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catch up february 2022 …

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Catch Up February 2022 …

Yet again I cannot meet another month in a cheery fashion. I closed January with the devastating news that a special online friend had died. She had stage 4 cancer and was in a trial to extend her life. But, she didn’t die from the cancer, or anything to do with the trial, she died of septicaemia and … I am beyond devastated.

Also, towards the start of January I heard about the death of a young man I dearly loved. I classed him as a son. I’d cared for him as a child like a mother would, like my own. However, his mother, who knew very well how I felt about him, didn’t bother to let me know about his death. I found out by searching for him online because for some reason he just kept popping up in my thoughts. So, as you do, I searched for him and his brother had posted he’d died. It wasn’t a shock because he’d battled with his demons since being a small child. What was a shock was the callous way I wasn’t told directly. … 🤦🏻‍♀️ some people 🤦🏻‍♀️ …

January you are good to go …

Don’t forget whenever you see MiA … it means I have been unable to journal anything on that day due to serious illness or just because I was unable to do anything, except keep my head above water, on that particular day.

What’s New …

I feel very low about how my health is going. Personal grief on top of ill health is very heavy to deal with. I have no idea how this is going to pan out and express itself in my journal and my life.

A warning … be ready for the emotional flow …

What’s Important …

I struggle to express my feelings very well in my real life and on paper but I’m guessing if I don’t there could be an explosion of emotions.

Diary (February 2022)

1st

MiA

… 💔 …

2nd

I feel like a broken record these days. I am so sick, and I get fed up of hearing myself say it. I wonder why the human body doesn’t ever get used to it.

Today I had a telephone appointment with ESA, even though I have been put in the support group, which actually means I don’t have to do anything work related. Watch this space for my rant afterwards.

LoL I sat here today waiting for this call and it never came. So I checked my letter … and it’s tomorrow. What am I like!

… 🧘🏻‍♀️ …

3rd

MiA

Today I really do have my ESA appointment. I will talk about it in tomorrow’s updates.

I also started my iQoro device use. It is a device to help with my horrific heartburn, it is meant to strengthen the muscles and can help with sleep apnoea, which I also have. So all in all it could be quite useful if it works. The program is 3 sessions a day with at least 2 hours in between. Not sure if I did it correctly the first time, but will keep practicing until I get it right. I should see results fairly soon but long term it has excellent efficacy and without medications too.

… 🤦🏻‍♀️ …

4th

My ESA appointment yesterday went well. I actually should have that type of appointment at the start of my claim last year but it was lockdown so everything is being done upside down. Anyway it was for me to simply agree to let them know if I become well enough to work while I am claiming ESA. Nothing else is required from me.

Today, I feel so heavily exhausted and tired from always doing absolutely nothing. This really is no life.

… 😢 …

5th

MiA

… 🤯 …

6th

MiA

… 🤯 …

7th

MiA

I had a really awful night’s sleep last night. Feel dreadful today.

Sadly, it has been 6 weeks since I washed my hair or had a bath and I feel disgusting. That said, I have had the mini sink washes downstairs and I have also emptied the centre drawers in the dresser downstairs and filled them with, PJ bottoms @ 4, PJ tops @ 6, all my lingerie sets, slipper socks @ 7, socks @ 7, cardigans @ 2, and leggings & tee shirts @ 2 (just in case), to make things easier for me. I was finding waking up dreadful and trying work out if I would manage a bath, or even a small sink wash, and PJ change later on much too difficult to determine when I wake in so much pain. Now I don’t need to think about it. I simply come downstairs and do it if and when I can without having to go back up the stairs.

I feel very sad about this thought. Not being free to go up and down the stairs when I need to is hard to accept.

Ooooooops I bought myself some ankle boots (WTF for when I don’t go anywhere) and I bought some steam pod straighteners. I figured that if I steamed my dirty greasy hair it might be like when you steam clothes and it kills the bacteria and smell. I’ll let you know when they arrive (very expensive they were) …

08.02.2022 treats …

… 🥾 🥾🥾 …

… oh I so wish I could get dressed and go out and wear these beauties …

… 💕 …

8th

MiA …

… 😞😞😞 …

9th

MiA

… 🥺 …

10th

I’m feeling a tad better today. When I say this, I don’t mean in normal person terms, I mean in desperately sick person terms. So, I am still very unwell but much better than the previous days. I no longer feel on deaths door.

