Daily Archives: December 4, 2015

Thirteen Thursday

Originally posted on Our Lived Experience:
White cell count and therapy at the state hospital today. I hope I manage to stave off the anxiety for longer than last time, but it will, of course, be finite no matter which way it goes. I probably mentioned last week, that the weekly blood work is in…

The Panxiety Hobgoblin

Panxiety
noun
The point where anxiety becomes so high you begin to feel paranoid.

Hobglobin
No fucking idea. See picture.

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The work one trailer down continues. Lots of trucks coming and going, lumber being brought in, hammer, drills…Five days straight now. My anxiety has reached a new level. The point where whatever plans I had for going out into the petri dish are on hold. Because the panxiety has set in and it’s crippling. I am even breaking out in hives.
No trigger aside from the constant noise.
How does one avoid noise? Life is noise.
Am I doomed to be triggered for life every time a cricket chirps?
Has the panxiety hobgoblin stolen my soul and this is what I can look forward to until I’m taking a dirt nap?

I’ve already taken 1mg of Xanax. For all the good it has done. Every sound is making me feel like my skeleton is trying to escape from my skin. I really truly feel so fragile that if I were able to bully myself into going out into the dish…I am not sure I’d be able to even do more than put the key in the car ignition and sit there, stomach churning, dreading. I used to have that problem a lot. In recent years it’s gotten lesser yet it’s never pleasant to want to do something but not be able to push yourself that far.
And it’s NOT a matter of trying harder, sucking it up, being tougher.
There are days you aren’t so fragile and can work your way through it.
There are days when no amount of self bullying or bullying from others can push you past it.

Hobgoblin.

Last night I was all, I will go to Aldi tomorrow for a few things as soon as they open in the morning.
And it’s morning and here I am. I should have gotten groceries already and headed for the shop. Instead I am sitting here in my darkened crypt jumping at every little noise, my ears itching, my skin breaking out in raised red welts that itch…And I am whipping out the megaphone and pompoms and telling myself YOU CAN DO THIS DISH THING, YOU ARE A BADASS.
No, apparently all my badassishness was yesterday. Because I didn’t feel so damned fragile from the anxiety point of view.
It’s all about frame of mind.
When your mind sends out the wrong signals so you perceive innocuous things as a threat, thus fight or flight kicks in…That’s not “shake it off” territory. It’s more like “ride it out and get things done once your mind settles down and becomes less unstable.”
Not avoidance. Just a delay. Kind of like mowing the lawn when you have a migraine and know the sun and noise will make it worse. So you wait until the migraine goes away then you do what you gotta do. No one critiques that.
So why are mental issues so bastardized and scoffed at?
And why do some people find mental illness “amusing”. I don’t even know what to do with that one, honestly.
Oh, I have a sense of humor about it all-t-shirt that says, “I hear voices and none of them like you.” I’ve had snarky jacket buttons and keychains with such sayings since long before I was ever diagnosed with anything.
So while it is one thing to have a sense of humor about mental issues…It is not fodder for mockery. If one being mentally ill amuses you, YOU are far more mentally dysfunctional than we in the tribe could ever be.

And maybe that’s part of my anxiety, is all this internet mockery of mental illness. So many of us, different locations, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different genetics, differences in how we were raised…
But we all seem to mirror the same symptoms. How can it not be a legit disorder? Is it less feasible than assuming it’s some sort of hysterical conspiracy we’ve concocted?

The naysayers get me down. Simply because they are in mob numbers. They troll, they insult, they dismiss and scoff. They refuse to be educated. They have zero empathy.
And a few of those naysayers are my own family members.
It’s hard not to feel let down. We get “people are for the most part good” shoved down our throat and yet because our brain chemicals cause us to misinterpret things…we get to see just how untrue that is. There are good people.
There are also some shitty people whose only purpose in life seems to be a desire to be cruel and make others feel shitty.
Which to me is a personality trait. A personality trait belonging to assholes.
What? Is it unfair of me to call bullying trolls assholes?
Ya mean, kind of the way it’s unfair that bipolar and anxiety, etc, are all “crazy.”

I think the Xanax is finally kicking in. I am thinking a little more clearly now. I’m still not ready for dish time but…
I’m riding it out.

Panxiety hobgoblin I do not
like you, at all
I wanna push you off a tall building
and watch you fall
Oh hobgoblin won’t you just
get off my back
Or I’ll bash in your skull
when I finally crack

********
Postnote-
I finally did brave the petri dish. Just my luck, Dollar Tree was packed and the lines were reaching to Cambodia. Meanwhile my anxiety starts to climb and my ice cream is melting…It didn’t kill me but it wasn’t particularly pleasant, either.
Point being…Three hours prior, I was scared to venture out. I literally felt like I had a target on my front and back and every dish dweller was armed to the teeth. Logical? Hell to the no. Very real, though. Counselors can help you gain perspective over your distorted thoughts, of course, but they can’t be there for in *that* moment. Sometimes…
It’s just a matter of riding the storm out and postponing until you feel more solid.
Don’t let anyone , McMuggle or professional, make you think that is wrong, as long as you actually follow through at some point.
Give yourself some slack.


