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’ve sort of been absent from the blogging world a little bit and my last couple posts were about the voices and when I was having a rough time. Last Friday evening the voices stopped and I’ve been having good days ever since. :) Tue at DBT, Wed at Counseling, and Thurs at Therapy I tried to dissect the events, triggers, and what not of last Thursday. Yeah I needed 3 days and 3 different providers to help me figure most of it out. You can see it on my last post of the behavior chain analysis. I also improved some communication skills the therapist suggested and much to my surprise they went well.
I have some fun stuff coming up as well as some stressful stuff. Tomorrow night I will be having a shirt decorating night for the NAMI Walk, it’s optional if people want to add words or drawings to their shirts. This is what the basic team shirt looks like.
Sunday I will be going to a painting groupon with lil sis and my mom. Right after that I’ll be leaving for Disneyland with my dad, we will drive Sunday. Monday is a special event for annual passholders, so that’s be fun and Tuesday we’ll be driving back. I do have to miss two days of school for it, so I’m working on getting all my homework done now and have switched study night to tonight since I’ll be gone.
I’ve been pretty productive today and am proud of myself. I’m happy that even with my Borderline symptoms screwing with me lately I’m still able to have good days. I’m also getting better at noticing when people are doing kind things for me and try to say thanks, though I’m still bad at that. I’ve been doing creative things for my SMASH group I’m in on Facebook.
My Behavior Chain Analysis of Problem Behavior
What is the major PROBLEM BEHAVIOR that I am analyzing? Suicidal thoughts and voices.
What prompting event IN THE ENVIRONMENT started me on the chain to my problem behavior? Start day: Thursday 4/16/15 * (8am) I woke up in a sad mood with a heavy feeling and dread (feeling) and knew it would be a day I would have to fight through to be successful (thought) * (8pm) Going to 20 something’s group. Anxious, guilty, and dread (feeling). I hope tonight’s group goes well. MV is leading it I don’t really like her. I wonder if it was a good idea to come. (thoughts) * (9pm) Going to Chipotle to hang out afterwards. Anxious, ignored, upset (feelings) I’m beginning to think this wasn’t a good idea. I should leave now. If I leave what will the people think. (thoughts)
What things in myself and my environment made me VULNERABLE? * Already having stress and problems regarding the 20 something’s group. *Woke up in a bad mood. * Exhausted from using skills earlier that day * Stressing about impending leaving of 20 something’s friend *No structure after group in hang out time *Social anxiety
Chain Analysis. What were the LINKS IN THE CHAIN (Actions, Body sensations, cognitions, feelings, and events)
- Actual- 8 am woke up in a bad mood, wanted to go back to bed, skip school and other responsibilities. Used DBT Skills to get through the first part of the morning. Distraction with activities worked on Smash book, Distraction with contributions worked on pocket letter swap. Skillful alternative- I think I used my skills wisely
- Actual- 11:30am leave for school. Opposite action didn’t want to go to school. Skillful alternative- I think I used my skills wisely
- Actual- 3pm Still in a bad mood. Start thinking why me, this isn’t fair, I shouldn’t have to deal with this. Skillful alternative- Willingness over Willfulness, not be as stubborn
- Actual 8pm Go to Group. Using opposite action. anxious, annoyed Skillful alternative: should have skipped group and rested.
- Actual 9pm Go to Chipolte after group. Anxious. Skillful alternative: could have went home
- Actual 9:15 20 something’s friend tells me he won’t be able to study Sunday night and will be studying with a classmate from Physics but we can study Saturday night. Immediately feelings hurt, rejected, angry and like he should have known better (I had texted/facebooked earlier it was a rough day) Thoughts: Not a good time to bring this up. Try to act normal. This shouldn’t be such a big deal. Skillful Alternative: Tell him that my feelings were hurt even though it was kinda irrational and immature, better communication.
- Actual 9:20 Get to Chipotle and there is no seating inside. I am one of the first ones there and the first facilitator there. Feelings annoyed, anxious Thoughts: Are we going to have to go somewhere else. I don’t want to make the decision. I’m not assertive I’ll wait for another facilitator to solve the problem. Skillful alternative: Let it go until the other facilitators get there. Don’t personalize, it’s not my responsibility.
