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Showing posts from December, 2016

Just another day in anxietyvlle

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So the last few days have been a whirlwind of emotions.  For 3 straight days I have been in extremely stressful situations.  We basically rescued a friend from an extremely horrible situation..  She was trapped in a horrible relationship and she just happens to be my go to person when I'm having massive issues that I can't deal with on my own.  I happen to be her go to person as well.  Regardless to say when my wife found out her situation she jumped in and changed our whole worlds.  Now we have a roommate that I haven't seen smile or stress free sinse I've known her.

Needless to say the last few days have  been so stressful that I've bottle them up in order to be there for my friend.  Today, I lost control.  My lithium levels were low, I was having tremors, my balance was off, and my anxiety went through the roof. When they asked me what was wrong I couldn't even get my words out without incoherently stammering and stuttering.  I was able to get out that my a…

Dr. Jerkyl and Mr. Pryde

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I'm Not really sure why or how it happens it just does.  When something triggers me and my mood changes or I get anxiety it doesn't just slowly stop by as if to say hello, I'm here, prepare yourself.  No, not at all.  It punches me in the face like I was fighting Mike Tyson or Chuck Lidell.  I go from zero to nuclear explosion in the blink of an eye.

This morning for example, i'm sitting in my man-cave chilling out drinking my coffee and just relaxing.  My wife comes down and says she wants me to go somewhere with her today and asks me if I know where?  I said absolutely.  I mean we are having a Xmas eve little get together and we need to go out and get the food.

Our little shin-dig starts at 5pm and it's 11:10 in the morning.  We have food to cook, a house to clean and still a few presents to wrap.  Plus I need to shave my face and my head which takes me forever.  I'm thinking quick trip to the safeway that is about 7 miles away no problem.

We get into the c…

Non-traditional methods of dealing PTSD and Anxiety

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There have been numerous studies on various methods of dealing with PTSD.  PTSD is a complicated diagnosis with a myriad of symptoms that are almost impossible to completely pinpoint.  Aside from that, the brain is extremely powerful and will draw on post traumatic events any time there is a trigger, or even while you are sleeping.

There have been case studies done on the benefits of using certain strains of marijuana or products such as CBD and hemp oil.  The studies posit that these strands or products will calm the person down, relax the activity in the brain and help them to focus and provide better tools for coping and ultimately dealing with their trauma or anxiety.  The Veteran's Administration (VA) released a paper on marijuana treatment actually advocating for it.  In 2016 the DEA released and authorization for a trial site test in multiple locations.  I know that I would never use Marijuana for treatment.  I hate the stuff, the way it smells, the way it makes people ac…

Your Anxiety Shadow

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When I first started seeking help my main goal was to regain my confidence and to ultimately beat anxiety.  My doctor told me that I could definitely gain my confidence back, but I'd always have anxiety issues.  They were ingrained in me from an early age and my mind had formed around it--it is now part of who I am.

There are many people out there that claim that you can beat anxiety, or websites claiming that they have methods to "beat" anxiety.  These websites are mired with ads, books, and other things to get your money.  The truth is you can never get rid of anxiety, but you can reduce the effects of anxiety so that you can function in the real world.

I used to spend every waking, and sleeping, moment with crippling anxiety.  For 6 long, long years, I battled every day to keep my head above water.  The truth is that today I don't have daily bouts with anxiety.  I do have my moments, and when anxiety strikes, it hits me like a truck.  Anxiety is always with me, …

Fighting the Demon Within

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My wife used to get frustrated with me because she didn't know how to help me with my anxiety and other mental illnesses.  I was in a constant state of anxiety and disassociation.  I would wake up with massive anxiety, I would spend all day with massive anxiety, and I would go to sleep with anxiety.  I just couldn't shake it.  I felt bad for her because I didn't know what to tell her because there was absolutely nothing she could do.  This is usually the case when someone who hasn't walked in our shoes attempts to help us, they can't possibly understand--as my psychiatrist tells me anxiety is incredibly awful and one of the worst mental illnesses to go through.  I spoke at a college once to explain to them what it's like to have anxiety--especially untreated anxiety.  So, i'm going to attempt to do that here.

I first realized I had an issue when I returned from Iraq in 2010.  I found myself on a very high state of alert when I was in public.  I couldn'…

A tool for a fool

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So, after I committed suicide, I was admitted to a mental health hospital.  The hospital was a joke.  It was a for profit organization that only cared about how many beds were occupied.  They had classes, groups and sessions that were not monitored.  They could give a shit if you went to the events, all they cared about was whether or not their beds were full.  It was at that moment that I realized I was in trouble.  I had successfully committed suicide (read previous posts) and my wife brought me back to life.  I knew I didn't want to ever be in that situation again.  I needed to figure myself out and realized I was alone.  I needed to know what happened to me and why I ended up the way I did.

