Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

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Diagnosis: Help or Hindrance?

November 22, 2011

I’m writing this by popular request of twitter.

Often people question whether a mental health diagnosis is a good thing. Personally I think it is a good thing aslong as it isn’t misdiagnosis and has been well thought out. To treat an illness you must first know what it is. Unlike many with a BPD diagnosis I was relieved when I was told what was wrong because I already had my suspicions. It meant I had a name to my “crazy” behaviour and could work on conquering. If you use your diagnosis constructively, it can work for you not against you. The only scary diagnosis should be one you haven’t heard of before. Because knowledge is power. Knowing what an illness is and how to fight it is the key to recovery.

On the other side being diagnosed with a mental health problem can mean that stigma is suddenly chasing you like a wild dog but then the only difference between you before diagnosis and after is that someone has told you what is wrong. Whether you are told what you have, not having a diagnosis doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

A diagnosis of a mental illness can sometimes feel daunting and scary and can often worsen symptoms because, hell, nobody wants to be ill. My dad will often use his diagnosis as a crutch by saying “But I can’t do that, I’m Bipolar aren’t I?” he’s someone who blindly follows the doctors and hopes the pills will make him better. He doesn’t actively take part in improving his mental health or changing his situation. So for someone like my dad, it probably wouldn’t matter what diagnosis he had, he would take the pills and be on his way.

It depends how you approach it. But it shouldn’t leave you feeling hopeless. It should leave you feel that there is hope. No, there isn’t always a way to “cure” it but there are ways of coping with it. When you get a mental illness diagnosis, don’t think it’s the end. It’s the beginning of a rocky path to a stable future.

Once people become less ignorant about mental illness, I know that a diagnosis will seem less scary. There will be less of a worry that other people will judge you and be scared of you. When there is more acceptance of mental health problems in society, more people will feel comfortable with getting that all important diagnosis.

I think one of the real problems is self diagnosis, once you’ve been diagnosed with one thing you can start thinking but I’m also this and this Oh! and this one. But generally recovering from your main diagnosis or controlling the symptoms of it will probably control the other attributes you’d find in other illness too. The main diagnosis is the important one and will usually take the others with it. Multiple diagnosis isn’t uncommon but then mental illnesses don’t like to be alone. I’d say I have Borderline Personality Disorder, Social Anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder yet I just say I have BPD because the social anxiety and PTSD are part of my BPD. Don’t cover yourself in diagnosis. You may have many diagnoses but there will always be one that sticks out and that has to be focused on first.

So that’s my two cents. I think it’s a help, but what do you think?

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Parents, growing up and suicide.

May 2, 2011

Well, wouldn’t you expect a happy blogger after getting hitched? Tis not so. Everything has gone excessively worse in my life since. Not my fault of my marriage but everything else (Okay I admit being married is called borderline anxiety problems but leave this for now). While my anxiety has increased massively since getting married and being diagnosed OCD, I knew something else had to go crazy in my life because my life can’t just have one huge problem at a time. Since I’ve gotten married my dad has finally said that he wants to divorce mum, this is a God send because their marriage is part of the reason that I am, well, writing this now. It just seems so many years too late for it to actually benefit me but at least for it to happen now means that my dad may be able to benefit, as for my mum she is socially inept, can’t make friends, is easily bullied, has a low paying job and has narcissistic tendencies and I believe BPD. I can’t imagine her ever being happy with any situation. Even though I am trying to fuel this divorce, along with my dad’s sister, every now and then I break down and cry. I know I’ve never really had a family as such but the fact that they were physically in the same home meant I could pretend.

I went to the in laws yesterday and it was my father in laws birthday, the family gathered round the table and a cake was brought out as the family sang and my heart broke into a million pieces. Even though my husband’s family are also quite dysfunctional, they love each other and do nice things for each other. I’ve never EVER witnessed either of my parents do something nice for the other and it hurt so much to see that even the most dysfunctional family can still be a family. It hurt that I don’t have a family. I have a mother and I have a father but no family. And now I’m married, I have even less of a family because the part of my parents that made me feel like I had parents was the occasional care of which now they feel they don’t need to give because I’m my husband’s responsibility now. I had this particular conversation with my mother yesterday.

