Tag Archives: bipolar

More on Autism

11 Apr

So I’ve mentioned before that both my case manager and the therapist wanted to have me evaluated to see if I fell on the Autistic Spectrum.  This was due to a variety of issues including my Sensory Processing Disorder, issues with eye contact, problems with socializing, and falling a lot.  With Kaiser’s evaluation system that took like 3 months to go through I was found not to have an ASD because I did not present symptoms as an infant, though I met enough criteria currently and had since a child.  This has been upsetting me a lot.  Transferring to UC Davis, I still haven’t made any connections and while I don’t need to have a lot of friends and to be honest am not interested in having a lot of friends, I would like to have one or two.  I never seem to say the right thing and I can’t figure out people.  My case manager went to a training about a week ago now and she said a lot of females on the spectrum are misdiagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar because Autism is about not being able to control your emotions.  I have both.  She said if it’s any something she thinks I’m somewhere on the spectrum and that they need to train Kaiser doctors better.

I know several autistic young adults.  I found this on the internet the other day:

What do you think the most common cause of premature death is among adults of typical or high intelligence with autism spectrum disorders? It’s suicide.

A large study was recently published in the British Journal of Psychiatry that examined the risk of death among the 27,122 persons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders in Sweden when compared to age-matched controls. One significant finding from the study is that on average, persons with autism die sixteen years sooner than would be anticipated.  The finding we’ll examine more closely is that adults with autism and no intellectual disability are over nine times more likely to commit suicide when compared to their age-matched peers. Unlike the general population, in which men are significantly more likely to commit suicide than women, women with autism were at higher risk of suicide in this study than men.

Last month’s study isn’t the only signal that persons with autism are especially vulnerable to suicide.

  • study of 10-14 year-olds with autism reported that 70% of kids with autism also had at least one mental health disorder such as anxiety, ADHD or depression, and 41% had at least two comorbid mental health disorders. Of those with ADHD, 84% received a second comorbid diagnosis.
  • Kids with autism were 28 times more likely to experience suicidal ideation than age-matched peers without autism in this study.
  • In a study of 374 adults with Asperger’s Disorder, 66% of 367 respondents self-reported suicidal ideation, 127 (35%) of 365 respondents self-reported plans or attempts at suicide, and 116 (31%) of 368 respondents self-reported depression. Adults with Asperger’s syndrome were nearly ten times as likely to report lifetime experience of suicidal ideation than individuals from a general UK population sample, and more prone to suicidal ideation than people with one, two, or more medical illnesses, or people with psychotic illness.

Why might suicide represent such an enormous problem among high-functioning persons with autism spectrum disorders?

They’re more likely to experience social isolation and lack social supports. In the fall of 2014, we shared this anonymous post from a college student describing her experience of trying to attend church as a person with autism. Imagine how the challenges she describes would impact her day to day life outside of church.

High-functioning kids with autism are significantly more likely to become victims of bullying when compared to their peers with autism and intellectual disability. It’s become socially inappropriate to ridicule persons with an obvious disability…less so when the disability isn’t so obvious.

They’re more likely to experience difficulties with executive functioning that may translate into a greater risk of acting upon suicidal impulses, more difficulty employing effective problem-solving skills and more difficulty self-regulating emotions. Learn more here about the challenges persons face with executive functioning challenges.

Their propensity to become very fixated on specific thoughts or ideas may intensify suicidal thoughts, or result in more difficulty letting go of feelings of hopelessness when they occur.

http://www.keyministry.org/church4everychild/2017/4/4/the-suicide-epidemic-among-high-functioning-persons-with-autism

PS I’ve been more suicidal with less friendship and more lonely lately.

Back up

11 Apr

It’s Monday. The cycle continues. Bouncing up during the week then down on the weekends. I need to get stuff done I wish I could get my mom going on helping me start the t-shirts. That’s really where I’m stuck at right now. That and fundraising. But it’ll all work out. Because I’m up and have no cares.

To Be Transgender, Mentally Ill, And Still Alive

23 Feb

“Because so long as this world isn’t made for us, I have to keep fighting for a better world.”

Let's Queer Things Up!

Content Note: Mentions of suicide, trans/homophobia, saneism

Nearly every day for the past five months, give or take, I’ve had a moment when I glance out the window onto my street and think to myself, “I was never supposed to be here.”