I know it is time to take my intuition seriously and I’ve known for a very long time two things.

1) I eat way too much in terms of meal size amount and in terms of daily amount and my body is not happy by this and being put under compounding strain each time I do it.

2) I cannot switch completely off. I physically cannot do that much, but when I can then I do. But also with my mind, I am always doing something with it, thinking, planning … blah blah blah the list goes on … I’m a planning girl …

Today, after meditating, I realise that I need to use that thinking planning side of me to schedule in very tiny meals (about six a day), and scheduling in doing ‘nothingness’, starting with very small chucks several times a time, building up to hourly slots of complete ‘nothingness’.

It will be very kind to my body to do this. It will be self love and self compassion to the best that I need.

So here goes … let’s do this …

… 🥘 …

11th

I am now on day three of really cutting down on my food intake. I have been having six very small eating sessions. Three small meals and three snacks. I am feeling much better for it. My digestion feels happier. My heart rate is much happier. I feel hungry all the time but eventually I will get the right amount to feed me and also not destroy me.

… 🍱 …

12th

MiA

13th

MiA

14th

MiA

15th

MiA

I have had a few really bad days. I am not much better today but I am a bit better than I was and so I thought I would add an entry. I’ve not much to say except WTAF …

… 😱 …

16th

Had another stomach flare because of eating 1/4 of a lasagne. I am so sad about this. It’s just another loss to deal with.

In April my husband will be going back to being office based, and I am, or I should clarify we are, presently setting up our cupboard in the dining room and the downstairs bathroom so I don’t find myself stuck downstairs without things I may need, which are presently kept upstairs.

I have some nice setups and will post some images when I’m finished.

I also have found some beautiful furniture that I fancy to make my setup look pretty. We just can’t afford it right now. But, if I ever get them I’ll also share that set up too.

… 🏡 …

17th

MiA

… another cracking headache …

18th

MiA

… and again …

19th

MiA

20th

MiA

21st …

MiA

22nd …

MiA

23rd …

MiA

24th

MiA

Yes, you can quite safely assume I’ve been seriously poorly. AGAIN …

Hence, the missing my journal entries. I am still too sick to play catch up but will now enter each day again if I can. That said, this is all I can write today.

I found out today another beautiful soul that I met on Instagram has died this morning. He was a very young man with a young child too. It’s just so sad.

25th

Feeling very unwell right now. But, I want to keep my blog on the go. I did write a long blog over a few weeks about ‘breathing techniques …’ and it’s probably helped in sending me into this massive crash. But, I really do need to do something with my brain. It’s unbearable being this sick day after day and accepting I have to be put still in a quiet dark corner is more unbearable. So, I keep pushing and pushing.

… 😢 …

26th

I feel very sick today.  It is my usual headache kind of sickness but like I am all over sick. I feel as though I have been beaten up big time. Major all over body pain.

After writing my breathing blog I have decided to take a course in breathing. I couldn’t decide between two so I chose them both.

I will write about them either as I do each section or as I can.

… 🧘🏻‍♀️ …

27th

MiA

28th

I just realised it’s the last day of the month today.

Another month lost over to this illness.

I am so poorly and so alone.

I would really like to get something off my chest right now. It’s about someone very close to me who claims, and very often pretends, to understand, care, and take an interest in my health and how I feel.

I have POTS and we’ve chatted about it many times, and I believed they understood it and how it impacted me. I have had some very serious episodes where I have been unable to stand because of its impact on me. Yet, when someone else, who we both know, was diagnosed with postural hypotension, this person who claims to care about me and my condition finds out about this other person and does very extensive research as if it’s a new disease they’ve just heard about. Which, from the way they are explaining it to someone else, it is new to them. But, it shouldn’t be, not by any means. I have it. We’ve discussed so many times how it impacts me.

…  🤦🏻‍♀️  …

This has really hurt. Because, it shows that although they pretend to care and pretend to listen. They don’t. They do not care. They do not listen.

