Archive for the ‘Paranoia’ 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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I make him ill.

November 11, 2011

I know I do. I cause a lot of stress and when I cause myself so much stress it’s bound to cause him stress too. I make things harder than they should be and I definately make life more difficult for both of us. Women generally have a more stern approach to life anyay, whereas men are generally more laidback and that’s why women are known for nagging. It’s a tool to get men to do what they’re supposed to when they’re supposed to. And that pisses him off to no ends and causes a lot of tension. I just feel like I’m one big nuisance when a lot of the time I may just be trying to help. I try and get him to not stay up too late when he has to get up early but I’m just being a nag and trying to ruin his fun. I say not to be on the computer when he has a headache because it’ll make it worse but then to him I’m just trying to find any way to be with him and getting jealous of him being with his friends on the computer. I’m just a bad person, all I do is hurt him when I’m trying to do good. I make him feel the need to get counsilling because I make everything harder. It’s hard to like yourself when all you seem to do is make life harder for yourself and others. He agrees that life is more difficult with me than it would be with someone who didn’t have an illness but then anyone could agree with that. But then he says if I weren’t worth all the stress than why would he still be here? It’s a wonderful thing to hear but at the same time my head says well there aren’t really any reasons to stay with me, I wouldn’t stay with me. He says I’m worth it but I don’t understand how when I just cause stress and illness. We both always feel unwell, he’s even been told he has problems with anxiety now and I know it’s because of me. So now we’re both ill, both constantly stressed, anxious and depressed. Sometimes I think it would be best if I just left. He would so much happier without me. Whenever I’ve gone for the night, he will stay up all night until the early hours playing games with his friends and have a really good time BECAUSE I’m gone and I can’t tell him to go to bed. He will have a nice time because I’m not there to tell him what to do. But then when I come home and find out I just ruin everything again by telling him, it’s not good for him to stay up all night. Then he hates me. I know if i weren’t here he would game all day and all night, do whatever he wanted whenever he wanted and be a happy bachelor. He’s always dreamed of having a bachelor pad anyway.

It may seem starnge but on the game Sims people generally create the life that would like to have. I have always created myself with a partener to start off with, I’ve never started off alone and I become a writer, my husband works and I pop out kids and that’s my life. J always starts off alone and usually stays that way, he works, plays games and plays music and if he runs out of life wishes to fulfill he might get married to someone on the way. It says a lot and actually worries me because I know his dream life would have been to be alone and have a computing/music career and I just happened to walk into his life for him to fall in love with me and ultimately fuck up his whole life plan. It’s not his fault he fell in love with me but maybe if he hadn’t have he would be happier now and less unwell. I never ever want to leave him and sometimes I feel selfish for feeling that way.

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Afraid to be me.

November 4, 2011

You’d think in the world of anonymous blogging it wouldn’t matter what you would write because only a few people really know who you are. Yet I still panic about what I write. In a world of mentalist writing surely you wouldn’t fear as much judgement because hey, everyone is in basically the same boat. But the thing I struggle with most is writing about my girly side with fear of being called stupid. It’s hard to feel beautiful nowadays with the ideal of also being smart. If a girl is beautiful or likes things like painting her nails or shoes she is generally stereotyped as being brainless and fake. When a girl says she loves shoes you probably picture a skinny, blonde girl with a chihuahua in a bag and this needs to stop. I end up judging myself. I feel nervous If I look too nice in case people think I’m stupid or a slut. If you don’t wear enough clothes, you’re a whore. If you cover everything up, you’re unattractive and won’t put out. Woman can’t do anything these days without being degraded. Smart woman are a threat and no way attractive because they could become more powerful than a man and they don’t want that. It’s so hard because it’s not just men doing the judging, it’s women too. For example, I was watching My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and the girls don’t wear much when they go out and my mother looked at them disgusted and said they were sluts. These girls get married young and only sleep with one man their whole lives yet just by what they are wearing we feel the right to call them sluts, which I thought meant sleeping around with loads of men with no intention to commit (I’m not saying that anyone who does that is a slut but that is what the definition of that term is). Or am I missing something?

I am intelligent. Really. I got an A*, 2 A’s and 7 B’s at GCSE level and only left school due to mental health problems. I love learning, I love reading books and I am facsinated by people.

I feel like I need to go to some kind of rehab group and tell my deep dark secrets.

