This is Anxiety

February 28th, 2009

*Shortness of breath
*Rapid heartbeat
*Electric shock feelings
*Muscle Spasms
*Lump in throat
*Chest Tightness
*Chest Pain
*Feeling on edge
*Startling easy
*Fear of dying
*Fear of losing control
*Fear of going crazy
*Negative thought patterns
*Cognitive difficulties
* Forgetfulness
*Inability to concentrate
*Racing mind
*Crying Spells
*Feelings of worthlessness
*Feeling not good enough

Happy Birthday ANIPRA!!

February 27th, 2009

Happy Birthday ANIPRA!!

Sweet Memories

February 27th, 2009

Well when ever i listen to this music my ANIPRA gets in to my mind......

Love isn't a desicion. Its a feeling. If we could to decide who to love, then, life
Would be much simpler, but less magical

When I look at you, I cannot deny there is god, cause god could have created some one as wonderful n beautiful as you

I Love You

An Illness, Not a Weakness

February 26th, 2009

Recently, someone called me and asked respectively, “How do you feel when your depressed?” This person knows of my history and our relationship has a mutual feeling of safety. I shared spots of my story telling, ”Everyone has bad days, but clinical depression is like a heavy blanket on your shoulders.” The feeling lasts and is chronic. It may ebb and flow like the tide, but it is always with you. The shouldered blanket may feel warm and safe, all the while feeling damp and scary. I talked about how symptoms are different for each and vary in scope. During my severe episodes I lack pleasure in all activities. I lie around, have bouts of uncontrolled sobbing, my stomach gets very upset, and I want to sleep all the time. I curl up like a cat does on it’s pillow, shutting out all those around me. I develop what I call the “less-suffix-syndrome.” “I am worthless, useless, hopeless, powerless . . . I summed it up by saying, “If you have feelings like this you need to see someone.” I also added “Even mild signs can bring about a clinical situation, when a person’s sadness is no longer appropriate, it becomes a consistent and pervasive hum that nags you everyday.” If this goes on for 2-3 weeks, again you need to see someone.

Other things induce depression such as loss, grief, self worth, failure, illness, and medication.  Regardless of the cause, the symptoms need to be treated with coveted care. Whether a person’s depression, is episodic or chronic if the feelings are debilitating it becomes clinical. Being honest with yourself and others works far in overcoming the sometimes long lasting effects of depression.

I am so glad I am finally helping myself. Maintaining my mental health through medication, proper rest, therapy, pdoc dialogue, and self-care have all helped to extricate my woeful existence into a brightened reality. Hopefully, my words to this person were helpful. As I was about to hang up the phone I said, “Depression is an illness, not a weakness.”

I hope I didn’t sound like one of those cheesy advertisements. I am not a doctor or therapist, my only wish is to share parts of my journey and hopefully point others in the right direction.

Losing Things

February 25th, 2009

I went through a period where I kept losing things- I lost small things like keys, papers, even credit cards, and money. One day I decided to keep a “running list” of the things I kept losing. As I watched the list grow and shrink depending on my ability to find my lost items, I noticed that things I never found did not mean a whole lot to me anymore. They were only things. My real losses couldn’t be counted. They have grown but never shrunk. As time passed, my “real” losses have brought me unending grief. The thought of making a list of these, weakened my ability to keep trying my best to overcome the sorrow they left.

Sitting around counting losses is unhealthy for me. It takes my focus away from living in wellness to living with regret. In order to maintain focus in the journey I must keep going, while grieving what is gone. I can’t discount my losses by leaving them unclosed without proper attention. Equally, I cannot tangle myself in their despair.

Grief is good if it leads me to wellness.

Madras Maestro, Slumdog and the Oscar

February 24th, 2009

Original score: James Newton Howard (”Defiance”), Alexandre Desplat (”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Winner - A. R. Rahman (”Slumdog Millionaire”), Hans Zimmer (”Frost/Nixon”) and Clint Eastwood (”Changeling”).

From Roja to Slumdog, it was one wonder full trip. Thanks for all the music.

Celebrating Rahman…

February 23rd, 2009

uuuuhhhhhh we got oscar ...cause of only you!
Go Rahman !!


February 22nd, 2009

I flip through my journal often and sometimes when I read my personal thoughts I am given a fright. If anyone ever picks my journal up, they will have a first hand account of the ups and downs of bipolar illness. The range in my moods is sometimes off all the scales.
I am still here. Damn.
I am guessing I was having a bad day.
It got better though, because the next day I wrote:
Thumbing along I read this:
I have decided that today is the day I am going to start my novel. I believe that my novel will be written in less than one year’s time. When it is published it will be a best seller.
Okay, I am thinking there is mania somewhere at work in there. A novel about what? Published by whom? Was I planning on creating my own publishing company? Did I think I could just write it in one night, call up a publisher, and charge it all on the credit card?
I am still unsure about this entry:
I am working.
I am productive.
I am able.
I am possible.
Finally a little clarity and balance and normal-for-me tone:
When I am discouraged, I must remember in the distance lies the relief a great session of therapy brings.

