Autism, Distrust of Doctors, and Mental Health Awareness Campaigns

Trigger warning: mentions suicide, too many times.

Recently Canada held its latest Bell Let’s Talk Day where people tweeted about mental health awareness and for every time #bellletstalk was tagged 5c was donated towards mental health services. Celebrities were especially vocal in getting the word out. William Shatner had tweeted about it with that hashtag about 12 twelve times before I even caught on. When I got the gist I was reminded of R U OK? Day, which we have in Australia so I thought I’d like to join in. But as I read through the many tweets they seemed to be statements I’ve heard many times before.

Such things like:

“because mental health is real.”

“it’s ok to not be ok.”

“it gets better.”

“all it takes is asking someone ‘are you ok?’ to make them feel better.”

It made it hard to post anything because I didn’t want to post anything too graphic or disturbing.

Eventually I went with: “Had rampant suicidal thoughts earlier but got through it. As always. Keep moving on” #nostigma #bellletstalk

40 minutes earlier I had constant suicidal thoughts and was in such a deep state of depression I couldn’t move. So, can you imagine how I felt for someone to write “it’s ok to not be ok?” Sure, it’s ok to not be ok…until you want to commit self-harm. It’s very hard for me to tell the difference between sadness and clinical depression, just like it’s hard for me to tell the difference between happy and hypomanic, and all those emotions in between.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great that people supported this and worked hard to end the stigma around mental illness, and drowned out the voices of the denialists and trolls, and I’m especially grateful for celebrities that helped get the word out to their millions of fans, but as someone who personally experiences mental health issues I felt like I wasn’t counted in the conversation. I’ve moved past the whole ‘mental illness is real’ thing and I just thought after all these years of mental health awareness we had reached the next step to actually talk about mental health; the symptoms, the heart ache and to actually engage with the suffering. That’s what was so important about #BellLetsActuallyTalk – it opened up the conversation to people with lived with mental health issues everyday. What started as people of colour having a say in a day they felt left out of, soon contributions from all ranges of minorities came in and real sufferers of mental health issues and I took the opportunity to spout all my frustrations with biased and incompetent doctors. I ended it with asking everyone whether disabled people with mental health issues were counted in #BellLetsActuallyTalk as well.

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All the Bell Let’s Talk stuff actually distracted me from what I planned to dedicate my entire Australia Day doing, and that was teaching people about Aboriginal Australians, especially their horrid history under English colonisation and their current situation in the communities but by the end of the day I actually didn’t want to change the date or even abolish Australia Day. But more on that later.

For years I have been dealing with doctors who wouldn’t take my concerns seriously. It’s hard enough to have poor communication skills from autism and difficulty even getting words out in a clear concise way because of chronic illness, but then having a doctor disregard it because they don’t think you’re even self-aware enough to know what’s going on, is frustrating and discourages me to keep going to the doctor when I even have physical health issues.

The very first time it happened was before I was even diagnosed with autism. It was along the way. I first thought I may have dyslexia and the psychologist I went to see was entirely dismissive and hit me with a severe depression and severe anxiety label – all from doing an IQ test. This was back in the day when dyslexia was only diagnosed to people with an IQ of 80 or under.  Another time was when I had a painful and constant tinnitus. The doctor looked in my ear and said I said some wax and left it at that. The same doctor was in complete denial when I thought I may have hypoglycemia and asked for a referral to see neurologist because I was having seizures. My psychiatrist didn’t believe me either and it took me a few years to realise that the reason was probably because I reported it as a side effect to Ritalin. The doctor who made me come to that realisation said that there wasn’t anything wrong with having extreme sensitivity to light, and said it’s better to wear sunglasses everywhere to protect my eyes from the sun. Medical professionals don’t like it when you say something nasty about those drugs they’re paid to prescribe you.

None of them were as dismissive as my psychiatrist though. I have cyclic moods, which is basically what I call undiagnosed symptoms of bipolar. My psychiatrist has refused to even asses me for it despite the fact that my symptoms were ruining my life. You can imagine what untreated bipolar looks like. For a long time I saw my mania as a positive too. I couldn’t really commit to a project unless I was manic because I had more energy and more ideas just popping into my brain. In those last days I took Ritalin I just take it to get manic. I could cut a pill in half and still become manic but 20mg (less than 10 year olds are dosed with) was what I’d take to have complete wild ride and often ended up with me going into psychosis and an intense teeth grinding session.

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This photograph is a trigger.

Being deprived of the treatment I needed, my mum not believing me as much as my psychiatrist put me into a deep depression and I even used to tell him when I felt suicidal, right at that moment. I’d tell my mum that I felt so suicidal that I’d run out onto the busy road just outside the medical centre, and I was just ignored.

So I gave up. I gave up asking for help, for anything. I embraced my mania and it took a long time to see it as a negative. I let a GP put me back on anti-depressants so I could actually leave my house without having PTSD triggering and kill the delusional thoughts. It worked but 3 weeks later they made me hypomanic. I stayed on them for a year or two then thought it was probably best to have less hypomanic episodes, so I stopped taking the meds and now have less hypomanic episodes but now deal with short but intense depressive episodes.

For the 6-7 years I’ve been aware of my mental health issues I’ve had to develop my own coping mechanisms to deal with them and stay positive about where my life is heading, and just keep getting through everyday. There were no social lessons after my autism diagnosis. I’ve been teaching myself how to read body language, mimic it and how to start and keep conversations going and everything about social customs, except hierarchies because fuck that shit. I can learn social skills, apply them but I’m not joining the collective consciousness that tells you what’s a suitable subject to like, or a suitable way to dress and to only surround yourself with suitable people. If you’ve ever made fun of someone for liking a subject you felt was too nerdy or strange, or laughed at the way they dressed, or thought yourself smarter than them then you are a part of that consciousness.

Likewise, I’ve had to learn similar ways about how to minimize my symptoms of mental illness. It’s been less about learning things from others – although everything I’ve learned from social behaviour can help me regulate my own emotions around them – but is more about employing self-therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy or using the only helpful advice a psychologist told me about anxiety: the thoughts are in no way based in reality.

My seizures and hypoglycemia are controlled through strict dieting; no caffeine, very little alcohol, nothing high in sugar or salt. Because of my often low blood sugar I have to eat small meals every 1-2 hours, sometimes I can get away with not eating until 4 hours later. But if I put off eating when I begin to feel weak and light headed I can end up fainting, but usually just experience a lot of pain, particularly in the stomach and arm muscles. And migraines.

