Posts Tagged Therapy
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.
Keats – Ode On A Grecian Urn
I not all that sparkly. Phyiscal stuff hurts. Emotions hurt.
I do not want to neglect this blog. I am a good neglectfulness..stuff gets hard and I run away. I am trying to change this. Small steps, I am going to keep this blogging going.
I drew you some pictures..
Stuff I Loved As A Child
My ‘SpI’ walkie talkie was amazing. I loved it. I still dream of an industrial real one. If The Boyfriend does suceed in joining the Army I am totally stealing his kit..
and I utterly have imaginings for walkie talkies intergrated into our wedding. i won’t tell you how, it is classified spy shit. Yeaah.
When i got my Eychasktch I had aspirations of this
But as you can see from my re-creating I was lucky to get this –
Could you do it?
On to other things…..
I was an evil little cow and used to put these on the stairs when I was angry with my Mum..she would never notice. I’d make sure she rushed upstairs by screaming at a fake spider/making brother cry/setting small fires* and in her haste to attned to her dear, dear daughter she’d impail herself on mini-parachute men.
They were even more of a hit Post-Toy-Story phase and I am still really elated if they ever turn up in Chrsitams crackers. I just had a very clear flashback to drowning the mini-men in Eggnog…a child bound for therapy? Moi?
*The fire thing was not true, I only set fire to my room once..and I was fifteen, no army men involed..just a journal and a whole heap of angst.
The ultimate toy…
I do not really need to explain why boxes are the staple diet of fun.
If you do not agree i think you were wired a bit wonky..
just to prove I was a girl here is some images of other stuff the defined my childhood..although no more MSpaint images and my fingers feels funky and pain = a bitch.
I wanted a Baby-Born dolly so badly it hurt..once I had one, though the fun wore off. She was cute and I hated feeling guilty for throwing her down the stairs or trying to sew her eyes shut with a junior sewing kit…god, i was a fucked up kiddy..but i did love this doll…even if she never got a name..
In my search for the excat toy bunny i had as a kid i found the aboe picture…amazing!!! Bless the dog, he does not look happy..
anyway, i had an army of identical rabbits..about 6 or 7 that all looked like this
This army was mobilized with the use of my Walkie-talkies and Army-jumping men..as well as my awesome list skills. I was going to take over the world..I nearly did..only then The Mum made me tidy my room so she could decorate it and my army was demoted to the wardrobe and army-bunny bed was replaced with a pristine bed spread.
My mu was famous for making her own Play-dough. My brother famous for eating it.
OOOOOOOOd ..ooddd…ooood, how the fcuk do you spell that?
Thank you for reading my Childhood in Pictures
Here is some more
Dogs Dressed Up As Other Animals
because everyone needs this in their day..obvs
dress up the dog game < do not think that this is not addictive…
Wow, that made me happier.
Sorry for the lack of words in this post, I aim to be back to my normal, convoluted self soon!
I have never mistook a tin of peas for baked beans, and that is a good thing – because I hate baked beans with a passion that is likely far too feirce. There is no orgin to this hate, I..sadly do not have a witty tale of childhood bean-related trauma (unlike Smarties, but I’ll save that for a different day) I just hate the orange little bastards. Canned peas, I love em..frozen ones I can take or leave, but give me a tin of peas and I’ll be a happy camper.
My point is, in this case, labels are important because there is no other way of knowing what is inside until It is far too late…and pea/bean mix up’s are very sad. In Eating disorders however (and yes, I also think it is amusing that I chose to use a food analagy) labels do not matter….we just think they do.
When someone is diagnosed with an ED (that shorthand for eating disorder which I shall use for the rest of this post)..they think that thier ‘label’ matters very much, at times in thier illness alot of people are defined by thier illness and find it very hard to find a difference between self & ED..
Me on non-recovered days when ED is incharge: Hello, HiiiiiiiiYA! I am anorexic…and my name is alexishereidrawlikenick
Me on ‘good’ recovery – battle days: Hello, HiiiiiiiYa! My name is alexishereidrawlikenick, oh, and I am anorexic..
The future me: Hello, HiiiiiiiiiiiYA! How are you? My name is alexishereidrawlikenick and I really like dogs, I like to write, I am a bad poet, I am not very tidy, I like exciting coloured pjamas and recently brought a really cute tortiose shaped lamp with i have name Stuart..(//rambles rambles..point being that identifying self with ED doesn’t happen..)
