Psycohology of the unstable mind


The psychology of mental illness, that sounds like it contradicts its self, it’s the psychology that fixes mental illness.  Psychology is an academic and applied discipline that involves the scientific study of mental functions and behaviors.  It is the behaviors and the study of mental illness that leads to is cures, its medicines.  We know it is a chemical malfunction that creates the depression. It is a chemical malfunction that creates a cancer cell to grow.   But what kind of chemical malfunction takes a person to want to hurt oneself.  The process of the mentally ill seem to follow the same pattern.  We can see documentation, story after story of how people went from one level to another level to another level to cross into actions that are as unthinkable to a healthy person as they are to the unhealthy. The question then becomes, what is the underlying condition, problem, or situation to lead an unstable person to the next level of self-destruction?

When I was a little girl listening to the radio I couldn’t figure out why all the songs on the radio talked about love?  I was 10 I knew I was loved, I knew that I was in a safe place full of love.  Why were there all these songs about wanting love, getting love, losing love?  To put life in its grandiose terms, life is love.  The fruit of the spirit is;

Galatians 5:22-23

New International Version (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

The fruits of depression are the opposite of Gods Fruits.  There is no peace or joy in depression, only sadness and hurt.  Forbearance, Kindness Goodness, is unattainable because of the pain in one’s heart that they can not see around.  Does the depressed person know they are loved by God, Yes they do but it does not stop undesirable actions that can not be controlled.  This leads to the next part.  gentleness and self-control.   Anger and disgust are the two most powerful emotions that grab onto the heart, it is the self-hatred that dominates all actions regardless if rational or not rational.  To cut ones self is an unnatural act, we naturally hate pain, and do anything to keep from being uncomfortable.  The rational of a depressed person in pain with in, wants to only match the pain on the outside by cutting at ones own skin, or any other harmful actions.  It is an act of hatred, self loathing, and the person unbalanced sees every thing in the house as a potential weapon to their inward pain. Kitchen knives, scissors, razors, any thing with an edge and the depressed individual is looking at what a normal person would see as an unsafe item, the depressed person is making a mental note to remember that ‘thing’ could come in handy when the state of mind becomes clouded with pain, and panic.

Its interesting; when you go on vacation, we go camping you set up and you put up your tarp, you relax have a beer and spend the next hour soaking in the peace and joy of being in nature and enjoying a beer, your reward for hard work.  If you relax your body with yoga it’s not a 5 minute thing, it’s a process of breathing, concentrating, relaxing, it is not a sudden emotion or state of mind.  When you become angry, or feel in danger or have a panic attack it is sudden, powerful and on some levels thrilling.  The depressed person who cuts finds it a relief to be able to punish oneself in  another way, to satisfy the angry voices in the head.  The thrill leaves when the person moves beyond the crisis and wakes up the next morning seeing the destruction the person has caused.  Embarrassed, and disgusted with the actions the person falls even more into a hole.

It is not a isolated development.  If you read blogs, stories, books, of people and the depression journey they have been on, the self destruction is bound to turn up sometime.  How do you stop it. grab the person by the hands and don’t let go.  No human spoken word can cure it, Can the word of God stop it I know that he can sometimes I don’t feel it, but the forgiveness is always available.  As Jesus prayed  over 2000 years ago “Lord forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”

till next time………………………………

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Unseen Illness


Sitting yet in another waiting room…This one is full.  I am at the hospital lab for blood tests and an electrocardiogram.  Its been two weeks since I start the new increase in the pills.  So now I get the test results back in 6 weeks when I  see my doctor.  Try this, try that, but to be honest as I sit here with 25 other people waiting my turn, I wonder why we didn’t do this two years ago?? Through all this trial and error, this is the first time I have had blood work done.  You would have thought I would have had it done first.  Now I have it because the increase in the dose of drugs has side effects that can affect my heart ( somedays I feel like I am jumping from the pot to the fire).  I should be here for another 35 minutes before I see a nurse to take my blood and ekg.  I have already been here for 10 minutes.  I had to fast this morning, and that means no coffee..I love my morning coffee. A unstable person waiting in office for 40 minutes, no coffee – who knows what could happen!! (a little stab at humor)  The lady taking the paperwork looks like if she smiles her face would crack.  I can tell from watching her (and Lord knows I have time to watch) she does not like her job, or does she not like people.  I feel like saying hey dear you have a job be happy, maybe she is suffering like me – and in that case I wouldn’t like dealing with all these people too.

I am feeling a little better today.  I shut my phone off  Monday night I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Tuesday was better, I slept last night – took sleeping pills — it isn’t a solid refreshing sleep but it was sleep and that makes things better.  I will not be taking them tonight – I don’t take them two days in a row. 

