Missing My Thinking and Emotions

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I always felt tempted to read sociology, psychology and philosophy, because I am a deep thinker and I love ruminating. Since my late childhood, I kept obsessing about big questions of life regarding the absolute truth, beginning of life, destiny of mankind, death, afterlife, Day of Judgment and accountability. Upon sharing my thoughts with a few close acquaintances, I got to know that many people ponder on these thoughts. But the same thoughts when pop-up into a malfunctioned brain, don’t appear in a same way like they do in a ‘normal’ people’s mind. Often, these questions and thoughts turn into obsessions and become psychotic, generally referred as a unique form of OCD i.e. Pure O.

Sometimes I decide not to read dark stuff, like philosophical writings, something that turns on my rumination mode. After all, what is the use of indulging into something that ruins your inner peace and triggers a war of thoughts in your head. I read a quote of some wise author which goes like “I desire things that will kill me in the end”. That is so true in my case. I desire to study philosophy; I love to indulge in deep thinking, in an argument to discover the truth by travelling on my unique path.

Some days I go easily with ignorance. I deliberately don’t pay attention to the questions or the urges that pops into my mind. I tend to ignore things and ideas that bother me, just for the sake of my mental peace. But unfortunately, can’t get along ahead with my attempt. Almost every time, I feel so empty from inside. The hollowness of ignorance makes me more restless. I feel there is no purpose of my existence. As another saying of another wise person goes like “I think, therefore I am”. I believe in that firmly. The difference between my peers and me is because of the way we think and respond to whatever is happening with us and around. I am different from them because of my perspectives and opinions. I admit they are living a happier life than me as they have a good health and a pretty stable and consistent life, and on the other hand, I dwell in uncertainty. But still, I feel distinguished because of my identity, which is the way to see things differently, to feel with more intensity.

Therefore, I always fail to remain ignorant. Every time, I get landed into thinking and rumination again. And what I realized after reading my previous blogs, that although I was not that much stable that time when I wrote those, I was struggling with my emotional battles but I was not this much emotionally flat as I become now because of this stability. I had no career stability that time, but I was alive. Today when I have a productive routine, but I don’t feel myself. I feel more empty and hollow. I feel lack of motivation and purpose.

Rayan Ahmed.

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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.

 

 

Disability Stigma Lies Within

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Before diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder, I referred to my ‘sadness’ or ‘excitement’ as casual emotional variation. I have been brought up with proper schooling and used to have enough social activities that everyone enjoys in early life. I used to drive my car to the university. I managed to have a shining and distinctive academic track besides taking too much stress in exam period. I knew that I faced confusion and stress – perhaps because I always used to think on big questions since I was in school. I asked my teacher about the origin of God and the mankind. I used to ponder where these languages came from? And so forth. These are questions that don’t have straight answers. The level of confusion increased to extend that I used to think I might not be a normal person.

I was too much worried about my career and was disturbed due to confusion with sexual orientation, that the anxiety led to nervous breakdown in 2007. Since March 2007, I started Psychiatric drugs, before that I was coping it without any medications. Then in 2011, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder at the age of 27. After getting this fancy title, I used to analyze my life and the world around with the prejudices of the illness.

Like, I am not a normal person.

I may not live a normal happy life like others.

I am very unfortunate person

I cannot earn enough money to sustain decent life

I may not live a happy family life

And the never-ending comparison between my misery and achievements of friends

I have been taking antipsychotics since 2007 and mood stabilizers since 2011 when I was diagnosed with Bipolar (I don’t skip medicines). And along with the medication, consultation with psychiatrist on regular basis, studying about the disease online and making lifestyle adjustments, I keep experiencing highs and lows (what DSM terms as Depressive and Manic Episodes).

I don’t want to get into the debate whether drugs are working or they are not more than  placebo, I just want to highlight by sharing my story that since after the diagnosis I was put on life-time medications which apparently don’t ‘Cure’ my mood instability and give me so much side effects. Nobody would want to take medicines that keep on increasing year by year without producing a noticeable effect on your thinking and behavior, and in return disturb the brain wiring and biochemical proportions that impairs your overall physiology of body (memory function, weight gain, sleep problems, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, kidney failure, blood pressure, cardiac diseases and what not)

Beside the failure and adverse effects of drugs, the label of ‘Bipolar Disorder’ not only alienate me from the world but also make me disable, less efficient, unfortunate and ultimate failure. I know I am suffering from a horrible mental illness so it’s obvious that I can’t live a happy normal life like my friends. We often fight for acceptance in the society. But the truth is, we carry this ‘Stigma’ within us that holds us back to find and enjoy our share of happiness in the world. We see ourselves and predict our lives with the ‘lens of mental illness.’

