mother and he said that given her lack of relationship with her father she likely associated her mother as her very foundation of Trust.  Her mother was always there and was very controlling but also willing to help out with anything W needed.  W likely saw her mother as her security even after getting married and starting a family of her own.  Once that foundation of trust was taken away then W began spiralling out of control and heading toward Mistrust which would later lead to skewing toward the negative in ALL of the other stages she had gone through THUS FAR.  So, rather than the present being affected by the past, the present actually CHANGED the effects of the past.  So, to summarize where he believed W was as a result of this we can look at the stages after Basic Trust vs. Mistrust as well as the existential questions posed by each one and try to envision how W may have gone from being on the positive side of going through those stages to being on the negative side:

To note, these may have happened sequentially or may have all occurred at once.

Stage 2 - Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (Is it okay to be me?).  Given she may have been okay with herself beforehand, if she started to veer toward the negative she would likely become very disenchanted with herself and feel that it may actually not be safe to be herself.  (Perhaps this is where paranoia early on fits in?).

Stage 3 - Initiative vs. Guilt (Is it okay for to to do, move and act?).  She may have reached a point where she felt unsafe in making decisions and this may play into the need to run away.  Perhaps the paranoia fits in here as well...

Stage 4 - Industry vs. Inferiority (Can I make it in the world of people and things?).  This may have driven her desire to go back to school as she may have feared being unable to take care of herself without me or incapable of parenting possibly (I think either Mamma or Ready2 mentioned something a couple weeks ago about how W may have been terrified I would leave her at one point before she left me.)

Stage 5 - Identity vs. Role Confusion (Who am I?  What can I be?).  This may have driven her move to change majors to what I majored in rather than what she had always aspired to.   She may have lost a sense of self-efficacy and been driven to follow a path she knew I could help her on. 

Stage 6 - Intimacy vs. Isolation (Can I love?).  This is a biggie and maybe indicative of how she may have experienced the negative outcome of these stages sequentially.  It may be when she reached this stage that she decided to end the marriage and could play into her bizarre statements such as "the flame burnt out" and "you're somebody I really don't give a $h!te about anymore."

Stage 7 - Generativity vs. Stagnation (Can I make my life count?).  The examples Erikson used to represent how a person may define a positive or negative outcome to this stage was "work" and "parenthood."  Looking at it from this perspective I might assume that my W's statements indicating that the course she had chosen would "Make her a better parent and a better person" really did make sense to her and were not really just excuses.  Perhaps she was faced with the knowledge (innate?) that the path she was on as a result of losing her mother would not result in her being the parent she really wanted to be.  Famous psychologist Carl Jung had theorized that all people share what he called a "Collective Unconscious" (Star Trek fans think of the Borg here) and that we were born with the sum total of knowledge that we needed in order to survive.  Perhaps the MLCer really does foresee their life ending up meaningless and maybe they are actuall correct in that if they don't change things that will be the result.  Maybe if we look at the "script" our MLCers all follow we can plug what they say into these stages they are revisiting.

Now, the million dollar question was when I asked him how he saw these existential crises ending up.  His reply, in reference to my W, was that it would NEVER go back to the way it was and that she would likely continue to spiral downward UNLESS she found another foundation of trust to replace her mother.  My thought is that perhaps she really DID latch onto lawyer boy and his W as a temporary replacement while she dealt with all the other things she had to deal with.  It may be for this reason that most affairs during this time aren't really someone that would even be a threat if they were skewing toward the positive side of the stage outcomes and that the affair partner is in no way connected to the stages that are affecting them and are also disposable once the desired outcomes have been reached.  Perhaps there is a chance my W really will latch onto me as a foundation of trust and that will lead to a much stronger marriage than would have been possible otherwise.  In viewing it this way, not only is there hope for the future but reason to hold the belief that the past WAS NOT a lie as W may have actually been adjusted at that point but went off the rails when losing her mother.  By my supervisor's assertion, some people go off the rails much sooner and may do a better job of covering it up IF it happened later in life as the proximity to "stagnation" may be what pushes them off the tracks.  Also, he pointed out that having a child graduate from high school and move into the real world would be a major triggering event to make someone assess whether they had done a good job or not and cause the complete derailment if they did not like what they saw in themselves.  So, my W may have been "in crisis" since her mother's diagnosis and realized it when D19 graduated whereas others may be in crisis longer but still may not realize it until either having a child become an adult or reaching a certain age (and women DO mature faster than men so it would stand to reason the biological effect would hit them sooner thant it would men).  Interestingly, he said that in his own life he is a much different person than 5 years ago and feels he went through a transition.  He said that 5 years ago (maybe even 3) he was very apathetic about politics and really couldn't care less but now is very opinionated and speaks his mind where he used to be more timid and laid back.

And, the final question he asked me was in reference to whether or not he thought my W actually would latch onto me as a foundation of trust and his reply was "Tell me why wouldn't she based on your knowledge of human behavior and psychology?"  Honestly, human nature and what we know about psychology would seem to dictate that she WOULD be driven to resolve this as it WOULD fit with our biological programming. 

Sorry so wordy and I'm sure I've either omitted something or worded it wrong.  Again, feel free to comment and ask questions and I definitely plan to pick up on this at our next meeting!!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#33: September 20, 2012, 09:28:15 PM
Thanks so much for sharing this T.  Really interesting.

You're very welcome!  Glad I could bring this to the table.

Quote
Covert depression - He doesn't believe in the concept or at least in the context we use it.  He likens it to the term "functioning alcoholic" and stated his take on this is that if a person can hold down and job, support their family and live up to their other responsibilities but choose to drink heavily at night or on the weekends then to what end do we diagnose them as "alcoholic."  On the same note, if a person is able to compartmentalize and go about day-to-day responsibilities then how can we diagnose them with depression, which by definition to be a disorder would have to cause some loss of order in their life.

I understand what he is saying - but isn't that kind of like having the ambulance waiting at the bottom of the cliff?
A 'functioning alcoholic' is still an alcoholic.  They may remain functioning, but may eventually cease to function, or kill themselves with an alcohol related illness.
Interestingly, apparently most death certificates will record something like pancreatitis or esophageal varices. Not death by alcohol!

Wouldn't the cessation of functioning with (house/ spouse/family/children/pets etc) responsibilities indicate some loss of order in the MLCers life?  Many do also tend to cease functioning at work, or cease functioning well at work.  I know your wife has been able to function well in this area Thundarr, as has mine.

I think this is where he stresses that MLC and functional alcoholism do not constitute a "disease" but rather a "dis-ease."  Many MLCers do function well in the home, just not in the one in which they SHOULD be living.

But from a 'medical'/diagnosable perspective, it does help explain why MLC will probably never be in the DSM.

Quote
Note from me - this sounds VERY much like the MLCer trying on different identities and keeping their 2 lives separate as their personas in the 2 lives are likely very different).
Yes, I thought the same thing.

Quote
The effect of the person skewing more toward the negative outcome of each stage would only worsen as the person gets older.  Once they reach the stage we so often see MLC show up in, Generativity vs. Stagnation (age 40-64 according Erikson and illustrated by the question "Can I Make My Life Count?") the impact of skewing the negative direction would reach a crescendo.  He likened it to a person running out of gas and having to stop and look around at what their life REALLY is.  Perhaps the most controversial position he had was that the crisis the MLCer faces DOES NOT begin at this stage but rather it was ALWAYS HAPPENING.

This is really interesting, and makes a lot of sense. 

Quote
He sees the resolution of the MLC NOT as them dealing with "unresolved issues" but rather finding adaptive strategies to live with the chaos they now realize their life really is.  He believes the tendence IS to integrate their true selves with their "fake selves."
Could you explain this a little more?
Where does the MLC persona fit in?  True or fake self?

The MLC persona could be either or a little of both.  It as an adaptive strategy to help the MLCer to survive while dealing with what they are.  I conceptualize it as a temporary identity based on whatever pieces they can glue together long enough to get the foundation stabilized, if that makes any sense (it is after midnight here and I worked a 12-hour day today so bear with me. LOL)

Thank you so much T.  A lot to ponder. 

Again, you are always welcome my Kiwi friend!

I'm posting this before I have read your response Anne, so we might be discussing the same ideas here :)
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#34: September 20, 2012, 09:32:12 PM

I can relate to a lot of this assessment.

The thing is, this is a whole new derailment. New chaos. Isn't it a moving target?

Thanks for this.

bnw

You're very welcome, BNW!  In re-reading I see that I was unclear in my use of the term "always" and you and AnneJ caught it.  What he meant by that is that it began during some earlier stage and continued up until it came to light.  This would likely explain the variations we see between MLCers where it seems like some have struggled with issues for years before finally going over the top while others have seemed to be readily adjusted up until BD or around there.  His assertion is that the basis for MLC in some may be far later in life than for others, and this may also tie into how some resolve it sooner than others do.  Or not.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#35: September 20, 2012, 09:37:38 PM
Did he have any ideas why, after the crisis, they tend to come back to the LBS? Is it an attempt to minimize the even big chaos that they have created?

To be honest, AnneJ, I did not pose this question to him in a general sense but only in relation to my own W (selfish me!  But I will be picking the discussion up with him later on, likely next week.).  He did say that he believes the MLCer is driven to learn to live with the chaos and also to direct their lives back on track, starting with wherever it went off-track.  I would say given his assertion that the crisis may begin in different stages for different MLCers it would be conceivable that the reasons for returning would potentially be different.  I would say that in all cases it truly would not be up to the LBS but rather whether the LBS fit into whatever the prevailing need was of the MLCer.  That being said, he did say that the MLCer would have to decide which of their labels (self-imposed or whatnot) they wanted to keep and which ones they wanted to discard and W/ H could very well be one that any of them would want to keep (or leave behind unfortunately).
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#36: September 20, 2012, 09:44:01 PM
“Famous psychologist Carl Jung had theorized that all people share what he called a "Collective Unconscious" (Star Trek fans think of the Borg here) and that we were born with the sum total of knowledge that we needed in order to survive.  Perhaps the MLCer really does foresee their life ending up meaningless and maybe they are actuall correct in that if they don't change things that will be the result.”

I would say that, on the path they put themselves into, they run the risk of their life end up meaningless. If they don’t get off the path they got themselves into, given that the path entails a lot of self destruction and loss of all types, they are on their way to a meaningless life. Their supposed achievements are normally shallow, futile and, in the long run, empty.

“Maybe if we look at the "script" our MLCers all follow we can plug what they say into these stages they are revisiting.”

