Thoughts on Depression and C-PTSD from emotional Abuse

Depression can make you feel like staying in bed and not interacting with other people. You know that if you go out of the house, you will feel different and out of place.

Other people will not understand your inner world. You feel like you will be forced to put on a mask to fit in. It is difficult to function.

You get more and more internalized. So you self isolate, and limit your social interactions. This is understandable because certain kinds of interactions can be emotionally traumatizing.

You feel like the one person that is out of place in the world.  You sit alone and hear the thoughts that come up from your subconscious. Thoughts that there is something wrong with you.

Some of the feelings you get are from emotional flashbacks. There are things that happened and ways you were rejected during childhood that cause your subconscious to store these kinds of feelings.

If you can identify the false beliefs behind your thoughts, then the feelings can be sat with and calmed. You were not born feeling like you did not belong in the world. These thoughts were taught to you….even brainwashed into you.

When you have a feeling that is painful, like hopelessness…try to discover what core belief that thought is driven by. The belief might be that you are not as good as other people. .. Or that the world is unsafe.

If you are carrying the core belief that you are less adequate than other people…that is a bad programming. These things are programmed into children who do not have emotionally supportive childhoods.

Think back to your childhood and if you were made to feel insignificant, unworthy, unneccesary, or anything else negative. If your thoughts and feelings were dismissed, criticized, or made fun of then you are probably carrying CPTSD…complex post traumatic stress disorder.

People with C-PTSD often get depressed or feel extreme anxiety. You may have trouble keeping up with other people or feeling normal.

Those false core beliefs that were fed to you can be re-programmed. You need to question each one of those negative beliefs about yourself. Be like a scientist attempting to disprove a theory.

If you feel that something is wrong with you compared to other people, then ask what things are Right about you. Write them down. Engage in activities that prove you are as good or better at those activities, than other people are.

Look at the qualities of your parents and whomever fed those negative, false beliefs to you, about yourself. What kind of people are they?

Would you consider those people reliable critics? Did tbey have any agenda in which lowering your power would have helped them?

If those people told you something bad about the character of a person you love right now….would you believe their opinion without question? Or is their opinion not reliable?

You can begin to go out and interact with people in small increments. Go over your present state of mind, before you go out…and before you leave your car. You can just sit in your car for a few minutes and listen to music that calms or peps up your nervous system.

How you feel when you interact with others is based on the current state of your nervous system, how much sleep you have had, your mental state, and your blood sugar.

You can think of those categories and assess each of them, before you go into a store or any other place. Then you will feel more in touch with yourself and have some ways to help yourself.

If you are interested in learning. NLP State Management techniques, you can send me a message via my web site

Gentlekindnesscoaching.com

For information about C-PTSD and how emotional abuse causes depression and anxiety disorders, join us at the gentlekindness facebook page.

You are special. Your gifts and personality are an important part of the puzzle of humanity. You are connected with all living things in an important way.

You matter. You have a unique voice that other people need to hear. You have special characteristics that someone really needs right now.

You have innate value.

Namaste,

Annie. Gentlekindnesscoaching.com

Gentlekindness facebook page

Annie Mimi Hall youtube channel

Please send prayers and love to our blogging friend in the ER

Please say your prayers and send a supportive comment if you feel so moved to bipolar for life adventure …she is in the ER after a suicide attempt.  She is blogging from her ER bed right now. Let’s let  her know we are glad she is still with us.

Blessings,

Annie

Depression

Depression can hit anyone. Some people are more susceptible to periods of depression than others but it can come seemingly out of nowhere and attack your brain.

Depression involves more than just feeling depressed. It can cause physical pain in the body. It can cause feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. There is often a feeling of darkness that feels like it has settled around your mind and even around you in a physical way.

It is hard to be in a state of depression because many people around you will not understand what is going on with you and it is very hard to describe to people who have not experienced it. 

Depression can often happen to creative, intelligent people and to people who are sensitive to their feelings and the feelings of others. 

Many things can trigger depression.

With some people it is linked to organic differences in their brain. People with bipolar disorder, for example, have differences in their brain that cause depression to come on suddenly and last for long periods ot time or sometimes shorter periods of time. Different people are different and their brains are wired differently.

I mentioned the problem of people not understanding and there are other very painful things about depression. The lack of understanding from people can cause self isolation on the part of the sufferer. The depressed person can feel like they are being injured by the suggestions of the other people.

When people do not understand depression they tend to offer “unhelpful helpfulness” and if you are a person that has struggled with depression before then you know what I mean.

People will tell you to just shake it off, to get some exercise, and they will try to force you to go out into social situations that may be traumatizing to you. People get offended and take it personally when you do not feel like socializing. This creates a feeling of being an alien that does not fit in with the other people on this planet.

You can feel like you are the only person that is incapable of interacting with other people. You may feel like you are bringing other people down with your mood. There is a feeling that you will lose relationships and actually there is a possibility of actually losing relationships with certain people, but those people were probably not worth keeping on your friend list anyway.

You are not alone. There are many of us who have suffered from depression. If you feel alone, then please search the tag depression on wordpress and connect with other people who will validate your feelings. You are not an alien on the planet, but you may feel that way in your immediate social circle and in your family.