Furthermore, when we are entitled to enter in the world of psychiatry and mental health, we explore more related stuff about the ‘disease’ and related illnesses. Then we get amaze to explore more psychological problems (that you may or may not have and regardless of the fact that it is legitimate problem or not) For example, Psychiatry justifies every thought and behavior pattern by packaging it as ‘disorder’ Like I was quite excited and thrilled as a child and didn’t focus on studies attentively so I might be suffering from ADHD or I have quite repetitive thoughts so maybe it’s OCD.  Initially it looks very fascinating to receive such titles as honorary award.

Now when I recall my life history before and after diagnosis, I can claim with no doubt that my life was much better before the diagnosis. I used to laugh on crazy jokes, I got excitement while meeting friends, I was emotional and sensitive, I got upset and offended easily, I was creative and artistic, I was a bright student, I was sympathetic but I was not a Bipolar. I was a normal person like my other friends.

Today, when I read that bipolar people are creative so I regard my creativity with my ‘disease’ not with my ability. When I knew many great writers in history were Bipolar, so I believed that my writing skills are a gift of my ‘illness’ However I took admission in Mass Communication in 2004 when I knew about my interest and capabilities but after my diagnosis as Bipolar in 2011, I realized, Oh that’s the reason why I have good communication skills.

I don’t claim that problems with cognition and behavior don’t exist. But when we give a title to something, it will become our identity and then it will decide our destiny. We just act us puppets.

P.S. I would better want to be known as a Normal person with emotional variation than a Bipolar – Mental Patient.

Rayan Ahmed.

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.

Escape from Haunting Thoughts

OverThinking Kills Inner Peace

OverThinking Kills Inner Peace

I think a significant part of people living with bipolar disorder is spent in thinking, rethinking, rejecting the previous thought, accepting another, deciding on one thing, have a firm conviction and finally doing something impulsive and undecided. And then going back on what has already done, analyzing so many different dimensions of the event that may not ever exist, anticipating the overestimated consequences and spending several hours thinking about the alternative responses that could possibly refrain the situation to happen.

It would not be totally incorrect if I say that people with bipolar illness spend more time with themselves, struggling with the never-ending battle of their thoughts. Any family member would generally refer the usual silence of a bipolar as ‘down’ or ‘low’ mood but it is likely that there is a muddled curry being cooked in his mind. People who do not have bipolar also spend time alone figuring out stuff and settling down disturbing thoughts or routine stress. But in case of Bipolar, the usual thinking that is initiated with an intention to ‘figure out’ the matter often leads to more tangled thought process making the ‘thinker’ anxious to solve the ‘mystery’ which is becoming more intricate as the time goes.

This restless situation can be avoided by a simple yet effective solution. Whenever you get stuck in such state, just try not to move with the flow of chaotic thoughts. It is certainly not easy to manipulate your mind when it is vigorously engaged in processing. The convenient way to do so is a simple withdrawal. Get yourself out from the current mental state by changing your physical dynamics. Best way is to go out for a walk, the new environment will help you distract from your haunting thoughts. You can also pursue your favorite leisure activity. Gardener can find a refuge in the foliage of plants and their colorful blossom. Reader can be lost in mesmeric book written by his favorite author. People who are fond of visual creativity, can just log on to Pinterest and explore new creative art pieces that would take them into a magical world of imagination.

We must develop skills to manipulate our mind in order to escape from lingering thoughts. And we always have alternatives to do so by putting a little effort. Keep reminding it to yourself.

Blessings be upon You.

Rayan.

Inevitable Trial

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 I know there is light inside me

But every time I fail to find some

All I see is overwhelming darkness

In the form of tangled thoughts

Chaotic passions & disgusted cravings

They say, all you need is a little push

a change of perspective maybe,

I wonder if I could ever change,

My haunting thoughts

Chasing me all over, repeatedly

I wonder if I could buy new desires

Some ‘decent’ and ‘acceptable’ ones

In this market of high principles,

I wonder if I could control the tides of storm,

Throwing me out into the dirty seashore

Awaking me from the beautiful dream,

Where I don’t have to please anyone,

And justify my impulsive emotions,

 I heard that life is worth living.

But when you feel worthless,

It appears to be an excess baggage,

 Weigh you down every passing moment.

And your greatest struggle is to Survive,

Each moment, from every emerging thought.

 ~Rayan~

Why Did You Try to Kill Yourself?

ImageNobody on earth feels good about the idea of committing Suicide. But unfortunately, for some people, it seems to be the last HOPE and Door to inner Peace.

(P.S: The purpose of this Image/Message is to highlight the Ignorance of people. We DO NOT support Suicide in anyway, even if it seems to be the last option available)