Katana Thoughts: That Journey

I suffer from anxieties for years but not major depressive disorder. I got it there… Due to some events… I closed up and was extremely unlike myself and depressed for a week and it was the week of my birthday when it all went down. What’s funny is that three days after my birthday, when I went to see my migraine specialist, when I told of it all… and broke down. I still tried to lie that I was ok but I wasnt because I didn’t want them to get in trouble. I justified their actions.. I broke when she said cops should handle an incident but I said no. Though most likely I could be handling not just depression from the environment and incidents but from being off my meds (which a dude took away…)

I said no.. in denial and for their reputation. That..it was all my fault. My doing. Also my fault because I didn’t stand up more or call the cops.. 

I can’t help but to remember my stay at CAMH (yes a psychiatric ward.) I felt so unsafe at home. I felt so broken. I was so tired of it. That it.. was the reason I wasn’t able to say because it would ruin reputations and hurt many feelings. But I was bullied by blood and treated horrible to the point where when I defended myself or distance.. it made things worse because I didn’t agree to their name calling..

But anyways…Despite the obvious was there…. I still looked at them as the person I thought I knew. I looked at their fun side and smiles.

It wasn’t until I realized that I was totally alone. When they made it clear where I stood to them. I broke down because they always said family stuck together so I grew up believing that so when rumors came out I even dismissed it. But when I actually listen they were often bullying and secluding other members.

But anyways those days before CAMH…I remember crying until I was numb. I still cried or teared thinking about it though. When I went to the hospital… I cried hard for the first days. I was embarrassed because their stereotypes and words about it despite they’re in the medical field…they were all very hateful. I hoped hard that they’d visit or don’t mind delivering clothes but they fussed still. I was left clothes-less. I only had what I had on when I went in. Which was only things I’d bring when I go to an appointment or another and straight home.. 

This moment confused me and bothered me a long time. Besides people I praised often..never visiting and saying that they’d never will set foot in there for fear of bad luck or turning psycho themselves….

But anyways it was when I decided to leave my room to eat lunch with others. They were normal as one can be. The others in the ward were kind and understanding.

What broke me…that moment..that I can’t stop thinking about was just when I was cool and finished crying… I broke in tears when another patient offered me her daughter’s clothes. Gave me a bit of shampoo and others while telling me that it’s ok and that they’ll help me out.

I didn’t understand why I cried then but I knew inside… I don’t know… I was still in denial as their words are in my head. But that moment.. I’ve never felt that kind of kindness before. Just that care. Sincerity. I’m not used to it. 

It still makes me think… fuck.. was I that deprived of Care/Nurture? Love? Sincerity? Did I really never had this before?

I’m honestly used to giving and I don’t mind. When I care and love people… I do what I can. We may have disagreements but I still hope to make them comfortable and happy. I grew up like that. I wished I got what I gave but..I didn’t think much about it. I was just so in love and happy with my family and friends.

It just hurts still. Because I still can’t let go. I still view them for the good…when the bad really outweighs the good.. like things that was done and did was cruel and they’re unapologetic for their actions and words.

I’m just not biased. I side on truth and intentions. Whether we cool or not. And if we ever argue.. as much as I’m mad.. I would never ever ever cross the line. I don’t ever want to go on the point. I DON’T WANT TO HARM THE OTHER JUST FOR THE SAKE OF WINNING. There is no winning or losing but just and only understanding and growing together. At least I hoped. But all my life.. if there’s a disagreement… stabs are taken..by me. I cry at each. But I can’t do anything out of being cornered.

All my life.. no matter what truth… whatever they’re set on. It’s that.

I just want no part of it. If letting them go to heal and be away fron repeated harm, means I must let go of the innocent bystanders…. so be it. It hurts. And I’m still recovering. But the pain caused is too great.

Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Trauma (from you)

It’s now about you!!

It is one of the hardest things to talk about. The hardest to even think about. The hardest to forget. I am shaking as I write this.

My only wish is to forget all of it.

Continue reading “Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Trauma (from you)”

Katana Thoughts: What is family to me?

Family tends to people who aren’t blood/related to me. They tend to be friends I’ve met whom I may lose contact or parted with but they always have a place in my heart. I have the utmost respect for them and the one people related to me… for what they have done for me.

But family to me.. are those that supported, stuck to my side, with no intent of stepping over the line of disrespect and tell me what’s up, and they are those who had loved me unconditionally without making me feel like a problem. They are my loyal best friends, my advisers, my tough critics, and my energy through the worst. I’m happy for them. I’m truly thankful.

