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Epictetus

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Everything posted by Epictetus

  1. @darksky I'm sorry you are in the situation you describe. I can identify with many of the things about yourself that you wrote about and in my case it turned out to be medical depression for which I was given treatment which helped me enormously. But only a licensed physician can diagnose and treat depression. None of us on these Forums are physicians or medical professionals. We are all just fellow sufferers. I wish I knew what else to say to be helpful but sadly I am at a loss.
  2. I've been experiencing sleep terrors followed by panic attacks. Ugh. Hugs to everyone here. You are all so nice!
  3. Thank you so much for your great kindness. I really appreciate it. You have helped me here and many others too! My mind isn't functioning too well today so sorry if this doesn't make sense.
  4. Diverting myself with my hobbies. Sometimes when I am troubled or hurt I pour myself into things that can't hurt back. Hugs to everyone!
  5. Never tried a dating app so I am out of my element. I think I'm a bit schizoid so that probably has something to do with it. Best of luck gandolfication!!!
  6. @June322 I am so very, very sorry that happened to you. I tend to use the word "heartbreaking" a lot, but I feel in this case, your situation is truly, truly heartbreaking. Since I was not sexually abused by a parent, I don't feel as though I am at the same depth of suffering as you and so I feel I would be a hypocrite to offer you advice. I was emotionally abused by my parents and find myself more and more in the role of caregiver for the one who is still alive. And it stirs up in me all kinds of unwelcome thoughts and feelings: depression, stress, feeling trapped, distress, anxiety, panic attacks, sometimes rolling panic attacks, fatigue, feelings of anger and rage directed wildly and on and on. For the sake of my mental health I have had to place my mental health above almost all other things. This is taken as selfishness by others but I was in a mental hospital once and I don't want to end up there again. I could say that it is fear that drives me but others take it as lack of bravery. Those who do not labor under the burdens of mental illness, especially mental illness linked to past trauma can never understand those who are so burdened. The mental illness that comes from past trauma can be paralyzing but it is not a paralysis that engenders compassion in most people. A person paralyzed by an accident will often elicit understanding and compassion from others. Others will tend to lower their expectations for that person. Sadly this is often not the case for those who are disabled or paralyzed by mental illness caused by trauma. Being sexually abused by a parent must be the worst kind of trauma a young person can suffer. I think it must scar them for life. Who can understand that except someone who has going through the same thing? When things are abnormal I think it is normal to be abnormal [if that makes any sense]. When I had a complete breakdown and was hospitalized, a psychiatrist addressed our group and said: "You shouldn't be here. Its the people who made you this way who should be behind these walls." Sometimes our poor brains need a rest. Sometimes they need to breakdown in order to get better. [Please don't think I am encouraging anyone to have a mental breakdown]. I'm just trying to say that when a person is victimized it is to be expected that all kinds of strange things will happen to them. And none of it is their fault. The brain has a mind of its own. I wish I knew how to help you. Sadly wanting to help someone is often not enough. One must also know how. I don't know how. I do know you here on these Forums as a kindhearted and deeply compassionate and understanding soul so I wish you only the best. You are a remarkable person who inspires me. I hope you find the path for yourself that leads you to the best possible outcome. My deepest, deepest apology for not knowing how to be helpful to you! Please know that my heart goes out to you.
  7. Feeling inner conflict between the "Golden Rule" and protecting myself from those who even if innocently and unknowingly trigger bad feelings in me. When one is mentally ill it is more than not wanting to be around those who tend to be pushy and judgmental because there is a health dimension to it. Even medicated and with psychological tools to deal with one's automatic thoughts, there is a danger element to being around people who are well-meaning but have a propensity for toxic behavior. What is one's duty to truthfulness to such individuals when telling the truth hurts them and/or hurts oneself?
