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First post of the week is a little different, but normal service will resume soon!

Just got my first appointment to see the head shrink – it’s on 6th August, so I’ll be on the meds right through then. Meanwhile, I’m hoping that I start to see some positive changes – I’ve gone from outright anxiety to complete demotivation over the last week. I planned to get lots of work done, then didn’t, then felt guilty, then got even more demotivated :O

So today, I’m going to take it one thing at a time, and try not to be too hard on myself.

Anyway, this post is like my little list of hopes and dreams, but acknowledging that all that can’t just come from a pill…

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Okay, okay, so today’s post is a bit mawkish, but y’all have got to know this – if it wasn’t for me being in a relationship with Mitch, I’m not sure I’d be getting help right now for my anxiety.

He’s a pretty quiet and unassuming guy in public, so you may not know this, but he’s one of the most wickedly funny people I’ve ever met, and he’s also one of the most laid back and cool. He doesn’t put any expectations on me, which is a refreshing change, and it’s because we’ve got such a relaxed and groovy partnership that I feel I’ve got enough support to really try and deal with my issues.

He’s also a writer and artist in his own right: his main concern is video game design, but he’s also dabbling in comic book scripting and has taken part in Nanowrimo and Script Frenzy, as well as the Scottish Game Jam. He’s currently working on his first indie game, “Apartmental”, which is going to be awesome. He hopes to have some concept pieces for it up soon. Have a look at his blog and feel free to say “Hai Mitsh!”

http://www.hyparc.net/

(…and yes, thank you for noticing – I do have very long arms in this episode!)

 

I’m just going to let today’s post speak for itself, as it’s open to some interpretation, which is noice.

For those who’re interested in a this kind of thing, you may have noticed that I’m playing around with the format a little bit. It was nice to start off with this 6-panel grid, which I think I’ll stick to most of the time, but I also like breaking out of that a wee bit when it feels appropriate.

 

 

Bit saucy, this one  (#^.^#)

However, catholic guilt’s a bit of a bugbear for me. I’m largely over the damage done to me by my Catholic upbringing, but I think it’s important as an ex-Catholic to try and spread the word of Reason, the same way Catholics often think it’s their duty to spread their word…

I can think of few things more psychologically damaging to a growing kid than thinking there’s an all-seeing, all-powerful eye of some desert deity watching their every movement and every thought. It’s the idea of the Panopticon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panopticon) writ large. Bentham, designer of the Panopticon, said it offered “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example”. Well I disagree – I think religion got there long before Bentham did…

Anyway, I think it’s damning that anyone – religion, state, individual – would try to control the personal sex life of another. Mind control that makes you feel guilty about something that causes no harm, only pleasure and connection, either to oneself or to another, is just plain wrong – but is a great way to make sure you have a malleable throng. You can make them feel guilty about it, then sell them either absolution, or guilt free sublimated sexuality in the form of advertising etc.

I say a big loud NO to that – you should take back your sexuality, whatever it is, and accept and enjoy it as a personal expression of who you are.

 

 

So Citalopram makes you yawn. I mean really yawn. I mean really yawn

It’s crazy – no matter how active or inactive I am, I get these really weird bouts of yawning that almost dislocate my jaw. I’ve noticed that when I’m going out, or about to do something stressful, it gets worse, so I’m not sure if it’s a direct reaction to the increased levels of serotonin or what, but they seem linked.

I’ve also noticed though that I’m experiencing what I can only describe as severe fatigue. I decided to do a little research on this, and it’s noted online that anxiety and depression can cause real exhaustion and fatigue. I tangented to this link: http://www.wellcomecollection.org/tiredness/index.html, which is a cool little psychomotor vigilance test. People with enough sleep and rest should score about 220. People who are very tired take 300 milliseconds. My average is about 356. And this is after an afternoon nap.

So obviously that’s something that’s getting added to the long list of “weird things about me” that I’ll be discussing with the doctor when I go back on Thursday…

Wee bonus post for today - saw an excellent post on a Tumblr account with an image by an artist called Michael Marsicano with a little definition of the word TORSCHLUSSPANIK (check the link for details...). Anyway, it's a cracking image, an immediately inspired me to do this, which is a visual metaphor for the tightness of the stomach that anxiety causes...

So I’m NOT a psychic – how depressing is that? I want at least one mutant power. Mind you, I think I’d prefer telekinesis to telepathy, but I wouldn’t turn it down…

Anyway, this is what’s known as a cognitive distortion – exaggerated or irrational thoughts perpetuated by some psychological disorders, including depression and chronic anxiety. It’s when you spend your time “making up” what others are thinking about you in their own heads, with no evidence, no proof, that they’re thinking anything of the sort.

It’s seriously damaging and debilitating for a number of reasons – for one, it’s hard enough juggling your own thoughts, but juggling everyone’s in a room? That’s a recipe for disaster (see also fatigue o_O).

For another, it’s totally meaningless. We spend our time judging ourselves in the voices and thoughts of others, which prevents us fully being who we want to be, and it unfairly lays the responsibility for that at the feet others, most of whom are unlikely to be thinking anything like the thoughts we ascribe to them.

So yes, The Great Mentalist is rather shit. Sorry about that…

In other news, I had my first check up appointment at the Doc’s yesterday, which was a kind of strange one this time round. Not much to report, not much change, so it’s a holding pattern and more pills until I start CBT therapy on 6th August…