Sunday, October 27, 2013

Mental Illness: Still A Real Horror?

You may see all types of horror during Halloween season: goblins, zombies, ghosts, clowns and even chainsaws. To many though, mental illness can be greater than any and all of these.

A mental illness can destroy the lives of yourself and those around you. Nevertheless it can be like any other medical condition given the proper treatment and medication.  One must take good care of themselves, and have a strong support system.

Here are some of the more common illnesses.

1. Paranoia Schizophrenia

The name itself is enough to strike fear in most. This affliction can cause one to see and hear things that do not exist, and can become dangerous if not properly treated.  It can be hard to function with schizophrenia but definitely not impossible. 

2. Bipolar Disorder

This is also called manic depression.  Many of us know those people whom have rapid mood swings like Jekyll and Hyde. This is part of it, but much more.  Many with this disorder also have an inflated sense of self, sleep less, and in a manic stage, can become very dangerous to others. Extreme depression can kick in, and one can become suicidal. 

3.ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder/ Hyperactivity Disorder)

This is two of the most misdiagnosed disorders. It is basically where one has problems staying focused on one thing or subject. You see this more common in schools. A child can be a little energetic or rebellious. Next thing you know, they are being prescribed meds for ADHD. There is a difference between being bored and hyper, and simply not being able to concentrate. 

4. OCD

OCD (or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) is actually more mild than most of these diseases. However, it can also get extreme. There are folks that always have to do things in a specific order or have items in a particular place. Being overly clean is also a symptom of OCD. 


This is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, common among those who have experienced tragic events, including rape, murders, and specifically war veterans.
A PSTD victim definitely needs assistance and counseling, and it needs to be ongoing, not much different from these other disorders.

6. Anxiety Disorder

This one can also be mild but life threatening. Panic attacks are common among anxiety victims, and it can be a challenge to simply cope with daily life. The treatments are often simpler, as are the conditions of staying stable.

The common thread in all of the listed disorders is proper care. This can be through medicine, counseling, and overall support. One can live a normal, functional lifestyle if they take care of themselves. There is no difference from any other medical condition in this regard. You can't ignore it, or be afraid to seek help.

Visit your local mental health center or health department for further information, and Google mental illnesses to see these and others. is a great place to start.   Knowledge is always power, and knowing more about these supposed "horrors" can help you realize there is hope. No need for anyone to hide in the closet or basement anymore.

Two Great Haunted Adventures Right in Blacksburg, SC

Blacksburg, SC doesn't have much to call their own except for its collective pride and sense of community.  However, every Halloween, there is always a good haunted house or trail right in Blacksburg that can scare and keep visitors entertained.

Two such places are The Fear Farm and Booger Jim's Hollow.

1. The Fear Farm

The owner behind this 8,000 square foot haunted house, along with a zombie room, additional scare houses and side shows;  and even vendors, has really brought attention to the Iron City. Most people within an hour radius notice the promotions, from the professionally printed signs, to the old cars placed around Cherokee County with spooks and goblins coming out of them, covered in blood and having the "Fear Farm" emblem emblazed on the hood.

This haunted house is very well lit and easy to find, off of 99 Island Road. Inside, the place is well constructed, with mazes, monsters, clowns, a cemetery, and many other horror movie images and icons guaranteed to scare you. General admission is $13, $18 for VIP line skip, and up to $20 for access into the additional rooms and houses.  Fear Farm was featured in a magazine as one of the best haunted houses in the Upstate. To get further information, visit Bring friends and be ready to be entertained.

2. Booger Jim's Hollow

This trail based on the urban legend of Cherokee Falls resident Booger Jim is more generic than the Fear Farm, but is equally, if not scarier than The Fear Farm.  This is located in the woods of Cherokee Falls, behind Cherokee Falls Missionary Church. They have a waiver you must sign due to the scary and number of hills on the trail. They also have a guide/narrator. The price of admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children.  I will say Booger Jim's is worth that price. The trail delivers in all facets: monsters, clowns, narrow traps and paths, and an appearance by Booger Jim himself.  The creators, however, are more low budget. They employ flyers and social media to get the word out. However, their signs are homemade and dark. The trail is difficult to find as their is no lighting leading up to Booger Jim's.  Nonetheless, people love the legend and the trail. Visit for more information.

So if you live in Blacksburg and don't want to travel to Scarewinds or to a larger city to get scared, no worries. These two will provide that portion of Halloween that you sorely desire. Heck the locations are less than five miles apart. You and your group could hit them both on the same night for under $30/head. Now that's a good price for quality, family entertainment. 

So when you come down Hwy 5 and on to Hwy 29 in Blacksburg, look for the signs, visit the websites and ask around. The Iron City has thrills and horrors, but hasn't become a dead ghost town.  Fun is guaranteed for all.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Women: You Deserve MORE, PERIOD

Ok this is usually the time of year where men and women alike start trying to get that special someone for the colder weather.  I've written about this from several different angles. Here is another one regarding a woman's self-worth.