  8. Feeling a little low today. Hugs to everyone out there.
  9. I'm so sorry you are going through such a rough time! Heartbreaking just reading about it and can't imagine what it is like to be living it day to day. Pretty sure I cannot really be impartial since I have to be on medication all the time or I will sink back into darkness. I fear giving "advice" since it is so easy to give bad advice or make someone feel worse than they already feel. Maybe others here who are not so timid will see your post and respond to it with something practical and really helpful to you. Wish I knew what to say that would really help. My heart goes out to you and I hope your situation improves!
  10. I hope you are better now, ladysmurf. These days I am a nervous wreck from having been bitten by a dog and being put on antibiotics. Last time I was on antibiotics I got c diff disease and it almost did me in spite of taking every treatment available. I hope that won't happen again. Amazing how much I want to live when I am facing the prospect of passing away. Hugs to everyone here, members and readers of these Forums!
  11. I have tinnitus perhaps from a medication I take for my depression and anxiety but I have no experience with the medicine called Wellbutrin. Hopefully members here with Willbutrin experience will see your post and respond with something helpful. So sorry I could not be helpful to you. Tinnitus can be awful!
  12. I am so very, very sorry that you suffer from the maladies you mention. What things have you tried to help remedy these ills? It is heartbreaking that you are suffering!
  13. I am so sorry you are suffering! ! ! Wish I knew what to say that would help. If it is not too much of a burden for you, it might be helpful to know what standard treatments you have tried to alleviate your hearing of mean and hateful voices and your emotional numbness: 1] Have you seen a licensed physician? 2] Has the physician diagnosed a cause of your suffering and offered you medical treatments? 3] If a licensed physician has prescribed medications for you,do you take them as prescribed, and do they help and how much do they help or not help? 4] Are you or have you been in the care of a psychotherapist? If so, what kind of therapy does your therapist offer? 5] If you are in the care of a therapist, do you find it helpful? How helpful or unhelpful? Knowing things like this might help members here to be better able to relate to what you are going through and perhaps even have some helpful words for you. Unfortunately none of us here are physicians or medical professionals so we cannot diagnose the cause of your suffering or offer you treatment. Since the First Principle of Medicine is: "First of all, do no harm.", no one here will want to say anything that might make you feel worse or which might make you worse. I definitely empathize with you but am not qualified to offer you advice that you could or should rely upon because I fear making you feel worse. I suffer depression and anxiety so I am not someone who suffers from hearing hateful voices or numbness of feeling. My heart goes out to you!
  14. I got attacked and bitten by a dog. Waiting now to see if the dog has rabies. If the dog is okay after 10 days I will not need the rabies vaccine series. Sigh. Hugs to everyone.
  15. I'm so sorry you are suffering through all this What an ordeal for you to bear! Sometimes it can help to change psychiatrists if one feels that things are not really helping. I have done this before. Please know that I am NOT trying to denigrate your psychiatrist in any way. I'm sure he is a kind, compassioaten person with great skills and insight. Its just that sometimes we need to change things around a bit. If your psychiatrist is helping you please disregard what I wrote. I am NOT a licensed physician or medical professional of any kind and so am totally unqualified to give advice that you are anyone else could or should rely upon. Hopefully members with with greater people skills, intelligence, knowledge and wisdom will see your post and respond to it with more helpful words than my poor words. It's a heavy burden to go through life lacking deep peace of mind and joy of living. My heart goes out to you!
  16. I'm sorry that is happening to you @Zeebug15. Something similar happens to me sometimes. It is very unnerving and demoralizing. Since being medicated for depression, it hardly happens to me anymore. I think I was one of the lucky ones for whom medication helped. Wish I knew what to say to help you. Depression is always awful regardless of its degree. Those who have not been burdened with it have no idea how heavy a burden it is to bear. How sad that one can be honest with others concerning other heath issues but sometimes one can feel like one doesn't have permission to suffer depression. My heart goes out to you!