Rules of Disengagement

February 21st, 2009

There are so many times that I need to disengage from conversation, socialization, and any kind of interaction with others. When I am depressed, I just do better when I am by myself. I know, I know isolation is the worst thing for depression. But for me, it is often the time where I can steal away and find comfort within. In order to facilitate this need I have to think of creative ways to gain my freedom from others. Below is a (short) list:

1) Bring a book (or work) to doctor’s appointments. Too many people like to chat there.

2) At church, sit at the back and leave during the final prayer.

3) Caller identification (only pick up for the pdoc’s calls)

4) Avoid eye contact at all times. Even with the dog, he might need to talk.

5) Turn cell phone to “off.” Turn on only when you need to make a call.

6) Drive the car into the garage. Let the garage door down immediately.

7) Check first before getting the mail, look for neighbors.

Excuses for not showing up or going somewhere: (You know, “I’m sorry I can’t come I have a . . .)

Stomach virus
Head lice
Unexplained rash
Deadline at work
Septic tank back up
Sick dog
Up all night with sick dog, need sleep
Checks are bouncing at the bank, need to balance out account
Okay, so the list is not short. But it is my list of “Ways to avoid.” Anyone have any others to add?

Choosing Loyalty

February 20th, 2009

Nathan Hale, America’s first spy said at the time of his execution, “I regret that I only have but one life to lose for my county.” Now, that is the substance of loyalty. I made a list of the the people I was loyal to. It is quite shallow.

My Samu perima.
My Saravana anna.
My Mom & Dad
My Sridhar anna.
My Vicky.
My Sharmila.
My Therapist, Jayapratha &
P’doc, most certain.
Besides all my family (and I mean immediate here), everyone else is up for grabs. Actually, I had a recent lesson in loyalty. Someone I have done business with for several years made a mistake, an error in judgement. The decision for me was to choose to stay in relationship with this person or seek to abandon. It made for a great learning experience. I recognize that one mistake can destroy the playhouse we have worked hard to build. I also recognize that when a person’s playhouse falls down, even by their own hands, they deserve another chance. My life has spoken this dilemma loudly in many ways. I guess that is why I did not hesitate; yes, not hesitate, when the choice came to leave or stay.

Happy Birthday Bro

February 19th, 2009

Happy Birthday Sabari!!

I am not alone

February 19th, 2009

I like to watch people. I find observing other people fascinating. It is amazing to see people’s expressions as they go about usual and unusual tasks. As I watch others, I think: ”Are folks watching me?” Then, I wonder: ”Do they see the sadness I feel inside? “Is the often depressed expression layered on my face?” My inner world sometimes never changes. I get caught up in a whirl of unending sadness. I grieve for everything from lost loved ones, lost youth, to lost reality. The disappointments that plague me build upon themselves. I thought at one point the crisis would end. I want the next thing that happens to not devestate me, but give me hope. I can only imagine when I go about my own usual and unusual tasks the hurt inside seeps out. It can come out sometimes subtly, then at other times, outwardly expressing itself to no end.

When I watch others, I think too: “Do they struggle with the same feelings as me?” Like, the lady at the the grocery store I see several times a week. “Does she have pain behind the friendly smile?” I pass this same man in the same car everyday on my way to work. “Is he thinking of grand blessings or pondering life without hope?” What about the boy I see riding his bicycle to school: “Does he feel so void he has thought about taking his own life?” I find I get a much greater perspective on my situation when I regard it in light of those present around me. We all have pain. When I consider the feelings of others, I strangely don’t feel so alone. Watching others and considering what they are feeling brings a silent connection.

I watch to see, to consider, and to know, I am not alone.

Displaced Anger

February 18th, 2009

One doesn’t need to see a therapist to understand the terms “displaced anger.” It is basically anger that lacks a home. Anger traveling around inside the mind, with no home, can create physical and relational problems, and basically make life miserable. We have to put anger in its place. Anger is not a “bad” or “wrong” emotion like some of us were led to believe growing up. Anger can energize us and help us to take charge in certain situations. Anger is just one of the many emotions felt on any given day.

I have trouble with anger. I both turn it inward and am led down the slope of depression or I spill it out on the wrong person or situation. For example, this past weekend I am riding down the road with humming along to the radio. I notice a truck carrying a load of something in the oncoming lane. Within minutes part of the driver’s load flies out and lands on top of my car. I pull over to the side of the road very shaken. I get out and the car is pretty damaged. The driver stops and I immediately call the police. The driver was apologetic and I was surprisingly calm. I stomached the thought that he was a complete idiot for not securing his load. Inwardly, I wanted to lecture him on how the law states that the contents of the bed of truck are to be secured. The police gave me the information on when I could pick up the report. We realized my car was driveable and Islowly drove away.

