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heffington

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  1. Well I finally contacted a therapist through email after doing some research and finding one I thought I could be comfortable with. The positives: -Though I'm not great at making my own jokes, I do like to laugh, and she has a sense of humor but not so much so I can't take her seriously or that I'm not being taken seriously. -She specializes in art therapy and after doing some preliminary research into different methodologies I think that's a really good route for me to take. As I'm an artist, and have a hard time expressing myself verbally in person. -Her office is very close my house, and is on the way to school, so its not out the way and easily accessible. -After contacting her she left a very long voicemail, and seemed to genuinely care, gave me her private email and offered help counsel me through emails even if not in an official manner since I'm living on student loans and nearly out of that money currently (I have about 50 bucks to live on for the next few weeks until my next check comes in, needless to say money is tight) The negatives: -She said she would ONLY see/schedule me if I saw a pdoc first. Her reasoning was that the "severity" of my symptons described are simply beyond what she alone can help with, and that I'm going to need medication whether I like it or not if I want to make any progress. She did, however, admit that often pdocs are too quick to throw you a bunch of pills, but assured me they couldn't force me to take anything I didn't want to, and that I should be able to negotiate with the doctor about my would-be medications. -When she called me back she blocked her number, which makes me a little worried. I'm sure its just a safety measure on her part so people don't repeatedly call her, though I would think she would just call from her office which has its number publicly listed anyways. I just found it kind of weird. -She said in her voicemail that she is going to be out of the office for the next few days until Thursday so won't be able to respond/read any emails until then. This also seemed kind of weird to me, but it could be a coincidence that she had planned a vacation already and I just happened to catch her at a bad time. However its a little strange to me that she would take a vacation in the middle of the week and be back before Friday, if you're on vacation why not stay the whole weekend? After I heard the voicemail I logged into chat and discussed some initial thoughts with those that were there (thanks sandorfalot, winterosie, and zoesfrog), but I'd like some more input if possible. And thanks vapour for taking a second look at her site for me. Is it a common practice to request patients see a pdoc before visiting a therapist? One of the people in chat said therapists are to help you cope but not to diagnose and that's probably where she is coming from, but I'm wondering if I should keep looking for a therapist that won't make me see a pdoc, or if I should just force myself to go see a pdoc because just about any reputable therapist will want me to see a pdoc first for a diagnosis if nothing else?
  2. offend in every way

    1. Gearhead

      Gearhead

      White stripes fan? Love 'em.

  3. 111 Am I the only one who can't think of the word "mild" without thinking about salsa? Took the quiz three times and averaged the results, tried not to think too hard about the questions else I end up changing my answer repeatedly. my serious concerns: Anxiety 95 (wow... holy fucking...wow...I am now officially anxious about being anxious) Phobias 58 schizophrenia 65 Dissociation 75 mania 60 OCD 81 Honestly had never considered myself obsessive before, a little compulsive maybe, but with three results all giving me high numbers in that area I'm wondering if there's something to it. Dissociation I find a little strange, I'm no pdoc, but it was my understanding that dissociation usually goes hand in hand with PTSD and I scored mild to low in that area.
  4. Thanks guys/gals/peoples. And its fine Dusk, wasn't just you and wasn't even just this thread. I'm completely ok with people not agreeing with me, in fact I'm used to it. You all obviously didn't intend to kick/scare me off the boards else one of the friendly moderators would have simply banned me. It wasn't much more than a fleeting thought really, probably shouldn't have mentioned it. Anyways I finally did fall asleep around 11 am, managed to get up for class around 1pm. Got home from class and still haven't actually made "the call" yet, mainly because by the time I got home, realized I hadn't eaten anything all day so forced some granola down, and called my parents again (they are coming in town soon) it was 7pm. I just don't know, I thought I made up my mind yesterday but I keep flipping back and forth. My parents dont seem to think anything is wrong with me other than stress and maybe a little depression (despite the fact I kept insisting I'm not particularly sad or anything along those lines), but the evidence is there nonetheless that I least need to talk to someone. My mom on the phone even reminded me to drink water today, at first I was offended until I realized I had indeed not drank anything since at least sometime yesterday/last night. Just don't want to give up control of my life or lose my freedom. The point made about me not being free now by locking myself in my room and rarely leaving, is a good one, and probably the most convincing argument I've gotten from an outside source that I should call a doctor and schedule a visit. However, I know my ability to take care of myself isn't always the best, and because of that I'm at risk of being forced. I don't want to be under anyone elses care or supervision. I'd rather die early and alone, than live under the finger of another person telling me how when and what I should be doing. Sounds incredibly melodramatic I'm sure :violin:But I can't escape the fear that people will end up doing more harm than good even if their intent is to do things "In my own best interest". This cant be another delusion, or is it, or am I just being paranoid and not so much delusional, or am I seeing a very likely scenario.... Ugh... Im going to call... I have to... I know it... you know it... we all know it. I just have to force myself to.
