1. The Why Me Syndrome

    November 9, 2013

    I'm unique!

    by Andrew R.


    You hear this a lot when time is spent with other people with mental quirks “How come I have depression? Why me?”. This is something I don’t do for the most part and the closest I will come is figuring a past life of mistakes is now responsible for my present but there is no logic there so it does not last long. The other reason I do not fall for this syndrome is I am pretty sure I know what the answer is.


    1. Genetics. Both sides of my family have cases of severe depression in more than one person. A number of my aunts and uncles have been on prescription medications for the last decade. So my brain is pretty much hard wired for depression.


    2. Coping Mechanisms. Most people get a problem thrust upon them then they handle it then and there. My tendency is to take the problem and swallow the damn thing then later on release the inner turmoil with the help of a razor. Not healthy and the breeding ground for mental illness.


    3. Brain design. I analyze every single thing that comes into my brain purely by habit and where most people are able to justify and let go I continue to dig until there is nothing left. I doubt this is scientific fact but i would bet people with a higher intelligence are more at risk then someone with a lower IQ score. Take a tragic event: A person with a lower IQ sees the event and just shrugs it off then is able to move on but someone with a higher IQ tends to see the same event from every possible angle and needs it to be fully justified before letting it go. There has been recent studies done showing the link between highly creative people and mental illness.


    Anyway there is my three reasons on Why me.


    Image Credit: Ashley Webb – www.flickr.com/photos/xlordashx/8418067887

  2. How My Personal War Affects My Son

    October 1, 2013

    by Matthew L (personal story)

    During my last hospitalization the ex wife and I came to the decision that my son would not come to visit me while I was on the psych ward. At the time he was three and we did not think that a visit on the psych ward was appropriate for him. Normally the ward is a rather calm and boring place to be but there is times when the floor goes off so we did not want to take the chance plus I was going through withdrawal off of Effexor, Wellbutrin, Remeron and Lithium which had my brain going every which way but the right way. Not exactly the image I wanted to be presented to my son.


    Every couple of days I would call my son to see how he was doing and what he was up too. These phone calls were essential for the father son relationship but at the same time they took their toll. Mentally I was in an awful place so I needed to psych myself up for the phone call so he wouldn’t have any reason to be worried. My son was told the reason I was in the hospital was because my medications were not working right so the doctors were trying to find the right ones which is basically the reason I was there simplified.


    During every phone call my three year old would ask when I was going to be coming home and if I was better which tore my heart out but I always managed to answer him that Daddy was working very hard and would be home soon. After the calls mentally I was a wreck as I felt I was a terrible parent causing stress on someone so young and a couple of times it put me right over the edge. Thankfully every time this happened a good nurse would be on and helped me to work through it.


    When it came time for me to go home and my son started his routine visits again every time he saw me he would ask if I was okay which is a brutal question to answer for a parent as it makes you realize that you are not the only one being affected by mental illness. Since my ex wife became pregnant I promised my child to be the best father possible and always be there for him and my personal demons are preventing this from happening to the full extent.


    There have been occasions when I have compared whether or not my son would be better off if I was dead and there is a lot of reason on how it could be viewed as positive but I also know that the odds of a child committing suicide because his or her parent did is sky high. The part that always stops this train of thought is that even though at times I am not on top of my game at least I am still there trying and the hope that with time I can be the parent I want to be so I continue to fight.


    My son is what stops me from ending this hell that I live in, my son is the reason I have been trying so damn hard to win this war and my sons laughter is what fuels me for the battles ahead. I don’t really care what happens to me but I care what happens to him and that is all I need to keep going.

    Image Credit: Daniel Horacio Agostini – www.flickr.com/photos/dhammza/100817327

  3. On Trust, Fear, and Borderline Personality Disorder

    August 7, 2013

    Living with Borderline Personality Disorder

    From BPD patient diary:

    I have a massive issue when it comes to trust which is a major hurdle that I need to overcome if I ever want a clear shot at recovery. The mere thought of putting my well being into the hands of others sends shivers down my spine. This is something that did not appear when my breakdown occurred but probably started sometime in early childhood and is a main factor in the development of what later became Borderline Personality Disorder.