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Getting back to mental health awareness campaigns, I think they’re helpful, needed but they need to expand. They need to work out a way to include everyone who suffers from mental health issues and let people tell their stories. Every R U OK? Day I tell people to share their experience with mental illness. At first it was something I just ranted about but it took off and I just thought this isn’t such a bad thing to do. R U OK Day? is usually a day when people are encouraged to ask people ‘are you ok?’ and it angers me because they’re just doing it because they got told to, and they’re just going around asking everyone that. The day is actually about opening up the conversation on mental health so I’ve hijacked the day to encourage everyone going through mental illness to share their story, current feelings and where they think mental health awareness should be heading.

There was another mental health awareness campaign launched in Australia called Mental As. The ABC showed a range of programmes centered on various mental health issues from all walks of life. It was a great way to spread mental health awareness by showing how it affects a variety of people, like comedians, actual residents in a mental institution and people who were living normal lives that were disrupted by suddenly developing bipolar disorder, but there was a strong emphasis on mental illness being overcome or people handling their bipolar on medication. Happy endings are great and all but they don’t reflect the reality for many people in low socio-economic areas who can’t access or afford the services they desperately need, and don’t forget about what I said about biased doctors earlier.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director of the University College London’s Institute of Health and Equity, says that mental health issues are caused by the conditions of a lower working class, unemployment and lack of government spending towards public healthcare, and I think that can be true sometimes but I think for many of us those mental health issues are separate; genetic or triggered by the environment, and not just in the way Marmot thinks. I can certainly pinpoint the exact moments my mental health issues triggered because of environment stressors. I can give the date, time, location and even say what the type of weather was when my PTSD developed, but cannot give you any specifics of the actual event. Most of my anxiety and cyclic mood-like symptoms are basically permanent side effects to medication which is why I’m strongly opposed to drugs, all forms of medication except for codeine for severe muscle pain I experience.

But I’m not completely denying what Marmot says. Being low class and unemployed certainly adds to the stress and therefore exacerbates the symptoms of mental illness. I certainly experienced more suicidal thoughts when Tony Abbott proposed changes to the disability support pension and made all recipients under 35 years get re-assessed. Not one day went by when I didn’t feel extreme anxiety or depression. I even had a suicidal plan. My financial anxiety often got to that point in 2015. I actually became so manic that my words became unintelligible. It was my anxiety experienced during the assessment interview that made them decide to keep me of the DSP. And now with the Turnbull government forcing me to into work that has me two days a week looking for jobs that I don’t have stamina to do and none of the social skills the employer expects, I feel a mixture of anxiety, suicidal thoughts, apathy, and complete contempt of my job network consultants who are nothing but pawns of a Gilliard government plan to kick 400,000 disabled people off their pensions and into low paid work. They get no respect from me.

They could take a leaf out of the Centrelink whistleblower’s books and risk losing their jobs by doing the honorable thing and tell the public how much pressure the government wants them to put on people on disability and the dole to just get a job; bullying and  threatening to cut them off their payments at any sign of resistance. And believe me there’s a lot. Not a day goes by where not at least one person argues who gets passively aggressively talked down, or they end up storming out and risk getting their payment suspended.

There’s another source to my anxious and suicidal thoughts: Centrelink are through the Turnbull Liberal government using an automated system developed by the Labor government to weed out welfare cheats by comparing payments with income statements, and after they’ve found ‘evidence’ of the over payments they send out a letter declaring someone one welfare pay back up to $3000-$20,000 in over over payments. Problem is most of these declarations are false. It’s been proven that people either owe less or don’t owe any money at all, and at least 280,000 have received such letters, and the government has extended its number of victims to people on the aged care and disability support pension. People have already become suicidal over it but what do you expect will happen when they target people who are already dealing with suicidal thoughts? Now doing something as simple as checking the letter box gives me panic attacks.

So, there’s a lot more involved than just asking for help for mental health issues. Some people ask for help only to have their concerns shrugged off by doctors and there’s those who can’t even afford to get the right care, especially in Australia where GPs are refusing to bulk bill and the government tries more and more sneaky ways to privatize Medicare. I’m fortunate that I live close to a medical centre that still bulk bills. But with all the extra pressures of living with pre-existing mental health issues and living on handouts below the poverty line in low socio-economic areas with crime, deeply set racism, job instability and rising rates of unemployment and fearing that things will just get so much worse, there’s not a lot of hope people can have to receive treatment for their mental health issues even if they do ask for help.

UPDATE:

At the moment I am seeing a GP who is taking my concerns about having mitochondrial disease and chronic fatigue seriously. He has even given me bipolar assessment questions and has even tried to reassure me of my anxiety about having a blood test taken. And I’m finally looking into my foot pain from having very flat feet. It’s such a breath of fresh air to finally have a doctor that will listen to my concerns.

xSpycraft

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My Latest Breakdown

Trigger warning: Brief mention of suicidal thoughts. 

A few months ago I got a large letter in the post from Centrelink. For those not in Australia Centrelink is an unemployment service that provides payments to those who are struggling financially to make ends meet. In these last couple of years my psychiatrist had recommended I go on the disability support pension to take the stress off me from applying for jobs. And it was stressful. I would apply for ten jobs a fortnight, hear back from few employers for an interview and then be left waiting in nervous nail-biting anticipation to find out whether I got the job or not. I’d get a call but it was more for being told they went with someone else and that maybe I should try to be less nervous during interviews.

Being on the disability support pension did take the edge off. Unfortunately, I suffered worse mental health issues in that time and now I think I really depend on the pension to be able to live away from home. It’s a pity though because there was a point in my mid-twenties when everything seemed to be working out for me. I was so driven to succeed in any way I could. I was able to learn anything I put my mind to. I was medicated to focus, be motivated to do any dull task without giving it a second thought and I was hell bent on becoming a famous author, or a physicist, or even the first female combat pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force. But then the truth was finally revealed, which I’ve been writing about for a long time – it was just mania and I had developed bipolar disorder.

I’ve been thinking about that for a long time because I’ve still not received proper medical treatment for it which just seems dangerous and counterproductive to my future plans. I also at times struggle to see mania as a bad thing. Why did the great authors, artists and a few composers find success despite their bipolar when all it does to me is destroy my relationships, empty out my bank account and make it impossible for me to commit to an artistic project or anything else I’ve wanted to accomplish. Another obstacle in seeking treatment as it’s made me a much more sociable person. I used to be quiet, withdrawn and low on energy. Now I’m usually sociable, a chatter box really, and have bursts of intense energy for a few hours, sometimes a few days.

But all this combined with severe ADHD and severe anxiety and the eventual depression that always follows mania, has shown me that I’m more unfit for work than ever before. I may feel like I have more energy but I’m too impulsive and distracted to stick with any task. The only work I’ve been successful doing is volunteering for a music website called The Dwarf as a live band photographer. October has been my busiest month and I’ve been shooting bands non-stop and when I haven’t been shooting them I’m editing photos for days on end, to the detriment of my own physical health.

