I used to write all the time. I had a journal on blogger and I wrote and wrote and wrote. I wrote about my depression, my frustrations, how much I hated life. I would write suicide notes and good bye letters. I wrote about how I thought suicide was ok and how those who loved me should be happy I was gone because I wasn’t in pain anymore. I had a physical, tangible journal too that my therapist gave me, and I wrote in that periodically as well – I would scribble down any thought that came to my head, over and over again, rambling on about everything – but it was always the bad stuff. I never counteracted any of the negative thoughts with good things. I never put any positive self talk in there or reminded myself about what was going on that was good.
I couldn’t see anything good around me – at all. There was good stuff though. My siblings cared a lot about me. I live no where near them, we are all in different states. We don’t even talk very much, but when we do, I can cry and let all my emotions out and they listen and understand. Each day, I have food and an apartment to stay in. Sure, I struggle to pay the bills and have food to eat — but I have it. There was a time in my life, that I basically was kicked out of my apartment and had to move back home or be homeless, and I attempted suicide because of it. I did not want to live with my mom. Now, I have those things. I have to think about that. I have a mental health team, I am able to have my medicine. I hate taking medicine, but it makes me stable. There were times I couldn’t pay for my medicine – now I can and it is works fairly well. I have struggled incredibly hard to find a good therapist and psychiatrist, but I have those now. I have a team that wants me to get better. There are good things in my life. I may think that life is horrible and miserable, but not everything is working against me like it may seem.
I started this blog because I was so focused on the negatives in my other blog. WordPress is a really active community and I wanted to be able to be involved with interacting with others. I wanted to discuss mental health issues. I wanted to be involved with reading about other interests of mine. I wanted to focus on positives.
I still have horrible days. Just two weeks ago (or something like that), I broke down. I called the crisis line and then a day later called my dad and about went to the psych hospital. I thought I was going to kill myself. Life isn’t perfect for me. My days can still get really shitty. I still get super depressed. But, I want to help people. And writing on here has helped me feel better. And talking with others on here has helped me feel better. Connecting with others that are going through the same thing, knowing I am not alone.
I’m going to eventually have the posts where I am hating life again, but I am hoping that those are few and far between. I’m sure starting grad school is going to make them happen a lot more frequently – bringing back memories related to my sexual abuse and rape. My PTSD is going to be stirred up even more than it has been lately with therapy. I hope to use this as a way to vent still, and get my frustration out, but in a more positive way than I was on my other online blog – which was quite negative as I was simply writing out my plans for death. Here I can just write out my thoughts and even ask for advice.
I really think that writing on here and connecting with others on here and seeing this as a support has really helped though. I hope that it continues to do that.
I saw my psychiatrist today. I wasn’t really the greatest appointment. I actually left feeling very discouraged and I’m not in the greatest mood. I think I’ve hit a road block.
I’ve really been struggling with my anxiety. I’ve always had bad anxiety. It was pretty well managed the last few years, although I was pretty overloaded on my last anxiety medication. When I was in the state hospital, the environment was very controlled and I thought I had gotten over it, so I transitioned off of my medicine (the valium). Upon moving though, I knew no one, was in a brand new state, and also began working on trauma therapy — my anxiety has been at an all time high once again. I deeply regret ever getting off anxiety medication. I cannot get my psychiatrist to give me medication other than vistaril, which has done nothing, and buspar which simply made it 100x worse. I understand that other medications are addictive, but I only want something to help me when I go into a panic attack just while I go through this trauma therapy, even if it just a few pills a month to get me through the worst of times. I am getting exhausted living like this – it has made me depression horrible.
He told me that he went through my medications I have tried in the past – not specifically anxiety, but everything. I have gone through a lot – and he said that medications don’t work for me. I was pissed, because the regimen I am on now has done a pretty good job for the last 1.5 years. I have been more stable than I have been in like 4 years. He has only seen me twice now (I go to a medical school, so they switch residents every two years when they graduate). He doesn’t even know me! Yes, he has my records, but I highly doubt he has read them! Does he really want to see me off my medication – because I am really considering just stopping it since he claims that they don’t even matter, despite the fact that I have seen how much they have changed my life. But if he says that, why would I waste my money?
He wants me to compliment my trauma therapy with DBT. Which would be fine, except the only place around me that does it, is 1 hour away (ok still doable), but they also don’t take insurance, or any insurance for that matter (not doable). I am already paying out of pocket to see him (supposed to be $124 dollars-what I was told….but I keep getting billed over $200 and while they tell me they will fix it, it never gets done). I live on disability right now, I cannot afford to pay out of pocket for more therapy that my insurance wont pay for.
