DepressionDiaries: Intrusive Thoughts

Oh boy, How do I talk about this…

For years my brain has tormented me with inappropriate and harmful thoughts and it would lead to the point that I would hurt myself to stop them because of the intense anxiety and frustration I would experience. I won’t go into detail about the kind of thoughts I have because I am so ashamed… yes I admit it, I am ashamed, too much so to write about it in depth here.

Recently I had been so pre -occupied with the appendicitis, the operation and the hospital that I seemed to finally have a break from these thoughts but a couple of nights ago they returned. They would cause me to hate myself and want to hide away to keep everyone safe from me. I know these are just thoughts and that they don’t reflect me as a person but they still scare me.

Intrusive thoughts are said to be related to OCD (honestly I would not be surprised if I was diagnosed with that as well) but I don’t know if I have it. I know I used to worry about germs and illness and would shower sometimes twice a day and wash my hands vigorously and carry anti bacterial products with me.

Nowadays my depression is so bad that I don’t really care about my health and self care is like a chore but the thoughts are still around. On the other hand intrusive thoughts can also be related to anxiety and depression both of which I’ve experienced strongly over the years.

I think I need to seek professional advice for this as it is a destructive problem for me, I have managed to avoid self harming to shut my brain up but I don’t know how much longer that will last. I’m going back to the MIND centre this Thursday so I will see about talking to my mentor, see what she thinks.

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NI2M ❤

 

 

 

 

 

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DepressionDiaries: On The Mend

As you can probably tell by my productivity with blogging this week, I’ve been doing better recently, I’ve managed to get out of the house to see a doctor, who gave me the all clear to take my brain meds.

Since I’ve been back on my brain meds my moods are more manageable. My scars are healing up nicely and I’ve managed to clean myself up so I look and feel much better.

I still experience pain and discomfort where my appendix used to be but that’s to be expected as the average recovery from appendicitis surgery is 2-4 weeks so there’s still time before I may worry about needing to go back to the doctor’s.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week:

Monday- I went to visit my grandparent’s (my aunt’s dog kept parking her bum on my stomach which caused all sorts of discomfort but I didn’t have the heart to push her off) I then finally had Mcdonald’s (sad, I know but I was really looking forward to it)

Wednesday- I went out of town to have lunch, shop and spend time in my favourite bookshop (I bought 3 new fiction books and 2 notebooks, I’ve been through a lot of crap lately so I treated myself, don’t judge me XD ). Stomach pain was pretty bad but I managed to stay out for approximately 6 hours before going home.

Friday- I went to my local MIND centre where I spoke to my mentor, met new people and did some arty stuff. I had some sharp stomach pain and I did panic a little but I managed to pull through it 🙂

Saturday- I went with one of my cousins to see the hotel where she would be having her wedding reception later on this year; I felt out of place there because it was so fancy and I was dressed casually with greasy hair, I’m sure I’ll look better on the day because I’m going to be a bridesmaid!!!  That evening I went to the pub with some friends, I was very anxious as it was my first time out with friends since the operation

Tuesday and Thursday I spent at home to allow myself time to rest

Sunday (today)- I went for a drive with my mum and we stopped at a cafe to have lunch. Simple but it meant I got out of the house.

Overall its been a good week, it had ups and downs as usual with me and my BPD but it was better than the weeks I’ve been having 🙂

NI2M ❤

 

 

DepressionDiaries: The Box

I’ve been looking back on my life recently (I know, bad thing to do) and I’ve come to realise… I’ve spent my life living in a box. Not an actual box obviously but a metaphorical one.

For years I thought I would grow up to be an actress but then something changed, my heart wasn’t in it anymore and I realised the main reason I wanted to be an actress was because I felt it was the only thing I had going for me, the only thing about me people appreciated. I also had people all through my life (teachers, peers and my parents) telling me that I SHOULD do drama at GCSE, that I SHOULD be on stage, that I SHOULD go to drama school. I know I’m a talented actress, hell, pretty much everyday I would act like everything was fine and people believed me but that doesn’t mean I HAVE to be an actress.

In my second year of college I felt that acting just wasn’t my thing anymore, I didn’t need it. For a long time I used acting as an escape from myself but now I wanted to be myself, I was sick of pretending. It was at this point that I felt I was being pushed down the acting route by so many people that in the end I started pushing back.

I’d been living in a box; obeying people’s orders, listening to hurtful things and not standing up for what I believe in. The box was created by me and it was made of people’s insults, my acting talent and fear of disapproval. All of these things trapping me in a “comfort zone” although it was never very comfortable, the box prevented me from exploring my other talents and myself as a person.