Don’t think I’m able to do this…

Like you said this would make lawyer boy and his wife the temporary replacement. Same for OW/OM but that does not explain why they run from their foundation: us. What is the sense of running from one foundation into a possibility of not finding a foundation if, without the foundation they would continue to spiral downwards?

Incidentally my cousin who have had a MLC/MLT says I’m husband foundation. So, if the foundation, the LBS, goes away, does it mean the MLCer will continue to spiral downwards?

No, the past was not a lie. Don’t think we need an expert for that one.

“By my supervisor's assertion, some people go off the rails much sooner and may do a better job of covering it up IF it happened later in life as the proximity to "stagnation" may be what pushes them off the tracks.”

Mine was 36 so I think he was a little soon…

“And, the final question he asked me was in reference to whether or not he thought my W actually would latch onto me as a foundation of trust and his reply was "Tell me why wouldn't she based on your knowledge of human behavior and psychology?"  Honestly, human nature and what we know about psychology would seem to dictate that she WOULD be driven to resolve this as it WOULD fit with our biological programming.”

Now you have to explain this one. Why do human nature and psychology dictate that they should return to us? And what does human nature and psychology say a LBS should do? Standing and waste years of live “waiting” for a spouse in MLC, especially if you are a woman on your late fertile years does not make sense, does it? The biological urge to be a mother is not compatible with a husband in MLC, is it? 

The human nature, if I’m not mistaken, would be to get rid of the problematic mate and find a new, stable and better one. Human life is too short. In that line of thought, standing contradicts human nature.

Regarding  functional alcoholism, like Kikki I think it remains alcoholism, therefore, to me, it is a disease. From what he read here on the board not all MLCers function well in their new homes.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#37: September 20, 2012, 09:48:47 PM
Did he have any ideas why, after the crisis, they tend to come back to the LBS? Is it an attempt to minimize the even big chaos that they have created?

To be honest, AnneJ, I did not pose this question to him in a general sense but only in relation to my own W (selfish me!  But I will be picking the discussion up with him later on, likely next week.).  He did say that he believes the MLCer is driven to learn to live with the chaos and also to direct their lives back on track, starting with wherever it went off-track.  I would say given his assertion that the crisis may begin in different stages for different MLCers it would be conceivable that the reasons for returning would potentially be different.  I would say that in all cases it truly would not be up to the LBS but rather whether the LBS fit into whatever the prevailing need was of the MLCer.  That being said, he did say that the MLCer would have to decide which of their labels (self-imposed or whatnot) they wanted to keep and which ones they wanted to discard and W/ H could very well be one that any of them would want to keep (or leave behind unfortunately).

HB shares that view, that the final choice is up to the LBS. I don't. Why? Because if the MLCers chooses to return but the LBS has closed the door the last choice was of the LBS. The MLCer runs the risk of no longer fit the LBS life.

But if it is a case of the LBS fitting in whatever need the MLCer may have, then, standing does not make sense. We have no idea what their need may be. We have no idea if they want, or don't want, to discart us. Why on earth stand just to, in the end, been put down? OW/OM may very well fell the MLCer new needs. Or a new mate.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#38: September 20, 2012, 09:59:04 PM
AnneJ,

I think the answer to your question lies in one of my earlier posts but I will paraphrase here.  Human nature dictates that we are biologically programmed to return to a state of pleasure.  When we are cold, we do things to warm up.  When hot, to cool down. When hungry, to eat.  You get the drift.  So, when we are in a panic that our lives are going in the wrong direction we are programmed to try to bring it back to a good place.  Some attempt to accomplish this through counter-productive ways (alcoholics will often feel that things are okay when they are buzzed) while some go about it the right way.  Since W's foundation of trust has been shattered, she WILL most likely seek a stable foundation of trust in which to rebuild herself.  And, in her life, who besides her mother has been more stable for her than me?
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#39: September 20, 2012, 10:05:23 PM
I think that's why some of our MLCers run back to their FOO (however dysfunctional).  It's in many case the second most familiar place, and that in itself creates comfort and safety.  It's about survival - our tribes. 
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#40: September 21, 2012, 01:36:43 AM
HB shares that view, that the final choice is up to the LBS. I don't. Why? Because if the MLCers chooses to return but the LBS has closed the door the last choice was of the LBS. The MLCer runs the risk of no longer fit the LBS life.

But if it is a case of the LBS fitting in whatever need the MLCer may have, then, standing does not make sense. We have no idea what their need may be. We have no idea if they want, or don't want, to discart us. Why on earth stand just to, in the end, been put down? OW/OM may very well fell the MLCer new needs. Or a new mate.
this has me wondering as well Anne.. when i have met my H for our occassional chats, it is obvious he is damaged and it shows. other people might not think so, but i can tell. or maybe that's because it's me, i'm the one from his history, but is he free of that damage in front of the OW? not really, he can't keep sweeping it under the carpet day after day..or do they just rewire with new 'history'...yuck..

It is so confusing..to figure out how 'real' they are, we are told to carry on as if they're not coming back, in which case, what would 'not standing' look like. I have no desire to be in another relationship, i have a great desire for reconciliation.

I want to think reconciliation is about both of us, not him making a decision without any talk with me, and while he is sill with OW ..well no use at the moment...so..they make the final decision?

I sometimes feel he is silently assessing me, internally ticking boxes if i 'get it right' depending on my conversation, or my tone, if i'm happy or irritable or whatever...like he's got a list and i might pass but he keeps it hidden, there's some fun and laughter and then i remember...and it's back to walking on eggshells...you are damed if you do or damed if you don't.. and why destroy the very foundation where there was safety, and loyalty and trust and family ... ...and do they ever really get what damage they do to others...the generational legacy they leave behind if they don't re-turn back and face it.

I miss the man who i could talk with about anything and everything, now the conversations are 'tainted' ..it's like being part of some strange surreal movie..

Thanks for some more ponderings T !a chance for another ramble.. it is a mighty strange ride down the MLC river full of rapids and waterfalls...

EDIT FOR quotes misplaced - Oldpilot
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#41: September 21, 2012, 02:37:10 AM
  Now, will that person ALWAYS hold that level of trust no matter what happens in their life?  What if their mother abandons them at 15 or if they have a string of unfaithful relationships?  Will they continue to trust everyone like they did as babies?  NO!!

Wow can I relate to this! My mother pretty much abandoned me and when I detached from her I remember it so well. I was 13 and she had come to me in a panic and said after another drunken night with some stranger she'd spent at his house:

 "I woke up and didn't know where I was!!"

I remember I felt nothing.

 I did try to have a relationship with her until my 40's but I got tired of being her "parent" I had children of my own to raise.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#42: September 21, 2012, 05:27:18 AM
Covert depression - He doesn't believe in the concept or at least in the context we use it.
He likens it to the term "functioning alcoholic" and stated his take on this is that if a person can hold down and job, support their family and live up to their other responsibilities but choose to drink heavily at night or on the weekends then to what end do we diagnose them as "alcoholic." 
On the same note, if a person is able to compartmentalize and go about day-to-day responsibilities then how can we diagnose them with depression, which by definition to be a disorder would have to cause some loss of order in their life. 
Interestingly enough, he used the term "dis-order" for both of these concepts and also for MLC later on and noted the hyphen to differentiate it from being a DSM-IV recognized diagnosis.
Either I am not sure that I understand what you are saying here or I totally disagree.

Is the person above diagnosed as an alcoholic or not?

If he is NOT then I guess I totally disagree with all of this paragraph.
In my mind he IS an alcoholic who has just not hit bottom yet.
Same with covert depression.
They have depression but you can not SEE it.
There are many books on the subject of Covert Depression(Masked Depression) written by people with far more knowledge than me.  RCR did not make any of this up, but has read the same books.

The rest of what he said  on the other topics seem to be right on and more or less  right in line with what I have learned.

On a side note - I did not realize that your wife Thundarr was stuck at age 2.
Trust vs Mistrust.
Interesting - that does explain a lot IMHO.
I did enjoy your intrepretation of why she would come out of her crisis. NICE.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#43: September 21, 2012, 06:43:38 AM
I also have to disagree about his view of Covert depression.  Often the MLCer in covert depression is not functioning well or barely functioning. They often lose friendships, family, jobs. Most mask their depression with alcohol, drugs, etc. Must shun all responsibility of paying bills, parenting when they were always responsible before.   That's not functioning...that a crisis. That's not going about day to day  still taking care of their responsibilities.  Thundarr even with your wife is she functioning even close to what she was?  Is she paying bills for the marital home, for her children?   Isn't a lot of the order in her life gone, although some of it is returning?

Everything else I pretty much agree with.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#44: September 21, 2012, 07:11:33 AM
His position on "Covert Depression" was expressed by the statement that we can convince anyone that they are depressed if we want to, just the same as we can convince someone they are an alcoholic even though according to the DSM-IV they do not meet the criteria.  He asserted that all too often people are over-diagnosed with depression by unscrupulous doctors and therapists who want to sell the person AD's, and given his experience I wouldn't argue with him on that.  His statement, to me, was directed more toward if the MLCer were a client and on what grounds could we tell them they were depressed.  Given they are functioning by going to work and supporting themselves (usually) and we cannot SEE how they are tearing their life apart then what would give us the right (as therapists) to tell a person they were depressed when one of the main criteria for this diagnosis is that it has to be causing significant distress in their lives.  We all have levels of depression, anxiety, paranoia and really everything else but most of us do not fall into the clinical range.  I took his statement as meaning the MLCer would not fall into the clinical range according to the criteria we have to use, just as a functioning alcoholic would not be diagnosed as such if the alcohol use were not causing the person distress.  People have a right to live their lives as they see fit and that is something we as a society often forget and therefore we tend to assign problems to people who do not act as we think they should.  Like the old psychology saying I've used before - "I'll see it when I believe it."

And, we have to also accept that before this all happened we would not have given a passing thought about someone being depressed who was smiling at us and telling us how great their life was as our MLCers are doing.  Like someone said a couple days ago - you really have to live with someone for awhile to really get to know them.  We see the changes in our MLCers that others do not in most cases (although in my case it seems like everyone around me thinks my W is on meth or something). 
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#45: September 21, 2012, 07:14:48 AM
I also have to disagree about his view of Covert depression.  Often the MLCer in covert depression is not functioning well or barely functioning. They often lose friendships, family, jobs. Most mask their depression with alcohol, drugs, etc. Must shun all responsibility of paying bills, parenting when they were always responsible before.   That's not functioning...that a crisis. That's not going about day to day  still taking care of their responsibilities.  Thundarr even with your wife is she functioning even close to what she was?  Is she paying bills for the marital home, for her children?   Isn't a lot of the order in her life gone, although some of it is returning?

