Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:11

I don't know why it happens...

I don't know why it happens or when/why it even started.

There was a time I was barely motivated to leave the house. Then I finally took a huge step, moved out from my home country, started a new job (employment options are rare in my country) and at this point in my life, I feel as if I am so closer to where I want to be, finally able to progress in my career. I have quite some amazing friends and a few love options which I am not ready to pursue yet.

However, it doesn't seem to matter how perfect my life is at a certain point, or even how satisfied I consider to be; it 'keeps coming'. Out of nowhere, the shortness of breath, the lump in the throat, the dizziness and the tingling... the need of running away from everyone who is around me and lock myself inside the nearest room, toilet, etc. until it goes away. It used to be harder before.... Nowadays, I believe I am able to control it, I'd say I am able to recover from any panic attack in a matter of a few minutes if I can manage to be alone for that amount of time without anyone noticing that 'there is something wrong with me'. I cannot even explain. Nobody else even seems to understand. I cannot even seem to understand myself. The last time I was in the doctor, I told her that I feel perfectly fine, I feel happy. Why is this happening then? I have gone through several physical exams to ensure nothing else was wrong with me. Heart, lungs, everything is working fine. Doctor says 'underlying issues'.

I can deal with stress, I can deal with being nervous about something in specific, as long as I know what 'it' is. However, dealing with this..it's unbearable. Knowing that something is haunting me and I cannot seem to figure out what it is...

 

 

Published in Diary
Sunday, 22 June 2014 18:58

Recent realizations

So I was preparing for en exam, and I finally, for the first time I ever, I was ahead of time. I had set myself a goal, and it was that after reading the paper through one last time, I would have done what I could. Done what was really possible to expect of me. And it wasn't an intellectual goal. It was a goal I felt deep inside matched my capacity. It was legal. It was proper. It was right. My mind knew it and my body knew it.

After I had read the last page I was filed with joy. The most joy I had felt in a log time - it being the exam period and all. I flirted with my girlfriend and ran around the apartment, chasing after her; the both of us laughing. At that time, I was happy. There could be no doubt about it. It was an undeniable fact.

The fun got a bit more relaxed and it was time for dinner. We agreed to order takeout, and I would be the one fetching it. I didn't mind; I live quite close by and I was envigorated and happy. On my way to the restaurant, I felt something. It was a stinging sensation deep in the pit of my stomach - I knew it all too well. It was the feeling I get when my mind touches a thought that is unpleasant. There was something different about it though. It was less intense. It was as if my body was in a high state of joy and undeniable happiness, that lessened the impact. The stinging feeling quickly subsided, giving way for more of the good feelings. Can you tell me what it is? Is it chemicals floating through my system, which make otherwise very intense and unpleasant feeling feel quite small and insignificant? I must research that. In any case, that was my experience. And I didn't mind.

But here's the thing: through the undeniable and pleasant feeling of joy and happiness, what I could also feel by the stinging, was the body reacting to the mind saying something like: "I know you've done very well today, mister, but... There is a chance that in spite of all of your efforts, all of your joy, your grand victory today...... That it will go horribly wrong at the exam tomorrow. That something doesn't go as planned. That there is danger." AND OF COURSE IT'S TRUE. It's absolutely true. No one can predict the future. Maybe I will get hit by a car on my way to the exam tomorrow. Maybe I will get a migraine (after all, I haven't been eating well in this period) which would force me to skip it the exam. Maybe I will just have a bad day where nothing that comes out of my mouth makes sense (it's happened before). It's true. And it's not even a specific fear. It's just a strong conviction that there is indeed something dangerous in those 3 hours - something in that somewhat short period of time that is scary. It's like a dark forest. The mind cannot see through it - and doesn't need to. It just strongly belives that there's a catastrophy hidden somewhere inside the forest.