Alicia Keys wrote and recorded a song over a decade ago "A Woman's Worth." The gist of it is that women will lower themselves to the lowest common denominator just to have someone. They will be with a mate that abuses them physically and mentally, neglects them, and simply doesn't have much to offer in return.  They pretty much prefer to be committed and miserable than single and lonely.

The title is simple my females: you DESERVE MORE!!!

Now I'm not just talking money, jewelry, or other material possessions.  It's always nice when someone can take care of you financially.  However, love yourself and know your worth. Make that person want to love you as well, show you affection, laugh with you, be your best friend.  That's what really counts in the end.

Now I'm not one to reference Steve Harvey often but he was right in saying sometimes you have to require more of yourself from suitors. That's right, raise and adjust those standards. Get the man that will go the extra mile. Have that person that will stand tall for you and not back down when the going gets tough. You need you a warrior on your team.

It's time to stop complaining about the lack of good men when you are dating the same "type" of man. Look within yourself and see what you attract. Often you will find you're better than that.

So ladies, please don't settle, simply settle down when that real love comes along.  Leave the games on the playground and go get what is yours!

Dating and Candy Crush Saga: How They Are Similar

The current popular cell phone game is Candy Crush Saga. People log many hours and data to play this game.  They connect through social media to get more incentives such as lives, tickets, etc.

However, the game itself is often more luck and chance based than skill. It's more about opportunities and spending money on the power-ups. Without these, people will be stuck on levels for weeks and months.

So what does this have to do with love and dating? Well, often dating can also rely on a little luck, circumstance and other such factors. Here are some ways that dating and Candy Crush are similar.

1. Both are addictive.

Most every stage and level of dating: meeting, talking, courting, sex, and just being together is hard to pull away from. We have all been victims of it, especially in the early stages. Candy Crush is no different. People play it from dawn until dusk, and every free minute in between. 

2. Putting out money gives you an edge.

It's sad but true with both.  When one dates, you may only put out small amounts for dinners, movies, candy, and gifts, and larger amounts for jewelry, vacations, and holidays. Candy Crush players know that having those powerups simply make any level easier.  This is why there are so many of them and they sell like hotcakes. 

3. Making the right moves at the right times is key

Of course in Candy Crush (especially the jelly levels), combining the right candies and avoiding some of the quick combinations can help you clear the level quicker.  You only have a certain amount of moves.  In the game of love, it's like chances. A good person will only give another so many times to screw up or say the wrong thing before they're doing like a Candy Crush addict and begging for more chances (lives.)

4. Power in numbers

Whether it be lives, moves, or friends and contacts, both rely heavily on outside assistance.  It can be a village mentality. You help set up your friend on a date, talk them up, just as you would be sending a ticket to a fellow Crusher so they can unlock another episode.

5. You get into ruts and get stuck.

At times, even in committed relationships, you can feel you're stuck in a slump. No dates or very little affection. This can be no different than being stuck on a level for days and weeks. Often you have to walk away and come back to it fresh.

6. Jealously and self-doubt can set in.

You see many people getting married, having children, and living happy love lives. The feeling can equal when you're stuck on level 53 of Candy Crush, and everyone you know is in the high 200s, or even the mid 300s. You want to know why and how they did it, and why are you still stuck on where you're at.

Of course, love and dating are real and Candy Crush Saga is simply a game. One should not make dating into a game. Rather it should be a journey, where you're patient and you focus on yourself and your own progress.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Seven Sexy Halloween Costumes

This is a fun top seven for most. It's Halloween season and as I've mentioned before, the one time of year where women can dress like a complete whore and not get judged or slammed for it.

Here are some of the common costumes you're liable to see at Halloween parties this year, outside of women simply wearing lingerie or body suits.

1. Cat.

Hard to go wrong with the sexy cat. Tight, with black leather or spandex. Always guaranteed to get a lot of looks and likes.

2. Policewoman

Usually women that wear this costume have the billy sticks, handcuffs, stilettos, and Daisy Dukes squad shirts with their uniforms. It can give off the S&M vibe as you may wanna be cuffed and beaten.

3. Nurse

Common but still sexy. Heck the fantasy itself is alluring. Most of us men flirt with the hot nurse at the doctor's office or the hospital. Given the right body type, skirt and shoes, this outfit is typically a winner.

4. Devil

Again the naughty image, plus the tight leather/spandex costume is sensous. Plus red is simply a sexy color.

5. French Maid

Like the nurse, simple, but never goes out of style. The shorter the skirt, the better.

6. Bumblebee. 

I can't explain it, but there is something very appealing about those stripes and that stinger. You also hope that maybe the young lady has some honey.

7. Miley Cyrus

After Miley's deplorable twerking at this year's VMAs, one can expect to see Miley'a outfit worn as a costume.  Hopefully the women that choose this one can actually fill it out.