… 🤬 …

 fragmented.ME xXx

Last Updated on 12/05/2022 by fragmented_ME

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My birth name is Denise, but I’m know as Bella to those who love me. I have a first class honours degree in education & psychology and a strong passion to keep learning and educating others ... I have severe ME/CFS and lots of other chronic illnesses and I started this blog as an expansion to my instagram page, where I advocate for chronic illness. I am married and have two grown up boys, or should I say young men. I have three gorgeous grandchildren, one boy and two girls. And despite being chronically sick and housebound I am mostly happy. 🥰

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10 steps to practicing Radical Acceptance
according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:

 

1.  Observe that you are questioning or fighting reality (“it shouldn’t be this way”)

2.  Remind yourself that the unpleasant reality is just as it is and cannot be changed (“this is what happened”)

3.  Remind yourself that there are causes for the reality (“this is how things happened”)

4.  Practice accepting with your whole self (mind, body, spirit) - Use accepting self-talk, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and/or imagery

5.  List all of the behaviors you would engage in if you did accept the facts and then engage in those behaviors as if you have already accepted the facts

6.  Imagine, in your mind’s eye, believing what you do not want to accept and rehearse in your mind what you would do if you accepted what seems unacceptable

7.  Attend to body sensations as you think about what you need to accept

8.  Allow disappointment, sadness or grief to arise within you

9.  Acknowledge that life can be worth living even when there is pain

10.  Do pros and cons if you find yourself resisting practicing acceptance

Logo of ijpsych

2009 Oct-Dec; 51(4): 239–241.
doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.58285: 10.4103/0019-5545.58285
PMCID: PMC2802367
PMID: 20048445

The biochemistry of belief

Address for correspondence: Dr. TS Sathyanarayana Rao, Department of Psychiatry, JSS University, JSS Medical College Hospital, M.G. Road, Mysore - 570 004, India. E-mail: moc.oohay@91oarsst
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

“Man is what he believes”

Anton Chekhov

Beliefs are basically the guiding principles in life that provide direction and meaning in life. Beliefs are the preset, organized filters to our perceptions of the world (external and internal). Beliefs are like ‘Internal commands’ to the brain as to how to represent what is happening, when we congruently believe something to be true. In the absence of beliefs or inability to tap into them, people feel disempowered.

Beliefs originate from what we hear - and keep on hearing from others, ever since we were children (and even before that!). The sources of beliefs include environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs. Our beliefs become our reality.

Beliefs are not just cold mental premises, but are ‘hot stuff’ intertwined with emotions (conscious or unconscious). Perhaps, that is why we feel threatened or react with sometimes uncalled for aggression, when we believe our beliefs are being challenged! Research findings have repeatedly pointed out that the emotional brain is no longer confined to the classical locales of the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus.[1] The sensory inputs we receive from the environment undergo a filtering process as they travel across one or more synapses, ultimately reaching the area of higher processing, like the frontal lobes. There, the sensory information enters our conscious awareness. What portion of this sensory information enters is determined by our beliefs. Fortunately for us, receptors on the cell membranes are flexible, which can alter in sensitivity and conformation. In other words, even when we feel stuck ‘emotionally’, there is always a biochemical potential for change and possible growth. When we choose to change our thoughts (bursts of neurochemicals!), we become open and receptive to other pieces of sensory information hitherto blocked by our beliefs! When we change our thinking, we change our beliefs. When we change our beliefs, we change our behavior.

A mention of the ‘Placebo’ is most appropriate at this juncture. Medical history is replete with numerous reported cases where placebos were found to have a profound effect on a variety of disorders. One such astounding case was that of a woman suffering from severe nausea and vomiting. Objective measurements of her gastric contractions indicated a disrupted pattern matching the condition she complained of. Then a ‘new, magical, extremely potent’ drug was offered to her, which would, the doctors proclaimed, undoubtedly cure her nausea. Within a few minutes, her nausea vanished! The very same gastric tests now revealed normal pattern, when, in actuality, she had been given syrup of ipecac, a substance usually used to induce nausea! When the syrup was presented to her, paired with the strong suggestion of relief of nausea, by an authority figure, it acted as a (command) message to the brain that triggered a cascade of self-regulatory biochemical responses within the body.[2] This instance dramatically demonstrates that the influence of placebo could be more potent than expected drug effect.