When I got home my dad and I surveyed the damage. We both wondered if the driver had received a ticket. I thought about calling to check, but when on about my business. My mom dropped an expensive plate. I got so angry. My first thought how careless. Her act was an accident, not a careless mistake. The driver of the truck was the one who had performed the careless mistake; he’s the one I was really angry at. I apologized to my mom and we talked. I used the energy to call the police officer and confirm that he had given the driver a ticket.

Slowly we can learn to handle anger in a healthy way. Admitting we are wrong is one step. Acknowledging it is there is another, which is what we have to do first. Finally, we find ways to release it in a healthy way.


February 17th, 2009

Suicide, ick-don’t like to talk about it. But, something got me thinking about it today. I would love to research it, but I guess the thought gives me a fright. I have had bouts with suicidal thoughts. Sometimes it has stalked me piercing at my mind like an awful headache. Even with it’s temptation, thankfully I have somehow escaped. Several months ago, someone who had done some work for me died as a result of suicide and another aquantence attempted it. Both events happened around the same time. When I heard, I had chills all the way to my face. When someone is suicidal, they are very ill and getting them the help they need immediately is important.

In the journey with mental illness there are destinations along the way which cause one to stop and listen. I try to stop and listen to myself. Pausing momentarily and thinking about this, enabled me to realize I really don’t want to die. Right now in this moment, suicide is an illogical choice for my oftentimes depressed soul. While acknowledging my desrie to live and the rejection of suicide, it is with humbleness I admit it’s power.

The Pain I’m Familar With

February 16th, 2009

Okay folks, I am making a beginning attempt at being creative. So here is a poem I wrote. What do you think? Please be honest, but not vicious, remember I am residual and prone to mood variances.

Close the windows

Pull down the shades

Bring in the plants

Throw out the flowers

Let the dog in

Let the dog out

Lock the doors

Check the locks

Find your bathrobe

Then a pillow

Turn off the phone

Then the computer

Line up the water bottles

As well as the medicine

Depression has come

Anxiety is loosened

“Scratch Off Gently with a Coin”

February 15th, 2009

No, I am not talking about a cellphone recharge card. It is my moods. I try to make them go away. I gently try to remove the layer of pain that blankets me, hoping underneath is relief (or maybe, $5000.00). Many times I find more pain. Other times, I find the relief I need. I just keep going in the journey. Scratching slowly, to avoid more trauma. Sometimes life brings trauma and nothing happens gently.

I would like to avoid life. That is not possible. To maintain my sanity over my moods in spite of life occurring, I need a variety of things. Here are just a few:

Good friends
Medication ( I hate it but it is where I am.)
My writing
Excercise (Yoga and Meditation)
What I mostly need is to treat myself gently. I must give myself time to heal and time to feel.  I also need to live. I just keep on in my journey and pray that when life is not gentle, I will have the tools to continue.

Valentines Day !

February 14th, 2009

I don't celebrate Valentines day because i think its super hyped plus I don't believe in buying a stalk of rose for 100 bucks! but I believe in celebrating love - all kinds of love and you don't need just a day for it - so may everyday be valentines day for you all

Plus this way you get roses all year round ;p

wishing you love always

At War with Myself

February 14th, 2009

For some reason I seem to be outraged with myself. I just can’t figure out where the anger is coming from. Am I disappointed? For now, the anger is turned inward and it is causing a great amount anxiety and depression. Ick, it has not been easy lately. The anger I feel is deep within. I wish for it to come out like the steam of a tea kettle, little by little. I hope and pray it does not explode.

I could also get a really bad attitude right now. I don’t want that either. It only complicates things. My soul just aches and my mind, well it wants to be well. Not just well today, but tomorrow, and every day for the rest of my life. For me living well is sometimes a chore and I must work at it daily.

Here’s to better times.

Finding Normal

February 13th, 2009

I have always had behavior that is odd. When I was little I was a loner. Oftentimes I would go off by myself and find solace by a tree, in a closet, or behind the bed. Under the sink and the dryer were also places I would go. I had to be by myself everyday. If I did not have this alone time I would become irritable. I was never the easiest person to get along with. Even in high school, I would go off by myself for hours. When I could drive it became rather easy. My family always explained it as my behavior as shy and anti-social.
Then without equality, I would become the life of the party. When I was little, my mom never could trust me at parties. Oftentimes, I talked incessantly and blurted out strange revelations. As a teenager, I would drink to much and do some really stupid things. Yet, I always had a handle on myself.
Finally, the ability to keep control of myself deteriorated in early adulthood. I came to the realization I hated myself. I began to not eat, not leave the house, and not talk to anyone. My family, then began to say my behavior was far from normal. I would ask myself, “What really is normal?” Through therapy, I began to learn about my different poles of behavior and slowly I began to have a clearer picture of “normal.”
There are periods of normalcy in my life now. Knowing how to judge my behavior, understand my feelings, accept and make changes, all have increased the consideration of my normalcy. As I grow, I hope the normalcy will stretch itself out longer giving me a larger feeling of well-being. I still ask myself, my family, and my therapist, “Is this normal?” I realize the path to periods of normalcy is started in the asking.

