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GaryP - RA Survivor

 Mental Health

This page describes the state of my mental health, and the techniques I have used to improve it.


My current state of mental health - Y2K:

I consider myself to consist of multiple parts - separations of consciousness is probably the best way to describe it. I prefer this to Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder. How can you possibly understand what is happening from these labels? I have a Fragmented (or Compartmentalized) Consciousness. This term means something to me. It describes what this is all about. I believe this solution was forced on me using unwanted trauma. Fragmenting my consciousness allowed me to partially avoid the sensation of the trauma. It allowed me to direct the sensations of that trauma into a compartment of my mind.

Officially I have ADHD. Psychiatrists claim it is a genetic disorder, but I don't buy this or their drugs anymore. ADHD has way too much in common with symptoms of repressed trauma (PTSD), especially fragmented consciousness (MPD/DID). This cannot be overlooked unless there is some motivation to do so - but that is a topic for a different kind of web site. Since I have begun to cry, I have gradually reduced the symptoms of my ADHD - inconsistent with it being a genetic disorder. As well as this, my physiological response to ADHD medication has changed from that typical of someone with ADHD, to that of someone without it. So you can see why I believe crying is such an amazing healing technique.

Basically , off the top of my head, I have these main problems:
-inability to perceive my own behavior
-poor concentration maintenance and short attention span
-poor memory and sense of time
-conflicting thought patterns that disrupt my behavior and goal-pursuit
-unreasonable suspicions and paranoia
-relationship problems, especially relating to sex
-extremely dysfunctional response to earning money
-an increasing amount of very awful memories
-difficulties getting to sleep, poor sleep patterns
-overeating disorder, sugar craving (processed sugar dulls emotion - and immunity)


Healing techniques:

Not under any circumstances are these all the techniques that I may benefit from. These are just the ones that I thought of off the top of my head.

Crying

This is my top-of-the-line healing technique. It has helped me more than everything else put together. From my point of view, healing without crying is impossible.

Journaling

A very important healing technique I use is journaling. I write down my thoughts and feelings. It helps me to analyze what is going through my mind, and work out the cause or source. As well as just simply writing, I have found that I write about different things when I write with my left hand (I am teaching myself). I also write differently when I type - I seem to mix input from both sides of my mind, to create a more balanced analysis. Each has its merits and drawbacks.

Self-analysis

Simply allowing, or making myself think about why I do, think, feel,say, etc. the things I do. This is an important part of my developing an understanding of self. To just decide to take the time to think on these things. I have found that it is quite true to say that all you need to do to work something out is to think about it. Eventually you will solve the problem. Sometimes it may take a while, but progress toward the goal is normally quickly forthcoming.

Talking to others

To use different methods of releasing information from the mind is valuable. To speak is a great tool. You then have the opportunity to get feedback from others, to see what they see of you, and think of your thoughts and beliefs. To learn why others believe what they do is valuable information. Even to speak in itself is valuable. When you think there is no guarantee that your thoughts will get to other major centers in your brain, but when you speak, your words are heard by both ears and the message travels through parts of the brain that are not stimulated by thought alone. To verbalize thoughts has the same effect. You use parts of your mind that would otherwise go unused, analyze thoughts in order to translate them into speakable words. This stimulates a process of self analysis that leads to beneficial understanding. Even to speak to yourself is a valuable tool.

Face to face with other survivors

This really brings home the reality that others actually exist. It challenges the perception that I am alone in my suffering. To be actually in the presence of another person that is dealing with similar childhood experiences - not just reading about them, hearing and seeing them speak.

Participating in email "discussion groups" (lists)

I have found these lists very useful. They are a safe place to share thoughts and beliefs, problems and confusion. There is also the benefit of reading about other people that are dealing with the same issues as myself, and perhaps those that have a greater awareness in some areas, thus helping me to better understand myself. Often what another writes triggers some awareness in my mind. When I read some things I somehow know that it is relevant to me. I can self-analyze in my reply, and investigate the cause of the feeling of significance, perhaps even uncover some memories or other awareness.

Drawing

To communicate in pictures is to do so in a form that is much closer to the natural thinking of my mind. Speech needs to be translated from thoughts. Drawing simply needs to be reproduced. What comes out in my drawing can often not be put into words. It can be described, sure, but it is not the same, it is a bunch of words trying to impersonate a visual concept. An image can convey meaning and emotion that is disrupted, even destroyed by translation into words. It is simply a more natural medium of communication.

No TV

Really. Think about it for a bit. What do you do with your mind in your life? How much time do you work, sleep, eat, clean, etc. How many leisure hours do you have left after all this? How much of this leftover thinking time do you fill with TV? So how much thinking time, after all these things, do you have left to work out how to make your life better? How would no TV affect this? So what's in your best interests then?


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