Monday, 16 December 2013

Suicide follow up / clarification

I failed to anticipate the reactions some people would have to my previous post about Suicide would be. I failed to take into account that most people do not live with depression or the threat of suicide constantly and so maybe confused and or shocked by my frank and open discussion of the topic.
I didn't realise that I may have painted an unintentional picture that I am in immediate danger of taking my own life. This is not the case.
I was born this way, depression and the threat of suicide in my daily life is part of who I am. For some people depression and suicide is brought on by specific life events such as for example the death of a loved one. For myself my brain is genetically predisposed to depression and suicide. It's the way my brain is built and so I have always been this way since childhood onwards and always will be this way. It's not something that can be fixed through counseling as trying to do so is equivalent to trying to cure cancer through counseling. It just isn't possible.
As there currently is no cure for cancer there is no cure for my genetically flawed brain. As with cancer there are only treatments. In my case I take 60mg of Fluoxetine a day to stabilise my mood. I never feel happy but thanks to the medication and my self imposed isolation I don't often have crippling bouts of suicidal levels of depression either.

While I'm writing perhaps I should go into more detail. While most people see the world filled with colour and life my own mind sees the world in lifeless monochrome. Nothing feels real to me and I often feel empty of all emotion. Or it's possible that I do feel emotion but am unable to recognise it for what it is until after the fact. It's difficult to care about anything even yourself when the only thing that feels real to you is your own mind.

Much of what I'm talking about here and in previous posts maybe difficult for some people to understand or even find shocking. Please remember that this is who I am just in the same way you may be shy or aggressive. It's the way our brains are built. Just as people have difficulty understanding me and my view on life I find it difficult to understand other people and their cares and thoughts.

I have taken this quote for the use in not only Depression and having the capacity for suicide but also aspergers syndrome. I feel it may help convey to others what it's like or perhaps just the differences.

"If the neurotypical (NT) mind is a boat, my mind is a bike. NTs don't get that.
They just think I run a mighty strange boat. They assume I'm in the water and have an engine and a rudder and occasionally jump over the side for a nice swim. They assess and judge me in terms of boats and, when I'm not boat-like, they assume there's something wrong with my boat.
But I'm a bike. I'm not compatible with boat rules. I steer with handlebars, use pedal power, and I don't jump over the side because it's a hard road I'll land on. If they could be made to understand that I'm a bike, they would then see that all of my behaviour is logical - for a bike rider.
Then I could teach them about bikes, and they could teach me about boats.
Source: a posting onaspergeradults.ca in 2008"
I can't understand people who obsess over money and they probably can't understand why I am the way I am and that's fine. We can be who we are without having to be in eachothers heads so long as we just accept each other for who we are.
Now I feel I am ramblings so I will end this post here.
One thing I will finish this post with however is my own confusion at peoples fear of death. Death comes to us all so fearing it is ridiculous to me. Yet thinking that is exactly why people think me strange. It's a two way street of misunderstanding and confusion.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Migraines, an interview with HuffintonPost Live

While waiting to watch Stephen Fry live on the HuffingtonPost website I unexpectedly came across a segment about Migraines just before it that certainly spoke to me and I felt it important enough to share with you. It covers both the physical and mental health aspects of suffering from migraines as well as the social cost.

The Dangers Of Chronic Migraines http://huff.lv/18J9c3B via @HuffPostLive

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Suicide

While I am feeling partially coherent for now I thought I would take the opportunity to quickly tackle one of the subjects I wanted to talk about before I end up incapacitated by dizziness again.