I came home from the in laws for my mother to casually say “your dad went to hospital”, I questioned why she didn’t call to tell me of which she just shrugged her shoulders (her usual response to anything to do with dad) , this then brought up a conversation about how I’ve always loved dad more and how she needs to see the one she loves again (her celebrity obsession who has stepped over the boundaries by being her “friend”). She said she didn’t want to tell me that she was going away because I would “go off on one” I didn’t I said to her, “He (the obsession) cannot solve your problems.” To which she cried to my husband “see I told you, there she goes”. I tried my up most not to judge her and to just tell her that this celebrity can’t make her huge life problems better. She sees me as attacking her no matter what I say, I told her that she needs to sort out this home situation too and that she should of left years ago. She, of course, attacked me again, “you said you wanted to live with dad and he would’ve of raped you!”, she’s playing the hero, living with him to protect me. My dad has never touched me in any way that has ever been inappropriate. If anything she’s been the one who’s been over sexual with me throughout my childhood. She starts to tell me that she is trying to sort out the situation at home, so I asked her what she’s trying to sort out. She wouldn’t tell me, she said now I’m married and moving why do I need to know what’s going on with my my home because I’ll be gone. I told her that just because I’m leaving doesn’t mean I’m just forgotten about but she was set in her view that if I’m gone then I no longer exist in her life and it’s not important what goes on in my family because she doesn’t seem to understand that anything would emotionally effect me. She has a very one person view, she can only understand the way that things affect her. I thought maybe she was going to try and sort out a divorce as well so I tried to get her to tell me what was going on because how ridiculous would it be for both parties to be filing for divorce and the other not knowing. You can see how much communication there really is. She ended up saying how she doesn’t want to say anything because it’ll cause problems, J kept telling her she had to tell us. So she starts crying and says she’s talking to someone at the crisis team. After all she’s put me through I can be horribly unsympathetic to her so I stopped myself blurting out, “IS THAT IT?” To me calling the crisis team is not a big thing at all, I just know that they’re shit. So, she’s trying to get herself emotional support…but I still don’t see how that solves the home problem. She wants to continue living at home but have emotional support? She spent ages saying how nobody ever helped her when dad was first ill but every time we asked if she asked for help she said no but she expected it to just happen. So she feels let down by mental health services and she’s angry at them yet how do you receive if you don’t ask? She complains that dad got help and I got help but she didn’t. One, dad had a psychotic episode, of course someone is going to look after him in hospital. Two, I was a child, when you’re a child, you aren’t expected to ask for help when you go through a traumatic experience. I feel like she blames me but I did all I could throughout my life to help her and yes I did give up because of her constant “nobody cares about me, what about me, nobody ever looks after me”. J kept being sympathetic to her and I couldn’t stand it, she would cry and he hugged her and I just got so mad. If he hugs her and comforts her, she will attach to him and because I refused to hug her, she will have more reason to attack me. There were times that I cried and cried and she shrugged her shoulders at my feelings and said “what about me” and I can no longer let her in emotionally because I only get hurt. I only get left behind. So J’s compassion will be her reasoning for me not caring. He also kept telling her I do care and I do want to listen and I do want to help. I don’t. She is a grown woman, I want her to grow the hell up and start taking responsibility for her actions. She has created this life and she takes no responsibility at all for any of the wrong that happened, It’s all everyone else fault. She only thinks I’m ill because of “your crazy dad”, she doesn’t understand situational depression or that anything she has ever done being a cause for my trauma and pain. And until she accepts responsibility for her own actions I can’t help her. She says she wants to die, yeah well you know what, join the queue.

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Doomed before the beginning.

February 5, 2011

Do you ever feel like your background dooms you to a life of misery and failure?

In my family only one person (not including me) is in a happy relationship, however this is her second marriage. Not one person is my family has gotten it right first time and except this one person the rest are single and my parents are unhappily married. I feel like my relationship is doomed before we’re even married. With such an unhappy family and with the issues running throughout, I feel like my happiness is only an illusion to keep me going and that something has got to kill us before we get too happy. The fact that the majority of my family are over 50 and single and never had any parteners in the last 18 years makes me wonder what the future holds for me. I often wonder if I mistake my severe neediness for love which results in panic attacks due to the thought of not actually being able to love how normal people do. I then feel severe guilt for stringing J along because I don’t really know how to love. These awful thoughts and panic attacks really mess with our relationship and with my head. I love J. But my head doesn’t want me to, my head wants me to be alone so I don’t have to ever have conflict or become an independent adult in the outside world. My head wants me to hide away and be alone. My heart wants to marry J and start a new life and leave the past behind.

The problem is following my heart over my head. Because every now and then my head wants me dead.

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“You can’t share.”

December 6, 2010

It’s a fact, I can’t. But I’m not talking about possessions, I’m talking about people. I can share SOME people but to be able to do that I have to disconnect emotionally from them and reconnect when they are “mine” again. I can do this with most friends. But I’m sure you can guess, the one I can’t bear to emotionally disconnect from.

J says I can’t share him, well no I can’t. Don’t see why I should find it easy to share him, I am in love with the poor bugger and emotionally screwed up. Of course I will cling for dear life to the only person who I feel have truely deeply and emotionally loved me in spite of everything. I’m not going to let him run off with other people am I?  I know I need to somehow through my CBT be able to feel more comfortable about it but it’s yet to be worked on and as I have about 3 months left I doubt, unless it was the only topic discussed, it’ll work out all nice and I’m able to share him with the world. No chance.