This feeling isn’t new to me – I’ve dealt with “survivor’s guilt” in some form for years now – but the feeling intensified when I moved to my new apartment.

You know, the apartment that I feel like I don’t deserve for some reason or another.

Here’s the honest truth: People like me? Mentally ill queer kids, the ones that get their homophobia or transphobia with a side of psychosis? The ones whose trauma isn’t just a meal but comes with an appetizer and a fucking dessert?

This world isn’t made for us.

How would I know that? I’ve lived it.

And I don’t think I would…

View original post 698 more words

Progress: 1,001 Followers in the making

15 Jun

come along way

Since I’ve re-blogged my first post before WordPress will not allow me to re-blog it again, dumb I know.  Here is an except, click here for the full text of my first blog post written 4/24/2009:

Today is not a good day.  Yesterday was sort of okay, that’s how it normally works.  I f anything semi-good is happening it won’t last.  I wouldn’t call today “bad” oh yeah I’ve had my bad days, it’s just not good.  I feel empty and lonely, looking at these scars and healing wounds is not helping.  I can’t take a bath, that’s when I cut.  It’s freaking summer and I’m wearing pants and earlier a long sleeve shirt to go to church.  I’m ashamed of my cutting, want to quit but don’t want to give it up really.  I give up my tools, turn it over and vow to “get better” but life hits too hard and I go running back.  Unfortunately I’ve ran back at least once a week this last month.

The difference today is a good day and I’ve had about a week long string of “good days.”  I’ve learned that good days come and bad days come, and if you wait it out things usually turn around.  The good days or moments and the bad days or moments shifting is usually my perception of things and has to do with my emotion regulation something that is messed up in me, and a defining factor of Borderline Personality Disorder.  The weeks and months on end of bad days tend to be episodes of depression part of the bipolar diagnosis.  And unfortunately if it isn’t one it’s the other and it feels like a constant roller coaster with the length and intensity depending on which mental illness ride I’m on at the time.

I’m learning to ride the ride better, and understanding somethings you just have to deal with it.  I found a few new medications last October that ended a nearly year long depressive episode.  I’m taking a year long DBT course to help with the emotion regulation and many other aspects of the Borderline Personality Disorder.  It’s been 4 months without self harming and right before that I had gone just over two years without self harming.  Slipped up with one cut and I’m starting over again, in the past I would have just kept cutting because it’s “too hard” and “it’s going to happen again anyways.”

My blog has been running 6 years now.  1,001 followers. Some things that have changed since I started blogging:

  • I came out as gay to my family and friends and now am a facilitator for a social LGBT group called the 20 something’s.
  • I’ve said goodbye to toxic relationships and made new friends and finally have a healthy friendship with a best friend.
  • My diagnoses have been fine tuned to Schizoaffective Disorder- Bipolar type, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • I’ve been able to return to school full time, instead of being limited to take only one or two classes because I couldn’t handle the stress or stay stable that long.
  • I have a better understanding of my mom and  a better relationship with her.
  • I’ve realized that I have some serious things to work through before being able to go back to work full time.
  • I’ve learned that my mood is a combination of things I can and cannot control.
  • I’ve made a commitment to stop self harming.
  • I had a bad year last year (2014) with 3 hospitalizations within 8 months and received an intensive case manager in addition to already existing case manager, therapist, and psychiatrist.
  • In 2012, we added the therapist to the treatment team because my case manager realized I was more screwed up than I was letting on.
  • I’ve made a couple incredible friends in the blogosphere and unfortunately lost some to suicide.

Update: 6/14/15

15 Jun

Today I had some friends over to play Frisbee and go swimming.  Last night’s Orange is the NEw Black binge watching/sleepover was only a few of us and we ended up watching about 5 episodes.  I had a long sleep between that and Frisbee/pool tonight.  When we were playing Frisbee I was feeling that icky empty meaningless feeling.  I had to walk a way a few times and just try to get a hold of myself.  Sometimes it’s the times you are surrounded by people when you feel most lonely.  I was honestly regretting putting this thing together; finally maybe pushing me past my socializing breaking point.

