Pure Exhaustion…

I’ve wanted to write about this for the past few weeks, but haven’t had the courage (or energy)…finally, I think I do…

For the past 3 or 4 months (maybe more) and at various times in my life, I have been what I would call “exhausted”!

My Psychiatrist messed with my meds (decreased Avanza) a little to see if that would help, but no change. He then believed it was because I wasn’t sleeping properly and started me on melatonin at night for a week and then this week I’m to take Mogadon every second night.

Finally though, I decided to see my GP to see what could be causing it, because I knew I wasn’t depressed and I was pretty sure it wasn’t all “in my head”.

My GP ordered a blood test to see if it could be anything physical causing my tiredness…he tested for all kinds of things including viruses and ross river fever – 5 viles of blood taken. I have also had a lot of pain in my back and some joints…I thought it was unrelated, but when I mentioned this he said it could be related – so he tested for Rheumatoid Factor also. Thankfully my mother was there when he asked is there any history of arthritis in the family, because I had no idea the illness my pop (Grandfather) had was arthritis! (he passed away before I was born)

He had a form of Arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) – so my GP did a test for the HLA-B27 Gene, which can be associated with AS. It came back Positive! I also had extremely high ESR & CRP – both are indicators for inflammation.

Now, on its own this doesn’t mean I have AS, but coupled with my symptoms it is quite possible. The GP started me on Celebrex – an anti inflammatory drug and so far it has helped a bit. I have to see a Rheumatologist for a full diagnosis, but I can’t get in to see her until April!

On top of the possible AS, I have a Cytomegalovirus (CMV) which can mimic symptoms of Glandular Fever! No wonder I’ve been so exhausted!!!

If you’d like to read more about Ankylosing Spondylitis, please visit www.spondylitis.org  OR www.arthritisaustralia.com.au

The possibility of this diagnosis has been very taxing on me. I actually started hearing voices for a few days, but thankfully with the help of meds (Zyprexa) and some stress-relief techniques from my psychologist, they have subsided. I’m trying to take one day at a time and just keep my stress to a minimum.

My psychologist agrees that stress led to the voices. She thinks that, like dissociation, the psychosis is almost an escape from reality for me in stressful situations. I’d never really thought of it that way before, but it makes sense to me…do any of you have similar experiences with stress and dissociation/hallucinations?

 

Finding the New Me!

This may be triggering for Eating Disorders/Body image etc. Also for Abuse Trauma!! Please take care.

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I attended a Webinar yesterday. Have you ever been to one of those? This one was about Trauma and Weight gain. Of course, trauma can have the opposite effect also, which I’ve discovered from my friends in hospital and online. Something that struck me though, is whether you’ve grown in size or shrunk in size due to trauma, one thing seems to be equal…we’re trying to hide from a world that we perceive to be unsafe. People such as myself are hiding behind the fat and (some) people with EDs such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are trying to hide also, by disappearing altogether.

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I’ll try to explain it like this…

We all have “primal” instincts, right? You may have heard of the “fight or flight” concept (many now add in “freeze” to the mix).
The thing is, that these responses go back to our cave man days. Flight, was quite literally fleeing from predators and Fight, was going out and attacking – hunting food.

Say I was walking down the street and a dog came out of nowhere and was about to attack. I could fight – by preparing to defend myself; flight – quite literally, run away; or Freeze – not know what to do!

Our bodies have physiological reactions to these responses…it’s not just “in your mind”.
That’s where weight changes, due to trauma, come in.

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I am currently in “FREEZE” mode. Trying to appear invisible.
I don’t know whether to run away or fight. My mind is confused and so is my body, but apparently I can change that.

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I am fat because my mind wants me to be fat…even though on a conscious level I want to be thinner. My mind thinks that the fat is protecting me from an unsafe world. Of course this is not true.

“Wanting to be skinny” isn’t good enough for my mind. It needs proof that the world is safe, which is where the psychological aspect of weight loss comes into play.

I’ll be working with my therapist to hopefully deal with the following beliefs which are hindering my weight loss:

  • The world is not safe
  • I am lazy
  • I am ugly
  • I can’t live a “normal” life – study, work, family
  • I’ll never have a baby because I’m too fat
  • I must lose weight before I date anyone
  • I’m different to others
  • I won’t survive without Mum & Dad
  • I was always supposed to be fat
  • I deserve to be fat and ugly
  • I’ll never amount to anything
  • Nobody will ever want to be with me because I’m fat

I think I’m already on my way there just by recognising these.

There is more to come, so if you’re interested, please follow me on my journey of self discovery.

The start of a New Year, The start of a Blog!

Happy New Year!!! Here’s to the start of a new blog!

My dog, Rosie, didn’t like the loud noise from the fireworks much – nor did the other dogs in the neighbourhood…I could have sworn I was at a dog pound, with all the barking!

I had a few (alcoholic) drinks tonight. I’m not a drinker usually, so I hope what I’m writing is legible! I mostly don’t drink because I am on so much medication and I find it just makes me sleepy most of the time.

I guess I should start by telling you a bit about myself…

I am 28 years old and I come from a very big and loving family – I think if any of them read this blog, they might encounter a few surprises! I have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD & Schizoaffective Disorder and in therapy with the same psychologist since I was 16. I can tell you it’s been a long and rugged road I’ve traveled thus far with her! I also see a psychiatrist, who I’ve been seeing since about 2005/6.

2012 was one of my most difficult, yet most enlightening years. I spent 7 months as an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital, which you may think would make this year a right-off, but it wasn’t! I learned SO much about where I came from and what brought me to this point. I learned that after every hurdle, there is soft grass to land on – my family and friends are that soft grass, as is the life I am building for myself. I learned that life is too precious and beautiful for me to feel negatively towards those who no longer exist in my present. I learned that “bad” events in life do not define who I am. I learned that a lot of my emotions are “misdirected” upon myself, instead of those who deserve it.

I’m going to share a little about my past below:

I was abused sexually from the age of about 5 to 9. Thankfully, it was not anyone in my family who perpetrated this abuse. I “repressed” the memories of the abuse until I was about 14. For a long time I couldn’t remember who my abusers were (I always knew there were two) and this really concerned me because I thought it may be someone in the family, but now – it’s crystal clear who they were and I really couldn’t give a toss about them.

Looking back, I showed some classic signs of a child who had been abused.

  • I played inappropriate games with dolls…right up until I was 14.
  • I was easily shamed.
  • Was overly sensitive at times – especially with my older brother (whose ex-friends were the perpetrators).
  • I dissociate/d a lot.
  • People pleaser – especially with authority figures.

If only life could be a bed of roses though, right? But sometimes it’s a bed of thorns. Life can be hard, but I’m just beginning to see it can be worthwhile too…

There’s so much I want to say, but it’s 3:30am…time for bed.