He always say it’s because I’m an only child but it’s not, it’s because I terrified of losing him to other people. I’m scared that he’ll enjoy their company more than mine and then leave me, realising how terribly boring I am in comparison. I become so upset and distressed and angry. Mostly angry. Really angry. &*%^$%$£^£&£*&$*$*$$!”$%^&$YRTFG. Like that 😀

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Dr L session 3.

October 13, 2010

I’ve taken to writing a list out of the things that bother me throughout each week due to terrible memory, I was worried about doing it because my last therapy would read my list and go hm and give it back but obviously Dr L works through it with me crossing out the smaller issues and focusing on the big problems and how they affected me: thought, feelings, behaviours, psychical sensations. Each session has been very different but all has been insightful, a bonus. But I still have that big wavering thought in my head. In 4 months she’ll be gone and she said that from the beginning we would try and keep focus on there being an end. I feel like I’m going to make progress and then as soon as I know it’s over I’ll turn into hating her for leaving me when I’m not better. I can’t get better in 5 months, we both know that, it’s an impossibility, I need years of therapy. And I want it to be with her, I trust her, she’s nice to me and she understands and works through things at a steady pace without getting annoyed. She said she was really proud of my coping this week and I had to stop myself from crying, she was really pleased with me and all I could focus on was my slip up. As I left she said once again how well I’d done and without thinking I scoffed, oops…

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My dad and his Bipolar

October 12, 2010

So lately I’ve finally been able to get the message through to dad’s CPN that he can’t carry on with the restless legs and irritability and anxiety any longer, not only is it horrible for my dad it’s painful for me to watch him pace endlessly across the living room and occasionally shouting “for f**ks sake!!” and the leave the house to pace some more in a different place. My dad is only on meds with psychiatrist appointments occasionally, in the last two years he has become so much worse. He had to watch his own father go through dementia and then die, the way it affected him is clear yet my dad didn’t have any therapy. His psych care seemed to carry on as usual with no change yet I saw the huge impact this had on him. It had a massive impact on me too, I remember seeing my grandad and he wasn’t the same person, I had to go to the bathroom and cry only to come back out with a smile and to hold the hand of a man who didn’t even remember who I was. And I had to be the strong one, at the funeral I was holding my dad’s hand for comfort and no one held mine. I’ve always been the one who has to cope. I’ve learnt to cope alone and that’s how I get through things. When my dad was hospitalised I would shut myself away, cry and come out of my room smiling and there to hold mum’s hand. My fear right now is my dad going back into hospital, he’s really not well and a med change could have drastic consequences, in a day he’s on on 1000mg sodium valporate, 2mg risperidone and I don’t know the measurements of his citalopram but I’m so scared that he will become psychotic again if anything is changed, right now it would break me. I know I survived it when I was little but then I wasn’t unstable myself. It’s a two edge sword and I don’t know which ones going to stab me. I can’t bear to see him in hospital again, I’d most likely end up there too.

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More than a few reasons for abandonment issues

September 24, 2010

I always thought my abandonment issues stemmed from my mothers frequent holidays when I was little and feeling unsure if she’d come back. But I just realised a few more things that may have screwed with the original worry and even given me confirmation that all the people I care about infact leave me. This is only a recent development in the past year but extremely significant nonetheless.

Last year a family member revealed that he had a 4 year old child with someone other than his wife. This woman was a big part of my life and felt like a mother to me. Even though we weren’t that close and didn’t see eachother other than family occasions (easter, christmas etc..) she would always light up the room and as she married into the family she was different. My family are quiet and can be vere negative and judgemental people but she would make a room lively and I always loved seeing her from a young age. She made me feel comfortable in a room that otherwise would be quite awkward with forced conversation. When I found out I wasnt shocked, I just thought oh no another issue. Then a few weeks later I heard she would never see any of us again because it hurt too much. I knew holidays would never be the same again and I cried because it was like mourning someone who had made family life bearable from birth.

Now at holidays, He’s there and so is his child and so is the mother of the child, even though they are not in a relationship. Apparently she is part of the family now even if she isnt in a relationship with him. And oh how they adore the child, I’ve never seen such infatuation, which of course I don’t recall recieving as a child. I played with her and didn’t cause a fuss, my mum did and got told to piss off. When i express views that are similar to my mums the family believe that she has brainwashed me, as if I don’t have my own independent view on life and it’s conflicts. My mum’s views are the last I would copy if i didnt believe them. They want me to be really close to my new cousin and try and blot out the reason she’s there. There seemed to be no condemnation of his actions just complete acceptance and happiness at a new family member. I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with the child calling my grandma by the same term. Shes been my grandma and only mine for 18 years. And I’m supposed to deal with this like an adult while they act like nothing bad has happened. I’ve lost someone extremely important to me and it hurts like hell sometimes I will just stop what I’m doing and cry because it feels like I’ve been abandoned. By her and by my whole family who have a new focus. I don’t blame her though, she is a wonderful talented woman and deserves a much better family, I just wish I could still be part of hers. I love you Lucy, please don’t forget me. I’ve always needed you and now I don’t want this family anymore.