How Great You Are

February 13th, 2009

Today I got stuck waiting in traffic. I decided a long time ago not to allow things like waiting in line, at doctor’s appointments, and traffic to cause me anxiety. It has helped calm moods on many instances. Waiting today, I watched as a car seized an opening and was able to jump right in a lane of cars as they began to move. I stayed stuck. It was an opprotunity for me to practice waiting once again. I though about it as I waited and eventually was able to move along. Seizing opportunities is not a strength for me. It is like I am living my life in delayed reaction.

When I was in college working on my undergraduate, my favorite saying was “How Great You Are” It was a time in my life where my moods were stable. I felt one with myself and took life as it was. Opportunity seemed to fulfill itself continually. I am not sure at which point I switched from the living to wishing.  I just found myself feeling more and more that life was not offering me many opportunities. There are days when I think of that period in my life and yearn for its return. I get stuck in reliving each and every moment. As I do that, I begin to loathe my current status. I try and force opportunities to come my way. I begin to expect the unrealistic. This all leads to frustration and unhappiness.

How watching a car in traffic can bring all those feelings forward is beyond the scope of my imagination. I recognize the desire for opprotunity that lies within my soul. I wonder if it will come once again. Maybe it has but my lack of belief in goodness being my friend has blinded me from its sight.

I have decided I am going to find it. I don’t want to demand it or even expect it. I just want to look for it. Maybe soon I will heardling “How Great You Are" once again.


February 12th, 2009

Things can get really weird during the journey with this illness. Last night I just started crying for no reason. There was nothing that appeared to be different. I had a super great day and was enjoying it’s fortunate feelings. Sitting on the couch, watching TV (nothing sad), and I just started crying. The tears would not stop. My mom kept asking what was wrong. I just did not know. she was so worried about me. she stayed with me and was late to engagement he had for the evening. I just sat and cried. I ended up crying myself to sleep and waking up with a headache.

I feel better. Not sure if it is meds, circumstances, past hurts, or just plain life. I am a bit overwhelmed with the holidays coming. I do not want to shop. Another weird thing has happened. Since I have been in this depression, I have not wanted to shop at all. That is a huge switch from my manic-have-to-buy-everything position I find myself in. Especially this time of the year. With every advertisement I feel called to break out the plastic and buy stuff I can’t afford. Now, I have to buy gifts for my family and I do not want to even ride by a crowded store. I think I am going to do my shopping on-line. I went to the mall, stayed there ten-minutes and left. I don’t like crowds and I get frustrated waiting in line or for a sales person to get me the things I need. I am just not going to push myself to do something that might cause me to go backwards.

So, I know I am a bit overwhelmed. I guess I did not realize how much until I started crying. I was like a water faucet. Not only does the having to buy gifts worry me, it is having to go to parties, dinners, etc. This has been a BAD depression. When I get this bad I stay in my house most of the time. I know getting out will help me heal somewhat, but getting out too much overwhelms me. I guess I will be picking what is important and go to that. I will just have to decline all the other invitations.
I am accepting things as they are.


February 12th, 2009

There was this trial I was not privy of and I was the one on trial. I had no defense, I could not afford a lawyer, and the jury consisted of every judgmental person in my life. I received the verdict in the mail. The rest is history.

Actually that did not happen literally. It has just happened in my mind. I am filled with guilt. It gnaws at my insides. I continue to dwell on things I have recognized as being wrong in my life. The problem is even though I have turned away from bad habits, wrong judgments, the inability to delay gratification and irresponsibility, I still feel like I need to keep apologizing. I have ran out of people to apologize to. I asked God to forgive me. I am trying out replacement behaviors in lieu of the wrong ones. I want to change.

I can’t forgive myself.

I just feel like if I tear myself down in my mind, maybe I will finally be able to make peace with myself. I think all the guilt is literally eating the lining of my stomach away. I try to remind myself that even though I don’t deserve it, those I have hurt have forgiven me. My therapist says to stop the negative thinking and replace it with positive affirmations. She actually gave me a list. I am not real diligent at doing that.

I think that just like it takes a while to forgive someone who has hurt us, it takes a while to forgive the self that hurts us.

I hurt me. Now I have to go through the process to forgive me.

