Daily Archives: August 17, 2015

Hallucinations

I’ve been having hallucinations lately. They are minor things. I would describe the feeling mostly like a much more certain form of déjà vu. The only psychosis I have ever experienced is visual. Generally I think something or someone is someplace that they are not. As an example, this morning I was in the bathroom […]

Hallucinations

I’ve been having hallucinations lately. They are minor things. I would describe the feeling mostly like a much more certain...

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Slowed Down My Mind

I Feel Guilty that I Cannot Perform

Okay, so here’s what I did last week. My son & I got sick with the flu. The flu forced me to stop, to hesitate, to slow down my ramping hypomania. Instead of volunteering my time at NAMI and getting overstimulated by doing so, the flu forced me to stay at home.

Honestly, I believe it just may be where I belong. I can handle small amounts of social interaction, but my mind starts spinning when I’m exposed to others’ needs. I start offering to fix everything. I overextend myself. I overwork.

Before my hospitalization a decade ago, I was a major workaholic. I seem unable to work for or with others without overextending myself, without depleting myself.

Writing and even social media I experience differently, though. Yes, social media can be overstimulating, too, but not nearly so much so, for it is my work, my time, my (lack of) deadlines.

I honestly do not think I am made for the workplace. I can do occasional special events. I can speak publicly. I can be charming.

But then, I must retreat and recuperate. I must keep my distance. I must protect myself.

I do not have social anxiety so much as I have no boundaries. I’m raw. I immerse myself in a social system and then flee.

Anyway, instead of volunteering last week, I colored. Here is a slide-show of my creations. I found coloring and doodling grounding, doing so occupied my hands and focused my mind on something other than thoughts. My sister gave me two coloring books and colored pencils as an early birthday present. (Wednesday I turn 52!)

My mind I silenced with marathon television viewing. When immersed in blogging, reading others’ posts, and networking over social media, I cannot watch TV. My work occupies my mind. But as I wanted to quiet my mind, the dialogue drowned out any remaining noise in my head, pushing away speeding thoughts, giving me some needed rest.

This week will be busy for me. Since my son & I were sick last week, I had to reschedule all our appointments. This week we have five appointments: two physical therapy for my son, two doctors for my son, and one psychotherapy for me. Wednesday morning (on my 52nd birthday) we register my son for school. Finally, NAMI California conference on Friday & Saturday, at which I’m volunteering. Wish me well. I hope I make it through this week.

To top it off, I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I cannot perform. That I ramp up when in social situations and must then retreat. Header image and last two paragraphs mention my guilt, yet I hardly touch on the topic in the most of this post. But there it is, underneath and behind it all, seething, aching. I do not feel guilty blogging, for I know that I’m being productive. I do feel guilty when I offer to help and then must back off.

Better to renege than to fall dangerously ill, though. My primary objective is to maintain my own stability and mental health. If that means minimum social interaction, so be it. The workaholic hypomanic overachiever of my younger years I can no longer be. Now I must be well, for myself and for my family.


Filed under: About Mental Health, Bipolar Disorder, Health, Hypomania, Mental Illness, Mood Cycling, Triggers to Mood Cycling Tagged: adult coloring, boundaries, doodling, overachiever, social stimulation, workaholic, workaholism

Fired Up and Needing Relief

  
I’m currently in a situation that rightfully has my goat. I can feel my heart racing, unable to concentrate,
irritable, stressed, and exhaustedly down. I resorted to finding a solution that can help me cool my jets.I could provide the words by doctors Hanson and Mendius regarding the pathophysiological events of the sympathetic nervous system – the parasympathetic response for calming but, that’s science and I want to concentrate on my mental capacity to release the strain and find peace when my current situation does not allow for relief.  
My recurrent situation that has occurred for years now has produced a chronic stress within. I am aware that this has taken such a toll on my wellbeing, even my health. Yet, there won’t be any relief as long as the infliction by its perpetrator continues on. This redundant hurt that has shown no signs of relief feels like a ton of weight that lies heavy within my heart.