I guess I am just frustrated though because he basically told me that if my anxiety is that bad – I need to go to the hospital. What is the hospital going to do? Why can he not just help me? If he can’t help outpatient, why would the hospital be able to do anything different? Would they be able to prescribe me a medication? If they do–would he actually keep me on it? I’m not going to go spend a ton of money on a hospital stay when I feel like this should be able to be taken care of on an outpatient basis. I thought psychiatrists were supposed to try to keep you out of the hospital.
I have grown so much since 2011 when I first started having serious problems with my mental health. And I believe that each day I grow stronger. I know I also fall back though. I just feel like this is a set back for me. Or I shouldn’t say set back – its like a road block. A wall in my way. Another challenge. I don’t have help this time though. I don’t have a psychiatrist to help me get through it. And it sucks – it just sucks. I’m facing my pain and anxiety and depression on my own. I mean, I guess he cares in that he suggested the DBT, but he also knows I cant pay for it and he clearly doesn’t want to help me with medication – so I don’t feel like I have support. Now, I have to find the detour, the way around it – get past this road block.
I’m going to get through it. I just am going to have to work a hell of a lot harder and figure something out. I don’t know what yet though. I feel like I have tried a million coping skills.
So, I’m going to try to write some still, but I may be a little less frequent. I have some posts that I wrote ahead of time that are scheduled to be posted though, and those should show up. I am still going to try to get on here though, cause it does help. Ill just have to see how it goes I guess.
Too much sleep, too little sleep. Too manic, too depressed.
Sleep plays an incredibly important role in keeping my mind balanced. I remember when I set off on my trip to Malaysia for a month back in March, my psychiatrist specifically told me I needed to watch my sleep. “Make sure you bring your Ambien! If you don’t sleep well, you are going to go into a deep depression or a huge manic episode.” Before that, we had talked about trying to regulate my sleep for months. Even after I got home, we were talking about regulating my sleep.
I have noticed, when I get enough sleep, my mood is much more stable.
When I get too much sleep, I am really depressed and want to sleep all the time.
When I don’t get enough sleep, I go into manic mode.
When I am in manic mode, I have to force myself to sleep, and when I do, my mood slowly begins to regulate.
When I am depressed, I have to force myself to get up and not be in bed all day, and my mood regulates more.
Now of course, many people with sleep problems need medication to help them overcome their issues. But there are other ways to help regulate your sleep –
Creating a regular sleep habit:
- Taking a shower every night and brushing your teeth at the same time
- Turning off all electronics (not watching TV, being on the computer, or looking at your smart phone) for 1-2 hours before bed. The light emitted from these keeps you up.
- Only use your bedroom for sleep (or sex)
- Keep the same sleep-wake schedule (i.e. wake at 8am everyday, sleep at 11pm everyday)
- Don’t nap during the day, if you have to – keep it short (no longer than 30 minutes), and not close to your bedtime
- Exercise regularly but do not do it too close to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine completely – but especially at night if you do use them at bedtime
Continually thinking about your problems can interfere with your concentration. Most people expect that thinking through their problems will help solve them. But continual thinking and thinking usually can’t solve a problem. For example, if your spouse leaves you, running this fact through your head a thousand times won’t change things.
-Dr. Neal Houston, Sociologist
I ruminate all the time! I saw this quote and it struck me as completely true! Sitting and thinking about something over and over again does not fix anything. Sure, I come to conclusions about things sometimes, but usually I can come to those conclusions fairly quickly – but I still will continue to think and think and think, and question and question and question. My therapist calls this the snowball effect – it pretty much is just that. I think one thing, ask a question, think of that, ask another question, think of that, and so on and so on. It progressively gets worse and worse. The thoughts get more dangerous. For me personally, they can lead to a deeper depression and even the suicidal ideations.
I have to nip them in the bud. This is where Cognitive Behavioral Therapy comes in for me. The whole Triangle thing comes in – for those of you who have taken CBT. My thoughts affect my emotions affect my behavior and back to my thoughts. I have to change one of those things to change the others. So for me, it would be to change my thoughts so that I don’t act out on a behavior (the suicidal thoughts) and my emotions (my depressive thoughts) do not get worse. Or I need to do a behavior (a distraction – painting, reading, writing, etc) – so that I can quit ruminating on my thoughts.
This is such a hard thing for me to do and remember to do. I will get so sucked up into thinking that I do not even realize that I am going over and over the thoughts in my head until it is too late and I feel like I cannot even get out of it. I begin to get so overwhelmed, anxious, and depressed and then do not even want to do anything or feel I cannot do anything to get out of the situation. It is so important to not get stuck in this sort of situation. Practicing this CBT is very important to keep our thoughts on the right track. I definitely do not do it enough.