Struggling with the Elephant in the Room

A Manic Depressive Blog

Manic Depressive Illness- How Anxiety & Paranoia Control My Life Part 2

Although I was diagnosed with manic-depressive illness I also suffer from anxiety and paranoia. At times it feels like my life is being controlled by my anxiety.  Most days I feel like some unknown entity is out to kill me, other days I’m convinced my mind is a living being that is trying to fuck with me and make my life miserable. Actually this is a major issue for me- as I have gotten older and my mental illness has evolved, I’ve become convinced that my mind is trying to destroy me. I know this might seem crazy, but it’s a real issue for me and one that I struggle with everyday. The problem is I can’t take anti-anxiety meds because of my addictive nature (when I left the psych ward I was give a bottle of ativan. Instead of following the directions I ended up snorting 6 pills, almost causing myself to overdose. It fucking sucks that I can’t take anti-anxiety meds to combat my paranoia, panic attacks and anxiety). So I’m stuck.

Even worse, my anxiety and paranoia usually morphs into a manic or mixed episode (manic and depressed at the same time. This is one of most dangerous states because you no longer care about life and your only goal is to destroy everything. I will come back to the topic of mixed episodes in the next few posts) making my life even worse. At times I truly believe that I’m a slave to my anxiety and paranoia- I can’t function, my thoughts race and my mind is usually out of control forcing me to believe that I’m worthless piece of shit. As a result, I’m scared to death to ask for help. I’ve been struggling with my mind for years, but due to my fear and embarrassment I’ve kept this problem a secret.

It fucking hurts. But I can no longer stay silent.

I’ve been struggling with this issue for so long that I truly believe my mind is creature that is trying to devour me. But I’m hopeful. I know that if I raise my hand and ask for help I can finally get rid of this paranoid thinking. I need to remind myself that I have made a lot of progress the last few weeks: I’ve been sober 22 days, I’m getting out of the house more, I spent a week in a psych ward which has helped me gain control over my mental state, I’ve met new people and I’ve gotten rid of all my drug friends and dealers. This is the most stable I’ve been in 7 years.

But my life is still being controlled by anxiety and paranoia. Every night before I go to bed I wash my hands at least 5 or 6 times, I check my front door and turn the knob at least 5-10 times making sure it is truly locked. I turn the lights on and off, making sure everything is in its place. Some nights I enter my bedroom and I have to go back out to make sure the front door is locked, even though I had checked it a half dozen times. My life is controlled by even numbers, because I am convinced odd numbers are evil. Although my apartment is messy I’m scared to death by other people’s “diseases.”

Last week my toilet broke. It was one of the most stressful periods in my life, not only did I have to use someone else’s toilet, but people I did not know entered my apartment. It got so bad that I made myself sick and constipated. For two days I couldn’t function because I was so paranoid and convinced that my body was going to die. Although I survived, it was still a very scary experience that took me awhile to get over.

I have to stop writing. This is a very hard topic for me to discuss because it’s unnerving as well as embarrassing. But I realize that I am not alone.

Dave.

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5 thoughts on “Manic Depressive Illness- How Anxiety & Paranoia Control My Life Part 2

  1. hola dave,

    I really do not have words to express what you are going through…I can only suggest that perhaps at these dark times for you some kind of spiritual practice might help…I did not say religious but spiritual like mediation-yoga or even a spirit based marial arts… I have started going back to agape because it was time to get re-connected again…..I will be goi ng this Wed if you would like to join me..have to be at my place by 5:30 pm..let me know

    thinking of you

    Ivonne

  2. Dave…

    Your last comment is perhaps the most powerful for me: You are, indeed, not alone.

    While I am certain that the anxiety and paranoia manifest very differently, I live with an often crippling experience of both. I have also made some very serious structural changes in my life in recent weeks. And the key, perhaps, is to remember that we deserve a very real and meaningful shot at the lives we want to live, that we can and must find ways toward those lives, and that we are not alone.

    Here if you need anything.

  3. Hi I’m Emma, im 30 year old, I think your very brave to write your story, I have split personality and anxiety, I understand everyday is a battle, im no way near as bad as u as I managed to control it to a degree. Your story touched me and I felt your pain. I think your doing so well and stay strong and positive, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel no matter how dark it is right now for u. Best of luck to you x

  4. You need to get some books about how to repair your brain. My friend took drugs and because of that, the drugs made her have mental disorders because it messed up part of her brain.
    A doctor recommended some books on how to repair the damaged part of her brain so she wouldn’t be as paranoid, depressed, or have anxiety.
    I think the books were from Dr. Ahem. I’m not sure if that’s how his name is or not.

    I hope it helps,

    Aim

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I hope your friend is doing better. Actually, drugs don’t cause mental illness, it only amplifies or speeds up pre-existing mental disorders. Unfortunately your friend most likely had a pre-existing disorder that had not fully developed and was exacerbated by the drug use. Yes some drugs can create paranoia, anxiety, depression etc. but most of those symptoms only last for a short period of time. This is exemplified in an article written by SANE of Australia:

      It can be hard to tell which problem came first – the drugs or the mental illness. Having a mental illness can make a person more likely to abuse drugs, to make their symptoms feel better in the short-term. Other people have drug problems that may trigger the first symptoms of mental illness. Some drugs cause a condition called drug-induced psychosis which usually passes after a few days. However, if someone has a predisposition to a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia, these drugs may trigger the first episode in what can be a lifelong mental illness. Using drugs can also make the symptoms of mental illnesses worse and make treatment less effective. Anyone who has, or is vulnerable to, mental illness is therefore strongly discouraged from using drugs.

      Here is a quote from webmd further explaining about drug use causing the first episode in a pre-existing mental disorder:

      “The substance is not really causing the mental health problem, but it can be a precipitating factor that causes the condition to manifest,” Manevitz tells WebMD.

      “In this respect, the mental health condition is already actively present when the substance abuse begins, but the patient just doesn’t know it — the problem is driving the addiction, it just hasn’t yet been recognized or diagnosed,” Manevitz tells WebMD.

      As I said above I hope your friend is doing better and thanks for stopping by. Also I will definitely check out the books by Dr. Ahem, thanks for the suggestion.

      Dave.

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