Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Effexor is working… but hello again pain

4 & a half weeks later upon intake of Effexor

As much as I love having my emotions back, I’m not sure how I feel about the dull headaches. It’s so strange or perhaps it’s been long since my last but it feels uncomfortable and distracting. Luckily the pain level is about 4 most of the time but not sure, how to feel about it. It’s like a tension headache and cluster headache together. I’m just happy there’s no nausea/vomiting, not much sensory overload; just slight sensitivity to light and sound but it’s manageable. This whole pain feels close to a migraine but I’m not sure as it comes and goes to the point where I have at least an hour or half hour of feeling completely fun to finish my tasks but it’s a full day of this dull ache or fatigue. Continue reading “Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Effexor is working… but hello again pain”

Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Goodbye Chronic Migraine?? + Daily Anxiety with Panic included

Here’s a 2 topic in one blog

Lately, I think my migraines has gone down. It’s episodic than chronic or daily.

It’s perhaps just once in a week that I get one. And as for headaches.. instead of everyday it’s… 5 or 6 out of 7 days that I get it….. Which…is still bad..or sounds bad still..but not as bad as before because its like a pain level of 1-3 when it used to be purely 5s.

YES INDEEDY~ My pain scale is weird. I made two separate ones lol one for headache and one for migraine. because my migraines has a life of it’s own.

Perhaps that pure decaf only and less juice/more water thing I got going on… or the fact that I’ve only had caffeine(tea or lattes) only 4 times this whole 4 months!! *pat my own back like a loser* I did it. And got to thank my partner. Decaf isn’t bad. It tastes exactly the same as normal coffee.. DOIII~

But yes… this.. hardly noticeable or “disappearing” *knock on wood* pain…

I hardly feel the throbbing anymore

I wish I could or would be ecstatic at that but instead it makes me worry that I won’t see my Migraine specialist or Psychiatrist anymore.  Or just come back to that department.

Is it weird that I feel guilty for not having a migraine? Is it weird that I feel dead without pain throbbing inside my brain and skull? Or is it weirder the fact that being pain-free and clear of the slightest headache is really a strange sensation to me?

Continue reading “Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Goodbye Chronic Migraine?? + Daily Anxiety with Panic included”

Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Forcing Wellness Wasn’t Good for Me

I am the QUEEEN of this.

I’m so used to ignoring and pretending any pain I feel doesn’t exist. Although, I’ve become so good at pretending to feel NAAADA for years, what I can’t ignore is the restrictions caused by joint pain, migraines and daily headaches, constant exhaustion/fatigue, (serious) neck ache and stiffness, muscle stiffness, lack of balance, and of course–anxiety and panic attacks that’s caused by this or other way around.. I don’t know but it’s annoying.

I’m in an endless loop.

There won’t ever be a exact reason because I’ve left it ignored for too long. Now I don’t think I could pinpoint or the doctors can find where it all started to help. All they have and I have.. is this huge list of symptoms.

I regret hiding and forcing it for so long

Continue reading “Living with Chronic Pain & Mental Illness: Forcing Wellness Wasn’t Good for Me”

Katana thoughts: “self inflicted”

I know it sounded like a cry for attention to some when I post when I’m having a flare up sometimes. I post only aiming for people who go through this or know what I mean.. and in some cases.. just because but either way I wasn’t looking for compliments, negativity, comments much. Unless..you have great remedies for them…

but yea there’s rare negativity and there’s this one thing still bothers me… a family member who often boasts about kindness, openness to humane activities and what not… decides to say me.. “looks self inflicted to me” and added “typical attention seeker from a sick girl”..

Continue reading “Katana thoughts: “self inflicted””

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”

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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