Friday, May 11, 2012

The thing that makes me feel nuts....

As many of you will have picked up on in the past and recently with the odd mention of it here, I have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Then there is always the off hand comment about some OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) issues. I have never really elaborated here what my OCD issues really are. Why? Because more than anything else in my life when I talk about this issue it really does make feel NUTS, I mean really, really NUTS.

You see my OCD problems aren't what most people assume they are like having the overwhelming urge to have things clean and in order. Nah that's not me. My OCD issues are based in having ritualistic type thoughts that if I don't fulfill x, y,z message/action that my brain is telling me to do the result will be that bad things will happen.....to put in very basic terms for you.

I'm going to back track a little to explain how I discovered and was later diagnosed with this problem. Coming up four years ago now after I lost Elle and Meg, I read and article in a magazine about OCD I was sitting at my then work lunch table. It followed three different peoples stories with the disorder. One women's story talked about how she would have ritualistic thoughts like if she drove past a funeral home it meant that someone she cared about would die. She would then need to fulfil a counter thought/ritual to prevent that belief from coming true......again to put it basic terms for you.

I read the article and felt sick to my stomach because this story felt like me, it felt like I had been given an answer for something I had crazy thoughts about all my life even as a kid. I copied the article and hid it away for weeks trying to build up the courage to talk to Ben about it and hope that he wouldn't think I was a complete LOON in the process. I needn't of worried about Ben but he was insistent that I talk further with our grief counsellor at the time about the article and my behaviours, which at that point time only served as a temporary measure for this thought process and behaviours when they happened.

So fast forward through, Cohen's birth, two further miscarriages and Sarah's pregnancy, I had a sever spike in ritualistic thoughts and behaviours. For example my brain would tell me I couldn't wear red because it was the colour of blood and if I wore it whilst pregnant it would signify and mean something bad would happen to me but more so and primarily my baby. So not to tempt fate (that's my thought process) I would give in to these thoughts which sometimes resulted in me purging my wardrobe of anything red. Crazy, I know (I like red)! It's my crazy, my minds way of coping during peaks and spikes in emotionally difficult or turbulent times. But that's just a small, small example of the messages my brain sends me at these times, it has been much, much worse in the past.

Since my PTSD diagnoses and me coming clean with my regular psych about two years ago about these OCD thoughts. It's been a lot better managed, I can identify a spike in these stresses, I'm ahead of it rather already in the mix of these thoughts (well most of the time). However as I've recently mentioned some recent stresses and triggers have got ahead if me and I've lost my grip a bit in being ahead of this talk in my head. It gets louder with more stress and lack of sleep. I'm only starting to understand my OCD more now and where emotions for these behaviours stem from or are rooted in. After a recent session with my psych I have the logical and aware understanding that I give into these thoughts when my emotional stamina is low. So I need to work on keeping that in check. I also understand in an aware mind, that my thoughts are nearly always about the end result being something happening to my kids. The stem and trigger of that is clearly the traumatic events surrounding the loss of Elle and Meg.

There you go my confessional about something I really HATE talking about even to my psych. Why I have I decided now to share more of this with you all? Well I know there are readers here who have their own battles with the disorder or other mental health issues. I hope to offer strength and encouragement in sharing this with those readers and others in time who will come to visit us and join us. Although I may have my struggles one thing I know for sure through my ups, downs, dark days and bright days........things can and will always get better by sharing and accessing appropriate support. So please if you find yourself trapped and in darkness, get help, find your light and your bliss. Life is too short to live trapped by these and similar disorders.

See there you go, I hard post to share. I shall slink off now and probably feel totally cuckoo and nuts that I've put this out there now. Either way much love to all those that read. Thank you.
X

20 comments:

  1. You are not nuts at all beautiful lady! Not. At. All. I'm so sorry this has caused you so much heartache and I am really happy that you have spoken up about it to your health proffesionals who have given you a workable plan. Well done for blogging about a difficult subject.
    hugs
    xx

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    1. Thank you honey.
      I never saw not speaking up as an option, I knew I had to. I didnt want to live in the thick of it for the rest of my life.

