Monday, May 2, 2005

Professional help

I went back to see my therapist today.

During the meeting, I mentioned to her about the blog that I have been posting and provided some insights about its usage.

Exactly one week ago, there were two reasons underlying my decision to start documenting my progress publicly. One of them was that I decided to go head to head with the symptom that my mental health problems were being publicized.

Yes, I decided to take the behaviorist approach of flooding. My thought was that, if it is inevitable for me to go through my auditory hallucinations and, consequentially, the aka radio broadcasting experiences, I might as well publish everything over the public domain. When all is out, what is left to be broadcasted? lol

However, that decision does have consequences because, now that everything is out, there is more reason for me to believe in the delusional perceptions and this surely imposes more stress on me. (Unless you are as headstrong as I am, or, even if you are even more headstrong, think twice before you proceed… lol)

My therapist suggested that, to reduce the amount of stress on me, maybe I should consider writing things done privately, rather than posting it publicly.

I stopped and pondered before offering her my response.

To was my realization that it doesn't really matter whether it is in my delusions or in my reality that people know me living with some problems. The issue to be dealt with is not how others might stigmatize a person with the propensity for psychosis, rather, it is about how I value myself.

So how is the result of my self valuation manifested in the positive symptoms?

Let's do some really simple analysis about the auditory hallucinations that I have been experiencing (the minor annoyances). I will not take into consideration the auditory hallucinations that are part of the referential ideologies since these experiences are associated with the interpretation of real stimuli that I picked up from the environment.

There are basically three types of contents for these auditory hallucinations. Guess what? Ya, positive, negative, and neutral. lol

An example of neutral comments would be something like “that’s the girl with a smoke”. “She is psychotic!” is an example of negative auditory hallucinations. The positive voices would say things such as, "I admire her", "she is strong", etc.

Sometimes these auditory hallucinations actually get me feel pretty defeated because they have been pretty similar for all these years. I actually complained to my therapist several times about how lack of creativity my auditory hallucinations have been. It might be scary but it would be nice to have a change. lol

That was a little side track, anyway, similar to the dialogues experienced by other people with auditory hallucination, these internal dialogues seem to manifest the extreme degree of egocentrism in me. They also signify my intensified degree of obsession about how my personal attributes might be perceived by the others (and I believe this is why the internal dialogues are presented as third person narrations).

So what do all these mean?

It struck me that, maybe, the real problem I need to face is my ability to truly value and appreciate myself. Also, despite of my BS about how I believe in the idea that “mental health problems are not a problem with characters,” I might be the person who really could not accept me as myself or, the packages that come with me.

As a result, I looked back at my therapist and replied, “Yes, I could stop posting my blogs in public and do it in private. Maybe that might reduce some of the stress. I can even take the entire thing down. However, I will not do it.”


Call me a war lord if you want to. However, after I took on my own symptoms days ago, I now realize that the symptoms are but the messengers. Like what they say, my best enemy is actually myself.

Don’t take me wrong and think that I am blaming myself for the mental health problems. I have to live with it just like anyone else with other chronic health problems, for instance, heart conditions. However, in this era, people are still lacking a solid understanding about mental health issues.

I am not only talking about the general public. I am also talking about those professionals whose job is to treat patients, to create treatments, and, to study about the etiology of mental health problems. However, most of the problems could only be dealt with but can not be cured. The significance of labeling is important to the selection medication. Yet, it is actually the symptoms that are more important than the labeling.

Back a while ago, I encountered a guy who does medical research. I asked him what he does, he replied, “I know everything about dopamine.” Well, maybe he was just trying to impress a girl that he met at the bar but he tried it on the wrong one. I looked at him and I said something like, “You don’t know jack about dopamine. Otherwise, I would have been cured and freed of auditory hallucinations.” To my amazement, his response was, “That’s schizophrenia.” If he were taking a quiz in my abnormal psychology class, he would have failed. However, I am the person without a job with benefits. lol

Also, to be honest, there hasn’t been much consensus about my diagnosis for the past few years. I have been diagnosed as having delusional disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder, in addition to depression. After I while, I just let them call me whatever they want to call me because, the bottom line is, give me the drug that I need to become stabilized, everything else is negotiable. lol

You see, if it might have been the lack of knowledge that contributed to witch hunt, the same could have contributed to people’s fear about individuals with mental health problems. And, believe me, I am one of them.

However, there is a difference between my fear and those who don’t struggle with it. My fear about mental health problem is about my inability to deal with it without causing major problem in my functioning as well as its revisit. On the other hand, sometimes, people’s fear for crazy people is due to their lack of understanding or due to how the media have portrayed people with mental health problems.

For me, we all are entitled to our fears regardless what the origins of our fear are.

However, it is inevitable for me to start finding myself a way to deal with these fears.

It is why I am setting up this life skill training sessions for myself in my everyday life. You see, I could stay at home and remain in private till I become a certified social phobic. Yet, that is what I will not do.

Rather, I will put myself to face whatever I have to face.

Essentially, there are only three possibilities for the reality. First, I might really have mild delusions which lead me to sort of believe that people I haven’t even encounter knows about me and my condition. Second, people might really know about my conditions. Third, nobody, except for those people whom I talked to and who love me, knows about it.

I have decided that it is of no significance whatever the real scenario might be because that is not the point.

In my last two episodes, I went on with my life and I was determined to fight it off.

This time, I am having a paradigm shift. I have come to the true realization that it is the art of ignoring that I need to master and it is myself that I have to fight.

Since self-defeating is the last thing I need now, I will keep a rain check on that engagement ;-)(lol). At the same time, believe it or not, ignoring is a task much harder to learn than training myself to write with my left hand; as a result, I will start from concentrating on the things I do in my life.

I should mention, though, I will not be me today without these people studying those neurotransmitters running around in our brain. Whenever I think about two of my uncles who suffered from Schizophrenia since their early adulthood and who never could have achieved their full potential, I realize that modern atypical psychotic medications have spared me with a life to live.

BTW, positive symptoms appearing as usual.

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