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Old 08-12-2018, 06:44 PM #1
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Default What is this phase? How does recovery work for this?

I'm trying to put my life together, trying to finally increase my level of functionality which fell quite a few years ago pretty bad.

Background... After a decade of withdrawing from people/society into isolation for the most part (living online somewhat but emotionally detached even online) was when my acute mental issues started - I'm coming back from psychotic and near-psychotic states and from very strong so-called "negative symptoms" (I will refer to that as disconnected emotionality below), i.e. being completely demotivated, apathetic about the outside world... I went from the psychosis and near-psychotic states of disorganized thinking and the strong negative symptoms to a bipolar-ish manic-ish phase, then to a borderline-ish complete loss of emotional regulation with incredible emotional pain and extreme sensitivity and extremely deeply strongly felt emotions. The negative symptoms still being there in-between the manic-ish and then the borderline-ish emotional symptoms, but slightly less strong.

I am past these phases by now.

(The psychotic, near-psychotic phase lasted about 2 years. Then the bipolar-ish lasted another 2 or so, the borderline-ish complete emotional dysregulation lasted 1 year. Just recently left it fully enough.)

But I don't understand the phase I am at. What is it called? Can someone tell me more? Give tips?

And the "negative symptoms" part is still too bad too. I know that part is very hard to fix too... So, I especially want to hear all advice that could apply to this...


So right now... I'm still trying to develop self-discipline, regulation of emotions, and fixing fallen apart functionality overall. How I am now... there is little that I feel like doing, usually can just rest or can do easy chatting with people online. The rest I usually I don't feel like doing because it would be too painful then. Usually I need an external structure to force me to do things that would otherwise be painful or sometimes fear is a motivator too. But only very strong fear can overpower other issues if the external structure is not there to help me and it often isn't. So these two things can make me do things that are otherwise painful, but even then I can't make myself do more than the absolute minimum and I get tired fast. It is so hard to get myself to do anything and all my mental-internal effort still results in very little done in the outside world. (Though compare it to how I was 2 years ago: I was TOTALLY in my head with the still half-disorganized-nonsensically disconnected thoughts, and I would come out of my head for a couple of days every 2 months to actually do something beyond eating and training.)

If I was to force myself through pain, I'd feel like, I can't even describe it, maybe having had my skin totally removed and so everything would cut at me. But quite honestly I've burned myself out over the last year trying to go against all that pain and physically stressing myself out in various ways to be able to get some stuff done to work part time (onlne) and earn money (while I couldn't get other stuff done in turn) so I'm really avoiding that now.

So I don't know what to do with this. I'm tired and my head is extra-tired. Progress is so slow in this phase. My emotional dysregulation is still ****, I can get to feel like my emotions are all over the place even if not "borderline" level, it can still make me mentally fall apart (I may not actually get up from the chair, but have emotional weirdness running around in my head anyway), and even when I have the pain reaction gone at starting stuff (at night more chance of this), I still take like an hour to start anything if I try to focus fully on trying to start.

I can't keep this up much longer as it is. What is a way to get forward with this? I realize that when I have positive motivation it gives me a spark of positive energy and then I can actually do stuff without my mind being blocked and without having pain trying to start to do stuff. But I have zero idea how to get the positive motivation. My positive emotions are in general disconnected still. This is hard to explain but it's linked to my "negative symptoms" and to the emotional dysregulation.. If I try to feel positive, or it just happens spontaneously in reaction to something, it easily feels abnormal, disconnected from reality, feels like it is "too much". So a true, real, motivating positive emotion is hard for me to get.

I don't take antidepressants for the negative part of the emotionality (not much of that left btw anymore, after leaving the extremely dysregulated "borderline" phase), because SSRIs make me even more disconnected from emotions and losing motivation even more. I can ensure that without medication too thanks lol. A big part of my issue is actually to keep the emotions connected normal. To not have the "negative symptoms". If they are disconnected, I don't deal with any of my real problems either, not taking any steps towards changing my life. Basically, taking medication or just simply disconnecting like this from feelings makes vegetating acceptable. I still run back into the unemotional disconnecting coping mechanisms, but I am improving in terms of using that less but then I cannot do anything in place of the disconnect, because I am too tired and all I want to do is rest, or when not too tired, my mind is blocked and I can't think of what to do and how, in the outside world.