Even if I had lost contact with them… I wish them all the best. Their happiness is still mine. And I love them all still.

Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Working with Anxiety & Panic Disorder

What makes them Anxiety or Panic Attacks

It really takes great skill and endurance (or perseverance) when or if working with anxiety disorder and panic disorder.

Before I begin, I’ll do a quick reminder of what they are or you can click on the links above..

Although Anxiety is a natural defense and response to danger. It’s also a natural alarm that goes off when you feel threatened and unfamiliar of the situation or place you’re at… or when you are feeling a psychological remembrance to an area you’re at or based on a traumatic situation that reminds you of another that you’ve experienced and made you go on high alert. Anyone could experience this. So it brings the question of… when does it turn into a disorder? well the site I linked nonstop in this post, explains it perfectly. It says in the help guide that it becomes an disorder when

anxiety is constant or overwhelming—when it interferes with your relationships and activities—that’s when you’ve crossed the line from normal anxiety into the territory of anxiety disorders

Keep in mind that Anxiety Disorders are also…

a group of related conditions rather than a single disorder, they can look very different from person to person. One individual may suffer from intense anxiety attacks that strike without warning, while another gets panicky at the thought of mingling at a party. Someone else may struggle with a disabling fear of driving, or uncontrollable, intrusive thoughts. Yet another may live in a constant state of tension, worrying about anything and everything.

(The last part is me.. I was born anxious. So being tense is a natural trait of me at times lol)

Anxiety attacks are episodes of intense panic or fear. Anxiety attacks usually occur suddenly and sometimes without any warning. Other times there could be obvious triggers like interviews, meetings, etc. It usually happens and gets intense within 10 minutes but it rarely lasts for more than 30 minutes. But during that short time, the terror can be so severe that you feel as if you’re about to die or totally lose control. Some says it feels like getting a heart attack. But for me it only feels like my stomach is getting twisted in the knot and being pulled out of my throat.

 

Meanwhile Panic Attacks is a fear based stress and..

Continue reading “Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Working with Anxiety & Panic Disorder”

7 Tips for Supporting Your Partner with Anxiety/Depression +1

1. Don’t try to fix them.

You’re this person’s husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, polyamorous partner, not their therapist. (And if you are, stop dating them immediately because that’s creepy and unethical.) They cannot be well for you. It’s unfair to pressure someone to live up to your idea of how they should be, and they may end up feeling like they failed you. It makes your love conditional.Instead, just let them know that you’d like them to feel better because you love them — not because they have to be well in order to be loved.

2. Don’t try to explain to them why they shouldn’t be afraid of something.

Your skittish schmoopity-schmoo likely knows that their fear isn’t rational and/or the bad thing probably won’t come to pass. Making them feel like a jackass about it isn’t going to help. Consider asking them why this particular thing upsets them so much. Often, the act of throwing a deep, dark fear into the spotlight and spinning it out to its worst possible outcome can have the effect of neutralizing it. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t make fun of them for it. Let them be the one to point out how silly it sounds out loud, or you might run the risk of them clamming up and feeling like they have something new to fret about.

3. Be honest and set expectations.

Gonna be late? Call or send a quick text so they’re not picturing you mangled in a ditch. Got a big bill to pay or a medical test coming up? Don’t try to hide it; talk through it. Treating your partner like a fragile child — even if you just don’t want to worry them — creates a weird dynamic in a relationship. And besides, anxious people are pretty perceptive and will sense that something is amiss. Let your sweetum boo-boo-pie in on what is actually happening, or their mind will likely rev into high gear and assume that something infinitely worse is afoot.

4. Be OK with the fact that happiness looks different for different people.

For some, it’s balloons, dancing, party hats or Jaeger bombs at the club. Others, an Instagram snapshot with toes in sand or Deepak Chopra drawn in latte foam. (#bliss #bestlife #blessed) For an anxious person, it might be a day that passes without a panic attack or having to pound down Tums. It might just be having the wherewithal to get dressed and walk around the block. Calm is a terribly underrated emotion, but it’s just as valid as joy.

5. Make them feel safe.

Often one of the greatest fear of an anxious person is that they’re unlovable just because they’re anxious. As often and as naturally as you can, let them know: “We’re in this together and I’m not going anywhere.” In fact, just screenshot that sentence and text it to your sweet cuddlenumpkins (seriously — I’ll stop) right now. I promise it won’t be weird. OK, it might be for a minute, but you’ll both be glad about it later.