I sent my Mother an email asking for forgiveness for not staying on Sunday for supper.  I really didn’t want to be around people.  I told her we had things to do and couldn’t be there and I was so sorry for it.  She emailed me back and told me if I get off the fast track I am living on and take some family time I would be less stressed.  She also said I need to grab these moments to spend time with family cause the time will come where there will be no more moments.  I agree with her on the Moments argument, but you can’t do it all and that is why I came home we had other responsibilities and couldn’t be there.  She thinks I am living life to fast and thus my mental instability.  If  I had a broken leg I would get more leeway in my decisions to do or not do stuff, but this unseen illness is disrespected as “all in your head” (which it is) but I say ‘in your head’ with all the sarcasm I can create, because that is how people who don’t understand or people give it no respect, respond. 

A lady I know was diagnosed with Cancer 10 years ago.  It was not terminal and it was self-contained so there was no drug therapy needed, just an operation to remove it and that was it. I asked her when it was all said and done, what was the one thing that drove her nuts about the whole process.  She said that the one thing that surprised her the most and bugged her was that everyone who found out she had cancer treated her like she was dead.  People thought “well  cancer kills so she will be gone soon, what a shame”.   Some people, who know I have major depression, talk to me like I am two, or in a way that will “not upset me” cause they again don’t understand.   Or every time they see me it’s like –“So how are you doing” with eyes that express pity mixed with a bit horror at the prospect of me flipping out and grabbing a sharp object and killing myself on the spot.  At work I confided in a fellow christian who has been feeling guilty having to give up some committees she was on at church cause she can’t handle it ALL anymore, as she deals with her menopause.  Everyday at least twice a day she asks me “So how Are you doing?”   The devil in me wants to say – “well not good I am going out at lunch and jumping in front of a bus”  That does happen, its nothing to joke about, suicide is a very serious thing.  The reason I bring this up at all is that this Illness and it unlike cancer or any other disease effects your whole life, and people don’t take it seriously.  

In my Mother’s case – “you are involved in too much and you have to get off the fast track life and relax then I won’t need to be on medication and you can get a grip of your life. ” In her case when she faced menopause,  she just decided that she was just going to be happy and that was that!  Other people see it as PMS gone crazy, “oh its just one of those moods” go play guitar and distract yourself it will be fine” .” Go for a run”, “just suck it up buttercup.”   Or “oh she is angry and moody she must hate me!  What is with her? ”  (sister-in-law’s response to a really down weekend I was having)  Or “wow she is a little crazy  and acting weird, just stay away from her”   If I had cancer they would just think I was going to die and leave me alone.  With depression people disregard you, try to ‘save’ you, or pity you.  It’s enough to make you depressed !! (joke)

So as I go through the process of doctor apt’s, blood tests, dealing with life, family, kids, husbands, in-laws, work and trying to hold it together you have this back lash of how people expect you to be and when you don’t measure up they criticise you.  Their expectations are to be witty and funny and bubbly like always.  I can not do it.

 

till next time……………..

 

Tuesday, Pondering Party Day


After taking Tuesday to decide if I was going to follow the doctor’s advice, rules, and medication changes or stay the course.   I had decided to stay the course.  I wasn’t going to give in.  I am in control, so I thought.   I had a great dinner with my friends and husband and then went to a concert down town, I love to go down town.  So much fun, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed myself.   Two hours, plus of listening to great music with great friends.  It got down to the last 20-30 minutes of the concert I sat down for a minute, and I felt a wave of depression tsunami me.  It came on super fast and frightening way.  I haven’t been frightened in a while.  I am sitting there and my melting mind thought about cutting.  I was thinking there must be a place where no one would know.  This looks so stupid in print.  I can’t believe the idea rushed into my mind, rolled around and was entertained for a bit.  It was a surreal moment in time.  My mind fell into my boots and it was like I was eavesdropping on a conversation.  This seem to last 5 or 10 minutes, and then I was jolted back to normality when I looked around and realized this isn’t a conversation around me, everyone was standing, singing, dancing to the music, the conversation was in my head.  To say I was floored is a sever understatement.  I prayed a silent prayer to God to take this thing away, take the thought away and restore me.  I sat for a moment and jumped up and got myself back into the night.   I was not going to let this hell ruin my night.  I managed to get myself together  after a bit and enjoyed the rest of the night.

