Confused about my… self, life, existence, all.

Mystique (@kayjay85) 9 years, 4 months ago

I sometimes question who I am “now” prior to certain incidents in my life.

In early 2012 I have completely broken down mentally, decided to end my life, again, but instead, wind up at a psych ward. I had a manic episode, a psychosis. I have had many diagnoses; still not definite of one. It has been over a year since I’ve been in therapy and my current psych doesn’t know how or what to diagnose me with. I feel like she doesn’t get it.

I have been struggling with the thought of “before & after” of the manic episode. The episode itself feels like it was a life-warp of some sort. I was person A prior to psychosis and postpartum psychosis I feel I am person B.

My thinking has changed completely. I actually have values now. I gotta say, life is good now, comparing to “prior life” before psychosis – drugs, selflessness, abusive relationships, negligence towards my kids and myself…

Has anyone else experienced something of this sort or similar? Or have some feedback?

Greatly appreciated.

May 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm
Anonymous (214) (@) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@kayjay85, I have found that the majority of mental illnesses (that aren’t caused by physical/chemical distortions) are the result of extremely overactive brain activity. Although throughout my undergrad studies they recommended a combination of both medication and counseling for treatment (psychology major), I wholeheartedly believe learning to master one’s own mind can be extremely important in the recovery process as well, and can lead to not even requiring medication/external counseling.

An excellent book I just finished reading that is fantastic for silencing the unnecessary and overwhelming activity in our minds, is “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle

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logan830 (1) (@logan830) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@justinr, i completely agree with the concept of mastering your own mind in order to prevent/cure mental disorders. As a child, I had generalized anxiety disorder and I still have social anxiety to an extent, I always wondered what was wrong with me, why was I different, how could I fix this. It led me to psychology which Im currently studying in undergrad, and practices such as yoga. Getting in touch with myself, and figuring out who I am, trying to be true to myself, has saved me. I honestly think I probably would have given up by now if I hadnt taken this approach to my life. It’s been an incredibly difficult and long road and I still have a long way to go but I feel like I have made a lot of progress. I can strike up conversations with strangers now (huge deal for me) and I am confident, I believe in myself for the first time. I stopped caring about all the opinions of others and I asked myself what I truly valued in life….happiness and love. I’ve never understood why people value things such as money or power over everything. It seems to only bring temporary happiness and much more problems. I feel like our society sets people up to value money and power now, and it fails to emphasize just doing what makes you happy, which is truly sad.

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Derek (11) (@wailingmoonman) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

Mastery of anything takes a lot of time and patience, practice and care and dedication. It’s an ongoing process. This is especially true where the mind comes into play — and I doubt it’s possible to master your mind. However, it is possible to train your brain, and in doing so, rehabilitate yourself with positive programming.

I am thrilled that your life has changed for the better, OP. I really am. However, it’s up to you to maintain this change for the better. And I’m sure that you will :)

I’d also like to highlight that it’s difficult for any individual take that first step in transforming their lives, patterns and thoughts, when they are currently suffering from any number of mental illnesses. It’s all fine and dandy to recommend mastery over ones mind, but it’s rarely ever so simple.

Impossible? No. However, these things take time and, as with most things, if you do something continuously long enough, you’ll excel at it, whether it be a sport, instrument or train of thought.

:)

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Mystique (23) (@kayjay85) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@justinr, Thank you for your post. How does a brain become overactive? Something must cause it or it just happens due to some natural factors? I believe meds and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) are very effective when combined. I agree with you that learning own mind is important but I’m not sure one can master it. Our minds are always changing due to various factors, therefore, I seem it is quite difficult to master, like @wailingmoonman said.All these years in science and we still don’t know how the brain and mind functions 100%.

I will definitely look into Eckart Tolle’s book; I find him very fascinating. 

Thank you for your input, Justin.


@logan830
, I am discussing social anxiety with my psych now and seems I have some work to do. I have had anxiety since I can remember, but never truly diagnosed with it. It hit me hard during my divorce era in 2008 , since then it’s been on and off, sometimes worse than others.

How do you really get in touch with yourself? I find yoga very interesting and am learning as much as I can about it by practicing it as often as I can. I am at the point where you were prior to your progress: I fear new conversations in person, I avoid job interviews, I’m thankful for caller ID on my cell because I can just ‘ignore’ any (or all) calls that come through. Going out without changing my outfit multiple times is a rare event. I value happiness and love, as well, but how do you stop giving a damn about the opinions of others? Or at least minimize it to the least?

Our society sure does set people up to value money and power, I agree with you. It’s just the world we live in now. Today’s society, today’s generations are taught that this is important and we see more and more people fall for it, because money is a great value in life, but not the only value. I make it important for myself and my children to understand that life is more than technology, money, power, and rivalry. I study business in undergrad so I get to see how those are important, but it’s not everything.

This is partly why I am confused… I have my values, but I see the other side – in the real world, what is needed to survive. I guess this is my exploratory phase.

Thank you Logan.


@wailingmoonman
, Thank you for your feedback, as well. I agree with you on it.