6. Live your life.

Ugh. So your partner is going through one of their extra-panicky or agoraphobic phases again. It’s hard to watch the person you love in such pain, and probably even worse for them to be going through it. But it’s your best friend’s birthday party or your niece’s graduation and you can’t or don’t want to miss it. Go. Even if it’s by yourself and you have to tell people your beloved isn’t feeling well. (That’s actually not a lie.) This might seem like a wrenching betrayal, but it’s a healthy thing to do. It’s a relief, both of your partner’s guilt over holding you back or dragging you down into their muck, and of any resentment — it’s OK, totally valid feeling — that might be building up on your end. Just remember to check in and let them know you’re thinking of them and that you’ll be coming home safe and sound.

7. Ask.

Wacky thought here, but your smootchiemuffins (I lied.) might have a few notions about what might ease their angst, and been afraid to express them. Be open, even if you don’t agree, or for them not to have any answers. Sometimes it’s enough just to be asked and know someone is there to listen.

(Source)

 

 

& most importantly…

8. Don’t expect their Anxiety or/& Depression to be Cured Quickly.

Yes…your existence in their lives affects them. It does not mean, your existence cures them from anxiety and depression just in a snap or short time. Your existence…well more like your support definitely, however, affects their recovery. With those tips above, with time… and I mean lots of time and patience… it will help so much. It helps them to open up, feel inspired, feel supported(like they’re not alone), and of course helps recovery–rather than grow in anxieties and experience more discomfort and disorders.

 

 

 

 

Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: The Growing Agoraphobia

Before all of this…

the symptoms, the diagnosis, the attacks…

I was quire normal… just shy and maybe a touch of paranoia. I loved exploring. Though I lacked the funds to do so but it used to never stopped me. I’d call up a friend and we just go take a walk and talk. Days I do have the money to.. I went to cafes alone or bookstores because they are heaven to me. I just read or wrote in my journal whilst drinking a nice sweet drink as an incentive. But I admit most times, it was the reason why I went out and I’d award myself with another before I leave.

Most days now…

I sstill go out…ish… at least for sure with company.

However..in going alone..it’s a problem. I mean I still go out and my reasoning or reward was to get that Starbucks or a whatever I’m deathly craving that’s near by.

But as much as I hate it, I hate going out alone now. But even with someone/support… I’m happy to be with them, but depending where we go..I loathe it. My reason?.. People. Crowds. I get panic or anxiety attacks now when I am in large crowds. Especially passing people, I get into a fight or flight mode which I sadly can’t control. And so, I think because of that, it is my reason why my agoraphobia got worse.

I FEAR getting an attack outside. My attacks are physical. I would have symptoms of queasiness and nearly passing out. Alhough, my body may be reacting like this, my brain would be like saying “Don’t look at me~ I didn’t say anything this time.. I just wanted to __  with you”.  So yeah.. it’s really messed up and weird. I’d feel fine, excited to explore and go wherever I was supposed to; but then all of a sudden, hello sickness. And I’d have to rush home or I vomit and lose feelings in my legs and sight.

It’s hard because, I’d love to go see my psychiatrist or my specialist for my migraines but it’s hard because a lot of times, I’d cancel last minute because my uneasy feeling(anxieties) and fear of it starting again comes again. The anxieties would start from three or two days before I start freaking out..officially. And worse thing is, when I go… I would be a clusterfuck..(pardon my language) because I’d be forgetting my route though I been going to this hospital for months now and when I’m there I’d be only thinking about being away from crowds/people and so whatever relevant questions that is asked to me or that I wanted to ask… and that’s important in why I’m there is just..forgotten. I can’t answer it nor can I ask to tell any concerns or how I’ve been feeling.

Continue reading “Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: The Growing Agoraphobia”

Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Relationships

Here’s what you can do to maintain a healthy relationship rather than a relationship overwhelmed and steered by mental illness.

    • Know the illness and treatment options. Mental illness is confusing for everyone involved. You might think your spouse is being lazy, irritable, distant or distracted. But these supposed character flaws might really be symptoms of the mental illness. Also, make sure your partner is receiving effective treatment.

