My Writing Class

After my last reasonably positive blog post, you can imagine the dismay on waking the Imagenext morning (Weds) feeling hyped up with ruminating anxiety.  It usually progresses with the day, like a snowball hurtling down a snowy hillside, expanding by the second…

I try so hard to ignore it and recite all the positive things I need to remember.  Maybe it does make a difference; I’m never sure at the time.  Sometimes it feels as if a closet door opens and all the shit from the past comes tumbling out like an avalanche.  At first, there are feeble attempts to catch things, but it gets you in the end.

ImageI didn’t want to go to the writing class yesterday.  Driving there, purposively running late, I was wrestling with temptation to turn the car around at every junction.  Unfortunately, this has been my life for too long – no sticking power.  When the mood gets rough, I get going, usually into hibernation.  

It did feel different when I got there.  It is the Recovery College (from mental illness), so it always feels a safe environment.  The other participants are at their own levels of recovery.  Even if I did sit in class like a moody child, people would understand.  Arriving onsite, my mood immediately started to improve.

We always start class by sharing homework from the previous week.  I had been too busy Imageruminating to have time for doing any kind of assignment.  How ridiculous does that sound? 

Bearing in mind this writing course is called, “Telling your Story”, it’s worth mentioning that some students of last year’s classes actually published a book with individual stories of recovery.  There is a book launch next month.  

So, last week’s assignment was actually very thought provoking, I was sorry I hadn’t given it a bash, but I did have something right up my sleeve.

Think about your story and what you want to explore.

–          What would the title be?

–           What do you want to get across with it?  List the bullet points

–          What would a short summary of it say?  Write one paragraph

I would like to explore the importance of seeking an accurate diagnosis.

I already wrote a post using that title, which recounts a little of my experiences of quietly battling with a Psychiatrist to seek a new diagnosis (Dr Potty for those who are more familiar).

I’m not altogether certain why Dr Potty wasn’t interested.  Perhaps some Psychiatrists fear a diagnosis will define our personalities; label and stigmatise us forever and even shape the people we might become.  Maybe I’m in the minority of those who will actually use that information as the foundations to recovery.  Knowledge is power.  Empowerment can bring about change.

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Having an accurate diagnosis should make little difference to the treatment plans on offer.  It most definitely is not the be all and end all and most Mental Health Professionals will treat the person, not the diagnosis. 

What reaching an accurate diagnosis does do is provide the basis for understanding where some of our problems/symptoms originate and what we might expect to experience in the future. 

Of course, a diagnosis cannot approve or refute any individual experience with mental illness.  Many people never even seek a diagnostic assessment or treatment.  I don’t need a diagnosis to know I experience psychosis during mental breakdowns.  However, having that diagnosis does carry a certain amount of positive validation (for me, anyway).  It also helps us identify with other people and maybe even provides easier access to particular therapeutic services.

I’m pleased I went to the writing class…. This is one of Jack’s favourite walks in London

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22 thoughts on “My Writing Class

  1. myspokenheart

    I’m glad you went too… 🙂
    I also tend to hibernate when things get tough and I am feeling overwhelmed. I like to be alone to figure things out, but I am realizing it is not always the healthy option. Alone time for healing is essential, but digression and withdrawal… not so much…
    ((HUGZ))

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  2. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

    Cat, sometimes I wonder if you are not hyper-sensitive to electromagnetic fields in your living environment. Frequencies from these fields can be extremely low frequencies (ELFs) nearly identical to brainwaves, which could cause a cortical evoked response. But they can also cause abnormal electrical activity in the brain and affect hormones and neurotransmitters such as melatonin and serotonin Serotonin and melatonin are primary circadian regulators affecting all our vital organs, especially the brain. Research shows that if the proliferation of man-made electromagnetic fields continue, half the population in industrialized countries will have EHS by 2020. Some studies show that approximately 10% of the population in industrialized countries currently experiences EHS.

    Do you have a smart meter attached to your apartment, flat, house? If so, where is it located? Do you sleep next to a radio alarm clock? Do you sleep close to a cell phone? I made this short video with excerpts of studies, sources noted at the end. They are also located on my 1st blog.

    ““I have no doubt in my mind, at the present time that the greatest polluting element in the Earth’s environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields. I consider that to be far greater on a global scale than warming.” Robert O. Becker M.D. – “Cross Currents and The Body Electric.”

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    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Victoria. Thank you for the video. I found it fascinating and will watch it again tomorrow when I’m a little more awake. I don’t sleep with my mobile but, yes, a radio alarm, which I only use for seeing the time…ah! It will be dumped!

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      1. N℮üґ☼N☮☂℮ṧ

        Cat, thank you for taking the time to watch. I do apologize that my focus was not on the positive aspects of your post. I just find it odd that you have these sudden changes with no explanation. No need to to dump your radio alarm close, but move it across the room, so that the frequencies being admitted don’t come in contact with your own brainwaves during the night. I will be happy to share more research on this. I purchased a milligauss meter that read EMFs, RADIO/microwaves and electric. I took readings in my apartment, and I was stunned. I had been sitting in a hot spot for hours at a time, at my desk hot spots in my bedroom as well.

        I was also shocked at the EMFs being emitted from my notebook, where I was leaning, reasting my hands/arms on the very area that had the highest reading, way over the safe range of exposure. I also found out they a had built a cell phone mast/tower no further than a 100 yards from my apartment complex shortly after I moved in They had also installed multiple smart meters against the bedroom wall, on the outside after I moved in. I was overcome with depression, was having anxiety, crying spells and constant negative thoughts, insomnia, sometimes migraines, my feet would swell at times, etc. I couldn’t understand why this was happening because I had worked so hard at atrophying neural pathways. Half my hair also fell out.