My name is Savannah, I’m smart and I like watching Toddlers and Tiaras.

Now smart girls shouldn’t watch “mindless girly drivel”, how dare they try and confuse us. Maybe they’re lying to us and trying to pretend they’re smart. I mean anyone who enjoys watching little girls turned into little whores would be stupid. This is the kind of judgment I fear. I see a lot of hatred towards some of the TV programmes I watch and people say how stupid the person is who watches it. Surely people can just judge the programme without demonising their viewers too.

I’m going to give you a few examples of programme I watch and why I enjoy them.

Toddlers and Tiaras- As a little girl I would have given the world to have felt beautiful when I was being slapped and told how undesirable I was. To see little girls feeling beautiful makes me happy for them. Yes, I know this is extreme and the wrong way to do it but for the girls who enjoy it, I think they should be allowed to do so. I disagree with the forcing of children into it which you do see as well. But it’s just the fact that in a way they are living my dream as a little girl (psychologically). I have many arguments against pageants, as anyone does but then when I’m watching it I’m in a very child-like mindset, enjoying the sparkles and the pretty things.

Don’t tell the Bride- I love this show mainly because woman always have this huge idea of their ideal wedding and think they are the only ones who do it perfect and in the end, the husband (usually) gets it right and it makes them realise that as long as they are getting married, it doesn’t matter if the dress is big or the flowers are sparkling, marrying the person they love is what makes the day perfect. Plus it can be funny seeing how useless men are at clothes shopping 😉

The X factor- Like toddlers and tiaras, it’s like watching other people live your dreams. I would love to sing for a living. Yes, some of them are really awful but once it gets near the end and you’re left with the people who really want it, then it becomes more watchable. Everyone has dreams and I get very emotional when someone gets through and their whole life is suddenly turned upside down for the better. It can be very harsh to people but I just try and focus on trying to make my favorite act’s dream come true.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding- I loved this show. There aren’t many traditional people nowadays and I think tradition can be a good thing. It’s what generally holds a community together. A lot of people disliked the fact that the girls were married so young and weren’t allowed to do much with their lives, yet there was a girl who got herself a job willingly and the others could if they wanted but they choose it themselves. If they didn’t want to marry young, I’m sure they wouldn’t so why say they shouldn’t be pushed into it? You see the girls so excited about getting married and having their dress made and starting a life with their husband. If they were sitting there crying saying they didn’t want to get married then you can complain but i don’t think it’s right to try and make people choose what you think is right against what they want. I loved the show and their amazing over extravagant  dresses and I hope they will be happy. People focus so much on what would make them happy they forget that everyone is different. I loved learning about a new culture and seeing how different they are.

Now I’ll give you an overall reason why I watch what I would call “trash TV” due to it’s views by smart people. I am facinated by human beings. I like TV about real people, in real life situations, especially the out of the ordinary. I watch these programmes because I find it fascinating how different people can be from different cultures and backgrounds. I watch stupid TV for smart reasons. I’m sure psychologists all love some reality programmes because they get to see how people behave in given situations. Humanity is amazing and usually the shows about people on TV are those who have very extreme lives in comparison to our norms and that’s what makes it so gripping. We are naturally drawn to things we don’t quite get or haven’t seen before and it does scare us but then we want to know more. About a month ago, I watched a programme called “LadyBoys” and I know a good few people who would think I was disgusting for watching it but then It shows how closed minded that person probably is. It wasn’t anything sexual or pornographic, it was simply about men from different cultures who felt they were in the wrong bodies and had sex changes. I think it’s wonderful to see people becoming who they are with no shame and no fear. It’s liberating yet so difficult. I watched that TV show because I wanted to understand how they felt so that I has a better understanding of transexuals because Ignorance is never useful. I may not know any transexuals but If I met someone who was transexual seeing a programme like that would make me less likely to be confused and scared at how to react towards them. Knowledge is power but knowledge can also be acceptance.

One last thing is accepting yourself. The fact that I feel ashamed to watch these programmes shows that I potentially feel the same way as those who judge the viewers of the above. Or I just know how others may feel if they knew so I feel like I’m not allowed to be anything other than what they want. Whatever it is I am trying to be less judgemental.

I am a female, I like videos games, reading books and blogging. But I also like painting my nails, watching wedding programmes and love things that sparkle. I don’t like politics and I’m not into Science. And I am still smart.

