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Everything posted by Sophy

  1. The sense of disconnect can be related to trauma. Do you have childhood trauma/ PTSD? Especially the disconnected from the neck down, is a quite common symptom. The hyper-sensitivity also makes me think of the autism-spectrum - it could be symptoms from something like mild Aspergers. I too get the face/ mirror non recognition thing. I used to live totally "in my head" and used to think that my body was a very cumbersome, annoying object that required constant maintenance like feeding and cleaning. As I have healed from depression and PTSD, this has improved a lot. It can still happen occasionally and I still feel it mildly on a lot of days, but it is nothing like how it used to be. Also, the face recognition thing has improved. Because I suffered childhood trauma, the last time I remember feeling normal in my body and feeling like my face "belonged" to me, would have been at age 5 or 6. After that, as my face grew and changed throughout childhood, teenage years and as an adult, I found it totally hard to "recognise" or "own" my adult face. It seemed like such a random face to me. Also, given that my traumatic childhood was due to my family, it used to bother me a lot to see genetic facial similarities in my facial features, compared to abusive family members. This face issue has thankfully also healed now. I now recognise myself in the mirror as "me" and identify with my face. I also LIKE my face now, which never used to be the case. I grew up with BDD and could not feel positive about my face. Now, at 40 I do feel like my face is an "expression" of me, my personality and my character. I can very much relate to what you have described, tho. A friend of mine had similar issues regarding her body and she sought out a body therapist who just did body therapy with her. Unfortunately I don't know/ remember the details, although I remember hearing about it at the time. Feeling distant from people and situations can also be trauma/ PTSD btw. It could be a mild form of dissociation, which is something the brain does to protect itself from the hyper-awareness you were describing. Even if you don't think it's trauma related, I would try looking for a trauma therapist or a psychiatrist specialising in trauma. For one thing, a trauma therapist will be knowledgable about all of the symptoms you've described and will have some experience in treating them. For another, trauma therapists are often nicer than normal therapists : D
  2. I've posted in another thread on DF before that I like the analogy of anger being like fire - it can do both harm and good. There are TWO sides to anger. We are all pretty aware of the destructive side of anger (i.e. a fire burning down a house etc) But anger can be positive too and protect yourself and others. If someone treats you or someone else badly, crosses your boundaries, harms you, threatens you, etc, then anger is a positive force that helps to keep you (and others) safe. For example, if someone is treating a child badly and you get angry and tell them to stop, then obviously anger is very positive and protective. This is the analogy of a fire keeping us warm, cooking meals, etc. I think society has such trouble dealing with anger (mainly because of the negative side) that we are taught to just repress it and not deal with it, which causes a lot of problems. Also, we are not able to tap into the positive sides of anger and use it to protect our boundaries and the boundaries of others who need help/ protection.
  3. Struggling a bit today. Way too little sleep last night, as my pooch was unwell, the poor thing. He's okay now, he just had an upset stomach. It's now the middle of the afternoon here and other than dealing with depression symptoms/ triggers, all I've done so far is have breakfast. : / Not exactly the kind of "productive" day I was hoping for. Trying to be patient tho, and to salvage the rest of the day as best as I can.
  4. I really do think that the depressed brain lies to us just as much as a person's brain does if they have anorexia. Just as an anorexic brain will tell someone who is life-threateningly underweight that they are overweight and need to lose more weight... just as back-to-front and untrue as that is, so are the things our depressed brain tells us. The depressed brain telling us that things will never get better is the depressed brain making sure we stay IN depression. It's weird how it's like that. To have our brain fighting against our own best interests. And to know that you cannot trust your own brain to be right or to tell you the truth. I think battling the logic of depression is just as hard as battling the logic of anorexia.
  5. Yes, the brain's trickery is amazing, isn't it. I really hope one day science finds out *why* the depressed brain does this. It's so bizarre, confusing, difficult to deal with. And IMO, if you believe your depressed brain's lies, you're doomed.