        I purchased a keyboard and mouse, and sat further back from my notebook. I moved out of the apartment I was living in because the readings were through the roof — often off the chart of the meter, over 100 milligauss. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends no more that 3 milligauss exposure for any length of time. I removed the radio alarm clock (50+ milligauss) and unplugged any electrical appliance close to me in my bedroom, during sleep. I got rid of wifi too.

        It was during this time when I was trying to find out what was wrong with me that I found a lot of research on this. Feel free to send me an email if you want any of the research. I can also send you video I took in my apartment while taking the readings. I don’t want to overwhelm you, but I hope that perhaps we can do a process of elimination and see if it helps in any way. After moving away from the apartment and taking necessary steps to eliminate an overload of EMFs in my new space, my hair grew back, my depression was abated, the crying spells stopped, the mind chatter subsided, and I could sleep through the night. In other words, I got well.

        Doctors are not schooled in this. I had to take matters into my own hands, and it paid off. Here’s a video http://youtu.be/xp2X23e6MMc of a couple in Canada who experienced stray voltage in their apartment. But there’s solid research with regard to psychosis, over exposure to EMFs and brain-blood barrier leakage. Again, I will be happy to share this research via email, if you care to contact me. My email is listed in my gravatar.

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    1. Cat Post author

      It’s purpose of helping us focus on recovery has been amazing…. I just need to follow it through as they suggest. Trust that the writing prompts and homework, all have a dual purpose – focus. Thanks, Ellen

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  3. eebrinker

    a writing class sounds like a good idea. especially if they help you with the publishing part. my diagnosis just keeps changing over the years and now it looks like i had MS all along. which i don’t know if that makes me angry or sad. anxiety is a real thing. what works for me is to not have the attacks… stay busy. once you’re in them it’s like the faucet of negative never shuts off.

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    1. Cat Post author

      I’m so sorry about your diagnosis. That must be a relief to find answers but sad because of the illness. Thank you for commenting…

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  4. A Gay Mentalist

    Hi there, well done on thinking of the positive things, that can be so hard at times can’t it! Also have been going through the process of trying to get a reassessment of my own diagnosis for the same reasons, and know how hard that can be! Best wishes

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thank you GM, it helps to know others can understand. I hope you can get ahead with the diagnosing…. never easy on the NHS. Sometimes it seems like the Psychiatrists are too busy to be bothered re-assessing… not sure they grasp how important an accurate diagnosis can be to someone who is struggling to understand and get the right treatement

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  5. Gel

    That seems like a big achievement that you went to the class anyway, when you didn’t want to.
    Your second paragraph sounds very familiar, I call it the “downward spiral” or the “tangled ball”….It’s especially frustrating to have that continual negative stream of thoughts and the bummer mood going on constantly.

    I’ll be interested in what you have to say about the importance of seeking an accurate diagnosis, if you decide to write more about it. I think (for me) it’s been a mixed bag getting diagnosed. I believe I could have more diagnosis’s but I’m inclined right now to go for that. One thing is sure, because I love to research, it’s helpful getting a diagnosis in order to narrow down the scope of what to look for in terms of explanations and further help. If feels empowering. It also feels like it helps get out of a very isolated place in myself thinking I’m a “bad” person or a complete failure when really it’s an illness (or two) going on. Not to let myself off the hook about personal responsibility, or to stay a victim,…. but to disengage from the paralyzing effects of shame. These problems are not WHO I am, they are something I HAVE, and they are something I can work with. (or work on).
    From a different perspective it seems a diagnosis can feel like being put in a box. So not sure how helpful that is.

    I think it’s interesting what Neuronotes wrote about electromagnetic fields in your environment. I’ve heard of that before and don’t know a lot about it but have always instinctively wanted to minimize the amount of human made stuff in my immediate environment, including electromagnetic stuff. In fact I think it’s time to get off the computer and out on a walk…..

    Cheers!

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    1. Cat Post author

      TBH, Gel, since I started thinking about how important an accurate diagnosis is, I have been doing a little research. I do intend to write something about it for the final piece of work. My opinion is swaying. I am understanding more of the Psychiatrists reluctance for reasons you include, “putting in a box”. Of course, as with everything, it is down to the individual. A diagnosis can help if someone is failing to come to terms with disturbing symptoms and that’s another story all together

      I was VERY interested what Neuronotes said (BTW she has a fabulous blog). I will be removing the radio alarm from the bedroom and will also look into the effect of noise pollution from appliances and gas boilers for heating…. all worth looking at if it improves our chances.

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  6. Athena Brady

    Hi Cat, well done that you beat it, I know I have times when I just cant connect with the world and all I want to do is hibernate. Hubby tries to talk me round but when I am in that mood I often dont want to listen. Sometimes, rarely, I will try and it soon passes, I will take a leaf from your book and try harder next time.

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    1. Cat Post author

      Gosh, I wish I could try harder with a lot of things! It’s easy to bang away at the keyboard… Thanks for commenting, Athena…. much appreciated.

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  7. releasing lunacy

    *clapping* I’m so excited to read that you went to class and it was a positive experience!!! I’m actually smiling right now. I know how easy it is to hibernate and how difficult it can be to push ourselves out the door sometimes. Congrats! -rl

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