psychology

eye art

Being Highly Sensitive, Being Me: Part 1

“Over Sensitive”
“Too Dramatic”
“Irrational”
“Weird”
“Picky”
“Weak”

I don’t like bright lights. I rarely use the ceiling light at night time, I will usually only use soft lamps and candles. I try to have only warm yellow lights in my house (save for my rainbow fairy lights which I love). I’m not using my bathroom light at the moment because it’s a neutral/cool white. I bought some neutral/cool white fairy lights that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like. I was hopeful that I would somehow become okay with them and it would be all good. This was because they were on sale and I had had trouble finding fairy lights in general. Now they’re hanging up in the lounge room and I don’t use them. I hung them up because I was determined to adjust somehow. I still switch them on every now and then in the vain hope that I’ll be suddenly okay with their light, but no, that has not happened. Even in the day time, I sometimes wish that night would come sooner so I could have soft light instead of the harsh-to-me regular daylight.

I am scared of escalators. My sense of balance is terrible. I’m not scared to the point where I won’t use them, but I have to be very conscious. I have to watch my feet and take a breath when I first step on to make sure I don’t step into the gap and fall to my death. I have to hang on to the railing. If I’m with a friend and they touch me or stand close behind or in front of me, I will freak out. At some of the train stations in the city, there are escalators that are quite long and very steep. I struggle to retain my balance on those. I have to hang on to the railing and look at my hand, or I’ll fall over. When I look anywhere else, I feel I’m starting to wobble. Also, I am the most un-coordinated person ever. I will miss my mouth when I eat on occasion, I will not catch that ball you’ve gleefully thrown… And yes, also, I’m scared of heights, terrified in fact.

There are certain fabrics that I can’t stand to wear. I would type them out but I don’t know what they’re called…I should start taking note. I can’t sleep on flannel or satin sheets or anything. They have to be cotton/polyester or something like that. If I’m sharing a bed with someone, I can’t have my pillow touch the other person’s pillow, at least until we turn the light off. Once I can’t see it it doesn’t bother me much. The pillow slip has to be straight. I hate the feeling of my cheek or head resting on a bunched up pillow slip.
I can’t have my hair touching me much (when I go to sleep that is). I need it to be flipped up so it’s not touching me on my cheek or face or ears etc.

When there are little glowing lights shining from electronics in the room I’m sleeping in, I have to either switch them off or cover them up. It doesn’t matter that once I close my eyes or face the other way I won’t see them. I know they’re there and it keeps me awake.
I have a bunch of other little before-bed things but you get the drift.

When I dislike a colour, I really dislike a colour. Olive green. Olive green and I are not friends. When I see something that is olive green, it is horrible. It is akin to someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard. It makes me shiver.

Loud noises, expected or unexpected are not my friend.

I dislike going to the movies because it’s too loud and big. There’s too much going on. I will block my ears a lot during a cinema experience.
I do go to loud events like a concert on occasion, but whilst there I am having a sort of difficult time: I’m enjoying the music, but hating the loudness. I’m having fun with my friend, but am extremely unhappy about everyone else’s presence. It is weird and difficult. I’m going to Taylor Swift with my friend, L, at the end of the year. I expect I will be listening and enjoying, but with my fingers in my ears. I blocked my ears a few times during the ballet performance I saw. It’s not because I’m not enjoying it, it’s not because I’m rude, it’s because it is unpleasantly loud. I don’t get how everyone else is not blocking their ears.

People who move really quickly, heavily, loudly or erratically…I will have a bad time interacting with you. I will be all right for awhile but will soon decide I need a break and may leave the room or something. I like gentle people.

My personal space bubble is apparently a bit bigger than others’. Additionally, I am not great when someone I am not good friends with touches me. I don’t like shaking hands even. It feels intimate and weird (and pointless). I don’t hug/kiss on the cheek people I don’t know, or like a whole bunch goodbye, even when it would be inadvertently singling them out (E.g. saying goodbye to group of good friends, hug each of them, don’t hug the friend of a friend who also happens to be there. Friend of a friend might feel weird. Sorry but I can’t do it). I hate kissing on the cheek hellos from strangers, friends of a friend, or relatives (who might as well be strangers because they are not present in my life except for Christmas). Wait, I will admit actually, I have done this on occasion. But afterwards I feel really weird and fake and invaded.

