I have been diagnosed with almost every single mental illness you can think of. Currently I am unaware of what my exact diagnosis is. I have referred that I have a mental illness, but not exactly what I have. I will explain in this post. For many years I had the label of schizoaffective disorder. My med doctor and therapist at that time agreed on this diagnosis. My current therapist thought otherwise when she started seeing me. We have only talked once about possible diagnosis, and her thoughts were bi-polar 1, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), and severe anxiety. Like I said earlier she has yet to give me her definitive diagnosis. I think her diagnosis fits with how I feel, but I may add ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder.) I have an appointment with her this week; I think I will ask her again. I would really like to finally have an answer to what I suffer from. I think mentally if I know what I suffer from it would help me cope. Today I am going to focus on my OCD, and perhaps this entire week choose a different aspect of my illness. This does make me feel a bit vulnerable, but it is not like my readers think I am normal anyway.

My OCD is not the type where I need to do everything in threes of such; mine is a tad different. It is complicated, but I will do my best to explain. I am a man of routines. They define my life in everything I do. If I need to deviate from these routines I am spun into intense anxiety and panic which triggers me to become agitated, angry, and triggers psychosis. This cycle of madness never changes. If there is a part of my life that is void of routine I become scattered brained and lost. An example of this lost feeling is doing laundry. I have a routine where I sit in the man room and watch football Saturday and Sunday. As long as I am down stairs watching football I can breeze through the laundry. I check the laundry every eighth commercial. If I am not doing this I cannot remember to do laundry.

When I go to places I visit often I need to park in the same spot. If I am unable to park in this spot I will either leave or get spun into that panic and agitation. I have battled this a bit where I have been able to broadened my routine to include a few different parking spots within a small region from my original spot. This has helped me a bit. I do have issues with things being dirty. I get into a funk when things are not perfectly clean; being that I have three children this is impossible to achieve. I have battled this by tuning my senses off to what the house looks like. If I notice any filth I again get panic and agitation. I try to stay away from cleaning that one spot up, because then I need to clean the entire house. I can never get it perfect enough, and this throws me into a psychosis.

I need to have a coffee before and after work I put a chew in at exactly 8am and another one at 2pm when I am at work. I then need to smoke at the exact same time everyday. When I am driving I need to smoke at the exact same location. I have to take my meds at the exact same time everyday. There was just recently an episode when I was not able to do this and it totally fucked with me. I had a therapy appointment and it happened to overlap with a time when I take one of my night meds. I forgot my medication at home, and I was a complete mess the entire therapy appointment. I was freaking out. When I got home I went to take it and my wife tried to talk me down from this obsession. I immediately became agitated and angered. This caused an argument, and I eventually agreed to do differently. I was not able to sleep at all that night, and it triggered the depression I had last week. This was part because my routine was interrupted and part of lack of sleep. I do not blame my wife for this, because she was just trying to help me.

The final aspect may either be a result of my OCD or is a part of my bi-polar 1 disorder. I get these ideas in my head of things I either need to buy, or things I need to do. Once I get these ideas in my head they just continue to replay over and over again until I am actually doing them or I have bought the item. The longer I go without satisfying this need to more psychotic I become. These thoughts completely consume me. Like I said this could be a component of my hyper-mania. I suppose I could ask my therapist this. This is just a few examples; There are many more routines or obsessions and compulsions I have. If I were to address every single one this post would become a novel.