  17. I am also sorry that you are suffering Emu. The ordeals are you going through and have gone through are so heartbreaking that I am brought to tears just reading about them. Can't even imagine living them as you do. AloneGuy has given you such wonderful advice in my opinion. I hope you will give some thought to it since it could help you so enormously. There are treatments available that could help you with your mental anguish. Sometimes it is hard to seek treatment when we are suffering since the smallest things can be an ordeal. But I hope you will find strength somewhere deep inside yourself to get medical help. I know it can be such an empty and feeble cliche, but my heart goes out to you. I really mean that!
  18. Been trending towards a full blown depression but thank goodness I seem to be bouncing back now. One bad thing about depression is that if you have had it once, it is always in the back of your mind that you can fall into the pit again, especially if you were hospitalized. Hugs to everyone here: members and readers who are not members!
  19. You're most welcome. My father belonged to a Christian religion that believed people were basically bad but my mother belonged to a Christian religion that believed that people were basically good. An interesting thing I discovered in my study of Buddhism is that Buddhist sects surprisingly mirror Christian sects. There are Buddhists who believe Buddhism is a psychology, others who believe it is a philosophy and still others, the majority that believe it is a religion. Some Buddhist sects are quite pessimistic while others are quite hopeful. Even sects of Buddhism have sub-branches. Both Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism have their sects. Some sects believe that it you merely believe in the Buddha, you will be saved. There is even one sect that believes that just saying the name "Buddha" is salvic. I have found comparative religion to be a very interesting subject. What do you know about the Baha'i religion? If so, do you find it interesting?
  20. Thanks Sober, I think your observations are spot on! Since my reading of the summarized research is painfully limited and I am reluctant to pay for access to the full literatureI will probably misrepresent what I read. Seems like what some of the authors might be maintaining is that while HHV-6 is ubiquitous with virtually everyone infected with it at a young age, it is only certain genetically predisposed individuals who develop depression or bipolar. Seems like some of the authors of the research are saying that the roots of depression start early in life by disrupting neurodevelopment in children in stages where the virus is active and then dormant and then active again until the symptoms of depression/bipolar manifest themselves plainly. So I think [and am probably wrong] that the flow is 1] genetic predisposition for the HHV-6 to infect the brains of a subgroup of human beings 2] in these individuals the HHV-6 disrupts neurodevelopment in their young brains. 3] the impairment of neurodevelopment is episodic with periods of dormancy and active pathology 4] stress can be a trigger for moving the HHV-6 from latency to active disease and symptoms as it does in other herpes virion, such as Herpes simplex. Apologies to the the medical researches if I have butchered what they are saying! I am NOT a medical professional of any kind. Anyone who knows more, PLEASE FEEL MOST WELCOME TO CORRECT ME!
  21. I've been reading some new medical research that has linked a type of herpesvirus [HHV6a/6b] to the onset of depression. There isn't much info out there on this and much of it is blocked by paywalls. So I can't really get into the actual research. One research study was conducted by Kobayashi, Noboyuki et. al. Another research study by a doctor Prusty claims to have found a link between a type of herpesvirus and bipolar. Prusty is the team leader of a group of researchers at the University of Wurzburg in Germany and their results were published in the scientific journal "Frontiers in Microbiology." Doctor Kobayshi is from the Department of Virology of Tokyo University. I realize that all medical research is subject to limitations and caveats: kind of study, size of study, duration of study, confounding factors in the study and in other research, new discoveries and so on. The study interests me because if offers a hypothesis of how depression and bipolar are linked to inflammation in regions of the brain and atrophy and hypertrophy. Infections do cause inflammation although immune disorders can also cause inflammation by turning the immune system of a person against its organs and tissue in a cytokine storm. Other types of herpesvirus are know to have the ability to cross the blood/brain barrier and can cause neurological damage. Another interesting thing to me is that a viral causal factor could explain how depression can occur, disappear and then reappear. Herpes virion often cause infection and then remain dormant in the brain and spinal cord and often recur due to stress. The virus causing Chicken Pox can occur in childhood and then reoccur as Shingles later in the life of the same person. And stress has been linked to both the onset of depression and to the onset of mania. What do you think about this research? I believe there is also other research out there that did not confirm the findings of the Kobayashi and Prusty although these too are in literature protected by paywalls. One problem is researchers don't also follow the same methods and protocol so that differences in outcome are difficult to compare in head to head comparisons. What do you all think? Obviously this is very new research and it could easily prove to be a dead end. There is certainly not a large body of research being devoted to this subject and trending to a single conclusion.