I can’t eat a banana unless it’s chopped up into slices. I mean, I can…but I don’t like to. It’s the texture. It’s weird and gross.

I mostly do not watch violent or scary movies or tv shows. I’m okay with punches here and there (re: marvel/dc movie/tv obsessions) and cool super heroes but nothing darker or harder than that. Watching such things makes me feel: emotional discomfort, physical discomfort, the emotions that come when I’m in physical pain and fearful. These feelings stay with me, they don’t fade away once the film or show has ended as this ever underlying sense of worry and concern. I will often have bad dreams following a violent film/tv show interaction also. I don’t watch or read the news much for some of these same reasons.

I am listening to what you aren’t saying.

End Part One…

(Highly Sensitive Person information @ http://hsperson.com/)

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Discontinuing Antidepressants (Bipolar Disorder 2): Day 2

bipolar owl meme

Bipolar Owl

I was going to write some kind of formal journal for this process, but I don’t think I would be inspired everyday to keep up with it. So, I’m just going to write about this when I feel like it. I will probably compile into some kind of more impressive article sometime in the future. Anyway, so:

I have diagnosed Bipolar Disorder (Type 2) and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. It is my opinion, however, that the anxiety disorder has passed and was more a symptom or consequence of when the Bipolar had a stronger hold on me, back in the day, when I was first diagnosed and such.

This diagnosis is what propelled me further into my spiritual journey and thus I now have many new thoughts and beliefs about Bipolar Disorder/other mental illnesses, their cause and how best to treat them.
Regardless of that, I am not in disagreement with my diagnosis or ‘one of those people’ who think that modern medicine and pharmaceutical treatments do not have their place in certain circumstances when it comes to health and well-being. It’s more like – I appreciate them and support their use for short periods of time, but I know them not to be the cure now (for anything). If I had not gotten onto medication at that time in my life, simply put, I would have died. I would have killed myself if that chemical balance was not treated and levelled via the prescribed medicines.

bipolar owl meme dsm

Bipolar Owl

Since being diagnosed when I was 19, (I am 23 now, by the way) I have been on an SNRI called Cymbalta (Duloxetine HCI) and Lamictal (Lamotrogine). Cymbalta treats my depression and anxiety, the Lamotrogine is used as a mood stabiliser – it manages the hypomanic symptoms/episodes, or ‘the highs’ that come with bipolar disorder (Lamotrogine is actually an anti-epileptic but is used by a lot of doctors for managing bipolar disorder type 2 as well).

The prescription was for 120mg of Cymbalta (2 60mg tablets, 1 in the morning and 1 at night) and 400mg of Lamotrogine (2 200mg tablets, 1 in the morning and 1 at night).

Two years ago I reduced the Cymbalta to just 60mg.

Last year I reduced the Lamotrogine to 300mg.

It is only in this year that the lowering of the dosages have been implemented with the intention of actually removing the medication. At first I just wanted to lower them to reduce the amount and strength of the annoying side effects that these medications cause.

This year I reduced the Cymbalta to 30mg and I reduced the Lamotrogine to 200mg.

As of two days ago, I am now taking the 30mg of Cymbalta every second day, with the intention of stopping completely in a few weeks. My doctor said that if I am managing at 30mg it’s a good sign because apparently it is not usually a prescribed amount at all because it’s so low, and is only used when people are just starting or are coming off of Cymbalta.

The Lamotrogine is sticking around for now. We will see how we go. But I am already noticing the effects of lowering the Cymbalta to this degree, which are as follows:

– Irritability/easily irritated. Irritability is a lesser known symptom of bipolar disorder – it comes under the umbrella of the hypomanic symptoms. I would not say that I am or have been feeling hypomanic properly, just the irritability part. Also, I got my period last night, so the usual affect on mood that PMS can have probably played a role in this as well.

– Increased sensitivity to emotional music, film scenes etc. This began with the 30mg even before this ‘only taking it every second day’ thing. It’s nothing drastic. It’s just a stronger swell of emotion. I find this particularly interesting because maybe it means that the medicine was suppressing not just intense depressive emotional responses, but also normal, natural ones too. Not cool, medicine, not cool.

– I am starting to see more non-physical activity e.g. energy moving through the air, faeries floating around, auras etc. As explained in this blog post, when it comes to my ability to literally see psychic stimuli with my physical eyes, as opposed to using my inner, third eye, I am still a learner.

