08-10-2019 04:38 PM
You're right @Faith-and-Hope I think being a psychiatrist would be such a hard job and even a clinical psychologist would be difficult. They can only do so much and it has taken years of experiences and environment mixing with genetics for patients to get where they are, and to expect them to be able to reverse or fix that is a big ask to say the least. I hope that in Victoria the RC into MH brings about some change, but really we need changes in all sections of society to improve MH, employment, housing, social connection....it has to be a whole person, whole of society shift, and psychiatry can't possibly fix it all.
There are empathetic health professionals out there it is just so tough to find them, and if you have a bad experience it can be a real turn off. My doctor is very empathetic I am so lucky to have him, but I will need someone else eventually he could retire anytime, the job is so draining, and I couldn't blame him if he did.
I do love art therapy, and I really want to do more arty stuff when I discharge. My grandfather painted and one of parents friends was an artist and their works are in galleries in Australia. Their studio was in this really old house up on a hill over looking the district and I have very fond childhood memories of it. It was magical and had a secret entrance over a little bridge behind some huge weeping trees, there was an open fire place, and the room had wonderful north facing sun light, I think of that place often. I used to write a lot but haven't written in ages, I lost the drive for it, but maybe I will start writing again.
I don't have goals as such, but I do have things I need to focus on in therapy that I haven't been able to go near because I have had to focus on stabilising. Now that I have stabilised my Doctor and I will get down to business and talk about all the feelings and emotions that I have been avoiding. My fitness has really dropped so I want to get back into that gradually because it really gives me a break from the anxiety even if it is only short lived and I really want to catch up with friends once I get used to life on the outside.
I think if doctors see patients obtain desired goals that they want for themselves, such as financial/career success and attractiveness they don't think to consider that anything unhealthy could be driving it, and tipping the scales into MH condition. Your husband probably flies under a lot of people's radar and all they see is success.
As for the obsession with looks that's a really tough one to budge it is so ingrained. Social media and the media in general brainwash people into believing that if they just lose this much weight or gain that much muscle that they will look like the model in the picture, when clearly we are not all models, some people are, and they are incredibly good looking, but the rest of us are average good looks. Its no different to intelligence, not everyone is an Einstein so why would everyone be beautiful.
I don't have any friends or family that are obsessed with looks, of course we are all vain in our own way but I don't hang around anyone that is at that extreme end where it is unhealthy and all consuming, judgemental and unrealistic.
When your body fails you and serves you up a mental illness it changes the way you think about your body, well, it has for me. I can't relate to the beauty pressure, when so many people's bodies and brains are breaking around me or were broken from day 1 in the case of my parents. It feels so shallow, empty and disrespectful towards life.
People take their health for granted I guess, and for some it is actually a mental illness to be obsessed with looks in that way and they can't help it, its not their fault. I don't like the nastiness and competitiveness that can come out though and I worry my sibs kids will be bullied and brainwashed to a whole new level that didn't exist in my childhood pre-internet and pre social media....
I am so glad you are able to concentrate and take your mind to another place with the art. You have inspired me @Faith-and-Hope
08-10-2019 05:14 PM
You have made my day, saying that @Corny .... if I can inspire one other person I consider that pretty awesome ..... and you are inspiring to me too. You are helping to support my hope for my hubby, although it would take a pretty monumental change at this stage to reinstate a sense of marriage as it was ..... whatever we have in the future I think, by circumstance, will be something else. I hope he will receive treatment, and I hope I can walk along with him if he does ..... but I can’t spend all my thoughts on it cos realistically there is a chance it may never happen, if he can keep flying under radars and projecting success.
I hope you do pick up the pen again.
08-10-2019 05:42 PM
Sending ever so gentle thoughts your way as you prepare to return home. I am wondering if you have you a friend or family member you could make advance catch up arrangements with pre-disharge, perhaps for the day after you get home or very soon after?
08-10-2019 05:48 PM
I am sure you are inspiring more people than me @Faith-and-Hope and most definitely would be role modelling healthy behaviour to your children.