I spend a lot of my time thinking of myself as ‘anorexic’ first and as a person second. For a long time I have had a big problem with binge eating, this problem pre-dated the arrival of my anorexia in my early teens..in all probability if I look at it according to the DSM citetria (for a link to the DSMs on my blog > therapy woes and personality disorders) then I have a touch of EDNOS/Bulimic behaviors too, for a long while this was a huge source of shame that I denied the existence of.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that if you try and treat an illness while ignoring some of the biggest symptoms you are not going to get very far, and I think that this is one of the reasons why all my earlier attempts at recovery and the time spent in inpatient wards did nothing to really help me. From talking to other people that have fought/are fighting an ED though I have come to a few realizations;
1) ED thoughts are similar. It makes us feel isolated and alone. It promises us that we will be special and hiss in our ear that we are not deserving of food because we are ‘different’. Yet, if you read a testimony/real life story/blog from anyone with an ED, be in Anorexia, Bulimia, EDNOS, binge eating disorder, compulsive over eating..you will find that we are very sheep-like..the thought patterns (the ‘I am bad/underserving/disgusting/pathetic/need to try harder/be thinner/change this/be in control) all repeat themselves over and over again. It is as if there is a massive ED cloud, just talking into a transmitter that is heard by all sufferers..we are all dancing the same dance but behind big, thick screens so we think we are alone.
2) Part of the hold of the ‘ED’ is the idea that you are ‘not sick enough’. For me – I ‘need’ to be anorexic, as stated in the DSM because otherwise I am ‘failing’ and do not desrve treatment. I force/starve myself unitl my BMI is ‘less than 85% of my ideal body weight’ because the ED has put it into my head that if I am not of this BMI I do not have a problem, do not deserve help and ..(yes,it goes to this extreme) that I do not deserve to live. However, my unhealthly behaviours/thoughts and the subsequent feeling festival that causes is no different to, again, people with any other ED Label.
This is all the same hell, the sign posts are just a tad different.
Clinicians uses these labels because it dictates the medical producures that are intitisataed. At least, it used to. Now, however, even that is bollocks.
It is widely understood (thanfully) in the medical/psychological professions that binge eating disorder, eating diosrder not otherwise specified, anorexia and bulimia ALL carry a huge amount of potential for major health complications.
In anorexia weight is often very low, if it is under a certian number the patient is often hospitalised for forced re-feeding. This is the ‘old skool’ way of looking at it, and the view that..unfortunately does not seem to have yet penetrated the bubble of the medical professions to reach the media/the public. (I am generalizing here, I know some people still suffer from chronically mis-informed GP’s/doctors/psychs who think eating disorders are for ‘thin people’ but on the whole it has improved). Psychologists and ED specialists now realize that people with EDNOS/Bulimia/any-other ED can have the same nutritional deficits and overall health risks are suffers with an extremely low BMI.
Bulimics or those who invole in any kind of purge type behavior are often in -more- medical danger than those that follow a restrictive diet…there can be electrolyte imblances which can lead to a much increased risk of a heart attack. It can also cause tearing and rupture of the oesophagus, malnutrition, dehydration, and lung problems (including pneumonia), Hyponatremia (not enough sodium in the blood), and even paralysis. for more, click here (from somethingfishy)
Now that it is know that all ED’s are as medically dangerous as each other more people -need- to lacth onto the idea that they are all as emotionally damaging as each other. Seriously, people with ED’s play like broken records, we all have the same concerns that loop over and over, the only difference seems to be the social stigma.
ED’s are not actually about weight, but about emotions. (No shit sherlock)..despite that fact the labels themselves seem to be very important even to the individual sufferer.
I will admit that I did used to be proud of being anorexic. My therapist-at-the-time ‘gave’ me the diagnoses as if she was handing me a fragile gift, I nournish and ‘fed’ it accordingly..until it nearly killed me. Also..ED’s are deadly, but very few people die looking like an emaciated bone bag..my ED -did- and had nearly killed me, but not while I was at my lowest weight. Whem my BMI was 13 I had no energy to do anything, especially not kill myself but I have had sevral serious suicide attempts. The ‘worst’ in terms of me nearly being dead was probably when my BMI was a more-socially-acceptable (although still unhealthy) 17. At that BMI I did not ‘look’ like a anorexic..you could not tell by looking at me that I had an ED..but it still came very, very damn close to killing me. Weight does not dictate the amount of emotional distress a person with an ED is going through.