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Such a Loser.

February 15, 2011

One of my biggest problems is self image, I was so beaten down in the past about my looks and in general the person that I am. This makes me feel like I’m not allowed to do things that other people are allowed to do because if I do it then immediately that thing is made “uncool”.

This has come about today with getting my second tattoo, my self esteem is in the ground so when they’re nice to me at the tattoo parlour sometimes I think they’re secretly laughing at me for wanting something they consider interesting and “cool”. I reckon they think I’m just a wannabe. I still feel like that ugly overweight, young teen who was hated for who she was and how she looked. This is why I’d never go back to education, she rears her ugly head moreso when with large groups of people my own age. I suddenly feel innadequate and stupid and unworthy, even though they may not treat me any different.

I don’t know how to shake the feeling of such hatred towards myself, I want to feel accepted by others of course but I don’t know how to accept myself and that’s a big issue. I don’t know how to be happy with who I am. If I’m asked about my tattoo or my wedding I shrink because I fear judgement and conflict, I start to change the subject or just smile politely and pretend I’m busy. Why can’t I just be proud of me?

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Dr L: session 9.

November 27, 2010

Well…where do I start.

1) I humiliated myself.

2) I have made no progress.

3) I cried.

4) Dr L isn’t sure what to do with me.

5) With an end I can’t make progress.

 

With the limit of 5 months being set it has become clear to Dr L that there is no possibility to make progress as I am constantly worrying about the end being nigh. With the end being near it means that I can’t do things slowly and will constantly try and get ahead of myself because of knowing there will be an end. Dr L asked me how I felt about there being an ending and here comes the humiliation of bursting into tears and sobbing “please don’t leave me, you’re the only person who’s every really tried and been able to help me”. That’s it, I thought. I’m attached and when the sessions end, I am going to have a nervous breakdown, she’s there for me every week and she’s my weekly constant. I’ve never had a constant. I feel like I can release everything from the week all at once and it feels like such a relief. I just can’t lose that and I don’t want to think about when it’s gone because I’ll feel completely vulnerable and lost again. I can’t bear to be back there again. Even if I’ve made no progress and even if I never do, the fact that I feel safe that I can see Dr L every week would mean I had more chances of surviving this. She said about adding a few more sessions onto the end but I don’t know what that will help. She’s going to leave me at some point. I can’t cope with it. I don’t want to hate her, I really don’t but I know I will be so angry at her for leaving me to fend for myself. Dr SJS doesn’t seem to understand why I can’t make immediate progress. I said I’d had a month of sessions and nothing had really changed yet and he seemed baffled and concluded that maybe CBT wouldn’t help me at all. Maybe his previous patients have progressed immediately and suddenly been “cured” which I highly doubt. He’s so very blunt with me, sometimes it can be quite harsh.

 

But anyway, Dr L, It’s not going to be a pretty sight when I can’t see you anymore.

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Social Anxiety Disorder, diagnosis number 2.

September 20, 2010

I always thought social anxiety disorder was for people with agoraphobia, I would never have thought my thoughts and actions towards other people were S.A.D because I am able to withstand being around people, just. I looked up social anxiety disorder and it shocked me, it wasn’t what I thought at all and described my feelings perfectly.

This especially surprised me:

“Generalized social anxiety disorder typically involves a persistent, intense, chronic fear of being judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by one’s own actions.”

I just read this a few minutes ago while looking it up and now I just feel awful. I just thought those feelings were normal. I thought everyone worried constantly about what others were thinking about them when in social situations.

When with a group of people I will sit there nervous thinking “I bet she thinks my clothes are terrible” or “I hope they haven’t noticed that my eyebrows aren’t perfect” and I can’t enjoy social situations because of this. I feel like I turn back into the unattractive ten year old again who was overweight with huge eyebrows who was bullied for her appearance, when I’m around people I feel like her again. Obviously around close friends it’s different but around confident people or new people I feel completely insignificant compared to them. There will also be a person that I cling to a little just to feel safer. I know that all of these feelings have come from bullying from my family, church and peers. At one point I couldn’t be at church without my boyfriend at my side the whole time or I would have a panic attack.