  6. I read so many posts here on DF with people describing their depression symptoms like they are a given/ something you can't do much about/ maybe your therapist can fix it. I'm wondering how much awareness there is that depression is a REALLY WEIRD illness, because your brain is actually lieing to you. Are y'all aware of this? Depression makes your brain tell you you are crap and worthless. It's a LIE. It's your brain tricking you. Depression makes your brain tell you everything is doom and gloom. It's a LIE. It's your brain tricking you. Depression makes your brain tell you suicide could be a good option. It's a LIE. It's your brain tricking you. Depression makes your brain tell you that staying indoors all day, sleeping and getting no exercise is good. It's a LIE. It's your brain tricking you. Depression makes your brain tell you that no one likes you. It's a LIE. It's your brain tricking you. Depression makes your brain tell you not to try anything new because it won't work anyway. It's a LIE. It's your brain tricking you. AND SO ON. This list is endless. Are y'all aware that a depressed brain does this? That it tells us the opposite of the truth? It's what makes this illness so difficult. We have to use healthy parts of our brain to fight the unhealthy parts of our brain. Having the unhealthy part of our brain lie to us 24/7 is REALLY hard to deal with. How do y'all deal with it? How do you trick you brain back when it is trying to trick you? How do you out-smart your brain and refuse to listen to its depression lies? Are you aware how complicated it is to fight the unhealthy part of your brain with the healthy part of your brain?
  7. Ugh, my dog was unwell last night so he kept me up all night. I got a few hours sleep early this morning. I'm now in a sulk about it and need to try really hard not to let this taint/ ruin my entire day.
  8. Excellent question, @surfcaster I struggle with this too. Anger seems to be the most taboo emotion of all in our society. You can get help dealing with just about any emotional issue, but anger is really difficult. Even the best therapists I have seen have been confused/ unsure/ helpless regarding questions about anger. The general consensus seems to be "Anger is bad. Just don't do it!" ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? I have also not found any **good** self-help stuff on it, like books. I guess DBT could help with anger, tho? I struggle with anger as part of my PTSD. I have actually googled anger management programs in the past, and the only ones available whereI live are basically for prison inmates and criminals or geared at perps of domestic violence. In the past, when I struggled with anger a lot, I have considered going to one of those programs!! I figured, who cares if I sit in a self-help group with prison inmates, criminals and domestic violence perps... If they are being taught good anger management techniques, I want to know them too. I never ended up going, tho I kinda wish I had. My anger is more managable these days than it was in the past, but I would still like to work on it. I can get VERY angry. Also, I've noticed that I'm much more resentful than other people. If someone crosses me and apologises I'm fine. Then I'm not resentful. Everyone makes mistakes, let's move on and all that. But if someone crosses me and doesn't apologise, I can be resentful for YEARS and cut them out of my life completely. Hope you get some good responses and I will be watching this thread with interest. If anyone can share any good resources etc for this issue, that would be great.
  9. Right. I need to stop saying to myself and others "I'm terrible at dealing with paperwork" I need to start saying "I'm terrible at dealing with major PTSD triggers (like paperwork)" because that's a reasonable thing to be terrible at. When I say I'm terrible at paperwork, I'm "minimising" the situation. It makes me sound like I'm some kind of id!ot who's too daft to deal with the mail, with forms, with finances and like someone who can't even get basic things right. I need to camly and rationally, but firmly, make clear that this is a PTSD issue for me and that I want it dealt with as such by myself and others. So... how do I approach the next 6 weeks? I've been setting this triggering stuff aside, because I've been working incredibly hard this year, including terrible hours. I could not afford to get PTSD triggered during that time, cos I'd have been a mess at work. I have purposely saved these tasks up for now, knowing that I had 6 weeks of time off in which I could have as many PTSD reactions and meltdowns as necessary, without any detrimental effects on my work and life situation. So, basically I have a to-do list of PTSD triggers. That's really what I'm facing. Not just a scary/ overwhelming to-do list. A to-do list of PTSD triggers. Yikes. I'm REALLY going to be all over the shop these next 6 weeks, huh? PTSD fall-out all over the place. This is going to be intense. I really should try and turn this into a pro-active healing journey and try and make peace with as much of this past PTSD stuff, that will come up, as possible. As "bizarre" as it seems, I'm going to have to dredge up all my old PTSD coping skills from trauma therapy and apply them to this trigger. (Bizarre because it feels "weird" to apply trauma therapy skills to things like doing a tax return. But a trigger is a trigger, no matter "what" it is or how "small" it is. What matters is the stuff it triggers, not the trigger itself.) I can't keep facing trauma stuff unprepared. So far, I've been approaching this as "just paperwork" and getting so frustrated at my PTSD reactions. (Sooooo stupid, now that I look at it. But when you're stuck in the middle of it, you just react instinctively and that's often confused and not particularly intelligent.) Right. Going to get guided meditations and all sort of other comforting, compassionate PTSD helpful things organised. I *AM* stronger and smarter than the PTSD. I do always end up out-witting it in the end. Just sometimes it catches me on a weak and fragile day and then it nearly "gets" me. Thank you for the space and kindness here, that provide moral support in battling my crappy PTSD demons!