- Actual 9:30 Ask 20 something’s friend about what group project he is working on with Physics classmate. He responds it’s not a project and they are just doing exercises together. Feeling: more hurt, more angry, unimportant, rejected. Thoughts: I guess I’m not important and it doesn’t matter if I’m around in fact I don’t matter. I should not study Saturday out of Spite. He should know better. Skillful Alternative: communicate better don’t personalize
- Actual 9:35 I begin to shut down, looking at my phone. Anxiety is building. Voices begin whispering. Feelings: scared, angry, hurt, unimportant Thoughts: I’m just not going to say anything. Don’t bother no one likes you here anyways. Why are the voices whispering. Skillful Alternative: Go home, temporarily push away. Distress tolerance skills
- Actual 9:40 A person who was at group who I don’t know asks me if I’m ok. Voices get louder Feelings: Freak out, anxious, Thoughts: They know somethings going on. Is it that obvious. I can’t tolerate these voices. They’re right no one likes me. Skillful Alternative: Go home, push away temporarily. Mindfulness Skills
- Actual 9:45 Start obsessing over how I’m going to leave. Voices are now loud and repetitive I can’t concentrate. Feel on the verge of tears. Test my sister what should I do. Skillful Alternative: Go home, push away temporarily
- Actual 9:50 Leave awkwardly. Begin crying MD chases after me my voice is cracking as I’m trying to lie and say I’m okay. Feeling: sad, embarrassed, annoyed. Thought: Now she’s going to tell everyone I was crying and upset. She/They will think less of me. Skillful Alternative: Made a more natural exit hugging and leaving like usual. Wait to fall apart till I got to the car. Briefly tell MD something’s wrong but I’ll be okay.
- Actual 10:00-10:30 Drive home crying. My sister calls I say I don’t want to talk. Get home take to Valium. Feeling: Desperate, angry, hurt, embarrassed, guilty. Thoughts. I can’t handle this. Skillful alternative: ?
What exactly were the CONSEQUENCES in the environment?
- Short term- people wondering “is she ok?” Concern
- Long term- people show a desire to connect and help and if I shut them out, they’re less likely to help in the future and maybe creates distance. Showed some feeling but better if I talked it through. People may start walking on egg shells not sure how I’ll react. Ignore me because I don’t respond. Positive MD reached out, saw distress, wanted to help.
And in myself?
- Short term- Feelings escalated. Tunnel vision.
- Long term- I know how to avoid. Internal distress doesn’t go away. Miss the opportunity to see people expressing that they care but your too focused on avoiding.
Ways to reduce my VULNERABILITY in the future? Trying to find distress tolerance skills that don’t just work at home. Leave earlier don’t let feelings escalate.
Ways to prevent the PRECIPITATING EVENT from happening again. More distress tolerance skills, besides ones I can just use at home. Recognizing my sensitivity,and maybe stopping when your ahead.
What HARM did my problem behavior cause? Other people worrying about me. Avoiding never gets the problems solved.
Plans to REPAIR, CORRECT, and OVER-CORRECT the harm? Text MD that I appreciated her coming after me but I wasn’t ready to talk about it. Conversation with 20 somethings friend to practice communication.
My deepest thoughts and feelings about this that I want to share.
The voices are back, scaring me. Knowing what triggered me, but not much about how to prevent it. I need to learn some distress tolerance for on the go. Learning that it’s somewhat normal to react immaturely and irrationally sometimes. I don’t want to have such a severe reaction again.
How to do a problem behavior chain analysis:
Since the back 2’s have just been out recently you’d think it would be relatively easy to do a post on what triggers them. But really they are my least understood set of voices. They’re always female but sometimes sound different. Some of my main triggers for them are uneasy or uncomfortable situations. (Like Thurs/Fri) Hearing/reading story of child abuse. Rejection, judgment, or abandonment. Being exhausted. Childhood memories or fragments. Doubt. There are a number of different theories on these voices most being something related to “trauma voices” and not true psychosis, like the sides.
Others in Series:
On Fridays counseling session my case manager asked me what I could say that could prove the voices wrong. I told her they couldn’t be proved wrong because they are an objective entity that sees all and knows all. She said them being that mean wasn’t being objective. I said there is no point in arguing with them, those one’s usually don’t respond much to me anyways. I did mention that sometimes the back 1s would argue with them and actually win. Which is true sometimes the back 1s stuck up for me, but they’ve been gone since I started the Latuda. I joked I could always stop taking it, but I know better. That’s probably one of the things keeping me out of the hospital, ha!
The Back 1 voices didn’t really have triggers in that they were constant. I guess different events would trigger the content of the voices. These voices could be neutral or narrating, sometimes supportive and rarely demeaning. Often the voices were neutral or narrating just what was going on around me. Come to think of it even when they were being supportive or demeaning it had to do with something in the environment triggering it. Them agreeing or disagreeing with others or even the back 2’s, if they were happening simultaneously. Sorry my head is not very clear tonight, maybe I’ll elaborate on this in an edit tomorrow.
