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Dots
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07 May 2012, 6:23 pm

I'm posting here because although my most recent diagnostic appointment has added Asperger's to the list, it is not the one I'm having trouble accepting.

I've never read my psychiatrist's notes. I was diagnosed with Bipolar I with psychotic features in 2008, and when I went for the Asperger's appointment this year, my psychiatrist sent my entire psych history to the specialist. The specialist included a lot of it in his report. I just got a copy of his report today.

It says Asperger's disorder to a fairly severe degree, complicated by bipolar disorder, eating disorder, and transgender. I am not really having trouble accepting any of these diagnoses. I know that I fit them all. It's just one aspect of the bipolar disorder I am having trouble accepting.

It's easy to laugh at my experiences now, for example, "ha ha, remember that time I thought I was radioactive and anyone who hung around me would get hurt? ha ha, that was so weird." You have to laugh at it, or else you'd cry. Or, "ha ha, remember that time I told my psychiatrist I was being followed by an 8-year old boy/angel named Henry?"

I want to be someone who is proud of what he has made it through and is not afraid of it. But damn, I'm ashamed and afraid of my psychotic symptoms. They were only really bad in the first few years of my diagnosis, before the meds got sorted out. I haven't had anything that bad for a few years, especially since I've tried to avoid too much stress. It's easy to pretend it never happened. But reading the diagnostic report reminded me of how crazy I sound on paper.

I mean, I have trouble functioning. I'm on disability. Last time I tried to work, I ended up in the psych hospital for 3 months. So I can't pretend I'm completely "normal". But I'm not ready to accept the part of me that is capable of psychosis. It feels like a completely different person. Believing I'm capable of that means believing that it could happen again. I hope it never does.

It just sounds so unbelievable. I'm afraid that other people will judge me based on it.


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Transgender. Call me 'he' please. I'm a guy.
Diagnosed Bipolar and Aspergers (questioning the ASD diagnosis).

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Angel_ryan
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07 May 2012, 8:06 pm

I don't think there are many DXed people who have ever really accept it. It's easier to except cancer. If someone has cancer people pity them, but they don't question, belittle, or patronize the person. The stigma makes it difficult, but with more educational tools available through the internet it has taken some of the pressure off. It's not as bad as my grandpa had it, but depending where you live and who you surround yourself with it can still be pretty awful. I kind of wonder if it ever will get better. The worst part is feeling like defective goods, like your completely powerless, or that you life has less value then healthy people. It's not something you can just get past, it's just too sad, I can understand your grief. I just wish that more people did.


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Last edited means I caught yet another spelling mistake I missed while I was looking for them, Damn Dyslexia.


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09 May 2012, 5:40 pm

I also have trouble accepting my psychosis. Right now this very second I am having problems by sometimes hearing voices (minor) and having delusions according to all my doctors. Sometimes I act on them and other times where I am calmer, I don't act on them and its just in the background. You have nothing to be ashamed at by having psychosis. it is just a chemical imbalance in the brain. Its no different than having a medical problem like diabetes. I also have trouble functioning every day but I try to stay busy as I can and to distract myself from the symptoms. My psychosis is minor compared to others who have it. I am lucky in that way. There are times it is just literally in the background and doesn't affect my functioning that much. it is when the thought insertion and voices are telling me to hurt myself that I act some of the time and end up in the mental hospital. My god is it boring over there. I HATE it there as a matter of fact. Most of the time the doctors don't even believe me and that makes me even more depressed when I come out than going in. When I see the reports about me, it implies that I am faking for attention even though they didn't go right out and say it. I go over to the nurses when I am having more serious problems and they interpret that as seeking attention I guess. I am not doing it for attention I am actually scared for my life and need support or an anti anxiety pill which immediately calms me down. I know that is bad though and addicting but I don't have a drug problem. At least my current psychologist laughs at the reports and says there is absolutely NO way that I am doing it for attention. I have weird thoughts as well like you did. I still struggle with it. Right now I believe that the government is after me for reasons I can't get into here on a forum because obviously they are tracking it. Also same with aliens, demons and other creatures that I won't get into here because it would be considered weird. I have been weird since birth. I had symptoms of psychosis since 1996 and even before I had some indication that something was coming. I didn't understand it back then and when I had the most severe panic attacks in the world (not literally of course but it felt like it) I didn't understand what was happening to me so I constantly went to the hospital because I truly thought I was dying of a heart attack. I would go there around once a week thinking of death. They probably thought I was doing that for attention as well because of how often I would go in. Now when i have panic attacks I don't go to the hospital because I understand what is happening to me after studying psychology. I understand the symptoms of psychosis, depression, autism, anxiety, and conversion disorder. Basically everything I have. I was diagnosed as having schizoaffective disorder bipolar type.