  5. My husband went to art school at the graduate level. I have a soft spot for wacky artists.

  6. Ok I'm glad its a fairly common phenomenon. Find it odd that is was so hard to track down information on this until given the keyword "hypnagogic", which Id never even heard before. (Thanks Blart) Probably won't bother bringing it up to the doc then.
  7. @justme: Yea at best you get the whole "all you need is Jesus" attitude, at worst you get accused of being possessed by devils. @vapour and crt: As for Australia, quite honestly I hadn't even considered that. However now after doing a little bit of preliminary research its high on my list. Thank you so much, vapor. Although the careers they seem to be after aren't necessarily in my field (arts and entertainment, specifically I do everything from painting, 3d modeling, to creating my own animations) I can't imagine too many countries wouldn't want more artists/creative talent in their citizenship. New Zealand sounds really nice to me as well, and its absolutely gorgeous to boot (Australia has its fair share of stunning scenery I'm sure). I do have a question about Australian culture because honestly I know next to nothing about it other than over the top stereotyping movies like Crocodile Dundee and Welcome to Whoop Whoop (a great movie btw). Do Aussies embrace the weird/eccentric or ostracize them? Seems from an outsiders perspective they tend to embrace more than ostracize, but hard to judge. Also, how big of a grip does religion have on the people, politics, and daily life in general? Is there much in the way of racism/bigotry? I didn't know that about California, what a shame. The more I think about it the more just immigrating out of the US seems to be my best option. There really isn't anything to hold me here. The only concern I have is the potential "brain drain" on America by people like me deciding to immigrate elsewhere leaving a country full of massive firepower in the hands of religious zealots, and my general ignorance of places outside the US. But if America can't provide the things we need to live a happy life, why stay. After all my ancestors immigrated to America in the early 1800s in search of a better life and (ironically) religious tolerance, why not continue that tradition. edit: fun fact: New Zealand is not recognized by the spell checker.
  8. I haven't been diagnosed with anything, haven't been to a doctor yet but I will soon. Was wondering if this is something I should even bring up when I do see him/her. I've had dreams, recently and since I was young, that I actually feel pain in. I've even had lucid dreams where I get tactile and sometimes painful sensations but can't wake up despite the knowledge I'm in a dream. When I do wake up the pain goes away. The worst happened when I was much younger. I had a dream I was fighting/wrestling with a kid in my neighborhood. While he and I were locked trying to wrestle eachother his brother came up behind me and started digging his fingers into my spine. His brother had me in a headlock of sorts so I couldn't get free to get away from the pair. The pain was intense, but when I woke up it was gone. That was by far the worst one, but I've also felt burns, cuts, blunt trauma, and various minor tactile sensations. There is of course never any physical evidence like bleeding or bruising, so its not as though someone was physically harming me while I slept, and never any lasting pain once I wake so I don't think its pain I'm simply feeling in reality that my dreams interpret differently. I tried to look for some information online but all I could find were nutty new age boards full of "dood just focus on your extra-dimensional out of body spirit ballz!", or conspiracy theories. I'm already paranoid enough but usually my paranoia is at least stemming from reality and not completely derived from bad movies and conspiracy documentaries. My theory is its psychosomatic, but didn't know if its happened to anyone else.