Sometimes periods of depression need to be gone through in order to get to the other side.

There can be reasons that we are not even aware of for the depression we are in. Betrayals, disappointments about life. disillusionment about humanity, can all cause us to become in a period of needing to reflect and re-evaluate our purpose and our lives.

We can become aware that our original “map of reality” does not match the actual reality of the world we are living in. This concept of map of reality is something that I heard on the Spartan Life Coach channel. He has many helpful videos that I recommend for people with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.

If you came from a disordered, mentally abusive childhood or you felt invisible during your childhood, then you are prone for depressive episodes. In very disrupted childhoods, there are certain developmental stages that can be missed and the mental software for dealing with certain situations and certain kinds of people in the world, was not given to you.

Depression can occur after an abusive relationship, even if you do not see the relationship as having been abusive. If you were emotionally abused as a child or a teenager then you will be prone to see certain treatment as just the way it is, whereas other people would see them as inappropriate or abusive.

When you long for certain things to be true in the world and they turn out not to be true, then this can cause a major depression. Some children of alcoholics and other mentally abusive childhoods have trouble accepting certain aspects of reality to be what they are. Your reality was confused and interfered with as a child. 

You may have been taught that you have to tolerate abuse in order to show your love for other people. You may also have been conditioned to continue on in situations that make you miserable. Your capacity to  make changes for your own benefit may have been interfered with.

You have the right to make changes for your own mental health and happiness.
You have the right to feel depressed if that is how you feel.
You have the right to refuse to socialize or to choose how, when, where  and how long you want to interact with others.
Being forced to socialize, under someone else’s terms, is being manipulated.
Being forced to hide your emotions, and to seem happy in order to make other people comfortable can be retraumatizing.
Feeling invisible is bad. You should not go into situations where you feel like no one sees the real you, or cares about what is going on with you.
Reaching out to others is good, especially if they have experienced depression and can validate what you are feeling.
Being yourself is critical and the right to feel what you feel is necessary.
Grieving for losses is necessary. Losses can include…
relationships
loss of youth
loss of a job
loss of loved ones who died, even if it was years ago
loss of innocent beliefs…such as the world is a wonderful place and everyone is basically good
loss if previous identity…you are who you are now…there will be times for changing and growing based on experiences and learning more about the world….of your identity needs to be altered that is okay…but we can grieve for a past identity also
loss of comforting surroundings
loss of anything that you feel was a real loss, no one can tell you what is more important to you that something else should be…your feelings are valid

You have a right to your feelings and the depression will continue to get worse if you try to deny your feelings, avoid processing losses, or allow others to try to force you to pretend or to act the way they want you to.

Your depression is unique just like you are unique

People cannot tell you that you have a great life and that you have no reason to be depressed. They do not know all of the things about you, or what could be causing the depression. You may not even be aware of all the things that are going on in your brain. 

It is a time to get to know yourself better and to care for yourself, and to grieve over losses. It is a time to give yourself permission to feel things. It is a time to draw boundaries with other people about them telling you that they know what you need.

Think about what you would say to someone if the asked you “What can I do to help you?” 

You may not have an answer right away, but I want you to think about that answer to the question. If you can identify things that would be helpful to you, then it might be a way to communicate with certain people who may be able to help you in a real way. 

In the mean time you can help yourself by thinking about what you can do for yourself and what you need.

Suicide Resources , Facts and Information

I feel that I should start this post with the following information.

Lifeline, the national suicide prevention hotline for USA

Phone: If you are in crisis you can call anytime  1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Website: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org

The American Foundation for Suicide Preventionhttp://www.afsp.org/

Below is a link for the National Institute for Mental health , section on suicide prevention

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

If you are not in the USA then there are international suicide hotlines to call. The responders to the calls are trained in suicide prevention and know about mental illness.

Suicide is in the top ten list for causes of death in the United States. Unfortunately, it claims more lives each year than the year before. This is an epidemic which deserves attention and research to find solutions.

There are about 1 million suicide attempts each year in the US and the numbers continue to rise. If you feel alone in considering suicide, you are not. There are people right now, like you, that feel alone and do not know how to reach out to for help.

Many suicides are people who had a mental illness that was not being treated. It is possible that treatment could have saved their lives.

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, someone commits suicide about every 14 minutes, in the United States. This is about  40,000 lives lost every year.

Adolescent suicide is a reality that many people want to ignore and pretend that it does not exist.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health,

” Suicide is the second leading cause of death among teens aged 12-17, accounting for about 1,000 deaths in 2011 . A 2013 survey indicated that as many as 2.7 percent of high school students nationwide made a suicide attempt”

It is difficult to gather exact statistics about self harm because many people, including teens and preteens , do not tell anyone about their self harm behaviors. It is their way of feeling some power over their circumstances, when they otherwise feel powerless. It is often a secret kept from family and friends.

There is research that estimates that 14-24 percent of adolescents have self harmed at least once. Many of them have done it many times and continue to do so.

Make no mistake, self harm is a big red flag! If someone you know is injuring themselves then they are at risk for suicide.

A recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that one in five Americans is living with some type of mental health condition. Mental illness like depression, severe anxiety, PTSD , bipolar disorder and many others can be a risk factor for self harm or suicide.

The stress response known as fight-or-flight is driven by the stress hormone cortisol, which is regulated by a part of the neuroendocrine system called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

There is research that shows that there can be a genetic predisposition to suicide and suicide attempts. There is a great article which gives all the specifics in the link below.

http://www.afsp.org/research/research-connection/stress-and-genes-linked-to-suicide-attempts

If you are wondering about the symptoms of yourself or someone else, there are some suicide warning signs that are critical to know.

Someone who talks about the following things, is a possible suicide risk:

  • Killing themselves.
  • Having no reason to live.
  • Being a burden to others.
  • Feeling trapped.
  • Unbearable pain.

Other behaviors that should alert your attention include:

loss of interest in activities they love, self-isolation from family and friends, giving away important possessions and making phone calls to people that sound like they are saying goodbye to them.

Each of those people leaves an average of 6 family members and close friends who are traumatized by the suicide. So if you are a survivor of the suicide of a loves one, you are not alone. There is help for you.

Suicide  of a loved one is extremely traumatizing and can cause PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), depression, and severe anxiety. In another words, you may be suffering from mental illness now, if you survived the suicide of a family member or a friend.

The links below will give you a beginning to finding ways to get help for your trauma. Find a way to seek help if you feel like you need it.

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support

http://www.afsp.org/coping-with-suicide-loss/find-support/join-the-survivor-e-network

There are medications for depression and other mental illnesses. There are many kinds of  therapists. For some people , therapy is very helpful.

There are many people on wordpress.com that really care about you. We are the “wounded healers”  The wounded healers have experienced severe trauma, mental illness and abuse. We are compassionate about the suffering of others that we can relate to.

You can search by tags for suicide, mental illness, depression, ptsd, bipolar disorder, and other mental illness related tags.

Read people’s stories. Comment on their posts. Keep reading and searching until you find someone that will understand and will reach out to you. There are many in this community.

I have seen people become suicidal and post their feelings and even their plans for suicide on wordpress. It was their only outlet because at this point they had cut off family and friends.

So many bloggers responded to these suicidal posts that the people felt enveloped in care and concern from strangers who really reached out to them. Many people had a change of heart after reading all the comments that other bloggers wrote.

The same goes for survivors of suicide. There are wounded healers that are survivors of suicide here as well. If you search the tags and keep trying, you will find someone that will listen and understand. Sometimes the best first step to healing is to find someone that will understand and validate your suffering.

I hope this post has provided some helpful information for you. If anyone wants to put a link to their mental illness blog in the comments , as a way of adding that information to this post, feel free to do do.

If you are reaching out for help, please also feel free to put a link to your blog in the comments below.  If you are viewing wordpress from a google search and do not have a wordpress blog, it is very easy to set up a wordpress account. You do not have to post a picture in your profile. You can always use an avatar.

That is about all I can think of to say at this time. We were brought into the world needing the community of others. There are people in the world that will understand you. Don’t give up until you find them.

Is Suicide a Selfish Act ?….People who post opinions on the internet about suicide,… who have no idea what they are talking about

Suicide is a last resort. It is not a selfish act designed to inflict guilt or punishment upon others. It is not a selfish act in the way that I have seen it talked about online many times.

I don’t know how many times I have seen people write things similar to “They were so selfish. Didn’t they think about the effect this would have on their loved ones? How could they just think of themselves and no one else?”

This is about as backwards of a statement as I have even seen about any topic. It completely lacks any understanding of what goes on in the mind of a suicidal person. Clearly the people writing statements such as these have never had a conversation with a suicidal person and obviously have never suffered from severe depression themselves.

It bothers me that the people that are making these statements, as if they are bringing enlightenment to suicidal people. They seem like they are trying to bring  comfort to the survivors of suicide. They have never been the survivor of a suicide and do not know how the loved ones feel.

Should they be making statements about the situation in a judgemental way? Will this make the survivors of their loved one’s suicide feel better?

No, let’s consider the sources of these words that the people so felt they had to post on the internet for all to see. All of the people that I have seen write words like these had nothing to do with suicide or depression. They have never had a loved one commit suicide. They have never taken the time to listen to and comfort a suicidal friend. 

They are detached from suicide and depression all together.

Then why? Why do they feel the need to post their opinions about suicide at all?

It makes them look good. It makes them look sane. It makes them look like they have it all together for their friends to see. 

It is the act of pointing a finger at someone else and thus showing how much better they are than the others. They are so much better than “those people” who are so selfish as to commit suicide and “do that” to their poor loved ones.

These people do not have any sympathy for the loved ones either.

Tell me ….what comfort is it to a loved one to read the following…”I can’t believe that person was so self centered. They never considered the feelings of the family. They did not care what their actions would do to the lives of their family.”

Would that be comforting to you, if your sister had just killed themselves? Would those words make you feel better…vindicated…able to place the blame on you son…who had just hung himself in your home?

NO.

These people are posting these words, as if they know more than the suicide victim, in order to comfort the family. They are not posting them in order to keep other suicidal people from committing suicide.

