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Author Topic: Chronic Mental Illness  (Read 25109 times)
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« Reply #15: April 04, 2009, 04:33:25 pm »

I didn't get that indoctrination, but I did get some indoctrination about being responsible for managing my "stuff" - which is, mostly, good and useful indoctrination, but it's got some potential holes in it.  I knew about depression for years and years, but didn't want to trivialize "real" depression by claiming that label for my own not-nearly-that-awful mood-management challenges.  That, and I really didn't seem to fit all that well with the way depression is described (by the professional psych community, not just popular [mis]conception) to the general public.

Yeah, I had a lot of this myself.  (I will note that some of my trauma damage kind of settles in the area of "Is it appropriative for me to actually claim this as a problem, or am I trivialising people with 'real' experiences?"  This is ... well, the short and efficient way of putting it is "a giant fucking mess".)

And after that it was, "Yeah, I'm probably depressive; it runs in both sides of my family, my brother has an additional serotonin disorder, yup.  I'm a mess.  Oh well."

My sequencing on getting myself treatment went something like:

Saturn return -> two-year Feri training with Thorn Coyle
two-year training -> a lot of percolation and processing and rearranging bits of my head
head-rearrangement -> hit rock bottom (as far as I can tell, in a very AA way)

(My brother's comment on that was something to the effect of, "I'm glad you hit bottom, and I'm glad I'm still falling.")

hit bottom -> accepted a therapist recommendation
year of therapy -> considered medication as something other than a 'hell no'

And then I came to the conclusion, as I was preparing to get pregnant, that right now everyone who has to deal with me in my incapacities is a consenting adult.  Baby is not a consenting adult, and if I'm gonna be a mother, I need to utilise all plausible tools to take care of baby.

From there -> referral to prescribing psychiatric nurse.

And the first medication worked at minimum dosages (we ramped me up from half starting child dose to starting adult dose, and I was suddenly Mended).

Of course, now I have to wean myself off it 'cause it's not safe for third-trimester pregnancies ....  Which means we're doing a lot of research on catching and correcting postpartum, because I'll be unmedicated.
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« Reply #16: April 06, 2009, 09:53:43 pm »

Hi,

My name is Keilia, and I am new here.

Welcome! I'm fortunate enough to not have any serious chemical problems (though I did go through a serious bout of depression at my last job). I have several friends that have problems, though, and my husband has anxiety and depression issues.

Speaking from the flip-side of the coin as a "caregiver", it can be really frustrating when people aren't managing their shit (especially if they aren't being honest about it). Yes, I can tell when my friend has her drug cocktail tweaked. Yes, I can tell when my husband's gone off his Zoloft for a few weeks.

I think it can be hard for people because we aren't trained how to deal with folks with mental illness. What do I do when someone goes off their meds? How far can you push to get them to deal with their shit? How much should you just ignore?

We had a friend with depression issues who committed suicide less than a month ago, plus one of my friends has a son who is back in an institution for his issues... so this topic is on my mind frequently these days.

Karen
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« Reply #17: April 07, 2009, 01:09:22 pm »

Hi,

My name is Keilia, and I am new here. I have been suffering from mental illness my entire life. Frequently, these illnesses are ignored unless a sufferer does something drastic. Unfortunatly, these illnesses often go misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, under and mistreated, and just flat out ignored. There seems to still be a stigma with mental illness. "It's all in your head", "Just snap out of it" etc. I can't even begin to count how many times I have heard those and other insulting remarks. Somehow since my illness can't be seen, it doesn't count.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Major Depression, Schitzoaffective disorder, and Bipolar 2 (AKA recurrent depression). People generally don't want to discuss these disorders. I have hallucinations, severe physical pain, many memory problems, slurred speech, double vision, tremors, and other symptoms. All because I can't "Snap out of it"

Anyone here have any similiar issues?

Keilia

yes i have been diagnosed with all sorts of stuff, though who knows what I actually have. I've had paranoia, rambling voices, self-injury problems, an olfactory hallucination that makes me either quite manic or want to harm myself. I've also suffered from pretty bad dissociations & memory problems. So you're not alone. And yes, I hate how horrible of a stigma there is with mental illness.
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« Reply #18: April 07, 2009, 01:15:07 pm »

She has had suicidal ideation off and on since she was eight. 

I had that too off and on. I also minorly self-injured at 3 years old when stressed. At least I'm not the only one. I thought I was weird for being that messed up that young! So thanks for sharing. Unfortunately I hid it until I was almost 18 years old. Good for you in supporting your daughter.
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« Reply #19: April 07, 2009, 03:14:33 pm »

I had that too off and on. I also minorly self-injured at 3 years old when stressed. At least I'm not the only one. I thought I was weird for being that messed up that young! So thanks for sharing. Unfortunately I hid it until I was almost 18 years old. Good for you in supporting your daughter.