As I lay in bed I was very tired, had a few glasses of wine earlier and fell into a toss and turn night, full of weird dreams and restlessness.  I woke this morning and didn’t think of it.  Work, get up get to it, get your daughter to school get lunches in the right hands and off to the office.  It wasn’t till lunch when I had a chance to breath and then remember the evening.  It seemed like a weird dream.  It was a random horrible thought.  It is not a consideration.  I mention this episode because it is just that an episode but it also clinched my decision to follow the doctors medication, rules, follow ups for the next 8 weeks and see where I am.  I guess maybe it was a Blessing I experienced;  when and how I did. I was with safe people, safe place, not alone, and with God’s help pull through it.  I haven’t had any thoughts like that for a long time now, so it seems strange now, but maybe it was a good thing.  I started taking the new meds this morning — so look out next week will be a rocky one.  You can’t mess with these drugs, and any little adjustment sends you over the edge.  The Psyc Doctor called my condition Major Depression Disorder–see definition from web m.d.

” What Is Major Depressive Disorder?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, major depressive disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.

There are times you may feel sad, lonely, or hopeless for a few days. But major depression — clinical depression — lasts longer and is disabling. It can prevent you from functioning normally, and the disorder can also cause the subject to harm ones self, and suicidal thougths, if left untreated. ”

I don’t like the word Disorder it should be Major Depressive Mind out of Order,  Or MDMOOO for short.  🙂

As far as timing goes it’s a good time to do it / it’s a bad time to do it.  I have lots on my plate.  My Mother is going in for cataract surgery tomorrow,  she just got over a serious bug a week and a bit ago.  I only found out yesterday about the bug.  My idiotic brother knew but figured I was an hour and half away so why bother me. I live too far away.  He got an unpleasant reply from me on that point. I can not express how angry I am about it in this blog  because I wish not to swear in it – but you get the picture.  I have a couple of cousins who are ill one is coming around, one just in for surgery. My son is moving home.  I can’t wait, but it will take a little time to for all of us to adjust to living together again. More stress.   It makes me want to hop in the van and drive till I run out of gas or come to an ocean.  Life is not something to run from so I will sleep tonight, take the meds, work out, do a major cut back on drinking,  go to work, cook for the family, and do what I can to live the life God wants me to.

Just re reading that last paragraph,  very selfish, forgive me.  It’s a mixture of venting, and convincing.  Venting about how my family drives me nuts, and convincing myself I am on the right track.  Will let you know.

till next time. . . . . . . . . . .

The truth of pain.


Lord do not forsake me, for only by your hand is there clarity. For my mind is a jumble of mixed up thoughts. A pile of mixed up words. Darkness of confusion. As I sit in church and look at your cross I want to see the clarity your word. If God is reaching for man and man is suffering in a pain that the painkillers won’t heal and the doctors do not know how to cure, that the wine does not numb, how do you look at God and see his love. Do I not believe in it? My head says yes I believe in his Love but the pain of suffering can not help but make you think that you are being punished. Forgive my unforgiveness and unbelief, for the pain of the confused mind overshadows truth and love and creates a sink hole of darkness. As I take the body and the blood and kneel at the table of God, my mind is a swirl of light, dark, You want to trust but you feel punished, yet you ask for forgiveness. I do not ask for God to take this pain anymore, I have asked and it is still here. I don’t ask cause I fear disappointment. I know in my head that God’s timing is not mine, but God what ever I am to learn from this, how thick am I that I have not learned it, so this pain can be taken from me. A swirl of thoughts as I kneel at God’s table ….I eat, I drink, I ask for forgiveness, repent, yet when I leave, I do not go in peace. Its no where to be found, and that is the pain. A tight heart of hurt, a grip that never loosens, Drugs that numb you and a mind that thoughts are blank.

till next time……

Plastering a Cracking wall, trying to hold it together


Another weekend gone.  I have no idea where the time goes.  Whew, they keep flying by I have two months of work left and then I am done for the summer.   A busy weekend.  I managed to go out with some friends on the weekend and enjoy some social time.  It was nice.  I really wanted to hibernate at home, but sometimes you just have to get out there and be among people.  In the end it was good for me, like exercise you don’t want to, but it is good for you.  I am off my hormone drug for the next three weeks.  I have been on them for about 9 weeks now and the only thing it did for me was increase the size of my butt.  So now I have gone from 10 lbs underweight to 20 over weight, dam there is no happy medium in this thing.