That letter from Centrelink was a review form for my disability pension support payments, and according to my psychiatrist this meant that the Prime Minister just wanted to kick people off the pension and send them to work. My much nicer translation is they were going through the list of people on the pension, under 35, with a fine-tooth comb, seeing who belonged on the pension and who didn’t. I was a red flag for them because I’m only down as has Asperger’s syndrome, and I’ve been getting letters saying that I could still participate in work, even if it’s just volunteering and I could even be trained up. Actually, there are going to be more services to train autistic people to get them into jobs. And all this time I thought the government didn’t care about us? That was sarcasm.

There were a few hiccoughs getting this form filled out. For starters the second part of the form had to be filled out my doctor and at this time I didn’t want to see my psychiatrist. He’s ignored my plea to be assessed for a mood disorder so many times, even when my mood journal was plastered with suicidal thoughts. At this time I was desperate for a diagnosis and medication. I had stopped taking Ritalin full time late last year and my depression and anxiety was very hard to deal with, to not alter my own personality. What I mean by that is I listened to the thoughts and believed them and my mind and lifestyle was changed to accommodate for those thoughts. Since I went on anti-depressant medication it’s been easier to see those thoughts as merely symptoms and they don’t become a part of me. At first the medication completely dulled my mood or rather equalized them which felt like losing my personality, and then I adjusted. Then the mood issues came back.

Previously to finding this form in my mailbox I had successfully been able to keep my suicidal thoughts at bay. But because of the fact that if this form was not handed in I could have lost my pension this played on the most severest of my anxieties – financial instability. It goes like this: if I don’t have enough money to buy food then suddenly I see myself living on the streets and eventually dying. My poor sister has witnessed my many panic attacks over paying rent when I didn’t feel secure enough with the amount of money in my account. This anxiety turns to blaming everyone for causing the anxiety (sorry sis) and feeling like rampaging through the streets because anxiety and anger mixed together gives one a lot of manic energy. You just have to smash, throw, yell it out of you. But all I smash is my possessions, sometimes expensive and rare sci-fi paraphernalia. I throw my possessions too. And I yell at the air.

But then the suicidal thoughts came back, and not just feeling worthless but planning how and when to commit suicide. Then I found another way to want to stay alive. It has to do with not wanting to make a friend hurt over the suicide over a friend all over again. But I still have to deal with very intense suicidal thoughts even if I don’t plan on killing myself, and it’s a horrible thing to go through every couple of days.

So, me and my sister went searching for a new psychiatrist but time was running out to hand these forms in so I had to wait hours in Centrelink waiting to just see someone, because on calling their hotline made me extremely anxious because I didn’t know how to follow the prompts given to me by a robotic voice. In the waiting area at Centrelink I every half hour discretely ate a snack so I didn’t have a hypoglycemic attack. I still did and felt really weak, dizzy and had blurred vision where I’d just stare around like most autistic people do when they’re under stress. My anxiety was intense too and I started to get in my angry ranty mood where my thoughts turned to violence. I was kind of seeing the worst case scenario in my head. I think it ended with me being institutionalized.

I got the extension on the time to hand in the form but it was recommended I see a doctor who knew me well. That meant going back to mood disorder-denying ‘you just have to work and socialse more to overcome your anxiety/depression/mania’ biased as f**k psychiatrist. Fine. So, I called him up. The next appointment fell on the day my form had to be handed in. Now I don’t know why I didn’t ask for another extension after that, even just one more day, but I didn’t. I’m starting to think I make myself paranoid on purpose. Just so I worry about everything falling apart constantly so everything turns out fine in the end. And now I need to find some wood to knock on.

Basically, if one thing went wrong then the end of the world would come. I even started to refer to October 20, the day of the deadline, as the day the world ends. I think this is why I overcommitted to my band photography. On one hand I was glad that I finally could get to shoot the kind of shows I wanted to, on the other I could lose all this if I was to be cut from the pension, have my payments sliced in half and most of my time taken up by applying for jobs or working in a field I was not even remotely passionate about. I even have myself a bit of a fan following. People have told me it’s a waste of my talent to not do band photography. Even my ex was happy to hear I was still doing it. Nah. It’s not like that. We still mates.

For a few weeks I was able to ignore the looming deadline but in that last week my anxiety skyrocketed and I was still shooting shows and editing photos up to the day of my appointment with my psychiatrist and the end of the extension. And then it rained.

The appointment went fine actually. In the waiting room my writer’s block that triggered every time I thought about filling in my part of the form had miraculously disappeared and I scribbled down a bunch of answers. During the appointment I talked non-stop in nervous-manic energy as my psychiatrist filled out his part of the form, replying with the odd ‘mmhmm,’ to show he was listening to my ramble. I kept talking about my mood disorder symptoms of course, including my impulsive spending which he played down by saying I was buying things I needed – sure, I was just spending thousands instead of waiting until I could really afford to spend that much.

Afterwards, I was briskly walking to Wollongong Centrelink in the rain. I had scoped out two Centrelink buildings before my appointment – as I had arrived more than 1 hour early – to put my mind more at ease. The people inside this Centrelink were nice and friendly, compared to the rush-shove too serious service I get from my local one in Leichardt. I was told that I could leave my form there and that everything will be alright.

Finally satisfied that I was given some clarification about my payments continuing I celebrated my buying underwear, socks and a checkered jacket for only $12.50.  I had one of the most scrumptious Mexican lunches at one restaurant too. And as soon as I arrived at the train station there was a train going to the city waiting for me. I even got to catch the bus home, which was free instead of me forking out some $20 for a taxi home. So, things just seemed to fall in place for me that day.

I thought this meant the breakdown was over but I was wrong. That night I was exhausted and being used to this after dealing with stressful situations I just went with it. But the following day’s things didn’t get better. It was hard to adjust to my normal daily life and I fell into a comfort zone where I didn’t try to push myself more. I thought maybe I needed it after going through months of extreme anxiety, but it was hard to break out of. I didn’t even want to go to another show to photograph a band or edit the remaining band photos. I procrastinated writing this blog post for a very long time. I began to watch a lot of TV or spend most of my time on Facebook.

I’m not even sure if things are better now. I’ve decided to plan my days thoroughly so I won’t have large chunks of the day where I’ve got nothing to do so spend them watching TV or saying stupid things on Facebook. I think my afternoon vodka drinking session which of course made me more manic yesterday taught me that I needed to get more control over my life and especially my emotions, which meant fighting against those impulsive desires. I never been good at avoiding impulses because they’re impulses – you act on them before you even know you are – but if I commit to something that needs more focus and thus requires me to take more focus aides (fish oil) then there may be less opportunity for these impulses to surface at all. And I have decided to put all leisurely activities as lesser priorities, which means TV and internet leisure time happens at the end of the day.