Some words on the emotional dysregulation, I have improved from years ago when I couldn't function AT ALL without the coping mechanisms for disconnecting emotions, and the very disorganized thinking rendering me still quite nonfunctional was part of these coping mechanisms actually. Then when I managed to fully let go for the first time ever, of the disorganized or disconnected thinking, I instantly fell into some crazy hole of crazy emotional pain. The pain is not as crazy anymore, I do not feel it much by default, but I am still having it in the way too often when I want to do something, and I am instead needing so much rest (both physically, by sleeping and mentally, by doing only very light stuff that doesn't tax the thinking: e.g. chatting with people online, or reading easy fiction) it really is not normal or functional.

I know I'm not doing things in an optimal way probably... I am still living very isolated but it would be very hard work to change that too, and I still have a feeling that I would still not be able to function if I suddenly was thrown back to living inside society fully. I.e. 8 hour work at a workplace... stuff like that... I'd probably break down from stress still, at this stage. Though it'd be a bit better than before I had the whole issue with the psychosis start a few years back, I'm sure.

So... thanks for reading all this or at least part of it... any thoughts?
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Old 08-12-2018, 07:00 PM #2
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Default Re: What is this phase? How does recovery work for this?

PS: I've tried this "focus on the present" practice (called meditation), to maybe help me stay in the outside world instead of disconnecting... it is easy to sit with an empty mind but it is not easy to allow myself to fully immerse in sensation because then the pain comes too. Recently it's been able to ease into just sadness but it can still be pain. When it's pain, I cannot stay immersed in the body. When I'm lucky and it's instead refined into sadness, it's manageable... Has anyone ever heard of this?
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Old 08-13-2018, 07:17 PM #3
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Well... I have to admit I don't have any idea what any of this is about. I'm not a mental health professional. And I don't really even know a lot about psychology. What I do know something about is social isolation. That is because, although I am married, I live an otherwise almost thoroughly reclusive lifestyle. But I'm old & it works for me. (It's a long story.) I have no extended family, no friends & not even any acquaintances of any consequence. Even on-line the only place I have any contact with anyone is here on PC. And I do things here to minimize the amount of on-going contact I have with anyone.

The one thing I do have that keeps me sane is, as I mentioned, I am married. And I don't think I probably appreciate the degree to which my spouse keeps me sane. I can easily imagine what kind of shape I would be in, & what I would be doing, were I to not have that one connection to "normality". In reading what you wrote, I have the impression perhaps you don't have anything that anchors you to the real world, so to speak. And, if not, my own personal experience would suggest to me it would be easy to slip into various states of mental illness.

I recall you mentioned you're not on any antidepressants. And that may or may not be something you need (that or some other variety of psych med.) I don't recall you mentioning whether or not you've seen any kind of mental health therapist or psychologist. But at least my personal opinion would be that working with some type of mental health professional is probably necessary. (I see you list yourself as being in Hungary. I don't know what services are available to you there.) A mental health professional may be able to help you sort through all of this, figure out what it is all about & what to do about it... much more so than can any of us here on PC.

And then, beyond that, getting out-&-about & finding some ways to establish some ongoing social contacts may also help you to keep yourself grounded & mentally healthy. Granted it may be difficult to reintegrate yourself back into society, as you mentioned. You probably will have to work at it & take it one step at a time. But my personal opinion at least would be this is what is going to be necessary. At least these are my thoughts with regard to your post. I wish you well...
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Old 08-14-2018, 03:08 PM #4
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Originally Posted by Skeezyks View Post
Well... I have to admit I don't have any idea what any of this is about. I'm not a mental health professional. And I don't really even know a lot about psychology. What I do know something about is social isolation.
Thanks for your reply, professional psychologist or not


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That is because, although I am married, I live an otherwise almost thoroughly reclusive lifestyle. But I'm old & it works for me. (It's a long story.) I have no extended family, no friends & not even any acquaintances of any consequence. Even on-line the only place I have any contact with anyone is here on PC. And I do things here to minimize the amount of on-going contact I have with anyone.