Dots
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09 May 2012, 5:57 pm

I've had delusions involving the government, too. At one point I was pretty sure they were using me in a cloning experiment. But I know that was a delusion. They feel so real when they're happening, but then afterward it's like "That's ridiculous. Is my brain really capable of that?"

I'm stuck though - on one hand, I want to forget that my brain sometimes does this and never never tell anyone, but on the other hand, I am unable to work (I'm in school but I can't even do a full course load there) and actually need more support than I'm getting, but since I look so "normal", no one knows how much help I really need.

Even today I saw my doctor and asked for help regarding my bipolar/autism diagnosis, and she said there was nothing, told me a story about someone who was more "severe" than me who needed help more.

I can function mostly independently, live on my own, but that doesn't mean I don't need help.


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Transgender. Call me 'he' please. I'm a guy.
Diagnosed Bipolar and Aspergers (questioning the ASD diagnosis).

Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.
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FireBird
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09 May 2012, 7:44 pm

I can't live on my own at all. I can't figure out things and even talk on the phone with strangers. I am already 29 years young. I know what its like to look "normal" and people don't believe you or think you don't need help. I have had that before. Most of the time I look "normal" unless I am in certain situations. When I am outside I have to run to the place or car as fast as I can most of the time and do it in a zigzag pattern because I don't want cloned snipers that also can teleport in different areas following me threatening to shoot me. Same with a satellite. What kind of help are you looking for? Is your illness mild, moderate, or severe? Mine is mild compared to others. My hallucinations are the most minor you can get them to be. No one has more minor hallucinations than I do besides people that don't have psychosis. I hallucinate voices and see things only a couple to a few times a day. Its the "delusions" ( I don't like calling my thoughts delusions because to me they are absolutely real) that got me the diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder bipolar type rather than the hallucinations. Also there are times where it gets so bad that I can't form a coherent sentence. I have never had a job. I can't even figure out the simplest of tasks because of my low IQ. I have between 78-85. Different tests have it different. When I was little it was just 78 and my mom always says I am nervous during it but I was 5 when I had it! I didn't even know what an IQ test is! So, how can I be nervous? I had many IQ tests in my life and only 1 scored normally but the tester gave me the answers and let me get some questions right even though I didn't really know the answer. That is why I am not counting that one. I am dumb. I have no subjects outside of art that I am smart in and I still need art lessons and my art teacher still has to show me basic techniques.



Dots
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09 May 2012, 8:08 pm

My bipolar disorder is only severe in acute episodes. Right now I would say it's mild. It's been controlled through medication for a while now, but before I got on the right medication, I spent more than 6 months in the psych hospital, I was in and out three times in 18 months. I ended up on disability. My last psychotic episode happened just as I was starting university. It was pretty bad, but somehow I managed to keep functioning. I saw my psychiatrist weekly and we tinkered with the medication. I got accommodations at school, and managed to pass all of my courses, but my marks weren't great. I skipped a lot of class because I was afraid to leave my house because every time I got on the bus to go to school, this old woman that no one else saw would follow me on and tell me I was going to die. It wasn't real, but it sure felt real at the time.

My eating disorder is enduring but no longer severe. It was severe at one point, I got kicked out of school and sent to a treatment centre, but I'm able to function with it now. I would class it as mild. The diagnosing doctor decided to include it in his report.

I don't think transgender or a diagnosis of gender identity disorder has a functioning label. You're either transgender or not, there is no mild or severe about it.

The doctor classed my Asperger's as severe. I think now that the bipolar is under control, I can see how pervasive my difficulties are when it comes to autism. The doctor wrote in his report that I could attend groups but might have difficulty fitting in due to social difficulties. I have sensory difficulties - it doesn't keep me from functioning, but it affects my school ability. I sometimes skip class because of an overload. I sometimes avoid buses because of an overload. I have no friends at school. I stick out in a group and feel very lonely. I neglect everything when I'm pursuing my special interest.

In some ways I function very well. I am intelligent and have an above average IQ. I live independently. I am a university student. But in some ways, I have a lot of trouble. I have no social life. I may be able to live in a house, but sometimes I can't leave the house. I can't work. I have to keep my stress level low so that the bipolar doesn't act up. I am not living up to my intelligence.