  10. Sigh... just googled an image of an iceberg... with the little tip above the water and the body of the iceberg below water. In Paintshop, I have put a little label saying "paperwork" on the bit above water. And a label in big letters saying "PTSD" on the large bit below the surface. The paperwork is just the "trigger". A trigger can be anything. Pity that this trigger is so darned complicated and cannot be "avoided". I have to learn to deal with it. And have to process the trauma it triggers. Any of the trauma that I process *well* is then dealt with. So it's not "useless" misery.
  11. Thanks so much for the kindness and for reaching out @MarkintheDark It's so miserable to have PTSD/ depression/ anxiety stuff/ triggers reduce us to a tiny, helpless shadow of ourselves, huh? It's like all of our strength and ressources drain out of us and we are left with the abilities and self-esteem of an amoeba. (Sorry to all the capable amoeba out there who are feeling insulted by that!)
  12. Hey @MarkintheDark Yes, I was thinking of your paperwork nightmare with the HIV agencies earlier. That sort of stuff is so absolutely unbelievable. I could write pages and pages about how angry that makes me. I am good at being someone else's advocate and screaming "FOUL" when others are fouled and marching right in and making places like that get their sh!t together and stop what is essentially disgusting behaviour. When it happens to me, I am so PTSD triggered, that I go into beaten-abused-child mode and not only can I not be "my own" advocate, but my voice falters to the point where I can't even whisper "foul" anymore. I hate it. And yes, I'm grateful to have the kind of mental illness where I'm able to be self-aware and conscious of the processes. If I must suffer some mental illness, I'm glad it's that type... ; ) Oof. I've just had a great big sob and am feeling that post-sobbing calm and feeling a bit better. I made a "DBT Wise Mind" list for this stuff so I will copy and paste it here. (It's probly not very "good" but it's what came to mind while panicking and sobbing, haha) Emotional Mind Scary Nightmare Panic Dangerous Never-Ending Bad Punishment Triggering Want to run and hide Shaking Helplessness Fear Lonely Doomed Trapped Drowning Barely surviving Want to flee Hyper-vigilant Feel paranoid Very pessimistic Logical/ Rational Mind Paperwork is part of life Paperwork is part of being grown up It’s just paperwork Everyone has to do this You can get help for some or all of this It’s just reminding you of childhood PTSD stuff You’re not a helpless child anymore The violence and abuse isn’t happening anymore You have a therapist that will help with the triggers You have friends that understand this stuff and support you You can do this stuff in little bits at a time You know coping techniques for dealing with triggers and panic attacks – use them It’s just paper – it’s letters and numbers on bits of paper – nothing to have a panic attack about Start by doing the least scary stuff Take breaks
  13. Ugh. The dynamic of feeling helpless, stuck, overwhelmed in a threatening, miserable situation totally triggers all memories of violence and abuse and neglect and fear in a traumatic childhood. It's "stupid" I know. It's not "rational" that this stuff should trigger these intense trauma memories so massively. But it does.
  14. Trying to do EMDR and DBT's wise mind practice to cope with this.
  15. Hey @uncertain1 Yeah, totally cycling between okay-ish and miserable. As I knew I would, and will the entire 6 weeks. This is my absolute-personal-nightmare stuff. I knew it would rattle me completely and have me in tears at least every other day. Ugh.
