February 3, 2020 at 11:27 am #336438
Still working on it but not feeling focused enough to continue today. I intend to continue tomorrow.
As far as my 2011 diagnosis, I didn’t ask the psychiatrist why he diagnosed me with bi-polar at the time. I knew by that point (because it happened before) that doctors gave me contradictory evaluations and diagnoses. It is very common that an individual receives wrong diagnoses repeatedly before receiving the correct one.
Plus a person may fit a certain diagnosis at one time in life but not in another. Most mental diagnoses are not life sentences and healing is possible.
Also, no individual is born to fit bi-polar. The vast majority of mental diagnoses start with anxiety in childhood, and symptoms develop over time from that anxiety.
When seeing a psychiatrist for a diagnosis, the psychiatrist lists the patient’s symptoms and looks for a diagnosis (a collection or combination, or better say, a grouping of symptoms) that fits the particular patient’s collection of symptoms.
When a person attends quality psychotherapy, it is possible to heal a person. It is not possible to heal a diagnosis. What needs to heal within a person is some of that anxiety that caused all those hundreds of groupings of symptoms aka diagnoses.
Feel free to post today, as I am not focused to continue my study of your March- May 2019 posts at this time.
anitaFebruary 3, 2020 at 11:45 am #336444
I hope you are feeling better and more focused soon. Here is something that describes me I think: Imagine a pond. On one end are gold fish, the other end is empty and in the middle there is netting. These gold fish nibble away until they start getting through the netting. The gold fish for me represents stress. As more gold fish come through, I get more stressed, more anxious, tired, irritable, impulsive, more talkative, less able to concentrate and pay attention to detail, brain feels foggy, rush through tasks without thought, going through the motions.
Finally all the gold fish get through the net to the other side and I crash. I feel depressed that all the gold fish got through my net again. I feel worthless. It affects my relationships and my work product. I feel like I can’t control it and it effects everything negatively. Then I put up a new net and it starts all over again.
Nothing seems to really help get me back to normal or my body to a better place during this cycle.
LindseyFebruary 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm #336452
Thank you. I do need to take a break, so will be back to you later.
anitaFebruary 3, 2020 at 1:47 pm #336468
What you described, new stress increasing your already present stress and anxiety, further tiring you, exhausting you, leading you to be “irritable, impulsive, more talkative, less able to concentrate and pay attention to detail, brain feels foggy, rush through tasks without thought, going through the motions”-
-this happens to every single human being when experiencing elevated anxiety. It is not a unique process that happens to you only, or to people in a certain category of mental disorder or diagnosis. It is a human biochemical process that involves hormones being secreted to the blood, and in combination with the heart working faster, reaching the arms and legs, filling them with oxygen, and withdrawing from the brain, so that less oxygen reaches the brain, leading to that fogy-brain feeling and decreased cognitive functioning such as attention and concentration.
“Finally all the gold fish (the stress) .. crash. I feel depressed”-
-following all that biochemical and muscular activity, the heart working fast, muscles contracting, the body is exhausted. Depression happens as anxiety exhausts us, draining our energy.
When we misunderstand this to happen to only us, or to only people with this or that diagnosis, we take this universal human process personally and conclude that we are less than others, weird, or freaks of nature. This misunderstanding causes more stress, more anxiety, more fish crashing.
Naturally, an oxygen hungry brain, an exhausted body does lead to compromised functioning in every area, including work and relationships.
I will reply to you further tomorrow morning, in about 14 hours from now.
February 4, 2020 at 1:55 pm #336674
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
The following quotes are taken from your posts submitted in the first half of 2019.
About your childhood: “My father was always working and I was really just an extension of my mother, kind of like a doll… I was always with her. She did everything for me: picked out my outfits, did my hair, and made most of my decisions for me really”.
Your mother had her doll when she was 19, and for about 12 years she played with her doll. The she had her second child when she was 31, and another two years later.
When you were 12, about the time you entered middle school, you had a sibling for the first time in your life, and you puberty was new to you: “I remember everything embarrassing me in middle school. I suddenly felt ugly when puberty hit and I was slow to develop”.
At about 17, you “started barely eating”, perhaps wanting to return to the pre-puberty doll stage, when you were your mother’s doll. You also started “drinking and smoking pot”.
Sometime before or after your mother had two additional children, she didn’t want you to need her anymore because she was otherwise occupied; she didn’t want her doll anymore.
Afew years later, “When I went to college, she pretty much said you are on your own now and they moved into a new house without a room for me. She emotionally cut herself off from me overnight. I was very lost for a long time”.