Tell me..

If you were suicidal, would these words make you not want to commit suicide?….”People who commit suicide are selfish. They should think about their families and what impact their death would have on their family”

Why?

Why would these words not keep you from going through with it? More importantly….why would these words make you feel more certain that suicide was the right decision?

Because while these people are writing “Think about what your death will do to your loved ones”

...the suicidal person is thinking “My loved ones are suffering because of me. My loved ones would be better off without me.”

You see? 

The suicidal person has lost any feelings of worthiness and value. While these people are writing “It is so selfish to take your own life and cause suffering to your loved ones” ….they are also being very arrogant. 

Their arrogance is in the 
Your family will suffer so terribly without you in their lives” 

These people are sure that their own loved ones and family would suffer terribly without the presence of their amazing person in the lives of the family. 

They are essentially talking about themselves and how valuable they are. In saying that “I would never commit suicide. I would not do that to my loved ones”….they are advertising how great they are and how much of a loss the world as we know it, would have, if they were to no longer be in it.

They are using the suffering of some person who was on the evening news, in order to make themselves look good on facebook.

So, I see no compassion, nor wisdom in these posts on facebook by people who have never been any closer to suicide or depression than watching in on the evening news.

They  have no business posting their opinions about how the family must feel….they have no idea. 

They have no business posting comments on facebook about how the suicide victim felt….again they have no idea.

The suicide victim was not thinking of hurting the family. On the contrary, in their mind they were a burden, an inconvenience, a problem, a curse, ,,,not worthy of having been born.

You cannot make comments about how selfish the suicidal victim was, when you have no idea what was going on in their head…for a long….long ..time, before the suicide. 

There are many thoughts that go through the mind of the suicidal person. These thoughts go through their mind , on a regular basis, for a long, long time. Most suicide victims have thought about suicide and tried to talk themselves out of it for months or years.

Imagine having this voice in your head… “Everyone would be better off without you. You are not wanted. You are a burden. You should not have been born”

… this voice playing in your head… for years…..

If you cannot imagine this or relate to this, then you cannot speak for the intentions of the people who commit suicide

You battle against it, but it just keeps talking to you. Eventually people give in to the voice. They believe that the world will not miss them, mourn them,,and in fact will be better without them.

The people that are calling suicide a selfish act have no idea what they are talking about.

They do not know the suffering of feeling like you are worthless, a burden, in the way. They do not know what it is like to carry toxic shame from physical or sexual abuse from their childhood.

They do not know what some people have to carry as a constant burden on their soul. People carry memories about all kind of abuse from their childhoods. They go to therapy to try to get rid of their demons. 

The demons follow them and sometimes therapy is not enough. You cannot speak about how someone feels and that they were selfish, when they ended their lived in order to silence the voices, turn off the movies playing in their heads ,,,of horrors that most people will never ever know.

The judgemental people about suicide, cannot speak for people who have endured horrors that are unspeakable. They do not know what kind of abuse was occurring in the home of the suicide victim. How can you know whether or not the “Poor family” of the victim was abusing them behind closed doors. How do you know?

When you see the report if suicide on the tv, there are so many things about the family that you will never know. Why do these people assume the person’s family would miss them? How do you know?

All families do not love their children or teeangers. All families do not love their adult children. All husbands do not love their wives. Some of them subject their wives to all manner of mental torment and sometimes physical abuse.

You cannot judge someone that you do not know about their suicide. You do not know if it is a loss for their family. Maybe they were escaping their family in the only way they knew how.

Maybe they really felt that their mental illness was a burden on the family and that they were doing their family a favor by making this decision.

Every person is an individual. We all have unique ways of looking at things. Each suicide victim has their own story and voices playing in their heads.

Unless you know what the reality was of the individual person….Unless you know and can relate to the mental torment they had suffered…and for how long they had been suffering…..

Unless you are really aware of of  how the person was treated by their family…what kind of abuse they had endured during their childhood…and what monsters were following them in the shadows of their nightmares…..

then please keep your judgement of individual people , who you do not understand, yourselves, 

please keep general sweeping comments like “all people who commit suicide are selfish” to yourselves and do not post them where suicidal people can see them

People who commit suicide think about it for a long…long …time

They consider themselves a possible suicide victim long before they do anything about it.

They are reading your words….and thinking that they are now selfish to be considering suicide…on top of all the other pain that they are carrying…here is one more thing to carry…

how do we know that this is not “one more thing” too many?

What if You Can’t “Just Get Over It” ? Depression, Trauma, PTSD, Death, Suicide,Mental Illness

Life is hard. It really can suck sometimes. Let’s be truthful about this.

People might be telling you to “suck it up” …  “move on”… “pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”  These people are not inside of your head.

You know this and you know that your inner world is different from theirs. Somewhere in your brain, is this voice saying “What is wrong with me? “

Pretending everything is okay with your mental state, is not easy and if it is continuous it will lead you to misery and a mental  breakdown.

No, everyone does not want to listen. No, everyone does not care.