So, I’m looking forward to getting more organised and focusing more on my art, which now means Christmas cards or perhaps a nice canvas painting as a gift. I’m not sure. I haven’t done it in ages. It’s my natural talent but I still need to practice it to create some real masterpieces.

I’m also hoping I get to photograph my favourite band from my childhood, The Living End, this Friday and again on the 6th of November. Then after that I’ve got a few more gigs to shoot and also a visit from my mum. I do like to keep busy. I’ve been walking a lot more too to help with mood and focus. And I have another appointment with Centrelink next month to keep me on my toes, somewhat literally. I’m just going to keep on doing my photography, playing my therapeutic video games, and having Christmas with my family. Next year is about taking my photography professional. I need to learn more about taking promotional band photos though. I think I’d do better with getting a professional photographer friend acting as my mentor rather than studying in a classroom. My untreated moods, ADHD and my more anti-social symptoms would make it an impossible task to accomplish.

revealed, which I’ve been writing about for a long time – it was just mania and I had developed bipolar disorder.

Stigma? What Stigma?

Hey peeps! Look who’s back writing another blog post. I told you I would. So, I’ve been following the ABC’s coverage of mental health awareness on TV and on social media and I’ve been impressed with the many forms of awareness they are using. After all, we all experience it differently. They’ve taken a ‘mental illness is an everybody thing’ approach to it, which I do understand – we all like to relate to each other – but for some of us mental illness can be genetic and our type of mental illness does not affect everyone. Some of us – ok me – believe that this type of mental illness is non-recoverable and it’s there for life and we’ve just got to deal with it the best we can. Of course, recovering from any mental illness is a difficult road to go down. I’ve had various forms and severities of social anxiety for most of my life. It took my voice away in childhood. And I still have some non-inherited forms of mental illness to overcome like PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder.

So, what is this inherited form of mental illness, I hear you say? Well, it’s a mood disorder, most likely bipolar 2. It triggered in my early 20s after I took any type of prescription med. I’m not here to criticize the Pharmaceutical industry. The medication worked for what it was designed for, it’s just that it did something else, which doesn’t happen to all people, just people with a family history of mood disorders. So kids: always look at your family medical history before taking drugs, especially the ones your teacher says you should be on.

Bipolar is my newest constant companion, together with autism and ADHD I really don’t know what each day will be like. I can wake up one morning and have little energy and at some part of the day or night be unable to contain my energy. I randomly go on spending sprees, say things to people I forget and commit to things without giving it much thought. Then at some point in an extreme exhausted state I may crash into a deep dark depression. Even writing about it changes my mood state so I’ve got to be careful.

First, negative thoughts seep in after days of over confidence. I go from thinking everything is possible and everyone loves me to doubts about my abilities to questioning who my friends really are. Then comes the pessimism and a cynical view of the world and the cruelest sarcasm towards people you could ever think I was capable of. And then I just keep sliding down, down, down. To the point I become incapable of making myself meals or can even get out of bed. My mind turns on a loop of very vivid thoughts of suicide; the moment before, the act and me gazing down at the world following my suicide. Then after a couple of hours I cycle out of it. I become hypomanic again. It’s an all-round positive mood, energetic and ready to give the world a big giant bear hug.

I know a few people who have actually had their friends commit suicide and it made me feel very uncomfortable and guilty to be around them and hear them going through that mourning process. I never used to empathise with people when thinking suicidal thoughts and people’s poor choice of words to comfort or encourage a deeply depressed person to rethink their decision didn’t help either. I couldn’t see things from the point of view of a suicide survivor and copped a lot of abuse for that. But I’m used to it. My old blog was trolled so much I had to delete it but I’m back and expecting it now so whatevs.

Then, when I became deeply depressed again, despite being on anti-depressants, I started to think about one friend in particular who had lost a friend who I didn’t want to upset again if I did kill myself. And I certainly didn’t want my friends and family to develop a mental illness because of the shock of my own suicide. Before I didn’t think they’d be a shock because I talked about it so much – I even think I wrote a status update that was an equivalent to a suicide note. Luckily, a few friends got behind me and started to encourage me and I felt better.

Now when deeply depressed, if I can’t avoid falling into it through constant gigging, playing video games, watching comedy and sci-fi, I will just experience it and focus more on the physical pain than emotional. Once I get control over my mind I can push my emotions in any direction. So, I will deny my depressed thoughts and just try to focus on the next mood cycle. I wouldn’t do this if I had unipolar depression but because I’m also a rapid cycler telling myself the feelings are just temporary works for me. So far.

I think in order for people to really grasp what bipolar is about I need to talk about my manic symptoms. First, I’ll explain the differences between hypomania and mania. Hypomania is the milder state but it’s a higher than usual ‘happy’ state to be in. You’re very motivated to do things, you might get a few creative ideas you’d like to try out and you want to be around people more. Together with the motivation and creative ideas you’ve got the energy to get everything done and you don’t even require that much rest or sleep.

Mania is the more serious state. I can only tell I’m manic by the wired-like stimulated state of my brain. I have non-stop racing thoughts, overflowing with 10 to 200 creative ideas I must accomplish NOW! I’m restless and anxious and my skin tingles in discomfort. Sounds are louder, lights are brighter- every sense is turned up way loud. This is the state you become delusional and psychotic in. You have higher ideas. You feel like you are enlightened and that everyone else is intellectually inferior to you. They can’t see what you can see. They’re stuck in this stiff collared world of facts and reason, and not into the Jungian dream-like utopia that you slipped in through the smallest crack in the universe. You have more energy than you’ve ever dreamed of and your legs don’t stop moving for days. You’ll pay for it later. You know depression will come but you tell yourself you’ll be like this forever, although, to be honest, you just want to go back to hypomania.

It’s not always so positive though. Mania and hypomania have an opposite evil twin. It’s sometimes called dysphoria or dark mania – it’s the ugly pessimistic and paranoid face of bipolar. Much of it is mixed with symptoms of anxiety and depression, though I’m still unsure if this is what constitutes a ‘mixed episode.’ You snap and yell and rant at people. At worst you have paranoid delusions about them. You’re impatient, anxious, losing confidence in yourself but still have a flair of arrogance about you. You still have all the energy of mania but all positivity is gone. This is actually the most dangerous state to be in because if feeling suicidal you’re impulsive enough to do it. You’re definitely ‘not in your own mind.’ People can become violent when like this.