The one thing I do have that keeps me sane is, as I mentioned, I am married. And I don't think I probably appreciate the degree to which my spouse keeps me sane. I can easily imagine what kind of shape I would be in, & what I would be doing, were I to not have that one connection to "normality". In reading what you wrote, I have the impression perhaps you don't have anything that anchors you to the real world, so to speak. And, if not, my own personal experience would suggest to me it would be easy to slip into various states of mental illness.
You sound like you are more comfortable living as if you had schizoid personality disorder (even if you are not truly schizoid either since you have a SO you are connected with), while I'm not really cut out for that. Though yeah, I guess if I had a SO with who I could connect emotionally with I'd be better off but I'm not capable of that atm (and never have been but it always stressed me out, I'm not truly schizoid).

So while I don't think I'm a "natural" at being isolated, I was not able to physically exist around people (long story as to why not) by the end of high school, which is when I went for the isolation physically for the most part, but I was pretty social online still. That's how it is now too.

Yes I do think that whatever happened to me at the end of high school where I strongly withdrew physically*, but which happened with emotional withdrawing first, due to too much stress being around people, is what a decade later worsened into the psychotic etc symptoms... So your point is good about isolation being a problem, it's just that it's kind of just the consequence of the original emotional vulnerability (?) and withdrawal issue that then built on itself and made things worse I'm sure.

*: (I stayed home from high school, though I did finish the school on my own time and I did finish a university degree too later in the same fashion when I was still functional enough, I also did online remote work very nicely... all while I was functional enough still)


Quote:
I recall you mentioned you're not on any antidepressants. And that may or may not be something you need (that or some other variety of psych med.) I don't recall you mentioning whether or not you've seen any kind of mental health therapist or psychologist. But at least my personal opinion would be that working with some type of mental health professional is probably necessary. (I see you list yourself as being in Hungary. I don't know what services are available to you there.) A mental health professional may be able to help you sort through all of this, figure out what it is all about & what to do about it... much more so than can any of us here on PC.
Actually, heretic or not , I don't believe in going to mental health professionals for this - the ones (and there were many!) I tried to speak to are just not trained for this kind of issue. And they generally gave no **** about the issue of the "negative symptoms", which actually is my biggest problem though. They can only think in terms of depression and similar stuff but they cannot think in terms of my issues, just not trained for it...

No, antidepressants don't help the "negative symptoms", because that's not simple depression. Or the issue of my having had to withdraw, that's also not depression. SSRIs just blunt emotion even more, worsening the disconnect I got by default (since my withdrawing from the high school), so that's definitely not what I need...

I did not want to look at antipsychotics because tbh that stuff seemed scary to me with cognitive and other side effects, and at this point they are probably not needed anymore, though I did read that people with heavy anergic dysthymia who are also being disconnected from emotional motivation can benefit from amisulpride due to how that manages dopamine... I don't know. If I can't find anything else and I see I'm stuck, I can try and go to a psychiatrist again with these symptoms and if they want to subscribe this, okay... A psychiatrist anyhow that doesn't just want to diagnose the issue as plain depression based on a 5 minute "examination" lol and then ignore my actual reports on how the medication is not working. Like I said SSRIs worsen my issues. I did tell psychiatrists about the "negative symptoms", but they either ignored it, or just tried to give me Wellbutrin for motivation (which didn't work and then they said nothing about that), or the last one, he just said oh that's just how it is... and yeah I read up on it and I know that there isn't much medication available for that stuff apart from the bit I mentioned above that maybe works for some people.

(Previous experiences. But this was all free health service with the psychiatrist stuff, maybe a paid though more expensive psychiatrist would actually pay attention to my actual symptoms... As for psychologists, I did try paid ones too, but they were not trained for my issue. Tho' I didn't give up on that entirely, even if I don't believe most of them can help. I am on the waiting list to a clinical psychologist provided by the free health service.)


