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About charlotteshead

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    a spinning dive into the macabre

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  1. What...??? Who on EARTH would ever say that? That's akin to saying, "You can't have blue eyes if you have red hair." That makes zero sense. What people say boggles my mind. Was this a professional?
  2. I really appreciate all the discussion! It's so beneficial just to hear general thoughts from others. I forget things so easy, man, my last pdoc in the hospital was awesome and he focused less on my PTSD dx, less on any possible BPD, and spoke about how things need to change in the psychiatric community in regards to how trauma, both as adults but especially as children, affects a person. He talked some about complex ptsd, the concept of ptsd-like symptoms being chronic, and that he thought/hoped in coming years that the diagnoses of both PTSD and BPD would change, and in some cases merge. Not to mention dissociative disorders! It was really enlightening, and he made me feel like he saw me as a whole person. How he could take symptoms like severe dissociation, psychogenic seizures, self-harm, attempting suicide, inability to trust etc and weave all those together to see MY issues. From the small subtle symptoms to the massive, life-shattering ones. His treatment, both medication and therapy-wise, got me out of that hospital and I haven't been hospitalized since. 9 out of 10 pdocs are shit, but that 1 amazing one can give you faith and keep you going.
  3. Could you expand on your thoughts on bias? I wonder if you mean something like this...I felt some of my more negative experiences with docs came from them jumping to conclusions when learning about my childhood sexual abuse. I remember sitting in the hospital after attempting suicide, and for some reason 2 pdocs came in, no idea why. They sat on either side of me and were pretty intimidating. Anyway, I felt very very much like the experience women of the past had from male doctors discounting them with "hysteria." They pushed BPD heavily but in a weird negative condescending way, if that made sense. I just felt like the sexual abuse made them think I couldn't possibly have bipolar as well.
  4. Thank you so much sbdivemaster! That really, really helped. I might refer back to this when I have the same feelings in the future. While I know only professionals can give "professional" advice, frankly my fellow sufferers usually give the best advice.
  5. Dang, I knew about the 5/9 thing and forgot about it, haha. I often "joke" with my husband that 13 years of psychotropic medication has created holes in my brain. Joke in quotes cause I believe it's partly true. I'm much dumber. All of my pdocs have agreed on bipolar, and I know it can be hard to suss out BPD from that, so perhaps that's why they've never given the actual diagnosis. Not being totally sure. I think also it could be that I respond so-so to therapy and really well to medication. I like therapy, especially group therapy, and go into it whole-heartedly but it just never makes a huge dent in my coping skills, whereas certain medications really have been a "magic pill." I still think I benefit from therapy, and enjoy DBT regardless of whether I'm really BPD. There's some good coping skills in there.
  6. I've been dx'd with bipolar II for a long time...in the past couple years, some drs have bandied around the idea of BPD but never landed on anything certain. I match a lot of the symptoms really well...intense fear of people being mad at me, being abandoned, occasional self-harm, the unclear self image...all very clearly stemming from childhood abuse. I think what's kept them from diagnosing me is missing several key features. I don't have intense, unstable relationships. My relationships have always been the most normal, functional part of my life. That idea of relationships either being perfect or horrible doesn't apply at all. There's also the symptom of quickly changing views of those in your life, like loving then hating them...also not applicable. Nor do I engage in risky behavior. Ever. Obviously I'm not asking you diagnose me. What I'm asking is...are there any of YOU who are missing key features *completely* but still diagnosed? Or in your non-professional opinion, does it make sense that someone could have many of the same behaviors found in BPD without actually having the disorder? That makes sense, doesn't it? Not every single self-harmer who worries about their family and friends not loving them enough sometimes has a personality disorder?
  7. I go through this endless cycle, since I was diagnosed at 15 (and I'm 28 now) which is, "I can't have bipolar because I don't get manic." (I get hypomanic) "I must have BP because this behavior isn't normal." "I can't have BP because this hypomania is too mild to be anything." When I'm depressed, which is most of the time, I can never remember what hypomania really feels like, and I feel as though I'm exaggerating my own symptoms. I think, genuinely, I still don't completely understand hypomania, or rapid cycling which plays into it. People like my grandpa, who had BP I, it seems so obvious: he was depressed and suicidal, or he was manic and gambling and typical 'manic' symptoms...you looked at him, and it was easy to see 'that's someone with bipolar.' What if I never get hypomanic? I just don't know. I know I have these periods of behavior, but never these super obvious signs (to me)...like I don't engage in risky behavior. I sleep very little, I talk faster than I can breathe, I clean the house all night, I get extremely irritable then happier than I've ever been in my life...but when I'm living it, it just doesn't feel like "that's bipolar." It feels like..."something is off with you." I'm confused. I've been confused for 13 years. lol. Anyone have thoughts?