For some reason when we got to the house everything changed.  I guess that’s the plus of the BPD emotions coming and going quickly as opposed to the bipolar one’s sticking around for longer.  I’ve actually been a little concerned that I’ve been in somewhat of a hypomania for the last week or so.  I’ve had to take Valium more than a couple times to sleep and haven’t been needing to drink near as many energy drinks.  Anyways, back on topic: I felt better when I got home.  We had some pizza and went in the pool/spa.  There were 13 of us and everyone was getting along real good, that was nice too.  People seemed to be enjoying themselves and there was a lot of laughter and horseplay.  Like I’ve said before I like making people happy, especially the people I care about.

It’s midnight and even though I’m not sleepy it is time to try and go to bed.  It’s been a week of mostly good days and majority of good mood.  Almost like Nov/Dec when I started the new meds.

Busy week-weekend

13 Jun

I’ve written earlier how I have had a string of good days.  This is rare for me, either the BPD or bipolar usually kicks in and disrupts things.  That’s not to say I haven’t had my challenges.  Today I slept till 1pm trying to re-charge from yesterday’s events of TedX Sacramento, helping a friend in crisis, and a concert that went to midnight- all with no nap.  The day of Sac Pride I threw up a couple times.  Yesterday I almost threw up again and nearly fell two or three times in one day.  I’ve been waking up every morning between 1-3am and having to take at least 2 hours to get back to sleep.  The weather in Sac has been so strange 106 one day, raining the next, last night at the concert at 7:30pm it was still 101 degrees.  I don’t handle heat well, that’s the nausea and throwing up lately.

Tonight I will have some friends over to binge watch Orange is the New Black and have a sleepover.  Tomorrow I will have people over to play ultimate frisbee and swim.  Each day I try to plan at least one thing, but also make sure there is time to recover between events, being crazy and an introvert, recovery is necessary or my symptoms get out of control.

I was talking well technically Facebook messaging a trans friend last night who was having issues with family acceptance.  I suggested he moved to CA (he lives in Boston).  I think he thinks I was joking but I wasn’t.  We’ve become really good friends and while usually I wouldn’t move in with someone with mental health issues too, because it can be a recipe for disaster.  I think this would work.  It’d get be out of a bad situation and him too, and allow us both to grow.  I know you’ll read this so think about it.

I’m two followers short of getting 1,000 followers if that hits I plan to do a post on my progress and who I am besides my mental illness, it may be multiple posts.  I want to give my new readers a chance to get to know me better.  I also have a Facebook page, where I post little updates and memes I find.  Along with some of my posts here and interesting articles.  Also most my pictures are there.  Check it out!

The schizoaffective diagnosis

21 May

Ive been struggling with moods since a child; at 11 I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and dysthymia and put on medication. I don’t know when the manic and hypo manic behavior started. Thanks again stupid memory problems. I do know at some point before the bipolar diagnosis I was diagnosed with ADHD along with the depression. I’m also not sure when the psychosis started, specifically the voices. As a kid I knew I was paranoid and prone to magical thinking, but hey I was a kid. The Bipolar diagnoses started somewhere in my 20s probably right around 19 or 20. I was type II then type I then NOS then mixed with psychosis then rapid cycling; I think they tried every possible bipolar diagnosis out on me. But the depressions were the worst and the main feature. Still today after 21 years from my first diagnosis.

I know I was hearing voices at old work. And I sort of remember mentioning to church people I heard voices and they did an exorcism. And my hyper religious stage was before old work. I know I was silent about the voices for a long time. Sometimes dropping hints or talking about a singe episode. But never that I heard voices constantly, that’s just crazy. 

It was February of 2008 when I first got the schizoaffective diagnosis. And I thought what the hell was that. I’d never even heard of it and the closest thing I’d heard of was schizophrenia. I’m not schizophrenic I thought. Well I looked up the diagnosis in my DSM IVTR. I had invested in one after being given so many diagnoses. And strangely enough it fit better than any previous diagnosis. One of the main things that differentiates it from bipolar is the multiple voices, long term voices, and voices not while experiencing a mood episode. Check, check, check. 

Now what did this mean?  I was really scared at first that I had something so closely related to schizophrenia. Schizoaffective is often described as a combo of bipolar (in my case) and schizophrenia. I was afraid I’d lose it all together and end up homeless or in a psych hospital for life. I still have those fears, but way less now. There aren’t many books out there on schizoaffective and few blogs too. I plan on writing a book.