Above I said mania was like a drug and indeed it is but no one goes on a constant high for days or months without making some mistakes. Those can be overspending, sharing your delusional ‘enlightened’ ideas with people, just ranting and raving and ending up in places you can’t remember how you got to. There’s a trail of destruction you’ve either got to clear up or run away from. You interact with a lot of people during this time, people who you may have to see again when you return to normal, unless you’re rapid cycling – if that’s the case then you’re probably going to repeat the same mistakes again.

In my first year of taking Ritalin for ADHD every dose made me manic, from at least day two of taking the drug. So I spent a whole year basically manic. Depression never came because I’d just take another dose. Eventually it did hit at the end of the year where I was also experiencing clusters of seizures. I was just waiting to die basically. I’d come up with some wild themes for my science fiction stories and books on Jung or Synchronicity took my mind into a new and exciting realm. It was incredible but it wasn’t real. Some of my delusions were very damaging to my mental health. I became obsessed with people, people I acted like I knew well and was destined to be with. That is one place I do not want to go to again. I thought I would never recover but my medication for anxiety has helped make that world disappear. I finally feel sane again.

The title of this post is kind of confusing but what I mean by that is before I was even aware there was such a stigma around mental illness, well, I sort of always talked about it as though I was talking about a hobby. I find psychology and neuroscience to be fascinating subjects and my underdeveloped social skills could not pick up that I may have been making people feel uncomfortable. I actually had to be told by someone that people might not want to be around me if I kept talking about it. Then after I was trolled severely after writing many manic fueled blog posts before I even realised that I could even be bipolar, I decided maybe I’ll just cut back on posting about mental illness and ADHD and autism. But lately I’ve been thinking censoring myself and giving in to the stigma just makes the stigma of mental illness even stronger and I felt better being open and honest about all my mental health issues and atypical neurological wirings. So, while I still may be aware that I’m making people uncomfortable I can just ignore it and keep on talking, or writing. It’s not like anyone will tell me when I make them feel uncomfortable.

October is even ADHD Awareness Month and because I’ve been unable to write my blog about inattentive ADHD, I’ve just been posting a few things on social media. I will eventually write that post though.

I also find educating myself about my illnesses, neurological disorders and other ailments makes me develop the best coping skills for dealing with them. I’m untreated bipolar only on anti-depressants for my severe anxiety, so the only treatment I can do is problem solving skills. Okay so I may have spent $300 or more in the last week and I’ve been mouthing off/ranting a lot and my upcoming gig list keeps growing because I’ve finally got the opportunity to photograph what bands I want, even the ones I need media access to, and not just photographing bands keeps me sane, but the preparation keeps me looking forward to something. Then there’s my recently reignited video game addiction which I really think helps keep my depression from triggering. I just get exhausted now which is ok. I’d rather have the tiredness and lack of motivation that comes with depression without any of the emotions.

So, this is me. A life of mental illness and unique brain structure. There’s no stigma here. It’s just my life. It’s wild, it’s messy, sometimes boring, other times exciting, scary, frustrating and then something unexpected happens.

What is and What is not a Choice in Depression

Robin Williams’s suicide has sparked many fascinating debates, from the need to break the stigma behind depression to just treating others with kindness. The debate I was surprised by and even a little cynical about was the debate regarding whether the act of suicide is a choice or not.

I feel for Robin’s family; they have lost a father, a husband and here are complete strangers arguing whether or not his suicide was a choice. I wish I didn’t have to take part but I have this compulsion to set people right, and I hope I can delicately put forward my argument and share some facts about my ongoing struggle with depression.

I’m grateful that people are being more open minded about depression but in doing so I think some people have confused the hopelessness in depression with a lack of willpower. I’ve actually been able to achieve many impossible feats while under severe mental illness or neurological disorder symptoms when exercising the muscle of willpower. I’ve managed to delay meltdowns, seizures and push myself through blood sugar crashes. I’ve stood up to crippling anxiety – although, I usually do fall victim to it – and I’ve avoided giving into impulses. My willpower has never been more needed than during intense and continuous suicidal thoughts.

A few years ago I discovered a book about cognitive behavioural therapy which is basically replacing negative and irrational thoughts with more positive ones. I took the information to heart and began to change the way I thought. Now it is a much needed defense in my fight against my mental illnesses. However, there are times when I’m more focused on the negative and am incapable of thinking more positive thoughts. The longer I’m in my depressed or anxious thoughts the more likely I will become aware that I need to utilize some CBT thoughts to help deal with my feelings. Now when I am starting to doubt myself or even when I am angry at someone and I think I hate them, I can backtrack and decide, no, I’m just angry at them.’ That is all CBT is.

I have felt some deeply intense suicidal thoughts since 2008 and even though I’m on anti-depressants they won’t go away. During the day I may be ok but when the medication wears off the thoughts seep through. The medication does nothing to control my mania and if I give completely into it and allow it to overtake me and make me spend impulsively and do all those other self-destructive habits one does in the middle of a manic episode then I will become deeply depressed again, and often suicidal. Even when I’m in a good mood I know that I have a suicidal plan. When into the middle of a depressive episode it just feels like the plan will go into effect any day now.

But time and time again I have decided to not go forward with that plan. This isn’t moderate depression, this is severe hate and loathing and misery and no one loves me and my life is hopeless and it’s just easier if…It’s serious stuff. But I go through the pain and I come out better on the other side. Sometimes after my mood lightens I’ll still be thinking mild to moderate suicidal thoughts, unless I blank those thoughts out of my mind.

So, how can suicide not be a choice when I’ve made the choice to keep living? Do you want to know what I’m still living for? Most times it’s so I can see and photograph a band. Seems silly but many times when I’ve seriously considered suicide I will then think ‘but I’ll never get to see so and so again.’ Other times it’s been my nephews. I’ve actually written out notes apologizing to them why I did it. Sometimes the physical pain is too much for me to go through. But there’s always been something else, a need to keep pushing on. I’m not in best situation. I’m unemployed and I’m unsure how much longer I’ll be eligible for the disability pension. Obviously, I need to stay on it but I’m not sure if my government will agree. I struggle with social skills and feel doubtful about getting into a romantic relationship which is what I focus on a lot when I’m depressed. And I’m living with family members and don’t know if I’ll ever be completely independent to live on my own. I’ve also got physical health problems as well as mental, and without my ADHD medication I feel stupid and that I can’t reach my potential. So, when I become severely depressed I’m focused on all those issues and I just feel it’s too much – and tell myself ‘I have a good reason to kill myself.’ Then I come down from depression and just keep going on with life.

