1. The illnesses I live with are:
Complex- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) which is a form of PTSD, that most often comes from ongoing severe childhood/adolescent trauma and sometimes brainwashing and torture. I have been diagnosed with many other things like Major Depression, Bipolar, Major Depression with Psychotic Features, Dissociative Identity Disorder and several other things, but most people with C-PTSD are diagnosed with many things before the diagnosis of C-PTSD is reached, because many of our symptoms seem like other diagnosis, but turn out to be a more of a reaction to the trauma rather than just brain chemical stuff.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:
in the early 2000's was when the diagnosis of C-PTSD was reached, but my first official diagnosis i believe was Major Depression in 1993.
3. But I had symptoms since:
pretty much always
4. The biggest adjustment(s) I've had to make is/are:
having spent 15 years in and out of hospitals, it has been hard for me to make a "normal" life for myself, like i am currently unable to work
5. Most people assume:
i'm lazy and i should just get over the past, but they do not understand that while they were learning basic life lessons that come so easily to them that they don't even realize they are skills, i was frozen with fear and severe flashbacks and unable to think about anything except "who's trying to hurt me now?" and "how can i avoid more torture?". my whole life my mind has been busy trying to come up with ways to stay safe, that i failed to learn simple social interactive skills.
6. The hardest part about mornings is:
getting up. this is actually one of my biggest issues at the moment.
7. My favorite medical TV show is:
i used to watch ER, i like House sometimes and Nurse Jackie
8. A gadget I couldn't live without is:
my computer. i have a lot of social anxiety and hate the phone, but the internet has been extremely helpful for making friends all over the world who i can relate to and feel less alone
9. The hardest part about nights is:
mostly my head starts going a mile a minute and it's hard to shut it down.
10. Each day I take [?] pills & vitamins.
i currently take 1 seroquel every night. it is the least amount of meds i've been on in 15 years, and it works for me.
11. Regarding alternative treatments, I:
the trees have replaced all my other meds and although some people think it's a bad idea, it has been a better medicine than any pill i've ever taken and it is a natural remedy.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness and a visible one, I would choose:
i'm fine with having a mental illness even though some people think it makes me less than them or assume i am stupid. i'm actually very intelligent, more than most people in fact, and i do not think i would be as talented an artist or writer, had i not been through what i have. i think mental illness is a gift that most people overlook and label as "crazy" so that they don't have to open their minds to new possibilities.
13. Regarding working and career:
i would like to be able to work, but having a boss often makes me have flashbacks to people using their power over me to torture me, so it doesn't work out very well. i end up getting very sick when i work, so for now, my work is my writing and my art, though it goes unpaid most of the time, i am still being productive and am making an effort to get it seen by other people. i intend to make a living off my art someday and be my own boss.
14. People would be surprised to know:
that in some cultures, people with mental illness are worshiped as prophets
(i dunno if that is surprising, but it's true)
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality is:
the mental illness is anything but new to me. i do not know life without it and suspect i never will, but i went through some new trauma a year ago, that was linked to some of the old trauma, and it has forced me to change how i deal with pretty much everything and i am a different person than i once was. but in this new stage of my life, while i have gotten much better at being patient, it is hard for me to accept that i may never see justice, and if i do, it probably won't be for a very long time
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness was:
i have been chronically suicidal since i was about 11 years old, in and out of hospitals since i was 15, but this past year i have not been in the hospital even once and i no longer see suicide as an option. i refuse to go that way now, no matter how bad things get.
17. The commercials about my illness:
there are no commercials for C-PTSD. i think most people in power (like the ones who work for big pharma) would prefer to keep PTSD on the downlow, so that they can blame your emotions on chemical reactions that can "easily" be treated by their medication. i have been on many of the meds in commercials though, and the one that pisses me off the most is Abilify ads trying to get you to take Abilfy for depression. This is very dangerous, though it won't kill you most likely, Abilify is a strong Anti-Psychotic medication that makes it difficult to produce thoughts. It can be helpful for people who are having extremely fast paced, scary, homecidal or suicidal thoughts that they cannot get rid of otherwise, but it realllllly shouldn't be used for depression because you cannot think properly at all on that medicine. and i actually know more about psych medicine than most regular doctors. not psychiatrists, as that is their field, but if your primary care doc wants to prescribe you a psych med, i say come to me and get all the info first!
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed:
19. It was really hard to give up:
my basic human rights which have been taken away from me many times and i have had to "earn" back as privileges
20. A new hobby I've taken up since my diagnosis is:
my art in all forms is a gift of my diagnosis
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again, I would:
i've never felt "normal" but i think i would feel even more abnormal without it. it is a huge part of my identity. i am proud to have the gift that comes with the curse. i've taken meds that made me think "i bet this is what it feels like to have a 'normal brain" and i really hated those meds the most.
22. My illness has taught me:
a lot. i am unable to live in denial as most people do. i see everything and how it is connected to everything else as if it were clear as day on a chart in front of me. i am more empathetic than most people. it is easy for me to feel your pain and understand your point of view. i know when i am being lied to, whether it is a friend or family telling the lie or the news or an advertisement. i have an extremely heightened perception and it is easy for me to see the good and bad in everyone. i don't look down on anyone and do not consider some people to be better than others. i have been in psych wards much of my life, so anything i have not experienced first hand, i have seen. i have had friends who are doctors and lawyers and friends who are homeless, drug addicts, believe they have been abducted by aliens, even murderers. nobody is better than anyone else.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say (about my illness) that gets under my skin is:
i do not like being called lazy, or accused of being a crackhead. i actually had a social worker who was supposed to help me get stuff done say that i was lazy and clearly on crack, so she refused to help. and i have never done crack, and i found that very offensive. i do not like people assuming i am stupid either, but my biggest pet peeve has been when i have told people about some of the traum i went through, they accused me of being a liar because they say no one could do what was done to me as a kid, and hey, i'd like to live in a world where that is the case, but it is not.
24. But I love it when people:
acknowledge my strength and my creative gifts
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:
i like a bunch. one that i used to hate, but now appreciate very much is simply "this too shall pass"
26. When someone is diagnosed I like to tell them:
that the strongest people always feel like the weakest because we are carrying so much more
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn't feeling well was:
love me for who i really am
29. I'm involved with Invisible Illness Week because:
i didn't even know it was invisible illness week, but i am a mental health advocate and feel our stories are hugely important in this world where pretty much anyone could and even will, have to deal with some kind of mental illness at some point if they aren't already, whether they know it or not.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:
i dunno. i hope it helps people appreciate people with mental illness as valuable members of society, and that people do not use it as a way to try to psychoanalyze me because in order to do that correctly, you would have to know every detail, and since you never can, you cannot properly sum up who i am by facts and emotions i talk about on my livejournal.