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i put this here because diagnosis doesn't matter much.

 

have any of you faced thoughts of "don't tell" when you're getting worse?  i mean not the usual hiding symptoms at work, or with your kids, or whatever.  i mean hiding symptoms from your pdoc, tdoc, spouse, anybody that you're usually totally comfortable talking to.  i keep having that thought when it's time to see p/tdoc, i'm hiding my condition from my family, and even my husband who always knows EVERYTHING.  it's this little voice (not a real voice) in the back of my mind saying "don't tell, don't tell".

 

what the hell?  this is a new one to me.  usually if i don't wanna tell something, i know exactly why.  i don't have a reason why right now.  there's nothing to hide that they don't already know about.  but i still have to fight this "voice" in order to say anything at all.  i trust my tdoc, my pdoc, my family, my spouse... none of them have ever done anything to hurt me when i was honest.  all they've done is help.

 

i don't understand where this is coming from.  anyone else?

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i don't understand where this is coming from.  anyone else?

 

I call this voice Phyllis. It's the critical, ruminating, worrying, won't believe all is ok, stuck-in-a-rut-and-will-never-get-out voice that pipes up.

 

Sqaush it instantly. Put it in a little box and send it out to sea.  Most of all, name the voice.  Bring it to life, give it form. Phyllis is my mother's middle name and she won't let go, ever.  Tell your SO.  Once in a while when I say something particularly negative or self-critical I;ll ask hubby, "is that Phyllis talking?".  Even before I finish the sentence I know it is.  This is not you.  Think of it as an alien force that has invaded your body and mind.  Kick it out, use weapons of destruction.  :-}

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I have had that little "voice" before. 

 

For me, I know it comes from not wanting to disappoint my pdoc/gdoc/tdoc... etc. We all work so hard to treat my symptoms and get me stable that, well, it feels shitty to have to admit to them "Hey, I'm having symptoms even though I JUST got stable."  :wall:

 

As well, I think this urge comes from my history of abuse/ general chaos at home when I was little. I was taught to hide the abuse and to keep my dad's alcoholism a secret, especially from professionals (like teachers). So, I feel like I'm now inclined to hide my feelings. I fight this urge every day though, by being open and honest about my illness (not as honest about the abuse, but I'd rather avoid the family drama). 

 

Finally, I think I have internalized stigma/shame about mental illness. First off, it's freakin' awkward to talk about MI stuff, even to professionals. Then, most of us have been taught all our lives that mental illness is taboo and we don't talk about the crazy people. Also, I sometimes feel shame about my illness, particularly when depressed, or when I've done something stupid while hypomanic. I try REALLY hard to fight the shame in my own ways though. And part of that is forcing myself to be honest with my docs/family/partner, despite that little "voice."

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I can relate too.  I will tell my pdoc but don't like to tell anyone else, especially my parents.  Like Dusk said, I don't want to worry them.  About other things, namely medical problems that always seem to come up, I tend to tell if someone asks.  There is one person though (who will remain nameless) I won't tell because s/he says, "Oh, not another problem.  When will it all end?", said in a mean tone (not out of concern).  And sometimes I'm not believed if I tell someone other than other DRs.

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I don't know why I don't tell. My mind just goes blank. I know I should bring a paper or print out something, but I don't do that either. Well then I get to thinking well they can't help if they don't know all the stuff going on? You know? I finally confessed to hearing voices during a long hospital stay. I didn't tell anyone about it. I don't like to have attention focused on me or drawn to me and I don't ever want to cause a fuss. But then the staff/IP pdoc said they highly suspected that I was hearing voices all along. Well wtf? I thought I was hiding it so well! I guess not.   :/

 

So what I'm saying is, maybe even though you don't explicitly say something or report a symptom verbally, some people may detect something is wrong (like close family or pdoc or tdoc).

But then again I would warn against just waiting for them to bring it up to you. I am guilty of this. You can't expect them all to be mind readers and some of them aren't even good pdocs or tdocs to begin with; so how in the world can we expect them to know what the heck is going on in our minds? It is best to be proactive and be your own advocate.

 

Sometimes I wish pdocs could just scan our brains and read minds so that we didn't have to say or not say anything at all!

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Sometimes when a DR asks me how I am, I'll say I'm fine, even though I am not.  I think I do it because at that exact moment I'm asked I am doing ok, but don't take into account how I've been since last seeing them.  Sometimes I take notes before seeing DRs to avoid this because I always will forget something if I don't.

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Sometimes when a DR asks me how I am, I'll say I'm fine, even though I am not.  I think I do it because at that exact moment I'm asked I am doing ok, but don't take into account how I've been since last seeing them.  Sometimes I take notes before seeing DRs to avoid this because I always will forget something if I don't.

 

I've done this when I've gone to see my pdoc. I had been feeling (relatively) mildly depressed for weeks and had been talking about it the whole time with my tdoc, then at my pdoc appointment, I told her I was doing fine! I was having a relatively good day - the weird part is that she has me fill out forms asking how I've been feeling for the previous 10 days, and I just blanked and didn't fill the forms out completely. So she thought I was euthymic. 

