Migraine Depression

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As you can see from my recent poem post, I had an excruciating migraine yesterday.  It was so painful I had to fight suicidal urges.  I cried and sobbed at the hours they rob me of each day I have one.  I begged and screamed at a God, who won’t cure me of them.

I am feeling better today.  It is gone, but the fear of the next one is constantly there.  The increased dose of propranolol is causing me to get poor sleep which I think is what is triggering the migraines, which is ironic since the propranolol is what is supposed to be preventing them.

I have had more migraines than usual this month and the month’s not even over yet.  I am not sure whether to wait another ten days when the propranolol’s dose is increased again or call my doctor now.

I’ve read the sleep problems are temporary.  I have decided to cut my second Adderall dose from 10 mg to 5 mg to help me sleep.  I was going to cut out my daily nap as well, but I was so tired this morning that I already failed that goal.

I have been doing the breathing meditation my doctor recommended for at least ten minutes a day for the last five out of six days, and it has helped me feel calmer and more compassionate toward others.  That was a nice surprise.

Right now, I am just so traumatized by the migraine I had yesterday that I can’t seem to reach any sort of peace of mind.  I feel like my husband thinks I am nuts because I got so upset and emotional about it last night, but I am really becoming hopeless.

I am thankful that even though it feels like I am dying and even though I want to die, at least I am not dying.  That would not be a good thing for my family.  I know they need me and want me around.  It is why I am still here.

Photo credit: Avenue G via Foter.com / CC BY

Suicidal Migraine

A blade slices mine in two
for Hannibal Lecter’s meal.
Chew. Chew.”

Every molar sinking in,
masticating; nerve-ends serrating.
There’s nothing I can do,

but succumb to the sadist’s call or
I could just end it all:

dog pile mind-rapes;
personality mishapes.

You see,

to leave it all behind,
my dead body
they will find.

Bipolar Mood Charting

A little over a month ago, my psychiatrist challenged me to closely monitor my negative self-talk because she suspected it was playing a role in my mood instability more so than the chemical imbalances in my brain at this point, which she feels is under control by medication.  I agreed to go along with her little experiment, and so far, there is some definite evidence that my mood changes are not idiopathic.  In other words, they don’t just happen for no reason.

I had a good few weeks of stability from mid to late September.  This was right after she told me to watch my thinking, so I was being very diligent with it.  The last part of September, I went into a hypomanic phase for a few days, and I link it to the stress and excitement of my daughter’s homecoming activities.

During homecoming weekend, I had a very difficult time due to some complex PTSD issues from my past that it brought to the surface.  I wrote about it some here.  I didn’t do well processing my feelings and had multiple migraines and GI issues.  A depressive state ensued.

I recovered from that after about a week.  Then I had a medication changed which I believe is now triggering another minor depressive phase.

I have outlined all of these ups and downs in the chart below.

mood-graph

The medication change is causing me to get less sleep, therefore, I am experiencing an increase in irritability, lack of focus, poor concentration, poor memory, decreased motivation, and increased negative thinking, which is what my doctor really warned me about.  I have to fight the negative thinking with everything I’ve got because it will only perpetuate the depression.

When I made lunch the other day for friends and my recipes were less than excellent, I kept telling myself that it didn’t matter; that mediocre was acceptable; that they didn’t come for the food, but for the company, except I didn’t even give them that.  I spent too much time in the kitchen preparing the meal.  The next time I will store-buy items instead of making everything from scratch.

I am so tired of trying to be perfect even though at the time I truly think I am enjoying it.  Afterwards, however, upon further reflection, I think I am just avoiding the social interaction by being busy in the kitchen, and trying to impress them with my cooking.  Such an ego-filling goal.  No wonder it leaves me feeling empty and incomplete (and depressed.)

I went back to taking my higher dose of hydroxyzine last night, so hopefully I will not be as tired from here on out and the depression will lift.  Time will tell.  I will continue to track it.

It feels good to have a clear picture of my mood shifts of late and the possible reasons for them.  I feel less like a victim to them when I understand the possible causes for them.  Writing about my life as often as I do here is the only way I could have gleaned the information I did to put the two and two together, so I am grateful to my doctor for inspiring me to do so.

I think the mood chart will be a good tool to print out and take to my next doctor visit.  Since I see her every six weeks, it will be a good snapshot to show her how things have been going for me since our last visit.

 

Stress Triggers Depression

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For me extended periods of stress triggers depression.  I have some extra stress going on and it is, of course, causing me to fear the onset of a depressive episode.  Fear is such a nasty thing.  It is the insecurity of losing something we have or not getting something we don’t have.  In this case, I am afraid of losing my stable mood.  Sure I have anxiety, but my mood is stable.