All I know is whatever this is it consumes me in everyway possible. When I am deviated from my routines it destroys my mental state. I would prefer if everything in my life was a routine. I think I would function so much better. There are many aspects of my life that does not revolve around a routine, and this tends to cause issues because I am just off in la la land doing whatever first comes to my mind. This thought or need then ends up consuming me until it has been done, so I suppose even my non-routine essentially transforms into an obsession. I am also not sure if these things I get in my head that must get done is a result of my bi-polar 1 or a component of the compulsion aspect of my OCD. I do know that none of the current medications I am taking help me with this, at least none that I am aware of. I am sure if a component of my medication treatment was removed these symptoms may increase and become worse. The best coping method I have found is meditation along with counting beads in twenty-six intervals using my meditation/prayer necklace. If any of my readers suffer from OCD and have found methods to cope and battle this I would love to hear about them.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. We share OCD in common. As an autistic individual, routines are a VERY important part of my life. When circumstances cause me to deviate from them, I tend to freak out just as much as you do. 🙂

    So, I lead a very controlled and routinized life. It’s what keeps me sane.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Rambling,
      I am sure if I were to have every aspect of my life be a routine my anxiety and panic level would decrease ten fold, although with a family routines can sometimes be impossible. I do know this when left to my own devices I am just a tumbleweed in the wind.

  2. Cailee says:

    Hi Brother,
    Have you ever thought about dropping the labels altogether? Why must you label yourself as having an illness? If you are labeled it only pigeon-holes you and perhaps causes self-fulfilling prophecies to occur and then your entire life you are focused on living to that label. Does that make sense?
    Instead of speaking in terms of disease, illness, imbalances and imperfections, I prefer to think that while all human brains are obviously different some folks have extreme differences. These individuals, such as yourself, have some unique chemical balances and wiring going on that produces behaviors that are considered to be out of the norm of the constraints of our society. While I understand these mind differences can cause serious issues in the person regarding emotional, physical and social functioning I think once that person has come to the understanding that they are different their life can be manageable without the extensive labels.
    You know you are crazy and are far from an “average joe”, but would you want to be normal? You definitely would not be able to write and think like you do. You are well aware of what environments set you off, you know what works for you, you understand your mind more than you think. Now it is a matter of accepting who you are and learning ways to be apart of society and function in life as your special self without going off the deep end. I truly believe a lot of it can be mind over matter. You have found the therapy of writing and other means to balance your mind. Keep focusing on solutions to achieve happiness and contentment within yourself more so than looking at what the problem is and names to call it.
    I haven’t talked to you about this subject in years so maybe I am off base with how I am viewing it, but after reading this post I just really felt I needed to say something. I struggle with some OCD, anxiety, as well as some other things, but I just accept that is part of who I am and I embrace some of these “illnesses” as my special quirks. There are definitely some thoughts and ways of my brain I wish I could erase and never have to deal with again (as I am sure you do too), but I can’t.
    While I know your feelings are probably much more extreme than mine, I have found ways to avoid certain things that make me want to freak out as well as ways to calm myself if I find myself in a situation I cannot control. It has taken years for me to come to this point, but once I accepted it and stopped looking for labels and problems I became at peace with my craziness, I hope you are able to do the same.
    I could go on another long rant regarding psychiatric labels chunking people into neat little categories thus trivializing and generalizing their individual feelings and emotions. Not to mention the insurance companies role in increasingly labeling society creating a whole other world of problems, especially among children. I will not go on though,as I have already written a rambling book on your blog, my apologies!

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Cailee,

      Thanks for the comment. For some reason I feel like I would be able to cope and build a stradegy on how to battle my MI if I knew what I was dealing with. I just found out yesterday what my official diagnosis is and to be honest with you I would have prefered to not have known afterall. I guess you get what you ask for. I thought I would feel a huge weright lifted off my shoulder, but it was the complete opposite.

  3. Cailee says:

    I’m sorry you feel that way. Don’t dwell on it and remember your diagnosis does not define who you are as a person, your actions do. Besides, as you said yourself, your diagnosis changes all the time so in a few years it could be something completely different!!

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Cailee,
      Well the one diagnosis which has stayed consistent throughout all my doctors is this one which I was really hoping I didn’t have when I started seeing this therapist. I was doing what I could to seem “normal” so I could lose my mood disorder. I think since I have had 5 or 6 seperate doctors coming up with the same mood disorder than I must have it. I was not happy to find out on top of my mood disorder I also have a personality disorder as well, so I got a double whammy. I must not do a good enough job trying to act “normal”

      • When I was first diagnosed with Klinefelter’s Syndrome, autism or OCD, it threw me for a loop each time. There was a period of time when I felt very lost and down. However, as Cailee points out, these labels don’t define the person. In other words, every person with OCD is not the same and every autistic person is not the same either.