How must I find the release within that may allow me to sustain my well-being? I know the common methods of relief such as meditation, journaling, and so on. My tunnel vision won’t allow me to unlock my obsessive lack of concentration.There is a part of me that refuses to release my burden in hopes that I may find a solution to this matter. I’m much too fired up within to even try and talk about it with my support team. Its been dreadful for me to travel down this relentless road of loneliness.

  
Usually, I share the helpful interventions that work for me but I have none. I have no outcome to speak of. Right now, in this moment, I have none.

Fired Up and Needing Relief

  
I’m currently in a situation that rightfully has my goat. I can feel my heart racing, unable to concentrate,
irritable, stressed, and exhaustedly down. I resorted to finding a solution that can help me cool my jets.I could provide the words by doctors Hanson and Mendius regarding the pathophysiological events of the sympathetic nervous system – the parasympathetic response for calming but, that’s science and I want to concentrate on my mental capacity to release the strain and find peace when my current situation does not allow for relief.  
My recurrent situation that has occurred for years now has produced a chronic stress within. I am aware that this has taken such a toll on my wellbeing, even my health. Yet, there won’t be any relief as long as the infliction by its perpetrator continues on. This redundant hurt that has shown no signs of relief feels like a ton of weight that lies heavy within my heart.

How must I find the release within that may allow me to sustain my well-being? I know the common methods of relief such as meditation, journaling, and so on. My tunnel vision won’t allow me to unlock my obsessive lack of concentration.There is a part of me that refuses to release my burden in hopes that I may find a solution to this matter. I’m much too fired up within to even try and talk about it with my support team. Its been dreadful for me to travel down this relentless road of loneliness.

  
Usually, I share the helpful interventions that work for me but I have none. I have no outcome to speak of. Right now, in this moment, I have none.

Money, Money, Money

Cashed my checks finally for my homeschool money and went out and bought music.  I found a gold mine at Barnes and Noble–older CD’s priced at $4.99 each  I got a lot of those plus some $9.99 and a very few regular priced CD’s.  I bought 26 CD”s total and still had almost $100 left after the 10% member discount.  I’m going to open them all this afternoon and keep them in the car to listen to as I go along, since my kids and husband don’t  always share my taste in music.

I  bought mostly music, from Elvis to Broadway to Henry Mancini.  A few comedy albums are in there, Don RIckels  and Bob Newhart and someone else I can’t remember right now.  But I’m really excited to be listening to them all and look forward to picking and choosing what I’m in the mood for.

Was I manic?  No, not really.  It wasn’t enough money to do anything significant with, like buy a new computer or software for school. I have enough clothes and shoes that fit. I updated my nightwear with the last homeschooling money. I don’t know of any more books I really wanted to buy.  I don’t need anything for the house.  SO I decided since music makes me happy, I’d buy music.  So that’s what I did.


Momxiety

I deposited my munchkin for her first day of first grade at the big school today. She looked so determined, yet so hesitant and lost. The school didn’t want parents bringing the kids in, said they’d have people waiting to show the noobs around, but it didn’t make me feel any better. I parked around the corner and kept watching til I saw her follow some other kids to the basement entrance. No tears or mom hysterics, just anxiety. Last night was a lot of momxiety too. Because that is how I roll. And it’s not just exclusive to being a mom.

It’s me-xiety. Even when I was in a relationship and someone I was with had a job interview or whatever…I’d get nervous for them. Like, couldn’t sleep for days beforehand nervous. I don’t know why so much anxiety transfers and imprints, especially when it’s not really relating to me personally. Empathetic anxiety?

R sent a text asking for my presence before I even got her dropped off. I wasn’t even dressed, though, per my kid’s demand, I did put on pants. Apparently sitting at home with no pants on means I go out in public that way. Aside from my yard, I have never gone anywhere without pants. Just saying. I stopped by the shop, thinking he’d be returning the stuff he borrowed, but noo. He needs to run errands and wants me to babysit. Pack of smokes for my trouble. I kind of wanted some me time. And NO the weekend did not count as me time because I spent most of it cleaning her room or doing the other housework.

But I will do it. I just had to come home and ya know, put on a shirt I hadn’t slept in and oh, that bra thing. And also I had to eat a cracker cos I took my meds without eating again and got all nauseous. The meds on empty stomach nausea kicks the ass of pregnancy nausea.