Does This Anxiety Attack Make My Ass Look Fat?

Trick question. My ass looks fat in everything. I’m good with that. Fluffy is my “porcushield” to discourage attention from dish dwellers. Approach with caution or the quills pop out. People freak me the fuck out. Thank you, anxiety disorder.

peopley outside

(Thanks  to Diane for the above graphic, you know me so well, chick.)

BTW…No pep talks about “being so down on myself.” Self deprecating humor as a means of preemptive strike against detractors is what got me through six grueling years of school bullying. If I can’t make fun of my flaws, I may as well drink bleach and snort Comet (with crystals!)

The last couple of days have had me thinking long and hard about how shrinks can so completely ignore the connection between mood and weather in bipolar disorder. They want to call it “seasonal depression”, get lots of light, lick the belly of a baby seal, etc…Wednesday it was gray, spitting rain and snow, and I was just freezing and couldn’t get comfortable outside a blankie fort. It was like a hobgoblin sneaked in and stole all sensation of warmth. And fetching my kid in it, standing outside five mins while they took their sweet time dismissing, didn’t help. I came home, ate hot ham and beans and cornbread, then curled back up under a blanket. And spent the whole evening  anxiety ridden and praying R didn’t pop in to socialize cos I wasn’t feeling it. By that point, the maintenance work one trailer down had been banging on for ten hours. I found two shots’ worth of whiskey left at the back of a cabinet and dumped it into my Coke.

Bad coping mechanism, but ya know, when you hit your max Xanax for the day and the noise is still making your bones crawl out of your skin…You will lick hallucinogenic frogs for relief. McMuggles view this as weakness but when the worst anxiety you comprehend is  public speaking…It’s easy to judge. Try spending your entire life with that feeling.

Yesterday wasn’t so bad as it warmed up, sun came out, and I had the goal of paying bills and ugh…Xmas shopping. Which meant a trip to Wal-mart. And I bought like two things cos what I went there to get her…was sold out. So all that time, gas, stress…for nada. And I got further irked because a kind elderly man in a wheelchair asked me to help him because he couldn’t get a single fucking employee to the department no matter how many times he rang the bell. I saw some management types, marched up to them, and told them he’d been waiting twenty minutes, could they find someone to help him.

Stupid Wal-mart.

On the plus side, since I was all the way out there, I stopped at Dollar General…and got most of her Christmas presents in one place. (Frozen this, that, everything fucking Elsa.)

I went to pay rent. New girl was taking payments. I asked, “Can you make sure you write that down in the book? Last time someone forgot and I got a late notice when I’d already paid, it freaked me out.”

And the landlord himself comes out of his office scoffing, “That happened one DAMN time…”

Well, panic attacks don’t care if it’s happened once or ten thousand times. I’ve busted my ass trying to do better and get things paid on time, it just freaked me out to be in a position of…well, ya know. Being the “old” me. She was a lot of fun but man, what a fuck up.

I just found his scoffing an annoyance. “one damn time”. Fuck you.

It was more errands after that, more noise next door. One more panic attack when there was a knock on the door. Neighbor kid who doesn’t even wave at me but he wanted to bum a smoke. Whatever. Been there myself. He’s the one who has the bumper sticker that says “horn broken, look for finger.” I can abide.

I am, after all, driving around with what looks like a Subway logo that says “zombies eat flesh” (eat fresh.) I respect that kind of humor.

I splurged five bucks for a discount dvd for my kid cos she’s been driving me nuts all week with her “i’m bored”…three movies for five bucks. (Beethoven one,two, three, she loves dogs.)  Kept her laughing all night. It was a nice breather, and it felt good to have finally gotten something right with her. R popped over and he wanted to watch some movie called Lucy. It wasn’t bad. What sucked was his hypocrisy. He spends half his day on the damned phone looking at youtube and texting, yet I pulled out my droid to check out Dominos cos I was hungry and he had the nerve to snap at me for being on it and not focusing on the movie. WTF is that. I just wanted food.

I never did get food. And I took my meds this morning, not having eating anything since 5 last night when I had beef jerky so I feel all nauseous now. Yay. This never gets old. Med after med, always with nausea if you don’t eat first. I’m not a breakfast person unless someone else is cooking. In which case…two eggs over easy, bacon, hash browns, white gravy…

More noise from maintenance. That trailer’s been empty three years and bam, over the last five days they’ve pretty much overhauled it and been speedy about it. Can only mean one thing…Either the landlord got a section 8 tenant or the trailer’s so trashed they’re just breaking it down before hauling it away. I just want the daily noise to go away. It’s making me a damned basketcase. Because I don’t care if it’s music I like, I can only handle it a moderate level for brief intervals. Brain simply can’t take rapid fire noise with any grace.

I think R wants me to come in today. I’m not feeling it. Cos it’s a project he’s had me come in to do six times in the last month and he always gets on a different track and nothing gets done but me being out of my bubble and irked. I guess I could spew sunshine and say at least it’s quieter there but…Ha, no, the road department is doing work right by the shop. No escape, least here I feel safe. Ish.

Meh.