Up until very recently it wasn't believed that children before puberty could have mental illnesses.  Bipolar was thought to be an adult onset only condition.  Then someone realized that maybe this can come on earlier.  Then earlier.  Now they're working to define diagnostic criteria for bipolar and schizo-affective spectrum disorders in children as young as 2 years old.  If we ever get blood/genetic testing for these biochemical disorders perfected, they'll be able to diagnose and treat from early childhood.
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« Reply #20: April 07, 2009, 05:43:16 pm »

Up until very recently it wasn't believed that children before puberty could have mental illnesses.  Bipolar was thought to be an adult onset only condition.  Then someone realized that maybe this can come on earlier.  Then earlier.  Now they're working to define diagnostic criteria for bipolar and schizo-affective spectrum disorders in children as young as 2 years old.  If we ever get blood/genetic testing for these biochemical disorders perfected, they'll be able to diagnose and treat from early childhood.

Even animals can develop mental disorders. A cat we had the rescue shelter frequently self-mutilated herself (abuse, obviously, but I don't know any details about her). She did get better for a while (coming out of her wee paper brown bag), but then got a lot worse and had to be put down. Sad Cats will also rip out their fur if they are highly stressed out. They can also develop some form of OCD, which most typically manifests as constantly licking in the same place over and over again, until there is no fur there left. They can also do this when stressed out as well (although less stressed than what I mentioned above).
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« Reply #21: April 07, 2009, 06:22:32 pm »

Even animals can develop mental disorders. A cat we had the rescue shelter frequently self-mutilated herself (abuse, obviously, but I don't know any details about her). She did get better for a while (coming out of her wee paper brown bag), but then got a lot worse and had to be put down. Sad Cats will also rip out their fur if they are highly stressed out. They can also develop some form of OCD, which most typically manifests as constantly licking in the same place over and over again, until there is no fur there left. They can also do this when stressed out as well (although less stressed than what I mentioned above).

Oh, I know.  We have a dog who has OCD licking and a cat who will lick off all of her fur if she's not with her humans.
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« Reply #22: April 07, 2009, 06:40:04 pm »

Oh, I know.  We have a dog who has OCD licking and a cat who will lick off all of her fur if she's not with her humans.

My Missy Skids (rest her soul) did that when I had Chaucer put down. He was 18 and suffering from kidney failure, she was still a kitten (just over a year old), and they'd been best buddies from the day I brought her home. She grieved for him for a year, licked off ALL her fur in every place she could reach (which left her head--she looked truly freakish), and refused to walk on the floors, traveling by furniture-back/arm and countertop and leaps.

Almost a year to the day after he left us, she stopped. Some folks didn't believe me, but I know what she was doing and why.
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« Reply #23: April 07, 2009, 09:35:59 pm »


I was diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder in 2007 after the death of my grandfather im Nov 2006, and birth of my daughter Dec 2006.  I was also suffering from Post Partum Psychosis, which I had after every child.

I have failed every drug for Bipolar and depression, so know they're starting to think I'm Schizoaffective because I am starting to hear voices and have hallucinations. I think it's from the Seroquel, but the Drs think otherwise, yet they changed my RX's today.

I am also on a ton of pain meds for my Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, so they also are wondering if I'm starting to become delirious and hallucinate from the pain that's overbearing the pain meds.

I am only 24 and they said it only goes downhill from here mentally because they said after viewing my school records with the school Psychologist that I should have been treated since age 10, after my AChilles tendon surgery.

I just want my life to be normal for my kids, yet they've adapted to my mood swings and fits of rage pretty well. My oldest is 5, my middle is almost 4, and my daughter is 2. I'm afraid that I'm really hurting them psychologically because there are sometimes where I don't want them near me for almost a week at a time at the longest periods (I'm rapid cycle Bipolar, I can change sometimes 2 times a day, most has been 15 times in 7 days.)

My poor hubby grew up with everyone in his immediate family being admitted to the Psych ward, and I know this is not what he signed up for, but we've been together since high school, since 2000. At least he told me he will never leave me, because it would only add to the problems, and he would never take the kids from me unless I was to hurt them. (I haven't to this day, I'm able to control my rage fits enough to go into the basement and shoot the pellet air rifle at targets in a trapcatcher.)

Hopefully someday they will find a drug to help me.

-Demonna
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« Reply #24: April 07, 2009, 10:02:48 pm »

I have failed every drug for Bipolar and depression, so know they're starting to think I'm Schizoaffective because I am starting to hear voices and have hallucinations. I think it's from the Seroquel, but the Drs think otherwise, yet they changed my RX's today.

