via Letters to the Mind
Contributing Author: Embeecee
I have been in therapy a good portion of my life and I don’t have a definitive diagnosis as such. They keep changing it to suit the therapy group I’m participating with at the time. I don’t know if they don’t know how to categorize people like me or if it’s ME, because part of my own complaint is the ability to morph into what I think the ‘person in charge’ wants to hear.
In the latest therapy effort, I’ve tried hard not to do that and to be as honest as I can about my problems. I still feel pretty mixed up about it all though. I do a group therapy session about once a week (it’s a long drive and our weather has been bad, plus I’ve been sick a lot this winter so far) so I don’t always make the group session. In that group we deal with addictions of various kinds, of which I didn’t ever really think I had any, save food, and so I have been resistant to the process. Others deal with drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions and the usual type of stuff. I’ve felt like an outsider. I’m also a good deal older than most of the women who attend that group, and I’m further along (in my own estimation) in the healing/dealing process.
It’s been odd therefore to realize that in that group I’ve discovered some depths to my own mental illness that I hadn’t considered before. The group is a trauma group, all of us in there have suffered some sort of traumatic event, whether it is childhood or spousal abuse, abandonment, physical abuse or whatever fits under the umbrella of “abuse.”
And again I’m worried that I over-identify with the ailments of the other patients. One has pretty severe OCD and through her sharing I’ve identified some traits of that in myself. I always knew I had elements of OCD, but I thought they were pretty minor (I continue to think that), so I never thought I ‘had’ OCD.
I overthink things. And this ‘letter of introduction’ if you want to call it such is getting too long.
My own problems include:
- Chronic depression
- Dysthymia (or major depression)
- Possible bipolar II (depressive bipolar disorder)
- Possible BPD (borderline personality disorder)
- Very mild (to me) OCD
- Agoraphobia (very mild)
- Social phobia/anxiety
- Slight paranoia
It sounds really stark and overwhelming listed out that way. I don’t think if you met me IRL, you’d even suspect any of these. I have learned over decades to hide them well. Privately I know I have some issues and I’m not comfortable around people. Someone recently told me I have a true introverted nature, which in psycho-speak means I draw energy from myself best, and I expend it when I have to be around other people. Being in crowds exhausts me and I don’t do well if I’m forced to wait for things or if someone is holding up the progression. I find that I’m becoming more vocal about it, and this leads me to want to stay home. I’m embarrassed by being that way, but I’m finding it happens more and more. People stare at you if you are grumbling to yourself about what an asshole the guy in front is being. Or if you openly ask this asshole if they are EVER going to conclude their business and get the %$@# out of your way. I have anger issues.
Well that’s enough about it for today. Thanks for inviting me here and for listening.
Author’s note: I was invited to Letters of the Mind by B.L. Memee of Memee’s Musings, and I thank her for offering this chance to address mental illness in a safe venue.
About the author:
I’m Melanie. I have been diagnosed with major chronic depression. I also deal with social phobia and anxiety.
I’m a 56 year old woman who was born and raised, and remains in Utah in the United States of America. I have degenerative bone disease (type undiagnosed), diabetes and the mental health issues [I’ve discussed], and therefore I am under disability and retired now. I am widowed (going on five years in February). I live alone and have one pet, and I prefer it this way. I am considered reserved. I am Mormon in faith, but I am not judgemental nor do I consider myself holier than thou or anything. I try to be open-minded and accepting of everyone. I TRY. 🙂
“Life Is Not Waiting for the Storm to Pass; It’s About Learning to Dance in the Rain.”
☀ ☀ ☀ ☀ ☀
Please, if your life is impacted by mental illness help spread awareness and understanding by writing to that illness and sharing it at Letters of the Mind blog project.