Suicide. An ugly and taboo word to most, a saving grace for some and an escape for others. I will be talking about my own experiences with attempted suicide, the motivations and feelings.
I have in the past attempted to take my own life but contrary to popular belief I haven't actually planned out my suicide. I do however fantasize about my death, I often imagine hanging myself from a tree in an isolated and quiet area. I don't want or need an audience. These are just fantasies however and they seem to help calm me when I feel anxious or on the edge of panic. I don't know why thoughts of my own death calm me but they do. I haven't ever written a suicide note, set a place or time to take my own life or anything else people imagine to be the standard for taking ones own life. My motivations for suicide and the shape it takes are quite different. When faced with something I can't cope with, which invariably is caused by other people, be it something small or large doesn't matter. My reaction of panic and an overwhelming desire to escape take control. Your not able to think when in this state, your only desire being to get away from whatever is causing you to panic. It could be a person, a sound, a general overwhelmingness of sensory bombardment. You just want everything to stop so you can breathe. Almost like a form of Claustrophobia but for many variable situations rather than just the one of enclosed spaces. You have to get out, you can't breathe, you want time to stop but none of that happens so the closest thing? Death.
I remember one time particularly when a boss at one of my previous workplaces ordered me to work in an area I didn't like working in. A small, tiny thing that could have been sorted by conversation.... maybe. You'd have to have known the person who was my boss at the time. Not a pleasant man.
This small incident sent me into the familiar course of panic, flee and seeking of escape. I just walked straight out of my work place and headed for the nearest tall place that was sure to take my life should I fall from it. I wasn't thinking, I couldn't think. It was impossible to. All that repeated in my mind was that I had to get away. What I was actually about to do never seemed to me at the time like a permanent solution to a temporary problem. For hours I would stand fighting with myself upon such high places ready to take my own life for the ironic desire to breathe.
After years of many such incident, through which I obviously survived, I spent a lot of time thinking about why I did this. How I could stop it or at least lessen it's effect.
I found that people were my trigger and a powerful one at that. Ever since I have isolated myself at home and so long as I continue to take my medication I am reasonably ok.
Yet every time I have attempted to go out that familiar sense of panic and desire to escape rises up.
I can never lead a standard life without the high risk of spontaneous suicide.
These feelings only become stronger as I get older. Eventually I will die by my own hand I am certain of that rather than of natural causes. It could be tomorrow or decades from now. It's only a matter of time.
I am comfortable with the idea of my own death but I don't want to live in constant panic and anxiety. I want to live in peace, quiet and isolation.

This is actually a much deeper subject than just my own experiences however so I will end this post here and think about what sub-topic I can write about next on the same issue.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

More ill than usual.

I have lots of topics I want to write about but this past week or longer, I can't tell as time blurs together for me, my migraines have been much worse. Normally my head pain feels like my head is being crushed in a vice everyday, all day. A mixture of painkillers, icepacks, silence and darkness to keep the pain tolerable. However lately the pain has been spiking to a level where it feels as if something is inside my skull trying to burst out violently. If you've ever seen the "Aliens" film think the scene where they burst from peoples chests but then instead imagine them bursting from my skull. The pain was so excruciating I almost went to the hospital in desperation for some pain relief. Even if they had to induce coma. I was nearing my limit. Then slowly it settled back into my regular level of pain.
This is why I haven't written anything lately despite wanting to. Either too incoherent with pain or partially unconscious.

I will write about employment and mental health issues like I promised in my last post but also I recently watched the film "The Bridge" about the Golden Gate bridge and it's attraction for people who are suicidal. So I will talk about that as well, suicide, motivations for it, sensory over load, disconnection from reality and many other topics. I'll have to keep a list as I keep forgetting them because of the pain and the side effects of the medication.

Now I will go pass out again. Maybe I can sleep off some of the pain.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Pain, so very much pain. It never stops.

I never used to understand why some people would take their own lives over physical pain. Thanks to my constant migraines however I finally understand just how much pain the human body can generate and it is an obscene amount.

