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Author Topic: Acute Psychological Distress: Help  (Read 64816 times)

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Offline Raven

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2013, 05:00:16 PM »
OK, I'll preface this with saying my wife hasn't had enough hours to qualify for her full counselling license but she did get her masters degree in counselling and interned at a domestic abuse shelter for 6 months and is currently running groups working towards her full license.  She had a few recommendations for me to pass along:

There are therapists that are specially trained in dealing with Bordeline Personality Disorder that use a method called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).  This is a more specialized form of CBT that Modelmeg mentioned previously.  If your therapist(s) don't have that specific accreditation you won't be getting the most you can out of therapy and you should look into finding one that does.  She did emphasize that it is a pretty rare accrediation so be sure to ask.  On your own you may want to look up the works of Marsha Linehan (not sure if that's spelled properly or not) as she is the leading expert on DBT.  Also the book titled "Sometimes I Act Crazy" (she couldn't remember the author).  I'm not sure if that's also tied into DBT or is just another source for BPD patients. 

As a substitute for AA, look for any group that has an actual licensed substance abuse councelor.  The approach they use will be more straight-forward and should have more substantial content than the groups you say seem hollow.  FYI-some are still funded through church groups but have non-denominational councelors so don't just assume it's a spiritual based program just because it's a church.  Hope these suggestions help. 
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 05:02:03 PM by Raven »


Offline McDonald's

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 07:35:02 PM »
I joined a boxing gym.  American style boxing.  It is a workout I've never experienced before.  I gush sweat.  I suck in breath at maximum lung capacity. 

My muscles are huge.  I look good.  I have defense.  I've developed both physical and mental resilience.  I'm a force to be reckoned with.

I tell you it is very, very hard to hold on to mental problems when you are boxing.

If you can't get a handle on your thoughts and feelings then just give up and go box is what I say.
This isn't a bad suggestion; it doesn't have to be boxing but some sort of physically demanding athletic activity might be worth giving a go. We've come to accept these talking about problems is the way to sort them out and it can be but it might, in some cases exacerbate the negative thoughts.

Focusing on physical activity might help more than finding a different sort of person to speak to some more.

Getting a nice sweat is one thing, but maximum exertion is another.  When you work so hard you want to puke THAT is when you lose yourself, and find yourself.  I think you need a coach yelling at you to make it.  I've never been able to get there on my own anyhow.

BTW I discovered something wonderful; barefoot running.  I watched a bunch of videos on barefoot running but this one was the clincher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgkWhcapWLU

After building up my calf and arch strength I've started barefoot running at the gym.  OMG it feels so good I can run for hours comfortably!  I plug in my ipod and I'm in heaven.  Now THAT is an anti-depressant!

Dude.


Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2013, 08:10:38 PM »
Boxing may be fine, as long as there is NEVER any contact to the head.  Every time the head is hit, or shaken, there is some degree of brain damage going on.  It is cumulative, and each subsequent event's impact is multiplied by those before it.

The same is true with other exercises: avoid any sport with contact with the head, e.g. football, soccer 'head shots', hockey.  This damage has been proven by scans of the brains of those performing in these sports.  [See Dr. Amen's website.]  And all too often all it takes is one impact to alter one's ability to function.

I am all for exercise as a means to increase both mood and overall brain function.  But damaging one's brain in that effort is not a solution, it is adding a different problem.
To dispel some of the misconceptions about head injuries you have developed from watching movies and TV, I wrote this: ...Some Information on Head Injury Effects


Offline Tripe

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2013, 08:15:58 PM »
That's why I said "it doesn't have to be boxing"


I'd also bring up this from The Oatmeal.


Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2013, 08:23:10 PM »
This may feel a little disconnected at times.  I was trying to respond to multiple posts under one roof, while adding additional thoughts to it beyond my responses to statements.  [I do hope I caught everything I wanted to respond to.]


Edit before posting: apologies if this is too much.  Possibly try taking it a bit at a time if it is too much for you.


...I meant to spoiler my stuff, so I am going back to do that.

You needn't in the future (and you need not go back and unspoiler what you already did).  I edited the first post in the thread to let people reading know that the thread will have intense thoughts and emotions and for each to protect themself.