    Right off the bat the first people you are suppose to trust is your parents as they are responsible for damn near everything right off the bat but when certain circumstances happen this is put into jeopardy creating a sort of movement that is going to take a long time to get past. I could never figure out why the people who were suppose to love me and keep me safe would repeatedly put me into situations that caused me harm. My father who could go from fun loving dad to pissed off at the world in a heartbeat created an environment that was a long way from being safe for a child. I never knew what mood he was going to be in so it kept my anxiety level sky high and helped mold my BPD false self in order to eliminate as many factors as possible that would set him off. You cannot trust someone you fear.


    Both of my parents like many around the world worked full time so my primary care giver was someone outside of the home. It was my parents responsibility to make sure that all of the proper steps were taken in order to ensure my safety and well being needless to say this did not happen. I went through a number of different sitters and I would imagine some were wonderful people but the others should have picked a different occupation. Again my view of trust was distorted for how can I trust someone who is suppose to ensure my wellbeing but continues to cause harm on a way to regular basis. Too many days were spent wondering if I was going to get my ass beat at home or at the sitters or both.


    Depending on the year teachers were the closest thing I had to a responsible adult in my life but like everything else there were exceptions to the rule. Finally gathered the nerve to tell the teacher about the abuse I was taking outside of school to only be told if I was a better behaved child it would never happen. Basically the same situation repeated a year later and I learned a lesson that I would hang on to for years to come “The only person who I can trust with my wellbeing and safety is me for no one else cares what happens”.


    Doctors are a difficult group of people to trust as a whole. The first appointment they basically promise the world in terms of recovery then over the next period of time repeatedly fail to come through. I would imagine part of this is my expectations are off base but it seems every time I try to combat these negative thoughts with logic the only thing that comes to mind is examples from the past which are far from positive..


    Therapists and I do not have the best relationships. In a therapy setting you need to be completely open in order for the best possible result but I have found out the hard way that there is something known as too much information. After my first psych stay I was set up with a therapist who has a wonderful reputation of helping those with historical abuse issues. Everything was going well for the first couple of visits until I made a mistake in the third. She asked the typical question on any progress or setbacks since the last appointment and I admitted that I hit a rough patch where I turned to self harm. Almost instantaneously this therapist decided that I was not in a stable enough place mentally to go through therapy and that was the last time I ever saw her. She was followed by two more therapists who basically came to the same conclusion after myself harm issues came out into the open. Since then I have tried to contact a dozen more therapists but once I mention that I do have the Borderline Personality Disorder all communication is cut off and this is before any of them actually took the time to meet me in person to judge for themselves how well I may respond to treatment. I have come to the conclusion in order for me to obtain treatment in a therapeutic setting in this community I am going to have to fail to mention that I am BPD and I have a lengthy self harm history. Not sure how I am going to be able to be open with someone when I believe I need to lie from the onset in order to get proper care.


    Nurses. Well if you have read yesterdays post you will have a fair idea of where the relationship stands with that specific group of people. This area tends to be more separated then others as I try to figure out pretty quickly early on which are in it for the money and which are in there to help. My communication with the two groups is totally different and it has to do with trust. Very difficult to trust someone that does not look at you as a person but what is written down in a file and on paper I past the crazy line a long time ago plus that damn word untreatable is probably in capital letters.


    I do try to give everyone I meet a chance to show me what kind of person they are in and more than once my original assumption was proven wrong. The problem is when the little warning flags start to appear and with the way my brain works situations from the past are quickly linked which ends up putting up the walls to keep me safe. Like I said earlier this is an area I am going to have to figure out how to get around but I am basically clueless on how to do so. Take care.


    by Andrew R.

    Image Credit: Stefano Mortellaro



  4. A Break For Poetry

    July 26, 2013

    I'm unique!

    Dear “Dream Positive”,

    I love your blog and read it every week. Thanks to you, I started doing yoga and meditation, it really helped me with my depression.

    Here’s the poem that I wrote for your blog. Hope you enjoy it!


    My world is dark and full of pain
    A tragic epic with nothing to gain
    The endless battles and numerous pleas
    I am unable to bury my broken dreams
    No matter how hard I try to be
    I can not handle another tragedy
    The fight for happiness is almost lost
    Maybe I will win but at what cost
    Tomorrow is yet another new day
    But the sun is down and the sky is grey
    I can not wait to be happy again
    Maybe it will cure my heart of pain
    Please someone help me from this nightmare
    I need to escape show me with care
    Grab my hand and pull as hard as you can
    Or else I will go down as a broken man


    God Bless!

    Jeffrey K.

    Portland, OR


    Image Credit: Ashley Webb