In an effort to find the response to those participating in the 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge easier to find, I am posting and updating this page to include the links to each day’s results/round up.
I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses. My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts. I will do a post within about 3 days of the prompt and my response to link to people who participate, please pingback/link to this post or tag 30MIAC. If you chose to do the prompts later, don’t find the challenge till later, or life happens and you don’t get a prompt answered within the 3 days no worries, if you pingback to this post I will add you to the post that has the links to that prompt. I will be starting to post my responses to the prompts in October, I am just posting this now so people can brainstorm and spread the word. You can also start at anytime. I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness. Here is the image to go with the challenge:
I’m having a little more energy but the depression is lingering. My inpatient psychiatrist was sort of perplexed with what to do with me, he sees me as running out of options too. Which only good side is that it isn’t just my regular psychiatrist that thinks this. He added two new Meds, ones suppose to help with energy it is or I’m just a little more energy after resting in the hospital. My psychiatrist will probably take me off the new Meds, but sometimes he surprises me. I guess we’ll see. Right now I’m just trying to keep going despite the depression and allowing myself to rest but not too much. That’s always hard… I want to go go go go go or lay in bed all day. Today was counseling interesting. We talked about the sensory disorder and she mentioned something about aspergers. She thinks a lot of issues are from my moms drinking problem. I don’t know cuz I have few memories and no real emotional connection to it. I’ll have to think about it some more I guess.
Here is a scan of part of my discharge paperwork packet. Some interesting and new things. My doctor uses SAD do SchizoAffective Disorder so that’s not social anxiety disorder or seasonal affective disorder, I was in a depressed episode. BPD- Borderline Personality Disorder and PTSD, for which this is the first time I’ve seen an official diagnosis on paper although I am told continually I deal with trauma. These are under Psychiatric. Under medial it says Hyper… which is high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, h/o GERD, and sensory d/o. The Sensory d/o is a new diagnosis for me as well and I thought that it was a psychiatric diagnosis in kids with developmental delays. I’ve done some researching since I’ve been home and the full name is sensory processing disorder and there’s a debate if it’s psychiatric or medical. So I don’t know if I’m reading the terrible handwriting wrong or that’s what it says. I have long had “sensory issues” as I like to call them, but looking it up I see clumsiness, lack of coordination, and even motion sickness can be related. Under stressors it says Chr. Mental illness, yeah duh that’s been pretty stressful. My inpatient psychiatrist was baffled that nothing seemed to cause this episode, maybe that’s why he put it on there.
This is a list of my medication and it is very cramped and hard to read so I’ll translate. He also put in parentheses next to each medication what it was for, he’s never done that before. Maprotiline 100mg (mood), Vilazodone/Viibryd 10mg transitioning to 40mg (mood), Desipramine 250mg (mood), Latuda 80mg (psychosis) Lamotrogine/Lamictal 400mg (mood), Prazosin 4mg (mood), Prevestatin 10mg (Hyper… aka high cholesterol); Lialda 2.4g (colitis), Necon/Birth control (contraceptive), Valium 5mg PRN for anxiety. The two new meds are Maprotiline and Viibryd, both antidepressants though my inpatient psychiatrist kept calling Maprotiline a stimulant. Maprotiline is a tetracyclic kind of like my tricyclic Desipramine that I already take, although he upped the dose of that by 50mg. Viibry is a new SSRI.
Just got back from an inpatient stay more to come soon…. Gotta catch up with some stuff first.
This year’s theme is living with schizophrenia, but you’re welcomed to blog on any topic in mental health you’d like.
This year, we’re inviting you to join us and the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program for the 4th annual blog party next Friday, October 10.