It is hard enough for people in crisis to deal with the crisis.  To deal with such 'niceties' as spoilering - in a thread specifically designed for intense interchanges - seems an unnecessary added stressor and drain for the person in crisis.  I was hoping the thread could allow people to share what was on their mind without having to assess, "could this be uncomfortable for someone else to read?"



Lucas, please don't feel the way you feel. I didn't think your responses were thin or passing me around.

Anais.B, don't concern yourself.  To clarify: I felt a bit sad that I couldn't help, but I have done my best to banish guilt from my thinking, because for anyone not a sociopath, guilt doesn't serve any useful function that empathy cannot.

But I know and (sometimes grudgingly) accept that I cannot help everyone I would like to every time I would like.  I have - and these days quite quickly reach - the limits on my functioning.  But I know that, much like the instructions given to parents flying with children, I have to secure my own metaphorical 'oxygen mask' before I try to help others with theirs.




A very good thing to do when you are feeling even slightly better is to make an 'Acute Crisis' list.  On it, put everything you could need in a crisis.  These are some things I thought might be helpful:
* Phone numbers for multiple suicide hotlines (trying multiple ones, as Tripe suggested, if the first one isn't available).
* If you do cutting, or other non-fatal self-injury, if there are hotlines for them, add them in
* Directions for other areas of support; e.g. 'write about what's going on on the RiffTrax boards so those there can respond'
* Directions for actions; e.g. 'do not take street drugs, despite the temporary relief I may feel, they delay my healing further'
* When you are feeling better, find something that is safely rewarding to you, and add it to the list - as many as you can
  -  you may have additional ideas as well, others may have more suggestions  -
* The final list item?  "Start list over from the top" and circle through that list until you feel enough relief to feel out of crisis.




There is something that occurred to me while reading other posts in this thread.  anais.b, at any time in your abuse were you struck in the head?  Or do you remember losing consciousness beyond dissociatively (e.g. from oxygen deprivation, being shaken)?

Because the symptoms of head injury, combined with childhood trauma, can mimic what is considered Borderline Personality Disorder (and many other diagnoses).  Few professionals will acknowledge that, or possibly even believe it, but with the range of my background while treating the spectrum of clients I did I saw head injury symptoms diagnosed as everything up to and including schizophrenia.

If there is, or are, head injuries in your background, that would also change how medications would work for you, and possibly point to a different spectrum of medications for some symptoms.



In the past two weeks, I have said the following words, outloud, "God, please kill me"

It's getting pretty bad. I never prayed to god to take my life before, I would usually just imagine it. Sometimes, when I think about death, I just think about peace. I associate death with peace.

Here are some quotes to describe how I feel about life:

"I dreamed a dream my life would be so different from the hell I'm living"

I live in hell cause I've been expelled from heaven....so give me something to sing about. please."

I don't know how many times I cried my eyes out hearing Buffy sing, and plead, with that last line, feeling the same 'expelled from heaven' and wanting something to sing about.  It doesn't mean that I know exactly how you are feeling with it, but I can deeply understand some aspects of it.

For much of the first few years after the third accident, if a car swerved a little too close to me, my thought was, "if you hit me: kill me."  I could not tolerate still more loss of function, and, with my daily wishing I'd either not survived the third accident, or thinking about how to finish myself off, would likely have welcomed it ending at that point.

But I kept going - just as you are - and I'm here now.  And I'm glad I am, despite the continued difficulties I have from unfixable injuries.  But for you, traumatic experiences, if worked through, can have the emotional power drained from them, so that they will be - simply - a part of your history, not the defining events of your life.  You will get to choose those defining events yourself, both as you heal, and afterwards.



It's weird, I will give up but continue to go through the motions. I don't know what that says about me.


To me?  It says that, underneath your conscious giving up is a deeper part of you that knows that this is not permanent.  That knows that you can get better, and that keeps you going despite the current pain.


Also, I have been working out a TON since Jan (my facebook friends can attest) and I have not only not lost weight, but I have gained it.

So that's another thing. Go to hell, life!