Learning to Breathe

February 11th, 2009

There are several things in my life right now that I can’t get a handle on. The tasks just seem impossible. I am having a hard time “enjoying the journey.” This is making my recovery difficult. Sometimes things feel so overwhelming it is hard to breathe. My therapist helped me with a breathing technique that has helped me. It goes as follows:
1. Breathe in slowly counting to four with your mouth open wide.
2. Hold that breath and count to four.
3. Exhale through the nose slowly releasing the breath by counting down by four.
4. Rest for 4 seconds and do the whole exercise again.
I don’t know if it is the breathing, counting, or focusing but it just has helped me the last few days. I don’t think the thought ever occurred to me that I might not know how to breathe. The more I pay attention to my breath the more I realize it has been shallow and made by anxiety. This has helped to slow my breath and calm me down.

The Lonely Side of Depression

February 11th, 2009

Isolation during a depressive episode increases loneliness. It is like a slippery slope because loneliness can further aggravate the depression. I try to find a balance. Too much interaction with others can make me nervous revoking my sense of calm. Not enough, however, can bring more sadness. Here’s a list of helpful ideas to overcome the symptoms of loneliness that proceeds depression:
1. Choose the right people to spend time with. I have found that it is important for me to spend time with those that understand my illness and what my needs are. I don’t pick high-maintenence people to hang out with when I am depressed. They tend to exhaust me further.
2. Face to face situations are really best. I know we don’t really want to leave the house, but we need to. I try to meet a friend for coffee or a coke. This way I am only spending about an hour. It gets me out of the house, gives me some conversation with others, and provides a little relief from the aching pain that continually gripes me.
3. I go out at times where I know the crowds will be less. I have found that lunch at 2:00 or dinner at 5:00 lend to less people providing me with more security. It makes my conversation with the person I am with more in-depth and less rushed.
4. When all else fails, call. Like I said face to face is better. It sorta rejuvenates the soul. When you just don’t think you can manage it, call someone to either stop by or to just spend a little time talking on the phone. The idea is to make contact with a supportive friend.
5. Write. This works for me. When I am writing I just don’t feel alone. This sounds like an oxymoron, but I get to know myself and for some reason the more time I spend with me the less lonely I feel. I also interact with my words and it somehow lifts my loneliness. Writing to me is like a good session of therapy.

How are you feeling?

February 11th, 2009

Every morning and evening my mom asks me the same question about how I feel. I want to tell her, “I’m better” and really mean it! I feel better right now. I feel okay in this very moment. I am thankful for now and choose to not dwell on how I might feel later. My history with this illness proves that eventually I do get better. It just sometimes takes longer than I have the patience for.
It is being patient with myself that proves almost impossible. I want to feel well now. I needed to be better yesterday. The melancholy that plagues me is old and I have grown tired in having it. I know I must be grateful for the moments of relief I do have.
So many think I can just will myself better. No one can will themselves better. If I had the flu I wouldn’t will myself better. If it was that easy then why are so many of us depressed? No, it is a complex process and it requires self care. Caring for oneself always appears selfish, yet it is the one thing we can do to help with the depression.
It is what I am learning to do. Care for myself. Gently. Tenderly. Patiently. Very soon I will look back and this depression will be a distant memory.

Depression recovery "To Do" List

February 10th, 2009

I've been visiting some bipolar blogs and notice that a bunch of people are either depressed or manic right now, which is my prompt for this week's posts. The first is a Depression Recovery "To Do" List. I read Nancie's blog and started commenting about what I used to do when I was depressed to try to help it lift. My routine was too long for a comment, so I decided to post about it instead.

For those who regularly read my blog, you know my goals during my sickest years was to try and maintain normalcy for my family. What I've since realized is that this goal is helpful to people whether they are married or not. The 6 top items on my "To Do" list may not have staved off the depression, but it certainly made me feel like I was trying my very best to get well.

1. Every morning (or whenever you can), get out of bed, shower, brush your teeth, and get dressed. It's really important to do activities that are "normal" because it's a way of saying to yourself, "I will be well today." A few tips: Cold water helps reduce depression. While I could never bring myself to shower in cold water, I did buy one of the removable shower heads so that I could use cold water on my feet and head, and it does work.

2.Never remain in your pajamas. It's important to get dressed in a warm-up suit even if you plan on going back to sleep. Again, the statement you're making to yourself is: "I plan to be well sometime today."

3. Walk outside every day, even if it's just for 10 minutes. The sun on your face is very important. If it's not sunny, sitting outside is still better than sitting inside. When I was at my worst, I could use my uncle's walker to get outside, and I could lie on a lawn chair in our backyard. Even though I didn't feel better at first, doing that day after day had an impact.