An important observation was that, part of the placebo response seemed to involve the meaning of the disorder or the illness to the individual. In other words, the person's belief or how she/he interprets (inter-presents or internally represents) directly governs the biological response or behavior. Another remarkable study involved a schizophrenic. This woman was observed to have split personality. Under normal conditions, her blood glucose levels were normal. However, the moment she believed she was diabetic, her entire physiology changed to become that of a diabetic, including elevated blood glucose levels.[3]

Suggestions or symbolic messages shape beliefs that in turn affect our physical well being. Several cases of ‘Disappearance of warts’ have been reported by Ornstein and Sobel wherein they ponder on how the brain translates the suggestions (sometimes using hypnosis) into systematic biochemical battle strategies such as chemical messengers sent to enlist the aid of immune cells in an assault on the microbe-induced miniature tumor or probably small arteries are selectively constricted, cutting off the vital nutrient supply to warts but not touching the neighboring healthy cells.[2]

Findings of carefully designed research indicate that our interpretation of what we are seeing (experiencing) can literally alter our physiology. In fact, all symptoms of medicine work through our beliefs. By subtly transforming the unknown (disease/disorder) into something known, named, tamed and explained, alarm reactions in the brain can be calmed down. All therapies have a hidden, symbolic value and influence on the psyche, besides the direct specific effect they may have on the body.

Just as amazingly life-affirming placebos are, the reverse, “Nocebo' has been observed to be playing its part too. It is associated with negative, life-threatening or disempowering beliefs. Arthur Barsky, a psychiatrist states that it is the patient's expectations – beliefs whether a drug or procedure works or will have side effects – that plays a crucial role in the outcome.[4]

The biochemistry of our body stems from our awareness.[5] Belief-reinforced awareness becomes our biochemistry. Each and every tiny cell in our body is perfectly and absolutely aware of our thoughts, feelings and of course, our beliefs. There is a beautiful saying ‘Nobody grows old. When people stop growing, they become old’. If you believe you are fragile, the biochemistry of your body unquestionably obeys and manifests it. If you believe you are tough (irrespective of your weight and bone density!), your body undeniably mirrors it. When you believe you are depressed (more precisely, when you become consciously aware of your ‘Being depressed’), you stamp the raw data received through your sense organs, with a judgment – that is your personal view – and physically become the ‘interpretation’ as you internalize it. A classic example is ‘Psychosocial dwarfism’, wherein children who feel and believethat they are unloved, translate the perceived lack of love into depleted levels of growth hormone, in contrast to the strongly held view that growth hormone is released according to a preprogrammed schedule coded into the individual's genes!