  8. In my research I came across this description of symmetry. http://www.ocdtypes.com/symmetry-ocd.php Some of this really rang true to me. Like scratching one side of the face then doing the other. I do those sort of things. I thought that you had to be compelled to do these sorts of things only because of worrying about some negative event occuring. However, 'needs to feel just right' sounds like a much more sensical and simple way of describing how I feel. I've hesitated to ever talk about these symptoms because of aforementioned embarrasment, and the fact that it's not severe. But now I've read a bit more and see that these actions can snowball into something more. I guess I will bring it up to my therapist.
  9. I'm starting this thread to see if anyone can relate to this at all. (This ended up long but I hope by the end of it, you are encouraged.) It's very difficult to find any information on DID in children. We tend to only hear about adults and how it affects their lives now. I want to share my experience and hear from others. I had a traumatic childhood and years of abuse. Hence I had DID (or something like it, undiagnosed) WHEN I was a child. Not later. I never knew. Naturally. Because the point of having alters was to protect my core self from knowing what was happening. There is only one reason I know any of this. I started having flashbacks at the age of 25. My childhood imaginary friend, Sally, kind of...resurfaced. Inside my head, not taking over my body though. Not losing time or the other symptoms most people describe. Just talking to me. Giving me little clues and images, like a trail of breadcrumbs in the right direction. Looking back, I am beyond astonished at what our brains can do. (I could write a book on this time period!) Long story short...I went about it like a detective, trying to understand what was happening, and ended up having a life-shattering conversation with my older brother. It happened because I was trying to figure out what the clues meant and who this mystery person might be. Oddly enough, I knew about Sally, but ONLY as an imaginary friend. I never knew that she was a friend taking over my body. I thought to ask him if he rememberd Sally. He said, I've been waiting for this day for 20 years. He had molested me for years. When he did it, we played what we called 'the imagination game' where I'd become different people. He always thought it was a game, but it wasn't. She was the main one. I didn't know what was happening to me at the time. I slipped into Sally or Sunshine or whomever during the abuse, then slipped back to myself the rest of the time (like for school, etc.). This is the time in my life when my body and mind was taken over, when I would lose time. I was an unusual kid anyway and I think its why my parents didnt pay as much attention to my behavior. I had a "great imagination." I look back at old diary entries and clearly, I had no idea what had happened to me that afternoon or yesterday or whenever it may have been. How crazy to think that I could be molested as Sally one minute, and an hour later be playing with my dolls and not even know what had happened earlier that day! And to THIS day, I have absolutely no recollection of any of it. And it dissipated when the abuse stopped, because I needed it for protection, but after that I didn't need it anymore. Still, somewhere inside of me those alters remained, holding tightly to the memories. Maybe I didn't need them to come out and take over my body anymore, but I absolutely needed them to protect me from the remembrance. I imagine it like all these girls were in some room deep inside my heart, holding locked boxes close to themselves, wary like guards. And me, unaware, protected, going about my life. Safe, because of them. They weren't "my" memories really. They had happened to someone else. That was the point of what my brain was doing obviously. I would never, ever have known were it not for my brothers full and open confession, and answering all my questions. He's the one who told me the names and personalities, and how I'd slip away into them. He even told me this eerie thing...that sometimes I would return to myself suddenly, for a moment, and ask what was going on. And he might say that he was talking with Sally, and I'd ask what we were talking about. And then just...slip back into her. As if I had wrestled control of my body and my mind for a second, and she said, 'No no get out of here! You're not supposed to be here!' Just...bizarre to think about. That's my story...Does anyone else have any indication or evidence of their DID in childhood? I think we don't hear about it so much because then it would be defeating the purpose. Alters are there to protect us. If we learn about an alter during the time of abuse, then we know something is wrong, and we may learn why we developed those alters. I wonder how many others there are that seemed to be 'imaginative' or 'troublesome' or the like during childhood (maybe even diagnosed juveline schizophrenia or bipolar?) and were really experiencing DID or something like it, and then stopped doing it when it was no longer needed. And then many others keep their alters into adulthood despite the trauma having been stopped, like a record stuck on loop. It's been a really weird thing for me to go through. I felt like I was really, really losing my mind and my grasp on reality before my brother confessed. I think I'm lucky in that way. And in my own way, I'm incredibly grateful for my brother. Not because of what he did. And not just that he begged for forgiveness. (Truthfully, I can't have him in my life because it just hurts too much.) But he gave me insight that I could share with others. There are so many doctors and therapists who doubt the existence of dissociative disorders, or the extent of them in any case. There are people who don't believe you can repress events from your life, especially not such important events. People who think that vague flashbacks don't mean anything, that you're making it all up. These people make us doubt ourselves. I know I did. But I learned that all these confusing symptoms...emotional and body flashbacks rather than visual, little snippets, stuff that sounded totally made up to my therapist...the concept of someone in my head talking to me but not being schizophrenic...I think my life is proof that it CAN happen. Because I have confirmation from an outside source. Truly, from a reliable source, because why on earth would he confess to something like this were it not true? There can be no doubt. So I guess part of what I wanted to convey in this message is for those of you who are still figuring it out, who are confused, and who oftentimes doubt yourself. Those who hear from professionals in the field that what you're experiencing isn't possible, and maybe you're wondering if they might be right. Trust your gut. You don't need to know everything that happened to heal. But you do need to believe yourself. You will probably not get outside confirmation from anyone like I did. But maybe hearing my story can convince you that your feelings are valid and true. I think we all hold the truth somewhere in our bodies, in some form. Believe that feeling. And believe that you can heal. Believe that if one person can PROVE it was real for them...that it can be real for you as well.