4. Exercise. Again, even if you can only walk from your house or apartment into your yard or to the sidewalk on the street, movement is very important. In one of my worst depressions, I used my uncle's walker to get down our driveway. Also, I wore a hat and dark glasses in case my neighbors could see me, because my face looked so drawn (and here I was on this walker) that I figured I'd feel worse if I was the talk of the neighborhood. We have a very steep driveway, and by the time I reached the sidewalk, I was so done in, I had to sit on the sidewalk and rest.

As I sat there--almost in tears because I couldn't figure out how I was going to get back into the house--I started laughing because I felt so terrible I didn't know what else to do. And the more I laughed, the better I felt. Finally, after about 20 minutes, I summoned the strength to walk back up the driveway and into the house. As I remember, I then slept for the next four hours, but it was still a step towards recovery.

5. Eat healthy food. Whether you're nauseous, have a bad stomach, or feel just plain awful, there is always some healthy food you can eat. At my worst, I could always eat yogurt or soup. If you don't eat, you'll feel worse. Trust me, I've vomited as many times as any human on earth and I still forced myself to eat.

6. Send out an email. I always communicated with people every day--even during the worst depressions. But, even if you live alone, you need to let someone know you're alive and feeling bad. Email is a lifeline for the depressed.

Something to enjoy

February 9th, 2009

Sometimes I simply feel old and weary from fighting with my brain. I think we’d both like a cease fire but Madeline Albright is retired. As more emotions come to the surface the anxiety is increasing and I am becoming more sensitive to images and words. Experiences have a stronger impact on me. Violent images on TV and in the news are very disturbing so I am careful what I watch and read. A Buddhist monk said that just like food, we need to be vigilant of what ALL our senses ingest so that we avoid toxic substances. I am beginning to remember that I have always been sensitive to these things but forgot this while medicated.

One pleasure that I have gained back is the ability to spend time alone. On meds there was a feeling that this was somehow incorrect and I felt pushed to be around people. Now, I can happily spend time in my own company without the fear of isolating myself and becoming depressed. If I start to feel crappy it is an easy thing to pick up the phone and see a friend for coffee. I don’t understand why the doctors made my need to spend time alone as something that was unhealthy. Under the influence of medication it may have been but now it is simply something to enjoy.

What is Schizophrenia?

February 9th, 2009

Schizophrenia is characterised by hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are seeing or hearing things that are not really there but which are very real to the person with schizophrenia. Indeed, hallucinations can affect any or all of the senses. Delusions can be described as believing things which are not true despite being shown evidence to the contrary.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia can be divided into what are known as positive and negative symptoms.

Positive symptoms

• Hallucinations
• Delusions
• Disorganised and chaotic thoughts
• Agitation

Negative symptoms

• Lack of initiative and motivation
• Withdrawal from social contact
• Showing no emotion
• Apathy

There are also different types of schizophrenia. For example, paranoid schizophrenia (where the individual feels persecuted or grandiose), disorganised schizophrenia (incoherent and irrational), Catatonic Schizophrenia (expressionless and withdrawn) and Residual Schizophrenia (no interest in life). Someone can experience any or a combination of these types at the same time.

For an accurate diagnosis it is essential that you have all your symptoms evaluated by a qualified medical professional so that the right treatment can be offered.

Zero Anxiety

February 9th, 2009

When we are depressed or anxious having a good day can do so much for the healing of our suffering minds. We wait and wait, knowing it will eventually come. We fear we are to far gone for us to ever come back. Fortunately in time our conditions improves.

This was a great day for me. Nothing outstanding happen, it was just a day without the ravages of anxiety and depression. I have not had a complete day without anxiety in months. I can just be. I can enjoy my surroundings. I can relax. A day like this does help to cure my mind. It gives me confidence that better days are ahead. I really needed this and am grateful for it. My Thanksgiving has come early. I am quite thankful right now. Sure, there are still things I wish weren’t the way they were, but today I am not allowing them to bother me.

I wish everyone a delightful day!

Self help for depression

February 8th, 2009

The first thing to realise when looking at self help for depression is that the very nature of depression can make self help difficult. In this case, your best option is to get help from a trained professional.

However, if you feel up to helping yourself, here is a comprehensive list of what you need to do.