I struggle to walk down the street without thinking “that person is looking at me and thinks I’m ugly” or I even turn away from people. I mean really confident loud people terrify me, I expect them to bully me for being shy, like they can smell my fear. I’ve been bullied in every community possible. Even primary school. Me and my friends were labelled as “freaks” by the “popular” girls who at 10 were looking at the boys and starting puberty early. I didn’t know why I was a freak I just knew I was one. At home I just had to trip on something and was shouted at and called stupid. I didn’t know why I was stupid I just knew I was.  Secondary school, the more attractive girls were intimidating and still are, I wouldn’t speak out of fear of being laughed at and if I did say anything in class I was called a boffin or if I said somehing wrong I would be laughed at. Then there was my GCSEs, I don’t know how I passed with nothing below a B. I was harrassed in my English class by a boy and girl, they called me the male version of my name and threw things at me and would sit right infront of me in class and just stare so close and laugh until I wanted to cry. My attendance was 75% in those two years, I missed at least a day a week, espcially thursdays and fridays when I had English. Yet I got 1 A*, 2 As and 7Bs in my GCSEs, I think would I have done better if it hadn’t been for them. If I saw them now I was be frightened. My friends would always get better grades them me too, I would get an A and but they would get A*s it seemed like it was some kind of plan by the teachers to make me feel beneath them. But that’s another insecurity thing. I fear every confident, cocky person in the world, I know that I’m just an embaressment and a joke to them and I better not say anything stupid. Fear of embaressment takes over my life. And CBT scares me because I feel that it makes me vulnerable. If I stop caring about getting embaressed I’m more likely to embaress myself because I don’t guard from it. How do you tell your brain “they’re not making fun of you or talking about you” when it’s always been the case?

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Anxiety, Paranoia and the links to Self Harm and Suicide

June 13, 2010

For those that self harm, there are many different reasons why and one is a release. This what I want to focus on with anxiety and paranoia. The calming feeling that some may feel from self harm can temporarily relieve anxiety.

The point I am trying to make is that not everyone that self harms is doing it for attention, to seriously damage themselves or even because they want to die. Although anxiety disorders can lead to serious self harm and suicide. Imagine…you’re in a room of people and all you can hear is the thumping of your own heart in your ears, you feel feverish and teaful and can’t explain why. And you can’t escape, the longer you stay the faster your heart beats, the more you can’t hold back the tears and the hotter it gets and no one is there to take you away or protect you and as people start to notice your panting and panic they try and help but it causes even more strain and panic until you faint or others notice and help you from the room. As soon as you leave the room, you collapse to the floor in exhaustion never wanting to go back there again. The panic begin to fade and all you want to do is sleep, away from people and be alone.

For people who have regular panic attacks, or just have problems with severe anxiety, everyday life can be a challenge and extremely unenjoyable. A lot of people end of medication while other gets lumbered with breathing techniques that would be extremely embarassing to do in public but I guess it’s better than nothing!

Now paranoia, obviously can connect to feeling anxious. If you feel everyone is looking at you and talking about you, then of course you will feel very jumpy and anxious. Paranoia can cause a lot of pain in interpersonal relationship for example you may think that a family member is talking about you behind your back and become angry at them, yet they’ve said nothing behind your back at all. This will cause conflict because to you they definately said something so you will hold your ground and say they’re lying. Any relationship can be damaged with paranoia, some paranoia can be healthy because if someone has actually done something then it can bring to head truths that need to be resolved. But too much and you can end up alone and isolated. The anxiety that comes with paranoia can cause panic attacks, nausea, dizziness any of the same symptoms that may contribute to thinking you’re going completely bonkers.

I’d say I’m an anxious paranoid wreck a lot of the time but I guess that’s only because I’m being told what my family are saying behind my back and I always have reasons to jusify my paranoia. I think I have gotten better at not thinking people are looking at me in the street though I just think to myself “why do they care what I look like/what I’m wearing”. I still think they’re judging me occasionally but that’s probably only because we all do it sometimes.

Suicide happens when you can’t bear your own painful feelings anymore. Emotions definately are a killer. Psychs can be bastards and so can therapists but some can help you to improve yourself. Sometimes the reason they are “nasty” or “horrible” is because you don’t want to hear the truths they are telling you, given some are actually a bit dim and stupid but there’s always one. Self harm may be a temporary answer and parasuicide may be your only cry for help but remember that when the pain becomes overwhelming suicide isn’t always right.