I would say my functioning fluctuates. Sometimes I am hardly affected. Sometimes I am gravely affected. I know I don't look "normal" in social situations, usually I am not making eye contact, and I am fidgeting or stimming, and I am either silent or monologuing about something no one cares about. Now that I'm older, usually I go with silence (unless I'm in a manic episode) so people see a nervous, quiet person. I don't look NT. But I don't look affected enough for anyone to think I might need help.

Maybe I should stop whining. I could have it much worse.


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Transgender. Call me 'he' please. I'm a guy.
Diagnosed Bipolar and Aspergers (questioning the ASD diagnosis).

Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.
--Abbie Hoffman


Awkwardphase
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12 May 2012, 2:43 am

Dots i have bipolar 1 with psychotic features and feel i will always be struggling to accept the lack of insight when manic and delusional. I am aware when hypomanic because of the energetic force to be driven i feel fluid in thought, movement and situations. Somehow over the course of days or weeks i lapse judgement of being hypomanic. No longer realize when or if i have slept or eaten, the concept of tired or hungry is forgotten. Instead i start making discoveries everywhere i look there is meaningful signs they are hidden in plain sight some left there over a hundred years ago and i was chosen, i have a gift, ability to see things as they are. These grandiose delusions of reference come over the radio sent through the t.v are on cd covers, perceptory distortions create symbolic patterns with gaps between words on pages of text even the clocks second hand on 12 seen out my left eye is a piece of the puzzle. Yet this is reality like any other day normal thoughts. When told by people i am sick its not possible and i sure dont develop irrational explainations to suite strange ideas thats just crazy talk. And i understand now its no wonder the shadow people follow me its a conspiracy to silence those who know to much. As soon as somone talks of helping me mentions that i am sick i start having paranoid delusions of persecution. There is a satelite broadcasting my thoughts causing the neighbourhood dogs to howl. With intercranial partioning i lock away uncorupted thoughts project postivity on a higher k9 frequency to calm the dogs. Halos guide me but shadows find me, the presence of an entity that had been inescapable had tracking device on me that resulted in hospitalization.
These memories are as real as my hand is. The feeling of fear i have right now is deliberating. I have bipolar i accept that. I experience psychotic symptoms i accept that. I lack ability to realize when its happening... accepting this is not something easily done.



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12 May 2012, 4:30 am

It's actually more common than you might think. It's just that many people who have experienced these sorts of thoughts are not likely to admit it. I like to talk about it just because I think it's important that people are aware.

I used to think there were cameras in my room, that people were spreading rumors about me, that people on the tv were speaking about me, that I had done something horrible to others without my knowledge. This was all because I was hearing voices that I thought were real. I could not distinguish the real voices from the imaginary ones. Secondary delusions is what they call it.



Awkwardphase
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12 May 2012, 10:00 am

Thank you heavenlyabyss, i have only spoken of these things with psychiatrist and psychologist. Writing it down caused me experience such depth of conviction to thoughts and feelings that shouldnt be like a mirage in the dessert..Having response from you on experience and opinion of majority concealing psychosis is thought provoking topic. I have read that around 3% of population experience a pyschotic episode in there life. So each supermarket visit i would pass 1 person on average who has been through similar event.



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12 May 2012, 6:23 pm

Awkwardphase wrote:
Thank you heavenlyabyss, i have only spoken of these things with psychiatrist and psychologist. Writing it down caused me experience such depth of conviction to thoughts and feelings that shouldnt be like a mirage in the dessert..Having response from you on experience and opinion of majority concealing psychosis is thought provoking topic. I have read that around 3% of population experience a pyschotic episode in there life. So each supermarket visit i would pass 1 person on average who has been through similar event.


I hate saying it but the threat is often real. Once people label someone as "crazy" they often lose all credibility. It really is sad. I don't know what the solution is.