I did think more than once about actually putting the BMI I ‘reached’ in here in numbers…because I am all too aware of the negative comparisions that ED’s cause. I also know that a blog post on the topic of ED’s is much, muxh more likey to be read than a sufferer or some one who has suffered than average-joe public. However, I felt it necessary in order to give the sheep-like ED thoughts an extra kick. If I read weights I immediatly compare, but irregardless of what my weight is now or has been in the past, the feelings still equal emotional distress and dysfunction.
My current book is a murder thriller, a rubbish 89pence on i downloaded on my Kindle, my ED managed to ruin the whole book for me because the author noted the weight and height of the protaginist..my ED thoughts jumped all over this as if it was a day old kitten in a bastket and refused to give me any thought space for the plot. It turned a fictional novel about a ‘heart in the mouth’ serial murderer into something to feel bad about myself for…now, I realize how damn stupid that is, yet I bet any other person with an ED rerading that will nod along, knowing all too well the situation I am talking about..
whatever your weight is/ your label is…it is the emotions that matter. The fact that you feel so low is not okay, the fact you have a screwed relationship with food is not okay, the fact that your day to day activities focus on this fact is not okay…
weight is a causuatly of the disease, but it does not define anyone as a person…the label of your ED only matter to the ED. I have seen people that are fully recovered and they do not think that anorexia is ‘a better diagnoses’ than any other ED label..whereas people currently fighting an ED actively want to be anorexic, or even more anoreix. No -one is ever ‘sick enough’ if you have an eating disorder.
Labels, diagnoses, and weight all seems to have become ‘part’ of the eating disorder itself. In an ideal world all Dr’s/GP’s/medical experts/lay person will realize that all eating disorders are pretty much identical in terms of thoughts and feelings and only differ a tad in behavior..the medical stuff seems to be fairly individual and should only concern the medical professions, it shouldn’t be another tick on the list that feeds the greedy eating disorder that’ll not want to cease, ever.
I do often wonder if it is helpful for me to talk about ‘my anorexia’ instead of ‘my eating disorder’ because of the connotations I am hammering home to a) my own consciousness and b) other people who may read this – I do think that labels should be left on tinned goods but quite possibly it would be helpful to remove them from eating disorders.
I hope that one day I will become a person with a wide range of interests who does not identify themselves by a mental illness.. someday I am ‘anorexic’ other days I am ‘agoraphobic’ and some days I am a ‘self harmer’ if I can only view myself in these terms it is no wonder I have stayed unemployed as a graduate..
If anyone has read this, and has any views on the ‘label’ debate, I’d love to hear from you.
I am not a happy bunny at the moment, although possibly less grumpy and more melancholic than the bunny in the picture. I do not know how to draw melancholy.
The Eating Woman was not very helpful, although I am pretty sure it is a) my mindset toward treatment in general and b) the personality clash that seems to be going on, rather than any major wrong doing on her part. Nonetheless I have been sulking since I saw her and licking my (metaphorical) wounds..
Therapy is not easy, as I said in a previous post I saw my first therapist when I was 14 and have not really been ‘out of the system’ since then. Someone from an online forum today said to me it was hard when you have been in therapy since a young age as you are forced to take on a persona of a ‘miniature adult’ both in terms of responding to your immediate chaotic environment and in terms of beginning of the path to understanding yourself. I agree with this statement wholeheartedly, although I do feel I apply it too liberally to my own situation in an attempt to dampen down the more difficult parts of therapy…
Why is it hard? Isn’t it just moaning about how you feel?
Yes, and no. I think that therapy is very much individual, even if you are under a specific ‘treatment programme’..therapists, also, be they psychologists, clinical nurses, psychiatrists or any other -ist, do seem to have their own expectations that they bring to the room. Even in behavioural therapies, such as cognitive (CBT) or dialectal (DBT) seem to vary from clinician to clinician and I think this is appropaite but slightly confusing. I spent nearly 24 months in a DBT treatment group while I was studying for my BA and the group would change significantly depending on which group leader was in charge. It always surprised me that this used to alter the atmosphere of the room more than the emotions of the ‘service users’..(other mad people in the group)..I suppose I adopted an ‘us against them’ mentality and thought our emotional distress would sway the agenda much more than the planning of a trained therapist.
