Author Topic: Acute Psychological Distress: Help  (Read 66926 times)

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Quantum Vagina

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2013, 05:05:06 PM »
I've spent the entire day wishing there was a taller building near me, and I have absolutely no idea why. Nothing seems to be improving my mood, either.


Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2013, 05:36:36 PM »
I'm sorry you're still having such a rough time, QV.

Hopefully you won't do so, but the first thing I thought of when you said you'd been wishing there was a taller building close to yours was to have it available to jump off of.  Again, I hope you won't do that, or anything else, to hurt yourself.

Is there anything, even something tiny that you can actually enjoy?  If there is, focus on that and try to keep tethered with it.  And hopefully things related to it will start to feel rewarding soon.  I don't know how far you are from the anniversary reactions now, or if there are still some that are freshly active (occurring in mid-Sept), but those will start to fade, simply as the days pass.

When anniversary reactions happen, they are a way for the brain to give itself the opportunity to process what has happened again, using triggers (the date/weather) to bring it out, and then fading afterwards to give the brain/body a chance to 'catch its breath'.  So if there is anything you can try to work on with the events, preferably VERY small aspects at first, now would be a good time as your brain is 'primed' for it.

What I would suggest, if - and ONLY if - you feel like you would be safe to do so, is to possibly think about the other person's motivations for what they did or said to you.  Try to imagine all possible reasons that they did so.  People don't do or say traumatic things to others ONLY because they want to cause the other person harm.  They do so because of things going on within themselves (usually because of their own fears about their own behavior, or being berated or abused related to possibly small, similar thoughts or feelings they acted out when they were young).  Trying to understand what might have been going on with the other person may help to understand and accept that it really was not about YOU; they were either re-enacting their own traumatic past, or trying to distance themselves from their own thoughts and feelings and the fear/pain that that evokes internally for themselves.

I hope you start to feel a bit better soon.
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


Quantum Vagina

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2013, 05:45:16 PM »
I understand why things happened from her perspective. That's never been the issue. The issue is that I have no idea why I acted the way I did, and why I hate myself so damn much when I attempt to do things for myself.


Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #33 on: September 21, 2013, 07:04:32 PM »
Well, our actions and reactions are never isolated events.  There is always some precedent for them (unless we're talking about something from infancy).

If you dislike yourself for your response(s), then it is possible that early on something similar happened and your situational feelings for that event, or what you were told it 'meant' by someone else, were used as a template to label yourself with for future similar types of events.  Or it is possible that something entirely different happened, and, from generalization of that way of thinking over long periods of time, you now judge yourself and your experiences by those standards with most or all actions you take now.

So maybe try this: think about what you did or said and try to list every possible thing that might have fed into your actions, thoughts, responses.  Any events from your past that might have fed into it.  Anything you've seen that might have fed into it (either between parents, or sibs, or friends, or even in TVs or films [I've worked with someone whose view of relationships was based on pop songs and old films from the 40s and 50s]).

And - hard as it may be - try to realize that whatever your response or reaction was, it was adaptive at the time.  It served a purpose for you, even if that purpose was to give you an 'excuse' to continue negative self-talk that 'proved' to yourself your [incorrect] worldview that you aren't worth anything, or that you 'always mess up', or whatever it is.  Try to dissect any negative self-evaluation until you get to its adaptive center... the point at which you can see something that does NOT say, "I did this because of [incompetence/inability to act right/whatever]", but instead says, "I did this because [it seemed the right thing to do/it was what I'd been told, which was an error from the person who told me that it was wrong/whatever]."


Our thoughts are mostly habits.  If we get in a habit of thinking things, our actions tend to follow through on them and make those thoughts real (self-fulfilling prophecy).  [I've been trying my damndest to get out of the habit of telling myself that I 'always run myself into the ground to the point of seizing', as I know that repeating that thought results in it happening more (because - by repeating it to myself - I am telling my frontal lobes to not work and not inform me I'm getting 'close', even when they might occasionally have the capacity to do so).  So I know it is not easy to break habits of thought.]

There is another thing: we also have random thoughts that can have originated with habits, or can come from things we've seen or heard elsewhere (parents or friends when young, or TV, or film), or be related to any number of things we are exposed to.  That is why, particularly after the head injuries made me so susceptible to 'taking things in without filtering', I had to be very careful, and alter what types of shows I watched on TV and what films I saw.  Because we take in what we see, and, if we are watching things that are negative [particularly violent, cynical, or non-empathic], that is the way our brains will go when random thoughts start, and that is the way random events will be interpreted when they occur.  Once we've interpreted some things that way, we look for support for that way of interpreting other things in our lives, and retroactively re-interpret what could have been perfectly OK events in this new way.  Most times we can distort and squeeze things into ways of thinking that have no relationship to what may be objectively true about them (either our own actions, or events we remember).