I started by making a personal inventory of every event in my life that I considered a traumatic event.  It didn't matter how big or small the event, I listed it.  I started from A and ended at N. Once I figured out my events I listed each one and how they affected me today either by i…

My adventure through mental illness

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I am a military veteran of over 16 years of service. I served as an officer with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2015, I resigned my commission as an officer on active duty. Today, I am a disabled American veteran. I suffer from un-treatable severe anxiety disorder, PTSD, and a mood disorder called cyclothymia. For well over 7 years I suffered with my anxiety and PTSD in silence due to the stigma associated with the disease. I was afraid of ruining my military career first and foremost. Despite the Military's efforts and approaches, a mental illness in the Military will still cause an adverse affect on your career. Aside from that, I did not want to admit that I had a mental illness. I always thought I was too strong to be affected by anything mental or emotional related. I was also afraid of the views of others should they find out that I suffered from a mental illness. Keep in mind, that when I first started having issues, I had absolutely no idea wh…

On a good day

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Anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD, and mental illness can be reduced to a point where it is manageable.  But, you cannot do it by yourself.  You need therapy, real support groups, and the tools to help you manage through dark times.  One of the most therapeutic methods I have found is music.  I am a huge fan of electronic dance music, specifically deep house, trance, and progressive house.  Nothing soothes the savage beast like music.  Find your solace, get lost in the music and forget about your issues, even if for a moment.  Here is a track that I found that has helped me tremendously. On a good Day  It may not cure your ails, but it will provide you with solace for just a moment.


Support Groups

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Sometimes, you simply cannot handle situations on your own.  There are times when your mind becomes so corrupt with dark thoughts that you are incapable of pulling yourself up on your own.  You can know all of the tips, tricks, and practices known to man and your mind becomes an evil black hole that consumes you.  Your spouse, friends and significant others cannot even save you,  The sad truth is that if you have not walked in our shoes, you cannot possibly understand what we are going through.  It takes people of the same ilk to help you unless they are trained professionals.  With a few exceptions.  If you talk to your friends and significant others they may be of some assistance to you in your darkest of hours.  I know that my spouse used to get so frustrated because she couldn't help me, she didn't know how and it bothered her.  The truth is, there wasn't anything she could say or do other than be supportive.  But in my downward spiral of negative thoughts that had me…

Overcoming anger

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PTSD and Cyclothymia are a dangerous cocktail of an emotional illness and I'm diagnosed with both. PTSD is such a complex illness that treating it can be extremely difficult.  Cylothymia is a very rare illness and is often misdiagnosed as bi-polar disorder.  They both share similar symptoms.  Being able to handle the affects of these disorders takes quite a bit of emotional strength and can be taxing on you mentally.

One of the most common symptoms is rage or irrational anger.  Prior to seeking therapy and help for these issues, I would get extremely angry over the smallest of issues.  It could be anything such as being interrupted, feeling as if i'm being disrespected, or incompetence of those around me.  My reaction varied depending upon the circumstances.  I would yell, scream, throw things, punch things, slam doors or cupboards.  I remember one time I took every single wine glass and just threw them on the floor shattering them into bits and pieces.  I was absolutely out …

My boy and support dog "Vitto" the Dogfather Corleone

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This is my dog, puppy at the time, Vitto.  Actually his real given name is the "Dogfather" Vitto Corleone.  He keeps me safe.  He is an English Retriever known for their friendliness, tolerant attitude,and intelligence.  Most importantly, they do not for reward but for their owner's praise.  We first bought Vitto from a breeder as an emotional support dog.  When I was feeling overly anxious I would just pick Vitto up and hold him and I would feel safe.  The picture listed above would have never happened had Vitto not been there with me, I just couldn't handle crowds.  That whole day was a great day all in all.  I was able to walk in crowds and when I felt uncomfortable I would just pick Vitto up and hold him.

After time I slowly started to realize that Vitto was able to do the only thing I could not do myself, and that was to relieve my anxiety.  So, we registered Vitto as a service dog.  We are currently waiting for him to be neutered so that I can be trained, yes …

A song reminding you to stick around

On October 25th, 2016 I successfully attempted suicide. Had it not been for my wife, I would not be here today. I had never considered the 2nd and 3rd order effects of suicide, hell, I never thought I would do such a thing, but I did. From what I am told my attempt was successful and it was the most calculated and fatal attempt the emergency room had ever seen. I don't remember the event, but from what I'm told, I stuck a hose in the exhaust pipe of my car, shut the garage door, pulled the hose through the window of my car and shut window enough to hold the hose in place, started the car and stuck the other end of the hose in my mouth. Apparently, I had sucked on that hose for minutes and I had died. Everyone was surprised I was alive. Why I got to that moment will come in posts later on. But, this song is a good reminder of why you should be hereFC Kahuna - Hayling

The genesis of it all

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In truth, I think my mental illnesses began to manifest themselves at a very early age, I just didn't recognize the signs and thought everything was normal.  I would worry incessantly about little things, it was usually about something that I did and was afraid of getting caught or being teased or ridiculed  My mind would slowly drift into such a downward spiral that eventually I would panic.  As the years went on I would always assume the worst about a scenario and my emotions would immediately turn to worry, fear, and panic.  I can remember walking down a street that a group of brothers lived on.  These brothers were known for bullying people.  I would cautiously walk the street trying to keep a low profile.  Often times I would walk in the wood line behind trees or some sort of underbrush in order to hide as I walked past the house.  If I saw any sign of those brothers I would panic and run the other way.  Sometimes I would take the longest route around the house just to avoid…