I know I have said this before, and maybe this is the OCD in me talking but I am a go getter I do a lot for, and with my kids and husband and I can’t seem to get my act together.  An example, my husband says a week ago ” you know we should change the bed sheets.”  “Ok I will do that tonight.”  He says “fine” he is working late that night no worries, I can do this nothing else going on that night.  I make lunches, supper, clean up, and some how the rest of the evening passes I totally forget.  Two days go by “oh dear, honey I forgot the sheets Ill to it when I finish making lunches” .  He is cleaning up supper and doing dishes.  Two more days go by, I’m heading to bed, Sh** still forgot to do the sheets, already in bed – not getting up now. Tomorrow.  Saturday I get up have coffee doing them right now, hubby and I take off sheets he takes them to the laundry tosses them in.  I get another set of sheets.  Start to make bed. Go down stairs part way through to do get something,  get distracted.  This happens all day Sat, I finally get it made when I headed to bed that night.  Sounds like real life right, however I left 1/2 done jobs all over the house that day cause I couldn’t follow through on what I was doing. 

 I would head up stairs to get something I needed to finish something down stairs realize bed not made, start on it and try to get it done.  Then after a few minutes realize Oh I was getting this thing for down stairs grab it go down stairs, stop in kitchen for a drink of water forget where I am going clean off the counter.  Remember to go down stairs, go there remember what I am doing, forgot the thing I needed up stairs.  Go back to bedroom, crap not here, stuff a pillow in case, Oh ya in kitchen go to kitchen find it Oh ya doing stuff down stairs.  Ugggg.  That is how the day was.  I’m thinking this is nuts what the heck is wrong with my brain that I can’t follow through.  Then I get mad and then I get depressed cause my head is wack.  Vicious circle.

When my kids were babies, they would nap for an hour or two during the day.  I could move mountains in that time.  I was always proud of the things I could do in an hour.  Now my mind is mud. Thank God for the calendar on my blackberry cause I would forget everything.  All my work stuff, all my family stuff, everything is in there if I lost it,  I think I would jump off a bridge.  (not really– but it would be close) 

So here I sit on a Monday morning wondering.  Wondering about so many things where do I start. 

Is this what getting older is about! I still have at least 20 years working years I’m not that old!

Is this apart of depression a robbing of your capabilities?

Is this what happens to your mind with this illness, is it normal?

Is this the drugs?

Is my mind ever going to go back to what it once was?

Is this God’s punishment?

Is this allowed to happen to me from God to teach me humility?  Because this has been a drastic lesson but I learned it!

Is this happening to me because of my pride and lack of tenderness towards others?

Is this me just whining and I should be thankful and shut up and get on with it?

Is the depth of my heart-break and suffering ever going to end or be fixed?

This is a life changing illness, like any illness, but will I ever be able to trust my mind.  Does the cancer victim ever trust its body again?

On the flip side.  My relationship with and my trust in God, my relationship with my husband and kids, my relationship  my best friends have reached to a much deeper level than I could every imagine. So good does come out of bad

But here is a question:  If God had given me the chance to refuse this illness two years ago when this all started, knowing what I know now, would I have?………………………………………..till next time

Depression a case of dismissal


Well here we are 2012.  I am having a tough time writing 2012 it looks wrong to me and I know it’s just new, and  me but it makes me giggle.  I have been doing ok, feeling ok, I have had a couple of gut reactions to things this week.  I have wanted to pull back and not respond to people or friends but I have been making me interact.  I keep reminding myself of my vacation and the peace I felt and the wonderful time I had with my husband and my wonderful children.  Believe it or not I have gained all the weight I lost, plus a couple of pounds and I have some Christmas weight to lose.  I am doing well trying to get back to routine and I have been exercising too so I am good. Mostly.

I have a friend who is in the hospital tonight I want to talk about.  She is also suffering from depression and maybe bipolar. They haven’t finished making that final diagnosis.  It makes my heart sad to see her in such pain.  She has been suffering for a 2 years now.  She had a — lets call it a run in with the night nurse, and she ended up drugged and strapped to her bed last night.  She has a mild temperament,  as she sobbed to me over the phone and told me what happened it broke my heart.  I felt for her but to be honest I also felt selfish.  How far was I from being strapped to a bed?  I have in the past year had a break down, been in some dark places.  Here is the rub of it all and maybe this is what bothers me the most.  When I realized I was suffering from depression I was so freaked out because I thought people would think badly of me and not take me seriously, dismiss me, or think Oh this is just PMS gone crazy– what ever!!!!  Again I say how far was I from being strapped to a bed like a criminal. If you suffer from depression you know there are people I can not tell I am suffering from this illness and that is what it is an illness.  I can not help!  As much as my best friend assures me that I am ok and it is not my fault, I am afraid, and here is where the paranoia sets in.  There are promotions coming up at work- if they knew I was on anti-depressant, would they consider me- I am suffering from menopause depression.  I play in a band, work, take care of my family, cook, clean, exercise, volunteer.  I do so much well should I be rejected as a member of society, rejected as a candidate for promotion at my work because I am on anti-depressant and therefore psycho!!  This is the fear I have been fighting.  This is the reason I have not told some of my family what I am going through, this is why I haven’t told my in-laws and as a result put up with countless personal attacks on me for being difficult when I was really deeply depressed and could not respond in a way they wanted and they verbally trashed me in front of my kids and me.  This is the real reason I ran away this Christmas to avoid the ghosts of Christmas past cause I could not cope with the family, the events and the stigma that goes with depression.

