The Mental Diagnoses
Friday, June 13, 2008
And the list of mental illnesses reads about as long as the physical.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Yup just the thing to have in NE Ohio, land of gray skies and long winters. Can actually tell you the day it starts in late fall and ends in the Spring.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Major Depression (can cause bouts of suicidal thoughts when I feel overwhelmed)
Panic Disorder, Claustrophobia, Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD), personality disorder : Originated as a result of much childhood abuse and trauma. Struggle with low self esteem, fears. Best way to describe my personality disorder (old name was multiple personalities) is if you were to take a piece of paper and make some tears in it, but don't go all the way to the bottom. Unlike multiple personalities which would have torn the paper all the way down (remember Sybil and Three Faces of Eve which involved each personality might have different names, you may not know which personality is in charge, etc.). With mine it is not as severe. The personalities are all parts of me, they don't have different names. A therapist has helped me combine all these voices in my head into just a few main categories (child-holds pain, teenager-holds anger, adult-who I tease actually shows up once in awhile, wise old woman). I have been told that on the rare occasion when I revert to pre-consolidation and one of these comes out my whole appearance and voice changes (and I have seen the differences in my handwriting also).
Toss lightly and add a touch of agoraphobia, along with a sprinkle of OCD (it is hard for me to make transitions/changes) and we're off to the races!
I see a therapist twice a week, I attend group once a week at a Time for Change.
I was on Lexapro and Lamictal which were discontinued after liver/kidney issues came to light. This explains the intensive time in therapy to keep me afloat and functioning because I am doing it "med free".
I put this post out there because I count it as my little contribution to try to make mental illness less threatening and to try and take away some of the stigma people with mental illness sometimes face. I also want to make sure people don't equate mental illness with mental retardation. Two different animals. Or as I like to say, I may be dumb, but I ain't stupid! I have an Associate of Arts and Bachelor of Arts, and I raised two lovely children as a single parent (was married 14 years, divorced a lot more).