Everything else I pretty much agree with.

This has been my experience, exactly.  He couldn't even care for a cat right now, and had one of the jobs he's lost tell him to "go back on his meds" when he was never on them when he worked there in the first place.  'Covert' may not look the way we traditionally see depression, but it is not a complete con job.

I'd be curious to hear what role neurotransmitters and hormones the doctor believes play.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#46: September 21, 2012, 07:18:18 AM
Just a footnote here.  The DSM-IV is the "bible" of mental health treatment that insurance and Medicaid recognizes.  As licensed therapists, our diagnoses are legally binding and any diagnosis we assign may very well be called into question by insurance companies or even the clients themselves and we have to have documentation supporting the fact that the diagnosis we have given meets all the criteria in the DSM.  For instance, I may be seeing someone with symptoms of depression and may even have this gut feeling that they really are depressed, but if the only meet 7 of the 8 criteria for depression then I cannot legally give them a diagnosis of such.  There are other catch-alls (Mood Disorders, Dysthymic Disorders, Adjustment Disorders etc) that are less stringent but in many cases insurance does not cover the treatment for.  If I were ever to be subpoenaed to court to testify about whether or not a person was mentally competent or whatnot I would have to be able to illustrate how they met each criteria and could not be subjective or attribute my diagnosis to "just knowing."  Fudging a diagnosis would open the door for my license to possibly be suspended or even revoked as well as losing or having to pay back whatever amount the insurance company was billed.  Not going there.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#47: September 21, 2012, 07:22:08 AM

I'd be curious to hear what role neurotransmitters and hormones the doctor believes play.

He did say that we go through a biological change around this time through peri, andro and menopause and that does change a person significantly but did not go into detail other than that.  I'll try to pick this up with him next week but I don't know what his level of expertise is on this.  It may be a good question for our psychiatrist when I'm able to pin her down.....
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#48: September 21, 2012, 07:58:31 AM
His position on "Covert Depression" was expressed by the statement that we can convince anyone that they are depressed if we want to, just the same as we can convince someone they are an alcoholic even though according to the DSM-IV they do not meet the criteria.  He asserted that all too often people are over-diagnosed with depression by unscrupulous doctors and therapists who want to sell the person AD's, and given his experience I wouldn't argue with him on that.  His statement, to me, was directed more toward if the MLCer were a client and on what grounds could we tell them they were depressed.  Given they are functioning by going to work and supporting themselves (usually) and we cannot SEE how they are tearing their life apart then what would give us the right (as therapists) to tell a person they were depressed when one of the main criteria for this diagnosis is that it has to be causing significant distress in their lives.  We all have levels of depression, anxiety, paranoia and really everything else but most of us do not fall into the clinical range.  I took his statement as meaning the MLCer would not fall into the clinical range according to the criteria we have to use, just as a functioning alcoholic would not be diagnosed as such if the alcohol use were not causing the person distress.  People have a right to live their lives as they see fit and that is something we as a society often forget and therefore we tend to assign problems to people who do not act as we think they should.  Like the old psychology saying I've used before - "I'll see it when I believe it."

And, we have to also accept that before this all happened we would not have given a passing thought about someone being depressed who was smiling at us and telling us how great their life was as our MLCers are doing.  Like someone said a couple days ago - you really have to live with someone for awhile to really get to know them.  We see the changes in our MLCers that others do not in most cases (although in my case it seems like everyone around me thinks my W is on meth or something).
Well thanks for that explanation.
Still not sure I agree but I am not in your shoes and I totally understand from the LEGAL and  DSM perspective.

That still does not make it right.

I see lots of undiagnosed people running around all the time.
We as a society will need to figure out that this costs us more money and grief in the long run before we change the laws that govern all of this.

Thundarr how many people as a percentage are depressed in the US?
and if not depressed mentally ill?

How many are undiagnosed?

You dont need to answer those questions but FOOOD for thought.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#49: September 21, 2012, 11:52:54 AM
Thinking a little more on covert depression, too.  Since some of our spouses had been diagnosed/misdiagnosed as bipolar, would it be fair to compare covert depression as we know it more with an extreme or extended manic episode?
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#50: September 21, 2012, 12:10:43 PM
And, the final question he asked me was in reference to whether or not he thought my W actually would latch onto me as a foundation of trust and his reply was "Tell me why wouldn't she based on your knowledge of human behavior and psychology?"  Honestly, human nature and what we know about psychology would seem to dictate that she WOULD be driven to resolve this as it WOULD fit with our biological programming. 
This idea fits in with the idea that HB says is that the LBS is the PILLAR or the STANCHION and the LIGHTHOUSE that attracts the MLC'er back.
Of course she also has said that their are NO GUARANTEES as their is always FREE WILL on the part of the LBS and the MLCe'r.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#51: September 21, 2012, 12:20:55 PM
Thinking a little more on covert depression, too.  Since some of our spouses had been diagnosed/misdiagnosed as bipolar, would it be fair to compare covert depression as we know it more with an extreme or extended manic episode?

Bipolar seems to be the nearest 'fit' in the DSM for the high energy replayers. 
Seems like a fair comparison to me.  What are your thoughts T?

Thanks so much for answering my questions earlier, and clarification of why psychologists/psychiatrists are unable to recognise MLC as such - doesn't fit with the DSM criteria. 
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#52: September 21, 2012, 01:06:00 PM
Manic (or more common hypomanic episodes) are pretty much the opposite of depression.  The person feels that they have more energy than they know what to do with and struggle with trying to focus it in ways that will help them reach the lofty dreams they think possible.  I have a client whose H is bipolar and non-medicated and she has structured her life around his manic and depressive episodes and can tell when they're coming ahead of time.  She said that she now keeps separate checking accounts and around this time of the year coaches the kids to just agree with everything their father says and leave him be as much as possible.  She said he's up until 2 every night looking for car parts on eBay for this super car he's going to build and if left to his own devices would blow all their money.  She said it's the same story every year and she knows this car will never be built, and around November he will crawl into a hole and be like a hermit to the family.  I found it interesting that she not only tolerates this but structures her life around it, and her reply was that it was all part of the marital vows.  I almost cried thinking about how she goes so out of her way to take care of her H and my W dumped me for liking wrestling.  So BS.

Btw, why is DGU not on this thread?  This is right up his alley.....
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#53: September 21, 2012, 01:49:19 PM
Weighing in on Covert Depression:

Isn't it commonly accepted, or at least oftentimes expressed by a few observant folks that Men have a particular fear of being diagnosed with depression, as it seems like a stigma, or an attack on their manhood, and a critique of their value as a provider, etc.? Isn't it true that Covert Depression is Anger, Rage, Irritability, all these things they do to cover up and fight the depression?

My own father says he noticed one day that what he was experiencing was depression, or the start of a depression, and immediately said "I am putting a stop to this! I am simply not going to be depressed". My father has for at least 20 years been a rage-aholic of sorts, and is now a retired alcoholic.

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#54: September 21, 2012, 02:01:52 PM
Weighing in on Covert Depression:

Isn't it commonly accepted, or at least oftentimes expressed by a few observant folks that Men have a particular fear of being diagnosed with depression, as it seems like a stigma, or an attack on their manhood, and a critique of their value as a provider, etc.? Isn't it true that Covert Depression is Anger, Rage, Irritability, all these things they do to cover up and fight the depression?


I relate to this in my sitch.  "Manhood" has become some sort of major issue for him, and showing the so called weakness of depression (or anything emotional) as he had no trouble doing in the past, is totally off limits. 

The story you relate, Thundarr, about the woman and her bipolar H actually feels very similar to standing from my viewpoint, only longer term (and more inline with a wallower/no affair - though the car seems the fixation that may replace it).  It's curious to me that you compared your W to the wife in this case, and not the husband.   
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#55: September 21, 2012, 04:19:04 PM
Btw, why is DGU not on this thread?  This is right up his alley.....

I received a message about wondering why I hadn't posted on this thread, so I'll give my perspective.  It's not necessarily right up my alley.  I know there are those who are interested in a potential technical explanation or viewpoint of MLC.....but honestly I'm not one of those.

RCR and Jim Conway have put MLC into layman's terms......although I know not everyone grasps things like Liminality, the concept of the Shadow and that MLC is an emotional/developmental phase.  I am someone who does believe each of those things, and RCR's writing style put it in a way that gave me an understanding.

Between RCR and Jim Conway's writing, I have received the expertise that I am comfortable with.  I don't have a big interest past that.......but I'm sure there are many that appreciate the information of Thundarr's colleague.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#56: September 21, 2012, 04:42:48 PM
Manic (or more common hypomanic episodes) are pretty much the opposite of depression.  The person feels that they have more energy than they know what to do with and struggle with trying to focus it in ways that will help them reach the lofty dreams they think possible.  I have a client whose H is bipolar and non-medicated and she has structured her life around his manic and depressive episodes and can tell when they're coming ahead of time.  She said that she now keeps separate checking accounts and around this time of the year coaches the kids to just agree with everything their father says and leave him be as much as possible.  She said he's up until 2 every night looking for car parts on eBay for this super car he's going to build and if left to his own devices would blow all their money.  She said it's the same story every year and she knows this car will never be built, and around November he will crawl into a hole and be like a hermit to the family.  I found it interesting that she not only tolerates this but structures her life around it, and her reply was that it was all part of the marital vows.  I almost cried thinking about how she goes so out of her way to take care of her H and my W dumped me for liking wrestling.  So BS.


I think psychologists think our spouses sound bipolar when in high energy replay because of the reckless spending of money, the sexual acting out, the lack of empathy for others while doing so etc.  One even said to me that the manic episodes can last for years and that it was possible to see zero evidence of it any earlier than midlife. 
So many different theories and opinions. 


Weighing in on Covert Depression:

Isn't it commonly accepted, or at least oftentimes expressed by a few observant folks that Men have a particular fear of being diagnosed with depression, as it seems like a stigma, or an attack on their manhood, and a critique of their value as a provider, etc.? Isn't it true that Covert Depression is Anger, Rage, Irritability, all these things they do to cover up and fight the depression?

My own father says he noticed one day that what he was experiencing was depression, or the start of a depression, and immediately said "I am putting a stop to this! I am simply not going to be depressed". My father has for at least 20 years been a rage-aholic of sorts, and is now a retired alcoholic.


Yes, from everything I have read on the subject UP, this is correct.
Terence Real's 'I don't want to talk about it' is one of the best books on the subject that I have seen.

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The story you relate, Thundarr, about the woman and her bipolar H actually feels very similar to standing from my viewpoint, only longer term (and more inline with a wallower/no affair - though the car seems the fixation that may replace it).  It's curious to me that you compared your W to the wife in this case, and not the husband.   