  9. I apologize if my eccentricities have offended anyone. Honestly at first I felt you guys were ganging up against me for not being a pill advocate so I didn't reply and considered not coming back, but I can see where you all are coming from nonetheless so here I am. Gearhead, you're right, I've got to find some help, if for no other reason than I can't keep living like a shut in. I sat for most of the day staring at my cell phone pondering the possible benefits and detriments, and I didnt really make any progress. Chances are it being sunday I wouldn't have been able to get in touch with anyone anyways. I have class in a few hours, I may or may not go, but at 8 AM I plan to start the search for a doctor or therapist. Thanks for the advice of printing out my original post for my doctor to read, I find it very difficult to talk about, and even more difficult to talk about it clearly and concisely in person. Though I'm a bit worried they will accuse me of printing out a post I didn't make, I can't think of an alternative other than writing up a book to thrust in the lap of my future would-be therapist. Actually I can't think very much at all right now because I haven't slept. I tried to, but when I laid down I felt a bug crawling on my arm, it was there, I crushed it and I can still see the corpse sitting in a napkin by my bed, but I couldn't sleep after that kept thinking there were bugs. Washed my sheets even, but that didn't help. As for already talking to my parents, they really didn't get it. And I skipped over some of the nastier bits like thinking my Dad was trying to poison me, because they aren't the most stable people either and I don't want to hurt them. I think on some level they blame themselves for whatever hardships I'm going through and I don't want them to do that. Anyways thanks, all of you.
  10. I currently live in the southern US aka Bible Country. Everytime I've sought any sort of help I've gotten God shoved down my throat, and I'm sick of it. I am an atheist, and I am perfectly fine with not having jesus, or allah, or yahweh in my life thank you. Obviously America doesn't have the best healthcare system in the world, and often just leaves the patients in massive debt. My question is; are there other countries or even US states with more support for those who may be mentally ill? I've heard canada's healthcare system isn't too bad, as well as Spain and the Netherlands. Also considered Japan... all of which actually have studios I could work for, or even just produce my own work for galleries. Stateside I've heard a few northwestern states and California/Oregon have decent programs. I'm going to be finished with grad school soon, and am looking at different cities to move to, and obviously where I can find work would play a big part of it, but I need to live somewhere that I can also find support.
  11. Thanks for the clarification between psychiatrists/psychologists and medication/hospitalization. As for the reason I'm so resistant to the idea of taking meds or trusting doctors, lots of reasons, most of which come from watching friends and family be mutilated by them. My best friend in middle school who now has permanent tremors and broken speech patterns that were the result of pharms. Several friends who have died or nearly died from both prescribed and recreational drug use. One of my college professors who was given the wrong medication, which caused brain damage and watching him go from the most articulate professor at the school to being nearly incapable of forming a full sentence. Grandfather who died from blood thinners (he had a minor fall, but the blood thinners were so strong that he died from internal bleeding). My father and aunt who were given experimental drugs as children because they were poor and that was the cheapest way to get medication, which then turned their teeth black permanently. The fact its a lot easier for a doctor to throw you pills than to actually try to cure you or figure out what is genuinely wrong. Fear of side effects that are "fixed" by more pills with more side effects that more pills are needed to "fix". The fact that some drugs once you start taking you can't stop without severe repercussions. The fact that we don't fully understand the brain yet but don't think twice about playing with its chemistry. Having my personality altered and my creativity stifled.The fact that every few months there is a new class action lawsuit against a drug company for severe side effects caused by their drugs. And last but not least the fact that pharmaceutical companies benefit more from you having to take their pills for the rest of your life than actually curing you in any sense of the word. There are more, but those are the most concrete.
  12. Hi olga, and thanks for the response. I read the rules, hope I didn't break any, though don't think I did. I noticed there is an icon next to this thread, what's it signify? I thought it might be the trigger icon mentioned in the rules but I didn't see the same icon anywhere else. Anyways, after reading the responses to my previous thread, as well as yours, and doing some thinking of my own, I'm going to find a doctor or at least a therapist/counsellor. I'm still determined not to take any drugs though and am a little worried I won't have an option once I see a doctor.