Yes, there are people who are going to say to you “Haven’t you gotten over that yet?”  …and …”everyone has it hard, you have to get over it”

Well, fuck !  Sometimes things happen that you CANNOT just get over. They don’t magically go away. There seems to be no one to talk to.

Im lost too

It is like being in some nightmare land where you speak such a different language than anyone else that you are completely alone with your pain and your perception of life.

Your perception and faith in humanity can be damaged.

Certain things can damage our perception of humanity as a basically good and safe thing to be a part of.

Abuse and trauma rape the soul and the mind. If you have been through something that you cannot seem to heal from, then it probably raped your soul and infected your inner core of being.

It does not have to physical abuse that causes trauma to your inner core of being. Mental and emotional abuse can be severely damaging to your inner being.

If your reality has been messed with by someone who caused you to believe that the world is different than it is, then you are likely to have trouble recovering and “getting over it.”  Narcissistic abuse is one thing that can cause mental disfunction. 

The nature of reality itself can become in question. Your ability to trust people and to feel confident in your ability to know who is safe, can be deeply affected.

Other things can cause us to question our perception of reality. Witnessing things that are personally traumatizing to our psychological state and being in traumatic events, can cause our brains to become ill.

Certain events can cause us to question our purpose to be here. They can even lead to suicidal thoughts. If left without any validation of your real feelings, this state of mind is dangerous to you.

When a loved one dies or becomes terminally ill, your entire world is affected. Some people have different coping skill that other people.

You working with your own past and whatever you have been wired with, in order to evaluate cope. No one is just like you.

People may say  that you should be handling things better, but they are not inside of the entire mental and emotional  package that is in you.

If you are not okay, then you are NOT okay.

That is just  how it is for now. It does not help to shove your feelings down, just to make other people more comfortable. Yes, you have to keep things to yourself a lot of the time, but you cannot do it constantly and permanently.

When did it become such a taboo thing to not be okay?  Why should you be condemned for suffering?

All cultures are not like this. All traditions are not like this.

The world seems to be becoming more narcissistic, as far as what is acceptable for people to do and say. This ever growing acceptance for people to be less empathic and compassionate, is making the gap between people with mental illness and the “normals” greater and greater.

Mental illness encompasses a wide range of disorders and conditions. It can triggered by events and circumstances in your life. Traumatic events can cause PTSD. Deeply sad circumstances and losses can cause depression.

When does being depressed or having anxiety become a mental disorder?

You have a disorder when your life becomes disordered. It is difficult to do the regular things.

Your feelings about doing the things that you enjoy have changed. You do not want to or cannot just get through the day like you feel you should be able to.

When your work, your relationships. your daily functions become impaired, then your condition has turned into a disfunction.

What Matters?

Pain is pain. Mental suffering is mental suffering. You can’t always “just shake it off.”  You matter and your mental state matters.

It is easy to fall into feeling guilty, because people think you should  be fine and you are not. You are not a big baby and you are not inferior to these other people.

You might just be deeper and more sensitive than other people tend to be. There is a small percentage of humanity that is empathic and more sensitive that others. 

If this is you, then you are going to feel things more deeply and emotional events are going to affect you much differently than other people.

Add on top of it, a high intelligence and ability to be abstract and creative, and you have a high potential for developing a mental illness. 

Why? It is the way of things. You internalize things in a deep way and you ruminate over things more deeply and more obsessively than other people, who are more shallow than you are.

They can shake things off, at times, easier than you can. They tell you that you “should” be able to be like them, but are you like them?

If you have had any mental abuse in your past, then your brain is already wired differently from other people, and you are not going to perceive and respond to situations in the same way that others do.

Your personality may be a blessing and  curse. You have found yourself in circumstances that other people do not end up in. You process life events, betrayal, death, disloyalty , and lack of fairness in the world in your own  personal way.

Your mind is unique. For someone to understand why you cannot “just get over it” …or “Move on already”..they would have to enter the world of your mind, and your perception, in addition to understanding what has happened in your past and how it affects you.

You are alone in a way. On the other hand, you are not alone and do not have to be.

Keeping your feelings buried underground, will eat you alive. Finding someone to talk to can be difficult. Keep your mind open to talking to someone because they might turn up in the most unlikely of places.

Use your blog to communicate about your real feelings. You can set up a second blog, if your is not anonymous. If you use a separate email address then it will not link to your other blog.

Find ways to get your real thoughts and feelings out. Do not criticize yourself for being mentally or emotionally stuck in any situation. You are stuck because there are still things you need to work through.

Blessings,

Be Yourself,

Feel what you feel so you can get through it,

Annie ❤

Showing Kindness to Yourself About Your Mental Illness

your heartYour mental illness has caused some level of disorganization in your brain. What the cause of your mental illness is, could be a variety of possibilities, but the feeling of disconnection is there.

Disconnection exists at various levels within our brains and in our lives. It feels like having broken pieces, jagged edged that no longer seem to fit together the way they used to. Bits of pieces are over there…and bits of pieces are over there…

We are not entirely sure if all of the original pieces actually still exist, because we cannot fit enough of them together to check for missing puzzle pieces. Sometimes ot seems like we are being forced by therapists to shove all of the pieces back together again.