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evolve (144) (@evolve) 9 years, 4 months ago ago
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Anonymous (119) (@) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

Go back to Nature
and you will find your answers
and your soul will be at ease

look into transcendentalism

there is no such thing as ‘manic’ episodes in the natural world
that is some stupid societal stigma placed upon

I’ve seen beggars with kinder souls than those who were walking around in suit and ties. Don’t let society take anything away from the importance of your being. Nature will love you unconditionally.

Transcendentalism is a great place to start!

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Mystique (23) (@kayjay85) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@evolve, Thank you. I will definitely try it out :-)

@aestheticbrah, That’s deep. Your words are greatly appreciated.

Transcendentalism – looking into it. Thanks.

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Anonymous (214) (@) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@wailingmoonman, “it is possible to train your brain, and in doing so, rehabilitate yourself with positive programming”

I’m not sure how you guys interpreted “mastering” but what you said in the above sentence pretty much covers what I was trying to convey lol

So we’re on the same page


@kayjay85

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Nick (554) (@splashartist) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@justinr, like you state, I had to learn to master my mind to beat my severe anxiety. I did, don’t have ANY issues with it anymore. Although it still comes a little it doesn’t bother me

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Anonymous (214) (@) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@splashartist, good to hear

I had a similar case with severe anxiety and stress because of over active thinking and have learned to control it through meditation, breathing techniques and the help of some fantastic books. Like you said, it does pop up every now and then, but realizing what it is and how to confront/control it is where our power shines through

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Anonymous (214) (@) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@kayjay85, there is an infinite amount of ways our brains can become over active but the most common tend to be:

Continually analyzing and dissecting the past

Constantly worrying about and planning for the future

Refusal of the mind to remain in the present

An inflated and uncontrolled sense of ego, in regards to harshly treating yourself and others

These 4 possibilities alone can send our minds into ridiculous tangents, never allowing our mind to become silent, stress-free, and in the present moment. You’ll see a lot of content on this website about living “in the now” through meditation, hobbies, etc. and practices and religious ideologies such as Zen Buddhism. All of these pretty much have the same end goal in removing all the “crap” our brains are trying to account for on a minute to minute basis, especially living in western cultures where we are typically expected to constantly worry about our future and other people’s opinions and outlooks.

While our minds are always changing, I agree, our basic foundation and awareness of ourselves (or the fact that we are consciously aware of being conscious) will always be present no matter what. Once I grasped this idea, I could literally “turn off” negative thinking and learn to be more present, regardless of the situation. You are not your thoughts, you are the background awareness that realizes or disposes of those thoughts.

:)

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Mystique (23) (@kayjay85) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@justinr, Those reasons you mentioned are a sure way to send me overboard. It’s strange how my mind goes through the past, analyzing scenarios that I thought were tucked away and dealt with… must be my subconsciousness in distress. I do worry about the future, a lot, a bit too much even though I know I shouldn’t…

I tell my doc that I’m trying to figure out what is wrong with me because I never dealt with so much before, mentally, and she asks “why do I think something is ‘wrong’ with me?”, and I begin to ponder…

Ah, the wonders of the mind and the all it manifests…

How can I learn to “turn off” the negative thoughts? I’m scared to just… switch.. my thinking rapidly, to suddenly not give a damn and just be… let go of all that haunts me, all the crap that I hold on to, but I fear the change will result in mania or some other serious mental disturbance. Is that possible? I want to give it a try, to be spontaneous and kill the ego, but I fear….. God knows what I fear…. I think society has hooked its claws into me and I allow it to be a part of my life…

Thank you, @justinr, for all your help..

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Anonymous (214) (@) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@kayjay85, well I’ve got good news for you. That fact that you have recognized there is a problem, and are currently taking steps to resolve that problem, is an excellent place to be. You have already made it past the hardest part!

Now you can take a step forward and begin to utilize a ton of different methods and techniques to completely recover you state of mental health and reach whatever goals you wish for yourself.

The easiest (for me) and most obvious first step I always take when I find myself or others in these situations is to begin monitoring your own thoughts. As thoughts smash, and bounce and ricochet around in your mind, utilize the part of you brain (awareness) to pause for a second and literally decide (in your own head) whether the thoughts that arise are positive or negative. Once you have figured out which are which, you can use the same awareness to acknowledge whether these thoughts serve or hurt you. The more practice you have monitoring your own thoughts the easier this will get. You can literally act as your own counselor (in your own mind) and start filtering out, unecessary and/or negative thoughts.

For example. If you come across a negative thought, before reacting outloud or outside of your mind ask yourself:

Is this thought really worth the stress and anxiety it will put on my body.

Is this a problem that I can fix.

Does this thought help me reach my goals in any way, or simply hinder them.

Once you start monitoring your own thoughts like this, you can begin filtering out the bad ones, leaving room only for the good thoughts, or at least provide yourself a patient, logical approach to solve negative thoughts that require clarity and action.

Hope that helps

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Mystique (23) (@kayjay85) 9 years, 4 months ago ago

@justinr, That sure does help :-) awesome post.

I have been aware and mindful of the thoughts that come through my mind. It’s amazing how good it feels to be able to have that power over yourself… however, sometimes I slip up and let it get to me. But there’s hope!

I will keep your wise advice handy and reread frequently.

Thanks so much for your help!!

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