June 29, 2008

Life, Learning and Lessons

Life is about living, learning and applying the lessons to our actions. By expanding our knowledge base from our experiences and growing from what God teaches us through people, we gain his wisdom and reveal our humanity. People are put into our lives to teach us what and who we are. Its up to the individual to hear and accept these lessons, they are there if we choose to listen.

June 25, 2008

Feeling Dissociative?

I am in the middle of one of my episodes, it feels like everything is only right now. That I can access the last minute and think about the next minute, but...it's not that I do not care...its just there and then gone. Not quite apathy or indifference, well I guess it really is like that. A suspension of emotions and feelings that lays just beyond my boundaries of perception. Dissociation is like conception watered down, just spread it out all over everything and then try and use it. I have to concentrate hard to get back what was last thought although I do sense the thoughts and emotions, soggy trails of reality.

Like right now I have to go back and read what I have typed to continue my train of thought and in doing so I have added more into this last paragraph. I'm not sure if this post seems disjointed or not, I guess I will have to see in the next day or two. Sometimes an occurrence will last up to a week or so. Most of the time an event will be in progress before I realize it. I notice that I am less caring or supportive in my conversations. One time my buddy had to tell me that I was being a dick to realize that I had been that way for a whole week.

You know, I wrote above "it's not that I do not care", uh...hello...that is exactly it. You see that is how dissociation works, eventually all the thoughts come together. The problem for me is that I might not know where the thought came from. Let me rephrase this a bit, hhmmm...I do care, but the caring is not in the center of me.

That is it! Dissociation is a tightly woven boundary around the Id, keeping out emotions and people by placing concentric circles within reach and without access. You can see it but cannot touch it...Loose Associations.

June 24, 2008

This Blog's Humble Beginnings

Every post on before June 24, 2008 I copied off of a group that I have maintained on one of the social sites that I frequent. I was discouraged with the limited amount of traffic that it was receiving. I had reservations with starting a public blog at first, but then I kept writing and it seemed futile to keep adding to something that I wanted to share with others.

The first post was a paper that I wrote for a psychology class. The rest were just rants and thoughts I felt compelled to write. I am writing about my experiences and thoughts about PTSD and other issues that pertain in some way to my overall lifescape. I hope you get something out of my ramblings and verbiage.

June 23, 2008


Well, I have been taking some new medication to help adjust my serotonin levels. I have been taking wellbutrin for about two years now, it worked well by itself until about 6 months or so. I had been getting depressed again, having serious trouble with my memory and dissociative states.

I had enough so I researched antidepressants (again) and found one that would augment my treatment. This one is prescribed for PTSD, OCD, anxiety and improving memory (oh yeah don't forget depression). AAhh, BINGO. I had hit upon the holy grail of my neurosis. I have been taking the new meds for 8 days now, three to six weeks before my neurotransmitter levels even out. The side effects have begun to dissipate. Two days after I started taking the fluvoxamine, an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), I began to feel a little bit better. I noticed that my mood had begun to lighten up somewhat. So now I am taking wellbutrin, an NDRI (norepinephrine dopamine reuptake inhibitor), modafinil (a quasi-stimulant for sleep-apnea) and the fluvoxamine. The modafinil kicks the fatigues (from both depression and sleep-apnea) ass which is all good, I have been taking it for about a month now. Well, enough of that crap...

School...I was having extreme trouble with one of my classes this summer. Cognitive Psychology, the class was only one month long. EEEEE, yeah you read it right, it was to much for me. I dropped it because it was stressing me out big time. I do not need it for my degreed program, I am working on a minor in psychology. After this summer I will only need one more psych class to qualify and have two more summers to get that done so no big deal. With the memory problems and disassociative issues studying as much as I needed to began to be an all day every day thing. I failed the first quiz and got a D on the first exam, ouch. These were my very first F and D in my college career. I had a 3.4 at JCTC and I have a 3.6 at U of L, so I was not about to let those suck ass grades ruin my gpa. I am killin my Substance Abuse class, there is a bunch of reading to do. But the thing is that I want to read this stuff, it will greatly enhance my abilities to be a therapist. Most of the people I will be working with will have these issues. And I have done some field work, you know, research on this issue on my own. So it will be good to have a, multivaried perspective (yeah thats it) on the subject.

June 22, 2008

Experiencing PTSD

PTSD is a life-long endeavor; there is no cure for it. The triggering traumatic event changes the landscape of the mind, it no longer works in the same fashion that it did before. The mind has been rewired; the neuropathways have been altered into a continuous loop. The PTSD triggering incident converts the fight or flight response in the primitive portion of our brain. Imagine having that scared feeling you get without the fear while keeping the bodily reactions; the tenseness, the adrenalin rush, the mind racing, heightened senses, and the hyper response reflex to react without thinking.

That is the mode of survival, now take out the danger part, you are safe. YOU KNOW you are safe, but that nagging sense that tells you "YOU ARE IN DANGER" for your life remains. You FEEL it in your bones, your rational mind says otherwise, but that does not take away the feeling that something is going to go wrong, terribly wrong. Imagine wanting to jump out of your skin, literally that's how it feels.

This can drive a person crazy; it does on a daily basis. Ok, now imagine that YOU DO NOT KNOW that you have this condition. Ok, now throw in the fear! Go out into the world and see how long it takes for you to find some trouble. See if you can properly discern an appropriate response in everyday situations, as regular social interactions have become a threat to you. You do not know why, but you just know it. Ok, throw in some denial, alright a bunch of denial. See if you don't end up divorced, incarcerated, homeless, unemployable, homicidal, suicidal or dead.

Right now writing about this is bringing it all to the forefront. Right now I am feeling all of these things. It is all racing around in my mind, a fevered pitch. I want to lock my door; it is open to let in some light in. But I have this obsession to go and lock it and shut it all out. Except that I know it will not lock out how I feel.

I have found that mediation helps considerably. If I close my eyes, concentrate on my breathing, imagining each part of my body is relaxing, I take my mind to every part of my body and relax it. Letting the tension go, to do just the opposite of what my body intelligence tells my mind. Let go, my mind does not command, it just imagines the letting go...I have a Buddha statue in my living room. I find that the image helps foster the feeling that I am looking for. Central to this is the breathing, slow deep breathing filling the upper part of the torso and the belly, and Belly breathing. When the body is relaxed go back to concentrating on the breathing. Do this long enough and with practice the mind will cease thoughts, suspending into everything and nothing.

Gotta go...from one extreme to another, that's my inner workings.

Hope this helped you understand what someone goes through with PTSD.