  13. Thanks. I didn't know that about the new law, I was under the impression that it only covered those in school. What exactly does a referral do for me? Do you mean a GP's referral to go see a psychologist/therapist, or a referral from someone on here who can vouch for a good doctor? I've heard of people's GP giving referrals but how exactly would a GP even know what a good pdoc is? They are two very different fields. Don't know if I'd want a referral from another doctor, seems to me they probably get incentives for recommending each other. I don't actually have a GP, haven't even been to a doctor in about 3 years. At the time I had a really bad infection and refused to go the doctor until I was in such bad shape I was sent to the ER directly from the GP's office.Which being reminded of that incident ironically is now making me reconsider my fear of seeking help now, as I can definitely see a parallel. I don't trust medical professionals in the least, most are in it for the money. I've only ever met one doctor that genuinely seemed to care for his patients, and he was a pediatrician. But I guess thats really not significant at this point, my current methods haven't been working, and things are getting worse, so I'm going to have to get outside help whether I like it or not. Do I have the right to refuse medication if I go see a psychologist? Do they have a right to have me committed If I refuse? How does all that work exactly? I really want treatment that is free of medications, is it even possible to request this? Everything I read points to them just handing you a bunch of pills and telling you to see them in a month, and if you don't take them they won't even talk to you.
  14. Everyone here can't be wrong, I should definitely get some help. But I'm not really sure how. When I talked to my parents about it they seemed partially heart broken and partially unable to accept I might not be ok. They kept telling me "no youre fine its just stress, just take a day off" Well it started before grad school, and I've taken many days off, nothing's changed. Afterall Im the first in the family to go to grad school, the first in the family to get a college scholarship, and my parents love to thrust my IQ in my face telling me I should be doing a lot better. Basically they love me so much they don't really want to accept it, or see that anything might be wrong with me. I went from being the black sheep of the family before college to being the golden child after graduation and getting accepted to grad school, and now back to black sheep. I did get the insurance information I needed from them though. As to why i don't trust medications its because of the sheer amount of side effects, the need for profit from a business that claims to be there only to help, and family and friends who have experienced permanent damage from pharmaceutical side effects. I'll admit I'm a bit paranoid, maybe even a little delusional, but I can't deny this evidence and first hand experience. Despite this I decided to look for help. However today when I was going to call and get the list of doctors covered by my insurance I just couldn't do it. It was hard enough admitting I might have some sort of mental health issue to my parents, but to complete strangers thats a whole different ball game. Especially to a soulless insurance company who's only concern is making sure they don't have to give you any money while charging you every month for the possibility that you may need money (but won't get it from them). And the fear that they will lock me up and throw away the key is just overwhelming. I've been misunderstood, demonized, and just generally put down as a strange person/weirdo/"typical crazy artist" most of my life, probably due to my conservative environment in the south. And I've always been a bit suspicious of doctors and health professionals regardless of their field. Hospitals have always freaked me out, and mental hospitals even more so. I don't trust medications either, so I'm not sure what kind of help they could really offer anyways other than forcing meds down my throat that I don't want. I definitely can't go to the school counselor I know that. This is a large conservative school, nearby schools have had school shootings, they do not want to risk any sort of possible black smear on their name and the best option would be to ask me to leave. This is why the "if (the school) feels you may be a danger to yourself or others you will be asked to withdraw from classes" on the front page, IN BOLD. I just can't risk that with only a couple months left. Then again, I'm starting to think it may be riskier NOT getting help sooner rather than later. And my insurance only covers me while I'm in school.... so even if I do find a doctor and get prescribed meds chances are I won't be able to afford it for very long at all. On the other hand, if I can just stabalize now, graduate, and get a job, I should be able to find help that I can actually pay for and not be at the mercy of the state, something that horrifies me even more than just hospitals and medications. Though, stability would be the issue to begin with. Basically there is a war of ideas going on in my head right now, part of me wants help, if i didn't I wouldn't even be on these forums. But the other part of me keeps screaming, "NO THEY WILL LOCK YOU UP! FREEDOM! FREEDOM! FREEDOM!" and I just sort of sit here doing nothing, unable to decide and not really sure what to do or how to go about it. My friends (and even a few enemies) growing up refer to me as wise, wise beyond my years, wise like an old tree, and my favorite: "if you were a DnD character you would have a wisdom of 18." But I feel anything but wise right now, I feel like I can't trust myself or my own decision making. Maybe thats wisdom in and of itself. I also think I need to get the hell out of the south.