I went to my meeting with someone from the local council in the Social Work department this morning for a "Benefits check" set up by my social worker. Now I want to make something very VERY clear right off. I hate money, I don't want money and it disgusts me that I need money to survive in our society. If I could I would live my life happily isolated in an out of the way cave far from any civilisation and living off the land. I'm not stupid enough to think I could actually do that though. I'm not some hardened land foraging native who grew up learning how to survive off the land with ease. Though I wish I was just so I could escape society. I and everyone else needs money to survive in our society because thats the way our society is built sadly. It's disgusting and makes me physically sick to think about it but there is no way to change such an ingrained part of our culture. So we live with it as best we can.

Because of my health issues both physical and mental it means I cannot work and so need financial support from the government. Which I am glad is there and that I live in Scotland for if it wasn't I would have become homeless and died on the streets many many years ago before now.

Back to the meeting I hated every second of it. The person I met with was very nice, understanding and supportive. The best person you could hope to have in such a situation but that never ever stops my issues from flaring up. I felt sick, dizzy uncomfortably hot and as if my heart was about to be crushed under it's own weight. I was barely even there for an hour at most yet when I left I could already feel the usual twinge and crawling sensation in my skull that signals the coming of one of my worst migraines which are always brought on when I spend anytime out and about around people and noise. I returned home and fell immediately into bed but like always just tossed and turned for ten hours unable to sleep and in ever growing pain and nausea.
I woke briefly for an hour only to pass out again and sleep fitfully until now.

I currently have a freshly frozen icepack on my head, and my stomach is rattling with painkillers. The lights are off, I'm wearing my prescription sunglasses to block as much light as possible which is only coming from my laptop monitor which is at it's lowest brightness it can go to. All while I write this. This is a daily situation for me. This is how I spend my waking hours every day.

Once again back to the meeting. I keep digressing sorry. We talked, asked me about my ability to do certain tasks and looked over my psychological reports and such other paper work. Eventually she came to the conclusion that I could apply for PIP (Personal Independence Payment) though whether I would actually get it is anyones guess. I personally don't believe I will be awarded it from simple cynical realism. I don't believe in the fairy tale concept of fairness that other people do because it does not exist in reality. Just a fact of life. This is neither a negative or positive view simply a realistic one. No point giving yourself false hope after all.
The process for application involved a phone call, thankfully the person I met with did most of the talking and I just had to agree to some statements. Even that was too much though. I cannot express just how much I hate phones. I don't even own one I hate them that much.

So the process has begun for PIP, it's 1am as I write this and the silence around me is very comforting.

After writing this lengthy post I think that my next post should be a detailed one about employment to help people understand why I and other people with mental health issues can't get or hold down jobs. Trust me it is NOT because we don't want to work. However thats a subject for a later date. For now I will pass out from pain once again.

Good night everyone and I hope that my posts are at least helping to educate some of you out there what it's like to live with mental health issues. If they aren't please reply and with a constructive comment tell me how I could improve my posts to educate people.
Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Place holder

Just had my meeting with someone at the Social Work department about my case. I am glad to be home now. I don't want to think about it. This post is really just a place holder/reminder for me to write about it fully later.
For now I just want to forget that the outside worlds even exists.

Lost friendships found once more? Maybe?

So while going through some old paperwork related to my health issues etc for a meeting I have with a social worker I unexpectedly came across an old letter from my room mate back at Edinburgh University.

Now I thought I had lost the letter and had given up hope of ever getting in contact with her again but with finding the letter maybe theres a chance... Assuming she hasn't moved home.

We both have mental health issues which we knew when we moved in together and over the course of the year I think we developed a strange sort of unspoken friendship. We were and still are very reticent and prefer to be alone so never talked much but still something formed between us and I want to try and rekindle that friendship if I can get in touch with her.

I find it confusing how our friendship formed. At no point can I say "This is when we started to become friends" it just sort of happened. Despite our clear social issues and phobias.

I think perhaps we both gave eachother the space we needed without constantly intruding on one another or bugging eachother. Perhaps we became like a comfortable sweater. ^_^ heh.

