Trish here from Mental Health Talk and I am your hostess for this week’s edition.
I am a big Rush fan and was excited to hear they have (finally) been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In my opinion it is long overdue for this superior band of musicians who have influenced so many. After 39 years they still have a distinctive sound and whenever I hear one of their songs, I get butterflies in my stomach (not the anxious kind but the excited kind).
The induction ceremony airs tonight on HBO, though you can get a crappie version of the speeches on Youtube.
Trigger warning: self-harm
Wanting to deal with some of her OCD issues, Neurotic Nelly addresses the root of her OCD: control.
I can’t say exactly why I am like this, except OCD is about control. Controlling one’s emotions, one’s fears, one’s anxiety, and most of all the things around us. We can not control our environments that are outside so we tend to try to control our homes. If one can not control their homes or environments they have a predispostion to become anorexic or bulimic. If unable to have control anywhere OCD people may control the one thing they have power over, their weight. Anorexia and bulimia is all about control of one self. Control of what you eat, how you expel it, and how you keep to a lower size. It is dangerous, it is painful, and it is all about control.
I have the need to control my anxiety. Everyone with OCD does. I clean not because I like a clean house, which I do, but because it keeps the anxiety at bay. It makes me feel less on edge and more comfortable. The only issue with this is it is never clean enough. Quiet like a person suffering from anorexia or bulimia feels never skinny enough. There is something wrong with the way we perceive our selves and our environments. What we see in the mirror or on the floor is not a true representation. Our minds have shown us a circus mirror. Our perceptions are false.
Rachel looks at her past experiences with hypomania from the perspective of a spiritual awakening.
During episodes of hypomania I have frequently felt more at one with nature and in harmony with life in general, as well as with spirit. These experiences have had a euphoric quality to them where I have felt “high”, believing that I have energetic powers including healing.
I always assumed this was part of mania and that I was having grandiose delusions. I would have so much energy that I would feel I was bursting out of my skin.
But what if I wasn’t delusional- what if there was some truth to these intense intuitive experiences? It may sound grandiose now- but what if we all have these dormant psychic skills ready to reawaken?
The symptoms of Bipolar Disorder (as well as depression and anxiety in general) are extremely similar to those that occur as we awaken spiritually.
In her experience with BPD, Chantal discusses black and white thinking and gives some suggestions on how to manage, remarking on how it is a constant effort to challenge these thoughts.
In Black and White Thinking an individual sees, hears and thinks one way only. It is like going down that one way street. The direction is fixed and there is no area to turn to. For the individual suffering there seems to be no middle ground. No Grey Zone. Their perceptions concerning people, situations and themselves are either incredibly good or excruciatingly bad.
When someone does Black and White Thinking, they live in hope or despair, joy or sadness, are successful or failures…everything is great or a disaster. But where does this type of thinking come from? It stems from automatic negative thoughts.
These are thoughts that an individual perceives towards themselves as unfavorable, judgmental, analytical and unforgiving. They are negative thoughts that are constantly repeated within the mind. The individual expresses and thinks in these ways to the point where the thoughts, that occur so rapidly, become unhealthy and self- damaging. One tends to have emotional uproars, drastic mood shifts and uncontrollable behaviour. At this point the individual has had a trigger, something that has set off deep rage or despair.
MCBL struggles with intrusive thoughts and memories and feeling like her mind is split in two between right and wrong.
So which is the right side? I wish there was a side which believed that one day I will recover from all of this and achieve some things with my life. I wish I could believe there is a right side and it is going to be a place where if not happy, I’m at least content. But I don’t believe that is going to happen so instead I have to wonder if the right side is actually all these thoughts and encouraging voices telling me to hurt myself? Hurting myself feels right. It’s what I do. It makes me focus on a different kind of pain, a physical ache feels so much better than an emotional one. After all, I can see what is causing my pain when I can see that I’m covered in stitches and the variety of wounds all at various stages of healing.
I simply do not believe that I am ever going to escape these intrusive thoughts or escape from the self harming behaviours. I have been self harming for 17/18 years now. The voices have come and gone so many times I’ve lost count over the past 4 years or so. Feeling different in every way from every one I know has been a part of my life for too long now, and whilst I may have avoided any psych hospital admissions for over a year, my head is still very messed up. I don’t feel in control, I feel like something dark and sinister is controlling me, something that only gives me very occasional glimpses of feeling normal or even the tiniest glimpse of happiness, and then snatches them away from me… coming back every single time to ensure they can torment me a little bit more.
The fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5 ) is due for publish on May 22nd. It is the criteria used to diagnose mental health disorders here in Canada.
Allen Frances, the chair of the task force that produced the DSM-4, is making his opinion known about the risks of the DSM-5. He speaks candidly about how it is going to fuel the current trend of diagnosing people with mental health disorders they don’t have.
Since my Siamese has been hovering over my keyboard the entire time it took me to write this (he is such a lovey dovey), I decided to include a cat video as the Wildcard in his honour. Who doesn’t love a good cat video? This is my favourite cat video of all time.