You're husband can most definitely improve his condition, I guess what is so tricky is that every individuals response to treatment is different. What works for one person, won't work for another. Even lifestyle changes have varying impacts on people, some people get lots of benefit, others a little bit around the edges.
Its a really difficult one @Faith-and-Hope when the body is at the centre of a mental illness that is driven by obsession by no fault of the patient, its just the nature of the looping thoughts and rigid beliefs that come with that MI.
Its not only how your husband relates to himself that is the problem, but body image and how we think about our bodies impacts physical intimacy and can breakdown relationships and marriages. Something that starts with a fixation of their own body, can begin to impact a couple to the point where it stops physical intimacy and it snowballs from there.
It seems to be the same for heterosexual couples and LGBTI couples and I think that this obsession with looks really impacts a person's ability to connect with another. You can also feel very judged if you know the other person has insanely high standards of beauty and it can be an intimacy killer amongst many other intimacy killers out there. Not an easy one to navigate that is for sure, and your husbands mental health condition would be making working on the marriage doubly as hard. I know you are very committed to him but the loneliness of the constant rejection would be tough to live with.
Do you ever ask yourself if the shoe was on the other foot would your husband have stuck around Faith?
08-10-2019 05:58 PM
Thanks for your kind concern @Darcy I do have siblings in Sydney and my doctor is hoping to line up a case worker for me. I have appointments in the diary and I will see my friends also. A lot of them are shift workers or live outside Sydney so it can be tough to catch them, everyone has their own problems to deal with, but I am trying to make sure that the walls don't close in. Living alone it can be hard to gauge how you are going but it can be peaceful too and I am looking forward to some privacy. As long as I see my doctors regularly I should be OK.
Of course 3 and half months in hospital is hard to bounce back from for anyone and it won't be easy for me. Its been another hard year, and I have a lot to work through in therapy but I am trying to remain hopeful and not compare my life too much to others because it just makes me so sad. There are other people suffering worse than me and I try to remember all that I am grateful for.
08-10-2019 06:20 PM
Yeah, I have asked myself that question @Corny, and believe I know the answer to it, but I have to be true to myself and my kids ..... and they want what I want in this situation ..... but if we get to the point of feeling that we can’t stay our ground, I think we will know that too.
08-10-2019 06:58 PM
I only asked @Faith-and-Hope because you are an emotionally intelligent women and I can tell you are not the sort of women that buries their head in the sand, so I figured these sorts of thoughts would play on your subconscious and could bring you down, as they would me.
Some people are happy to ignore those thought lines and may even invent an alternative reality to make staying more comfortable, but truth has a way of seeping through the smallest of openings.
Because I had to care for my parents MI's from a very young age and never experienced age appropriate responsibility I give and give and give and give.
I have done 11 years of therapy and I started this thread because I have been conditioned to ignore my needs, desires, hopes and dreams, and put others before my own. It wasn't that I was weak, my father was genuinely narcissistic so it came with a lot of threat and manipulation. He demanded other people take care of him and would feel lost at sea if he didn't have someone waiting on him hand and foot along with constant company. I never really stood a chance of being anything but self-sacrificing. But it doesn't work. I feel unfulfilled.
I guess only time will tell how it all transpires for you both. Very hard for all.
08-10-2019 07:08 PM
Yes @Corny .... I think you’re right about that .... only time will tell. It’s such a mixed bag.
I feel for you so much in your situation. My Mum was a child-carer of an unwell parent, and the degree of NPD-like behaviours in my hubby’s childhood environment speaks volumes. We all do the best we know how, and sometimes that is being a constant giver. I think that has been some of my hubby’s role, and now he doesn’t know what to be if he is not being “this”.
I am so pleased to hear you are working on giving to you, and what your needs are. It’s part of the reason I have sought counseling. In part it is to have a voice, but the other part is to work out how to refocus, and decide what I need as an individual. So glad you opened this thread @Corny .... glad you’re here 🙂
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