WordPress deleted my post yesterday which I am still irked about it was a pretty good post. I’ll try to duplicate it the best I can. A day late but whatever. Yesterday was World Mental Health Day and the theme was schizophrenia. I do not have schizophrenia but I do have one of the schizophrenic spectrum disorders called schizoaffective disorder, which has symptoms of schizophrenia and of a mood disorder, there’s still argument if mine is depressive or bipolar type. Some common symptoms of the schizophrenic spectrum disorders are delusions, psychosis, paranoia, cognitive/behavioral dysfunction, flat affect, problems connecting socially, etc… I’m mainly going to focus on psychosis since that’s the main symptom I have and by that I mean hallucinations. Most my hallucinations are auditory (voices and such), but I have had visual, olfactory (smelling things that aren’t there) and tactile (feeling things that aren’t there.) Now to answer some of the most common questions I get…
What is it like to be psychotic and how do you deal with it? I have had few true breaks from reality so usually on different levels I know what I am experiencing is not real. That doesn’t make it less annoying or scary but it helps me cope. I’ve heard voices for at least 10 years, my memory sucks and it’s probably more but for sure 10 years. So I am somewhat use to it and have learned different ways to cope. One way is telling myself it’s not real and trying to ignore the voices. Another when it is too much is to blast music in earphones to try and drown out the voices. I have sets of voices and I generally know what to do with each set and when it’s getting to severe to cope on my own. I take medication daily, including antipsychotics, and sometimes it needs to be adjusted when the voices get real bad. I know not to converse with them in public and certain sets I try not to interact with at all, because it never ends well. Sometimes I need to go to the hospital.
What do the voices say? There are three sets of internal voices and then the externals. Internal voices are voices I hear that come from inside my head, external ones sound like they are coming from outside myself like people talking around me or to me. First the internals there are the side voices, the back 1’s and the back 2’s; they get their names from where they live in my head and where I hear them from. They don’t have official real names like “George” or whatever because then it gives them more power to be real in my opinion, but I use these names as identifiers as to which voices I’m talking about. The side voices are command hallucinations so they command me to do things usually hurt other people or myself or trying to convince me to kill other people or myself, they also say demeaning things about me. There are two of them and they come in episodes. Out of the voices that lead to hospitalizations these are the most frequent. But they also never have anything good to say so I know to ignore them the best I can. The back 1’s are the chitter chatter voices, they were always there up until February when I found a med that knocked out the side and back 1s so far. The back 1s would be talking 24/7 sometimes about me or what was going around me, they narrated at times, sometimes giving advice or feedback, making jokes, really varied but mostly just annoying because they never shut up and sometimes I would need to concentrate like on tests for school. There are always at least 2 voices with the back 1’s sometimes more. The last set of internal voices are the back 2s and they are voices that come and go. They may be dissociated parts of me and they yell a lot over each other about who gets to get heard. The external voices are (so far) all people who have existed in real life and the content varies but it usually surrounds death; telling me to kill myself, telling me to come join them (people who are dead), telling me to kill other people. I’ve had two episodes that were not surrounding death and they were rather weird because they tied in with a visual hallucination and I was having a hard time telling what was real, one lead to a psychotic break and hospitalization.
How do you know they’re voices? Some people ask how I know they are voices and not just thoughts or negative self talk. With the externals that is easy to explain, they come from outside me and sometimes with visual elements. With the internal voices it is because other than the back 2’s they are pretty constant and sometimes go on while I am doing that internal thinking or talking to myself. They have the same profiles, just like a normal person would the voice sounds the same, the personality is the same, the gender is the same. Some of them have triggers and it’s easy to put together a voice re-emerging because of a situation. And they aren’t me, I just know.
Do you have any other questions?
Listen and ask questions, but don’t be interrupting too much asking questions.
Show you care but don’t make them feel guilty.
Remind them why they’re a good person and what they contribute to the world.
Offer a hug, ice cream, or some sort of distraction.
Check up later.
Remind them what’s normally important to them. Encourage them not to give up.
It’s ok to ask sometimes what they need, but you may not get a response. Sometimes in the depths we don’t know what we need.