With random thoughts having the potential for being negative, particularly when depressed, all sorts of 'mental crap' can be just assumed correct.  So it might help to print out a statement in VERY large letters and post it in a place where you will see it multiple times a day:

Just because I think something does not mean that it is true.


There is, however, a VERY important issue with some of this, and that is if one has a tendency to be obsessive-compulsive, dissecting every negative self-evaluation can turn into the very thing that can be the problem: it can so lock up actions that one freezes when confronted with the unexpected.  If that is the case, I would suggest possibly the following:
1.  Make a list of statements of how you think about yourself negatively (being general enough to cover more than one or two events, but specific enough to be considered a pattern).
2.  Then, beside each, list how you would like to be in circumstances that would bring those about.
3.  Then, on a separate sheet, write down the absolute most you can currently imagine you could ever get towards your ideal.
4.  Then read that list to yourself each day, pausing on each to spend a minute or two imagining what it would FEEL like to get to that point.  [Emotions drive change in thinking quicker than just ideas in words.]
5.  You will, after a time, find yourself acting closer to that, or find you can imagine yourself getting to something closer to your ideal.  At which point, write a new list of the new 'closest you can imagine yourself getting', and read that one daily.  [i.e. repeat 3-5 until you find yourself at the list you made in '2']  Do NOT read or focus on the list from '1' after it's served its initial purpose (starting the process of working towards thinking differently).

Hopefully something in this can help you get past what has been going on for you, or spark ideas that might work better for you than what I suggest here.

I do hope you get some relief soon, from whatever healthy source it might come.
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


Quantum Vagina

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2013, 07:34:48 PM »
Thanks for the reply, Lucas. I'm not in a great state of mind to focus on intently reading it right now, though. My head is scattershotting all over the place and I had to eliminate all distractions to even skim that, and I barely absorbed anything from it. I'll come back and look at it when I'm feeling a little more focused and less self hatred. From what I did get from that, I know I've done a lot of these exercises before, mostly in the hospital, and I took care of it, more or less. Kind of. I know that all my depressed thinking is REALLY irrational, and none of it should rule me. I have a massively differing lifestyle/theology than my parents, and that majority of my hometown. Half of me is ok with that, and half of me hates that and is obsessed with fitting in, or just being normal, and so I conflict with myself over everything which stops me from achieving any of my life goals, because the closer I get to them, I freak out more and it ruins everything.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2013, 08:51:39 AM »
Sorry to be dumping in here without adding support, thanks for your kind words.  I'm still alive and I'm trying to try.
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Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2013, 11:24:53 AM »
Thanks for the reply, Lucas. I'm not in a great state of mind to focus on intently reading it right now, though. My head is scattershotting all over the place and I had to eliminate all distractions to even skim that, and I barely absorbed anything from it. I'll come back and look at it when I'm feeling a little more focused and less self hatred.

I'm sorry that my response was as it was (long and detailed).  One of the things that told me I had no business still doing therapy after my second head injury, was that I'd lost the ability to match my responses to what clients were in a position to take in.

I'm sorry if the response resulted in you feeling worse for any reason, and I hope you feel better soon.
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 LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2013, 11:26:38 AM »
Sorry to be dumping in here without adding support, thanks for your kind words.  I'm still alive and I'm trying to try.

I'm glad to hear you are still around and continuing to try.  Adding support here is not a prerequisite for posting distress, so try to not feel guilty about that if you were.
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 gbeenie

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2013, 04:43:17 PM »
I'm reminded of something that happened at DragonCon this year. On more than one occasion, I was stymied by my mobility issues. I felt helpless, small and out-of-control, and found myself on the verge of tears (I don't handle frustration well). All in all, my Saturday at the Con was not a great day. Later that weekend, Laurie and I were making preparations to buy our memberships for next year, and I flashed back to just how awful I'd felt just a day or so earlier; I seriously considered not buying a 2014 membership (our roommate, based on difficulties he had in 2012, decided not to attend this year). Then I remembered something really important, that stood out very clearly in my mind:

I can't make decisions about the future based on how I'm feeling right at this very moment.

Just as I have no idea if my level of disability will increase over the next year (a real possibility, unfortunately), I also have no objective reason to believe that the pervasive sadness and frustration I felt that Saturday are gonna stay with me forever, or even until next Labor Day weekend.