  10. That was actually really helpful chillpill. My history with abuse is severe. And its become worse the past couple years. I think I do see a relation between them. Tourette's, for some reason I think I'd thought of this vaguely once. When I happened to read a description of it that was totally different from how media portrays it. Huh.
  11. I get to the account settings page where I can change my sig. But I click the actual 'change signature' button and it opens a new tab. This tab never loads. It just stays blank. No error message. Blank white. Tried on both Chrome and Safari. Is this happening to anyone else?
  12. Can I preface this by saying I'm not trying to be one of those people who's like, "Oh I'm totally OCD!" I have bipolar disorder, that happens to me, it's annoying. But I finally want to talk about this, and my therapist is out of town for a couple weeks, so I just wanted to kinda chat. This is pretty long and rambling but if anyone feels inclined to read it all, I would be so thankful. I feel like this board would be best to discuss this with, but maybe anxiety board is better. I'm not sure. I know the drill, you aren't doctors, can't diagnose me, etc. I'm hoping simply to see if there's anyone I can relate to, because this has always been a weird, isolating thing in my life. I guess I can relate some of these slightly to checking and symmetry. Since I was a child, I've worried about unevenness. That's what I'd call it though it's not quite right. If I were to truly explain, I'd say that it's a need to be sure that the molecules and atoms of items are aligned with the universe. It is based on this concern of following the inexplicable rules of the universe rather than concern over bad events. (see? freakin weird) It's always been embarrassing to tell anyone, even a therapist, cause it is just truly stupid things. Additionally, it's never affected my life seriously. I am often able to repeat actions and eventually reach a place of confidence. Sometimes I can tell myself not to do it, and I succeed. So it's never been important, especially compared to bipolar, PTSD, and dissociation. But its flaring up pretty bad. I no longer feel like I can ignore the compulsions, though still they aren't big enough to hurt my life. They just compound with current difficult bipolar symptoms. (my grammar is shite right now) Here are some I can think of. There's a TON of these types of things, but these are some good examples: I will get the sense that an object is "uneven." This could be from me touching it, or from me suddenly being aware of it. It can be a sock on the ground. I feel it's wrong, and I touch the sock. Then pick it up, set it down. Touch it again. When I set a glass down on a table, if I feel that I set it down on one side more than the other, I will pick it up and put it down several times until I think it hit the table evenly. The computer is super tough. And I work from home so it does interfere slightly with my efficiency. I will suddenly feel my laptop is...god, how do I explain this? Like you know if you push something, some heavy item, across a bed...the comforter would drag along? I feel that wth objects. I'll feel that the laptop is dragging the atoms of the table upwards (without having pushed it or anything, just sudden) and it makes me feel nuts, like my heart hurts and skin itches. So I pick the stupid laptop up and down. Every time, no matter what, if I need to change the volume of my music, I press the button up to where I want it. Then click it twice upwards. Then down to the first again. Then down two more clicks, finally back up to the correct volume. By doing this I feel like I made that volume button in the "middle." The middle of what?? I do not know lol. I do it several times. I do a lot of actions like this with my phone and computer. When I leave my house, I check that I have everything I need in my purse. This is one that's not metaphysical. I worry I'll cause a distressing event if I forgot something important. I've developed a mantra over the years to ease my anxiety. "Phone, wallet, keys. Phone, wallet, keys." Touch each one as I say it. Do several times. Leave the house; by the time I'm walking down the stairs, I need to do it again. Sometimes (when I worked outside the home) I'd be headed out to work and get stuck doing this, which would frustrate me since it wasted time. So if my husband was there, I'd tell him to listen to me do my check, to ensure I got it right and prevent re-checking. Say my mantra out loud, touch the items, ask him if I got it right. Do it a couple times. Usually get down to the car and then I need to do it again! I went through a phase as a teenager (coincidentally, following my parent's divorce) when I felt like my throat was odd and once again "uneven" and I had to clear it to even it. This one is one of the really strange ones. I'd make this mini, gentle throat clear. I didn't want anyone to hear. I was confused by this