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12 May 2012, 6:48 pm

Awkwardphase wrote:
Dots i have bipolar 1 with psychotic features and feel i will always be struggling to accept the lack of insight when manic and delusional. I am aware when hypomanic because of the energetic force to be driven i feel fluid in thought, movement and situations. Somehow over the course of days or weeks i lapse judgement of being hypomanic. No longer realize when or if i have slept or eaten, the concept of tired or hungry is forgotten. Instead i start making discoveries everywhere i look there is meaningful signs they are hidden in plain sight some left there over a hundred years ago and i was chosen, i have a gift, ability to see things as they are. These grandiose delusions of reference come over the radio sent through the t.v are on cd covers, perceptory distortions create symbolic patterns with gaps between words on pages of text even the clocks second hand on 12 seen out my left eye is a piece of the puzzle. Yet this is reality like any other day normal thoughts. When told by people i am sick its not possible and i sure dont develop irrational explainations to suite strange ideas thats just crazy talk. And i understand now its no wonder the shadow people follow me its a conspiracy to silence those who know to much. As soon as somone talks of helping me mentions that i am sick i start having paranoid delusions of persecution. There is a satelite broadcasting my thoughts causing the neighbourhood dogs to howl. With intercranial partioning i lock away uncorupted thoughts project postivity on a higher k9 frequency to calm the dogs. Halos guide me but shadows find me, the presence of an entity that had been inescapable had tracking device on me that resulted in hospitalization.
These memories are as real as my hand is. The feeling of fear i have right now is deliberating. I have bipolar i accept that. I experience psychotic symptoms i accept that. I lack ability to realize when its happening... accepting this is not something easily done.


I don't know how helpful this is--I have personal experience with severe mood problems, not psychosis. I do understand what is meant by "lack of insight". I once saw a doctor complaining about "not feeling right" and being too tired. My biggest fear was that I might forget about going to work and get fired. (That has happened before, I am normally an excellent employee.) The dr. was actually alarmed (I think?) and wanted me on antidepressants, along with follow up appointments. Also during this time I had co-workers actually ask me "what was wrong?". I knew something was wrong but I really did not care. Weeks later, after I was feeling better I looked back on that experience and thought "Damn, that was scary!, I survived another severe depressive episode", but my feelings of fear were all in hindsight, during the episode I didn't care about anything. It was just so jarring how my perception of things changed, it seems so subtle to me and yet obvious to others. I can only imagine how much worse this would be for psychosis. Mental illness really is a b***h!



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17 May 2012, 6:27 am

Blah



Last edited by Dillogic on 18 May 2012, 3:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

jackbus01
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17 May 2012, 11:46 am

Dillogic wrote:
Eh, you can't do much about it. It's there and it ain't going nowhere.

Got Schizophrenia on mine. I have it too. Don't tell anyone, 'cause of the stigma. Don't know why I really care what others think though. Guess it's just one of those silly social things that got to me.


I disagree that it is a silly.
I don't care what others think either but stigma against persons with psychosis disorders is not acceptable. If I end up in a conversation where that comes up, I make that point very clear. I don't understand why some in society lack sympathy towards persons with severe mental illness. What's really disgusting is that some of the stigma comes from people in the mental health profession.



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17 May 2012, 6:20 pm

E: don't want to talk about it.



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02 Jun 2012, 5:57 pm

jackbus01 wrote:
I don't care what others think either but stigma against persons with psychosis disorders is not acceptable. If I end up in a conversation where that comes up, I make that point very clear. I don't understand why some in society lack sympathy towards persons with severe mental illness. What's really disgusting is that some of the stigma comes from people in the mental health profession.


jackbus01 wrote:
I hate saying it but the threat is often real. Once people label someone as "crazy" they often lose all credibility. It really is sad. I don't know what the solution is.


Exactly what you're doing is exactly what you should do- talk about it! Share stories, just as you're doing here. I'm not schizophrenic, I have never experienced psychosis. I don't think I've ever even hallucinated before in my life (though I know, many people would think that, unaware that they were wrong.) However, I am enthralled by the stories on here I'm reading from people with these conditions. I just wish I could hug you all... it really sounds like you guys need it. :( Sharing a heart-felt story about just how real this all feels to you and the isolation experienced can make a really huge impact on people, and help take away some of the stigma associated with these conditions. Most people only ever hear about schizophrenia or psychosis in association with some violent news story. No wonder they don't think anything positive about it! They never hear the tale of the ordinary Joe/Jane struggling with a condition that confuses his/her very sense of reality, something that the unaffected take for granted.

The best way to help you, and others like you, be accepted by more of the Neurotypical population, is to talk about it. Write a blog post. Share your worries. People will respond. Sure, there will be some folks that shrug it off or, worse, laugh or taunt, but some people are just a**holes and that's a fact of life we all have to put up with. But there will be people who will read it and feel for you, people who will take the story to heart, people who will think about it whenever the words "schizophrenia", "psychosis", "delusion", or "hallucination" come up. They will have a new perspective, one to share with friends and family. It's a small and slow process, but that's how grass-roots works. If you do nothing, nobody will be enlightened. If even one person can read your stories and understand, that is a difference made.