Quote:
And then, beyond that, getting out-&-about & finding some ways to establish some ongoing social contacts may also help you to keep yourself grounded & mentally healthy. Granted it may be difficult to reintegrate yourself back into society, as you mentioned. You probably will have to work at it & take it one step at a time. But my personal opinion at least would be this is what is going to be necessary. At least these are my thoughts with regard to your post. I wish you well...
Yes it is very difficult, this is what has been my goal for years but the mental illness or whatever it is still wants to get in the way. It is still hard to reconnect with the disconnected emotions (at one point it went over to the other extreme with the "borderline" phase, except it was not actual borderline, but just heavy emotional dysregulation while still feeling disconnected from some of the emotions... all that was crazy too), and the "negative symptoms" and just in general still lowered tolerance for stress when I do force myself out of distraction to try and exist in the outside world is still hard on me or near impossible, mostly mentally.

So I need to find a way to get past that and that's why I posted. I do have the goal you stated here as necessary, it's the implementation where I'm a bit stuck... continually. What keeps me going is that I do work on myself (mentally-emotionally) and I do feel I'm less disconnected and have slightly better tolerance now for that stress / slightly lessened stress compared to the previous crazy stuff... but it's still as I described, very hard and feeling like it can't go on like this forever as it is now.

So I was just curious to see if anyone here can relate or if they have any concrete tips for what direction I should be looking in, or tricks for getting on with this, etc. Even small tips would be appreciated

(Beyond the idea that I should go to mental health professionals, I explained above where I am with that currently.)


Can I ask you about what experience you have about isolation causing mental illness? And did you get better, and how? If that's okay to ask about.

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Old 08-16-2018, 10:26 AM #5
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I have autoimmune disease and liver disease and some of the symptoms you describe are what I get when my disease "flares". Especially the skin thing. It is very extreme. Be sure to get yourself thoroughly medically checked out as well as mental health because something else could be going on. What you describe with the skin is exactly what I feel. I hate to hear you suffering. I hope you feel better soon.
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Old 08-18-2018, 02:23 AM #6
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I have autoimmune disease and liver disease and some of the symptoms you describe are what I get when my disease "flares". Especially the skin thing. It is very extreme. Be sure to get yourself thoroughly medically checked out as well as mental health because something else could be going on. What you describe with the skin is exactly what I feel. I hate to hear you suffering. I hope you feel better soon.
Hey, thanks for your reply! The skin thing was not a literal thing, it was sort of a metaphor for very bad pain, but that pain is not actually real, it just feels real, but it's obvious it's not real, somehow. Let me know if that still makes sense to you. Which other symptoms seem to match your issue? I did wonder before if it could have a physical reason, though I had some blood tests that found nothing...
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:42 AM #7
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Hi from Slovakia, neighbour :-)
Your situation is very complex. Since you've already tried the conventional approach, I'll give you a few alternative tips that you might like to check out.

-mindfulness John Kabat-Zinn: The Full Catastrophe Living (there are also his videos on yt). This can seem silly in a way but I've been practicing only for 2 weeks now and I can already see some difference

Somatic experiencing
EFT tapping
there's quite a large research on the impact of gut bacteria and impact on brain and mood

I hope you'll find something that will help you!
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:40 PM #8
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Hi from Slovakia, neighbour :-)
Your situation is very complex. Since you've already tried the conventional approach, I'll give you a few alternative tips that you might like to check out.
Hey neighbour. Thanks for your input. Can I ask you about some things?


Quote:
-mindfulness John Kabat-Zinn: The Full Catastrophe Living (there are also his videos on yt). This can seem silly in a way but I've been practicing only for 2 weeks now and I can already see some difference
What kind of difference do you see?

I downloaded the book, and flipped to the emotional pain section... it basically starts with "Of course, the natural tendency is to avoid feelings of pain whenever possible and to wall ourselves off from as much of it as we can, or to be automatically swept away by a tidal wave of feelings."

I don't have a tidal wave of feelings when I talk of pain. It feels exactly like real bodily pain, except it's missing that one specific dimension of actual sensation that is only generated by actual physical pain (if this makes sense). So that's how I know that it is not real physical pain or actual sensation. But otherwise it's just as bad. So yeah, I guess I'm stuck on that part then.

