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heffington

Love everyone, but don't like anyone.

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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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I'm glad you found us and I hope you will stick around and talk to our members.

No one here will care that you are an atheist, or that your hygiene is slipping, or that you are reclusive.

However, we are most definitely a pro-med and pro-therapy forum. I'm sorry your relatives had poor experiences with drugs, but they have come a long way in the last 20 to 25 years. (I'm 60, so I've observed this.) I literally wouldn't have a life without my antidepressant, and I eat healthy meals, exercise every day, and have a pleasant life in a beautiful part of the US. Mental illness is illness, and it is rare that you can treat it with just a healthy lifestyle.

I hope you will reconsider your rejection of drugs and therapy. Without them, I doubt very much that you will be able to have a productive life.

Be sure to read our rules when you get a chance, and again, welcome!

olga

Edited by olga
typo

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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.

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Nobody can force you to take meds, they can recommend them. Personally, without meds, I'd be fucked.. heh. I don't want or intend to sound forceful, but maybe trying something to take the edge off could help.

A therapist/counselor can be extremely useful in coping mechanisms and such.

Good luck!

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Yeah, meds don't make everyone a drolling zombie :) They also aren't the answer to everything either. Therapy is pretty important in most cases as well. I too hope you reconsider some form of treatment.

Yeah, I was an delinquent asshole as a teenager too. Ah, those were the days.

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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.

No, you didn't break any rules. The other mods and I usually tell people to read the rules just because it avoids problems later on.

The icon next to the thread? hmmmm....it might signify whether or not you have read the latest posts? Dunno. I've been here so long I don't notice a lot of stuff any more.

The trigger icon is this: :Trigger: You only need to use it if you are going to talk about something that might be hard for our PTSD people---something really violent or having to do with sexual abuse. Most of the time we don't walk around on eggshells, so you can be pretty blunt, and you will get frank answers from the members.

You always have an option to not take the advice of a doctor. I'm not saying it's the smart thing to do, but you can be evaluated by any kind of doctor and then not do whatever he/she prescribes. I'm cheap, though, so if I pay for advice/treatment, I tend to do what he suggests.

olga

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No one's going to force you to take meds. Realistically though, you can't really therapize your way out of delusions and auditory hallucinations. It just doesn't work that way, alas.

That said, I think you'd be better off starting with a therapist, rather than a pdoc. If you refuse meds, there's really not much a pdoc can do for you.

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No one's going to force you to take meds. Realistically though, you can't really therapize your way out of delusions and auditory hallucinations. It just doesn't work that way, alas.

That said, I think you'd be better off starting with a therapist, rather than a pdoc. If you refuse meds, there's really not much a pdoc can do for you.

This.

I went down the refusing meds route a couple of years ago (because I thought that she (pdoc at that time) actually needed them more than me). It was one of my worst mistakes that I made. Now, on meds, I am doing a lot better - not perfect, but definitely better.

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