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About Saeihr

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    All the questions, none of the answers.
  • Birthday 06/27/1983

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    Western Australia

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  1. I hope to work out some coping strategies when I see my psychologist next. We'll see. You seem pretty articulate to me :-)
  2. The psychologist appointment went well. She does believe that there's definitely some complex trauma at play. Though she seems reticent to diagnose anything she does understand why I want a specific name, a specific label. So I can pursue the correct treatments and not get waylaid in wrong treatments like I have in the past. Though just talking about my trauma in a general sense left me a bit rattled and I was really badly depressed for a couple of days afterward as a result of my reacting to emotions more strongly than I may have before. Or something. So I'm trepidatious about trauma therapy going forward and how sensitive I'm going to be as a result. But I hope that the end result will be worth it in the end. I agree with you that it can reassuring to have a diagnosis that fits, it provides answers to difficult questions that therapy and treatment often won't provide even if they are effective. Sometimes treating symptoms can be a good approach but often many conditions have similar symptoms but vastly different treatment approaches, that's why I think finding an appropriate diagnosis is usually a good idea. Just as long as the doctor and patient are mindful of potential sitgmas and stereotypes.
  3. additional When I told a friend that I've known for almost two decades about all this dissociation/voices stuff they said that a lot of my online posts seemed disjointed, and that I seemed like I was often in search of identity, belonging and meaning, but I would often turn around and immediately reject it
  4. I was on CrazyBoards for a little while between 2011 and 2012. I originally joined because I'd been diagnosed with Bipolar Type II, and was struggling with medications, and some peripheral stuff. Later in 2012 I was also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Over the years I've struggled with additional and different medications, and new therapies all of which either worked for a moment and stopped, or just did nothing at all from the beginning. The only thing that seemed to be of any benefit was Schema Therapy which I did during half of my individual therapy sessions during Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (which didn't do much). (only half because the psych doing the therapy left and I got a new psych who was nice but useless) I began to assume that Bipolar was a misdiagnosis, and I only had Borderline, none of the Bipolar medication I'd ever been on ever worked the way I'd been led to believe it would. My moods didn't seems to come in cycles but rather unstable chaos of unknown triggers. I stopped all my Bipolar medication, stopped seeing the psychiatrist I had been seeing (he wasn't listening to me and kept on insisting on things that weren't working). Eventually, with the help of my GP, I started an anti-depressant (amitriptyline) which, even after 6-12 months (I think) did nothing at all. My GP and I decided to stop it. I recognised a need to treat my ADHD, and I decided to try the antidepressant edronax instead. It seemed to have some effect in regards to my ADHD symptoms, but extremely weak. So my GP referred me to a psychiatrist who dealt with ADHD. He believed I didn't have Borderline, and initially doubted I have autism. He put me on long acting ritalin, and dear god that was a bad bad idea. Whether it was the edronax or the ritalin or some unholy combination of them both, my already consistently low mood tanked hard. I don't think I've ever had such an unstable and severe depression in my life, and I've been hospitalised twice. I often had a nasty inner voice telling me all the crap I often tell myself in depression, I'm useless, no one wants me around, I can't do anything right. I spent over a week in bed with that voice before I could see the psychiatrist again. Thankfully I was seeing a psychologist during that time, and she was doing bits and pieces of schema therapy with me. A lot of my functioning seemed to be based on differing modes that would 'come out' in response to certain events, emotions, or other triggers, so schema seemed the perfect fit, helping put names and reasons to the different modes. We put names to two defensive modes I often exhibited, 'shield' and 'spiky shield'. They often came out during my depression, as a response to my vulnerability. Whenever someone pried too much, got too close, or just said the wrong thing I would withdraw, or snap at them viciously. I tried hard to fight those urges. Not the kind of person I want to be. I also started to dissociate during the sessions, visual distortions (macropsia), withdrawing into myself mentally, which I hadn't done since childhood (at least that's what I recalled...). The psychiatrist believed that my diagnosis of Bipolar Type II was valid and was the reason for my reaction, and put me on Lamotrigine, mid August. By mid October my mood was flat. Stable I guess. Didn't much like the feeling. Suppressed. It lasted until the introduction of 2x 5mg dexamphetamine at the end of October and then my mood went HAYWIRE. It started small. A little bit down, then the next day a little bit up. Over the next two weeks it continued like that, down a bit more, up a bit more, down a lot, up a lot. Down to rock bottom depression, up to high hypomanic. All the way I was experiencing the worst anxiety, included an unexpected attack panic followed by some dissociative withdrawal into myself. I found it difficult to keep myself present in the moment, often zoning out, staring off into space, fully conscious of what I was doing, but finding it difficult to stop doing it. I started thinking about my childhood more, the "difficulties" I faced from a mother struggling to connect with an autistic son (even though I was actually her daughter, unbeknownst to everyone aka: trans), often telling me what to do in terms of behaviour, telling me everything I do was wrong or inappropriate, I felt like I could never live up to her standards. And all the bullying and betrayals I experienced during my schooling. I couldn't really recall any specific details, just the vague events, and the general sense of what happened. This is the origins of the nasty voice I often hear, loudest during depression, but it's always there. I hadn't thought about my school years in ages. I mentioned this stuff to my psychologist, and she nodded along. We were under the assumption it all fit with the Borderline diagnosis. She tried to do some sort of trauma memory thing? Where I recalled a memory and then went into to tell my younger self that I was safe or something... I really really didn't like that. And found it extremely difficult. We only did that once, as we didn't get