1. Get a good understanding of what depression is. Self help for depression is much more effective once you know what you are dealing with. Ensure you know clearly what is going on.
2. Regulate your sleep patterns. Get up no later than 8am and go to bed no later than 11.30pm, even if you can’t sleep. If you have problems getting up in the morning, get someone else to rouse you, or have a friend call.
3. Eat 3 meals a day, whether you are hungry or not, at the right times.
4. Ensure you get outside early to make sure you get enough bright light to help regulate your sleep patterns.
5. Do things to occupy your mind. If you have nothing to do all day, you will tend to ruminate over your problems.
6. If you are facing a big problem, make the decision to put off thinking about it for, say, 2 weeks, or whatever is appropriate in your case. If you cannot put it off, speak to someone else who you know to be a good practical problem solver.
7. Begin a ‘depression diary’. In this rate each day from 1 to 10, where 1 is the worst kind of day, and 10 the best. This will help break down the ‘all or nothing’ thinking that depression can cause.
8. Get as much exercise as you can. Make yourself walk briskly every day, at least. If you have any concerns about your health, see your doctor before beginning this. Research shows that exercise can lift depression.
9. Get some kind of relaxation during the day. If you know how to do meditation, self hypnosis, tai chi or some other mind-calming technique, do it. It will help reduce the physical effects of the depression greatly.
10. Start challenging your own thinking about things. If you find yourself thinking about things in a depressive way, deliberately think in a new way. A good way to do this is to write down the original thought, and then generate some alternatives.
11. Understand that depression is not part of you; it is due to a set of symptoms. These symptoms cause you to feel, think and act differently to normal. Once depression goes, things will be different. And when you have the skills to beat it, it is more likely to stay away.
12. Supplement your diet with pure high grade epa fish oil, this has been proven to help many people & seek nutritional advise to ensure that your diet is properly balanced.

My personal journey though depression

February 8th, 2009

From a very early age, I can remember being very agitated about some of the smallest things. What’s important to a child can of course be nothing of consequence to an adult, but at the time I can remember asking questions that seemed very important to me. Are we late? Is there going to be anybody there? I would be seriously worried about the outcome of the answer to would it rain on school sports day? What would we do? Would it be cancelled? If it didn’t rain, would everyone turn up? Did I look OK in my new sports strip? Were we on time? Being late for an occasion opened the door to a whole new set of worries. This sort of worrying may not sound too extreme, but I was only five or six years old.

As far as I can remember, my parents - who 99% of the time were great, never picked up on my excessive anxiety. I always felt fobbed off with a half-baked answer to most of my questions. I honestly feel that if it had been spotted and helped by them, then things may have been easier for me as a child. I’m conscious with all childrens today that childrens need lots of support and lots of love and reassurance from their parents & society.

One of the more unusual things I used to worry about in my teenage years was the weather. The weather, in particular the wind, used to send shivers down my spine. It caused me to worry and fret about the slightest little thing. As an adult I’ve done a lot of reading, but have never come across this particular problem – I call it Weather Affective Disorder. It’s a close cousin of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, except that while SAD only affects people for a few months of the year, WAD affected me all year round. It could be wind, rain or even the blue sky that bothered me.

Despite my anxieties as a child, I was very good at sport and problem solving – I was also very creative.

Paying for it

February 7th, 2009

I'm paying for having had a good day yesterday.

I've had no sleep, I feel very low, really depressed, and I've spent much of the night crying. Perhaps it's as well that I have psychotherapy today because maybe that will help. I certainly hope so because I really do not like feeling like this.


February 6th, 2009

Too many thoughts

February 5th, 2009

Things have not been good for a few days, maybe a week. I have been unable to stop thoughts they are bombarding me. Last week and before I enjoyed the energy, the entusiasm the alertness. Now I am tired. But it won't switch off. I have some thoughts. Thoughts I can't even write here, because I am not willing to share with some who may read, and not understand. I think I am confused unsure of what is real and what isn't. I think I may be insane. Because of my 'SECRET' my care coordinator is concerned. she says the thoughts in my head aren't rational and real. Today I stood on top of a multi-storey building looking down, wanting to jump not to kill myself but because in my head I think I am immortal and no one will believe until I proove it. I wanted to jump get up and walk off. I believ I would have.

I want the thoughts to slow down. But they don't. Nothing drowns them out not even loud music.

So I discussed with CC about going back on the Seroquel (quetiapine) which she thinks is a good idea. Stop things escalating.

Problem is I don't feel like me on them. I feel like a zombie. I don't have the thoughts because I have very little thoughts or reaction I just feel numb and spaced out. Also I don't actually feel I am ill. it's just the thoughts- they bombard me.

A typical wednesday

February 4th, 2009

Yes, it is a typical Wednesday morning. I woke at about 10.30am and found it impossible to get back to sleep so I have been watching a DVD.I still need to take my morning medication, but once that is done, all I have to do is finish getting dressed and I will be ready to set off for my psychotherapy session

Can you believe the stupidity of this?

Februray 3rd, 2009

Sometimes things happen that are almost impossible to believe.
This is one of those things.

To have it happen once is stupid, but for it to be repeated illustrates beautifully the old saying "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men". I guess that in this case the rule is definitely being obeyed by a fool!

Following the Doctor's orders

February 2nd, 2009

I've been very good and followed my doctor's instructions. I spent much of saturday and most of sunday in bed, I've taken the medication as prescribed, I've spent a lot of the time asleep, and today I am feeling a lot better.