  22. I've noticed in my studies of comparative religion that often people who are adherents of a religion, though holding to many of the same ideas and values, will "prioritize" them differently. Thus the various forms of Buddhism, Islam and such. I believe this happens in Christianity too. People who call themselves Christians can each want to do justice to what they believe is most important to God which is itself an admirable thing. They want to prioritize things as they believe God has prioritized them. I grew up with parents and relatives who belonged to different Christian denominations. Though they shared similar beliefs, they prioritized them differently. One of my parents had a very hopeful form of Christianity. He believed that some other forms had lost the sense that what Jesus taught was "Good News" and "glad tidings." So this affected how he viewed the "threat discourses" of Jesus. In the Old Testament, God makes threats but sometimes "changes His mind" and does not carry out the threat. So this parent of mine believed that the threat discourses of Jesus fell into the tradition of the Old Testament Prophets. The point of the threat was to wake someone up but not to predict the future. So he viewed the "hell" discourses in this light. The prophets in the Old Testament were not like other ancient prophets. They were not fortune tellers. They announced a possible future in order to change people in the present. The idea was not to foretell a future written in stone but to wake people up like when a physician tells a smoker: "If you don't stop smoking, you could ruin your health or shorten your lifespan." The point is not about fortune telling. It is about concern in the present for a person's health. Perhaps the threat discourses of Jesus are along these lines. But this parent of mine believed that ultimately God desires the salvation of all people and that nothing is impossible to God. So he had a very hopeful form of Christianity. Another relative of mine held to a very dark form of Christianity such that the Good News was basically Bad News, at least for most of humanity. I have a very hopeful view of Christianity which prioritizes the idea that God is Love, that He desires the salvation of all people and that with Him nothing is impossible. So for me, the deepest "heart" of Christianity is found when Jesus was on the Cross and prayed "Father forgive them for they don't know what they are doing", prayed for those causing him agonizing and excruciating pain. One ancient Roman historian wrote about crucifixions. He told of how criminals being crucified uttered hateful words towards everyone, vile curses, blasphemies, threats of revenge and cruelty. But Jesus didn't say anything hateful on the Cross. He did not even curse the thief who taunted and insulted him. And after the resurrection when he saw Peter again, he did not scold Peter for disowning him. He wasn't even really harsh to Thomas who disbelieved. Jesus not only preached love of enemies but He loved His enemies while they were torturing and taking his life. Even some hard headed philosophers have wondered if a human being must be more than a human being to do that. So I actually love Jesus although I could certainly love him more. Now I can certainly understand that many people will think I am a heretic, or a fool, or an idiot or a bad person. I know there are people of other religions who might even want to do me physical harm. I know there are agnostics and atheists and anti-theists who would probably prefer that people like me not exist. Since I went through a period of agnosticism, atheism and actual anti-theism, I know how that feels. As an anti-theist I had all the arguments memorized, I had the thoughts and the feelings on a very visceral level. So they are not exactly foreign to me. As a logician, I know It is easy to derive conclusions with certainly in short logical arguments where the axioms, premises, and statements are close together like a=a thus 2+2=4. In complex situations where there are many premises and many propositions and many and long chains of argument, it is not always easy for people to arrive at the same conclusions. People don't always agree on what is self-evident and axiomatic or which propositions are true and false. And even people who might agree on a set of true propositions might not agree on how to prioritize those: which are more important? Which are less important? Sometimes Christians could be happier in their Christianity than they are. I think this is true of all religions and philosophies. Since I worked in a university philosophy department, I worked with people with very different and very opposed viewpoints and beliefs. This did not stop us from having coffee and donuts together in the morning. It didn't stop us from being kind and civil to each other and even caring deeply about each other. I rode the elevator each day with an anti-theist or at least on most days. He was a very nice man. One of my best friends in the philosophy department was a Buddhist woman. I felt a kind of bond with a Marxist philosopher and when he died of cancer I cried. Many people want to find the truth and hold fast to it. That itself is a hopeful