And so now to attempt to reforge that sentiment anew. Let us hope she still lives at the address written on the letter.

Hong Kong is a long way away after all. Not like I can travel there and search for her like I could in my own country.

Social work, housing and relationships?

So for years I have been trying to get my own home and live as independently as possible. However cost, red tape and bureaucracy have made it impossible and frustrating.
Recently however I had my first meeting with a Social Worker who has begun to help me with these issues. It's early days and I have no illusions about how long it may take to get my own place so I'm being patient. When your house bound for whatever reason you kind of have to be patient. ^_^ heh

Something regarding relationships came up briefly during my meeting with the Social Worker. A subject I hadn't thought about in many years. I had assumed because of both my physical and mental health issues AND my lifestyle that no one would want to have a relationship with me. Now though... I've started thinking about it again and I don't really know what to think. It also affects my choice of where to live.

My plan is to either move to the country along the coast or to the centre of the City of Edinburgh. Within the city I would have a much easier time of meeting someone and help that relationship to grow as well as the museums and librarys etc. (I love to learn. What can I say? I'm not a NED.) However the city is filled with constant noise and people... so many people. Both of which I hate and just make my health issues worse. If I stay away from people I tend to be relatively stable. The country however is peaceful, quiet and beautiful but it doesn't exactly have the best in the ways of infrastructure.
There are pros and cons to both and I must decide on one. I don't know which to choose however. I'm stuck.
I want the peace and quiet of the country but the convenience of the city. An unrealistic desire I know whic means I will HAVE To decide. It may just take some time.

I will go into more detail on relationships and mental health issues at a later date. It is a huge subject fraught with many contradictions and pitfalls so expect a lengthy post.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Physical health issues

I have been a mostly physically healthy person throughout my childhood into adulthood but around the age of 25 I started developing headaches which were a minor nuisance at first slowly grew over the years to constant crippling migraines everyday all day. (Which is one of the many reasons I haven't updated this blog till now. Sorry.) Piankillers don't work most of the time and when they do they barely take the edge off.
I have a lot of trouble staying awake so find myself partially unconscious for most of the day but never truly asleep. I constantly toss and turn and am fully aware of it, so my guess is that I am barely dozing at best and never really reach REM sleep which is where your body is able to get it's best form of rest.
I use a combination of occassional painkillers and rotated frozen icepacks when I am awake to deal with the pain as best I can. I'm not sure why but the ice packs help me stay awake that little bit longer and help me be a little more alert.
The worst part for me personally is being unable to concentrate, being in a constant drowsy daze. For me my mind is who I am. NOT my body. My body is irrelevant and so being unable to even use my mind for the things I want is very frustrating and upsetting. I have yet to find something that can help me with that. And no caffeine doesn't work. Trust me, I've tried all sorts.
Strangely though I can't stay awake during the daylight hours I CAN however stay awake much more easily during the night. Granted still in pain and with the usual drowsy daze I'm always in but rather than falling asleep every 2 to 4 hours I can sometimes stay awake for 6 or if I'm very lucky a full 8 hours before slipping into my usual fitful sleep. I'm guessing it has something to do with light sensitivity though I have always had an easier time of staying awake at night rather than the day so I cannot say that with all certainty.
Various other physical health issues which would turn this post into a novel I will forego writing about here. Suffice to say I find it difficult to live any other sort of life than the house bound hermit. Considering I prefer to be alone this isn't a bad thing. I just wish I could use my mind more freely than I can right now.

To be able to actually remember things both short and long term would be a wonderful thing to start with.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Mental and physical health versus Social ignorance.

This will be a new blog covering my day to day struggles with my own health issues both mental (Depression, Aspergers, Social fear etc) and physical health issues (Chronic and severe migraines, extreme drowsiness).

I will go over how it affects me, how I feel, how I am tackling it and how others treat me because of it.

This is just an opener post for now. A place holder so to speak. More will be added later.