– Yesterday I was very dizzy for about half an hour or so (had a nap after that so who knows, it may have continued if I’d stayed awake), but I am pretty sure that was mostly due to the crazy solar flares going on at the moment (far out they are intense!), but we’ll add it to the list just in case. (I am very sensitive to strong solar flare activity. See this cool website for more info about that: http://www.carliniinstitute.com/solar_flare_symptoms)

– Aaand today I have a headache. But I could just have a headache.

Conclusion – Today’s Mental Health Thought:

“I have to say that knowing how to really feel my true emotions and allowing them, identifying the thoughts that caused my emotions and allowing them, has saved me and will continue to save me. Healing those thoughts and replacing them with more positive thoughts, in that moment, that’s the cure. Now, breathe and repeat this in the next moment as well, and the next, and the next, and the next…. That’s the cure.”

Anger Phobia

I realised I have ‘anger phobia’.

Being around or exposed to anger makes me extremely uncomfortable…and I suppose that’s usual because that’s an unpleasant environment for anyone BUT what I mean is, as soon as I see an inkling…I am ready to bail. For example, if I’m at a dinner and someone starts talking about some kind of political or ethical subject they are passionately against, I will straight away start to feel tense and start to feel knots in my stomach. I expect them to move into anger and get a bit crazy. I suppose we could call it a hypersensitivity to anger. Side Note: I know that this is partially due to growing up with a dad with a short temper. I will be reflecting upon that in the next few entries. But for right now… This is a separate, but intertwined issue that needs to be addressed at a later date and is not the main point tonight.

So, anyway.
The last little while I’ve been trying to make sure that I express my emotions and don’t just cover them up with excessive spiritual optimism (so I don’t have to feel them). This is not the best way of going about things, this is what causes energy blockages. It is best to fully express one’s emotions and only then reorient your focus to things that make you feel good.
So for me personally, the question seems to be…how can I be okay with feeling angry about something when I see it from the ‘higher perspective’ or ‘bigger picture’ outlook? What I mean is, say a friend just heard some bad news, I ask him something, friend snaps at me or says something rude, I will feel a wave of pain, but then think to myself, “he didn’t mean it, he is just already feeling upset, so he’s lashing out.” and move on as quickly as possible, turning my attention to something that feels emotionally good.

When something happens that causes me to feel anger, I always see the higher perspective of things amidst my waves of anger and frustration. So, because I see that, I then feel guilty and ridiculous that I’m angry. Another example: friend is late to seeing a movie, I feel angry, friend was late because of traffic, I realise it is legitimately not their fault they’re late. It was the traffic. So, I grumpily ignore the anger and we move on.

psyduck pokemon

If you know who this is, you sir, are awesome.

Seeing the higher perspective in this way is sometimes known as a form of spiritual bypassing. It’s important to feel one’s emotions and allow the personal ‘human’ side to express itself. It is important to remain ‘real’ and true to yourself and your feelings, your life.
But…I’m actually confused right now.

I seem to condemn and shame myself for feeling angry via this understanding of the bigger picture.
And I realise this is wrong. But it doesn’t make the validity of the bigger picture reasoning any less.
Being angry feels irrational and stupid in light of that.

My Question:

How do I reconcile this?

I am open to suggestions because I’m really struggling with this one.

 

To be continued…

How to Tell if You Are Indigo « Sophia Gubb’s Blog

How to Tell if You Are Indigo « Sophia Gubb’s Blog

The Worst Case Scenario.

Discovering and experiencing the worst case scenario of each of my current worries (in order to release that vibration and discover the root cause):

B gets a new girlfriend:
I imagine myself feeling discarded, replaced and unworthy of his love. I imagine them holding hands…him saying all the things he used to say to me…to her.
What is it about her that makes her worthy = what is it about me that makes me unworthy? (of his love)?
Why do I think I need his love? Why would it be so bad if I did not have his love?
(And here is the realisation or the remembrance that I do not have his love [hence the breaking up]).
Because if I don’t have his love, there must be something unlovable about me.
What does it mean to me to be unlovable?
It means no one thinks I’m any good. No one thinks I’m worthy…of love.
If I’m not worthy of love…I’ll be unloved…If I’m not loved…I’ll be alone…If I’m alone…
What would be wrong with being alone?
I’ll be unprotected… I’ll be susceptible to more pain… I’ll be in pain.

I’m not sure where to go from there. I am sleepy. Must not fall back asleep.