thing. Being a logician makes one a bit of an odd person. In my field I often find arguments that undermine the very ground they stand on. For example, people who say that truth does not exist and yet hold that that statement is true. Or people who say that everything is impermanent and yet the law that everything is impermanent is permanent. I once was in a debate with someone who maintained that human beings are just beings driven by selfish genes. People held whatever opinions they held because of their selfish genes and therefore there was no such thing as objective truth. At the same time, this same person maintained the the proposition: "all humans are driven by selfish genes" was an absolutely objective truth. So to me he seemed to undermine his philosophy by sneaking truth in through the back door so to speak. My debate partner said he renounced all Judeo/Christian values. But then he quickly added: "But of course I try to be an honest man, a good father and neighbor. I do charity work and so on." So it seemed to me that perhaps he had not really renounced the values he said he had renounced. And I could not really understand how if we are unfree and totally determined by our selfish genes, how could one group of people, geneticists, still be free and capable of objectivity? Of course I could be wrong about all this. I have often been wrong about things in my long life. There are so many impediments to objectivity, o hard to reduce one's prejudices and biases to objectivity. I try to maintain intellectual humility but it can be so difficult. I do not know what will be the ultimate outcome of your search, AloneGuy. Although I am not in your shoes and do not want to trespass on the uniqueness of your experience, I think that perhaps in a little way I know what it is like to have family members who do not support one in one's beliefs. I think it is good that you question things. That to me is a virtue. I also think it is admirable that you love the truth. That to me is also a great virtue. There is greatness in you and I think good things will come from you wherever you finally end up in your life journey! You are certainly an inspiration to me and I think you will be an inspiration to members here and those who follow these Forums. Best wishes!
  23. I could be wrong, but I think any set of beliefs or philosophy of life can degenerate into a fanaticism if one finite element or set of elements is taken out of context, if any part is removed and absolutized. Sometimes I suspect we need to sort of leave something in some sense order to recover it at a higher level. Wish I knew how to explain myself here. Maybe an example? When I was very young I was taught elementary arithmetic. At some point in my math education I had to go beyond that. I was taught Algebra. Algebra both expanded and deepened what I learned in arithmetic. Then came Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Set Theory and so on. I don't think there is anything wrong with arithmetic but I sort of needed to go beyond it in order to recover it at a higher level, a level appropriate to my age and maturity. If I refused to go beyond arithmetic I would in a sense feel that I was saying "no" to growing towards a greater understanding of truth. Now I study Modal Logic but it both preserves and goes beyond arithmetic. Sometimes one gets stuck in a stage of life and both want to stay there because of the comfort of the familiar but at the same time wants to keep on growing and developing. Leaving behind elementary arithmetic can look on the surface like an abandonment and a rejection of it but can just be part of a growth process where one loses something in order to regain it later at a higher level. An oak tree looks very different from an acorn although both might share the same genetic signature. In a sense the acorn throws off its "acorness" to become a little sprout with a little root. It becomes different while in a sense staying the same. Same happens when it becomes a sapling, when it becomes a young tree. It is absorbing elements from the earth , elements that are not-acorns but it is transmuting these into itself while still keeping its genetic identity. I have certainly rejected certain religious ideas and philosophical ideas in my life but have found that I was able to reincorporate the treasures in these things at a different level. I may today be a student of symbolic logic and that is far removed from arithmetic, but in a sense it goes beyond arithmetic while including it within itself. Ironically I had to break out of the shell of arithmetic to recapture it at a high level. Sometimes one can move from absolutizing one thing to completely losing that thing in absolutizing something else. Sometimes one has to go horizontal and not just vertical, if that makes any sense. It can be helpful to be skeptical but perhaps it is good to also be a little bit skeptical of one's skepticism. I don't know. I have studied philosophy and comparative religion for four decades now and yet and I have not found it necessary abandon anything that is true, beautiful and good in my past life. Sometimes something gives way but I have found that I can recapture that thing