Providing scientific evidence to support a holistic approach to well being and healthcare, Bruce Lipton sheds light on mechanism underlying healing at cellular level. He emphasizes that ‘love’ is the most healing emotion and ‘placebo’ effect accounts for a substantial percentage of any drug's action, underscoring the significance of beliefs in health and sickness. According to him, as adults, we still believe in and act our lives out based on information we absorbed as children (pathetic indeed!). And the good news is, we can do something about the ‘tape’ our subconscious mind is playing (ol' silly beliefs) and change them NOW.[6] Further recent literature evidences provided knowledge based on scientific principles of biology of belief. There are limited studies on clinics of traditional beliefs and if we get more scientific data, we can use these traditional systems in clinical mental health management. Human belief system is formed by all the experiences learned and experimented filtered through personality.[7] The senses to capture inner and outer perceptions have higher brain potentials. Some questions that arise in this context are, does the integration and acceptance of these perceptions result in the establishment of beliefs? Does the establishment of these beliefs depend on proof demonstrations? The proofs might be the perceptions, which we can directly see or having scientific proof or custom or faith.[8,9] Beliefs are developed as stimuli received as trusted information and stored in the memory. These perceptions are generalized and established into belief. These beliefs are involved in the moral judgment of the person. Beliefs help in decision-making. Bogousslavsky and Inglin explained that, how some physicians were more successful by taking an account of patient beliefs. Beliefs influence factors involved in the development of psychopathology. They also influence the cognitive and emotional assessment, addictiveness, responses to false positives and persistent normal defensive reactions. Total brain function is required in stabilizing the belief and in responding to environmental system. Some of the brain regions and the neural circuits are very important in establishing beliefs and executing emotions. Frontal lobes play a major role in beliefs. Mental representations of the world are integrated with sub-cortical information by prefrontal cortex. Amygdala and Hippocampus are involved in the process of thinking and thus help in execution of beliefs. NMDA receptor is involved in thinking and in the development of beliefs. These beliefs are subjected to challenge. A belief that is subjected to more challenges becomes stronger. When a new stimulus comes, it creates distress in the brain with already existing patterns. The distress results in the release of dopamine (neurotransmitter) to transmit the signal.[10,11] Research findings of Young and Saxe (2008) revealed that medial prefrontal cortex is involved in processing the belief valence.[12] Right temporoparietal junction and precuneus are involved in the processing of beliefs to moral judgment. True beliefs are processed through right temporoparietal junction.[13,14] Saxe (2006) explained that beliefs judging starts at the age of five years citing example of judging of belief questions on short stories by the children.[15] Belief attribution involved activating regions of medial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyri and hippocampal regions. Studies by Krummenacher et al, have shown that dopamine levels are associated with paranormal thoughts suggesting the role of dopamine in belief development in the brain.[16] Flannelly et al, illustrated on how primitive brain mechanisms that evolved to assess environmental threats in related psychiatric disorders.[17] Also were highlighted the issues such as the way beliefs can affect psychiatric symptoms through these brain systems. The theories discussed widely are related to (a) link psychiatric disorders to threat assessment and (b) explain how the normal functioning of threat assessment systems can become pathological. It is proposed that three brain structures are implicated in brain disorders in response to threat assessment and self-defense: the regions are the prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia and parts of limbic system. The functionality of these regions has great potential to understand mechanism of belief formation and its relevance in neurological functions/dysfunctions. Now it is clear that biology and physiology of belief is an open area for research both at basic and clinical level. The future directions are to develop validated experimental or sound theoretical interpretation to make ‘BELIEF’ as a potential clinical management tool.

Perceptual shifts are the prerequisites for changing the belief and hence changing the biochemistry of our body favorably. Our innate desire and willingness to learn and grow lead to newer perceptions. When we consciously allow newer perceptions to enter the brain by seeking new experiences, learning new skills and changed perspectives, our body can respond in newer ways –this is the true secret of youth. Beliefs (internal representations/interpretations) thus hold the magic wand of remarkable transformations in our biochemical profile. If you are chasing joy and peace all the time everywhere but exclaim exhausted, ‘Oh, it's to be found nowhere!’, why not change your interpretation of NOWHERE to ‘NOW HERE’; just by introducing a gap, you change your awareness – that changes your belief and that changes your biochemistry in an instant!

Everything exists as a ‘Matrix of pure possibilities’ akin to ‘formless’ molten wax or moldable soft clay. We shape them into anything we desire by choosing to do so, prompted, dictated (consciously or unconsciously) by our beliefs. The awareness that we are part of these ever-changing fields of energy that constantly interact with one another is what gives us the key hitherto elusive, to unlock the immense power within us. And it is our awareness of this awesome truth that changes everything. Then we transform ourselves from passive onlookers to powerful creators. Our beliefs provide the script to write or re-write the code of our reality.

Thoughts and beliefs are an integral part of the brain's operations. Neurotransmitters could be termed the ‘words’ brain uses to communicate with exchange of information occurring constantly, mediated by these molecular messengers. Unraveling the mystery of this molecular music induced by the magic of beliefs, dramatically influencing the biochemistry of brain could be an exciting adventure and a worth pursuing cerebral challenge.