On an end note…My kid was chattering in the backseat en route to school this morning and I replied…She said, “I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to Melissa.” So I played along with the imaginary friend thing and asked why Melissa won’t talk to me when I’m nice enough to let her live with us.

Spook replied, “Melissa doesn’t like you cos she’s a ghost and eats ghost food and you don’t.”

LIES.

I love by Boo-berry cereal I can only get at Halloween. I don’t think I like Melissa very much.

 

 

 


Always Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

  Dear Friends, this is a revised post. I decided to share it again today because I still suffer with that insidious, dreadful “shoe dropping” feeling. Thanks for reading!   Ever since my severe bipolar depression lifted, I’ve felt like I’ve been tumbling around in my dryer.  Maybe that’s not the best analogy to use, but … Continue reading Always Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

#FeatureFriday: Ashleigh Davids on #mentalhealth

Our next submission comes from another dear friend of ours, miss Ashleigh Davids.   I was a depressed teen and adolescent. As a result, I had a few mediocre years […]

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression share genetic risk factors: Study

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From the article below. Again, immune involvement. “The researchers found strong associations between mechanisms related to immune function and changes in processes when genes are turned on and off. The findings confirm known mechanisms as well as revealing new ones that pertain to the development of psychiatric disorders.”

I know when I am in full blown mania and out of touch with reality, there is no difference between me and a person who has schizophrenia. The thing is that my getting to that point can be prevented by taking Lithium (for me), whereas a person with schizophrenia has a lot more trouble coming out from delusions, hallucinations and back in touch with reality.

http://www.belmarrahealth.com/schizophrenia-bipolar-disorder-and-major-depression-share-genetic-risk-factors-study/

Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression have been found to share a genetic risk factor, according to a new study. Aside from the recent research, many previous studies also showed a genetic link between all three mental disorders. Below are synopses of the health studies that reveal the connection they all possess.

Study on shared genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression

Research published in Nature Neuroscience from the Louisiana State University Health Science Centers revealed a genetic risk factor that is shared between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. Lead researcher, Nancy Buccola, and her team examined data from 60,000 participants, including those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, autism, attention deficit disorders as well as individuals without any diagnosed conditions.

Study on shared genetic risk factors for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressionThe researchers found strong associations between mechanisms related to immune function and changes in processes when genes are turned on and off. The findings confirm known mechanisms as well as revealing new ones that pertain to the development of psychiatric disorders.

Treatments are available for many mental disorders but many patients do not obtain relief from such treatments. Buccola stated, “The PGC is a collaboration of some of the finest psychiatric genetic researchers in the world who are working together to understand the biology that underlies psychiatric disorders. This knowledge is critical in developing more effective and personalized treatments. I feel fortunate to make even a small contribution to this important work.”

Previous study shows schizophrenia and bipolar disorder cause dendritic spine loss in brain

Alternative research has found that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder both play a role in dendritic spine loss in the brain. The findings suggest that the two disorders share similar pathopsychological features.

Dendritic spines play a role in many brain functions. To achieve their results, researchers looked at individuals with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and individuals not affected by either disorder.

Spine density was reduced in those with bipolar disorder and those with schizophrenia, when compared to the control group. Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in spines per dendrite in both bipolar individuals and schizophrenics.

Lead researcher, Glenn T. Konopaske, M.D., said, “The current study suggests that spine pathology is common to both [schizophrenia] and [bipolar]. Moreover, the study of the mechanisms underlying the spine pathology might reveal additional similarities and differences between the two disorders, which could lead to the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutics.”

Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD)

Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD)Research has shown that bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder (MDD). In bipolar disorder, individuals experience intense lows in mood and euphoric highs. In major depressive disorder, individuals experience steady, intense lows in mood. Because episodes of low mood can last for days or even weeks in those with bipolar, it can lead to a misdiagnosis of major depressive disorder. Researchers are closing in on an objective to help distinguish between the two conditions in order to reduce misdiagnosis.

Current diagnostic methods involve interviews with the patient, but this can be subjective and misleading. Researchers decided to combine techniques together in order to create a more accurate diagnostic method. The techniques used are gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance, which analyze the urine of patients with MDD and bipolar disorder in order to uncover biomarkers of each disorder. These biomarkers will allow doctors to improve diagnosis by 89 to 91 percent.

Depression in patients with schizophrenia

One study found that a quarter (25 percent) of those with schizophrenia also have course-related depression. Depression in schizophrenia patients is related to a reduction in social and vocational functioning and also increases the risk of a psychotic relapse.

Depression in schizophrenia often has poor outcomes; patients have more suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, and suicides.

It can be difficult to diagnose depression and schizophrenia separately as the “negative” symptoms related to schizophrenia can present themselves like depression. Negative symptoms refer to social withdrawal, low motivation and energy, difficulty experiencing pleasure or having interests and an impaired thought process; all symptoms seen in depression as well.

For the many similarities presented in both schizophrenia and depression, not only is distinguishing between the two difficult, but depression can often be seen in many schizophrenic patients as well.

From all the presented studies we see many links and associations between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. By continuing to make these links, we can obtain a better understanding of these mental disorders, which could greatly assist in developing more specific treatments that could offer more patients greater relief.