And then it says "Just as in the meditation practice, our minds have a strong tendency to reject things as they are when it comes to my pain, my dilemmas, my grief." ...I am actually not calling it "my pain, my dilemmas, my grief". It's simply a raw experience of a fake sensation.

"When we observe our emotional pain as it unfolds, with acceptance, with openness and kindness toward ourselves and at the same time take a problem-focused approach toward the situation itself, we strike a balance between facing, honoring, and learning from our emotional pain moment by moment as it is expressing itself and acting effec tively in the world, which itself minimizes the many ways in which we can get stuck in and blinded by emotion."

This is all very nice but I'm more on the other side... that I just do the problem-focused approach and emotions are not even there, just fake sensation of pain. I did have this traumatized borderline-ish phase where I did actually have emotions but that emotional phase largely passed by now. And while it was replacing the "negative symptoms", my functionality was not improved by having the negative emotions.

The trauma itself though, at one point that stuff was so bad that I was literally immobilized. That was until I accidentally got access to direct emotion and somehow it really did look like a big wave. And it helped because afterwards I was no longer immobilized... Anyway that whole "borderline" phase passed already but the pain thing remained from the trauma or idk what.

I can also try and think positive to try and find positive motivation and positive emotional energy. But the energy doesn't come even if the pain is not there. I just get to feel like I really want to rest. And it's been like this forever and it isn't changing enough.


Quote:
Somatic experiencing
I've just looked this up, and love some of this bit on it: Frontiers | Somatic experiencing: using interoception and proprioception as core elements of trauma therapy | Psychology

Where it talks about deep brain structures for emotional and visceral handling of stuff... I do feel like something's stuck there. I did get strongly traumatized last year.

The pain is probably from that...

So where it says "the core emphasis in SE is on restoring subcortical function", this does sound good to me.

Though when it gets to "orbitofrontal cortex" I'm lost again. That brain part is for social emotional processing and I know that stuff is very undeveloped for me overall. It's a BIG part of why I got my issues.

Including why I even got traumatized last year, and why I've had all these issues overall.

Anyway still reading this article.


Quote:
EFT tapping
That one seems to be for more emotional types than I am.


Quote:
there's quite a large research on the impact of gut bacteria and impact on brain and mood
It isn't moods I have a problem with.

To sum up... The problems I have are 1) the pain 2) "negative symptoms". I no longer have disorganized thinking or psychotic or manic symptoms, "just" these two.


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I hope you'll find something that will help you!
Thanks again!
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Old 08-19-2018, 06:51 AM #9
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I see your symptoms are different from mine and you're much more knowledgeable about the brain. I'm very sorry that I'm not able to answer your questions. To be honest I'm not even sure I fully understand what exactly you're going through. So I'll just simply tell you what is helping me and what difference I see. Hopefully you'll be able to take at least something from it.

I was completely stuck and immobilised /frozen after life long complex trauma and basically unable to begin my independent adult life. (finished uni at 25 and my first real job at 27 was a massive failure - I taught at primary school where I was basically bullied by my students while my mother was battling leukemia). After a year of this I only worked in the family business and lived like in a fog or dream, with no emotions, only negative ones.

I found out about complex trauma when I was 29(last year) which came as a huge, massive relief and simply having a diagnosis gave me hope and strength to fight. I found an online therapist who walked me through exposure of my trauma. I have two sessions a week. It was extremely difficult and I was on an emotional roller-coaster but I allowed myself to feel and cry. I'd been suppressing crying for about 20 years before. My T says it's very important to allow yourself to feel the emotions and "sit with them".

What helped me from somatic experiencing was imagining that I'm in the traumatic experience from the past and I allowed my body to finish the action it wanted to take. For example I was in a situation where I wanted to run or fight but wasn't able to. Now in the safety of my home I allowed my body to run and I imagined the fight including real physical movements. You imagine running into safety or winning the fight. This should rewire your brain and release the stuck energy. I don't know if this happened but I did feel better afterwards. I did pendulation as well.

Mindfulness - I've been practising body scan and mindful living (on my daily walk, doing chores, when I'm cooking, when I'm showering) since the beginning of August. I feel much calmer and my focus has improved. I'm able to manage my anxiety better. It's not ideal but I'm surprised how soon I see the difference I want to keep doing this.