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  2. Oh gosh Trudie, I never knew. Might be time for me to dig back through your blog to find out some more. I have very dark days too but through miraculous events, I seem to pull through. After a couple of months, it's nearly like I've come to expect it so even at the darkest hour, I know it's not going to be forever. I just go with the flow. Thinking of you Trudie.

    Much love,
    Anne xx

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    1. I just let the dark days or moments wash over and away from me like waves. The tide and torrent of emotion is a lot easier handled when you're not fighting it.

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  3. Sorry you've had such a rough time. If I went through similar things in life I would be a total mess. I'm glad you are identifying triggers, that's a very positive step. Be kind to yourself. xx

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    1. Thank you. I may of had rough times and there may be more ahead, but I wouldn't be who am today without it nor would I have what I've got.

      Don't worry I am being kind to me.

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  4. You have my heart. It is what it is. Stop calling yourself nuts. Honesty is the best policy with mental illness, it breeds in the shadows of the dark thoughts and silence.

    So great T. xo

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    1. Honey I does love your sweet caring heart. Bless you.
      Me calling myself nuts, is in part my humour amongst it all.
      But so true it's best to be honest, otherwise it festers and bursts in other areas of your life.

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  5. A very brave post to share, T. Well done. Sorry to hear of your struggles but more than that, I'm thinking how amazing you are to work so hard to come to a point where you can write about it to help others.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words.
      I hope my journeys will help others, I really do.

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  6. Thank you for sharing. as someone who has shared her PND battle (and ongoing battle with depression and anxiety) i find writing about it helps others AND helps me put it out there as "part of me". When it is hidden inside us it is more of a burden than the sharing can be. We are all complicated beings - some of us just need more help to cope with our complications. Biggest hugs Trudie!

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    1. Oh agree Deb it helps me too to talk about things too.
      I can't live with it all living in the inside......it's soul destroying to do that to ones self.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this difficult post with us all Trudie. I know writting about anything to do with Mental Health is not easy. It is scary- scary to get it out there- scary to think of the responses you will get- scary to simply think about your own reactions to those responses.

    I would love to get to know more about you and your journey through PTSD and OCD. My fiancee has PTSD due to an incident he went to with SACFS (fire & rescue service). And I have Anxiety and Depression (diagnosed as PND, but I suspect its more then that). I love reading about and sharing stories and tips for coping with other people who "get it" when talking about the "bad" "good" "dark" "sunny" days.

    Hope you continue to get better.

    Lots of hugs, Lisa.

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    1. Oh sweet Lisa, thank you.
      A lot of journey is written here, it's throughout posts and the archives. I will in time (soon) condense it into an easy to find location on the blog.

      But please feel free to contact me through email privately if you wish at anytime to talk.

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  8. You're a brave and good person, Trudie. This post will help someone, no doubt about it. x

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    1. Thank you for your sweet words and support.

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  9. Thank you so much for digging deep and sharing this with us. It certainly helps people to understand. I don't think you are nuts. I think you have a lot of pain inside and are finding a way to deal with it.

    I can understand a teeny tiny little bit of what you are going through. I sometimes think that if I think of something, regardless how weird or terrible it is, I have then put the thought out to the universe and it might somehow make it a reality. I know it won't, but it's such a weird thing for me to think. We all have our quirks. Rachel x

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    1. Thank you.
      The thoughts you described, I have too. I'm very careful at times what I project out there with my thoughts.
      The mind is powerful, I try my hardest to use it for good in my life.

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  10. You are so brave and so beautiful Trudie. And don't ever think overcoming something extremely stressful makes you 'nuts'. You are an inspiring and strong woman, and we love you

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    1. Oh Liv you are a sweetie, thank you.
      Much love to you too. X

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