Ever since, and decades later, in 2019, she was/ is still not available for you: “She is away at a tennis tournament and last time I spoke to her she made it clear she has her own problems to deal with and for me to figure it out on my own. This is her tone 75% of the time”.
You wrote: “I feel a sense of panic when I’m alone it’s hard to describe” you wrote last year. It is the panic of not being with your mother.
About your marriage: “There was abuse mostly verbal in my marriage for the past 6 years… Prior to our separation, there was about 2 years of coerced sex. It would buy me at least 3-4 days of him not being verbally crazy and a calm house. But I would cry during and after.. being forced to sleep with him has harmed me more than I realize”, “I felt like a prostitute and that I was being used in different ways during the end part of the marriage..I felt over time I was prostituting myself in a sense for him to act nicely. This was never a strong point in our relationship. I never really enjoyed it”.
“He hit me once around 2016 and I continued meeting his needs. I would cry during and after and go in a different room to sleep. I hated myself after. Trying to talk about it with friends or my mother was hard. I got ‘that’s your husband so you have to do it’ or ‘just pretend it’s someone else’ kind of comments. I did not feel like anyone understood what I was going through and I believe it effects me now in ways I am not recognizing… my body was being used to meet a need and I was not part of that need. I was trading that for nice behaviors from him for the household.
It ended when I felt I could not have sex with him anymore and we cohabitated for 1.5 years…I was still enslaved in a sense for the 1.5 years. I felt trapped in every sense of the word. It made me depressed and very angry with everyone around me, mostly my family. Daily I was told by him what I wasn’t doing right and that I gave up on the marriage and stopped trying”.
About your mental state: “anxiety attacks, irritability, poor boundaries.. obsessive thoughts.. shame and embarrassment.. low self esteem.. starving for attention.. drop in focus, poor decision making…My worry is I don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy or desperate or unstable.. don’t understand why I feel ok for a few hours or even a day and the suddenly I’ll get bombarded with feelings of anxiety. Negative and unhealthy Thoughts will run through my head and it’s up down up down.. I woke up at 2:30? with a panic attack and was not surprised. They usually happen with stress, being overtired, and in a new environment… I feel like an irritable walking zombie. I’ve had to take my Alprazolam.. each night and it’s makes me feel awful the next day… I’m feeling really tired because I have to take Klonopin at night 3-4 days out of 7 the past 2-3 weeks due to panic trying to fall asleep.”
You listed your mental challenges: “Constant worry that others are talking about me or judging me all the time. Obsessive thoughts and worries that go round and around in my head. Feeling antsy, claustrophobic in my apartment, not able to sit down and read or nap. Getting hyper focused on one thing- usually a man. Not able to sleep. Waking up several times during the night. Feeling panic around 7 pm that slowly gets worse every night for last 2-3 weeks and need meds or have an anxiety attack late at night. Turing a small thing into a catastrophe.”
Diagnoses and drugs: At 19 you were diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. In your twenties and thirties you were prescribed SSRI antidepressants from time to time: Zoloft, Lexapro and others, but these either didn’t do anything for you, or made you want to sleep all the time, appeared drugged, you almost lost your job, and some increased your anxiety and panic attacks. Because Lithium is prescribed to treat major depressive disorder when SSRIs don’t work for the patient, you were prescribed Lithium at 35. At 39 (while you were taking lithium?) you were told by a psychiatrist that you were on a “bipolar spectrum meaning my highs and lows are not major and don’t meet the basic criteria (of a bipolar disorder)”, meaning you were not diagnosed with bipolar, but were told that you suffer from a mood disorder (ups and downs) similar to bi-polar, but not as severe enough to fit you into the bi-polar diagnosis. You pointed to me that you have never suffered from psychotic symptoms that often characterize a bi-polar disorder such as hallucinations, delirium, delusions, and/ or a total break from reality.
In April of 2019, soon after we started communicating, you were taking Lithium (used to treat bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder..), Vibryd (used to treat major depressive disorder..), Risperdal (an atypical antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, therapy-resistant OCD..), Klonipin and Xanax (tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine class, used to treat seizures, and anxiety disorders, specifically panic disorders or generalized anxiety disorder). But there were other psychiatric medications you took and stopped taking before, in your twenties and thirties (if not earlier, during your teenage years).
My Understanding Today: when your mother “did everything” for you for the first decade of your life or so, treating you like a doll for way too long (picking out your outfits, doing your hair, making most of your decisions), what happens is that you learn to do nothing for yourself.