Have to admit, I thought the same thing when I read this R2T.  Or were you being slightly 'tongue in cheek' here T?

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#57: September 21, 2012, 05:14:41 PM
Thanks for the reply, T. Problem is, from what we know of the state our MLCer are they are not in a good place. Also, they were not in a bad place before. Guess they are the ones who go about it through counter-productive ways.

See, where it does not make sense to me is on the shattered foundation thing. If we were their foundation and it was not us, but them, that shattered/put the foundation away, why on earth would they want back to the foundation if, when they need it the most (during crisis) they choose to be adrift and with no foundation whatsoever? And why on earth would be want to be the safe heaven of a person that only see us as a foundation? I mean, we’re pretty much a toy they choose to leave and return to when convenient. Not a pleasant thought.

Husband’s foundation was, until he was 15, his paternal grandadad. Than granddad died. His foundation have been me since he is 17, along with is maternal grandmother. Grandmother died early 2010, he had putted me away some 6 years ago. Now, since according to your supervisor, we may no longer fit their needs and they may no longer want us, who is to say that OW/OM don’t become the MLCer foundation? Who is to say that their new life does not bring more pleasure and trust to them?

Since there are no guarantees (and on this I think everyone agrees), then, there is no logical reason to stand. There may be emotional/faith/want ones but no logical or scientifical reasons for it. And since human biological logic dictates we must return to a state of pleasure, the trials and tribulations a LBS endures through a spouse MLC go against that principle. At least in the way I see it.

Around here a functioning alcoholic is and alcoholic. And I think depression can be diagnosed within a less strick set or requirements than over there in the US. My hasband new he was depressed before BD(after BD and 18 months after BD. The doctor on his by then company confirmed he was depressed. The not sleeping, the change of habits, the irritation, the crying (that he did behind my back but talked about with OW) all confirm depression. The hypomania episode is the polar opposite of depression but he is followed by a depressive episode. Hence the bipolar/manic-depressive term. When I was still in our flat I could see it on my husband. Euphoria, then, totally flat. According to my friend who is a psychiatrist (and who has helped my MLC cousin) a bipolar patient is always a patient with depression. Depression is self contained within bipolarity.

As for the one (a therapist/doctor) cannot see how they are tearing apart their lives. Really? If you have someone who used to have a 9 to 5 job, did not drink, was married, and now you have someone who his always clubbing and not sleeping (alongb with a steady job), drinks to the point of forgetting what has happened, has left his marriage to go and live in a rented room and is seeing a woman he is not married to I would say this person has something. Only de heavy driking plus the lack of sleep and clubbing would telm me something was wrong/different. A radical change has ocorred. I may not be able to pin down what is going on but I have to be able to see a change in life pattern. And that was exactly what I and the doctor from my husabnd’s company saw. The doctor determined husband was depressed. And I would say has been since.

The difference with a bipolar spouse if that the bipolar spouse has a condition that is medically accepted and for wish there are medicines and support, understanding, etc. MLC is not a medically accepted condition and we are left standing for an uncertainty. With bipolarity there is a certainty, we know what we are dealing with and are told how to deal with it by professionals who are there for us when we need. No such luck in MLC. We are on our own.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#58: September 21, 2012, 05:23:35 PM
Bipolar-manic certainly fits the description of their behaviors, but then many mental illnesses also mimic ADHD in a person who is not true ADHD. 

It never crossed my mind about W being like the woman's H as I was focused on how dedicated the W was, unlike my own.  Good catch, guys!

AnneJ,  I want to give a longer response to you but time is short right now.  Will revisit it later though.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#59: September 21, 2012, 05:33:48 PM
Will be looking forward for your reply, T.  :)

True, bipolar-manic fits their behaviors, but many mental illnesses mimic ADHD in someone who is not true ADHD.

That happens with other types of illnesses. We though my mum was becoming to have Alzeimer. It turned out it is Vascular Dementia. Some of the symptoms/behaviour are identical but they are two different types of dementia.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#60: September 21, 2012, 05:47:11 PM
Just my thoughts on the bi-polar reference.  My H may be different than others but this fits well.  He was actually diagnosed b-polar but did not believe it.   However, I feel it ramped up to MLC.  This is different now.

Is it possible that others had bi-polar tendencies and it manifests itself due to hormonal changes of aging?  Similar to adult onset diabetes.

MLCers do hit manic and depressive stages.  Touch and go and boomerangs.  I can almost put my H's cycles on a calendar now. 

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#61: September 21, 2012, 06:00:15 PM
Is it possible that others had bi-polar tendencies and it manifests itself due to hormonal changes of aging?  Similar to adult onset diabetes.

Not sure about the hormones but think the imbalance in the neurotransmitters can magnifie something that was pre-existent but not problematic. After all, depression and bipolarity are a result of low or imbalanced levels of the neurotransmitters. Would say that with low or imbalanced levels of neurotransmitters plus hormones running wild, there is a recipe for disaster. 
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#62: September 21, 2012, 07:16:35 PM
Just my thoughts on the bi-polar reference.  My H may be different than others but this fits well.  He was actually diagnosed b-polar but did not believe it.   However, I feel it ramped up to MLC.  This is different now.

My identical experience.  Was yours on SSRIs too?  If so, what was his experience?
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#63: September 21, 2012, 07:35:43 PM
R2T

I believe he felt stifled.  Deeper depression.  Maybe felt "normal" by our terms and that doesn't feel right to him.  H says things that make me think he is resigned to feeling different and wants to go with that.   Happier not trying to act normal or the way he believes he needs to for me.

Not really happy now though either. Self medicating and trying to escape. :'(
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#64: September 21, 2012, 10:28:36 PM
Weighing in on Covert Depression:

Isn't it commonly accepted, or at least oftentimes expressed by a few observant folks that Men have a particular fear of being diagnosed with depression, as it seems like a stigma, or an attack on their manhood, and a critique of their value as a provider, etc.? Isn't it true that Covert Depression is Anger, Rage, Irritability, all these things they do to cover up and fight the depression?


The story you relate, Thundarr, about the woman and her bipolar H actually feels very similar to standing from my viewpoint, only longer term (and more inline with a wallower/no affair - though the car seems the fixation that may replace it).  It's curious to me that you compared your W to the wife in this case, and not the husband.   
   Oops, made a mess of the quote process. I was trying to reply to Ready 2 to say ditto on the "Manhood" thing with my H. My H's favorite children's book was "Ferdinand the Bull," because he was just like Ferdinand...would rather smell the flowers than be confrontational. Had no problem showing weakness, emotions, making mistakes. This has now become forbidden. Now he is like some bad masculine wanna be. In fact, it is almost like he is acting out society's crappiest male stereotype.
    Anyway, Thundarr, I appreciate your search for answers. Very thought-provoking. It is interesting to think about the different possibilities and play them out in my mind. However, I tend to be a big picture person and get my best answers when looking at very broad patterns and trends.
    It seems to me that we (on this post) are the forefront of MLC  becoming part of our culture's consciousness. Like the child who was sat in the corner with the dunce cap (who we would now approach with concerns about ADHD, a learning disability, or a combination of many issues) the MLCer is still being defined by what we do not understand.
    We have no choice but to navigate MLC with the tools and knowledge that have been handed down to us. In this way, I believe that Erikson's Stages and Jungian Archetypes, and other psychological theories are helpful. But I think we have to be careful not to confine what we have experienced personally by any of these.
   There has never been a time in our history before that circumstances have allowed MLC to be so out of the closet. We are free to talk about issues that people in earlier decades fought to take to the grave. We understand much more about how the body functions chemically. And we have the internet...this incredible ability to communicate, compare and discuss our experiences with others.
     I think we (on this site,) right now are unraveling some of the questions that will bring a new understanding to all of this. I believe that  MLC will eventually have a place in the DSM IV and we are helping it to get there!
I relate to this in my sitch.  "Manhood" has become some sort of major issue for him, and showing the so called weakness of depression (or anything emotional) as he had no trouble doing in the past, is totally off limits. 
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« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 12:49:25 AM by OldPilot »
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#65: September 22, 2012, 05:37:59 AM
Quote
We have no choice but to navigate MLC with the tools and knowledge that have been handed down to us. In this way, I believe that Erikson's Stages and Jungian Archetypes, and other psychological theories are helpful. But I think we have to be careful not to confine what we have experienced personally by any of these.

Agree.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#66: September 22, 2012, 06:57:15 AM
Quote
We have no choice but to navigate MLC with the tools and knowledge that have been handed down to us. In this way, I believe that Erikson's Stages and Jungian Archetypes, and other psychological theories are helpful. But I think we have to be careful not to confine what we have experienced personally by any of these.

Agree.

Ditto. 
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#67: September 22, 2012, 07:24:27 AM
I am still trying to dissect this discussion.  I have a general question.  What makes MLC different from a major depressive disorder, bi-polar depression, etc...Or is it the same thing but just has a name for it?  Sorry, I know this seems basic and maybe is a dumb question but I am not sure why it's MLC instead of 'depression' etc..
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#68: September 22, 2012, 07:28:48 AM
I am still trying to dissect this discussion.  I have a general question.  What makes MLC different from a major depressive disorder, bi-polar depression, etc...Or is it the same thing but just has a name for it?  Sorry, I know this seems basic and maybe is a dumb question but I am not sure why it's MLC instead of 'depression' etc..

It's not a dumb question at all.  I woke up with the same thing on my mind.  I think the label makes it more easily found or communicated by us LBSs, but I'm not sure, given what the cliches about it are, that it really serves the disorder from a mental health standpoint.  Will be interested to hear others' thoughts on this!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#69: September 22, 2012, 07:36:44 AM
I think mlc IS a major depressive disorder but, the differences are the 'manic' aspect of the replayers, & of course the link to ageing.  I am not sure if abandoning family, friends, jobs etc are part of our usual understanding of depression.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#70: September 22, 2012, 07:43:45 AM
  Bipolar people take lithium. My first boyfriend turned bipolar. I think he was doing cocaine before it happened. The MDs put the patients on lithium bc they are deficient.
  His depressive episodes were quiet, cavelike slumbers and then happy running around wild eyed partying. MAJOR SWINGS IN MOOD! :o :o
  My MLCer is depressed...covering it up for the world...but not really..sad puppy eyes. His highs are not manic just a mask of 'everything's fine' and that smile that never reaches their eyes.
  The bipolar I knew was quiet about his condition and not hateful or spewing. Just sad and quiet or happy and wildly oblivious! ;D  It shows at a younger age usually. MLC seems more further down the road.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#71: September 22, 2012, 10:54:07 AM
The depression is only one portion of this disorder.
Even the people taking antidepressants, or hormone supplements are not cured of MLC.
There are no pills that you can take to FIX this.