[[EDIT: realized that my seizing brain was 'stuck' in childhood trauma, and interpreted the above statements as being about working through traumatic issues 'a ton/lot'.  Sorry, missed the boat there.]]
It is frustrating to spend such intense effort and to still feel that you are not making the progress you want.  There are few things stronger than pain (either emotional or physical) that people want to escape, and often any delay feels too long.  And to feel some aspect of life is getting 'worse' in the process can add to the emotional weight we feel in our life.

But like you said: you have worked out a TON since January.  Regardless of how much is left, that ton is GONE.  You may need to revisit parts of it, in different contexts, but what you have worked on won't disappear.  You can unlearn mistaken thoughts you might have about yourself (feeling worthless or things like that).  But you cannot 'un-learn' understanding HOW your brain put things together and the new associations you make between current symptoms and how they arose from what were initially adaptive methods of dealing with aspects of the traumatic events.



Look, I get that it takes a lot of hard work to change and grow as a person, but I also believed that doing that hard work would be rewarded with at least something. There is a big empty feeling in my chest, it's there constantly, but the lack of friends (and especially the lack of boyfriend) just leads me to believe that there is something inherently broken or evil inside me. Other people gave similiar lives to mine, but they also have friends and marriages. I have a cat. I am so pathetic, the only people who might possibly listen to me are people on a forum that I have not met and would probably dislike me if they met me in real life.
And I believe that I will get everything I want, I really do. I just don't know how to hold on until then. If I had a finite set of days, I could do it, but asking me to keep holding on for something completely unknown to me. I don't know when it will happen, and every day the whole gets deeper.

Yes, healing from intense traumas is a process, not an event.  As others (modelmeg?) said, it takes time and for most people, one may only find themself recognizing just how far they've come when they get to a breathing spot and think back on how they felt before.



I am particularly fond of your chosen screen name here.  Yes: anais.butterfly.  You may have felt like a caterpillar before, slowly crawling towards what you wanted.

Right now?  It is dark, possibly the darkest you've seen.  Because right now, in the heat of working on your traumas, you are in your coccoon.  The coccoon is the space you built yourself, the time, the helpers, and the space in which to stop being a caterpillar.  The coccoon, despite feeling constrictive, is giving you a safer 'compartment' in which to make your transformation.  But just as a caterpillar cannot go back, if you want to continue to grow - to become that butterfly - the work inside your chrysalis is intense as you transform yourself.  And there is an end to it.

You will become a butterfly if you keep working on it and survive the roughest spots along the way.  It is inevitable for you, just as it is inevitable for your namesake.

I know I, for one, would love to see that butterfly here, when it crawls out of that coccoon, just as I am glad to see the pupa in the meantime.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 09:49:24 PM by LucasM »
To dispel some of the misconceptions about head injuries you have developed from watching movies and TV, I wrote this: ...Some Information on Head Injury Effects


Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2013, 09:36:41 PM »
Damnit Lucas, you made me cry.  :angry: (good cry)


I really appreciate everyone proving me wrong. I feel better now (granted, remember, mood swings)\. I was able to get to the gym and then I went home and watched archer.

So....it's awkward to say thanks, so let me just say that, I will prove I am thankful by not hurting myself or making the situation worse.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2013, 12:21:52 AM »
Not much I can add except maybe this:

And I believe that I will get everything I want, I really do. I just don't know how to hold on until then. If I had a finite set of days, I could do it, but asking me to keep holding on for something completely unknown to me. I don't know when it will happen, and every day the whole gets deeper.

How to hold on, this:

I was able to get to the gym and then I went home and watched archer.

Anything that can make you feel better, even for a short time, use those moments to hold on, even when it seems like they are not enough, they can be. 

Something I wrote a long time ago, about how time can conspire against you:

Moments fly by
The ones that last forever are the ones you don't want to
         The ones that you want to end too soon

When times are crappy it does seem like an eternity, try to hold on to any good moments, even if it's just a TV show that makes you laugh.


Quantum Vagina

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2013, 12:40:49 AM »
I've been damn busy lately, Anais, otherwise I'd have commented. I'd do so now, but everything I'd say has been said.