The problem is…these are not the original pieces of your brain, in the original form. You cannot just put things back together and miraculously be the same as you were once before.

The mind is like a stream. It is constantly in movement. You cannot step into the same exact  stream twice, because as soon as you life out your foot the water has changed again, before you place your into the water again.

The neurons in our brains are constantly adapting to our behaviors, including our emotional behaviors.  Every new experience creates new neuronal connections. The more times you repeat a behavior, the more solid the connections relating to that behavior become. But they can always be changed.

The original combination of connections from any given point in our past, cannot be recreated by therapy or anything else. The reason for this is that we have had new experiences since then.

We are at the place where we are. The connections that exist right now, in your brain are what you have at this moment. The reasons for the exact combination of connections are many.

The experiences that we have had, up until this very moment are part of our organic brains. They cannot be removed. You cannot suddenly become a person that was never abused, never hospitalized or never had a mental breakdown.

The things that happened are part of your past, and we have to somehow find  way to survive and thrive, in spite of the trauma we have experiences in our lives.

The feeling that things are disorganized and broken into pieces, is a very real feeling. If you have mental illness, or are recovering from mental trauma, you may have trouble connecting the parts of your brain together, needed to function.

The brain is made up of different parts that have different functions. There can be a failure of the parts to work together properly.

The mentally ill brain does not connect the halves of the brain, the frontal cortex , the nervous system and the other functions, in the way that they connect with other people. This is a reason for memory problems, feelings of severe depression when nothing is seemingly wrong, and feelings of a severe threat when no threat is imminent.

In a well oiled machine, the parts all move together as a unit and help each other. They each do their job to the highest level of function and each part is functioning properly.

missing a piece

Trauma can cause damage to certain parts of the brain, They become overloaded and do not know how to protect us from further trauma. In any mental illness, your brain will try to protect you from further mental trauma, in a ditch effort to survive.

When you are in danger of retraumatization, your brain will change the way it connects the parts together and the way the parts function. It is no longer working the way a “normal” brain works, during safe circumstances.

So, your brain is disorganized, and your perceptions can be altered. It is really that you just cannot tolerate any more pain and trauma to your mind. Stigma about mental illness is one of the things that can cause retraumatization. The need to hide the mental suffering from others, is very traumatizing.

We can rewire our brains to become healthier and more functional, over time, with kindness to ourselves. We have to be mindful about our limitations and not judgemental of ourselves.

Understanding that our brains are  really are not currently wired the same way as other people, will take a great amount of guilt, shame and anxiety off of us.

People with mental illness deal with stigma and judgement from others, but we tend to be hardest on ourselves.

 Feelings of shame, inadequacy and guilt actually serve to retraumatize the brain. Having the emotional behavior of self judgement, is something that will prevent healing. There is no positive result from shaming ourselves.

You are who you are today. You are functioning at the level of function that you are able to. You cannot do anything to change the moments that have lead up to this present time.

Forgiveness is something you offer to others. Why not offer forgiveness and tolerance to yourself?

You are no less worthy of patience, kindness and love from yourself, than anyone else. You matter. It is not your fault. Your brain is a little crazy but…..so what.

Often times what makes us crazier than most, also gives us gifts of understanding and empathy, that others do not have. We can keep these gifts and see the value in ourselves for having them.

You can be kind and patient with yourself today, just the same as you would be if you were interacting with a person outside of yourself, that was suffering.

Mental Crisis and Suicidal Thoughts

What is mental crisis?

How do you know you are in one?

How can someone else know you are in one?

A mental crisis is when you wonder “am I in a mental crisis?”

You know you are in one because you were googling “mental crisis” or you searched “mental health crisis” until you ended up reading this post

You know you are in a mental crisis when you begin trying to think of reasons to live for

You know you are in a mental crisis when you can no longer do things that you used to do easily, because of your feelings of severe depression

You know you are in a mental crisis when you just sit and cry because the pain is so great

You know you are in a mental crisis when you are struggling to find any light at the end of this darkness

Someone else cannot tell you are in a mental crisis

This is the frightening part

Even when we try to communicate to someone, like our best friend, that we are in a mental crisis, they do not always understand

Why is it hard to communicate the fact that you are in crisis?

1. It is difficult to impossible, to communicate to someone you are in a mental crisis because everyone communicates differently. You really have to just come out and say the words “I am in a mental crisis. I am wondering if I can continue living.”

2. It is not something that you can beat around the bush about, because the longer you try to tell them and they do not understand, the more hopeless you will feel. If you cannot get the message across quickly, then you may lose your energy for telling them, and give up.

3. When you try to communicate a mental crisis to someone by starting with the details, like emotions and thoughts, they will not get it. Even people who have mental illness, who should know the signs, are often too caught up in themselves to really hear you.

4. People are dense. much of the time, and also they do not want to think you are in a mental crisis. They do not want this to be in their reality. When people do not want something in their reality, then they do not perceive signs and symptoms, to come to the conclusion.

5. You have to say “I am in a mental crisis.” Yes I know that I wrote this already, but it is important enough to tell you again.

