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alphabet game bipolar schizoaffective schizophrenia

Schizoaffective Disorder

I was not sure what to choose for an “S” word, but this disorder affects my whole life. Also, most people have never heard of it.

Schizoaffective is basically a combination of a thought disorder, like schizophrenia and a mood disorder, like bipolar. There is controversy about the diagnosis. It can resemble bipolar with psychotic features except you have weeks of psychotic symptoms while not in a mood state (manic or depressed). Or, it can seem like schizophrenia with depression. There are 2 types, bipolar type and depressive type. I have the bipolar type and have had mania.

I had years of psychotic symptoms, it was either a long episode with periods of insight and lucidity, or a number of relapses. It all is rolled together in my mind. But, once I got on a good medication cocktail (I take several types), I have not had the severe symptoms. Now, I am more troubled by fatigue, anxiety and milder depressions.

Prognosis varies. I am married, have children, work part time. I had a psychotic break at 39. I know nothing about dating with a diagnosis or pregnancy and psych meds. Mental illnesses can be hard on marriages. We were married for 7 years before I was diagnosed. Fortunately, my husband is supportive and understanding.

I see a psychiatrist, a therapist, and go to a support group for mood disorders. Some good resources can be found through the National Alliance for Mental Illness NAMI.org and depression and bipolar support alliance dbsa.org.

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alphabet game neurotransmitters Uncategorized

Neurotransmitters

I don’t understand them well, but neurotransmitters rule my life. Too much dopamine and I get psychotic. Too little serotonin and I am depressed. Along with others like glutamate it is a delicate balance

I take medications and supplements to help restore the balance. They seem to be working. If only they did not come with side effects. My mouth is constantly dry to the point it is hard to talk. I usually carry a bottle of water everywhere. I am chronically fatigued which I believe is due in part to my medications. It is definitely worth those side effects to be functional

Chemical imbalance is one theory for mental illness. In my case it makes sense to me.

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DBT depression distorted thinking support groups Uncategorized

The Abyss

I won’t pretend to know what Nietzsche meant by “the abyss gazes into you”. The quote came to mind as I feel like I am at the edge of an abyss, gazing into the void. I feel empty. I am ashamed of who I am. If people knew who I really am they would turn away in disgust. I want to disappear. 

I spoke of how sad I am. How I feel I have done terrible wrongs and should be banished, at a support group for mood disorders. The moderator talked about dbt and eventually got around to mindfulness. I have been trying that, but there are too many thoughts. It is hard to focus. Then he mentioned that my self-deprecating thoughts could be a symptom of borderline personality disorder.

That would have been fine, if he had a basis to suggest that, but he just pulled it out if thin air. I went home looking at the symptoms and anxious to talk to my therapist. I was a little anxious going in and very agitated by the end of the meeting. I had trouble getting any words in, it felt like a competition to speak.

I texted my therapist this morning and she wondered why he would have suggested that. She said my thoughts could go along with a number of diagnoses, including depression. And, I am depressed.

I usually find the meetings helpful, but lately I have been leaving feeling worse than when I came.

I get up and face my obligations, but I feel like hiding. “Fake it till you make it.” I never really liked that expression, but I am doing it.

If you got this far, thank you

tl:dr Depression makes everything worse

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alcoholism depression relapse suicide Uncategorized

Hypocrite much?

 

imageI feel like a sham

i tell people coping skills, but I have trouble doing them myself. My therapist told me to try mindfulness. I know what it is. I recommend it. But, my mind spins so much,  i can’t be “mindful”

i have trouble breathing, cbt is out the window, i can’t seem to act as if, if as if is that things don’t suck.

my life is fine, i am fixated on the past. And, that i can’t change it.

and of course, i suck, i suck, i suck!

i slipped and drank, too, which i feel bad about, but if it is drinking or suicide, i don’t think it will hurt.

i am safe. I am afraid i would mess up, as usual, and make my life worse.

i can’t be sick. It is not a good time. It is a very bad time.

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mental illness support groups Uncategorized

Sometimes 80% understanding is enough

support

I have not been feeling well. Depressed and anxious, a little paranoid. I decided to go to a support group. I was hoping I would feel better, sometimes I feel worse afterwards. Lately, I have been getting agitated and frustrated during support group meetings. I am not sure why. I wasn’t sure if i should go. I did not need to feel worse.

I was the first to share. I just let everything out. The suicidal thoughts, sadness, anxiety. I told them I was anxious about past work experience and now i have a new job and it is change and I am already upset about work. And, the past is never going to change.

Many people were depressed there. I listened to others and could feel the pain. I tried to give support. I could not express myself the way I would like.

This moderator tends to talk a lot. Sometimes, I find it annoying, but not that night.  He seemed to get what i was saying and made sure i am safe. (I am). He and others validated my experience. No one seemed to get the unbearable shame I feel. The moderator tried explaining to me that the path you take leads you to where you are and that I would not be me if things were different.  I knew what he meant, but it did not apply to what I was saying. Maybe, I was too vague.

I accepted the feedback and felt supported. I think I was understood about 80% and that has to be good enough.  I did feel validated and heard.

 

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depression mental illness suicide Uncategorized

Depression sucks

I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but I have trouble knowing how I feel.  I knew I was miserable and anxious, but until

depression

my therapist said I was depressed I did not notice.  Someone was trying to help me and asked what I get up for and my immediate response was “obligations”. I am there if I have to be, but otherwise I sleep my life away.