The schizophrenia is the voices, the optical illusions, few visual hallucinations, some tactile hallucinations and the fewest of the olfactory (smell) hallucinations. I have the positive symptoms which means I expire emcee additional things that are not there in life. I can get paranoid and delusional but it’s rare and usually triggered by some major life stressor.

The bipolar is mostly depression. Between medication and life experiences I’m pretty good about not going into full blown mania. My most common hypo manic symptoms are talking to fast and racing thoughts. The depression is horrible still. I’m on 3 different antidepressants right now and a mood stabilizer and I still struggle on a regular basis

My antipsychotic had taken care of most of the voices at least all the ones I think that relate to the schizoaffective. It’s wierd not hearing them. Lonely sometimes. But safer from some of the bad ones. And easier to concentrate without jabbering going on in my head all the time.

It makes me wonder if we’ll ever get the depression under control. I thought I’d have voices for life, I’ve tried at least 8 antipsychotic s. Of course I’ve tried way more antidepressants. But maybe there is hope.

World Bipolar Day

30 Mar

wbd-logo

1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?

Bipolar is just part of my diagnosis but it feels like a part of me.  While the mania is controlled by medication, the depressions are hellish.  Before I felt like I was on a roller coaster complete with head rushes and motion sickness.

2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

My actual diagnosis is Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar type, but before that I was diagnosed with just about every type of Bipolar since I was 20.  I just thought I got really hyper.  I knew the depressions were depression and had been diagnosed with that since age 10.

3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?

Bipolars 20s- Type !, Type II, ultra radian cycling, mixed with psychosis, NOS

4. How do you manage your symptoms?

Medication and therapy.  Meds for the mania and coping skills and therapy for the depressions.  Also meds for the psychosis.

5. What is life like for you now?

Like a mini roller coaster lately but that’s because of the Borderline Personality disorder which is another one of my diagnosis.  But more stable than in my early 20’s  Still have a rough time when the depressions come.

6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?

My mental health issues keep me unable to work.  It’s hard to connect with people because of attachment and BPD.  Depressions cause me to withdraw and get really suicidal.  I’ve needed to be in a psychiatric hospital many times because of symptoms including the mood aspects of bipolar

7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?

Some people think that anyone who is “moody” is bipolar and that pisses me off.  I think it’s over diagnosed and intense or acute episodes don’t get the news.

8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?

I feel some people exaggerate their symptoms or call them self bipolar when they are not.

9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?

Keep going.  You’re strong.  There is a uniqueness about you.

Supporting others with mental illness

28 Aug

Well since I’m energetic and think I’m pretty wise right now (thank you hypomania!)  I thought I’d do another post on helping other’s with mental illness.  Earlier ones have been geared towards depression and borderline personality disorder…  This one will be more generic and at the same time all over the place (just like me right now.) 🙂  And probably repetitive (a bit, if you’ve read/ chose to read the others.)

  • Listen– Many people I’ve met don’t feel they have a good support system and one of the most important thing is having someone to listen to you.  To listen to you rant, cry, ramble, whatever.  Many people with mental illness feel invisible or ignored and more are afraid to speak up because of stigma.  You don’t need the right answers, you may not need to say anything at all.  Sometimes advice is asked for or if you know the person well you may feel comfortable giving feedback.  Sometimes it helps to talk about similar experiences but two big mistakes are trying to “out do/one up” their experiences and the other is to compare apples to elephants.  When someone first confides in you that they have a mental illness, I suggest mainly listening and trying to take cues like if they ask for advice, feedback, or if you’ve ever felt the same.  “Better to be silent and be thought a fool, then speak and remove all doubt.”

 

  • Be respectful-  However it is that you found out about this person’s mental illness it is not your authority to go around talking to other people about it.  Some people say they are just trying to get advice but really you shouldn’t talk about someone’s situation unless given permission. Of course the exception is if you think they are a danger to themselves and others.  Also just because you know and what you know doesn’t mean everyone is on the same page so when in groups, less is more.  Especially groups where a person could be especially vulnerable to stigma/discrimination like work.  Also respect some people may not feel comfortable telling you all the levels of their illness and not to be pushy or feel hurt by this, many of us have trust issues and past negative experience when disclosing mental illness.