Because besides the depression, hormones and childhood issues then there is a triggering event.

All part of the perfect storm.
You can not make your children grow up by giving them a pill.
Out MLC'er must finish growing up too.

That is why they give you the GIFT of TIME so they can use it to finish their crisis.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#72: September 22, 2012, 11:19:50 AM
Thundarr,

This is an excellent thread, I am reading and re-reading everything that has been written / asked.  Really thought provoking and is filling some knowledge gaps for me.

TheHeartKnows,

I totally agree in terms of this Site being on the frontline of changing Society's understanding and acceptance of MLC as a dis-ease.  I hope for our children's sake and future generations that this will result in accurate diagnosis and real support for all who fall prey to MLC.

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#73: September 22, 2012, 11:21:15 AM
I feel the more I post, the more invisible I become. Is that and MLC thing? Thundarr?

Anyway, my neurosis aside, I had an interesting "interview" with H-pyre last night. We went out to dinner.
I started a conversation about this idea:

His explanation was that issues were always fluid and never truly resolved OR unresolved as the impact of their presence will vary across different settings and circumstances.  There is no way to measure that an issue will have no psychological impact.

and

We commonly refer to not resolving the crisis of a particular stage and revisiting it later in order to resolve said crisis.  His assertion is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to not resolve the crisis of a stage that you are moving through.  Also, each stage is affected by how the ones before it were resolved and each of them continue on until death.

And I went so far as to say I thought of a march of identity transformations in a line originally, which is rather two or three dimensional,  (length is two dimensions, time would add a third, maybe there is depth so let's just say 4 dimensional) But then now I think it more apt considering the ideas here to think of it as that multi-level chess game...multi-dimensional...not linear. Cyclical perhaps, where a previously visited resolution is re-visited in combination with a current one...and the person does not progress in a linear fashion whatsoever but re-accumulates new and old experiences.

Well, regardless of whether I made sense, my H started talking about the guy who talks to himself on the bus. He was using this guy as a way of talking about himself as an MLCer. This guy, he says, may seem socially unacceptable, or exhibiting socially unacceptable behavior, but is he really hurting anyone? (This, Thundarr, is sort of like that Functional Alcoholic idea...if the guy is able to get from point A to point B, who cares how drunk he is while he does it? right?). He said that it should be irrelevant how much society approves or disapproves of the [schizophrenic-type] behavior. I said EVEN if when you follow hiim home you find yourself in a horder's nest, and he can't even feed himself?

That got H off into a new example: His mother. Now his mother at the moment is pursuing a lawsuit against the Federal Government. Her father-in-law died of throat cancer (probably due to smoking) but he used to work in a nuclear facility in Tennessee. Everyone who ever worked there was awarded some large sum of money as part of a class-action lawsuit or something, and if they were dead, the money went to their next of kin. Even though her husband's brother received this money, she is trying to prove that she deserves the money as the spouse of the victim's deceased son. (Her husband, my H's father, was dead when the money was distributed). As a result of her impossible pursuit, her entire living room is covered with papers, piles of papers, every room in the house in fact, and has been for years. She is no closer to resolving this issue for her self or the government than she was when she started. But she does it, my H contends, as part of a way of processing pain that is right for her. She is not hurting anyway, so why intervene? Why would she need medication? Why would she need therapy? This is her therapy. My husband's brother disagrees and believes a family intervention is needed.

Again this is an example that was used by my H as another way to talk about his MLC. He is not really sick, he doesn't really have a disease, he is functional. And, he is adamant, he is not hurting anyone else. This is just his way of processing, and he has to do it, because it's right for him.

I can't argue. I can only detach. And oddly, I got a sense that maybe, JUST MAYBE, one day, he will come home.

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#74: September 22, 2012, 03:48:16 PM
UP.  At least your h is recognizing something isn't 'usual' with him.  Mine just thinks he's a guy who's fallen in love.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#75: September 22, 2012, 03:57:21 PM
CJ,

Yes, I found myself with mouth a-gape, almost, when I realized what he was saying...For a few minutes at least.
But..it's not that simple with him. He is a master manipulator. He is a lawyer. He is VERY intelligent. MLC makes him into a stupid a** but doesn't actually do anything to his capacity for manipulation. So he is basically dropping little crumbs to lead me to the idea that he is just processing this, and once processed he will be fine...and so I can just keep hanging around, coming over, going to dinner, cuddling, sleeping over, whatever, and it will all be fine eventually. Except that he could also be totally full of it. And just wants continual cake eating...and wants a free ticket to behave like an irresponsible lunatic.

At least your H-ster is not saying "Hey, I am acting like a nut, but I have every right to, and I am not hurting anyone at all, or if I am it doesn't matter".

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#76: September 22, 2012, 04:59:58 PM
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MLC makes him into a stupid a** but doesn't actually do anything to his capacity for manipulation.

UP - I know what you're saying, but I actually have to disagree.  I think MLC does do something for their capacity for manipulation.  Whatever their rating was pre-crisis, I would multiply that by the power of 100  :P
Beware!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#77: September 22, 2012, 05:12:11 PM
kikki, you are absolutely right. my mistake!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#78: September 22, 2012, 05:25:00 PM
UP - I know what you're saying, but I actually have to disagree.  I think MLC does do something for their capacity for manipulation.  Whatever their rating was pre-crisis, I would multiply that by the power of 100  :P
Beware!

Wonder if that capacity will remain post-crisis... The funny thing is they can manupulate but they are being manipulaed big time by OW/OM. Sounds like fun!  ;D ;D ;D ;D
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#79: September 22, 2012, 07:00:06 PM
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Wonder if that capacity will remain post-crisis... The funny thing is they can manupulate but they are being manipulaed big time by OW/OM. Sounds like fun!     
Eeeewh!  Imagine having a 'relationship' like that  :-\
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#80: September 22, 2012, 07:09:51 PM
Quote
Wonder if that capacity will remain post-crisis... The funny thing is they can manupulate but they are being manipulaed big time by OW/OM. Sounds like fun!     
Eeeewh!  Imagine having a 'relationship' like that  :-\

I think it must be fun, don't you, Kikki?  ::) ::) ::) Not! But they seem to love those "relashionships"... :-\

Was thinking about Thundarr’s supervisor view that there is no covert depression because, since a person manages to function, that person is not depressed. Well, yesterday I attended a late afternoon small cosy birthday party of a friend that has turned 50 a few days ago. He had been “celebrating” like there is no tomorrow, with parties, dinners, tons of drinking. I choose yesterday’s late afternoon party because it was a quiet one, not madness.

There were just a few close people there. Said friend was visibly depressed, he all talked about it. On the other parties & dinners, where many not so close people, work colleagues and acquaintances have been he has been putting a happy face. He had a family dinner after his small gathering and he had told me several times: I need to arrive happy, my parents and cousins will be there, I still have to go pick my daughter and do a little shopping with her. If any of them sees me like this, I’m done.

So, depressed people can put up a pretty good cover in front of all those they trust less or do not want to see them feeling the way they really are feeling.

My friend is not an MLCer but he has had an affair and become divorced. He is a bit of a philanderer and has have many short lived affairs while married. This time his wife had enough and they divorce. He is struggling with money issues, he is feeling lonely. He feels the need of looking the powerful high ranked manager of a big company he is in front of business clients and work collegues; of look happy/cheerful around less close friends and family.

He does not confide in many people so only a few of us know he is depressed. For everyone else he is a guy that got divorced but has a fantastic life.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#81: September 22, 2012, 07:31:49 PM
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He does not confide in many people so only a few of us know he is depressed. For everyone else he is a guy that got divorced but has a fantastic life.


Thanks for sharing that Anne.  A really good example of the mask with covert depression. 
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#82: September 22, 2012, 08:16:18 PM
You're welcome, Kikki. And before he was a divorced depressed man with a mask he was man people thought had a great marriege that was already depressed and using a mask. I doubt he ever let his wife saw him the way he let us saw himk without the mask.

It has already been talked here how man (or most man) have that manhood thing that does not allow them to show their more frail, emotional side. How they hide depression and this friend of mine is one fo those guys. He is not seen as the artistic/creative type like my husband (those are allowed to be frain and depressed  ;D ;D ;D) but like a manly man.

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#83: September 23, 2012, 02:11:43 PM
Sorry for not reading and responding sooner. I have been immersing myself in the MIDUS (Midlife in the US) survey. In a blog post I said I wanted to write something detailed for everyone to clear up things and show the primary sources and I’ve been working on that.

So far I have a pretty detailed essay that is almost 30 pages and growing. But then, I think I’ve repeated myself and am now reviewing it as a whole… and then I keep thinking of more to add.


Quote from: Thundarr link=topic=2843.msg168732#msg168732 date=1348196568
Covert depression - He doesn't believe in the concept or at least in the context we use it. He likens it to the term "functioning alcoholic" and stated his take on this is that if a person can hold down and job, support their family and live up to their other responsibilities but choose to drink heavily at night or on the weekends then to what end do we diagnose them as "alcoholic." On the same note, if a person is able to compartmentalize and go about day-to-day responsibilities then how can we diagnose them with depression, which by definition to be a disorder would have to cause some loss of order in their life. Interestingly enough, he used the term "dis-order" for both of these concepts and also for MLC later on and noted the hyphen to differentiate it from being a DSM-IV recognized diagnosis.
Thinking a little more on covert depression, too. Since some of our spouses had been diagnosed/misdiagnosed as bipolar, would it be fair to compare covert depression as we know it more with an extreme or extended manic episode?
As I was reading up to here I was reviewing what I wanted to say in response and wondered why it took someone so long to mention bipolar!

I agree with the analysis if covert depression in many ways. When I speak of MLC being about depression, I am not saying it is Clinical Depression and Thundarr mentioned the hyphen disease versus dis-ease. MLC and the permeating depression of MLC is, in general, dis-ease. That doesn’t mean that some MLCers are not suffering from Clinical Depression, it’s just that for most the depression may not be of that level or perhaps it’s not a severe chemical issue other than in-fatuation or andro/menopause hormones.

At the same time I think OldPilot and others have a good point. Either Overt or Covert depression may be functional or dysfunctional and it sounds like Thundarr’s supervisor was considering the overt depressives to be functional, but people can be manic and out of control! It’s also so true that functionality can be faked or compartmentalized. Is a person really functional if there only able to maintain functionality because their co-dependent spouse covers for them when drinking and keeps them going—but The Wizard of Alcohol or MLC is not seen from his or her position behind the curtain.

