Day 4: What are the pros and cons of having a mental illness or your specific illness(es)?
Cons – Well, I have a hard time keeping a job, making friends, enjoying life — my depression and anxiety really inhibit me to do a lot of things. It isn’t fun at all. With anxiety, I really hate going out. I am scared of meeting new people. Then when I do make a friend, I get really overwhelmed if they keep asking me to hang out, so I quite answering their calls or texts – and well, they give up on me, which I don’t blame them for. I get overwhelmed with jobs too – so I feel sick and can’t go in, or I have panic attakcs during them, or I just stop going, or I quit. When I get depressed – nothing makes me happy. I can sleep for days. I can not shower for days. I am not interested in anything. My mania with my bipolar even stinks — spend lots of money, get agitated and frustrated. Nothing good from that. Basically — it just sucks. So nothing good about the mental illness there.
Pros – Hmm that is a hard one to even think about. With bipolar, there is mania. Most people like that. They say they are productive and all that jazz. For me, I hate my mania – nothing good comes out of it. So I cant even list that as a pro. I think I am more empathetic though. I see the world differently than most people. I feel pain. I know what it is like to hurt. I guess I don’t want to say I understand things better, and yet I also do want to say that. When someone is hurting or down, I feel like I really do understand them. I do feel like I see the world completely differently than someone without mental illness – I feel like I have a better perspective. I know that sounds bad and mean and wrong and as if I am better than them — but I feel like I just have a better understanding — or a different understanding I guess.
Day 2: How do you feel about your diagnosis?
I have accepted my diagnosis for the most part. I get upset that I have to take medicine everyday. I get annoyed that I am going to have to deal with it for the rest of my life. I know that for my BPD I can get much better through therapy and even my PTSD can improve a lot with therapy. My bipolar is going to follow me all my life though. I have tried going off my meds and every single time I ended up in the hospital – repeatedly – 15 times – until I got committed to a state hospital.
I have accepted that I have to stay on my meds now. I have accepted that I need medications and I need therapy and I will battle these for the rest of my life.
I will be honest though, I am treated unfairly many times because of my borderline personality diagnosis. People think I am manipulative because of it. I personally, am not. I have doctors tell me that I tell them whatever I want to get the medications I want. The medications I have been on work perfectly for me – since I got out of the state hospital, my meds have kept me stable. The only med that hasn’t is my anxiety med – and I asked the state hospital to take me off of it because in the controlled environment in there, I thought I was better. I wish I hadn’t gone off of it. Now, everyone here thinks I am just manipulating them because of my BPD. There is more than just that instance though – I have heard it multiple times. I wish that my BPD diagnosis would just be taken off my chart.
But, it is what it is. I have what I have. I just need to continue to learn how to cope with it all and live with it all and focus my life on living better and coping better.
How do you talk about trauma?
How do you talk about childhood sexual abuse? Or childhood abuse? Or rape at any age – childhood or adult? Or any type of crime that has been committed against you?
It is important to be open with you counselor, I understand that. I have an absolutely amazing therapist! She makes me feel comfortable and I feel like she would understand and believe what I told her.
I do not know how to talk to her though. I have written a few things, but even with that, it is hard. I cannot go into details about things. Writing or saying things just makes it real. I don’t want it to be real. I know it is real though – and I just want it to all go away. It won’t though, and it haunts me, and until I deal with it — I am always going to feel bad and have these flashbacks and nightmares and want to hurt myself and die as much as I do. I know I have bipolar and borderline personality along with my PTSD. But I know if I deal with this PTSD, my symptoms will go down much more.
How does everyone else talk about their traumas? Or just talk in general? How do you let our your feelings, your frustrations, your thoughts? I’m so scared to. I want to. I think about it over and over in my head because therapy. All week sometimes. I go in there with what I want to say. I have rehearsed it in my mind. Then, when I want to say it, my mouth can’t. It is like it is all jumbled up.
I have gotten better about opening up. But not about much. It is never going to go away unless I talk. I know that. She has told me. I believe her. I just don’t know how to. This is the first time I have ever face this stuff in therapy. I have told her more than I have told anyone else. I have gotten a lot out, but there is so much more.
So, how do you all do it? How do you talk in therapy? If you have been through abuse, sexual abuse, rape – anything like that – how do have you been able to talk about it? Even if you haven’t been through any type of abuse — how do you talk in therapy, how do you let out your emotions?