 

  • Be compassionate– No matter how the person appears on the outside, you never really know what’s going on inside.  There is some saying about being nice because you never know the other’s secret struggles that’s a good rule to follow EVERY day.  Understand that sometimes people with mental illness act different than the typical person and even the typical them that you are use to.  Be forgiving and understanding.  Sometimes we withdraw.  Sometimes we ramble annoyingly.  Sometimes are acting in a way that you might not understand.  Some people are comfortable with you asking why others are not, it helps to find out what type your person is.  Being compassionate does not mean you need to agree with all their behavior or tolerate abusive or dangerous situations.  Sometimes it’s best to say no or you don’t think it’s a good idea and then explain later if you have to.  Be a friend, lover, supportive family member or coworker or whatever you are to that person.

 

  • Don’t tell us what to do or how to feel– This is one of the most frustrating things ever and you can probably find a million posts on things not to say to people with depression, or things not to say to people with anxiety or it goes on and on.  Don’t ask us if we took our meds, unless we ask you to remind us, most people consider that an insult.  Don’t tell us we aren’t trying, just to cheer up, think positive, or many of the other insensitive things people say.  Just because we have a mental illness doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of making our own decisions (most times) and having our own feelings.  Dismissive things like you’re overreacting, why are you so anxious, it’s only, etc… make us feel broken.

 

  • Understand or try to accept our limitations– This goes to something I already touched on earlier… sometimes we withdraw or get angry over what looks like no apparent reason.  Sometimes we can’t work or struggle to get out of bed.  Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and all that advice doesn’t help.  Try to understand and accept that there are going to be times when we aren’t at our best or ideal.  We aren’t doing it on purpose and most the times it bothers us just as much as it may potentially bother you, so don’t add to the guilt.  There is a bog difference between sympathy/empathy and pity.

 

  • Know when you’ve done all you can– When you care about someone you want to help, (most) us want to help ourselves too. Sometimes there is nothing you can do.  It’s out of your hands, you’ve been compassionate and listened and respectful and all the other tricks and supportive things you’ve learned to help this person and it just isn’t working.  It’s not your fault… I’m sure you’ve had a bad day no one could pull you out of despite their best efforts imagine the complexities when adding mental illness(es).

 

  • Know we’re doing all we can right now– Now!  Well maybe last week we did cope better but something has changed.  Agian we did not chose this and we are not doing it on purpose.  It may be frustrating as you see someone zig zaging along one step forward two back seven forward another three forward and two back…  Be the best support you can be to us, but realize there are others out there too that can be making things better or worse as well, not to mention situations many of which we have little control over.

 

  • Just accept us for us– We are not just our mental illness but that is a part of us.

 

 

Everything is in my head… and it will probably be gone soon

3 Aug

I have all these ideas, some of which are actually doable good ideas.  I know it’s just that flight of ideas and racing thoughts.  I know that my self-esteem that is usually non-existent is currently on, fueling the fires.  I’ve been through this and it’s tricky “sorting out” the doable good ideas from the not so probable bad ideas.  But the thing is by the time they’re sorted out and I go to bed (because I know I’m suppose to sleep even if my brain doesn’t feel like it) they’ll probably be gone.  I could write some quick jots and notes about them and “expand” on them later but it never happens.  Genius, inspiration, whatever you want to call it is a limited time thing and with it comes a little madness.

It’s moments like this I’m resentful at having to deal with mental illness, I know I have some great ideas brewing in my brain and most will never come to fruition because I do what I’m suppose to do… Sleep (or at least try to) even when I don’t feel like it, take my medicine as directed, think things over before making rash decisions, blah blah blah.  But then there is the part of me that knows I can’t go forever not sleeping, without my meds I will be even more of a wreck, and some of those decisions and ideas are not the best.

When people talk about bipolar, a thing that is often mentioned is that people miss the “highs” the manic or hypomanic episodes, sometimes so much they stop taking their meds.  It makes sense and I’ve considered it, especially since I don’t get manic very often, mine are mostly mixed states or hypomanic if not depressed.  Being someone with only mild highs and who does what I’m suppose to, I haven’t experienced many consequences of my high moods.  Part of me is saying that all the “normal” people are full of shit and this is how they keep you boxed in, how they stop the exceptional minds from making them look bad.  Yeah I’m aware the making logical sense and not are blurring and this is what happens when there is so much going on inside and I guess that’s why it’s time to take my meds, go crawl into bed, and hope I can sleep.