  16. Ah, f**** Challenging day. I've spent most of today close to tears or in tears because of this crap. I achieved some stuff, but it rattles me to my core. Right now I feel miserable and don't want to face another 5 and a half weeks of this stuff. There is so much of it. It feels endless. I feel tiny and lost in comparison. I should just hand in all this paperwork all crinkled and tear stained from me sobbing as I do the work. How on earth will I face all the rest of it? There's so many painful layers to this stuff. I've "saved" all the hardest stuff for my break... All the stuff I've been avoiding and running away from all year. I've been so over-worked this year, that it just wasn't possible to do it sooner, so it's not a case of "well I shouldn't have put it off". It just all went on a pile marked "needs to be done during summer break". This stuff scares me more than being locked in a cage with a lion. There's so much PTSD stuff mixed up with it. I often get triggered to the point of shaking and crying just picking up a letter/ envelope, let alone opening it and dealing with the contents. It's my "last big PTSD issue". Trauma therapy has helped with all the others. This one is currently still my Achilles' heel.
  17. Tsss... Just had another example happen... One of countless hundreds of these things... For some reason in May and June the ten-fold of my normal health insurance rate was automatically debited from my account. On a limited budget having the tenfold deducted from your bank account is a bit "eek!" and not just an "annoying error". From the phone calls I've made today, there seems to be some clerical error made by my accountant, but I'm still waiting for the call back. Meanwhile everyone's attitude seems to kind of be "oh well bad luck" and "it must be your fault" and "well, it's up to you to work out how to deal with it". This kind of David and Goliath power imbalance triggers me so hugely and is a STARK reminder of feeling like a helpless, powerless, traumatised child, growing up in an abusive, toxic, dysfunctional, detrimental family while growing up, that I had no hope of escaping from and was trapped in. Dealing with both of that at once - today's objective paperwork/ bureaucracy/ finances nightmare while having it trigger TONS of PTSD chilhood stuff about being helpless to protect myself from harm and having no one to help me is a double-whammy nightmare. No wonder I routinely end up in tears with this stuff. Grrrrrrrr Thankfully the guy I talked to the 2nd time at the insurance company was a BIT nicer than the first person I spoke to. And my accountant is usually pretty helpful too. It took a lot of searching to find an accountant who is willing to (nicely) dumb things down for me and talk to me like I'm a 10 year old trying to make sense of a tax return (haha) and who is not tetchy and arrogant about helping someone with a limited income and complicated situation due to disability. Very greatful to have found this accountant!
  18. On my birthdays I always think "I never thought I would make it this far" I always thought that suicide would've gotten me, in my 20s or 30s. I'm glad I made it this far. That is my celebration on my birthday.
  19. Okay, I think I'm going to add some more background info because it will help me think more clearly about this stressful to-do list situation. The tasks that scare me most are paperwork things, for example tax returns. For one thing, I do NOT understand the forms. They may as well be written in Greek or Japanese, as far as I'm concerned. A lot of the time, I just tick more or less random boxes because I assume it won't make much of a difference either way. My income is minimal due to my depression/ PTSD/ anxiety/ disability, so the amount of taxes I pay is tiny and if I fill the forms in wrong then what on earth are they going to do? Put me in jail? I figure I'll just tell them that if their forms were written in a language not resembling Greek or Japanese, then maybe normal human beings would actually be able to fill them out. But generally, those kind of paperwork tasks give me massive panic attacks. I feel totally helpless and lost and stare at the seemingly endless forms and feel like I'm stuck in a maze I'll never get out of. It feels utterly overwhelming and with other paperwork, I do often feel like I'll either end up in jail if I tick the boxes wrong, or I'll get a result of "no" for whatever I'm applying for, etc. I'm not anti-government and I do accept that bureaucracy and filling in forms is part of how a modern democracy works, and rationally I am fine with that. In the actual process, I feel utterly helpless tho. I often feel like the paperwork is made so hideously difficult that it will deter people from even going through the process at all. And I feel like I am absolutely powerless - like if I tick a single box wrong or can't find a single document I need to submit, then I am at the mercy of whoever deals with the paperwork and they can just say "no" for some fake seeming reason like "Well, you ticked the wrong box, bad luck." Rationally, this is probably not quite the case.... : / But I do *feel* like I'm being made to jump through infinite hoops while having a major chronic illness/ disability, only to be told "haha bad luck" and "go back to square one" while I am struggling to make ends meet and have the energy to get going. It *feels* like a nightmare. Like paperwork and bureaucracy are the final layer of crap and nightmarish headaches, that make surviving with depression/ PTSD/ anxiety sheer impossible. So even tho I am "just" dealing with the ridiculous, impossible paperwork that everyone else in society is dealing with too, with a debilitating chronic illness it just feels like a total nightmare. Over the years, I've managed to organise some help for the worst of the paperwork, but with the nature of my work and my personal situation, it still leaves huge piles of paperwork each month/ year that I have to do and can't get anyone else to do. And I *feel* like "they" (whoever they are, haha) are just *waiting* for me to make some mistake, to tick some box wrong, so they can tear me in ribbons or throw me in jail or some such.... : P Rationally I am aware that's not the case, but emotionally I feel like I'm stuck in a nightmare where bureaucratic monsters are chasing me and trying to lock me up in jail for ticking wrong boxes and handing in wrong documents...