I had a terrible night Tuesday. Ruminating about the past and having suicidal thoughts- repetitively. I hardly slept googling different methods.  I could not figure out what to do, and then beat myself up because I am too stupid. I tried contacting people on the internet but no one is around at 3am.  Then, I thought it was a plot to ignore me to teach me a lesson.

Eventually daytime came. When it was a decent hour I texted my therapist and she called back.  I told her i was thinking about mistakes from the past and that because the past will never change i will always have these thoughts. I was hopeless, Sobbing like a child.  She tried calming me down and showed empathy. I did calm down some, enough to go to work. I was afraid I would start crying at work. I told my co-worker I was having a bad day, but I was there. And, I made it though the day.

I was drained that evening and slept through the night. I saw my psychiatrist today. Luckily, he did not overreact to the suicidal thoughts, they are gone right now, and just changed my medication a little. I am having trouble being hopeful. I feel pressure to stay well. I feel like I can’t get sick. That it would ruin everything.

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depression disability mental illness stigma

Disabilities: What Not To Say

Originally published PsychCentral.com

link

There is a hashtag trending on twitter: #AncientAbledProverbs, started by @HijaDe2Madre. It is about things abled people say to the disabled, often unthinking, that can be hurtful or ignorant. These could be physical or mental, visible or invisible disabilities.

doglisten

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13 reasons why depression Hotline Responsibility suicide Uncategorized

Suicidal Thoughts, Depression and 13 Reasons Why

Originally posted on PsychCentral

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/triple-winner/2017/06/suicidal-thoughts-depression-and-13-reasons-why/

I watched “13 Reasons Why” recently and it got me thinking about my own suicidal thoughts.

suicideprevention

(I am trying not to spoil it too much, but if you are waiting to watch it you may want to hold off reading)

I was an unhappy teen and had some suicidal thoughts but they were passing and I never acted on them.

I have only had one time where I had a plan. It wasn’t very long ago. I had a method and a date picked out. It wasn’t that I wanted to die. I felt like I was a burden and a failure. I didn’t want to exist. But, part of me wanted to live. I told people my plans, and eventually turned over my means to my husband for safe keeping.

But, the thing about having made a plan is that it is still there in my mind. Sometimes, I think of it. Like it is unfinished business.

The show did not delve into the girl, Hannah’s, mental state. The story is from her view and focuses on how others affected her. It touches on many topics and should spur discussions on suicide and prevention.

I liked it. One thing I did not like was that they depicted her committing suicide. They had warnings that there were graphic and disturbing images. What bothers me is that it shows you how. I know you can google anything, and it isn’t new information, but I don’t think it needs to be shown. Just my opinion.

Older adults have higher rates of suicide than teens and young adults and it is the 10th leading cause of death overall.1 Suicide is the second leading cause of death of teens and adolescents. The rates have been climbing yearly.2

There is hope and help. The show seems to send the message that kindness and friendships can keep one from going down that path. But, there are other kinds of help. There are help lines, therapists, psychiatrists. Antidepressant and other types of medications can help pull you out of a dark place.

The series also makes a point about personal responsibility. If one person had cared enough Hannah felt she would not had made that decision. I don’t know how I feel about that. Survivor’s usually have guilt already, wondering what they could have done differently.

I am glad I did not go through with my plan. I would hate to put my family through that and I am happy to be here today.

Crisis Line:

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide,
call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

  1. https://afsp.org/about-suicide/suicide-statistics/
  2. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/suicide
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13 reasons why depression life lessons relationships suicide Uncategorized

13 Reasons Why (thoughts)

I recently watched the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why”. If you haven’t heard of it, it is about a teenage girl who commits suicide.

I don’t have a well-thought out analysis. It brings up many topics and I have no one to discuss them with. I have not read other writings on the series yet.

I am far past my high school years, my daughter graduates this year.  She has seen the show but doesn’t talk to me about much of anything.

SPOILER ALERT: There are spoilers throughout this post, and the series unravels slowly. so if you plan on watching it, read this afterwards.

 

I don’t know where to start, so I am going to ramble.

One thing that troubled me personally, was the suicide scene. Not so much that it was graphic or disturbing (they did have warnings). Just that it depicted how she did it. I know you can google anything, but some people don’t complete suicides because they don’t know how .

The movie tackles issues like gossip, social media, stalking, drunk driving. Objectification, sexual assault and rape.

It makes you think about some of the common statements people say about suicide, that people act out for attention. About suicide awareness or anti-bullying campaigns and how effective they are. And, that how it is said it was the person’s choice and no one’s fault. It makes you think about personal responsibility and if someone could have done something to stop them.

I thought it was well-done. You start out as confused as the main character and things slowly reveal themselves.

It is one viewpoint but it could spur discussions.

I guess I will go read what others have wrote. If you have seen it and have any thoughts I would like to hear them.

I think high school has changed from when I was a teen and it was not easy then. There was not social media. People did not drug drinks. Maybe I am wrong, but it seemed safer in that respect.

Bullying was not addressed and suicide was not talked about.  They didn’t have the number of anti depressants as today and  there was even more stigma on getting psychological help.

I was left wondering what the main male character, Clay, had done. He did what Hannah asked and had his own emotions. There was a whole series of horrible events that she would not have witnessed had he stayed when she told him to leave, but you can’t blame him for that.

It went into the realm of non-consensual sex and how not saying “yes” means “no”. How the young man felt since she came to his party and went in the hot tub she was willing.

There is so much more.

I am going to post now. I may edit and add as I think of things.