Others in the series:
I like to be mysterious and I need to be mysterious but I hint around at having mental health issues, and joke about being crazy and the voices. I don’t think people really know how intense or severe my mental illness is, my sister knows and my case manager knows and 20 something’s friend knows some stuff; but mostly I try to appear normalish. I don’t want your pity or awkward questions but I do want a little grace when my mental health causes me to act strange.
I was thinking about the other night and when the voices started back up again. I don’t think anyone knew I was hearing voices, not even 20 something’s friend. I started to dissociate a little (coping mechanism) and a newer person asked if I was “okay.” I just answered fine and turned on my phone in my lap and pretended to stare at it. When I finally had to leave group, I could barely manage good byes because I was on the verge of tears. At this point it was obvious I was upset but I’m not sure what people really thought. After a person ran after me and asked if I was okay and I tried to respond fine but my voice cracked from the tears, then I just said I don’t want to talk about it and left.
Even on the phone afterward with my sister who knows me pretty well. She knew I was upset and a little bit what triggered it but don’t think she perceived voices until she read my blogs the next day.
So people wonder how do I manage to have such a severe symptom and mostly keep it hidden. First off it’s embarrassing and frightening, so it’s not like I’ll bring it up and when I do I think people assume I’m kidding. Plus for the most part no one can really do anything to help. Telling me the voices are wrong gets you no where. Trying to make rational sense gets you know where. Getting scared just makes it worse for me. It needs to run it’s course, at least for this set.
I didn’t get hospitalized. I wasn’t sure if I was going to need to be because voices like that usually don’t last more than a day or less before disappearing or changing content. The only dangerous thing the voices told me to do is cut and disappear although they alluded to suicide.
76. Is there anything you wished would come back into fashion? I’m not really in to fashion.
77. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert
78. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest? Touch but I’m really sensitive to it because of my sensory issues.
79. Have you ever had a surprise party? (that was an actual surprise) Not that I remember
80. Are you related or distantly related to anyone famous? No
81. What do you do to keep fit? Try to walk with my sister
82. Does your family have a “motto” – spoken or unspoken? What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors.
83. If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce? Complete Mental Health parity.
84. Who was your favorite teacher in school and why? Didn’t really have one
85. What three things do you think of the most each day? The whys of the world. If today will be a good day. What I’m going to eat for lunch.
86. If you had a warning label, what would yours say? Caution, unstable emotions.
87. What song would you say best sums you up? Absolutely (Story of a girl) by nine days (soundtrack of my life)
88. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee? Alyson Hannigan, she’s hot
89. Who was your first crush? PK
90. What’s the most interesting thing you can see out of your office or kitchen window? Mom’s herb garden
91. On a scale of 1-10 how funny would you say you are? 8
92. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Who knows!
93. What was your first job? Preschool assistant though I remember nothing of it.
94. If you could join any past or current music group which would you want to join? I have no musical talent and would just embarrass myself.
95. How many languages do you speak? 5ish, English, Spanish, American Sign Language, Italian and a little French
96. What is your favorite family holiday tradition? Opening a present on Christmas Eve.
97. Who is the most intelligent person you know? Myself, lol
98. If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be? Turtle, I like to hide in my shell.
99. What is one thing you will never do again? Self harm (hopefully)
100. Who knows you the best? My case manager
The voices have taken a break. I’ve gotten a little perspective. Apparently it’s normal to be immature and irrational sometimes and to own that. I saw my case manager she wanted to know what triggered the voices, I gave her all the detail I could and she said that didn’t sound like enough. I tried to explain it isn’t a lot and to most people it’s be nothing. She still thinks there is something underneath. There was another instance of the voices I didn’t type up when they were yelling STUPID and BABY at me repeatedly. She also wanted me to print out the blogs that have what the voices were saying, this makes me nervous. I think people doubt my voices sometimes, heck I even doubt my voices sometimes. So it seems like something to use that it’s not voices but just my thoughts or something like that. But I know my thoughts and what they sound like and this wasn’t that. Going to have Random Restaurant Friday with my sister and brother-in-law. Saturday night study with 20 something’s friend instead of Sunday night which was part of the trigger last night. (see above immature and irrational). And Sunday apparently my sister is going to come over and we are going to do the equivalent of a study night where she does some stuff she needs to get done. I don’t see that being productive but it was sweet of my sister to offer. My case manager asked what was special about 20 something’s friend that I allowed him to get into my life like I do so few people, and I’m not really sure why I’m just glad I did.