6. Another reason it is hard to communicate that you are in a mental crisis, and/or suicidal, is that your thoughts can be confused and disorganized. There is so much emotional / mental overload, that the words are difficult to put together. It is hard to know what to say or how to say it.

7. There is an unknown factor of what they will do when you tell them. There is a fear that they will not understand, and this can come true. In this case, you can try again or you might have to go on to the next person on your list. Speaking of the list…any of us who are a candidate for a severe mental crisis or suicidal thoughts, should have a “save me” list of people and resources.

8. You may feel so worthless and ashamed at this point that you feel uncomfortable telling someone.There are alternate methods, if the first try fails. If you cannot tell someone in person, then try over the phone.

If you cannot do it over the phone, then try email, texting, blogging, poetry or whatever works, but do something that will get across to someone as fast as possible.

How can people hear you?

This is the most difficult thing for me to understand. If any of you have suggestions about this, please let me know. I have trouble communicating during a mental crisis. It feels like my ability to communicate goes down. The words do not come out of my mouth.

Maybe it is a matter of who you are trying to get help from.

Should be try to communicate with someone who has mental illness or someone who does not?

This is a really good question and the answer is probably that it matters more “who” the person is, rather than whether or not they have been through mental suffering.

In some ways it seems that, a person with mental illness would understand better. If they have been in a mental crisis before, then they should recognize it and also know how frightening it feels. They “should” be sympathetic.

I guess it depends of what mental state they are in at the time. it also depends on their personality. If they are a very caring person, then maybe they will click it in right away that you need help. If they are self absorbed, then they may not understand.

People that do not have mental illness, do not understand what it feels like to be in crisis, or have suicidal thoughts. But that does not mean that they cannot feel sympathy for you, and know how to listen.

Unfortunately, people in general, have lost the art of listening. Many people do not know how to listen, never mind see and identify signs that someone needs urgent help.

You need to have people that will be able to help you, if you do have a crisis. The best time to work on this, is when you are in a relatively normal (for your mental condition) state of mind. When you are able to think more rationally, then it is a better time to organize your “get help” plan.

I have never called the hotlines, but I have heard that people have been able to get some help there, at least enough to reduce the level of suffering, in order to think of the next thing to do. I am not a great fan of the emergency room, but for some people it may be the best thing.

I really think that we should be able to have friends that are there for us. There are so many people in the world that there have to be some people that can be compassionate for you. Sometimes I feel like they are not around me in person.

If there is no one around in person, then there are people on the internet. I have read suicide blog posts and seen how many people came to the person in the comments section and actually made them feel validated. There is nothing wrong with the random acts of kindness from perfect strangers about this. Sometimes a stranger can be more sympathetic to you, than the people around you.

I think the important thing is to recognize when you are having a mental crisis. If you are in severe mental pain, that is more than you can tolerate, then it is a crisis.

I think I have been rambling and I apologize for that.

Much love

Annie

Can People Tell if We Are Mentally Suffering?

I was reading another blog this morning written by a young woman with mental illness (depression / eating disorder). She was talking about how people often decide how you are feeling without asking you and judge your mental wellness by your outer appearance. She mentioned that just because she happens to smile in order to fit into a social situation does not mean that she is not depressed.

This is really true. People forget that the level of our struggle with mental illness cannot be seen from the outside. If someone with an eating disorder has gained weight, lost weight, or has put on make up for the first time in a while, it does not necessarily mean they are doing well.

Sometimes people are spiraling into a deep depression and they are forced for some reason to enter into some kind of social situation, In order not to feel weird or to be pointed out, basically as a way of self defense, we may smile and put on the generally accepted social airs in public. Sometimes in order to protect our own brains from further trauma, we have to pretend to be “normal.” This is not a sign that we are doing well.

People should ask rather than assume, or worse yet tell us that they know better than we do, about how much better we are getting. I have experiences this before where someone says how well I look and I tell them something like “I am not sure where you are getting that from.” Then they say .”Oh you just don;t remember how you were a few months ago. You are much better now than you were then.”

Then even if you tell them that they cannot really see what is going on inside of your brain, they insist that they have some magical seeing power that they know better than you do, about how you are doing. This is alienating to the person and makes them feel invisible. The feeling of invisibility is a feeling that I know well.

Especially if someone has an eating disorder and another person is judging their progress about their mental illness, by their current weight, this is a counterproductive and unknowingly cruel thing to do. People with anorexia do not want to hear that they have gained weight and the weight looks good on them. They are always in fear of getting too fat and when someone tells them that they look so different now, it is triggering to them.

There are always runnings thoughts and fears in the mind of someone with anorexia. There is a feeling of not having control of anything. They feel like other people want to control their lives and that they are powerless to do anything. Theis creates a severe depression and fearfulness.

The act of someone deciding and telling you that you are  in fact, “better”,  in spite of the fact that “you do not remember” how bad you were before, can make the person feel very misunderstood and also manipulated and controlled. The feeling of needing to take the control back, in order not to be destroyed, will send them into a worse depression, because they feel like their feelings cannot be communicated to anyone.

It is hard to communicate our feelings about depression to other people. The words to describe our thoughts are hard to say to other people. Most people cannot tolerate or believe that our brains actually do what they do. These thoughts are not acceptable to people’s reality and therefore they are either not heard or processed by the listeners brain or they are not believed.