at a higher level by moving not only vertically through life but also horizontally. Sometimes it is not our faith in a religion or philosophy that we outgrow but our understanding of those. I am reminded of a funny saying of Mark Twain: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished how much he had learned in seven years." Sometimes I suspect we only gain something by losing it. This is a paradox. I don't know where your journey will take you in life. But the fact that you have a love for truth and goodness in your heart is a good sign. It is funny but when you cast a light on the side of a soda pop can it casts a rectangular shadow on the wall although it is not a rectangle. If you shine a light from above the soda can it casts a circular shadow on the ground although it is not a sphere. Somehow in the cylinder of the soda can is a kind of reconciliation of rectangularness and circularity. This doesn't mean that squares are circles or that circles are squares. But it means, perhaps that what is contradictory in two dimensions is not so in three dimensions. Of course all this is just the opinion of a fallible and somewhat grumpy old man, so perhaps you should not give it too much weight. I do hope you keep finding meaning and fulfillment in your life. Life is sometimes paradoxical . . . like how we sometimes gain more from what we give life than what we take from it. I have benefited from every teacher I have ever heard or read. And in my old age [senility?] I have not found it necessary to completely abandon even what I held onto in my childhood. Not sure this would be helpful to you. Please do not let the ravings of an old man rob you of your peace of mind and joy of living! I wish you only the very best!!!
  24. So sorry that you are feeling emotionless, numb, bored and uninspired. I suffer from unipolar depression and often find myself trapped with feelings I describe with the same words you have used. Since I am not in your shoes I cannot know how these things feel to you exactly. But the fact that I have felt things at least similar to what you describe allows me to really identify with you. Feeling "lobotomized" seems a perfect description to things I have felt. I have been in depressions so deep that I had to be hospitalized. People who have never experienced profound feelings of emotionlessness and such can never really understand how brutally oppressive they are, how painful some psychic pain can be. There really isn't an adequate vocabulary for such things. Sometimes it helps me to offer some resistance to the drift of my mind with that little part of me which is observing my inner states of mind. Maybe I cannot do anything. Maybe I cannot get out of bed in the morning. But except for the time I was hospitalized, I was always able to offer some resistance to the way my mind was trending even when the emotional feedback for this was painfully missing. Sometimes when one cannot do something one can at least wish that one could do something. Sometimes when one is so paralyzed that he or she cannot even wish to do something one can find the courage at least to wish that one could wish for that thing. Mental illness is a gigantic and monstrous burden. A little victory over it can require more patience, courage, virtue and moral stature than the kind of heroics that make the news. I once saw a woman who was so paralyzed by her moods that she was catatonic. Somewhere inside herself she one day mustered the courage to speak one word. Her act moved me to tears because it proclaimed her human dignity more than anything I ever witnessed. Sometimes we can only take baby steps to help ourselves. Sometimes we can't even do that. Sometimes we can't even desire to take steps but perhaps some of us can desire to desire to take steps in the direction of helping themselves. The fact that you are asking for help is a heroic gesture in my opinion. One thing about human beings is that even when we are seemingly totally unfree, we can at least decide on our attitude towards that unfreedom-- something that animals seem unable to do. And sometimes the greatest greatness of a human life, is just some feeble and little "no" we pronounce on what it trying to crush us. Of course I am not tryingt to trivialize or minimize your profound situation or paper over it with fancy but empty platitudes and cliches. When people do that to me I feel worse than ever. I fear that is what I have done here with my post. But I don't know what else to say. There is a greatness in you. I can see it in your wish to get help. It takes real character and real greatness to do that kind of thing when one is drowning in emotionlessness and apathy. Clearly there are organic factors behind what you are suffering, organic factors that are impediments to full clarity and full freedom of will. You are beset by difficulties you did not ask for and which are unwelcome in the extreme! Sometimes life has good surprises and not just bad ones waiting for us. You definitely need a good surprise, some real help. Sadly I am sort of in the same boat as you or at least in a different boat in the same ugly sea. Hopefully someone here will have better words for you than my poor words!