It wasn’t until I started straying away from the acting route and “lifting the lid on the box” that I realised how trapped I was. I’d discovered more interests such as gaming, photography, art and writing. All of which I could pursue with the time I had once I’d left college. I have felt lost since leaving my life box as I’d been so focused on what others were saying and telling me to do that I had no idea who I am.

I realise this box was probably to do with my BPD; having a fear of others disliking and leaving you so you do what they want you to do instead of listening to yourself but that means you spend your life walking the footsteps of someone else instead of creating your own path which then leads to your identity being a blank slate and greatly influenced by others. Now I’m pretty much alone in my life, I have to figure out my true self. I’ve already figured out that I’m bisexual,I’m a blogger and I enjoy reading  but I’m not sure what I want to do career wise. I’m sure that will come in time though…

 

 

DepressionDiaries: My Sexuality 

I didn’t realise I was attracted to girls until I started going to college. I was extremely reluctant to admit to myself that I may not be straight.

I had a close bond with a girl in high school so close that there was a rumour that she and I were lesbians. Not true because at the time I didn’t even think about other girls in THAT way or even boys. I didn’t like many people in high school and spent most of my energy getting the grades I needed to get the hell out of there instead of relationships.

Nevertheless this friend and I received relentless bullying from most of our year group (the ring leader actually turned out to be gay herself, she’s got a girlfriend now)

This experience made me feel guilty and disgusted with myself when I did start thinking of dating girls as well as boys. It was also around the time I failed my exams so that on top of questioning my sexuality meant my depression had a lot of ammo.

It’s not all girls or all boys I like. Some girls I could see myself with but others (such as the girls I knew in high school) I think hell no. Same with boys some I like, others I don’t. I’m more the type to fall for one person very hard at a time. I’m still not over my former college crush even though we don’t see each other anymore.

I started joining Facebook groups for young people in the LGBTQ+ community to give me a place to belong and I made a friend in college who was also bi (we don’t talk anymore) so for months I had their support instead of that of my family because not even my mum knew (though I had been dropping hints)

I came out to my mum in I think the strangest way possible. I had tried smoking and my mum found the cigarrettes; she was so mad at me and I thought well in the shadow of me smoking being bi doesn’t look so bad so as my mum was ranting I said “I’m Bi”

She paused, tension in the air, I knew she didn’t have a problem with homosexuality but she had said something like “being bi is just being greedy” before which made me worry about what she would think when I came out. Her response was “Are you sure?” And I could have laughed if it wasn’t so serious.

I’d explained that my sexuality had been bothering me for some time and on top of college problems it made my brain a mess with all the conflict and self disgust going on. Which is why I tried smoking, I wanted some kind of stress relief besides self harming (I didn’t like smoking though so I just went back to self injury) she eventually came to terms with it and understood, though she was more bothered by the fact that I’d been smoking.

With my dad it was a similar response. I went to lunch with him one afternoon where I had decided I would tell him the news. I did and his response was “when did you decide this?” again I nearly burst out laughing but he was cool with it.

With friends I came out on Facebook, some I messaged personally but on New years day 2016 I decided to see who truly mattered so I came out in a facebook status and basically told anyone who has a problem with my sexuality to get lost. Luckily for me pretty much everyone supported me and didn’t treat me any differently which I am truly thankful for considering the years of bullying I had linked to sexuality.

Honestly right now I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship with anyone at least until I get most of my act together. I’ve had offers but declined, the person who I go out with will have to be very special and I just haven’t found that girl or boy yet.

NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: Media and Mental illness

We’ve come a long way in our knowledge and treatment of mental illness but there are still setbacks. Stigma that hasn’t been challenged and is in fact encouraged by the media.

Have you heard of the movie Split? I haven’t seen it but the trailer was enough to agitate me. It’s basically about a group of girls who get kidnapped by a man with Multiple Personality Disorder also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) what annoyed me about this movie was that the man with DID was portrayed as the villain in this horror tale. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the trailer, so you know what I’m talking about:

How is this going to help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness? DID is a result of trauma and is a very serious condition. The person develops DID in order to protect themselves from the pain of the abuse they’ve suffered; Admittedly it does appear scary to onlookers but sufferers of the disorder need help and should not be exploited for the entertainment of others.

Portraying people with a mental illness as crazed killers will just make people fear us and further isolate us from society. We are human and mental illness is not a choice. When we get physically injured our body puts us through a lot of pain with bruising and bleeding until we eventually heal. It’s the same with mental illness, when we experience something our brains cannot handle, it takes damage and needs time to heal itself.