You are a doll, an object under the power of her owner. You get used to her doing everything for you, you relax into it, you adjust to it. You learn to expect it. The doll doesn’t develop into an increasingly independent child and teenager. Instead she remains dependent, feeling like an extension of her mother: t is not her arms that she uses to take care of herself, it is her mother’s arms dressing her, feeding her, combing her hair and so on. And it is not her brain she uses to make choices, it is her mother’s brain making choices for her.
And then, out of nowhere, at 17 or 18, or 19, your mother decided she doesn’t want her doll anymore. The doll is then terribly lost, not knowing of her own abilities to take care of herself, to make sensible choices, and to go about living in an adult world not suitable for dolls.
Fast forward, this man you married used you as a sexual doll. And your mother was okay with it, excusing this man’s behavior when you complained to her, supporting him throughout, being on his side.
You were diagnosed with major depression at 19. Then a variety of powerful prescriptions drugs started to flow into your system, starting with the relatively mild antidepressants of the SSRI group. But there is a rule that psychiatrists follow: if antidepressants don’t work, prescribe lithium, a heavy duty drug. A person doesn’t have to suffer from a bi-polar disorder to be prescribed Lithium; depression will do. You told psychiatrists that the SSRIs didn’t work for you and even hurt you, so you were prescribed Lithium. One or more anti-psychotics and the notorious benzodiazepines (Klonipin, Xanax) were added to the mix, and … it is impossible at times to tell what symptoms are being treated by these drugs, and what symptoms are caused by these drugs.
As I see it, you were not born with a predisposition to be depressed or anxious any more than any baby. Your anxiety and depression, like mine, came about as a result of your upbringing, or more accurately, a down-bringing.
Understand your symptoms: when your brain feels foggy, when you can’t concentrate, when you rush, not paying attention to what you are doing, all these are a result of hormones being released into your blood when anxious, diverting your blood away from your brain and to your extremities (arms and legs). Because there is less blood going to the brain, there is less oxygen and nutrients going to the brain, and as a result the brain doesn’t function well: it pays less attention, if any, it can’t focus, it feels foggy, and so forth.
There is a natural reason for that: an doe (female deer) in the wild, while fearful (a predator is approaching), is rushing as fast as she can to escape the predator. Blood is diverted from her brain (she is not paying attention to where she is going or what food is available for her as she runs away), and is flowing into her legs, making it possible for her to run fast.
When you get fearful/anxious, same thing happens. But if you are not familiar with the biochemical/physiological process I mentioned, you think that you must be a freak of nature, as in: why am I feeling foggy, why am I not paying attention, why am I rushing, why am I talking so quickly, what is wrong with me.. I must be mentally ill, etc.
There are natural, normal biochemical/ physiological reasons behind the behaviors you think of as unnatural and abnormal.
Lack of sleep, moving apartments, changing circumstances, these increase anxiety, while routine decreases it; being exposed to people who harm you increases anxiety, removing yourself from those people decreases anxiety. Learning to take care of yourself well increases your confidence and lowers your anxiety.
February 4, 2020 at 4:33 pm #336690
- This reply was modified 5 months ago by anita.
No one has ever described anxiety and stress like you do and I really enjoyed reading how you broke down the process in your post. It makes me think that maybe I will be able to fix this. That my body is just reacting to things differently than some people. I think my body has been used to the fight or flight for years with my ex husband and it’s easy for my body to go back in that mode.
I have an appointment this Thursday and I’m going to work on techniques to use at work whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, foggy brain, etc. I’m not sure how much to share yet with my manager at work. Just trying to stay focused and hopeful with things. I want to learn to recognize when I’m going to flight mode and how to bring it back.
I do hope you are feeling better and I will talk to you soon.
LindseyFebruary 5, 2020 at 11:28 am #336798
“my body has been used to the fight or flight for years”- this is what anxiety is. In nature, animals feel fear when they notice a predator or some dangerous situation, like a fire. But many animals feel fear again and again all through their waking hours, looking out for a predator, like birds moving their heads left and right, right and left, looking for a potential predator, or deer eating in the field, looking up once in a while to check if there is a predator approaching. So anxiety, as in ongoing, repeating fear- without the presence of danger- is not limited to humans or to captivity. It is the condition of many animals free, in nature.
Some of us humans feel more anxiety than others, or we feel anxiety in a particular situation while others in that situation are calm. But those who are calm in that particular situation, are anxious in a different situation. No one escapes anxiety for long. We all manage it the best we can with work routine, other routine, distractions, drugs, legal or prescribed and so on.
“my body is just reacting to things differently than some people”- your body reacts to things the same as all other people, just not at the same time, same situation, or at the same intensity in this or that situation. There is nothing about your brain and body that is out of the normal human experience: your brain is made of the same neurons that make all other human brains, connections between neurons are made the same way, hormones are the same, and everything that we experience can be explained by the same human biochemical and physiological processes.