It occurs now, too late, that I meant to get a pic of Spook’s first day of kindergarten  outfit before we left. Damn it. I’m juggling and I just keep dropping everything.

Dad didn’t bring her back til almost six last night. Then they were here an hour cutting boards and stuff to make that side rail for her top bunk. I was so glad when they left ‘cos I am gonna try to keep this kid on a schedule. Which is hard for me because with my overwhelming anxiety and mood shifts and her acting out, I’m not always in a stable mind frame for routine and order. People oversimplify it and say, ya just gotta fight through it, keep on that schedule, routine, routine, kids need routine.

I need loose routine. My mental shit doesn’t give a zero fuck. Especially as the seasonal affective is coming and i’m gonna be lucky to remember to bathe myself, let alone keep her glued to some rigid supper/homework/play/bath/bedtime regimen. I can try but it sounds exhausting already.

She woke up once during the night, asked to get in my bed. I let her take Shady in her room and tucked her back into her own bed and there she stayed.

I on the other hand, took Melatonin and just as I started to doze off…Willow decided she wanted to go outside so took the path of most resistance out my bedroom window screen, knocked the fan out, and sent me into a heart attack like panic. Awesome. After that, it was half a Xanax and more tossing and turning. Only to keep waking every hour on the hour. GRRR. But I got my ass up after only one round of the snooze button and got her ready, made sure she was clean and fed and dressed nicely.

Now neurotic mommy just waits for the phone to ring to see if she’s gonna develop some physical malady (which she does often during school year) or some behavioral issue.

Oh,  and I had to bury two kittens that died over the weekend, so that makes three who died in the last week- Dahlia, Zatar, and Oleander. My “love hurts so let’s just hate every fucking thing” desire is growing stronger and stronger.

So now I am gonna go back into the dish to take R his smokes and credit card back and hope he will get his shit done so I can leave. Not sure what for, except I need to grocery shop and that’s less traumatic without kid in tow. I’m just feeling off. It’s like, I can tell a difference in my overall energy and frame of mind with the Cymbalta but I’m running on four cylinders instead of all eight. Bet if I try to explain it that way to the doctor he’ll look at me, again, like I’ve sprouted two heads.

Ugh, the king beckons. Cos he can’t remember me saying I would be a bit so I could ya know, get dressed. I suppose that’s shame on me since most people get dressed before they go out. What can I say I am pajama mom. Least most of my jamas just look like normal slothwear, and black.

Off and running. Or shambling,as it were.

 


how to date a muggle – a user’s guide

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can […]

NEWS: Local study shows link between trauma and physical, mental conditions

A STUDY by a University of Cape Town (UCT) doctoral graduate has demonstrated a clear link between trauma exposure‚ chronic physical conditions and other mental disorders — the first time that a scientific study has established this link.

These findings could be useful in designing interventions aimed at reducing the burden of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)‚ chronic physical conditions and other mental disorders‚ UCT said in a statement on Tuesday.

Using the data collected in the South African stress and health study‚ associate professor Lukoye Atwoli found that there was an association between trauma exposure and chronic physical conditions such as arthritis‚ cardiovascular disease‚ respiratory disease and chronic pain.

He also found a link between trauma exposure and other mental disorders‚ such as mood and anxiety disorder. Trauma exposure also increased the risk of chronic physical conditions such as chronic pain‚ cardiovascular and respiratory disease and arthritis.

“My research provides information on an important social issue‚ and for the first time demonstrates a link between trauma exposure and physical health in an African context‚” said Atwoli‚ who is also Dean of the School of Medicine at Moi University in Kenya.

“Going forward‚ clinicians and other responders to traumatic events will have to take measures to establish baseline physical health‚ and also take measures to mitigate the risk of occurrence of both mental and physical post traumatic disorders.”

According to the study findings‚ the commonest traumatic events were related to the unexpected death of a loved one and witnessing a traumatic event occurring to someone else. Based on these findings‚ Atwoli‚ recommended that interventions for trauma survivors must not only address those directly involved but also those that witnessed traumatic events.

“I hope that my findings will be used in designing interventions for trauma survivors‚ and for advocacy in addressing the huge burden of trauma exposure not only in South Africa but in most the low and middle-income countries across the globe‚” he said.