We bought the memberships (seriously, that shit was HALF the price of at-the-door).
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Offline ScottotD

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #39 on: October 22, 2013, 03:09:09 AM »
Sooooo my psyche doubled my antidepressant and added an anti-anxiety and I felt the change almost immediately, also borrowed some money from a relative to dig myself out of the hole I was in. 

Now the hard part(s):

1. Drinking less/not at all
2. Actually going to work and on time so I don't fall back into even more debt
3. Gym routine/diet so I feel better about myself and not worthless all of the time.

Not off to a great start ( a whole pizza and a bottle of vodka was my dinner Sunday) but just going to take it day by day and minute by minute, I *need* to do this.
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Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #40 on: October 22, 2013, 04:09:06 AM »
You can do it.

It is great that you are thinking 'minute by minute' and even 'second by second'.  You may want to break your goals down into more manageable chunks.  Because just looking at the list of those three things you want to do was daunting.  Maybe start with whichever one seems most important first.  [My guess would be in the order you have them listed, as, when you are drinking regularly, you are less likely to feel up to doing either of the other two.]  And start with small goals, that you psych yourself up for.  For example: to start, possibly say to yourself repeatedly (on Tuesday), "I will not drink alcohol at all on Wednesday."  Possibly tell supportive friends.  And reward yourself when you do so (but, of course, not with alcohol).

The other reason to put stopping alcohol first is because it interacts with antidepressants and especially with anti-anxiety meds.  And it can be quite dangerous [and the anti-anxiety meds and alcohol intensify each-other's effects, and can make it more difficult to stop either of them].  Ask your doctor and pharmacist about the effects of mixing the two.  Mixing them, not only would you not get the antidepressant effects you want, but you can endanger your health (depending on what medications you are on, and the doses of them, possibly your life).

You can do it.  Stating publicly that you WANT to do it is a big step, and an important one.  You've already done that.  And getting help from a psychiatrist (I'm assuming, from the meds) is another good step.  A psychologist to talk to about what is going on would be a good addition if you don't already have one (as psychologists are generally better at the 'thinking' parts of what can help, psychiatrists the 'biochemical brain' parts).  Congratulations on actively doing things already to help yourself!

[Since it is inappropriate to generalize to others I will keep this a 'me' statement, though I suspect there are many others here who feel the same:]  I am rooting for you.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2013, 04:14:23 AM 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 Mrs. Dick Courier

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #41 on: October 24, 2013, 11:03:01 AM »
Warning, female stuff....

The waiting is the hardest part.

It's been a week and a half since the condom "incident".  I am officially two days late with my monthly, but all the experts say to wait at least 2 to three weeks before doing a pregnancy test.  Of course, an expensive blood test can pick it up sooner.   But I am cramping like crazy, and I feel sick, and I still can't stop crying.  And there are other female things I won't mention here.   Heard a Randy Travis song on the radio yesterday and had to pull over on I-81 because I started bawling.

It may be nothing.  It may be in my head.  Maybe its just hormones.  May be the stress of worrying.  Monday will be two weeks.  If my monthly visitor still hasn't made an appearance guess I'll do a home test and see what happens.

I'm too old for this shit.
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Offline anais.butterfly

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #42 on: October 24, 2013, 11:16:21 AM »
Warning, female stuff....

The waiting is the hardest part.

It's been a week and a half since the condom "incident".  I am officially two days late with my monthly, but all the experts say to wait at least 2 to three weeks before doing a pregnancy test.  Of course, an expensive blood test can pick it up sooner.   But I am cramping like crazy, and I feel sick, and I still can't stop crying.  And there are other female things I won't mention here.   Heard a Randy Travis song on the radio yesterday and had to pull over on I-81 because I started bawling.

It may be nothing.  It may be in my head.  Maybe its just hormones.  May be the stress of worrying.  Monday will be two weeks.  If my monthly visitor still hasn't made an appearance guess I'll do a home test and see what happens.

I'm too old for this shit.

In that ciccumstance, I would do the test. The reason is that worrying can delay periods and if see a negative on the pregnancy test causes me to calm down.
Anais is the Coolest Butterfly I know  ;D


Offline LucasM

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #43 on: October 24, 2013, 11:21:30 AM »
I hope your period arrives soon to put your mind at ease.  As you are aware, it is possible the stress is delaying it a bit and the emotions aren't pregnancy related.

Edit:  Looks like anais.butterfly said some of this first.  I second the 'go ahead and test now' to put yourself a bit more at ease (if it would for you).
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 Thrifty Version II

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Re: Acute Psychological Distress: Help
« Reply #44 on: October 24, 2013, 04:34:27 PM »
I thought you could just go to the drug store and buy those sticks you pee on.  Can't you just do that instead of fretting over this for days on end?