Now about bipolar or manic depression. There is the diagnosable disease, but the terms can apply to many conditions or even attitudes and hey—water! Water has one negative pole and one positive pole and technically that fits the adjective bipolar. So instead of thinking about the disease with the name Manic Depression, think about the term or phrase as a description of a condition. An MLCe’rs behaviours are often bipolar—they do cycle! Now transfer that to idea someone who is depressed or acting overtly. When we label a condition as depression we are really only identifying what might be half or part of a condition with an opposite side. Technically the word depression is the opposite of stimulant and refers to low-energy—and so our idea of what we call Overt depression is an oxymoron. But it’s just a label. So make up a label for a disease or dis-ease—MLC for example. Then label the two ends—depression and manic or high and low energy or something else. The manic of an MLCer may not be the same manic as someone with the actual disease Manic Depression, but that doesn’t mean the adjective manic is inappropriate. But since that adjective is now part of the official label for a real disease, understand that people will associate it with that disease and may not understand you are not talking about the disease unless you explain that.


Covert Resolved and Unresolved Issues - He challenged me to define what a "resolved" or an "unresolved" issue is. His take is that to determine any issue to be resolved or unresolved we must first assign a scientific method to do so and gave an example that in order to measure this we would have to assign parameters to determine if an issue were truly resolved. In doing so we would assign a value of 0 to represent a resolved issue (meaning it had absolutely NO impact on a person whatsoever) and a variance between +1 and -1 to represent whether the issue was unresolved and to what degree as well as to determine whether its status of being unresolved has a positive or a negative effect on the person. He challenged me to not only define these parameters but also come up with a way of measuring them. There is not a way to do this. His explanation was that issues were always fluid and never truly resolved OR unresolved as the impact of their presence will vary across different settings and circumstances. There is no way to measure that an issue will have no psychological impact.
I love his explanation of this because he has made it so simple to follow, and often people do not explain it so well.

This is another example as to why I don’t consider MLC a diagnosable disease and I don’t think it should be part of the DSM. But I do wish it were recognized and accepted as something—dis-ease, dis-order, condition…


Liminality - This is the big one that lead into the full-blown theory explanation. His assertion is that we are all fragmented by the different parts of our personality and that we create constructs of ourselves to adapt to different environments and situations based on what we learn from experience does and does not work. For example, our identity at home when interacting with our spouses and children may be much different than our personas at work. We may be in administrative positions which require us to be rigid and have an air of authority, but that persona may fail miserably in the home environment. We learn to pick and choose which fragments to use in a given situation and sometimes try on different ones to see how others react. (Note from me - this sounds VERY much like the MLCer trying on different identities and keeping their 2 lives separate as their personas in the 2 lives are likely very different).
Liminality is what I call the phase or stage Jim Conway labeled as Depression. I didn’t like labeling the phase with something that at extreme levels is the name of a disease—though we use it to refer to less extreme levels as well. I was Liminal in September 2008. I was conscious of the state and deliberate about being in it. I was also depressed, but not to the level of disease—it was a Liminal Depression, not a Clinical Depression and to have used pharmaceuticals to life me up would have prevented to positive forces of the Liminality by stopping them and it would have resulted in a form of stagnation. It was terrible going to work or simply leaving the house to be out there in society. I would look down at my shoes or avert my eyes in some other way when passing people to avoid eye contact and direct communication—it was a way of trying to be invisible. I cried at my desk. I was probably severe enough that I could have been given some sort of grace regarding my employment—I lost my job not long after that period. I was quite dysfunctional at work—even though I was putting in effort.
But I’m a resilient-PollyAnna-optimist and I know it. I did not feel hopeless despair which is a marker of Clinical Depression. I knew it was a necessary period of solitude and going inward and I embraced it. I was actually excited about it even amidst the trying to be invisible. As a writer I began as a poet and it had been a long time since I’d written poetry. Well, I wrote 5-10 a week for 3 or 4 weeks straight! I was counting and monitoring my output with enthusiasm.

Yes we are all fragmented; part of Liminality is reintegration. That doesn’t mean those personas we use for different situations go away or that we will no longer have the ability to compartmentalize.


Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development - This forms the framework of his theory about human development, of which MLC is only a small part. Apparently the popular belief on Erikson's theories are that they are accurate BUT they are not independent of each other despite being sequential. We commonly refer to not resolving the crisis of a particular stage and revisiting it later in order to resolve said crisis. His assertion is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to not resolve the crisis of a stage that you are moving through. Also, each stage is affected by how the ones before it were resolved and each of them continue on until death. This was the eye-opening part for me and I will continue it in the next post so that I don't lose anything.
I think it’s not so much not resolving as it is the level of resolution.
Did you know that I have a large article on Erikson’s stages? It’s one of those that is no longer free. The original draft—which is what is available at the Store—is 46 pages and almost 15,000 words. I removed it from the free articles because it was not one of my most popular articles—probably because it’s so long and academic.

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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#84: September 23, 2012, 02:19:17 PM
RCR, I'd like the link to your Erikson article and where to pay for it! :)
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#85: September 23, 2012, 02:21:29 PM
RCR, I bought your article on Erikson's Stages and it was academic and also excellent! Talked to my Psychologist friend about that article and she thought it was right on!!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#86: September 23, 2012, 02:25:15 PM
NM. Found it!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#87: September 23, 2012, 02:47:05 PM
Yes, if not as a disease than MLC should be accepted as a di-sease, disorder or a condition. Otherwise I think it will be hard to make it more known and to have health, law, other professionals and people in general having a knowledge of how to deal with it.

I disagree with your opposition of medicines in Liminality (or other phases of MLC). Don’t think it prevents the positives forces or make it stagnant. If one has a MLCer who is totally depressed (clinically diagnosed, like my cousin), with suicidal thoughts and suicidal attempts for months on end,  not medicate that MLCer will, most likely, result in a dead MLC or a MLCer drove into severe clinical depression.

And our MLCers are depressed. At least on the terms the doctors of my country recognise and diagnose depression. Both my husband and cousin were diagnosed with depression by doctors.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#88: September 23, 2012, 03:00:37 PM

RCR, I bought your article on Erikson's Stages and it was academic and also excellent! Talked to my Psychologist friend about that article and she thought it was right on!!

;D Thanks!
I disagree with your opposition of medicines in Liminality (or other phases of MLC). Don’t think it prevents the positives forces or make it stagnant.

I never said I was against medication; I said it was unnecessary for me when I was Liminal. Pharmaceuticals can often have the advantage of taking off the hard edge of depression and raising someone just enough to be functional for Mirror-Work. Liminality is not Clinical Depression. But someone can be depressed and pharmaceuticals may help them enought to become Liminal and for some people it is necessary to maintain a long-term medicative therapy. I'm not one of them--I'm practically unipolar toward the high energy side. Really--I sometimes drive people nuts with my hyper-energy!
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#89: September 23, 2012, 03:29:48 PM
But you didn’t have a MLC did you? I don’t recall reading that you’ve had a crisis of your own... So, if you did not have a crisis of your own, wouldn’t your Liminality be different and less severe than the one of a MLCer? Also, I think they don’t all go as deep into any of the stages, that there are several levels within each stage.

My cousin was not a high replayer. He was a wallower that overworked, just like Mermaid’s husband. There was never OW, just fantasying about getting one. What happened with my cousin, when he was finally given the right medicines for his situation was that, at first, he become totally numb. The meds paralysed him for a couple of weeks (it was necessary to have him “asleep” and stop the suicide attempts), than allow him to raise. He has been without meds for many months, things still bumpy and he is not himself again. Well, he will never be who he was. The doctor told us that someone who becomes that depressed will never be the same person again. We still don’t know who he is/how he is going to be.

My husband refused treatment and, to my knowledge, he has not taken any meds since he was diagnosed with depression (that was before he left). Yet he seems to be able to keep an endless high energy… So far…
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#90: September 23, 2012, 04:20:44 PM

But you didn’t have a MLC did you? I don’t recall reading that you’ve had a crisis of your own... So, if you did not have a crisis of your own, wouldn’t your Liminality be different and less severe than the one of a MLCer?

Nope--no MLC and yes it would be (and was) different and mine was less severe, but Liminality can be severe for someone without them being in MLC.
MLT has three main phases.
  • Separation
  • Liminality
  • Rebirth
For an MLT to be MLC the Separation phase is elongated by having the Escape & Avoid phase--it is Liminality that is being avoided.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#91: September 23, 2012, 05:15:54 PM
RCR,

Thank you for weighing in and adding to this wonderful discussion.  I had promised to get back sooner, but truth be told I have little energy to do that tonight (will detail on my own thread and not hijack this one) and certainly not enough to do justice to the excellent people and questions that have been presented here.  It is glad to know that between you, me and the others here we are able to tie some of the new and old concepts together.  I'm very interested in your article on Erikson and will check it out when I can.

I do want to comment to AnneJ though about mentioning mental health concepts that are recognized in your country.  As recently as 10 years ago (and maybe still now) many European countries were far ahead of the US as far as the recognization and treatment of mental health.  When I worked for my first agency (which is known for being on the cutting edge of training staff) I was trained by a gentleman from Norway on Video Assisted Communication.  We were the first agency to adopt it and when I went to the agency I was at for over 10 years no one had even heard of it until recently.  I'm told Norway and Sweden are the leaders, but I'm sure other countries there also have made great strides and I look forward to sharing information with all.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#92: September 23, 2012, 05:48:05 PM
Thanks RCR. I’m still trying to figure out if I’ve had a MLC or a MLT… Some say if there is no alienator it is not a MLC…But I not that certain. Anyway, whatever happened to be it followed husband’s crisis/leaving/BD.

Thundarr, come back when you can. Would love to hear your input on this matter.

Sweden and Norway are far ahead of the rest of us but each country has been developing as far as mental health is concerned. And, sometimes, it has more to do with the hospital and doctor than with the country. The hospital my friend, the psychiatrists works for, is much more ahead than some other mental health hospitals. The doctor at my husband’s company was not bad for a work doctor. But the GP we’ve had for ages, in the big city, was not good at all and when husband had been previously depressed, he made a mess out of it. He managed to diagnose the depression (by then an overt one) but did not knew how to use the meds properly. Husband reacts very badly to Fluoxetine, it drives him insane. Prozac was the med of choice by then but it does not work on everyone. I think one of the reason is linked to which one of the neurotransmitter(s) is (are) imbalanced.

