Bipolar and Physical Body Pains

Bipolar and Body PainHi friends,
I was diagnosed with bipolar 10 years ago. All these years went in a roller coaster ride, finally my meds are stable from the last year. Although I do have anxiety and ocd problem but highs and lows are not that severe. But I still get mood swings which I believe can’t go entirely. in mid 2015 I had severe upper back pain that moves in different areas of upper back. sometimes the pain just disappear as there was no pain at all. then soon it comes back. Earlier I thought it was a mascular pain or some kind of muscle spasm. I applied many creams and took pain killers. There was some kind of relief but pain didn’t go. Then I was diagnosed with Vit D defficiency. my vit D level became less than 3 when i checked last year. I took 3 months course and pain went miraculously. I thought may be it was because of the vit defficiency but sadly pain came back. I got Xray as well but it came normal. It has been two years and still i have pain sensations in different parts of upper back. it goes and comes back. It gets severe when i do some mental activity or due to stress.

In addition to this, I get pain in hips while sitting for longer period of time. my doc prescribed MRI of Lumber Sacral Spine and i was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc disease (DDD) I don’t know whether that is the cause of hip pain because i do not have much pain in lower back. there is just the stiffness in lower back but the actual pain appears in hips while sitting.

I read about the connection between bipolar and phsyical pains. I read about fibromyalgia as well. I read there is a connection between stress, anxiety and body pain. Pain is often psychological. It is connected with our thoughts. I am thinking to do some relaxation exercises now. But i suspect whether a bipolar person with OCD and Anxiety disorder can permanently get rid of stress or disturbing thoughts. I am afraid whether i have to live with these body pains with the rest of my life.

Do you think there is some connection with mental illness and phsyical pains? Did you experience that?

Your feedback is appreciated.

Thanks

Rayan.

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OCD, Anxiety & Bipolar Mania

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I don’t know if there is an evidence showing link between OCD and Bipolar Mania. I just recently had worst obsessions (Pure O and Mental Rituals) that ruined my inner peace. I had obsessions about death, afterlife, hell, heaven and day of judgement. I had intense thoughts that life of this world is just temporary and meaningless so why do we celebrate a birth of child, why do we study, work and enjoy things that are perishable and volatile. Maybe other people also ruminate on these things but a thought of a mental patient is far different from a person who is not a mental patient ( I didn’t use word ‘normal’ here because mental patients are not abnormal).

The obsessions were so intense that they made me psychotic. I kept on thinking about it and keep convincing myself, seek reassurance (mental rituals) which gave me peace of few minutes and same idea popped up again in my mind followed by re-assurance and same cycle goes on. In that period of almost 2-3 months I couldn’t perform simple day-to-day tasks, like washing hands, taking bath, eating food etc. My mind was always thinking and thinking without expecting new results.

I was not in my home country that time. Upon returning back, I consulted with my Pdoc and he prescribed me Epival (Divalproex sodium) and increased Risperdone. It was the same prescription that I used  to have previously in hypo/manic period. That made me wonder if there is some connection between OCD and Mania. Because previously when I was hypomanic, I got super excited and energised. But this time I didn’t get excited, apparently I was very normal with emotions, just had these obsessive thoughts.

Along with OCD, my anxiety was also increased. I was unable to travel because I became anxious and impatient while in traffic or in metro or malls. I consciously avoided public places when I had a choice. Moreover, I always felt full bladder, and felt an urgency of urine, though I didn’t have a need to go to washroom in real.

Also, I had health anxiety, whenever I heard about anyone’s disease in family or on television, I feared if I might have that illness, I spent hours in anxiety and panic thinking what would happen if I have that disease. It was a miserable state.

Secondly, I want to have your opinion regarding changing the environment. Does anyone get severe illness symptoms when you changed your environment? moved to different city or country? does travelling and changing place trigger your depressive or manic symptoms?

Blessings

Rayan.

