Mental Illness And Me

Growing up I have never felt normal, i was always nervously scratching at my skin tearing patches of it off  and getting rid of imperfections, i was always anxious and scared with my thoughts racing leaving paranoia in it’s wake. I was always going from super happy to dead inside within seconds and doing things I could not control. My body is very broken, but its my body as is my mind. Society as a whole forget that mental illnesses are no different then heart disease or asthma, you take medication to manage them and make the body function normal and that is the same with treating mental illness. I have five professionally diagnosed problems with this old brain of mine and I am going to explain them as best I can.

Clinical Depression: True clinical depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer.

Some days I am on top of the world, some days I am so happy i feel like flying, and its like theres a click in my mind and with no warning i feel like I am falling and while the ground is rushing towards me i’m trying to pull up and keep flying but it just does not work. I feel the sadness down into my soul, it aches in my bones and I end up losing the love of things I normally love all the time. I began treatment for my depression when I was seventeen years old and finally at age twenty one we have found a medication that is seeming to make a difference and help my brain level out. I’ve had countless amounts of people tell me to ‘get over it’ to pretend i have no problems or to just smile anyway. Depression is a disorder that lives in your soul and destroys who you truly are and without proper treatment can lead to death. Its not something to tease about or misunderstand its serious and truly painful to live with.

Anxiety Disorder: An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

For as long as I can remember I’ve been the brave coward, always so wound up tight with fear and tension but always too reckless for there own good. Though the cocktail of mental illnesses I have tend to make me a little zany it would appear, it took me a decade and a half to first feel what it is like to be calm. I started treatment when i was seventeen and the first day on the medicine I was so mellow I went to my counselor and asked her if I was dying haha! She told me I was like a spring, I was so used to being wound tight that when the medicine loosened me up I didn’t recognize the feeling. When my anxiety acts up i scratch or peal at my skin i move my leg alot. I get out of my seat, i pace i walk in circles I sit back down. Anxiety is a huge part of my life and my personality it would seem, having this issue has made it so I literally run from the classroom at the mention of public speaking.

 

Impulse Control Disorder: is a class of psychiatric disorders characterized by impulsivity – failure to resist a temptation, urge or impulse that may harm oneself or others.

 

We all have impulses, or cravings to do things. Someone living with ICD does not have the ability to resist those cravings. One of the most prominent things my ICD does is the need to hit people, I hit people all the time. Well i did, hit people. Sometimes something goes wonky in my head and I see what i’m doing-i’m asking myself why I am doing it and then bam its done. Or it happens without me noticing and someone is saying to me “hey! why did you slap me!?” and honestly? I had no answer. It escalated for years growing into greater acts of violence that left me guilt ridden and believing I was truly a monster-a beast who needed to be put down. At long last I took part in therapy with the right doctor who helped me find the root source and to understand myself and my problem so I can be treated. I’ve gone two months without hitting anyone, I don’t want to-i do not need too nor will I do it. The guilt eats me alive but now i can start healing myself and the ones I hurt. Living with this issue is like being possessed I don’t have much control over what I do and its maddening, but with the past few months I have become stronger then I have ever been and have finally gotten control over my impulses-though I will have slip ups I know I will get even better then before.

Dermatillomania:The primary characteristic of Skin Picking Disorder (also known as Dermatillomania or Excoriation) is the repetitive picking at one’s own skin to the extent of causing damage. Usually, but not always, the face is the primary location for skin picking. However, Skin Picking Disorder may involve any part of the body

Well what can I say? it falls under the impulse control issues. I pick my skin, I do it all the time i tear flesh that looks bad I really can’t help it. It goes beyond biting your nails though it goes as far as pure panic and picking at dry skin, it goes as far as waking up in the morning your nails covered in dried blood your fingers raw and still bleeding. It goes as far as having scars on your face, scars you cannot hide even though your ashamed.

Eating Disorder Otherwise Not Specified: (EDNOS) is an eating disorder that does not meet the criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Thus, individuals who have clinically significant eating disorders that do not meet DSM-V criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are diagnosed with EDNOS

Anyone who knows me wouldn’t realize I have a eating disorder when the look at me. Normally i love food, i enjoy eating. But that monster in your head that doesn’t really ever die is still there, my freshman year in high school i was 5’4 and weighed under  eighty-five pounds. I became a pro at never eating and felt ill when I did, I started the road to recovery by sophomore year and by Junior year its like my body turned against me. I started all my medications along with worsening issues in my spine and the weight flied onto my body leaving me depressed and disgusted with myself. Lately I am dieting and Ednos has reared its ugly head again and I am doing my best to be stronger then that issue even though its hard. I’ve lost so much weight (the healthy way) it really is addicting to see it keep going. Though I do know I can be stronger then my disorder.

With the stigma surrounding mental illness in today’s society its become scary to even talk about one’s problems. I hope that this post will help others understand me more and will help remove some of the stigma to those who suffer like me.

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4 thoughts on “Mental Illness And Me

  1. I hope your post helps remove the stigma too! The stigma around mental illness is horrible and it shouldn’t be. Mental health issues are legitimate health problems. This is an incredibly brave post 🙂

    Like

  2. Thank you for sharing this! It sounds like you have been on a crazy ride with mental illness too. I am glad that you are rising above and doing better 🙂

    Like

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