I hope you are having an okay (or better) day at work today.
anitaFebruary 19, 2020 at 1:57 pm #339022
It’s been a bit longer that usual for my post but I was in Florida for 5 days; I just got back yesterday. I went by myself and had a really good time. I am mending my relationship with my mother. It’s feels really good. She and my dad are in counseling and their marriage is slowly improving also.
On the other hand, I feel like I am lost on a really small boat with no paddles at sea. That’s how I feel dealing with my ex husband and his girlfriend. He does not speak to me at all when he does things with her until after. Her meeting the kids, her and her son meeting kids all together, her staying the night none of this was mentioned or discussed beforehand. I got upset about her staying the night and told him that is not acceptable. He kept giving excuses and said it will not happen again but it will. I have not control over this situation. I hate this situation I’m in. I hate feeling hurt that he has moved on so quickly and says she is the one and they are in love. I hate feeling hurt when I found out he bounced from woman to woman before getting serious with her. None of this should bother me and it does.
I don’t know how to move forward with this besides not giving him ammunition or fueling his behaviors by reacting. He has cards set out from her in the kitchen and pictures they took. I wonder if I should even come in the house-stay in the doorway?
LindseyFebruary 19, 2020 at 2:39 pm #339030
I am glad to read you had a good time in Florida, but am sorry that you feel badly about your (very soon to be) ex husband. I remember you mentioning in the past that he had a key to your place and I never understood why that is- I don’t think that he should be inside your home and I don’t think you should be inside his home. The two of you are not friends! You are ex spouses, ex as in the past. The only reason you should communicate with him is co-parenting, that is all.
If you don’t g0 inside his home you will not see those cards, and if you minimize your interactions with him, limiting it to co-parenting 0nly, you will be less exposed to his relationship with his girlfriend and therefore, less distressed.
You shared how miserable you were with him, how for a long time, you had sex with him every so often just so that he will not scream at you. How do you feel about that misery you experienced with him now, as you look back?
anitaFebruary 20, 2020 at 7:26 am #339110
Last night Ella was wearing ear rings the girlfriend got her for her birthday. She also stated the girlfriend went with them out of town for Ella’s birthday this past weekend. This of course was never told to me. And I yelled and cried and said I hated his guts etc. And now I feel like crap. I feel like I’m playing into his trap. I’m not acting in the manner I want to act at all. I feel powerless.
Having any type of discussion about the girlfriend or how much she is around the kids is a waste. I’m not going in the house and he isn’t going in my apartment or my condo. The keys are because I have a dog (our dog really) and he helps take her out if i’m out of town, etc.
I need help.
LindseyFebruary 20, 2020 at 7:47 am #339116
I want to understand your intense reaction to him having a girlfriend: what are the thoughts that go through your mind when you get so upset?
(Example of a thought: he doesn’t love me; he loves her!)
anitaFebruary 20, 2020 at 8:19 am #339120
My thoughts are I feel like someone is punching me in the stomach. Whenever I find out she’s been around the kids. My brain isn’t really thinking anything but that I feel hurt and definitely not that I want to be with him again.
I feel betrayal besides hurt. I feel like he’s having her around without telling me first on purpose. I feel like a lot of his actions are on purpose to see my reaction; he wants to hurt me. He used to go crazy about me being around men and didn’t want the kids meeting any man I was dating. He had strong feelings about that. And since I moved out, he has bounced from woman to woman, never being by himself.
LindseyFebruary 20, 2020 at 8:58 am #339142
“he’s having her around .. on purpose.. his actions are on purpose to.. hurt me”- if he is trying to hurt the mother of his two children on purpose, he is hurting his children. Do you think that he is trying to get sole custody of the children by building a court case, that their mother is mentally unfit?
Or do you think that he is so insensitive to his children, that he never considered that hurting their mother will hurt them too?
anitaFebruary 20, 2020 at 9:21 am #339168
No I don’t think he is trying to build a court case against me or anything like that. I do think he enjoys hurting me because I chose to divorce and leave him and he was hurting.
I think he enjoys having a woman around in general. He does not want to be alone. I also think he is thinking of himself. While this woman has a child of her own and likes my children, they are going super fast to have only been dating a few months. But I guess that’s just my opinion.
I’m doing everything in my power to limit my contact with him. This all makes me feel bad about myself and I’m not sure why.
LindseyFebruary 20, 2020 at 9:23 am #339170
Also, I think he is extremely insensitive and does not think that hurting me will have an effect on his children.