  25. I am very sorry you are in the situation you describe. I takes a huge amount of heroism to bear such a burden on a daily basis so I can only admire you. I am not sure I could carry the burdens you carry. At the same time I hope you can find relief from the conditions you describe as they can really crush a person's spirit. Living in distress and being robbed of peace of mind and joy of living is real suffering and suffering should be alleviated if it can, in my opinion. Since I don't know your whole life story, I am not qualified to give you any advice. In addition, I am not a psychologist or medical profession and so lack the qualifications to offer real and practical advice that anyone could rely upon. There is quite a body of research that has linked many mental conditions to pathology in the brain. For a long time biology was considered irrelevant to mental illness. The reasons for this were many. One of the main reasons was that with the technology available at the time there didn't seem to be any evidence of pathology in the brains of those suffering mental illness. So professionals tended to think: this is a mind thing not a brain thing. But with better microscopes, real-time imaging systems and such, it became clear that mental states could have a definite biological component. Often, it was found, mental conditions were found to be symptoms of neurological pathology. Two examples being hypertrophy of the amygdalae in the brain and atrophy of the hippocampi. fMRI studies revealed dysfunctions of cerebral blood flow in regions of the brain in those suffering mental ills and dysfunction of energy utilization [glucose metabolism]. And these were found to be pathologies and not related to normal brain aging. Medicines were developed to offer help for sufferers. This is all very abstract so perhaps a very specific example might be helpful here. One system of the human brain controls the release of corticosteriods in the body and the brain itself. It regulates when to release these substances and when to shut down their release. These substances are stress hormones and are very valuable to human beings in life or death situations. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, [and it is thought that genetics plays a part in this], these stress hormones which are so important in emergencies are actually toxic to the brain when the brain is exposed to them in excessive amounts or for excessive periods of time. Some people seem unable to shut off their stress response and suffer brain injury as a result: depression has been linked to this and anxiety disorders among others. People in these situations are often helped by medical interventions by physicians . I don't know, but perhaps you are in an analogous situation with your hearing of voices and numbness. These symptoms are probably not caused by corticosteroid system dysfunction but probably have an organic brain pathology as a causal factor. Not being a physician I can't say for sure. But perhaps you would be helped by seeing a physician and explaining your symptoms. A licensed physician could take down your medical history, have tests done and prescribe treatments that might help you. Since I don't know you whole story, I don't know what things you have already tried to help your situation like whether you are in the care of physician or therapist. Hearing voices as your described it in your post would definitely be something to motivate one to seek a medical opinion because there are definitely possible brain conditions that could cause such a thing and there are many treatments that have proven effective for many people. So there is definitely hope for you. Sometimes just talking about one's struggles can be helpful so I hope you will utilize these Forums so you will not feel all alone and isolated in your condition. If you have not already sought medical advice, I would strongly urge you to do so. Only a physician can diagnose underlying illness, prescribe medical treatments or rule out organic factors. If a physician is unhelpful to you please consider seeking a second or even third medical opinion from another licensed physician. I am profoundly sorry that I cannot offer you any point-to-point advice sufficiently powerful to remove the condition you describe. I am not a psychotherapist or doctor. Please know that I am very sorry that you are suffering from hearing these voices and from experiencing emotional numbness and blankness. I can't even begin to imagine how heavy those burdens are. I suffer from unipolar major depression and anxiety disorder and I find these very heavy, even crushingly heavy to bear so my heart really goes out to you. I would like to thank you for posting what you did. It helps me and will help others who are going through similar situations to feel less alone in their lives. So sorry I could not be helpful to you!
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