You're my bro, ladybro. You're all pretty cool bros and ladybros. I'll probably come back to this thread in the next day or so to put my own junk in here, because I've been hitting a magnificently low point myself, but for now, well, you're all not a bad bunch of bros and ladybros.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2013, 01:32:00 AM »
I'm pretty close to giving up completely, all my problems amplify each other and there's no way out.  I'm not strong enough to keep doing this or ignoring things like I have been much longer, I just have no energy or motivation to do anything but drink to numb the pain and forget things for a while.
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Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2013, 02:19:08 PM »
I'm pretty close to giving up completely, all my problems amplify each other and there's no way out.  I'm not strong enough to keep doing this or ignoring things like I have been much longer, I just have no energy or motivation to do anything but drink to numb the pain and forget things for a while.

*hug*

Other than the stuff already suggested in this thread, a hug is all I can offer. And my ear...I'm not mailing it to Australia though :P
Anais is the Coolest Butterfly I know  ;D


Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2013, 06:18:37 PM »
I'm pretty close to giving up completely, all my problems amplify each other and there's no way out.  I'm not strong enough to keep doing this or ignoring things like I have been much longer, I just have no energy or motivation to do anything but drink to numb the pain and forget things for a while.

I'm sorry you've been having such a rough time for so long.

Do you feel like talking about some of the difficulties, and how they are intertwined?  It might help to write them out (even if you don't post them here).  If you do post them here, some detail might be needed for people to see how 'stuck'/resistant to change the conditions might be.

Unfortunately, drinking til you are numb may seem to lessen the pain and help you forget while you are drinking, but the after-effects of alcohol-til-numb on the brain are part of the reason you don't have the energy or motivation to do anything about the core problems.  Continuing that is part of the spiral you find yourself in.

If you do decide to post the compounding events here, I know you've likely thought about a multitude of ways to deal with them, but possibly some here may have ideas on how to approach them that you haven't.

I hope something can happen with you to help you break the cycle.

Try to take care of yourself in the meantime.  Even if you still drink, make sure you are eating healthy (add at least 3grams of good quality fish oil to your diet, either via a can of sardines or in capsule form; it helps brain function, and may help with motivation and mood).  And try to get at least some exercise (20 minutes of brisk walking at least three times a week is enough to help overall brain function according to some brain doctors)... but if you haven't been exercising already, you'll have to build up to that.  Maybe start with just a walk up the block and back for a few days.  Then build up to around the block, etc.

I'm glad you posted here, SctottotD, at least you may not feel as isolated with what you are going through.
To dispel some of the misconceptions about head injuries you have developed from watching movies and TV, I wrote this: ...Some Information on Head Injury Effects


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2013, 07:22:31 PM »
Exercise is a great way to feel better mentally.  For three weeks I've been working out at least three times a week.  And when I can't get to the gym I do my Leslie Sassone walk at home workout.  I've lost weight and inches, my blood pressure was down three points at my last dr visit and feel pretty good.

Of course the Prozac could have something to do with my mood too.

I need to try that fish oil Lucas, I know my boss is always recommending it as well. 

Hope you feel better soon Scott.  I don't want to preach but in the long run alcohol will hurt more than help.
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Quantum Vagina

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2013, 10:23:20 PM »
This summer's been a particularly hard one on me. I knew it would be, but a few things have happened to compound my general depression into a much more concentrated form. First, let me state that I'm not entirely in a great state of mind right now; I'm pissed off, and I just decided that I should stop drinking soda, so I'm irritable and have a huge headache on top of that.

My head is a massive guilt machine. If something happens in a relationship with anyone, it's automatically my fault. A few years back, I had one that shook me rather hard. It lasted the entire summer, and ended with misunderstandings, a misplaced restraining order, a suicide attempt, and a brief stay in a mental hospital until I had convinced them that I was stable enough to be released. I can almost tell you the exact dates of the most significant events, because on those days, my mood TANKS. I basically relive all that stuff that happened 3 years ago each summer, and usually, things are ok, for the most part. I'm able to deal with those days. This summer, though, things took a few turns that left me in a much worse place than usual.