This stinging feeling got more insisting, and it came up more and more frequently. "Something will go wrong tomorrow, there's a very real chance it might", the mind kept telling me. Of course that wasn't what it was actually saying. It's just me trying to put into words what I was experiencing. What was going on was more along the lines of some part of me was afraid. So very afraid. It has seen true, unthinkable, unimaginable pain. A good metaphor would be a little dog in utter despair, whimpering as it expects the worst. And what I experience is this part of me communicating this desperate whimpering in the only way it can: through bodily sensations. Only trying to protect me.

The body has built around this foundation. It has shaped who I am today. The dog has whimpered a great many times, and while keeping it safe, avoiding all the unpleasant experiences, it has carved itself deep neural pathways. Pathways that the mind travels more than willingly - almost automatically. It has taken its toll on my self confidence. The pleasant feelings are like a very porous castle, waiting to crum

The new thing here is the added space around the experience that gave me some clarity and insight into what was going wrong.

And I envy those people who can look at the dark forest and say "I don't know what is inthere. But I have a strong conviction that whatever is, I have conquered before. So there's no need to worry too much."

 

I didn't finish this post. Maybe I will in the future.

Published in Diary
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 00:00

Surgeries, Anxiety Insecurity and Stars

Celeb Plastic Surgery - An Interesting Manifestation of Anxiety: Body Dysmorphic Disorder 

Recentry my grilfriend pointed me to this celebrity surgery website. I had to admit I spend some time checking out who did what type of surgery. After thinking about this for a while I decided to writte a post about it, mainly because we like to think about celebrities as people with now flaws and anxieties like the rest of us and this is far for the truth. 

Celebrities have more on their plate than most people. It is never only about money and fame, but they realize this a bit too late, when their lives are no longer theirs. While they may portray strong characters on the screen, at the end of the day, they are left searching for their identities like any other person. They cannot afford to have a single lapse in their behavior, get angry with anybody, or even go for shopping without being denied time for self. Somehow they seem to do everything wrong. If they don’t wait up to sign those autograph books, then they are uppity, if they wait to politely sign on those autograph books, they are trying to woo the people or possibly unemployed because of some recent failure. Failures affect them more than they affect others. Everybody fails in some way or the other in their career. But the cost of such failure is not as huge as that of celebs failure. Consequently, they can’t afford to fail. It is anxieties like these that often lead them into believing that they can extend their career for a while longer, if they go under the knife. 

Plastic surgery has come a long way and has become less expensive too but perhaps not for celebs. Plagued with anxiety about looks, and competition, they are willing to undergo dramatic changes, even if they have to fell pain for a while. There is, however, a thin border line between a person who is concerned about career and is hence opting for plastic surgery and another who is constantly finding fault with his or her appearance, irrespective of the number of plastic surgeries done on them. Mentally sound celebrities are often content with the surgical procedures done on her or him and do not start looking for another reason to be at the plastic surgeon’s clinic, at least not immediately. However, the other type of celeb is the one who may be having what is known and Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD. 

A person with Body Dysmorphic Disorder constantly finds fault with personal appearance and ends up spending more time in plastic surgeon's hospital than at home. Such a person also becomes so obsessed with his or her appearance flaws that he or she cannot divert attention to other works, be it personal or career related. It is not one or two predefined flaws that the person sees in his or her physical appearance. It is a series of corrections that keep cropping up out of nowhere, as if the person could ever be perfect with plastic surgeries. This type of attitude towards surgery is actually a mental disorder. It needs to be differentiated from attempts to remove wrinkles, and look attractive by adding butt or breast implants. Everybody is vain to an extent, and celebs may be allowed to be more so than the rest because of their career needs.

We all have insecurities, some are related to the way we look and some are related to the way we behave, It really dosent matter what is making you anxious at the end of the day you will have to deal with your looks and personality. My advice is: Love your self as you are! Youa are the most beautiful person in the world if you believe it to be so. 

 

Mike

 

Published in Therapists Blog