I think that therapists often know a lot more than the ‘client’ thinks they do..and also has a much greater role in a grop context. It has always surprised me when I have had an opportunity to see my notes (not a very nice experience)…I think when you have been in therapy for a long time you (well, me) tends to think they already know what the shrink/doctor/whatever is going to think..this is wrong, contray to my understanding therapists are not robots, but actual people with minds of there own.
Well, that was a bit of a directionless rant wasn’t it?
I am lost in therapy at the moment because I am considered ‘complex’ with many ‘co-morbid’ psychiatric diagnoses.
The main aim of any therapy I have ever been in is to focus on my Eating Disorder, probably because it has the most physical health issues directly attached to it. I have also been labelled with Emotional Unstable Personality Disorder, more commonly known as Borderline Personality Disorder (EUP or BPD)..
As a population, patients with BPD are more likely than Joe Blogs to develop an ED, with 21.7% developing Anorexia Nervosa and 24% developing Bulimia Nervosa..(I beleive that the percentage of people with EDNOS..eating disorder not otherwise specified…would be even higher, but unfortunately this is still not as well known or respected as a concreated diagnoses as ‘pure’ ED’s) Info and statistics from about.com
It is a commonly debated chicken-or-egg type problem..if someone has BPD and an ED..which do you treat first?
I, personally, would like more of a focus on what, supposedly, translates as my BPD symptoms, as I think if the thoughts, the anxiety and my general lack of abiltiy to be normal is made magically ‘all better’ or at least just..slightly altered for the better..I may then be able to think more openly about letting go of my ED, which is my most prevelant coping mechanism. (I do wonder if this is just me using excuses because I am too scared though.)
Anyway, I think therapy is an interesting topic to input into Google. I am always interested in any changes that are made in treatment or any new articles that are released. I love hearing other peoples experiences of therapy, treatment and what works and what doesn’t.
Dr D, my current ED Psych (Eating disorder psychologist) constantly tells me I am being ‘treatment resistant’ in both talk therapy and because I seem largely unaffected by even gross amounts of medication. I think the medication thing is very common in people with underlying BPD and personality disorders as a whole. I agree with the element about medication but I do think she is wrong, to an extent, about the eating disorder. I am not anti-recovery..I am just scared, and feel like If I launch into good ship ‘meal plan’ and ‘weight restoration’ at the moment all my big-bad feelings that I beat down using my ED will come and bash me and leave me in a heap on the floor unable to move. I do understand that this view point is pretty contrary, there are so many people out there that are so pro-recovery, and I do not dismiss that or think it is a bad thing, I have the greatest respect for anyone who has taken on an Eating Disorder and won, it must be such a hard and unforgiving fight..but, I just do not feel as if I have the inner resources or i suppose, the hope, to embark on that perilous journey yet. I suppose I am a big wuss.
I cannot really imagine myself outside of the realm of mental illness. I have had a lot of therapy and I am sure it is my fault, not the fault of anyone clinician or therapist that I have not yet won this war..like I said, I am not a happy bunny at the moment and I think the overall atmosphere of this post reflects that..what I say now is not necessarily very indicative of my general attitude, I get very frustrated that my viewpoint on things and the amount of hope I harbor differs so very dramatically. Depression and the utter fight it takes to even get out of new newly decorated bed is exhausting, this is not always so.
I very much feel for anyone currently struggling with depression, eating disorders or any other mental-wonkyness…or even just plain old, run of the mill discontent. I am lucky to have a good support team; as I said before I have a very good CPN, an ED Pysch who makes me go and feel miserable (which I think does me good) an Eating Disorder Dietitian, a psychiatrist and a very supportive boyfriend/fiance and family. I know I am one of the lucky ones..but, still, it is difficult.
Sirius Project < if you have not encountered this website before it provides very good, clear information on BPD, self harm, ED’s and other mental health issues, I like it as it is very clearly written, check it out.
I am trying to find other Blog’s that deal with similar issues that I am facing, I know there are many out there so if you read this feel free to plug yours or others that you like.
I watched a documentry today called ‘I’m a teenage Vampire’. Predictably enough it was about this bunch of kids who thought they were vampire…real actual bitey vamps. The google hits that cam with subsequent ‘research’ where damn funny.
My Shrink has said that my illness/lack of ability to function normally stems partly from a ‘distinct lack of sense of self’. I have increased anxiety and zero self esteem because I have not ‘found myself’. Today I had a breakthrough….I think I am part Big Dog. Seriously, I made a table comparing the stuff Big Dog enjoys/does daily and stuff that I do. It’s uncanny.