Atwoli also generated the first estimates of PTSD risk associated with different trauma type.

“I have always been interested in trauma and PTSD research‚ and my Master of Medicine (MMed) thesis at the University of Nairobi involved assessment of PTSD among survivors of the Mau Mau concentration camps in Kenya‚ about 50 years after incarceration‚” he said.

Atwoli’s doctoral thesis was supervised by professor Dan Stein‚ whose research focuses on psychiatric disorders‚ in particular‚ looking at anxiety and related disorders. Professor Stein‚ who heads the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town‚ was recently awarded the National Science and Technology Forum Award for research and output.

Well done Associate Professor Lukoye Atwoli!

Source: http://www.bdlive.co.za/life/health/2015/08/11/local-study-shows-link-between-trauma-and-physical-mental-conditions


On Koos Kombuis and Manic Depression

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This all happened freaking years ago (2008), but finding existing content about bipolar disorder in South Africa is, as I’m sure you know very well by now, a bit of a needle in the haystack scenario. The way this post started, was the fact that I vaguely remembered Koos Kombuis using the word bipolêr in a song and the idea that he was actually diagnosed with it. Beyond those two things, it’s no secret that he has bipolar friends as well (Amanda Strydom, for example). I released the bloodhounds of Google to find out more. On the top of the pile was controversy.

I am gatvol of people with bipolar. I do not think shrinks know what they are doing when they diagnose and give people a prescription. I’ve had enough of self seekers who need to be handled with kid gloves because they have ‘bipolar’ or a borderline personality.” Koos Kombuis, LitNet (retracted) 

In the original quote, although “self seekers” is a perfectly legit translation, what he said was “selfsugtig”, which means selfish. Just plain selfish, to give it its full context. (“Ek is gatvol vir ouens wat plein selfsugtig is en met handskoentjies aan behandel moet word omdat hulle kwansuis bipolêr is of ’n borderline personality het.” source)

He says all they need is a long holiday on a Boland farm to rise early in the morning, take long barefoot walks in the dirt and learn to milk cows. source

The original quote says “beesmis”, which is cattle manure, not dirt.

It stirred up a lot of emotions at the time, and rightly so, and it was taken as far as the Human Rights Commission, to determine whether or not it constituted hate speech. more

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If you’re still shaking your head at the idea of a bipolar person shitting all over bipolar people, his answer to that question was that he himself was diagnosed “from schizophrenia to manic depressive” and so he feels strongly about it. source

He wrote an open letter to John Qwelane in 2010, reflecting on the whole thing:

A couple of years ago, I published a virulent attack on people with bipolar disorder. In a blog entry I claimed, with utter sincerity, and without mincing my words, that al hierdie so-called bipolar mense should all just go off and spend some time on a Bolandse plaas, where they should walk around barefoot in the beesmis until they felt better.
Oepsie. Big mistake. A complaint was laid before the South African Human Rights Commission. Though they did not take the complaint very seriously, I realised that I had caused real hurt, Jon, and I felt compelled to issue a public apology and withdrew that blog entry completely. The long and the short of it, Jon, was that I realised I had made a first-class ass-hole of myself.
source

Unfortunately I couldn’t find it online, but he wrote a song called Equilibrium met Lithium. The title reads wonderfully in English, but that “met” is Afrikaans and it means with. He was, or so they say, on lithium for a long time himself. It’s a dark song, I wish I could show you.

As for my own feelings about it all, I honestly don’t give a shit. He shouldn’t have said it, obviously, and it’s good that he apologised, but he’s always been motormouthed and quite often in very proactive and useful ways, in terms of politics (all the way from pre-apartheid onwards) and socially (heheh, I’m thinking of the Fokkol song). I also wonder (if he is indeed bipolar), whether he just barfed up insults and impatience without thinking, while in a mixed episode or something. We’ve all done it. That doesn’t make it right, but obviously it’s history anyway. And besides, I like Koos a lot and getting permanently offended would mean I’d have to get grumpy and boycott his music and, well, fuck that.

Since I can’t find Equilibrium met Lithium to share with you, please enjoy the song with the most fuck alls ever. *proudly South African lol*

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TS_2MkoOCtc