It no longer feels as though I have golf balls in my throat and the cotton wool seems to have been taken out of my ears although there is some slight fuzziness in my hearing. The worst aspects of the cold seem to have disappeared for I no longer need to blow my nose every few minutes, but I have a cough which seems to explode from me every now and again and which has the ability to cause me to see stars and to become giddy and at risk of falling over if I am standing up.

This morning I have been out for a short walk to the local newsagent. Fortunately the wind has died down a little from that of last night and early this morning, and while it is not overly cold I did make sure that I was well wrapped up. I wasn't out for long, but this little bit of exercise has tired me out indicating how weak I have become over the last few days. I am sure that I will soon start to feel more normal again and that there will be no lasting ill-effects from these infections, but they have made me realise just how difficult it is being ill when you live on your own and have no family near by.

So the rest of today is going to be spent taking care of myself and trying to ensure that I am as fit as possible for tomorrow because I have an appointment with a video camera tomorrow afternoon and it won't look too good on the video if I am coughing and spluttering my way through my presentation.

Shiva Anna's Wedding Chronicles

February 1st, 2009

Shiva anna's wedding is held for 2 days. This is an occasion when all the near and dear ones come together to celebrate. Our Tamil community follows a simple living and it is reflected in their rites and rituals as well. As per the Tamilian calendar, a wedding cannot be held from the dates starting with (July 15th to August 15th), (September 15th to October 15th) and (December 15th to January 15th). The Tamilians also avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays, as they not considered auspicious.

Pre-Wedding Rituals
After the finalization of the match takes place, the pundit selects the auspicious day when the marriage can be held. On this day, a taambalam (a brass or bronze plate) filled with yellow bananas, coconuts along with betel leaf is placed on the dais where the function is to take place. The girl is gifted a patu (silk) sari. The boy is given new clothes or cash by the respective in-laws.

Bathing the Woman and Man with perfumed oils
This ritual takes place in the respective houses. Scented oils are applied and both the bride and bridegroom are encouraged to remain at their respective homes till the wedding takes place.

Welcoming the Bridegroom and his family
The groom’s family arrives one day in advance of the marriage day. They are welcomed with pomp, splendor and music with offerings of betel-leaf, fruits, flowers and sweets.
The 2 musical instruments which hold pride of place in a Tamil wedding are the Melam and the Naathaswaram which continue to play in the background.

Vritham (Tying the holy thread)
The sacred thread is tied around the bride’s wrist. The groom is meanwhile getting ready for the other marriage rituals.

Jaanavaasam (Welcoming of the bridegroom)
The bridegroom is welcomed inside the marriage venue. Musical instruments are played, there is dance and music. The bride’s relatives welcome the groom and his family.

Nicchiyadharatham (Engagement function)
Once the Ganesha puja is performed, the bride is applied a chandan and kumkum tilak. She wears the new sari given by the bridegroom’s family. She fills the pallu of her saree with the betel leaves, betel nut (supari), kumkum, coconut and flowers.
Rituals on the Wedding Day

Ceremonial bath
The ceremonial bathing takes place at early hours of the dawn on the marriage day. The aarti is done by the sumangalis of the house.

Praying to Gauri
After taking bath and dressing up, the bride offers her prayer to Gauriamma (Goddess Gauri) to grant both her and her husband peace and prosperity.

The bride on the dais
The bride is taken to the marriage dais by her maternal uncle.
Exchanging of garlands
The bride and bridegroom exchange garlands thrice. Colored rice balls are thrown in all the four directions to ward off any evil spirits. They are made to sit on the manavarai which is decorated with flowers.
The bride comes adorned in her traditional saree. The groom ties the mangalsootra (yellow sacred thread) around the neck of the bride. The marriage has culminated. The couple is escorted to the venue and they are shown the polestar and the Arundhati star. They are offered a sweet drink (made of jaggery, black pepper and cardamom in water).

My Brand New Friends

February 1st, 2009

Tharini, Manoshree & keerthana

Note 4

February 1st, 2009

“What you are is a question only you can answer.”

Favorite Quotes

January 31st, 2009

Reality is for those who lack imagination. - unknown

Happiness is just an illusion caused by the temporary absence of reality. - unknown

Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination. - Mark Twain

Sanity is a madness put to good use. - George Santayana

Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality. - Jules de Gaultier

Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage. - Ray Bradbury

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt

There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. - Aristotle

What does not destroy me, makes me strong. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It’s a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life. - Carrie Fischer

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. - Harvey Fierstein

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our greatest Glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confucius

You have to have a darkness … for the dawn to come. - Harrison Ford

Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success. - Brian Adams

When one lives without hope, the willingness to do is paralyzed… It is being disabled, not by illness or disease, but by despair. - Patricia Deegan, PhD.

Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. - Euripides

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. - Herm Albright

A friend’s eye is a good mirror. - Celtic Proverb

A kind word never broke anyone’s mouth. - Irish Proverb