People tend to think that the thoughts of a person in severe depression are exaggerated. They will tell us that things are not as bad as we think they are and that we are not as sick as we feel. This is why I do not talk about my depression with other people, because when you go through the painful act of spilling your feelings, it is traumatizing to have someone not believe you.

Depression is real and it is not visible on the outside of us. Even when there are “appearance related” signs that we are in depression, most people do not see them. Outer signs of not having been keeping up with personal care, changes in weight, facial expression and low energy, are often invisible to people.

It seems like people will see what they want to see. They want to think we are getting better, so that is what they see. They want to think it is not bad, so that is what they see. They do not want to “deal with” mental illness.

I was listening to Ted Talks the other day and they were talking about the fact that our culture has taught us to not talk about our emotions. We are taught to think that it is inappropriate to have mental issues and we are also conditioned to believe that our feelings will get worse if we get into a conversation about how we feel.

People think that if we open those feelings up, they will get worse and it is better to ignore them and especially not to talk to people about them. The studies on neurology that were mentioned in the Ted Talk, had come to the conclusion that talking about feelings reduced their control and power over us. The feelings are reduced in intensity, when we discuss them. So, the very things that our culture has taught us about dealing with emotions are completely backwards.

If I find the link the that Ted Talk, I will post it for you later. It was an interesting one. I love the Ted Talks. Do you guys listen to them also? Do you have any favorites that you would recommend to the readers? I will make a post one day about my favorite ones and why.

Blessings to all for a good day,

Annie

Enter My Brain at Your Own Risk…Depression and bad thoughts

riskEnter my brain at your own risk

It’s not for the faint of heart

Thoughts that you should never think

And circuits just coming apart

Enter my world if you dare

No one would fault you for not

The ones who have entered before you

Did not always come back to stop

Sometimes we hesitate to reach out for real help from people because we do not feel that they will be able to handle helping us. If we were to be truly transparent to them, it would be too much of a burden. Especially when we are very depressed and thinking thoughts that are dark and disturbing.

It is true that there are many people in our lives that could not handle entering into the world of our minds, at the times when our thoughts are the darkest. There are also people that would not understand,  because the kinds of thought patterns that can occur during severe depression, can be so unusual and unbelievable,  to people that have never had them.

Thoughts of why we should still be living. Thoughts about the worthlessness of our lives, and the pain that feels too much to continue. There many people who are so uncomfortable with hearing thoughts about life and death, that they would ask us not to speak of such things.

Working in healthcare, I have had patients that were suicidal or at least not wanting to live anymore. When they mentioned anything along those lines, the other workers would say the very things that should not be said to someone who is in that state of mind.

1. You don’t really mean that

2. Don’t talk like that

3. You are just trying to get attention

4. Everyone feels depressed sometimes and we don’t go around saying things like that

5. It can’t be that bad

6. It is not that bad

7. You have a good life

8. You would not really do that

9. Don’t say things you don’t mean

The list goes on, but you get the idea. People are so uncomfortable when people say they do not really want to be here anymore, that they say the very things that will shut them down, or worse.

Numbers 8 and 9 above, are almost challenges, to someone who already feels like they no longer want to live. The speaker is not realizing that the person may already have formulated a plan for suicide. The plan may have been acted out in their minds so many times that it would only take a “challenge” like one of those statements, to shift the person from thinking about suicide into the mode of acting upon the already formulated plan.

Suicide can be done quickly and on an impulse. Or it can be carefully planned. All people with depression are certainly not suicidal, but either way, people do not always know how to respond to dark thoughts of any kind, when they hear them.

Some people may react to your opening up to them, in a way that makes you feel shamed. It is like the thought of being worthless, and having no purpose to be here, is a bad behavior. It is an unwanted, outside the norm, unacceptable behavior. Family members may tell you that your saying things like that embarrasses them and not to ever speak of it again.

The problem is there. Sometimes you need to talk to someone about your depression, and no one wants to listen. People want to walk through life and pretend that bad things do not exist. They also do not understand much else than their own particular world will allow.

Severe depression is something that a person needs to talk about with another human. It needs to be heard and the thoughts need to be outside of the person’s head for once.  The longer the dark thoughts go around and around, the more alone the person feels. The lack of anyone to talk to, only increases the feeling that “I do not belong here in the world”

If you already feel alone and afraid then being rejected by someone about your thoughts, makes you feel more alone and more afraid. This is a very sad and lonely place to be. All alone inside your head, with frightening darkness. This is not the way it should be.

. I think that some people are not going to listen to it, no matter what. But everyone is not the same, and there are some people that can handle listening to someone in a deep depression.

I hope that if you are feeling the darkness of depression, that you can find someone who can handle listening to you, better yet sitting with you and listening in a personal way. When there is no one, then we have to find other ways of reaching out, like on wordpress or other online sources.

Depression can be very dark, and being alone in the darkness is  terrible place to be. My thoughts are with anyone who is feeling very depressed now. I wish for you that you can find a safe space to express the thoughts in your mind.

Blessings

Annie

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