I'm also on seroquel and have had no meds work for bipolar/depression. I'm also starting to hallucinate much more. I don't know if the seroquel can have anything to do with it, but all I know is I want them to help me cause it's scaring me. So know how you feel.

Even animals can develop mental disorders. A cat we had the rescue shelter frequently self-mutilated herself.

That makes sense. Because self-injury is a relief due to endorphins. So if she was being abused bad enough and figured out that hurting herself caused a good feeling (endorphins), I could see why a cat would self-mutilate.
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« Reply #25: April 09, 2009, 09:03:08 am »

I had that too off and on. I also minorly self-injured at 3 years old when stressed. At least I'm not the only one. I thought I was weird for being that messed up that young! So thanks for sharing. Unfortunately I hid it until I was almost 18 years old. Good for you in supporting your daughter.

Minor self injury at a very young age isn't necessarily a sign of problems to come.  Lots of kids grow out of the behaviors as they become more emotionally mature.

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« Reply #26: April 09, 2009, 10:56:54 pm »

Minor self injury at a very young age isn't necessarily a sign of problems to come.  Lots of kids grow out of the behaviors as they become more emotionally mature.

Sperran

True. But I had other issues too, such as anger & social issues, and even suicidal ideation at 8 yrs old. But, even if they had noticed something, I think I was so scared of everyone I would have kept my mouth shut. So it came out in my teens as it was going to.
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« Reply #27: April 11, 2009, 04:19:09 pm »

Hi,

My name is Keilia, and I am new here. I have been suffering from mental illness my entire life. Frequently, these illnesses are ignored unless a sufferer does something drastic. Unfortunatly, these illnesses often go misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed, under and mistreated, and just flat out ignored. There seems to still be a stigma with mental illness. "It's all in your head", "Just snap out of it" etc. I can't even begin to count how many times I have heard those and other insulting remarks. Somehow since my illness can't be seen, it doesn't count.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD, Major Depression, Schitzoaffective disorder, and Bipolar 2 (AKA recurrent depression). People generally don't want to discuss these disorders. I have hallucinations, severe physical pain, many memory problems, slurred speech, double vision, tremors, and other symptoms. All because I can't "Snap out of it"

Anyone here have any similiar issues?

Keilia

I have Bipolar II, panic attacks and recurring nightmares that are terrifyingly vivid.  For years I was on SSRIs.  Sporadic periods of having no health insurance made it difficult for me to afford care, and get the right diagnosis.

Meanwhile, some folks in the Pagan community were less than  supportive.  I have heard people make comments to the effect of "If people knew how to balance their energy, or if they were REALLY witches, they wouldn't need to be on medication!"  I didn't want to talk about my problems because I knew some people would think I was somehow weak, or that my spirituality was invalid because it hadn't solved my problems. 

I tried meditation, herbs, and all kinds of natural remedies.  None of it worked, and I felt like a failure.  Then one day, I hit "rock bottom" as Darkhawk says.  Some friends forced me into a psychiatrist's office where I finally got diagnosed.  Once I switched from Lexapro to Lamictal, it was like waking up from a lifelong nightmare.  I still struggle.  I have good days and bad days. But my baseline level of functioning is much higher. 

I still feel hurt and angry when I think of some of the things that people in the Pagan community said with regards to mental illness.  Perhaps somewhere there is a witch of healer powerful enough to cure a chronic health condition like mine (or any of yours). I believe in the possibility of pretty much anything.  But I'm not going to wait for that person to show up when I need help now, and that help is available in the form of modern medicine. 

Are our medical innovations really less miraculous than magic?  I personally do not believe they are. 

Keilia, you are brave to share this. I believe that talking openly about mental illness is the best way to fight the stigma.  I hope you've realized from people's responses that you are NOT alone in your struggles.
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« Reply #28: April 11, 2009, 05:12:19 pm »

I have heard people make comments to the effect of "If people knew how to balance their energy, or if they were REALLY witches, they wouldn't need to be on medication!"  I didn't want to talk about my problems because I knew some people would think I was somehow weak, or that my spirituality was invalid because it hadn't solved my problems.

Folks like this sound just like the Fundie Christians who believe that all problems (medical, financial, family, etc.) are all caused by being "not right with God" and that the only really solution to problems is to "get right with God."  It's no less silly just because it comes from a Pagan or a New Age point-of-view.
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« Reply #29: April 12, 2009, 01:32:58 am »

Are our medical innovations really less miraculous than magic?  I personally do not believe they are. 

Heh.  Are our medical interventions not magic?

Applied will to resolve a problem?  Looks like magic to me.
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