    • Find out how to help. “Learn from a mental health professional what role you might be able to play in the treatment plan,” Duffy said. Not knowing how you can help can be frustrating for both partners. Find out how you can best support your spouse during his or her treatment.
    • View the diagnosis as another challenge. “Healthy couples don’t allow mental illness to run their relationship but encounter diagnoses as just other challenges to the relationship,” Sumber said. Challenges can be overcome.
    • Work on your marriage as you would without the mental illness intruding. “Honor and care for your marriage as you would without the presence of the mental illness,” Duffy said. He often sees “couples fail to attend to their marriage through dating, talking and sharing, creating feelings of isolation, which compounds the stress of the illness itself.”

      He recommended carving out time when “you both can fully enjoy one another, at least for a few hours.” This also helps couples become more resilient during tough times.

    • Maintain positive communication. “In my experience, couples who continue to say ‘I love you,’ or to check in during the day via phone calls or texts, tend to fare much, much better in terms of relationship longevity,” Duffy said.
    • Admire each other. Stress is a common and overwhelming challenge for couples coping with mental illness. According to Duffy, “there’s some very good research that suggests that, regardless of the level of stress, couples that sustain a sense of admiration for one another co-create relationships that tend to survive.”
    • Check in with each other. Every week, sit together for 15 minutes and talk about your “needs and intentions for the coming week,” Sumber said. Start with “appreciations and affirmations from the preceding week,” he said. Healthy couples “spend a large amount of their focus on appreciating their partners for even the smallest things.” This helps keep couples accountable for their relationship’s wellbeing, he added.
    • Practice self-care regularly. Many people see self-care as selfish but “you need to have a lot of energy to help your partner manage such an illness, and taking care of yourself is critical,” Duffy said. Not focusing on your own health increases the risk “the disease will pull both people in” and jeopardize the marriage, Sumber said.

      Be sure to get enough sleep, eat well, participate in physical activity, spend quality time with loved ones and engage in enjoyable activities. “For the best self-care plans,” Duffy suggested Cheryl Richardson’s books, especially Take Time for Your Life and The Art of Extreme Self-Care.

    • Don’t expect your partner to meet all your needs. In fact, this is normal. “Couples that split up are typically stuck in the paradigm that their spouse is here to make them happy and meet all their needs. These couples distort personal needs into projected expectations and then become resentful and angry when the other person doesn’t meet their needs,” according to Sumber.
    • Avoid blaming. Both experts often see blaming on both sides, which can go beyond the mental illness. “The ‘healthy’ spouse runs the risk of blaming everything that goes wrong in the relationship on the other person, which is also typically not the case,” Sumber said.

      This becomes an “unhealthy dynamic for a relationship,” Duffy said. His suggestion is to cultivate understanding. “Express curiosity over judgment.”

      “Ask open-ended questions about the illness, and really listen to the answers,” he said. You may not like the responses, but understanding is better than ignoring the reality. Not knowing how your spouse is truly doing can be detrimental. “You want to understand them, even this difficult side.”

    • For instance, if your spouse struggles with bipolar disorder and tends to act out, try to “communicate your concerns, feelings or anxieties in a non-blaming way so that communication is the process that keeps the relationship flowing,” Sumber said.

      Also, remember that “both people need to be responsible for themselves, their healthy responses to situations rather than unhealthy reactions, and their intentions and picture for the marriage,” he said.

    • Seek individual counseling. If you can’t “communicate your feelings in a nonjudgmental or blaming manner,” voice them in individual counseling, Sumber said. This way, you can process them in a healthy way when you’re with your partner.
    • Seek couples counseling. “Counseling provides perspective, balance and guidance in a situation that can easily become imbalanced under the wrong circumstances,” Sumber said. Because the mental illness can drive your relationship, couples counseling can be a tremendous help.

      Many people say that counseling isn’t in their budget. But, as Sumber said, “just as we require gas and electric to make our daily existence run smoothly, a good therapist is a nonnegotiable expense for both people.”

    • Learn from the struggles. Ask yourself what lessons you are being offered in the situation and if you are learning them well, Sumber said. Specifically, consider: “How are you responding to the challenges of your life? Are there ways you can do it better or different?” Think about “the person you truly desire to be.” “We choose partners that will challenge us to grow and this is no exception,” he said.

Remember that every relationship has brief periods of drama, and it’s easy to let these hurtful moments overshadow your entire marriage. “The truth is that if two people love one another and are willing to make things work, they can with good process and impeccable communication,” Sumber said.

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