  15. Hi, for all intents and purposes I am "heffington" aka "heff" aka "random made up name because I am paranoid" I'm here, in short, because I wanted a place to talk about my issues in anonymity and look for support through other people's advice and stories and just general conversations. I can't really afford medications or doctor visits (and really dont want them anyways), so I'm using this place as sort of an anonymous self-help therapy group. I recently turned 25, and have a family history of mental illnesses. Grandmother (on dad's side) was schizophrenic and died in an institution, grandfather (on mom's side) was an abusive alcoholic suffering shell shock from WW2. Dad is on mood stabilizers but I'm not clear on his diagnosis because we don't talk about it, and my mom was abused by the shell shocked father and suffers from post traumatic stress and depression. Needless to say we aren't exactly the Beavers. I'm a visual artist, and currently in grad school living off of student loans. I will be finishing soon but am anxious about re-entering the worker bee population. I have become more and more antisocial while in school and Ive noticed a decline in my technical skills. I do not leave my room unless I absolutely have to and avoid going out for even a smoke or a snack until there is complete silence in the house so I know I wont see anyone. Thankfully my roommates are very understanding and Ive never so much as sensed that they have judged me harshly for my odd behavior, but I still avoid them. I'm a tad obsessed with history, though rarely talk about it in person because my thoughts are so jumbled and overlapping I get names dates and places confused, making me seem like I have no clue of what I'm talking about. So I just read articles and books or watch documentaries. Right now my favorite era are the late 1800s and early 1900s in America before the first world war specifically the war of inventions and innovations centered around Edison and Tesla, but eastern philosophy is also a passion. I am a very out-spoken atheist and this has gotten me into trouble more than once as I grew up in the bible belt. I would like to point out I have absolutely no problems with people practicing their own faiths or forms of spirituality privately, but as soon as someone brings up "god" in conversation with me, uses "god" as an excuse for hatred or the use of violence, or tries to convince me to come to church you can expect a long and heated debate. I do believe in things greater than me, just not in the form of bearded men in the sky or even spirits. Instead I view energy, the vastness of the universe, and the mysteries of our own cognition as much more awe inspiring. That said I'm prone to fits of fantasy, imagining I can read people's thoughts or control theirs through my own. Often at the time it seems completely plausible, but later on I'll realize how absurd it was to think that, only to repeat the process sometime later. When I'm around other people I read way too much into their body language and tone which leads me to project my thoughts onto them. I used to think I was dead accurate every time but as Ive gotten older and wiser (granted im still in my 20s) I've realized frequently I can be mistaken and no longer put much stock into those projections. Being around more than one or two people at a time is often just too much information for me and I become very uncomfortable, anxious, nervous, and reserved. But one on one, I can actually be pretty charismatic. I have not been to a therapist or "pdoc" since I was around 12 or 13. I've only been twice, once when I was pulled out of class in the 1st grade to have my IQ tested by the state, and again in my middle school years because my teachers were worried about my antisocial behavior, lack of concern for my classwork/grades, tendency to wear black and propensity for drawing "scary" pictures. The first time, the IQ test, was actually just a bunch of puzzles and riddles both of which I love. The second time I really didn't want to be there and just said whatever I thought would satiate the psychologist into believing I was fine, and leave me alone. My best friend at the time was frequently seeing a different psychologist and I witnessed first hand the kind of damage a chemical lobotomy can cause. He went from being mostly normal other than some weird quirks to having permanent tremors and broken speech thanks to the meds. My father and his sister were also prescribed an experimental drug when they were younger, which turned their teeth a translucent grey/black color for the rest of their lives. This is a big part why I refuse to take anything but antibiotics, and only if I'm extremely ill. I was regularly seeing school guidance counselors all the way into high school where I became one of the "bad" kids, did a lot of minor law breaking and school skipping, and was kicked out of several high schools before graduating through a home school program. I got a portfolio/merit scholarship and a separate academic scholarship