Now I am in the ‘suicide is a choice’ camp but I feel there are certain moments in depression where one has less of a choice. There’s the extreme tiredness and lethargy, not to mention apathy you get where you can’t even get out of bed. You lose your appetite and so can barely eat. Positive thoughts become harder if not impossible to achieve. When you can eat it’s hard to make a big healthy meal for yourself so you stick with what takes the shortest time to prepare. Around people you give short terse replies and may even snap at them. And then when you feel overwhelmed you can’t stop the meltdown. You might have planned going out weeks ago with friends but now you just don’t care and can’t psyche yourself up to go or even want to go.

I’ve dragged myself out to live music gigs when depressed. On the bright side I wasn’t terribly anxious as usual, but was angry, impatient and was so absorbed in my own ruminating thoughts that I almost got hit by a car. I would look at the crowds of people especially those in groups and just be annoyed. I would drink alcohol and get even more depressed. I’d become paranoid and feel abandoned and yet I would still drink more. I may come out of it if my photos were turning out the way I was expecting, or I’d remain depressed and leave the gig early.

Even then I would have a choice to not drink, to distract myself and turn my thoughts to something more positive. It’s difficult but not impossible. I was actually at a gig where I chose the foolish decision to drink but it did cheer me up, but my friend stayed depressed, and so only one of us enjoyed ourselves.

The only time depression has seemed impossible to control was depression brought on by a hormone imbalance. I had one of the worst weeks with getting up every morning to make sure my cat didn’t defecate in the shower, and then I had to put up with people arguing while trying to fight my own chronic feelings of depression. I actually came very close to committing suicide because I just wanted it to stop. I have been through worst periods of depression though. Having to deal with a mood disorder and a hormone disorder is like a double threat though.

I deal with other symptoms that seem uncontrollable. I have bipolar mania which makes me terribly impulsive. During the last episode I spent too much money and gave into the mania too much so when I did crash into depression it was brutal, but it passed. I actually wasn’t sure when it would end. I even considered suicide too. It was strange to me because I was taking anti-depressants. This time I’m controlling my mania by not instantly giving into impulses, even something as simple as craving food. That’s where it all starts. I be very careful when deciding my next purchases. Yes, there have still been times where it feels my brain is into control of me but I’m still able to fight against this. When I do slip though I try not to be angry at myself. I tell myself, ‘Yes, you got a bit out of control there, said some things you’d probably regret, but just stop here before it gets any worse.’

I used to lose a lot of control of my emotions too but now I take my time to respond to someone or not before I lose them for life. I used to cut ties with friends to save them from my manic rants. I’ve got better control of my anger now, or rather, I can avoid exploding at them and keep those thoughts in my head, then the little CBT officer in my head will try to soothe the angry irrational side of me.

While I do think suicide is a choice it’s more a choice people make when they feel they have no other choice left. Right now I’m choosing to keep my depression at bay while slowly releasing my mania or hypomania and not letting it out all at once or letting it do whatever it wants, so I don’t crash so hard again. And even if I do crash hard again I probably won’t end up killing myself, even when it’s the only thing on my mind.

I think I understand where people are coming from though. Suicide is a very emotional topic especially if you have experienced it. What I’ve seen a lot of lately is people reading into the statement ‘suicide is a choice’ in their own way, and it probably brings up memories of people once telling them or others it’s a selfish act which then makes them think of what most of us think of when we say someone is selfish – narcissistic really – but the selfishness in suicide is far from that. It’s like saying an autistic person is selfish. I’m autistic and I sometimes feel like I’m selfish because I don’t consider peoples emotions at first. But that is the way I’m wired. I work hard to gain more empathy but even when deeply depressed and thinking of suicide that empathy is hard to reach. What I really think people do is focus on those words and only interpret them in the way they’ve always been told them.

So, I hope now people understand by what we mean when we say suicide is a choice. Just being factual really. I’m more of a logical person than an emotional one. Like a Vulcan really. You have to make an act to kill yourself, usually when you just want to end your pain, but it’s still involves making the decision to take those pills, hang that rope or cut with that knife. When deeply depressed my choice has always been: watch a comedy until you start feeling better.

It’s Time to Focus on the Important Things In Life

Sorry guys, I kind of left you hanging after I wrote the last blog post, with its whole ‘I don’t know what to do with my life’, ‘anxiety rules me’ and ‘maybe it’s just better if I -‘

The good news is I finally went to a doctor and got on some medication. How did that happen so quickly? It took me two years to muster up enough courage to nag someone to drive me to the doctor’s office and in about 10-15 minutes of seeing my new GP I get the medication I wanted and desperately needed for all those years.

The medication is Aropax/ Paxil/ Paroxetine, an SSRI anti-depressant, also used to treat anxiety. I was so anxious when talking to my doctor I couldn’t explain everything, but I said far more than I have ever said to a doctor when I had to see them alone. I had my iPad resting on my lap as I was skimming through a rather detailed list of mental health problems I had written down. It was all written down so formally it still makes me chuckle.

I didn’t really want to write another post until I was two weeks into this medication regime – it’s only been five days. But I have been struggling to know what to focus my mind on now. I still have am very much into my special interests but I’m also feeling rather skint, though to others I’m not. For the non-Australians/ British, skint just means being low on money. Everyone in Sydney seems to be saying it. I picked it up from my Funeral For a Friend forum buddies and obsessively watching Doctor Who and Torchwood. Usually, I read a couple of MARVEL and Star Trek fact files but I’ve had to cut back and just make do with the comic books I have now, which is a lot. Maybe when I feel better I’ll do more reading. I want to read all the movie tie-in books the the original Stargate motion picture, and possibly a few books from the TV series.

When I started taking Aropax I felt like it was only half working. I’m still taking a very low dose, but it feels like I still get some anxiety, depression and even the higher moods. I’m still a bit hyper today but not ridiculously though. A few days on I started to get the lethargic and apathetic feeling (to be honest, I felt like I didn’t want to be around people at all – which makes me worried because SSRI’s are known to make people feel homicidal – or I should really stop taking what I read on the internet seriously) but then I countered this by taking a 2000mg fish oil supplement, which since taking Ritalin has given me an awake stimulant feeling. I’ve been taking it for a few years to help me be more motivated and focused in place of taking stimulant medication. It works just as well, albeit with a shorter half-life but it doesn’t make me manic or rapid cycling.