        Once you get over the shock of the new label, like the rest of us, you still have to figure out how YOU can best navigate life. I’m not suggesting it will be fluid OR easy, but it is something we each have to figure out for ourselves (labels be damned).

      • Tim Lundmark says:

        Rambling,

        When I took the MMPI I was just hoping the test would come back as me being healthy and “normal” the tests showed I was trying to deceive the test. As much as I have shared on this blog I am going to lead my list of diagnosis off the table. I am not really shocked it is more that I finally know, and G.I. Joe was not right when they say “Knowing is half the battle” but perhaps they are

  4. Eliza says:

    I feel the need to drop things. Dealing with cleaning the dropped things up, being seen dropping things, and feeling that I have followed through on something that I needed to do gives me a lot of relief. I too have found no relief in the OCD label and being told that these behaviors are wrong and need to be “treated”. On the contrary, people who are annoyed just go away and people who can accept me I know I can trust. I can then relax a bit and open up to them. The problem is that these thoughts come out in public at uncomfortable times (during a dance rehearsal most recently) and I get so overwhelmed and scared that I become paralyzed. I suffer greatly later on. I even become suicidal at not having been able to “express myself” i.e drop something. I feel very alone and disappointed and eventually self destructive. It has become a coping skill for me when nothing else works, but my inability to risk looking a bit foolish and deal with a potentially messy situation now has me hopeless. The reief may be only temporary, but compared to my past, that little bit of “being in the moment” and actually accomplishing a small goal is a Godsend. Without it I will most definetly kill myself. It is the only thing at times that gets me out of my head. Why do I fight myself? I am beginning to believe that I just don’t want to do something that’s difficult and makes me look strange or bother someone, but that’s everyone. In order to survive we all have to do that to a certain extent just to be ourselves. Without that life is way too empty. It’s called taking a risk.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Eliza,

      Welcome to the community. I hope to hear more from you in the future. I think dealing with any kind of mental illness is a drain on us. There may be similar symptoms to each disease but the suffering the individual goes through is always different. With that being said no one can fully understand the suffering we go through. What I have learned is to not be so hard on yourself because of your disease. I know it is always easier said than done but this is what we need to do. When it comes to getting suicidal I look at it like this. I take it day by day than praise myself after each day for being a strong surviovor.

  5. Eliza says:

    Somehow twice now I have managed to erase what I wrote! Thank you for reading and responding. It means a lot not to commit suicide today and to hear from someone who understands. Still I am tormented by not droppng the orange in rehearsal tuesday. Today I felt suicidal and wanted to run, but I stayed in rehearsal and did well. No other compulsive behavior can erase the “screw up” as I think of it on Tuesday. But what if I have to drop the orange in a performance – yikes! Anyway, I can think of little else than my inablilty to follow through and my mind is a mess. I am hurting myself in smaller ways. I blame myself for not following through on a more normal path when I was younger. So if this is all I have left and I can’t even risk making small silly moves what do I have left? What do people do to move away from the going over and over and the self disrespect for being afraid to even do a “compulsive behavior”? Giving up and hating oneself just don’t work. But I can’t seem to accept excuses for myself anymore either. Am I just a wimp when it comes to following through on my inner gut? How do people jump into allowing others to see their oddities? The fear paralyzes me and then I can’t stop worrying. I’d much rather do a strange thing around people than tell them the story of my struggles – that feels far more disempowering. I am just terrified both ofhaving to do these “compulsive behaviors” (although alone I seem to push through it better), and of having people actually see and be effected by them. I realize life is hard for everyone, but what happens when you are losing the battle with your own will and wondering why you have wound up needing to do such crazy things in the first place! Again thank you for the response. Acceptance is what I take away for now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s