Now obviously it’s less easy to treat and heal mental illnesses because they cannot be seen and only a few symptoms show, this is why it’s so difficult for people without a mental illness to understand it and portraying those with mental illness in such a bad light will make things worse for everyone. Those with a mental illness will continue to be shamed and those without a mental illness will live in fear of us. So stigma like this is not good for anyone.

So you remember the breakdown of Britney Spears? And how newspapers mocked her for it? Exposing her to all sorts of unwanted attention when she was at her most vulnerable? Let me show you some of the articles:

These so called “journalists” claimed to know the real story when in reality it’s impossible to understand someone’s mind when you are not them so claiming to have the “inside info” is just a way of getting people’s attention for money and using someone who is mentally vulnerable and their ordeal for the writers’ own selfish gain. I just thank God that Britney got through it and is doing better nowadays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now to look at the opposite side of the media. A woman who uses it for good, Demi Lovato. She has Bipolar Disorder and has suffered from eating disorders and an addiction to self harm but since her diagnosis of bipolar she has stood up and spoken up about mental illness. Talking about it in chat shows and magazines without shame. She is truly an inspiration and has helped the mental health community by giving us a voice in the public eye and with her many of us have stood up to be counted using social media as our platform.

So you see, the media can be terrible for us but can also be used as a force for good if we take control by blogging, making videos and even tweeting about the realities of living with a mental illness to eradicate stigma.

Now clearly because the movie Split is a 2017 movie we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the media and how they deal with mental illness but we’ve improved since 2007 (the year of Britney’s Breakdown) so let’s not give up and keeping talking about mental illness until it’s no longer a taboo subject…

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NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: I WANT TO DO SOMETHING!

I’m so bored. I’ve been resting most of this week and I’m tired of it. I want to go out, I want to dance and sing, I want to write fanfiction but my brain has gone to mush, my body is healing nicely but I can’t risk doing too much in case of pain or nausea.

Since being able to eat again, I want food all the time. I think it’s because I’m bored but also I had barely eaten for over a week so maybe my body wants to stock up in case I get ill again.

Nothing is holding my attention not even a good book. I think the hospital took a toll on my brain as well as my body.

So tired as well. I’m going to see the doctor tomorrow, hopefully they will give me the all clear to go back to my activities. I have groups I’m supposed to attend but haven’t been able to because of all this, I’m hoping to attend them next week though.

Seriously, waiting to get better is like watching paint dry except you can’t see yourself get better so you have no idea what’s going on until you do something you usually like that either causes you pain or to throw up, then you know you need to go back to waiting.

NI2M ❤

DepressionDiaries: Post Surgery Depression and Withdrawal 

I haven’t been able to take my mood stabilizers for over a week now because of my surgery and God I need them. Sometimes I would wonder what the point of taking brain meds was but now I remember why.

I am seriously unstable when it comes to moods right now. My thoughts and feelings can change so fast and I’m often either crying my eyes out or laughing my head off.

With my moods there is usually a dominant one. Before I came down with depression it was anxiety where i would get super excited and jittery then do something stupid and have depressive mode kick in and mentally beat me up.

Now though and for the past year at least the dominant mood has been depression. I didn’t realise this was a thing until I looked it up but damn that post surgery depression got me good or is that just my depression using the surgery as ammo?

I would often think about the things I want to do but can’t because of how sensitive my stomach is right now and I hate the thought of accidently ripping open one of my surgical scars so I’m scared to even touch them until they’ve fully healed. It makes me cry just thinking about it.

My self care is appalling, it was before the surgery and now it’s worse because I have a genuine fear of taking my clothes (which is basically just a long shirt and underwear because trousers dig in to my stomach) off for a wash to  touch my scars. It makes me feel sick and want to cry, they look hideous and make me feel ugly.

I can’t look at myself in the mirror with my sickly pale skin, dark circles and entangled bed hair. I’m losing weight from the lack of food I’ve been able to eat and keep down. I never used to be bothered about my appearance I always thought I looked okay but now I hate myself and my body.

Other times I would be in a really good mood though and be able to look at myself in the mirror and laugh in good jest like a best friend would. I would look at my scars and think it could be worse, they’re gross but they will heal in time.

Dear God how much time? It’s my birthday in just over a month and I’m going away for the weekend I want to be able to eat properly  and enjoy myself!

I had a full blown panic attack while writing this, it was like a scene from the exorcist except without the projectile puking thank God. So many thoughts and feelings. Anger, depression, terror and glimpses of happiness from time to time. So much conflict in my head, I need my mood stabilisers but I must consult my GP before going back on them. It’s all a waiting game and unfortunately waiting for things to happen is not my strong point.