The best way I know how to handle fear is to stay in the present moment; to not think about it; to think about, or more like observe, literally only what is in front of me.  The couch, the sky, the family, the food, the dog.  Observe, not judge.  Watch, not criticize.  Watch the thoughts and feelings go through me.  Don’t hold on to any of them.  Let them float by like clouds in the sky on a breezy day.  Accept, not fight.

Breathe, not die.

If You Can’t Say Something Nice

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“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  Remember that old saying mom used to tell us?  I think it is a useless piece of advice at times when it is necessary to stick up for one’s self or set a healthy boundary with someone.  However, say for example, you are given an opinion for which you did not ask, then yes, maybe that person should just keep his mouth shut.

Case in point:  I got a new hair cut yesterday and my youngest daughter comes home from school, takes one look at me and says, “I don’t like it.  It’s too puffy on the sides.”  Normally I would have been secretly hurt a little, but laughed it off and responded with something like, “Oh yeah, it kind of is.  Oh well.”

However, I have noticed something inside of me as I have stopped allowing myself to have negative judgements about myself.  I am suddenly feeling the urge to challenge those who negatively judge me as well.  So, instead of my usual response, I gently said to my daughter after she criticized my new hairstyle, “Please only say positive things about me from now on unless I ask for your opinion.”  She said she was just giving her opinion and I reminded her that I didn’t ask for it.  Then I asked her if she would have said something like that to one of her friends and she said, no.

In general, my kids tend to say negative things to me about the way I look and act in a teasing way, and we all laugh about it, but after awhile it starts to wear on me and my self-esteem.  I feel like I am at the point where I don’t want to listen to it anymore.

Of course, my normal self is saying, “Oh, Jessica you are being silly.  They are just joking around.  Quit being so sensitive.  You are making a big deal out of nothing.”  After all, I tease my husband, and really, we all tease each other sometimes.

I think I may just be extra aware of it because I am being so conscious of my own negative judgements.  It is such a fine balance between being able to joke around and being offended.  I am truly confused right now about where I stand with everything.

I know with the hair comment, what my daughter said was rude.  But, with the other stuff, like them teasing me because I cry over sappy commercials or because I am forgetful or about getting old, it really is said in loving fun.

What do you guys think?

Tired of Anxiety

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I am tired.  Anxiety does that to me.  I was awake at 4am this morning thinking about a meeting I have to go to later today that I am anxious about.  It has me anxious because one, I have to leave the house; two, I don’t know where this place is, I’ve never been there before, and three, I have to meet new people.

I told myself I was being stupid, then I caught myself.  Since I now have a no tolerance policy for negative self-judgements, I immediately stopped the “I’m being stupid” thought and replaced it with, “I am not stupid.  The anxiety is simply a part of my disorder and I can’t help it.”  It is just a fact of my life.  No use making big drama over it.  Geez!  Get over myself, Jessica!  Acknowledge it and move on.

Move on to what though?  The anxiety is so damn uncomfortable and nagging!

Distractions.  That’s what I usually do is distract myself.  So, I’ve spent all morning on creative projects such as photography and baking.  I am trying not to stress eat all three dozen chocolate chip cookies I made.  It is really hard.  😉

How’s your day going?

Being Mindful of Your Emotions

buddha-452028__180So in dealing with my social anxiety and fears of what other people think of me, I decided to dig out my DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) binder and review some skills I might be forgetting to use.  The first thing that jumped out at me is “Wise Mind.”

Just when I didn’t think I was crazy enough, according to DBT, I have three minds:

  1. Emotional Mind
  2. Rational Mind
  3. Wise Mind

Emotional Mind is what I have been in all day as I have fretted over last night’s outing with friends.  What did they think of me?  Was I funny?  Whas I a dork?  Did they like me?  Did they think I was nice?  Or obnoxious?  Or weird?  Will they ever want me to go out with them again or will they invite me just to be nice?  Emotional mind feeds the fear big time!

Rational Mind recalls what everyone had to eat, what topics we discussed, and what everyone’s name was.  Rational mind doesn’t really help relieve the fear.  In fact, rational mind completely ignores the fear.

Wise Mind is like the old Chinese grandpa Buddha guy.  “Ommmmm.”  Wise Mind takes into account my feelings and the facts of the given situation.  Wise Mind says, I understand your fear as someone who has social anxiety disorder.  That must be really hard for you.  However, let us look at the facts.  Those who engaged in conversation with you did seem to genuine laugh and made complete eye contact with you.  Those who didn’t may have not been interested in the topic at hand or had something else on their mind.  There is no way to know that they were necessarily thinking something negative about you.  To try to figure out if they were or not is a complete waste of time, because short of asking them, which you will never do, this is something you will never know for sure.

Wise Mind says, Yeah, I hear what you’re saying dude, but let me lay it out for you in the nicest, most compassionate, loving, and validating way I can.  I love Wise Mind!