 

 

Finding Fun in Walking

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Walking is an effective catharsis and stress relieving therapy. When I used to get out of home with an intention of ‘walking’ as an exercise to reduce/maintain weight (as weight management is one of the most important and painful issues of people with mental problems due to weight gaining tendency by antipsychotic drugs), so I could never motivate myself to step out of home. It seems  like a big issue and I am sure it is a common problem with most of the people who wish and plan to walk for weight reduction. But I adapted a different strategy which is, making my mind to go out and roam around what’s going on there outside my house. Going to the same park daily is of course boring, so I decided to roam and wander on different streets (without my phone and cash, because there is an increased street crime and snatching here). I feel so relaxed without my belongings. Because belongings weigh you down. That’s my experience. Anyway, now I go outside almost daily, with different intentions, sometimes to shop grocery (as I don’t drive because of medical condition so I have to walk) or sometimes to pray in mosque that is far from my house, this is what actually happened today. I walked for Esha prayer in a mosque which is very far from my area, and it was not only praying of course, it also burned my calories. 🙂

So my advice to all of you, especially those who can’t motivate themselves to jog or join gym (because you can’t be regular with gym, that’s my own experience). Go out, just to roam around, watch people, say Hi Hello or in our culture we say Assalam O Alikum, to elder people, they feel happy, you may see smiling kids on streets, you can do some charity too, believe me, such small acts make you feel so contented. and your self esteem raises high, what else do you want? Exercise+Entertainment+Observation+Boost in self-esteem+Weight  management = all in one package !! 🙂

Cheers,

Rayan Ahmed

(P.S. who regularly follow my blog can see the difference in my tone from the last few posts, from depression, i became happy and excited, but for a Bipolar it’s not good to be over excited, so I need to control my happiness too 😉

Weight Gain and Self Esteem

self image

Today I’m going to share a very personal experience with you that empowered me with a great learning. I reduced approximately 48.5 Pounds in 4 months as a result of strict diet and extensive workout. Why? Because I was embarrassed of my body shape like most of the chubby or obese young people do. I couldn’t wear body fit narrow bottom jeans which is in fashion these days and trendy t-shirts of popular clothing brands which gave me a feeling of helplessness and worthlessness when I see them displaying at dummies behind glass window in malls.

I don’t feel any shame in confessing that I envied my friends who were smart and could follow latest fashion in all seasons. I got burnt in the fire of jealousy when I see them in sexy outfits that I could only dream of.

While shedding extra pounds I became super-duper excited (which also triggered hypomanic episode due to heavy cardio workouts). The overwhelming compliments soaked in deep surprise, wonder and appreciation from friends, acquaintances and relatives took me at the peak of pride and greater sense of achievement. Now, I could wear anything. I was feeling out of the world. No less than a prince charming. And yes, I felt more confident and the esteem trespassed into a bit of arrogance. I deserve that credit after all.

In a very short span of a year my ‘slim image’ got faded away as I and others got used to of it. The weight reduction no longer excited me nor did it sustain the sense of accomplishment. The sudden boost in my self-esteem and confidence was very shallow and it split like a water bubble. Now I see many overweight and obese people around me and feel so normal about them. Even some of the darling television starts, comedians who make me laugh, all of them are so confident about who they are and how they look. They always look beautiful and do amazing work in their respective domains. What they wear also looks good on them because they carry it with confidence.

In this period of severe hard work on my appearance and dwelling between low and high self-esteem, I learned that your confidence and comfort with yourself is directly linked with your self-image i.e. how you see yourself. The inferiority complex, which haunts and makes us look inferior to others resides within that we try to cover and polish it with make-up on the body.  Therefore, changing outer appearance, materialistic acquisition of goods or any such superficial thing won’t make any difference to how you feel or your emotions in a long run.

It’s not others’ opinions that matter; instead it’s our own perception about ourselves that translate people’s comments accordingly. For instance, sometime I wonder, how can these fat and bald actors take humiliating jokes and sarcasm in shows on public channel? How can obese women come on television at reality shows and perform so well with confidence? This is because; they have accepted them that way and they have a firm realization that their obesity or baldness doesn’t define them. Self-acceptance is more important before you seek acceptance in society. In order to get long lasting results we should work on inner part of our body that provide foundation to our personality i.e. thoughts, attitude and perception. Appearance is an outer part that keeps varying with age and time and it doesn’t affect much on your inner self.

We need to keep us reminding that I am the only one who can make me feel good with dignity despite all the imperfections or I can degrade myself by competing in a rat race with peers and considering myself worthless, despite having a lot of things to be grateful for, that millions of people on earth desire.

Rayan Ahmed.