Firstly, I got kicked out of a circle of friends that were pretty important to me. The base of operations was a MLP forum, and, while cool people offline, they became absolutely insufferable online. Too much obsession with family friendliness on a board where the majority of the users were 18+, stifling of opinions because they might offend someone, absolutely NO discussion of anything was allowed, which I found patently ridiculous. I also found out that the mods on the forum had a secret board that they used to discuss policies, which was fine, but they also used it to bash forum goers where they couldn't see. Someone made a shitty crack about me on there, I called him out on it, and I got kicked off for knowing secret things that a mere member shouldn't know, whereas HE didn't get so much as a "Hey, you shouldn't say that." I thought the dude was my friend. I thought I had left the high school backstabbing back in fucking high school, but this 27 year asshat thought it'd be ok, because I'd never see it. Cunt.

It may sound like a minor thing, and not much to be depressed over, but that really stuck in my craw. I have a hell of a hard time making friends. I don't go out anywhere. I don't meet people, and when I do, I'm not approachable. My interpersonal relationships mean a lot to me, and when someone betrays that, it really HURTS.

Then, I got dumped by my therapist. I have some more specific issues that I'd rather not get into, and my therapist mentioned there was somebody in the agency who could work with me on them. I remember saying, "I'll talk to her, but if I don't like her, can I come back to see you again?" to which he replied, "Yes, of course." I talked to her, went 2 times, and just couldn't stand the woman. I said I'd like to go back to my previous provider. I was accused of therapist jumping, and told to seek treatment somewhere else. EXCUSE ME? I saw 4 therapists at that agency, including her, and two of them had left the practice, and SHE was the previous guy's idea. This one was kind of a more low blow, because during my experiences 3 years ago, my therapist left me, because my treatment needs were too severe. Understandable, now, but then it hurt. Now I'm being accused of something that I didn't do because I tried to find a therapist who I felt comfortable with, found him, and was given a big fuck you. This also left me without any mood stabilizing meds, which could be a problem, but, honestly, I've never noticed a difference on or off medication.

Lastly, I've been feeling like a massive failure. I dropped out of college in 2010 due to being unable to see any point in spending money when I was always too depressed to go to class. My GPA had TANKED before I did that, which is making it impossible for me to get into a decent school now that I WANT to. When I applied to UCCS earlier this year, they sent me an email telling me to register for classes and congrats on acceptance, and then an hour later, after telling everyone I knew that I was going to start going to school again, I get one saying, Oooooooops! You weren't supposed to get that, lol not accepted.

Can't go to school, so I have to work. Except I can't do it. I've had a couple of jobs in the past two years, and I've had to quit both because I'm having massive on the job panic attacks that leave me incapable of doing ANYTHING other than breathing really fast into my hands and passing out. I apparently can't handle ANY stress at all now. Compounded, all of this has damn near made me give up entirely. I really don't see the point of living any more. I've literally told 3 people that I want them to give me permission to die. I wrote out a will. I live next to a busy street where there's 50 mile an hour traffic, and I've been THIS close to just walking out into traffic, or swallowing pills, or cutting my wrists, my throat, anything. It's not that I want to die. It's just that I don't want to live.


Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2013, 04:36:27 AM »
QV, *hug* to you as well.

I will respond once this work week is over. But, in brief: Those therapists are trifling bitches. It might be your insurance that had you go to that place. I pay out of pocket, so I have the privilege of having more control over who I see and who I don't.

And I am also in a place where one therapist cannot provide me all the help I need. Luckily, she is an amazing and wonderful woman and we simply added on additional therapies instead of pawning me off to the next one.

I'm sorry that happened to you.
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Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2013, 07:39:19 PM »
QuantumVagina, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time.

I am appalled to hear about the clinic's behavior.  If your original psychologist wouldn't take you back (discussing it with them directly), then I'd suggest reporting them to the state licensing board.  ...But I know when I'm way past my limits (as I am now), the thought of doing something - even as justified as that - is too exhausting in itself.

[I'm sorry I can't address more of what you wrote.  Once my painkiller crisis passed, it took a couple days for my brain to shut down, but it apparently has done so.  To the point where trying to retrieve words, even simple words, to respond gives a throb of pain with each word, and where it is difficult to remember what I've read (and written).]

QV, I hope you can hang in there.  The anniversary reactions are magnifying the current difficulties for you right now, so it is likely impossible to see beyond the immediate stuff going on.  But there IS a 'beyond the immediate stuff going on' right now.
To dispel some of the misconceptions about head injuries you have developed from watching movies and TV, I wrote this: ...Some Information on Head Injury Effects