Anyway, that GP was many years ago (10 or so) and since then a lot have changed. Sadly the huge cuts our government is making in Health may throw mental health back to the dark ages.  :(
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#93: September 23, 2012, 05:58:56 PM
Does Portugal have socialized medicine, Anne?
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#94: September 23, 2012, 06:25:16 PM
Yes, thundarr, we have socialized medicine. Or used to have... Our National Health System design was based on the British National Heath System. Like the British one it is now being destroyed.

It was never socialized medicine like in Sweden or Norway, theirs is really, really good and, if I'm not mistaken, if totally free for everyone, but it was ok.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#95: September 24, 2012, 07:02:05 AM
I think I will have to do some more reading on depression.  My H's Psychiatrist told H he had "situational depression".  Our MC told my H he was depressed too.  H seems depressed, even my 16 year old can describe it as a "heaviness"  a "void of expression".  He has times of deep "nothingness" and times of great energy (mostly in the yard/garden).

Even though he wasn't clinically depressed, there was a feeling of depression that surrounded most of his crisis.  Really, you could feel it.

Lot's of great things to think about here.



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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#96: September 24, 2012, 07:06:29 AM
I think I will have to do some more reading on depression.  My H's Psychiatrist told H he had "situational depression".  Our MC told my H he was depressed too.  H seems depressed, even my 16 year old can describe it as a "heaviness"  a "void of expression".  He has times of deep "nothingness" and times of great energy (mostly in the yard/garden).

Even though he wasn't clinically depressed, there was a feeling of depression that surrounded most of his crisis.  Really, you could feel it.

Lot's of great things to think about here.

I recommend you start with I Don't Want to Talk About It by Terrence Real. It is specific to depression in men.
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Re: MLC from an Expert's Perspective - Ver. 2.0
#97: October 05, 2012, 03:55:04 PM
Bumping for the newbies, and updating on why there have been no updates.  Due to trainings and my supervisor's vacation I haven't had more than ten minutes to speak to him since the day we had this talk.  Hopefully next week will be different but I don't know.  Going to kick work into overdrive now that I have bonus incentives and can do it without missing out in kid time.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#98: November 19, 2012, 06:04:57 PM
I wanted to share with everyone that I attended a lecture today by a brain expert that was focused primarily on how drugs affect the brain but went into GREAT detail about how the brain functions and how it is affected by different stimuli and conditions.  Here are the key points I took from it, and I'll copy/ paste it into one of my discussion threads as well for those who don't follow my thread regularly:

The doctor who gave the presentation was associated with the Amen Institute (Kikki I believe is very familiar with them) and presented more than one could ever want to know about brain function and what an unhealthy brain is like.  Of course, I had questions pertaining to MLC (without mentioning MLC of course) and began with a question about the purpose of depression and why it causes the suppression of positive memories, and ending with the long-term effects of depression on the brain (here's a hint - the news isn't good).

 - First off, depression plays a biological role in that it is brought on by some manner of unmet expectation which leads to a reality check that is often more than some people can handle.  The end purpose of depression is to LOWER THE EXPECTATIONS of ther person experiencing it so that they are no longer faced with the hurtful reality and can focus inward rather than outward.  The suppression of positive memories is so that the person can feel that OTHERS WILL HAVE LOWER EXPECTATIONS OF THEM.  The doctor even used the expression "Stop expecting me to be the spouse you are used to me being."  Therefore, the role of depression in these cases is to PREVENT FURTHER HARM BROUGHT ON BY EXPECTATIONS.  I was honestly in awe with how quickly he popped off the answer to my question, and I now think he has been asked this before.

- Dopamine "highs" - He used the example of cocaine addicts who are constantly using coke in an attempt to recreate their first time, which for most is the most pleasurable.  He talked about how the brain remembers events, positive and negative, that have some sort of emotional weight attached to them.  It is NOT UNCOMMON for a person to keep reverting back to a time in their lives that held the most pleasurable and emotional impact on them, and for those we are dealing with that is often the teenage years.  The search for that "perfect high" is a huge force for some people, and especially addicts.

- Which brings me to the fact that a depressed person often shows the same brain functioning as an addict does.  He showed numerous brain image scans that showed how brain activity fluctuates and deteriorates over time in both instances.  Unfortunately, while the addict brain has shown great improvement after a 12-24 month abstinence from the drug the effects of depression seem to be everlasting.  He said he has read the newest research and "the news isn't good for someone suffering from long-term depression."  Also, apparently only 50% of clients in pharmacological tests showed improvement with drug therapy and half of them were using placebos.

- On the topic of depression still, most researchers now believe that it's never truly "cured" but rather that the symptoms may be reduced.  In clinical diagnosis, there is always a certain number of criteria that must be met in order for someone to be diagnosed with a mental illness.  If enough of those criteria disappear then the person is considered "cured" or "in remission" by current standards, but no account is taken for whether they are actually enjoying life or feeling good about themselves.  They simply do not meet ALL the criteria necessary.  They may or may not have the capacity to enjoy their children or grandchildren, or life in general for that matter but if they do not meet ALL the criteria for depression....

- Lastly, (well, the last I can remember right now) the long-term effects of depression on the brain are only now becoming known.  Many experts now believe that DEMENTIA IS THE NATURAL PROGRESSION OF DEPRESSION.  In other words, someone with long-term depression WILL most likely end up suffering from dementia and in future research it is likely to be found to be the same thing.  Wow.  What a way to end the training, and that last part just really threw me for a loop.  It's sad to say, but this past week or so I really have been wondering whether or not my W will ever come out of this or if she is pretty much doomed (DGU would remind me of Conway's writings on this).  Her mother has never been "right" since I've known her, and at times W's crazy looks and antics have truly reminded me of her mother (who now has Alzheimer's as most of you know). 

My perspective on my own sitch is that my W was putting off achieving her goals (masters degree just like her sister, professional job, proving something to her parents etc) and finally realized that she had run out of time when her mother's mind went.  It is this realization that brought on this major depression that W just doesn't seem capable of overcoming. 

This is all so sad for everyone involved, and I feel so sorry for W and all the other MLC spouses here.  I hope they all find the strengto to "wake up" and reach out to us for help, and I also pray we all find the strength to be there for them when they do.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#99: November 19, 2012, 06:24:41 PM
That's so fascinating!  And what a coup that this opportunity comes up for you right now!  Kikki got me hooked on Dr. Amen's work, too.  I don't disagree at all that this is something that is a "managed" lifelong illness, instead of just a phase.  Supplements geared toward balancing my neurotransmitters play a huge role for me (Amen is a big proponent of them, too), and I can notice a difference in mood if I'm not staying strict to my regimen.  I don't know that I would go back into full blown crisis if I went off of them, but I know it would make a difference long term in the quality of my life.  I believe even though the prognosis is not good where drug therapy is concerned, supplements and nutrition can make a major difference in the onset or severity of any potential dementia.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#100: November 19, 2012, 07:00:01 PM
Am I allowed to brag a bit? We, no brain expert LBSs had managed to reach the same conclusion that a brain expert, on depression and its effects!  ;) ;D

Now, not joking, thank you so much for posting the info, Thundarr. From my knowledge, it is true that long-term depression cannot be totally cured. Both my husband’s company doctor and my friend the psychiatrist had said it. But it can be mitigated and balanced. Not only with medicines but with a lifestyle change and constant care.

Even if one does not a long-term depression it will always be difficult to recover from a depression. It will take long and a person will always be different than before.

Makes sense sometime with long-term depression may end up with dementia but dementia can be caused by other factors like high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and so on. Or can be caused by a conjugation of factors.

But the same is true for depression, some can be caused by other medical conditions, like problems in the thyroid. Depression can both be the cause of other medical problems or caused by other medical problems.

I think sometimes depression is only caused by exhaustion and not by any expectations a person may have. Depression caused by expectations is what happens when someone starts to think they should had achieved more, but if you’re just dead tired and exhausted the cause is slightly different.

The end purpose of depression is to LOWER THE EXPECTATIONS of ther person experiencing it so that they are no longer faced with the hurtful reality and can focus inward rather than outward.  The suppression of positive memories is so that the person can feel that OTHERS WILL HAVE LOWER EXPECTATIONS OF THEM.  The doctor even used the expression "Stop expecting me to be the spouse you are used to me being."

Except that our MLCers want us to think the world of them... And they don't seem at all to be focused inwards. MLC replay depression is, in my view, very different from the regular, turned inward depression. But it a fact that our MLCers try everything in order for us not to expect anything from them.

And from what we know of former MLCers most of them, if not all, seem to recover their brain. Maybe MLC is more like drug addiction than like normal depression.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#101: November 19, 2012, 08:21:29 PM
This discussion caught my eye...I hardly post so thought I'd chime in.  I'm not making excuses for H but I know he has been severely depressed for 3 years.  I was his cheerleader trying to make him happy.  After BD and therapy and this board...I've realized I can't make him happy and I went about it the wrong way.

I too told him he needed to get an MRI done and blood work 2 yrs ago.  Come to find out.. he has a frontal lobe tumor in the pituitary gland which is affecting all his hormones.  His testosterone was at a record low and his prolactins a record high.  He agreed to take the medication....WHOLE NEW MAN!!!!!  Then...we couldn't afford the medication anymore.  It was costing us $600 a month.  Well - I talked him into getting rechecked in May 2012 and all his hormones were back in the horrible range.  Example- Testosterone is supposed to be over 500 in men..his was 85.  Prolactins are supposed to be under 18 in men - his was 2600.  Thank you GOD - they now sell generic so its affordable. 

A bit to late though cuz BD was end of May and moved out in June.  Its takes a good amount of time for meds to kick in with those levels.  I  just hope he's still taking them.

Thats my info for you guys!!!
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#102: November 19, 2012, 08:37:00 PM
WOW WGU, this is the best case for the hormonal/chemical imbalance cause I have ever seen!  Would you mind if I reposted this (or would you mind reposting it) on this thread?  http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=2951.0
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#103: November 19, 2012, 09:47:30 PM
thanks for posting this, Thundarr.

Very interesting; I can think about it as applying to my H; his depression at least during this would most likely fall into the "unmet expectations" category -- the one where he wants to retire young, sees that he can't (and can't see that it's because he's chosen to spend rather than save...) and so on.   

And he is forever searching for that elusive 'high'; that adrenaline rush that he so likes.  That's the addiction part.  I can see that constantly chasing that would lead to constant disappointment/depression....

And also to me -- I've dealt with lower levels of depression off and on since childhood; I can definitely see that it isn't ever "cured", i.e. completely gone, never to return, but know that it can be managed very well.  It was clearly brought on by my own family situation, and it's something that I've had to learn to control. 