for my high SAT scores despite my horrible permanent record and finished undergrad with a BFA. I held a few jobs and did some freelance work but nothing permanent, and was having to live with my parents. I began to suspect my dad was trying to poison me, but he still to this day doesn't know that's why I wouldn't eat his home cooked meals. I knew even at the time I was being absolutely ridiculous; he loves me and if he really wanted me out of his hair all he really had to do was ask, not poison me. But nonethelss the paranoia continued and if he handed me a plate of food I would often just take it to my room and throw it away since I couldn't bring myself to eat it. I found a grad program out of state that interested me, applied, and was accepted shortly after. I do not trust doctors, largely because of the obsession our culture has with prescribing pharmaceuticals. I do not like the idea of tinkering with my brain chemistry when we don't even have a full understanding as to how the brain works. This on top of the fact I'm busy with grad school and come from a middle/lower class family with limited resources has led me here. I can't afford the time or money to see a doctor or pay for meds, and when I researched my school's counselling services on the very front page in bold it states that if the school in any way feels that you are a threat to yourself or to others you will be asked to withdraw from classes and leave the school. I can thank all the school shootings for that. I don't really think I'm a threat, Im not a cutter and I am not a particularly violent person, but nonetheless I do not want to risk it with only a few months left to graduate. I'm not even all that depressed other than the knowledge of the things I miss and the relationships I ruin through my own issues. I've had numerous short term relationships but can't maintain longer ones. Even non romantic relationships usually die off quickly as I tend to go into seclusion often, and that usually puts people off as I'm avoiding them. They don't realize its nothing personal what so ever. This is exacerbated by my hatred of talking on the phone when it comes to staying in touch with family and long distance friends. I try to meditate often, and get some exercise now and again. I also try to eat healthy but this is difficult since I don't want to interact with anyone as I cook or shop, am on a tight budget, and prefer things I can quickly nuke, bake, or go pick up. I refuse to buy into the victim mentality of "oh poor me, I'm not normal and should wallow in self pity." I do however often forget to do basic things like shower or brush my teeth, or put on deodorant and this can be very embarrassing as I realize how much I smell later in the day when I'm around people but can't do anything about it. Ive taken to keeping a bottle of cologne and a small stick of deodorant in my bag because I forget so often. I don't shave either but thankfully I grow a rather nice beard so it's not too apparent that its out of forgetfulness. I seem to be high functioning for the most part, but my paranoia is getting worse. Delusions and auditory hallucinations are harder to gauge as I can only ever identify them in retrospect and not always accurately. My thoughts have gotten noticeably less organized. I don't sleep very much, and my appetite is constantly fluctuating. The internet helps a lot in the sense that I can be anonymous, and edit out my eccentricities, specifically my tendency to ramble. I also find that my issues don't come into play too much online as I can't actually sense anything through virtual space other than implied meanings and I can hide behind my anonymous mask without fear of judgment or repercussions. I'm more than a little worried however that I will end up like my paternal grandmother, or worse, homeless and rambling on the streets. After my post yesterday I decided to contact my insurance company to look for a doctor or therapist where I'm living now, but I can't bring myself to do it because I just have this feeling they are going to either ask me to leave the school, or forcibly put me in a locked room and feed me pills. Even if I do get help, I graduate in only a couple months, which means I won't have any medical insurance after that point. I assure you I'm not even remotely as clear or open in person as I feel I can be here. So I want to thank whoever set up these forums, because this is a huge help to me. Just typing all of this out has been very useful in my own organizing of thoughts and overall mood. A lot of this Ive kept completely to myself and never shared with anyone. I don't feel quite as alone, which sounds so cliche but its true. I was beginning to lose hope because while scrounging the internet for help I came across so many outdated or completely dead websites. I apologize if this is extremely similar to my first post here, but I thought I should introduce myself again in a more formal way. Anyways, that's me. Thanks for reading.
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