REFERENCES

1. Candace Pert. Molecules of emotion: Why you feel the way you feel. New York, USA: Scribner Publications; 2003. ISBN-10: 0684846349.
2. Ornstein R, Sobel D. The healing brain: Breakthrough discoveries about how the brain keeps us healthy. USA: Malor Books; 1999. ISBN-10: 1883536170.
3. Robbins A. Unlimited power: The new science of personal excellence. UK: Simon and Schuster; 1986. ISBN 0-7434-0939-6.
4. Braden G. The spontaneous healing of belief. Hay House Publishers (India) Pvt. Ltd; 2008. ISBN 978-81-89988-39-5.
5. Chopra D. Ageless body, timeless mind: The quantum alternative to growing old. Hormony Publishers; 1994. ISBN -10: 0517882124.
6. Lipton B. The biology of belief: Unleashing the power of consciousness, matter and miracles. Mountain of Love Publishers; 2005. ISBN 978-0975991473.
7. Bogousslavsky J, Inglin M. Beliefs and the brain. Eur Neurol. 2007;58:129–32. [PubMed: 17622716]
8. Gundersen L. Faith and healing. Ann Intern Med. 2000;132:169–72. [PubMed: 10644287]
9. Mueller PS, Plevak DJ, Rummans TA. Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: Implications for clinical practice. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001;76:1225–35. [PubMed: 11761504]
10. Patel AD, Peretz I, Tramo M, Labreque R. Processing prosodic and musical patterns: A neuropsychological investigation. Brain Lang. 1998;61:123–44. [PubMed: 9448936]
11. Tramo MJ. Biology and music. Music of the hemispheres. Science. 2001;291:54–6. [PubMed: 11192009]
12. Young L, Saxe R. The neural basis of belief encoding and integration in moral judgment. Neuroimage. 2008;40:1912–20. [PubMed: 18342544]
13. Aichhorn M, Perner J, Weiss B, Kronbichler M, Staffen W, Ladurner G. Temporo-parietal junction activity in theory-of-mind tasks: Falseness, beliefs, or attention. J Cogn Neurosci. 2009;21:1179–92. [PubMed: 18702587]
14. Abraham A, Rakoczy H, Werning M, von Cramon DY, Schubotz RI. Matching mind to world and vice versa: Functional dissociations between belief and desire mental state processing. Soc Neurosci. 2009;1:18. [PubMed: 19670085]
15. Saxe R. Why and how to study Theory of Mind with fMRI. Brain Res. 2006;1079:57–65. [PubMed: 16480695]
16. Krummenacher P, Mohr C, Haker H, Brugger P. Dopamine, paranormal belief, and the detection of meaningful stimuli. J Cogn Neurosci. 2009 Jun 30; [Epub ahead of print] [PubMed: 19642883]
17. Flannelly KJ, Koenig HG, Galek K, Ellison CG. Beliefs, mental health, and evolutionary threat assessment systems in the brain. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007;195:996–1003. [PubMed: 18091193]

Articles from Indian Journal of Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications

HRPacing ...

Description

Heart Rate Pacing is a technique used to stay within ones energy reserves. The anaerobic threshold (AT) is the heart rate at which aerobic energy surges. The threshold is often around about 60% of a ones maximum heart rate, though each person is different and an individual's threshold may vary from day to day or within a day.

(Note: Maximum heart rate is 220 minus ones age. For a 50 year old, 60% of maximum heart rate is (220 - 50) x 0.6 = 102 bpm.)

Features:

* Changes colour to indicate:

- Resting - (REST) Lavender

- Recovery (RECOVER) - Green (RHR + 10%)

- Exertion (EXERT) - Orange (RHR + 20%)

- Anaerobic Threshold (AT) - Red ((220-50)x0.6)

* Set an alert based on:

- reaching Anaerobic Threshold Zone, or

- custom set Maximum Heart Rate.

* Set the Anaerobic Threshold Tolerance from 0.6 (default) to 0.5 if desired.

* Set a custom interval between alerts (15 secs default).

* Displays 12/24 hour clock based on user settings in Fitbit profile.

cognitive deficits in patients with ME/CFS …

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… duplicitous …

duplicitous …

summary of the 5 major diagnostic criteria from 1988 onwards …

summary of the 5 major diagnostic criteria from 1988 onwards …

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