  20. Aww, aren't you all lovely! *big hug* I wasn't fishing for compliments tho : D I'm still struggling with the feeling of being locked in a room with a mean and scary to-do list. I think writing about it here has really helped this time. While I am *struggling* I'm not lost and flailing helplessly, the way I have done with this issue in the past. My stress hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, etc) are still fluctuating in an unhelpful way, but not as crazily as they used to. I've either got too much stress hormone in my blood - making me anxious, jittery, confused, wanting to run away and escape. Or too little - feeling unmotivated, making me want to hide under the covers and sleep all day long to avoid the tasks. It's a weird rollercoaster ride, trying to grab that magical middle zone where the stress hormone level is enough to make me feel motivated and energised, but not so much that it's got me over-stimulated and frazzled. I have a med at home (blood pressure med) that prevents stress hormones from the adrenals affecting the heart and brain, which I used to take for panic attacks. Maybe I should try that again, to help regulate/ smoothe out cortisol levels. I guess I could also ask my Dr about beta-blockers for this, which I also used to take to prevent panic attacks. I'm now on Day 6 of my break and have gotten some stuff done, but not as much as I had hoped. THO certainly not as little as I had feared, either. I've had depression/ anxiety phases in the past, where I've gotten literally NOTHING done and it's taken all my effort to keep suicidalness at bay... So the fact that I'm pretty stable, just complaining about cortisol levels and actually getting 50% of my tasks done is a "success" because that's lightyears away from the nightmares I used to go through with this stuff. This state of semi-calmeness/ semi-functionalness seems such a fragile little plant tho... I feel like any wrong move can tip the scales either way and there goes all my fledgling equilibrium... Oh! On a celebratory note I should say that I spent the first half of 2018 doing months of nightmarish paperwork/ finances to sort out some really complicated stuff and yesterday I finally got back the paperwork and it was all approved!!! Couldn't believe it. I have no idea how many countless nights of sleep I lost over that particular issue, how many countless panic attacks I had, how often I was sure I'd never get it done, how convinced I was it would end in disaster, how embarrassingly overdue it was by the time I finally handed it in, how many times I had to go and seek advice and help for it and felt like an absolute royal id!ot for not knowing what I was doing and making such a dog's breakfast of all the paperwork... Well, yesterday I finally got the letter in the mail about it. The envelope was pretty big and thick and I freaked out thinking it would be full of pages listing everything I'd done wrong... But nope. It just said yada yada yada, that's all fine, yada yada yada, blah blah blah... I've still not quite registered that that huge task has now gotten the stamp of approval yet....! : P Maybe I'll tape it above my desk in the office I'm setting up at home, to remind me it can be done and that I did it and to stop freaking out about the other tasks on my to do list that are just as complicated and lengthy... *big hug* to all of you for knowing what it's like and for being supportive when anxiety strikes!
  21. Have you had a big, very thorough blood panel done to test for all kinds of thing? Hormones, vitamin/ mineral deficiencies
  22. Hey GoldenOne, Happy birthday! Birthdays with depression are weird, huh? Are you doing anything nice?
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