Monday, February 25, 2008

isolated in a world full of people, and other thoughts

Well, everyone, if you watched the Oscars, maybe you noticed that Atonement and Juno got robbed. Yes, this is off-topic for this blog, but I feel the need to mention my supreme disappointment in the Academy Awards for giving the Best Picture Award to a bloody-gory-icky-macho-man-killer-violence flick, like No Country for Old Men, which is, I think, the one that won. Oh well....

At least Juno won for Best Screenplay, which was good!

In other news, I am saddened that Hillary does not appear to be winning with her campaign, but she still has a chance.

Now, back to the topic that fits, ie, me and my brain. I have not been sleeping. Argh! This is a very frustrating problem, that, apparently, is still not understood by my doctor who fails to do much about it when told. I went in to see my caseworker today and informed her that I've been up till 8 AM most nights lately, even when taking Seroquel 200 mgs, and Restoril 30 mgs for sleep. She relayed this information to the doctor, whose response was to write me a prescription for Seroquel 300 mgs, and say that should help.

Hahaha. That should help me go to sleep at 6 AM, maybe!! My brain does not respond well to medications for sleep, anymore. I don't know why, and I don't particularly care what the reason is, I just want the problem to be addressed as if it matters. Which is not happening. I am thinking about looking elsewhere for a doctor. I currently go to the community mental health center, but I am not overly impressed by the length of time doctors have to spend with you there, which is about 5 minutes. This may be no better elsewhere, but I could at least pick out the person that gets to be my doctor if I was going somewhere else. At the community mental health center, the person gets picked for me by others. I have been told by my caseworker and my therapist that the one that I'm seeing (ARNP) is one of the best they have, which she may very well be. However, how long am I supposed to go without getting any meaningful sleep before I end up psychotic? That's what I would like to know.

I am at the point where I would take Thorazine, just to go to sleep. I don't really care what it is that I have to take, I just want to sleep again. One night of sleep would do wonders for me.

I should mention, the last time I went to the doctor, my doctor was out sick so I saw another doctor in replacement for her. I met this doctor and she said that, based on the lack of sleep that I'm experiencing, I must be manic. I will tell you, I've talked to everybody I am close to and in frequent contact with about this and nobody thinks I'm manic but that doctor. I don't think that doctor, who spent a few minutes meeting me, is really correct on that idea. So, mania is not an explanation. I know this because, for one thing, I know the kinds of things I do when I am manic, and I'm not doing those things right now. I also know that, if I was manic, it would probably be the fault of the medication I'm on, since I take Prozac and I don't take a mood stabilizer, and doing that can make a person manic if a person has a problem with mood swings. I do this because...you guessed it! The doctor prescribes me Prozac. I did not come up with the idea to put myself on that medication. I just went along with the program, which is not always a good idea to do.

I'm not saying that Prozac doesn't help me. Indeed, I believe it does. I think it's great for my OCD problems and I have noticed a marked difference in the amount of obsessive thoughts I have no versus when I was taking another medication for that problem. But even my therapist pointed out that Prozac or any other antidepressant could make a person manic. I still contend that I'm not the least bit manic right now, but if I was, the point is, it would probably be my doctor's fault. Or, I should say, the fault of the medication which was given to me by the doctor.

Anyway, I would know if I was manic. I would be shopping a lot and looking for activities to be involved in, and I would have energy and would be motivated to clean my apartment - none of which is happening at all. I would also be irritable, which I'm not, or angry, or laughing all the time, which is also not happening. I think if that doctor who just met me had spent twenty minutes with me instead of five, she would have realized straight away that mania is not the problem. If anything, I'm horribly depressed! I have no motivation, and I cannot concentrate at all to do my schoolwork, which is causing my grades to deteriorate. My apartment is in shambles, and I have no energy to work on fixing it up.

Also, I am terribly lonely. I find this to be a recurrent problem in my life, which must, obviously, have more to do with me than with any other people or a lack of other people, since it keeps happening. I find that it's easy for me to be close to a couple of people, but I have a hard time making friends with larger numbers of folks, which is unfortunate, because I could use more friends than just that couple of people. I mean, I also don't have a lot of friends who I have very much in common with anymore, and that can be a problem that leads a person to feel rather isolated and lonely. I used to have a group of friends who I had things in common with, and then I got sick and started to exhibit all those bizarre symptoms which characterize Schizophrenia, and those people basically evaporated from my life one by one. I miss them sometimes. I didn't live in the same area as any of them, but I knew them all really well, and they knew me pretty well, but not well enough for them to understand what was happening when my brain went haywire. So that was too bad.

I do have one new friend. I met her at my support group, and we do have some things in common. I am glad to know her, though we still don't know each other all that well yet. Other than that, I haven't had many opportunities to meet people lately, so it is rather difficult to make friends. I find that in my Algebra class nobody really talks to each other, and I haven't made any friends at school because that's the only class I have that has actual class meetings. My other class is online.

I brought this topic - isolation and loneliness - up in my support group before, because I think, based on what I've read and what I've experienced, that it is pretty common to have this kind of problem when you have an illness like Schizophrenia. I think you get this label and it leaves you feeling a little separated from the rest of the world. I also think that, in some ways, what you experience with this illness really does separate you from the rest of the world, because you have weird experiences which most people cannot understand or relate to very well. I think there is sometimes a coinciding lack of social skills or a problem making friends that happens with people who have this illness, maybe because the people are shy or insecure or both, and maybe because of things that happen with the brain because of the illness. From what I have read, this is the case. So, I don't totally blame myself for the fact that I do not have as much of a social life as I would like to have.

Also, I think people in general these days have a hard time making friends because we're all online every day or much of the time, and you can make friends online but you will likely never see those people in person, so your friendship is limited. I think that once people are out of high school, unless you go to college full time and live there (at the school) it's hard to meet people outside of work, and we don't all have workplaces that are full of people we can relate to as friends. Some of us don't have workplaces at all or are in-between workplaces, or work from home, or work in isolation. I come across a lot of people who say that they have trouble making friends, or they don't have opportunities to meet people, and I wonder if this might just be part of our post-modern dilemma. Maybe....maybe not. Let me know what you think.

2 comments:

Ken Albin said...

It's an interesting topic. I feel alone much of the time these days even though I am with my wife. I think we all live within our own shell and that true self is not known by many others. We are all ultimately alone with our thoughts and feelings. Even if we share those feelings with others, they are usually too wrapped up with their own worlds to enter ours.

marilyn said...

I think we all have feelings of lonliness.When I analyze my feelings of lonliness, the thing that usually gets me out of these feelings is doing small acts of kindness. Things as small as opening a door for someone,smiling at a stranger,letting someone in during heavy traffic.I usually feel lonely when I focus too much on self. My feelings, my problems, my situation,why me. I can only take so much of my self. We all have obstacles to overcome some more than others. When ever I am feeling lonely and isolated the universe always shows me someone who has it worse. All we can do is take one day at a time and have faith that tommorrow will be better. One day at a time simply but true.

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