Recent Hospital Stay {trigger warning}

I was recently in the hospital following a suicide attempt.

Long story short, I was inpatient for about a week and my meds were increased now I’m home.

If you don’t know, I have Schizoaffective Disorder.  The paranoia and depression was really wearing me down.  Sometimes you don’t even realize anything’s wrong until you get to that point.

I started working through a CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) book I got awhile back and it seems to be helping me  a lot.  My anxiety levels are much better now and my mood feels a lot more stable.

Also starting therapy at a local clinic, I just moved here and it took awhile to get set up somewhere.

If you’re feeling suicidal please talk to someone or ask for help, life is to precious to be doing the stupid things I’ve done like overdosing for example.  There is help out there, you may have to push to get it and it may take a lot of work on your part as well but you can do it.

Dream Board

Hello, haven’t wrote in here for some time.  Hope all of you are well!

Recently we did a fun art therapy type project in the group I’m in.  It’s called making a dream board.  There are other names for it I’m sure but basically what you do is get a large piece of construction paper and glue cutouts from magazines onto it.  It’s simple and fun.  The things you glue on are words or phrases and pictures of things you want in life or your goals.

Here’s an example of what one would look like.  If you do this and want to share feel free to post a pic of yours in the comments.dream-board

Also, I wanted to let you all know that I started a new blog.  I will keep this for the mental health stuff but wanted one for all the random crazy crap I’m into, if you think you would be interested go ahead and follow: https://bluebirdsblog2016.wordpress.com/

 

Inpatient Tips

I have been having trouble coming up with posts to make which is why I haven’t written anything new in quite some time.  I guess I’m just not that creative, so if anyone has any ideas feel free to post them in the comments.

This topic came to mind today and I felt it is important to go over.

I have been in psych hospitals several times starting when I was a teenager.  Both voluntarily and involuntarily.  If you have the choice, choose to go voluntarily.  You get treated pretty much the same regardless at the hospital but the police will likely treat you like a criminal if they have to bring you there.

Here are my tips:

  • Bring clothes (stuff that doesn’t have strings attached) bring something warm because most hospitals are cold.
  • Don’t bring any sharp stuff
  • Participate in group.  You generally have several groups a day, at least that’s how the hospitals around here are.  Make sure you are active in them.  If you’re there involuntarily they will be looking to see your progress in the groups.
  • Advocate for yourself.  If you feel like something is wrong don’t hesitate to talk to the director of the program about your concerns.  I once had an incompetent psychiatrist who tried to get me sent to a residential facility even though I was doing 100 times better and it was only my first time being hospitalized and all the staff members agreed that I was doing much better.  Thankfully he discharged me once I was there for the max time.
  • Bring something to read.  There are several hours in the day where you aren’t doing anything, a book can help you escape mentally and make the time go by faster.
  • If your doctor says they’ll put a hold on you if you decide to sign yourself out (if you’re there voluntarily) listen to them and just wait until they decide to discharge you.  The last thing you want is to be there on an involuntary status, it will just keep you there longer.
  • Take the meds they give you, complying with the treatment is a big part of recovering.  If you have issues with any of your medications be sure to voice your concerns to the doctor.
  • Do NOT start dating another patient you meet there.  It is not the place nor time and you each have your own problems you’re trying to resolve.

I’m just putting down things that come to mind right away when I think about my inpatient stays.

It can be a wonderful experience.  Take advantage of the therapy and groups.  Get the help you need and most importantly be honest with your doctor.  If you’re not feeling better, don’t tell them you are, tell them the truth so they can help you.

Coping Skills

Coping skills are what the name implies, things that can help you cope with tough situations in life.

Different things work for different people.

What do you enjoy doing?

Think about that for awhile and try to come up with a list of things you can do easily when times are rough and you need a distraction.

Here are some of my top coping skills that have helped me many times.

Journaling

This is definitely at the top of the list for me.  It’s a great feeling to be able to just write and get all your feelings out, especially when you have nobody to talk to.  It’s also interesting to look back at patterns in the future and see how you dealt with things before.  I personally use a physical journal, I just happen to like that better.  You can do it however you want, blog, draw, write in a journal.

Coloring

Another big one, this is insanely helpful.  You may think it sounds silly for adults to color but it’s not at all.  It’s extremely relaxing, it gets your mind off what’s going on around you and on deciding which color to use next.  A very good distraction tool.  There are thousands of coloring books you can find online and order, even ones specifically for adults meaning that they’re much more intricate and time consuming than a child’s coloring book, but then again simple is fun to.  Whatever makes you happy!

Music

This is a tricky one, because naturally you will tend to be drawn to more depressing/angry songs when your depressed or anxious.  That’s okay too but it’s not good to dwell on bad feelings.  Try making a playlist with a mix of different types of songs so it doesn’t get to depressing.

Those are my top 3 coping skills, here is a simplified list of things that help me relax or take my mind off things.  Feel free to reply with what helps you or tweet me @ChaoticMindBlog

  • Relaxing shower or bath
  • Going for a swim
  • Taking a walk
  • Reading a good book
  • Watching a funny or positive movie/videos
  • Meditating
  • Arts and crafts
  • Playing with your pet(s)
  • Taking an afternoon nap (refreshing)
  • Practicing muscle relaxation techniques
  • Listening to relaxing sounds/music
  • Organizing/cleaning (helps some people feel better)
  • Having a cup of tea or cocoa

Accepting That You Have a Mental Illness/Being Med Compliant

I find it hard to come to terms with the fact that I have a mental illness, specifically the Schizoaffective/Bipolar part,  The anxiety/and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are a given, but the things that happened when I was manic or psychotic seem so unreal now that I’ve been stable for some time..  I look back at it and it just seems so obscene. Sometimes I wonder if what happened was a singly crazy episode that will never happen again.

I also have a hard time with the idea of being on meds, I always think I should stop them because I feel great and am doing very well in life, but like my doctor and family always say, it’s because of the meds I’m doing so well.  Nobody wants to be reminded that they have a disorder every day and that’s what happens every time I get my meds out,  I am trying to learn to not think about it, just accept it as part of my life and move on.

Have you accepted that you have a mental illness?  Do you have any issues taking meds?  Feel free to share if you would like to in the comments/

You Can Succeed

Well, the title is pretty cheesy but it’s reality,  You can succeed in life no matter what mental illness ails you.   There is help out there, reach out to a school counselor, a therapist, a psychiatrist if necessary.  You can get to a point where you are stable, it may take time and several med adjustments but you can accomplish your goals.  Whether it be going to college, learning to draw, learning to play an instrument or getting a job, you can succeed just like any other person, it will just take more time and patience.  I started college right out of High School but wasn’t currently diagnosed with this illness yet and didn’t even make it past the first week due to distracting symptoms.   Now, a few years later, I am stable enough to try again.  I am taking 2 classes and am doing very well in both of them.  What are some of your goals?