I also did art therapy by drawing my trauma experiences.

The combination of these has led to significant release of both positive and negative emotions and stuck energy. The beginning was extremely difficult, I could cry 2-3x a day for a few months. But the more I cried the more I was able to feel good and positive emotions, too.
I'm not healed yet, but over one year I made significant progress, found new hobbies, I began going on trips, improved self care and was able to increase my workload slightly. I'm now in the point when I think I might be able to move away and begin a real adult life sometime next year. I'm still quite socially isolated though but I don't mind. I'm much more active and go out more often even alone.
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Old 08-22-2018, 04:43 AM #10
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I see your symptoms are different from mine and you're much more knowledgeable about the brain. I'm very sorry that I'm not able to answer your questions. To be honest I'm not even sure I fully understand what exactly you're going through. So I'll just simply tell you what is helping me and what difference I see. Hopefully you'll be able to take at least something from it.
Really appreciated!

I will add comments below, to relate to you and also where it differs from your experience, maybe you still find it interesting, or it could give information to anyone reading about what I should try to deal with my issue more efficiently. Also, it's me thinking out loud lol.


Quote:
I was completely stuck and immobilised /frozen after life long complex trauma and basically unable to begin my independent adult life. (finished uni at 25 and my first real job at 27 was a massive failure - I taught at primary school where I was basically bullied by my students while my mother was battling leukemia). After a year of this I only worked in the family business and lived like in a fog or dream, with no emotions, only negative ones.
Ah I'm glad you got better from this.

My side comments would be that when I meant I got immobilised, I meant that I literally could not move at times. I stayed in whatever position I was. Sometimes even in public, in a shop, in the middle of the street, stuff like that. This would last 30-60 minutes before I could get myself to move again (sometimes if I tried really hard, I could move say, a hand, but it would be jerking uncontrollably instead of doing what I wanted it to do, so I decided staying immobilised was better than that). And for me emotions were all turned off for over a decade for the outside world beyond the little safe bubble I would live in with too much loss of functionality. When they tried to come back, I had both positive and negative but neither was very realistic emotion especially initially.


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I found out about complex trauma when I was 29(last year) which came as a huge, massive relief and simply having a diagnosis gave me hope and strength to fight. I found an online therapist who walked me through exposure of my trauma. I have two sessions a week. It was extremely difficult and I was on an emotional roller-coaster but I allowed myself to feel and cry. I'd been suppressing crying for about 20 years before. My T says it's very important to allow yourself to feel the emotions and "sit with them".
Ah this part is definitely familiar! This is what I had for a year that I called the "borderline" phase and I did get trauma that triggered it. Though probably in your case your emotions were less disorganized than mine and more readily accessible. It's cool you had luck with finding an online therapist for this and that it actually works.


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What helped me from somatic experiencing was imagining that I'm in the traumatic experience from the past and I allowed my body to finish the action it wanted to take. For example I was in a situation where I wanted to run or fight but wasn't able to. Now in the safety of my home I allowed my body to run and I imagined the fight including real physical movements. You imagine running into safety or winning the fight. This should rewire your brain and release the stuck energy. I don't know if this happened but I did feel better afterwards. I did pendulation as well.
Interesting, but I think my trauma was more intangible-emotional than tangible-physical. Also extremely heavy so it was blocked out for a whole decade. I guess I never saw a therapist that could deal with that sort of issue. For some reason all the trauma stuff I've read up on focuses on the physical issues as a way to fix the trauma... I guess because PTSD is often from a physically threatening situation. Mine was nothing like that. Not physically threatening, just emotionally. No worries though, I still found this somatic experiencing an interesting method when reading up on it .

If someone could work out a method to do this process for purely emotional trauma without any physical component then that could be what I need. Especially if it's some method targeted at genetically alexithymic people (I am, and that complicates things and it's part of why I would be susceptible to emotional trauma in the first place I think).

