Tag Archives: wellness

Go Away Anxiety, You Have No Friends.

Having an anxiety attack is no walk in the park, it’s really quite disturbing, you believe that something is physically wrong with your body. I begin by having non-stop over-analytical thoughts followed by light headiness, limp arms and heartburn/palpitations that can last hours (I never get heartburn unless I’m experiencing anxiety), to say the least it isn’t a cup of tea. In my own way I triggered my anxiety by having distrust in another, I couldn’t stop myself. Anxiety can be like a dictating sovereign, ruling your moves and planting seeds of doubt in your foundations. I start to see every opposing and unbalancing situation in my life as a battle, a battle that has to be won, sacrificing your casualties and making the most of the fighting force that you have left. Why does everything have to be war though, bleak, desolate and crippling.

The aftermath of a war sometimes having more devastating consequences than the actual battle. We learn from war, we learn what we can do better next time, we learn what worked and what didn’t and how to best remain afloat. To be brutally honest during this war on anxiety I was a bitch, leaving causalities strewn in my wake. Today I realized what I had done, the thick curtain of anxiety lifting, the storm had past, now I need to workout what I do and don’t have to apologize for. I’ve been trying to get off my medication, but I’ve failed and the embedded reliance and unsubstantiated belief in the worth of psychiatry and psycho-pharmacology has won out.

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Lemonade Is Hard.

When life gives too many lemons, say “fuck off lemons, I ordered pie.”

It’s becoming way too hard to make lemonade. Life keeps throwing lemons your way but you can’t be bothered to make stupid lemonade. When you simply lack the strength and motivation to go through the motions.

When lemonade is simply too hard to make, you know that depression has definitely set in. It usually means you aren’t leaving bed or even buying groceries.

STAY POSITIVE 🙂 buy a juicer.

 

Playing Devil’s Advocate With Key Religious Figures And Mental Illness Correlations.

Disclaimer: Not my own thoughts, the research is from the Journal of Neuropsychiatry – The Role of Psychotic Disorders in Religious History Considered. This blog entry is me playing devil’s advocate to provoke debate; I’m not in any way trying to undermine a person’s religious beliefs, simply trying to encourage discourse underlying subconscious preconceptions of mental illness within religion.  


Thoughts to be considered before reading:
-Why would it be so bad if the inspirational figures in religious history experienced mental illness?
-Why do we subconsciously reject the thought that God wouldn’t work through people who have mental illnesses?
-Does being mentally ill make you exempt from God’s work and unable to meaningfully participate in worship when one in four people have been statistically proven to suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.

The awkward moment when it becomes plausible that Jesus suffered from Schizophrenia (Just to clarify: this wouldn’t in anyway take away from his religious position, history and achievements).

A study was conducted by psychiatrists when they were presented with a concept by a paranoid schizophrenic patient, who claimed that he could read minds and was selected by God to provide guidance for mankind. The patient refused to take the medication because they stopped the voices, presenting his doctors with the question: “How do you know the voices aren’t real…How do you know I am not The Messiah…God and angels talked to people in the Bible”. The patient raised interesting questions, how does one distinguish between people with mental health disorders and those of religious figures in history?

One of the examples the doctors used in their journal article was Jesus, by examining passages within the bible they located specific areas that presented symptoms of mental illness:
Paranoid-type (PS subtype) thought content: Matthew 10:34–39, 16: 21–23, 24:4–27; Mark 13:5–6; Luke 10:19; John 3:18; John 14:6–11

Auditory and visual hallucinations: Matthew 3:16–17, 4:3–11; Luke 10:18; John 6:46, 8:26, 8:38–40, 12:28–29

Referential thought processes: Mark 4:38–40 (Figure 3); Luke 18:31

Within the New Testament Jesus exhibits behaviours that closely resemble the DSM-IV-TR– Auditory hallucinations, Visual Hallucinations, delusions, referential thinking, paranoid-type, (PS subtype) thought content, and hyper-religiosity. Through the text Jesus also displays signs of disorganization, negative psychiatric symptoms, cognitive impairment, or debilitating mood disorder symptoms. The article poses the question about whether starvation and metabolic derangements caused some of the behaviours as Jesus experienced hallucinatory-like visions whilst he fasted for 40days in the desert (Luke 4:1–13).

Jesus’ experiences appear to have occurred over the course of at least the year before his death. There is a notable lack of physical maladies which suggest psychiatric aetiologies as more plausible. There is a 5%–10% lifetime risk of suicide in persons with schizophrenia.  Suicide is defined as a self-inflicted death that has intention to end one’s life. The New Testament recounts that Jesus was aware that people intended to kill him.  Jesus took the steps to ensure that his followers were aware that his death was necessary for his return (Matthew 16:21–28; Mark 8:31; John 16:16–28). These passages appear to present Jesus to deliberately place himself in a situation wherein he anticipated his execution. Schizophrenia is often associated with increased risk of suicide.

There is a term called ‘suicide-by-proxy’, any incident whereby a suicidal individual causes their own death to be carried out by another person.  Jesus’ behaviour before his death has parallels with someone who premeditates a form of suicide-by-proxy. In the passage Mark 3: 21: Jesus was on occasion viewed as mad or “beside himself.” People from Jesus’ hometown and the religious authorities of the day also did not accept his message. Subsets of individuals who have psychotic symptoms appear to be able to form intense social bonds and communities, despite having distorted views of reality. The study analysed the religious figures from a behavioural, neurologic, and neuropsychiatric perspective. The research indicates that the experiences of the individuals coincide with psychotic symptoms, suggesting that manifestations of their experiences had a primary or mood disorder-associated psychotic disorder basis.