to see each other very long; she left the free service to join a private clinic further north. I contacted my psychiatrist with all this, and made an earlier appointment for me. I began to actually suspect that Bipolar Type II was also a misdiagnosis, my only two hypomanic episodes of note seemed to be have been triggered by the introduction of ADHD medication. (Ritalin instant release, way back in 2010/2011, and Dex now) But during the wait time I began to look up information about all what I was experiencing. Probably a mistake, I am prone to obsessive thinking. My research was initially fueled by a podcast I'd listened to wherein someone was talking about their own childhood and what led them to a diagnosis of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I was curious, so looked it up the symptoms of which were startlingly similar. Like disturbingly similar. I wondered if maybe my psychiatrist was right and I didn't have Borderline. I rechecked my assumptions and the criteria/symptoms of Borderline. And I don't actually fit enough of the BPD criteria. While I do have a strong fear of betrayal and rejection, I don't make frantic efforts to avoid them, or abandonment. I tend to be more of a "welp, that's my lot" kind of person. I don't alternate between extremes of idealisation or devaluation in my relationships, I tend to have steady opinions of those around and close to me (perhaps to a fault?). I'm not impulsive, even when I think I'm being impulsive those around me think I'm acting normally. I don't think I have feelings of emptiness, despite my life currently being empty. And I don't have inappropriate, difficult to control anger, not since my teen years. Not to mention very few people, trained or untrained have agreed with the diagnosis over the years. And looking back at DBT with other BPD people, I never fit in with them at all, I just assumed it was because I was autistic as well, but it's actually because I'm not Borderline. But I had a voice in my head telling me to be careful. This was exactly how I was with Bipolar and Borderline both. I knew ahead of my diagnoses that I "had" those conditions. I looked them up, I matched my symptoms to them. I very likely biased the psychs I saw in hospital the first time by telling them my symptoms coloured to look like bipolar. I did the same thing in my second hospitalisation, but I tried harder to be vague, the psych there was just confused until I outright told him I thought I had BPD, and he was oh, Okay sure, diagnosed me and kicked me out the door with a placement in a DBT group. It was like 5 weeks of just him being all confused and then I tell him my suspicion and boom I'm out in less than two weeks. Easy out much? Either way I knew I had a pattern I pre-self-diagnosing. I had to be careful. Honestly I should've stopped right there. But I read that dissociation is a symptom of CPTSD and I knew I'd done that in my childhood, I knew I'd been doing it recently. So I followed that down the rabbit hole, leading me to Depersonalisation/Derealisation. That clicked with several experiences I've had over the years. I've struggled with a stable sense of identity, particularly post gender transition (like who am I as a woman?), I know what my values, ethics etc are, but I don't know what I want from life, I have ideas that seem to come and go, morph and change, and disappear entirely. I don't feel a sense of recognition to my own reflection, never have as far as I can recall. And apparently my memory isn't as great as I thought it was. When I came here today I re-read my old posts and I don't remember even half of them, that's only 5-6 years, much of what I said in those posts don't match my current memories of those times, particularly sequence of events. My partner recalls a time about 10 years ago where I had mentioned to her I was experience a dissociative episode. I don't remember that event at all. She also was talking about a book we'd bought together, for me, that I couldn't remember until I saw it at home, I was like "oh right that book!", but then I had no clue at all where we got it from until she reminded me, and then I was like "oh right!" all over again. Now that I know there's something to look for I have actually been noticing more 'gaps' like that in memory throughout the years. Errors in recall, or sequencing, just forgetting random things here and there. I also read about Dissociative Identity Disorder, but immediately dismissed that as any sort of possibility. I don't have separate personality states. I mean sure, I might have voices in my head that don't seem to originate from my own thoughts (at least one of which I can sometimes actually hold a conversation with), fragmentary emotional modes that influence my thoughts behaviour in ways I later don't approve of and shamefully regret. But that's all just Borderl-oh. If I don't have Borderline or Bipolar then how do I explain all these other goings on in my head? What are even my reactions? Why do I have these sometimes rather vociferous voices in my head? Why do I dissociate? Was my childhood and teen years even that traumatic? Am I just obsessing myself into oblivion? That last one, probably? I couldn't shake the notion that everything I'd read about DID seemed to somewhat fit my experiences. But only partially. I don't experience switching between alters, at least as far as I or anyone around me is aware, and I don't seem to experience any gaps in memory related to any sort of switching...Again, at least as far as I was aware. So much self doubt. That led me to OSDD-1, but 1a is the less distinct states that may not switch, and 1b is the no amnesia. I seem to have both? Or am I just making it all up because I went WAY too far down the rabbit hole and no I can't distinguish my objective reality from subjective feelings? Either way I went to see my psychiatrist, for that earlier appointment just this Thursday gone. I told him all about my symptoms and experiences, my mood reactivity, my anxiety, my dissociating, my general sense of being very unstable, and eventually that I had inner voices seemingly distinct from my own self talk. I very specifically didn't mention any diagnosis suspicions I had been obsessing on. He had no answers (though he did say the voices seemed to be 'pseudo hallucinations' ?), and just wanted to focus on my ADHD and getting the medication right. He agreed that I don't have Bipolar and reaffirmed that I don't have Borderline. But said it was probably a good idea to stay on Lamotrigine for now. He suggested I see a psychologist for the rest, which was kind of frustrating, but not wholly unexpected. I see my GP and a therapist (not clinical psychologist) on Monday, so I'll be talking to them about all this too. *shrug* No sure why I wrote all this, looking for validation? support? Or just clarification on what the honest fuck? I dunno. But any thoughts, questions, comments, I'd be happy to read them. (was originally going to put this in the Dissociative Disorders section, but this covers such a wide ground I figured NOS was a better place)