Pendulation seemed like a very interesting concept/method. I could apply the concept to myself in a personalized way but I'm not sure it'd be the most efficient way to get somewhere finally uh... like I would have to go very very slowly. Maybe my **** is just too extreme, with having been disconnected from emotions for a decade after my instincts deciding a long time ago that I simply could not *exist* (emotionally) in this world among people.


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Mindfulness - I've been practising body scan and mindful living (on my daily walk, doing chores, when I'm cooking, when I'm showering) since the beginning of August. I feel much calmer and my focus has improved. I'm able to manage my anxiety better. It's not ideal but I'm surprised how soon I see the difference I want to keep doing this.
My problem with mindfulness is again that it targets the focus on the tangible-physical-sensory... That focus to me is easy, trivial. Immersing deep enough in the body though does result in my brain trying to connect to the trauma emotions but the problem then is that some parts of the emotional system in my brain seem to be really disconnected (beyond just alexithymic-undeveloped, too) so I would just get the fake sensation of emotional pain that's not really a proper emotional state so it cannot be managed with any kind of emotional management technique or otherwise.

Only thing to do then is withdraw from the pain and rest again. Which I guess on the surface sounds like the pendulation approach, except it is not towards actual improvement. Or it's so slow it's not efficient and not effective eventually either. Because, no processing of the issue happens, neither in the "active/hot" state, nor in the "passive/cold" state, obviously. The sweet spot where processing can be done is just not reached this way. Or maybe it tries to process a tiny little bit upon contact until it's instantly too stressful (i.e. impossible pain). But I doubt there'd be any processing happening. Not until later I'd consider the situation and the entire issue intellectually - but that's also very inefficient due to missing the emotional information most of the time.


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I also did art therapy by drawing my trauma experiences.
Ok sounds like you are definitely more in touch with your feelings than I am

(Hhahaa me trying to draw feelings. OK that was a funny moment.)


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The combination of these has led to significant release of both positive and negative emotions and stuck energy. The beginning was extremely difficult, I could cry 2-3x a day for a few months. But the more I cried the more I was able to feel good and positive emotions, too.
I'm not healed yet, but over one year I made significant progress, found new hobbies, I began going on trips, improved self care and was able to increase my workload slightly. I'm now in the point when I think I might be able to move away and begin a real adult life sometime next year. I'm still quite socially isolated though but I don't mind. I'm much more active and go out more often even alone.
This sounds very good and btw yes I can see where you related to me. Because I did/do have that issue too with stuck emotions and energy etc.

It just looks like I can't release them purely via the physical means or just by crying etc. I needed extreme stress to even be able to release emotion in terms of expressing by crying or even more raw expression than that. (I mean therapists could not help me access any feelings at all. This was the only thing that worked in accessing, not intentionally of course.) And it doesn't actually get the original trauma processed for me or make my brain more resilient in dealing with problematic stuff (emotional stuff). When I say processed I mean I need to process it on an intellectual level too...

Can I ask how long you cried each day? Because I guess it was not overwhelming but instead not too much so it still had a visibly healing effect on you...?

I had a 3-week period of extreme reaction uh... to the trauma coming out, actually that happened by getting retraumatized strongly enough. If that makes sense. I was crying literally for hours until I felt like I caught the flu, plus I had very bad chest pain (it was a strong sensation of it burning, half physical, half emotional, it was not a proper emotional state again). So uh I didn't allow myself to do that anymore because I could see it was not working, I was just sinking into it all. Overwhelming response for the brain means you can't get past it, imo, so not healing that way. Then I approached it in a very slow way. Not mindfulness, no focus on the physical at all, for me the very opposite worked for a while instead. Intellectualizing like crazy. I know all psychologists say don't intellectualize but if that's the only way for me to get started... well again, if there is a more efficient process I'm all ears.

I guess if there is nothing out there for this type of issue/person I am, then I just have to continue developing my own methods, but your input definitely helped, reading up on stuff you listed and reading your experience overall gave me more ideas (for both the parts that are similar for us and for the parts that are the opposite/different) and also extra hope.

I hope I made some sense, I'm not feeling well enough atm to organize my writing better now. But do ask if something was unclear, please.

Last edited by tevelygo; 08-22-2018 at 06:16 AM.
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