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A main goal of this research was to evaluate the influence of individuals with mental illness and their effects on shaping the Western civilization, hoping that the findings will help to increase compassion and understanding in relation to mental illness. Within the research it should be noted that they did use explicit passages from the bible, but each passage should be examined in its own context. It is generally acknowledged that biblical scholars are not unanimous about the literality of the scriptures nor are psychiatrists completely unanimous about the DSM (basically the bible of psychiatry). The research conducted a form of psychological profiling by people that aren’t saddled with the preconceived notions and biases that encumber those that have studied their field in depth, allowing a fresh take on ideas that have been overanalysed by people in the same area of study.

Only by joining multiple areas of study can any true concept of history be interpreted, attempting to remove the elitist theories that dominate popular thought. It needs to also be acknowledged that historians aren’t the sole area of study that can interpret history, other fields of study have valuable insights that historians can lack.  The article didn’t stipulate and designate that religion was the cause for psychological symptoms, neither did it go into the scientific explanation, but it still needs to be acknowledged that religion does play a dominating role for some psychoses, especially with delusions. Does the motivating factor of religion in mental illness make it a definable feature??

I’m increasingly intrigued by the article when it encourages speculation on our inability to disprove that a person who is schizophrenic is a mouthpiece of God or is suffering from psychoses. The opposing opinions from both sides need to be taken into consideration; biases from long term studies ultimately detract from the viability of the research. The study showed the correlations that religious historical figures had with the current DSM, they acknowledged their limitations, like either psychological or biblical should do, my main question is this: why would it be wrong if they had suffered from a mental illness, it doesn’t detract from their accomplishments or their religious foundations, each person’s beliefs will always be grounded, who’s to say that God didn’t use psychoses to achieve his end.

I didn’t want to post this all week, didn’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers. I came across this article, it really interested me, I understand its controversial, I am in no way promoting and detracting from either side and hope my post won’t be interpreted as such. Thank you.

Author and Article Information

From the Dept. of Neurology, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA (EDM, BHP); Dept. of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA (MGC); Dept. of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, MA (EDM, BHP).

Murray, E., Cunningham, M. and Price, B. (2012). The Role of Psychotic Disorders in Religious History Considered. JNP, 24(4), pp.410-426.

My Scarred Meat Suit: The Summer Collection

I’ve always thought of people’s bodies as meat suits. We treat and look at ourselves like we are the pre-packaged meat products you buy from the supermarket. Always judging the product to see if it’s the right weight, proportion, undamaged and aesthetically pleasing. Would you buy that cut of meat or make the most out of the one you have? Is it a nice lean cut with little-to-no fat? I was reminded of this when my new swimmers arrived today, it’s been extremely hot in Australia lately, easier to stay in swimmers all day. After putting them on I started to analyse myself like I would a piece a meat, my scars revealed even when wearing shorts, the beginnings of my tan highlighting the white lines making them more prominent. It’s too hot not to wear shorts at the moment; I start to pick at the hem of my shorts, in my mind hoping that they would magically grow a foot longer so that the lady at the supermarket would stop gawking at my leg.

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When I wear shorts to the gym, no one stops to stare; they see a healthy energetic person, my scars not determining how they judge me in that particular circumstance. My body consciousness is improving, yet I will always be that scarred pre-packaged meat suit, always getting judged and examined externally. In some instances you become the damaged package goods that nobody wants. Having the scars out in the open allows people to develop an opinion about what type of person you are, believing you to be  attention seeking, unstable, unhappy, suicidal, anti-social, a pain seeker, self-absorbed, violent/angry and impulsive.

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror, caught up in the idea that the person staring back can’t be me. I look puzzled at my body, tormented by the idea that I inflicted so much pain on myself, both physically and mentally. I did this to myself, IT WAS ME. I need to take ownership for that. It’s about getting caught in the trappings of your mind, the deepest darkest place. I sometimes want to yell that I’m not ‘ill’ when people look at me strangely, I’ve always been a highly functional person, relationships, jobs and university study, I’ve always managed, even when depressed or hypomanic.

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It has become part of my personal wellness project to detoxify, cleanse and be ok with being imperfectly ‘perfect’. It shouldn’t be scary to be our imperfect selves, why should we avoid the label of ‘imperfection’ as if it’s the plague?! It’s useless to believe you can obtain ‘perfection’ or the current perception of perfection. The perception is wholly based on the current idealisations of the society, completely dependent on your milieu. My aim this week is to embrace my imperfections.

♪♪“Love your curves and all your edges. All your perfect imperfections. Give your all to me. I’ll give my all to you. You’re my end and my beginning. Even when I lose I’m winning”♪♪

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The Bipolar Diet?!

The yearnings ‘no no’s’ of Bipolar.

-Alcohol (ah goodbye my friend)
-Recreational drugs or excessive caffeine intake (Think caffeine is my biggest loss)
-Toxic friends (even the ones you don’t realise, or they need to get with the new positive program)
-Discontinuing medication
-Bad sleeping habits (easier said than done to fix!!)

My bipolar express is starting to slow down, my slow descent into the pit of despair boring life.

I’m creating positive reinforcements in my life to combat social anxiety (replacing word associations – ‘awkward’ with ‘awesome’ – good self-esteem improvement). Removing the friends whose negativity makes me more withdrawn. Realising that I’m content with who I am, I’m not the extrovert, nor do I see a point in conversing with some people, usually those conversations are futile. Just because I choose not to participate in some useless group interactions doesn’t make me ‘awkward’ or ‘autistic’, there are just different types of people in the world, I just happen to ‘choose’ to not talk to people that are of little value to me. Harmful relationships are a massive negative that are likely to trigger more mood episodes, intensify the risk for self-destructive behaviour and contribute to the attitudinal perception towards yourself that undermines any stability and wellness you have achieved. Cheers, friends suck.

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