NI2M 😖

DepressionDiaries: Blood, Tears and Surgery

This past week has been a nightmare for me. Monday I went into hospital where I had to have many injections and tests the only good thing was the morphine, that was some good stuff, oh and an awesome friend coming to visit me.

Tuesday I had surgery. The doctors didn’t know what to expect but found a really nasty case of appendicitis according to their reports. I woke up from the anaesthesia after three hours absolutely terrified, I was in recovery ward with no one that I knew with nothing but a hospital town and blankets on. I was on that ward for roughly 6 hours until they finally got me a room. My parents and friends were waiting for me and had been for a few hours themselves.

Wednesday I was still in hospital being pumped with medication and barely eating or moving and yet that night I threw up…lovely.

Thursday was better I managed to have some lunch and move about a bit so I was sent home that night. I’m back home now still in a bad way but better than I was in the hospital. I hate hospitals, I cried an awful lot while I was in there not just from pain but fear as well.

I look and feel an absolute mess right now and I hate to look at my stomach because of the scars there. I can’t mix my brain with my pain meds so my emotional and mental state is all over the place.I hope this is all over soon because damn it I want to eat mcdonald’s without fearing it will just come back up.

NI2M 😷

DepressionDiaries: Heading to the hospital… again

I’m in the car on my way to A&E not because of depression or BPD this time. The really bad stomach pains I had a few weeks back have returned along with throwing up every drink or food I try to consume.

My doctor suspects dehydration but she sent me to the hospital for tests as it could be any number of things from a wheat allergy to acute appendicitis or a problem with my ovaries.

I hate hospitals but if that’s what I need to get rid of this pain then I will go. Let’s hope it goes well and they can help me…

I will update when I can next 

NI2M 😷

DepressionDiaries: MIND Matters

I was with this service called ACE for a while, they basically arrange activities for you to do during your spare time if you have a mental health problem with no work. A lot of their activities I’m doing are with MIND, a charity organisation that work with mentally ill people, I did a fundraiser for them a couple of months back (I have the shirt to prove it, literally)

Today was my first proper session with MIND and we had a university student come in and ask for our help with an app he wanted to create to help people with mental illness. I was the youngest of the group and the others were at least 10 years older than me and more so they didn’t entirely get what apps are but I found myself speaking up a lot more than I thought I would considering I was new and the youngest. I was talking to the student about apps I’ve tried and gave him suggestions based on what I know of my generation and social media.

We also all got into a discussion about mental health services, hospitals, medications etc. The older people were interested in what I had to say and honestly from what they told me about the very little help they got a few years back, services have improved at least a little; It’s still a mess though, at least here in the UK it is. I remember before I went to hospital for my treatment I was very stuck, I was at too high risk for a service called Wellbeing that my GP counsellor referred me to because he wasn’t qualified enough to deal with my trauma and BPD but I was at too low risk to get help from the crisis team.

The Crisis Team… Where do I start with them? as soon as I mentioned them there were groans from my fellow service users, everyone in the UK with a severe mental health problem has likely had to deal with the crisis team, I have multiple times. I’ve had visits from really nice team members but it doesn’t stop the system from being absolute garbage; they treat mental illness like a joke and don’t really take the people they are supposed to be helping seriously. I remember the first time I dealt with them and I had an assessment by an arrogant prick who thought he knew everything and clearly hadn’t listened to me; I told him that my sister has severe autism to the point where she can’t hold a conversation with you and I was telling him that I found that hard to deal with as at the time we were fighting a lot physically (because she can’t communicate properly verbally) and yet what advice does he give me? “Go home and talk to your sister” I could have flipped the coffee table that was separating us and punched him in his smug stupid face.

That wasn’t all, another one I remember was that I was so low that I was disassociating and giving up on life, I didn’t know where I was going or what the point of going on at all was and the crisis team assessor (different one this time, that’s also a thing, you get a different person with different opinions, approaches and personalities practically every time you’re visited) what she said to me was “What do you want me to do?”honestly it sounded like she was just as helpless as I was which was not what I needed. Like I said there were some good ones but they didn’t stick around long; saw them once, maybe twice out of all the times I had the crisis team visit me. Overall the whole group could agree that the crisis team is shit; I’d rather go back to the hospital than deal with them.

Anyway, rant over, the student will be coming back next week to get our stories and ideas, I look forward to it 🙂 As someone so young (18) in the generation where technology is basically your life and apps are downloaded as much as a stamp collector collects stamps combined with my passion for mental health, I’m more than happy to help with his project.

NI2M ❤