I like stumbleupon
I like this article which it kindly threw out into my net-o-sphere for me today; it’s not all about you
It is a good idea, and a good study – I am all for things that may lesson anxiety – but I fear there are many people out there that will not believe it. Or rather, there are so many people out there whose negative thinking habbits will not allow them to believe it.
The problem with anxiety is that it seems to be rooted in negative thinking, so people who suffer from this kind of disorder are self-obsessed in a self depreciating sort of way. Automatic thoughts are common.
To take the example of dropping a drink as used in the above article;
Person without anxiety disorder; OMG I just dropped my drink in my lap. I bet everyone is looking at me and laughing. I feel stupid. *goes to get another drink*
Person with anxiety disorder; OMG I just dropped my drink in my lap. I bet everyone is looking at me and laughing. I feel stupid. I am stupid. Everyone is going to hate me, eveything good I have done ever now counts as useless. I am an ineffectual and pathetic person because I cannot even remind my fingers to grip a drink, talking of fingers, my fingers are much more stupid than everyone elses. Everyone is going to be looking at my stupid fingers and my stupid face and that girls over there looks sad and i think it is because of me..and I bet that the war was because of me and that no-one can get a cardboard rocket to space because I am here and and ohgodIcantbreathe…*is mortified and replays situation in mind for ten years*
Obviously this aboive scenario is an over-dratization and anxiety/depression is not that simplified…similarly, normally, I and other anxious people are aware that we can not single handedley be held responsible for the War/lack of cardboard rockets..but I do worry about it. If you do worry about war/rockets/fingers and your involvement in such things this may help – a site with good stuff about automatic thoughts and anxiety LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS!
As may this –
It has been a few months since I have had the pleasure of spilling a drink down myself but nonetheless anxiety is still a huge part of my life. I remember when I first began therapy I was given so many graphs promising that the horrible vile feelings of anxiety would not out last my distress and that I would NOT spontaneously combust before I ever felt calm again. Nine years after first seeing one of these graphs I am beginning to understand the theory but the ‘IneedthisfeelingtostopNOW’ is a very difficult to crack. Despite turnig into a vertiable medication chest at various times over the last decade I do think I have made more progress using ACT Therapy as well as DBT Therapy (more about the fun of group therapy experiences to come in other post.) This has all worked better than the drugs for anxiety I have been on, although the drugs provided a short term gratification it was my thinking that needed to alter. I am not stamping on the idea of medication for anxiety as I know when my depression is bad I need them for a chemical kick up the arse but I think there is a tendency to rely on them and therefore to utterly ignore the fact the you feeling like you cause all the bad things that ever happened ever is a slightly misplaced logical leap.
Today I saw my CPN (community practice nurse) she is lovely and kind enough to come to the house so I can sit in my dressing gown at 9:30 am and moan about my insignificant issues rather than having to complete the death defying task of getting on a bus with other human beans on it. In return for her seeing me looking, frankly sexy, in my Primark dressing gown with unwashed hair I make her a mean cup of coffee with just a tad too much Nescafe. (I like to think of her going to her next appointment on a bit of a high.) She is trying to convince me to begin to volunteer for the Mental Health Board in my county meaning I’d get to help do exciting things like sit in on interviews for new Therapists and pitch ideas for new support groups. I tried to tell her I am too worried about how-much-glue-to-put-on-rockets to use my time constructively but I looked through the paper work she left and it actually looks pretty exciting. (I also like the idea of conferences, mostly because they may provide biscuits and free pens. Biscuits and Biro’s are the way to my heart.)
I like my CPN a lot. I know that for me working out what sort of therapy works best for me has been massive to my recovery. For instance talking for hours about all the stuff that happened years and years ago does not help me deal with it, it just makes me sad and weepy and liable to isolate myself for everyone so I can hide in a pit of duvet and cake crumbs and feel sorry for myself. Clever words about the Pros and Cons of Psychotherapy
It feels a bit lame that therapy is something I could talk about for a long time but I DO think it is Very Important that people who do go to Shrinks and Doctors and Therapists know that they have a choice in what treatment they get. There is no shame in needing help and it is more than okay to squeeze the best you can out of that help – all the professionals are there for you and to not exploit all their learning, thoughts and help is counterproductive. It is a bit like microwaving an ice cream cake, you are just not going to get the best from it if you do not follow the instructions on the box. (Eat from freezers, with spoon all to yourself.)
I’m going to draw some pictures. I will be back later.