That brings up another point. I no longer think I have bipolar disorder. My reasoning is that anti-depressants seem to be doing their job without throwing me into mania. Yes, I have had a few symptoms that make me think of mania, at least hypomania, but I’m still on just half a pill so a few of the old mood symptoms could be bleeding through. My theory is all along I have been dealing with a hormone imbalance caused by my time on the birth control pill that led to the development of PMDD (severe pms, dyphoria, suicidal feelings etc) and when I went on Ritalin a few years after going off the pill, it just completely upset my neurochemical balance, which produced manic symptoms everytime I took the pill. See, I thought because I had motivation, could focus, remember things better, and gave me this sudden desire to talk to people and I did it so well I was like a new person, that it was treating the ADHD and this is how most people with ADHD responded to the medication. I was wrong. I had incredible delusions and over confidence, on a single 10mg dose. Even on a 5mg dose.

Then came experiencing a trauma which completely messed with my brain producing all too common symptoms of PTSD. Once I was asked ‘how do you know it was PTSD?’ Well, the flashbacks of the trauma was a dead giveaway. I started to hallucinate when I walked in public. I remember thinking I was covered in blood. I remember seeing the faces of my attackers on the faces of strangers. I remember feeling threatened by any stranger on the street. And then the whole Aurora shooting thing happened which made the media make some very terrible accusations against autistic people and I got so paranoid toward people I thought they could tell I was autistic and were basically going to attack me because of this fact. So, I tried my best to suppress my autistic symptoms. Then I started to get obsessed about the autistic community fighting back against these accusations and during the obsessive-thought spiral I got trolled by a friend and their friends, and this begun the first of many friendship ties being cut to save me going off on some strange manic rant at them. It probably had to do with my PMDD too but since I developed PTSD I could no longer suppress the rage I felt about so many things and toward so many people. There are some people I miss that I know will never forgive me, and there are others I feel better about no longer having in my life. Both parties actually never gave me a chance to explain myself and then when I tried to said I was making excuses or just labeling myself.

PTSD also made it impossible to stay on Ritalin. Within an hour of taking the pill I would be thrown into impulsive behaviour and was now becoming depressed after the ‘mania’ crashed. I used to take more Ritalin to counter this and my depression never got that bad while Ritalin was in my system, but after I went off that’s when the occasional brief but very intense suicidal feelings started. But I started to just accept it and go through it because the worse the depression the higher a ‘mania’ was going to be.

So, now I’m on anti-depressants I’ve not had serious suicidal feelings or a panic attack, though some anxiety and depression remains. When I first started Aropax and felt the milder anxiety and depression I kept waiting to lose control of myself but it never happened, and it made me feel uncomfortable. I had to really talk myself through the process. “Look, you either get a little anxiety/depression or you get it so bad you either feel like your heart will explode or feel a desperate need to end your life.”

Now comes the testing phase. Time to test myself and put myself in situations that would usually trigger those symptoms of anxiety and depression. The big one is testing how I deal with change. I remember being on Aropax back in 2009 and no longer being that bothered by change. So far I think it’s too early to tell. But my one obstacle to overcome is getting to The Basement in Sydney in mid July. Normally, having to go to that venue would give me agonizing panic attacks and visions of my death happening over again in many ways, that I would just decide not to go. Basically, what happened last time. So, if I can finally go to music venues I’ve not been to before with only the slightest bit of nervousness then this medication would have been worth it.

The next test is overcoming intrusive and obsessional thoughts. This is when I start to become vague because the nature of these thoughts are disturbing. I know I’m not alone in experiencing them but I don’t want people who know me to think I think like this at all. They are thought intrusions anyway. I have no choice in the matter. They have at times completely taken over my life so I’ve forgotten what is most important, hence the blog post title. I have put them before friends and family and even getting help for my mental health issues. If anti-depressants don’t shut them out completely I’m going to have to take steps of my own to overcome them. Problem is they have helped me deal with anxious and depressed thoughts. But once I realise I no longer need to have this sanctuary of sorts to go to every time I become anxious or begin to doubt myself, then I will no longer see the need to revisit these thoughts.

Lastly, there’s my financial instability which is just a supreme amount of anxiety over not seeing a figure in my bank account that makes me feel secure. Say I was in a really good mood and you asked me for $300. That would make me panic, resist, avoid and if I ended up being convinced to pay you I would feel like I was manipulated, and that doesn’t help my ego. I would then storm through the streets wanting to tear them up and envisioning myself attacking people. That’s how bad my anxiety got. I’d also spend a few hours later feeling extremely suicidal. I could never do it though, even when I was sure I had to do it I could never do it. I had a plan too.

By the way, the anti-social thoughts are intrusive. I would rather go through the agony of seeing them in my head to save me from putting them into practice. I’d even inflict pain on myself before I touch another person. I’ve never really lost that much control of myself to think I could be a danger to other people. I have some very strong willpower or whatever the scientific definition is.

Currently, that figure in my account is the lowest it’s been in a long time so I’ve cut back on food, I’ve stopped buying my comic book fact files and have to put all plans to buy comic books and video games on hold. I’ve not had a panic attack though, except late at night when my little 10mg dose wears off. I just really need to learn that the figure in my account is not going to get lower and lower until nothing is left, that I just need to work out ways to manage my money better, and if I do run into problems I’m probably not going to be thrown out onto street. It’s actually making me nervous about going overseas. I want to go for the experience and to know that I can, but I don’t want to spend my money on all the usual stuff people do when they go overseas. It’s easy for me to be non-materialistic especially when I stop being impulsive. So, let’s hope these meds just keep on working.

What’s most important is my mental health begins to heal and I slowly let myself out in the world again. The world is more a danger to me than I am to it though. At times I feel like I’m not going to get better and I don’t have a future. There’s just so much to fix. There are physical health problems as well as mental. I’ve never really had a job too so I have to gain some experience when I am mentally well enough to do that. Then I’ve got to become more independent. It all just seems like too much. But this is going to be a slow process. I have to break everything up into steps. It’s a good thing I have excellent organisation skills.

All the things that have mattered the most to me I’ve got to put behind me, except for the band photography. I was able to do my photography without getting medical help but there was always the social issue. I may have made it worse by going on anti-depressants but at least no more band members I respect and look up to can’t see me in that manic speedy talker state again. But I will always do my band photography. It might have taken a grandiose delusion to make me commit to it again but now it’s taking realistic thinking to keep me doing it. It was a manic delusion that took me away from it in the first place. It really is where my future is heading. I’ve dedicated too many years to just pursue some other career. Even if I have just recently decided to focus on building my artistic skills again. That was also a given. I’ve been drawing since I was two, it was my semi-savant skill in primary school and I’m pretty good at it. I’m the type of art student who will finish my work early and go straight ahead with the few next lessons and refuse to listen to the teacher’s suggestion about how to fix up my work. It makes me sound like I’m the hardest person to work with. I’d take photography advice, maybe, just not when it comes to painting. Although I sound incredibly arrogant now I can at least admit to not being as good as many artistic people I know. I have this friend who sketches anyone from band members to sci-fi actors to anyone else she likes, and her drawings just blow me away. I don’t think I would ever have the patience to produce something that brilliant.