Tonight I am angry and unsettled because I am disappointed that I am one of those statistics – the what ever the percentage of adult that suffer from depression and are made fun of on commercials, sitcoms, and life.  It takes the fight out of me to fight the darkness and gives it reason to take over and end the suffering I have endured.  That is angry talk.  That is passionate talk.  That is desperation talk.

That is the world’s talk.  What is God‘s talk? He thought of me before he created the world. He loving knitted me in my Mother’s womb.  God is Love and I know I am his child and so are all of us and so is my friend in the mental ward.  God will take care of my enemies and place them under my feet.  its just that this world makes me angry sometimes.  I must trust in the Lord and remember he takes care of the broken hearted and uses the weak to increase the Gospel to the ends of the world.   Amen.  It doesn’t mean I can’t be angry at the world!

 

Visit #2


Back at the therapist office.   I still don’t know how I feel about this.  I feel weird going, driving there, and waiting to see her.  I thought I was going to be late- traffic to the other side of the city was heavy, but I got there. No music this time. The TV was off or maybe someone else lost their mind and broke the DVD.  I managed to get up and read the information of Mood Disorders.  It was interesting but made me sad as I picked out the things that I have been feeling and thinking.  When we get in the office (and yes there is a couch- and you know because I have a weird sense of humour I said I am not laying down on it- she laughed, I figured that was a good sign, she could laugh) She asked how I was, I told her I was uncomfortable being there and I see talking to her as a sign of weakness in character.  She gave me her sad puppy dog look and told me she understands. I told her that was easy for her to say she understands, because she gets to sit in a chair not on a couch.  She commented, that I did come back so I can’t feel that uncomfortable. Darn she caught me in a line.  We continued to get to know each other discuss work, teen years, family, depression, then after 45 minutes of chatting and answering a thousand more questions, she gave me home work to do and sent me on my way.  I drove home in a fog.  Maybe my pride is getting in the way Maybe I am vain, but I felt depressed all the way home.

So for the past 36 hours I have been wondering why this bothers me so much.  Why I would never admit this to people I know, and not even want to discuss with my closest friends, who have been my support through all of this.  Part of this has to do with social conditioning. ( here comes my college sociology and psychology courses into play– who knew they would be useful)  When you think about TV, sitcoms, cartoons, movies, they always portray the flighty one, the inadequate  one, or the untrustworthy one as the one who has mental issues and goes to a therapist.  Think about it for a minute.  Goldie Hawn comes to mind in all the silly movies she has been in.  Think of every time a therapist is brought into a movie how is the person who needs them, portrayed.

I guess this is my blockage in getting past. This is the stereo type and negative image I have of this.  I think people will think less of me, not trust me, not consider me worth getting to know.  When I look back at my first blogs I believe this is what I said about depression in the first place.   I guess I am my own worst enemy.

But above all that, the real question is; and let’s be honest – the real question is not what my prejudices are but Do I need this.  I am feeling for the most part good.  A few little downers this week but nothing I can’t talk myself out of.  Eating a bit of an issue but still trying. I find a couple of nights I sleep,  a couple of nights I didn’t which makes it tough when you are tired.   I think back two weeks or so ago and think about how I felt and the pressing loneliness and I needed someone to talk to and the refusal to eat or associate with people, and sadness.  I need this. I need to lay the ground work while I am feeling good and see what tomorrow brings.  Maybe I will not need it.  Maybe I will be delivered from this depression. Maybe tomorrow I fall on my face of in a hole of despair but in the mean time I will purse this and do my homework and show up next week.

Lord I know you are with me every step of the way Yes you are the creator of everything.  Of me and all I have ever seen dreamt about or could imagine.  So Lord I thank you for all the good gifts you give me.  I thank you for the challenges in my life, you are always there to hold my hand and send me those who I need to help me.  I am not worthy of this Grace and Love and Protection but you do love me and give me all these gifts as you would any of your children. Thank you, my Heavenly Father   Amen