Blessings of Mental Illness

Bipolar Homosexuality

The word ‘Disorder’ or ‘Disease’ contains enough negativity for someone (patient to be precise), to curse and consider him as the most unfortunate among his peers. And if it’s some kind of mental illness, then the social stigma would make the situation worse for the sufferer. Ironically, a cancer patient is often capable for gaining public sympathy vote and wishes but a mental patient doesn’t enjoy that privilege. By saying this, I don’t mean that someone going through a psychological problem, needs ‘Public Sympathy’. Not at all. Because this sympathy and extra-attention makes the life of sufferer miserable. S/he thinks that he is no more a human and people including family or friends who know about the disease, alienate the person by behaving and treating differently.

Blessings of Mental Illness

Blessings of Mental Illness

The mental illness is perceived as something very bad and fatal happened to a person, nothing can be done now……

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Gay Rights Demand Homosexual Dignity

Honor is a Gentleman's trait.

Honor is a Gentleman’s trait.

I wish we would be as willing to warmly regard and express our inner beauty and kindness as we feel free to reveal our bodies to strangers. I feel deep sorrow while scrolling profile images on social networking site/app. There are several people contented to display their full or half naked seductive body pictures. I realize they are normal, decent and educated people like me in their real lives. They carry a sober and sophisticated image in their respective social circle. Then why that dignified image is not carried or accepted on gay social networking sites? Why does a person need to put his personal or a fake arousing photo to catch the attention of public? A person is a lot more than his physical body stats, his size and his role in bed. We act quite decently in real life; have a family, regular friends to hang around, colleagues to work with, hence a complete social life, where we act as a human being not gay or straight. People know us and accept us with our good and bad.

The reason for acting seductive on social sites is quite obvious. Most of us go there when in need of quick sex commonly known as a hook up. Who would want to go through the hassle of knowing the person when the superficial contact is merely meant to last for few hours or a night at the most?

I do not judge them for their actions. They have chosen a different fashion to spend life and fulfill desires. I just feel disgusted because I’m also a part of the community. I visit the site in hope to get a good company. I don’t even deny my sexual desires. But when I look at those hungry faces and greedy gestures, I truly feel embarrassed of myself. Every human being irrespective of his dynamics and background is equally respectful. No one can deny the existence of body needs and biological desires. But their pursuit shouldn’t be materialized on the cost of the human dignity and self-worth. There must be other appropriate ways to attract partner, which don’t compel us to put our naked bodies on the market shelves.

Ironically, we carry two public profiles: a decent one for real world and other slutty one for an apparently ‘fake’ community (which is in fact our real identity). Aren’t they reflecting our dual standards and hypocrisy? We can deceive anyone by our smartness but cannot lie to our conscience – the most honest accountability of the self.

Today, when there is a worldwide movement launched for gay rights and equal acceptance, it’s high time to rethink and critically analyze our practices. If we want our place in society with honor, we should take responsibility for our personal as well as sexual observance and display the conduct to prove that homosexuals are not different from straight people. We are not defined by our sexual desires. We also follow principles of morality. We regard ourselves and our fellow men with high esteem. And above all, homosexuality is a part of our personality, much higher than that, we are equal human beings.

In the Blues of Gloom

When gratitude Fades Away.  (Image: Google)

When gratitude Fades Away.
(Image: Google)

I know there are many people on the same planet living more miserable life than me; people in Africa are starving to death and I have enough food than my appetite, children don’t have clean water to drink and I waste too much water in shower, women don’t have enough clothes to cover their bodies and I keep buying new outfits for me. I’m not a coldhearted person, I realize the misery of suffering humanity, but when I’m knocked down by my inner self, I become selfish and cruel to think only about my pain and my misery. I consider myself as the most unfortunate person on the planet. My conscious mind disregards all the blessings to be grateful for and my achievements to be proud of and in return, zooms in all the wounds of my soul in the form of deprivation, past failures and future worrisome. Despite knowing, I’m not a part of the social rat race, I start comparison with others. Surprisingly, at this point of time, every person I know appears to be valuable and successful, making most out of his rocking and exciting life. In the sparkling light of which, my dull and boring self becomes more regretful and I get buried in the mud of shame. My existence was never such meaningless as it seems now. At this moment, the power of reason surrenders in front of overwhelming irrational emotions of despair, probably that’s why all the self-help literature I keep reading to boost my morale, fails to encounter the irresistible negativity within and the self-counseling techniques sound not more than an absurd and futile remedy. My self-esteem and self-worth seem far distinct to approach. The light, which I found in myself after going through several sessions of trial and silent meditation, disappeared leaving behind the haunting darkness. The only blessing of such phase that I could recall is a fanciful comfort of death because life, in front of which, seems to be much more frightening.

Rayan.