Is this blog post long enough yet? All you have to know about me is I’m doing much better on my anti-depressants and fish oil and I’m looking for ways to keep myself busy, while working on those areas in my life that usually had me paralyzed with fear or bedridden with depression. The next step might require going back on ADHD medication, something more slow release than what I was last on, that made me, for a want of a better word, manic. The psychiatrist I contacted has very expensive fees though so I may have to go back to my old psychiatrist, who basically refused to get me on anti-depression/anxiety medication or look into what my mood issues were about. But I’m taking that medication now and I really need is simple prescription of the many ADHD medications out there that I can try. For now though fish oil is doing a pretty bang up job.

My Uncertain Future

Tomorrow I have to sit down for one of my first Centre Link appointments in years to have an interview where I’m supposed to tell one of their Customer Service Officers how they should help me prepare for work or as they say, ‘increase my participation in the community.’

My highly anxious mind instantly made the connection between this appointment and the budget changes happening in parliament. Yes, I would not have to be going through this if my government wasn’t working so hard to bleed this country dry of every dollar so they could just have some extra luxuries, but I also do want to get off the pension eventually and work a basic job and from there gain more independence. The problem is for this to happen I really need this Customer Service Officer to really listen to me and not just throw me into any volunteer position.

What is really holding me back from working or even volunteering is my fear of change that I’ve had my entire life, but also the PTSD anxiety added to this that triggers paranoid feelings about having to be outside alone for a length of time. I realised when I did all I could to avoid going to see a GP that this was the case. I would have had to walk there and unlike walking to Centre Link would not be walking on many populated streets. Yes, I walked to Centre Link a few days ago because of the profound anxiety about missing my appointment and having my pension cut off. Welcome to my nightmare that is generalised anxiety disorder.

So, even though I desperately want to get help for some very severe mental health issues my anxiety is so severe that it’s keeping me from getting that help. The problem is that people who know me know I have all these issues, especially the anxiety because I can’t always hold it in but they think I’m capable of getting that help on my own, so they don’t say much more than ‘I think you should get some help.’

Anxiety turns into depression pretty fast and since hearing this news from Centre Link I’ve been less able to see my depressive thoughts as something temporary. I believe them. When you believe thoughts that tell you you’re nothing, nobody likes you or people are manipulating you and that there’s no way out, you’re more likely to listen to that voice that says, ‘kill yourself.’ I’m more likely to listen to that voice than people telling me not to and rehashing the usual ‘you’re so brilliant,’ or ‘you have so much to live for.’ Well, I guess I can be brilliant when I have much to live for when I work for the dole even though I’m not even emotionally able to be able to. Let’s see what happens. I keep thinking that after my first meltdown that I’ll be institutionalized. My future is probably in an institution because it takes becoming that much worse for people to see that I can’t cope on my own. That I actually needed help for my mental health issues yesterday. And by yesterday I mean two years ago.

I know my wording in this post is a bit extreme and I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with on/off suicidal thoughts and feelings and haven’t been able to tell anyone, because it’s all the same bullshit. People want to talk and tell you how much of a good person you are. People are basically just using the same tricks they use in a regular social situation which I despise even when I’m not depressed. They’re just saying it to make you feel better. I care more about the truth.

It also angers me to be told everything is going to be ok by people who don’t have to deal with half as much of what I go through. Usually they’re not autistic, have ADHD or a mood disorder too. I look at them like average people, people who had to struggle like I do everyday. So, I see their empathy as fake…then again I don’t always feel empathy toward people so maybe I’m the one who’s doing something wrong here. That’s gonna be great for my depression.

Anyway, back to this Work For the Dole thing. I’m not going to allow it. By that I mean my anxiety won’t even allow it. I have panic attacks over having to go to an area I’ve never been to before. I’ve tried to get to music venues I’m too afraid to go to for that reason alone and I can’t do it. And I wanted to see those bands a hell of a lot more than I want to do volunteer work. If this is to be just like Bush’s ‘Work For Welfare,’ programs in America where they send you on a bus and get you to work two jobs then that’s even worse. Good luck to these people if they think I’m going to be able to manage my anxiety and depression.

It doesn’t really matter what anyone says. If people aren’t willing to get me the help I need for mental health issues and help me transition to change better as well as taking into account my executive dysfunctions (ADHD symptoms), hypoglycemia, possible epilepsy and my autistic eccentricities, then nothing will change for me and I’ll remain highly anxious, depressed and suicidal. Don’t even get me started on how after everyone gives me an order or suggestion I think they are trying to manipulate and control me. They may also affect my eligibility to get and keep a job.

As far as I can tell my life is already over. Just put me on medication and I might be ok. If not then I won’t allow my brain to be put under any more torture. Because that’s what anxiety and depression is – it’s torture to my mind. You really want to know why people commit suicide? It’s because they don’t want to be tortured any longer and that’s the quickest escape. And who the hell thinks about their family and loved ones when they are under extreme physical pain? The depression alone puts their mind in such a state that tells them those people would be better off without them. I’m usually angry at them. Angry for not feeling the emotions I feel, having the thoughts I have and not caring because they don’t know that’s the way I’m feeling. It’s hard to think about people missing you when you’re angry at them, and that anger turns to hate. That’s just the way it is.

For the past couple of days I’ve just felt hate toward people. I don’t feel like I deserve to even be liked by anyone. I look at what I struggle to do and know most people can do those things with ease. Then I look at my skills and think most people who do something similar can do it better or they get more recognition than I do. I don’t even want to be around happy cheerful people and I feel like burning my Facebook news feed.

However, I do have a mood disorder and that mood can turn into complete euphoria where for a short time I think everything is going to be ok and I show a lot more motivation and have so much energy. But it doesn’t last. The higher I go the harder I crash. I will also around this time think I don’t need treatment for my mental health issues. This is a good time for people to stop listening to me and take me to get the treatment I desperately need. Because I may in a couple of hours start having a more positive mood which will grow and grow until I am yet again in a complete fantasy land.

This is the best I can do. If it gets ignored or brushed aside as just something else I’m saying during another depressive episode that I’ll soon overcome and no longer feel this way about, then nothing will change and you’ll all be about as neglectful and dismissive as my psychiatrist. Because from tomorrow things are going to change for me and my more negative emotions have already adapted to that change by becoming worse because they have to prepare for what is to come.

You can say I’m being selfish and manipulative but I just want these feelings to end. I’m a very unwell person and I have no idea what to do about it.