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I always apologize to my pdoc if a new med doesn't work, like it is my fault. I have actually said to my pdoc that I was embarrassed I still was symptomatic after all the tweaks we had made, and new meds we had tried. He said he was pretty sure that that was his job. It takes me a really long time to set up a pdoc appt., even after I have realized I need to.

 

Augh, I have to find a new pdoc again, and break her or him in.

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I always apologize to my pdoc if a new med doesn't work, like it is my fault. I have actually said to my pdoc that I was embarrassed I still was symptomatic after all the tweaks we had made, and new meds we had tried. He said he was pretty sure that that was his job. It takes me a really long time to set up a pdoc appt., even after I have realized I need to.

 

Augh, I have to find a new pdoc again, and break her or him in.

 

Oh man, I can so relate to this. I feel so awful if a med doesn't work.

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thank you all for your responses.

 

underneath my will to get well is that thought that i too, am embarrased and ashamed that my meds aren't working, AGAIN, as if it's my fault.  which means i'm gonna get yelled at, and left to struggle with this on my own.  i'm believing that i won't be taken seriously even though i don't have evidence of that with my current providers.  in the past, i was treated exactly like i was a malingering pain in the ass by my doctors for ten years.  i can't shake the fear that this will happen again. 

 

so what they don't know won't hurt me?  that's backwards, i know.  what they don't know is precisely what's hurting me.  what i know to be the beginnings of a hypomanic episode looks a whole lot like i'm feeling "better" at this point.  i dress better, i talk more, i do more, i'm less afraid to do things outside of my comfort zone.  i don't want to disappoint anyone who thinks i'm better (not just my doctors, but my spouse and daughter and parents).  i am hiding the rest of it, the irritability, restlessness, confusion, wanting out of my skin, the hallucinations worsening, all of it.  except the "happy energy" part.

 

i've mentioned some of it to my tdoc and pdoc, but i think i minimized what's going on.  i see my pdoc on monday, and i've got to get over this "don't tell" and demand that something be done before i end up spending my annual stay at the funny farm.  it's hard because the pdoc i've had for a few years is on maternity leave, and i've been seeing her replacement for a few months, and she doesn't know me that well yet.  she's good but she's not proactive, i don't think she would want to mess with anything until she sees me looking worse.  my words are not enough when i look totally fine.  she hasn't even been willing to increase my AAP for the hallucinations because of my anorexic past (the weight gain is triggering me, but i have been dealing with it really well).  instead, she's sending me for CAT scans and things.

 

if i'm really honest and she doesn't believe me i will shut her out completely.  i know it's not the right thing to do, but it's such a trigger from childhood and i've never gotten over it.  i need to shut down, or else i will totally lose it either by feeling suicidally despondent for a week or breaking shit in anger and yelling in her office.  little wonder that i don't wanna tell on myself, but fuck man i'm 42 years old and it's time to face that shit without flipping out.  or keeping my mouth shut.

 

i guess i have to feel prepared for that worst case scenario thing.

 

thanks for listening.  it seems like such a "duh, just be honest" kinda thing, except for me it's not.  i don't know why i couldn't put my "don't tell" thought and my fear of being disbelieved or embarassed together.  thank you for helping me figure that out.  i know what i'm fighting now.

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thanks for asking.  pdoc actually lowered my zyprexa in case it was causing the cycling (um, what?  i've never heard of that before).  she says take my clonazepam if i'm freaking out or getting too restless.  i'm not into taking that shit every day ever again, after having gone through terrible withdrawal twice (i've been through effexor withdrawal hell, and clonazepam was worse).  so i'm taking them every second day if i HAVE to.

 

strange thing is, i had to take the clon three days in a row so i could go camping with my family.  on day three i noticed that while i was still holding it together rather badly, the audio hallucinations stopped.  i came home and tossed the bottle back into it's hiding place, and now they've come back.  huh?  i'm not even anxious with or without it so wtf.  i dunno anymore.  why would benzos stop a hallucination when i'm not even anxious?

 

i'm on the list now for a brain MRI and CAT anyway, oh joy.  that means at least a three month wait without a decent dose of something besides meds i LOATHE to get rid of the fucking bagpipes.  that might be a coincidence anyway, maybe benzos don't help my hallucinations. 

 

maybe pdoc will change her mind.  maybe i'll lose it in her office, that should move things along.  i wish i could do that.  i can't break that "must look fine" rule in my head.  maybe my best efforts at fine don't look so great right now anyway.  we'll see what she says at the end of this week.

 

i'm so discouraged.  i'm at that familiar point where i am sooo close to throwing out all my meds.  i know this is stupid and it's a symptom.  i'm still tempted.  i'm just tired of fighting with doctors while i have to fight this illness.  i keep thinking if i just let it take me to wherever my crazy goes on its own, it would be better than this DON'T TELL, because i was right again, it just made things worse.

 

 

i think when i was just depressed i could accept the halllucinations better.  right now they make me want to smash things.

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