compulsion and my inability to ignore it. Naturally, akin to the obsession of getting the music volume correct, I would want to clear my throat to the "middle." But you can only clear your throat one way. So I'd just do it forever and never get it right. I remember doing this in church and my best friend looking at me and asking later, "What the HELL are you doing?! I'll have issues like this on my body. I'll think, "My feet are like knives and they need to be dipped in pudding to even them." O.o So it's not like feeling some dread from these symptoms, that my family will die or the house will burn down or things like that. I can only say again that it feels like a metaphysical issue. As if somewhere in the ether of this world, there is an even, perfect, 'middle' of everything. Do I believe not performing these checks will cause some terrible, awful event? No. It just gives me bad anxiety and a worry about the state of my universe. :| Hence, not fitting OCD descriptors. Yet not quite normal anxiety symptoms. So, what the heck? I'm completely aware that this makes no sense, and it's embarrassing. I've never talked to anyone about this, even my therapist. Though my husband sees a little of it. And especially not my other friends (in group therapy, friends I've made at psych hospitals) who have real OCD, because this doesn't compare and I'm afraid saying anything will make me look like a fool who wants to adopt another mental disorder just for the heck of it. Thank you SO MUCH for reading all of this. Even on the internet, I feel stupid and ashamed and worried that you're all going to attack me. I'm at a very difficult time of my life, with delicate mental health, that these things are extra stressful. I can't cope with this on top of everything else. I want to know if this makes sense to anyone. Am I alone? And whatever it is, a weird manifestation of anxiety or anything else, maybe some ideas on how to start to cope with it. You guys aren't my therapist. But you might know of resources or books that could help, or general experience from your own life, even if our issues aren't the same. Please please tell me that someone gets what I'm saying.
  13. For a long time I tried very hard to stop. Distractions, alternatives, and the like. But for the past few months, I've felt like I just don't care, and apathetic about trying to quit. This is not to say its ok, don't think I'm saying that. But surely, others must have times they're very motivated to stop, and other times they are just numb to it. When I want to self harm, I just do it...I tune out the voice that softly says, 'hey, maybe you don't have to do that..' Then I start to turn to it in this weird way...like not when I'm angry or panicking...almost like when I'm bored. I guess its when I need to FEEL something, anything, except I don't realize that till later. How do you find motivation again? If you've lost that, how did you push yourself into trying to control it?
  14. I was rx'd Zyprexa 2 1/2 months ago during a hypomanic state. It helped me sleep but made me so, so dumb. I couldn't find words, was exhausted, confused...combined with the Lamictal stupids, I was useless at work. So I stopped taking it. As always, the hypomania crashed into a terrible depression. Got really bad in the last 2 weeks. Pdoc titrating Lamictal up over the next month. But I've been sitting at home the last couple days wondering if the Zyprexa can have any mood-stabilizing effects that would help kick me out of this depression, or level me out. At the moment I'd find a way to handle idiocy if it helped this at all. Does anyone have experience with this?
  15. I take Lamictal and Buspar, though I've never taken Brintellix. I've been on Buspar 2 years (20mg) and Lamictal 9 months (225mg - currently titrating up to 300mg), though this is the second time I've taken it, the last time I was a teenager. The possibility for increased suicidal thoughts is a common potential side effect of many psychiatric meds. Something to monitor, definitely, but if you keep careful track of your moods you can recognize signs of that before it gets too far. The rash scared me too but it's quite rare. But as for memory loss...well, for me it's not so much memory loss, such as forgetting entire moments of my life. A lot of us call it the 'lamictal stupids.' I already have ADD but that just makes me distracted and forgetful, whereas Lamictal makes me slow and just, dumber. I started making silly mistakes at work and when my boss would walk me through the correct procedure, I couldn't concentrate. Like, I'd try to focus but it was like being in a fog. It could get worse as I titrate up. Personally, I'm happy to accept the stupids for the life-saving effect that Lamictal has had on me. I was recently rx'd Adderall for the ADD, its short acting so I take it before work and it definitely helps me focus, so that may counteract the side effect.
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