Visit Party City, or even Victoria's Secret, see your sewing machine or tailor and get to work. I always love seeing the sexy creativity year in and year out.

My Personal Instruction Manual

Most of us have heard the saying "that person should come with a warning label or instructions."  I definitely feel that applies to me. I got this idea a while back and decided to do an instruction manual myself appropriate for anyone who may frequent Lowes or Home Depot, attempting to fix or build something. 

Also, I'm doing my best to make this a thorough but quick-start guide.  You may even learn more about me in the process.

1. Please do not judge me in any type of way. Getting to know me is the true adventure. 

2. Respect me as you would respect yourself, and act the way you want to be treated.  Don't expect me to be nice to you if you don't return the favor. 

3. I truly value honesty. I like the ugly truth more than a slick lie. Also, I'm going to be me and tell it like it is. If you cannot handle that, then perhaps you shouldn't associate yourself with me.

4. When I post something on social media or write about something, remember that belongs to me, NOT you. It's not like it's a proclamation or a legal document.  I welcome opinion but I was a child a long time ago. Please do not tell me how and what I should and shouldn't say or post.

5. Also, talk to me like an adult, not at me or down to me like a child. You will usually get a much better response if you talk to me like I'm a human being.

6. Please refrain from yelling at me. I realize I am a loud person myself.  But I'm not the type of person that deals with foolery and drama of any type.  So come correctly if you have a problem with me.

7. If you like or don't like me, let it be made known. I should know exactly where you stand with me.

8. Four things I don't like others dealing with: my family (including close friends), food, finances and personal life. If I choose to share this information with you, then that's fine. Otherwise don't probe or pressure me about it.

9.  I am who I am: kind, unique, intelligent and loving.  I like self improvement and not forced change.

10. I like to joke but I have my boundaries. Don't dish out what you can't take, and I will do the same.

11. Beyond what you already know about me, don't try to figure me out or understand everything I do. There's a method to my madness. Just be understanding and accepting of me.

Follow these instructions and you will have one of the best people around. It's not that complicated and neither am I.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Andropause: The Little Known Hinderence

You're probably wondering why your male friend, uncle, father, or co-worker is suddenly crabby and moody. Whiny and emotional and even prone to outbursts.  This could be a variety of things.  One people often forget about or omit is andropause.

Andropause is simply the medical term for "male menopause." Approximately 5 million American men suffer from this past their 40s and beyond. Now maybe you see why men are more prone to mid-life crises, decreased sex drive, and just a complete change in mood.

Often when a man has andropause, it is due to a lack of testosterone and hormones. Being exposed to environments or elements high in estrogen can also contribute. Outside of rapid, cranky mood swings, you may also note fatigue and erectile dysfunction as common systems.

Very much like menopause, there aren't any real cures to andropause.  You should be patient with a man undergoing this battle, as you would a female with the change. Exercise, hormones, and testosterone supplements have been known to ward off andropause. Many men come out of it on their own, but it can lead to more serious dangers, such as Alzheimer's Disease.

I would encourage all to do further research on andropause as many of us know a man that's going through it. It's real, no joke about it, and needs to be treated as such.

You want to be as healthy and happy as possible when you enter the middle and latter stages of your life. Staying aware and ahead of these such afflictions is an excellent starting point.

Interrupting Phone Conversations: Ummm, Excuse You!

I was raised with a high standard of decorum and manners, that stretched beyond "please and thank you."  My mom wanted her sons to be polite, respectful gentleman, period. She especially stressed that with phone conversations. My brother and I both l learned at an early age when Mom was on the telephone, not to interrupt her,  and to be quiet so she could hear the other person.

Technology has changed this paradigm in a major way. I will be on my cell phone in public and people will not only say hi or hug me (both are fine) but they will try and have a conversation with me. Sometimes if the call is not important, I will call them back and talk with the live person. However, I have been known to give people the side-eye indicating "I'm on the phone, please do not interrupt. "  That matters not to many people. 

It does seem to be a learned behavior also. Children see their parents interrupting people's conversations in public, so they see nothing wrong with doing the same. One of my best friends has a five year old daughter and he's teaching her the old school manners that we both grew up learning. We were on the phone once and the young child kept hollering and screaming for her daddy. My friend used a stern tone and said "baby I'm on the phone right now, please wait a minute. ". If only more parents did this.

Each year brings a new piece of technology.  Windows 8. Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.1. And now the iPhone 5c and 5s. With each new piece of technology comes more features to make personal communication obsolete and irrevelent.

However, being kind and considerate and simply treating others like you want to be treated should never go out of style.  If you see someone on the phone, signal or wave at them, then wait until they get off the phone. It's that easy. Rarely does anyone interrupting have a true emergency anyways.

Now even with Blutooth and hands free devices, it often may be difficult to see if someone is on the phone or not.  However, once you realize it, the same rules apply.

People don't often realize how much something affects them until they experience it and that's sad.