Again, it's recognising that nothing from the "outside" can fix it, which is why CBT works so well.  But things from the outside can make it worse; just because when there is so much thrown at us it can be overwhelming. 

It makes me wonder if some of us aren't in some way pre-disposed to depression just because of how our brains are wired in the first place. 

I do know that one friend who had known H since university days (she since seems to have remained my friend, but isn't in touch with H....) said that she always thought that H was a depressive.  These feelings of "not being good enough" certainly were there; it could be that he's been battling those by all the frantic working and spending all these years.  And when the perfect storm hit they got the better of him.

Again, down to poor coping skills.  But it makes you wonder when his sister grew up in the same circumstances and doesn't have any issues like this.

I wonder how much of this is learned (or rather not having been learned), and how much is chemical? 

And a bit scary that the natural progression of depression is dementia....  both for me and for H.  Different situations, of course, but wow. 

Although H's mother had alzheimer's, and I don't think she ever suffered from depression.   

Sorry for a rather disjointed post, but I do find this very interesting. 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#104: November 19, 2012, 09:49:29 PM
Thank you so much for posting this Thundarr.
Really really interesting, but very sobering.

It goes along with my thinking too, that the depression has been around for a while with my H, and is something that would probably need lifelong management.
Supplements would be my personal preference too R2.

Thank you too WGU.  That really ties in with everything that AnneJ, R2 and I have researched about hormones and their effects on the body's biochemistry.

Also ties in with what your Head of Department said Thundarr about complete changes in personality being either hormonal, or prefrontal cortex atrophy (leading to dementia) or a tumour.





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« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 09:50:49 PM by kikki »

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#105: November 19, 2012, 09:55:46 PM
WGU - do you mind me asking how they are treating the tumour?
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#106: November 19, 2012, 10:53:34 PM
Wow T.  This is very interesting.  As things are starting to "stabilize" between my H and I, I have been pondering his depression a lot. This whole thing about negative memories is troublesome.  How do you live 18 years with someone and feel so differently about your past?  His family has even thought he was nuts for implying "not being happy."

His sister has told me he has always been a "depressing person".  How did I not see this when we were falling in love?

I believe that part of the distance that grew between us was my inability to "deal" with his depression.  It really is draining.  It makes me sad and weighs me down.  S16 calls it "heavy" and S14 says "dad is grumpy all the time."  It was easier to find energy and life from my friends,community and family.  His depression is part of his person and it affect the boys and me

Geez, sort of "depressing" to think about. Is there any hope?
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#107: November 20, 2012, 04:37:07 AM
My perspective on my own sitch is that my W was putting off achieving her goals (masters degree just like her sister, professional job, proving something to her parents etc) and finally realized that she had run out of time when her mother's mind went.  It is this realization that brought on this major depression that W just doesn't seem capable of overcoming. 


Thundarr, I agree with everything that you said, or that the expert said.  Word for word.  But I do not agree with the above.  Your wife was putting off her goal of being a good person, i.e., a person who does the right thing because it is the right thing to do without having to be told to do it.  She couldn't achieve this bar, so she lowered it... a lot. 
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Doc Hudson

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#108: November 20, 2012, 01:22:36 PM
Yes..I will post on the other thread..no prob.

Kiki - He is taking Dostinex twice a week.  They have a generic form now so for 8 pills its only $280 instead of 4 times as much as a couple of years ago.  The testosterone is an under arm swipe every day twice a day.  I pray he still takes it.  Its going to take a LONG time to get his numbers up.

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Married 10/7/1989
BD#1 - Sept 2010
Came home to an empty closet and the trailer was gone!
Came back home Dec 2010
Emotional Affair May 2012
BD#2 - May 2012
Moved out June 2012
Emotional affair now to Physical Affair
Still rents a room from a friend.
Need a Miracle!!!!

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#109: November 20, 2012, 01:49:37 PM
Thank so much for posting your husband story, WGU. Very telling. Hope he is taking his meds.

It makes me wonder if some of us aren't in some way pre-disposed to depression just because of how our brains are wired in the first place. 

I would say this is a very good possibility. It does not mean a person who born with such a brain wire would had to always have a depression but that the person would be more susceptible to it, Especially under adverse circumstances.

Again, down to poor coping skills.  But it makes you wonder when his sister grew up in the same circumstances and doesn't have any issues like this.

The poor cooping skills are a personal thing. Your husband sister is different from him. Growing under the same circumstance will not affect two people the same way. Also, a person could have had good cooping skills and, at a point, because of some trauma/problem/circumstance stop having them.

I wonder how much of this is learned (or rather not having been learned), and how much is chemical? 

Hard to say, I think. Unless we all had detailed brain scans from our spouses since they were born and until know there is no way of knowing how much is learned (not learned) and how much of the not learned is so because of chemical issues of the brain. Again, all may had been great for years and, at a point, something altered the brain chemicals.

His sister has told me he has always been a "depressing person".  How did I not see this when we were falling in love?


Maybe because most of the time “depressing person” does not translates into the image we normaly have of a depressed person. Depression has many forms, many degrees. Also, when we are falling in love with someone, unless the depression is very showing, we will not notice it. We’re focussed on other things.

Geez, sort of "depressing" to think about. Is there any hope?

Yes, big hope. The more we know about the brain/depression, the bigger the hope. It may never be possible to cure certain types of depression but it is certainly possible to have it treated, stabelised, mitigated and learn to live with it. In my opinion, MLC is more like drug addiction. The brain of the MLCer, once the crisis is gone, and, if needed, with the help of medicines, will go back to normal. Even if the person was depressed it will be possible to look after the depression.

Also, we are having a ton of helful info in this board that will allow us to deal better with our spouses depression, or our own. So, again, yes, there is hope.  :)
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#110: November 20, 2012, 04:09:45 PM
I really hope your H is taking the meds WGU, and that the treatment is successful  :)

Quote
Yes, big hope. The more we know about the brain/depression, the bigger the hope. It may never be possible to cure certain types of depression but it is certainly possible to have it treated, stabelised, mitigated and learn to live with it. In my opinion, MLC is more like drug addiction. The brain of the MLCer, once the crisis is gone, and, if needed, with the help of medicines, will go back to normal. Even if the person was depressed it will be possible to look after the depression.

Also, we are having a ton of helful info in this board that will allow us to deal better with our spouses depression, or our own. So, again, yes, there is hope.

I agree too Anne.  I believe there is hope. 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#111: November 20, 2012, 05:44:55 PM
I can not believe the parallels is see here to my husbands upbringing..... my husband had always acted like he had a perfect childhood, his sister painted a very different picture, he has always held his mother on such a pedestal, I could never figure out why,shes a cold distant isolated alcholholic who communicates with no one, about a year before bd,his sister opened up to sister inlaw about sexual abuse by father, my husband was flooded with tears, he instantly realized thoughts he head been holding and questioning of abuse that had happened him were real... his only way of dealing with it has been to never speak to his father again and that is it end of discussion..........
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#112: November 20, 2012, 06:17:11 PM
Thanks AnneJ.  Loved your words of wisdom.

Depression is a beast.  My Pastor is going to give me some course material on how depression is a "learned coping mechanism."  I'll share if I find anything interesting. 

You are right, I was focusing on my H's quietness, calmness, what seemed like balance.  Because I was running form a beautiful, wild playboy, party boy who broke my heart.  I picked what I thought was the "opposite'. Little did I know... It takes a long while to "see the real person'.

I wish they could make a medication to take away the pain of infidelity.  Just take the entire memory away.

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#113: November 20, 2012, 08:23:17 PM
I have just been catching up on information here, thank you so much. It's helped me to understand my depression and also to understand my Hs.

Both my paternal and maternal grandmothers suffered with Alzheimer's, I'm trying to understand where my predisposition to depression comes from. My dad told me he felt his father was more of a depressive than his mother. But she did have depression after dad was born during the war so it kind of suggests to me a depressive predisposition.

Well I'm in for a lot of fun in old age aren't I! Alzheimer's almost definitely with my history of depression!

Also interesting for me is my realisation or admission that I suffer from depression and it will never be cured but I can manage it. I guess it takes a sympathetic and giving person to deal with a spouse like me! I am learning more and more about my own brain chemistry and it's helping me understand. I have realised I have been stigmatising myself, my own mental health and going along with societies view that mental health problems are wrong and should be denied or covered up.
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#114: November 20, 2012, 08:28:54 PM
TT - I think you might be young enough  ;D ;D to get depression under control before the patterns are established.  Also you could grow out of depression & what if it is tied to hormones? 
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#115: November 20, 2012, 10:25:19 PM
CJ yes I really think my depression is linked to hormones! And possibly a H who was actually rather stressful to live with!!!!! Certainly in the last two MLC years!

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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#116: November 21, 2012, 01:23:26 AM
TT, one of the things that I used this "gift of time" for was to really figure out how to get my own tendency towards depression under control.  I chose to do CBT on my own, after not finding a practitioner that I felt I could work with (and pay....); I looked at all sorts of books, settled on David Burns "Feeling Good", and sat down to the hard work.  (OK, curled up in the foetal position...)   There is no substitute for doing the exercises in writing, unfortunately.  I also used "Overcoming Worry" to deal with anxiety.

I probably spent 2 years on those....  that sounds like a lot, and it is, but time passes and that was now also several years ago.  It doesn't "cure" it instantly, but I recently went back and looked at some of the scoring and evaluation tests and realised that even with everything still going on I was back in a "normal" category, when I had been in "moderate depression" (which is actually very bad -- I don't want to think about what "severe"is) when I started the work. 

I also got a therapy lamp, which I keep on pretty much all the time I'm at my desk.  SAD or not, it really does help.  Not cheap, but worth it.    Again, on it's own it's OK, but in conjunction with other things it makes a difference. 

Even if it is tied to hormones (in which case some medication might help as well...) this approach can help manage feelings whatever their cause.  I say can help; it's not a magic bullet, but it was the most appropriate for me. 

Sorry, this is getting off the subject of MLC from an expert.....




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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#117: November 21, 2012, 07:20:41 AM
Thanks T&L, good advice.

what's got me thru the last week [it changes. ??? ::)] is the Lao Tze quote

If you're depressed you're living in the past
If you're anxious you're living in the future
If you're at peace you're living in the present.

Whatever gets you thru the night... ;)
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Re: Feedback on MLC from an expert
#118: November 21, 2012, 10:03:23 AM
Thanks for that advice TandL I am reading loads. I am finding philosophy very helpful and I naturally feel more confident since H left which fills me with a sense that I am happy being alone and being in my own company for the first time in my life! It's okay.

xx
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