Anxiety · Bipolar · Borderline Personality Disorder · Depression · Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A Letter of Introduction – by Melanie Bee Cee

A letter of introduction | Letters to the Mind
I have been in therapy a good portion of my life and I don’t have a definitive diagnosis as such.  They keep changing it to suit the therapy group I’m participating with at the time.   I don’t know if they don’t know how to categorize people like me or if it’s ME, because part of my own complaint is the ability to morph into what I think the ‘person in charge’ wants to hear.

In the latest therapy effort, I’ve tried hard not to do that and to be as honest as I can about my problems.   I still feel pretty mixed up about it all though.   I do a group therapy session about once a week (it’s a long drive and our weather has been bad, plus I’ve been sick a lot this winter so far) so I don’t always make the group session.   In that group we deal with addictions of various kinds, of which I didn’t ever really think I had any, save food, and so I have been resistant to the process.  Others deal with drugs, alcohol, sexual addictions and the usual type of stuff.  I’ve felt like an outsider.   I’m also a good deal older than most of the women who attend that group, and I’m further along (in my own estimation) in the healing/dealing process.

It’s been odd therefore to realize that in that group I’ve discovered some depths to my own mental illness that I hadn’t considered before.   The group is a trauma group, all of us in there have suffered some sort of traumatic event, whether it is childhood or spousal abuse, abandonment, physical abuse or whatever fits under the umbrella of “abuse.”

And again I’m worried that I over-identify with the ailments of the other patients.   One has pretty severe OCD and through her sharing I’ve identified some traits of that in myself.   I always knew I had elements of OCD, but I thought they were pretty minor (I continue to think that), so I never thought I ‘had’ OCD.

I overthink things.  And this ‘letter of introduction’ if you want to call it such is getting too long.

 My own problems include:

  • Chronic depression
  • Dysthymia (or major depression)
  • Insomnia
  • Possible bipolar II (depressive bipolar disorder)
  • Possible BPD (borderline personality disorder)
  • Very mild (to me) OCD
  • Agoraphobia (very mild)
  • Social phobia/anxiety
  • Slight paranoia

It sounds really stark and overwhelming listed out that way.   I don’t think if you met me IRL, you’d even suspect any of these.   I have learned over decades to hide them well.  Privately I know I have some issues and I’m not comfortable around people.   Someone recently told me I have a true introverted nature, which in psycho-speak means I draw energy from myself best, and I expend it when I have to be around other people.   Being in crowds exhausts me and I don’t do well if I’m forced to wait for things or if someone is holding up the progression.   I find that I’m becoming more vocal about it, and this leads me to want to stay home.   I’m embarrassed by being that way, but I’m finding it happens more and more.   People stare at you if you are grumbling to yourself about what an asshole the guy in front is being.   Or if you openly ask this asshole if they are EVER going to conclude their business and get the %$@# out of your way.   I have anger issues.

Well that’s enough about it for today.   Thanks for inviting me here and for listening.

Authors note: I was invited to Letters of the Mind by B.L. Memee and I thank her for offering this chance to address mental illness in a safe venue.

© Melanie Bee Cee 2015


About the author:

I’m Melanie. I have been diagnosed with major chronic depression.   I also deal with social phobia and anxiety.

I’m a 55 (soon to be 56) year old woman who was born and raised, and remains in Utah in the United States of America. I have degenerative bone disease (type undiagnosed), diabetes and the mental health issues [I’ve discussed], and therefore I am under disability and retired now. I am widowed (going on four years in February). I live alone and have one pet, and I prefer it this way. I am considered reserved. I am Mormon in faith, but I am not judgemental nor do I consider myself holier than thou or anything. I try to be open-minded and accepting of everyone. I TRY.  🙂

Blog: Sparks From a Combustible Mind

“Life Is Not Waiting for the Storm to Pass; It’s About Learning to Dance in the Rain.”

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13 thoughts on “A Letter of Introduction – by Melanie Bee Cee

  1. Nice to meet you, Melanie.

    I find it brave when people are able to talk about their issues. I’m a chronic mistake-hider/imperfection-hider and that’s about the worst it. So, if anyone ever sees me talking about bad times, I’ve evolved. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melanie, I was so thrilled to come to the site and see that you’d taken ;me up on the invitation. I think that is a great step forward. You may not be typical of one disorder or another but it is really not uncommon for someone with a mental illness to have a cluster of disorders at varying levels.

    I have been involved in therapy for 20+ years myself and enjoy it very much. Group is usually the highlight of my week. I feel so comfortable with the process that I tend to be a leader and bring humor to the session, brightening everyone’s day.

    As long as you get something positive from it, it’s worth the effort regardless of what label they place upon you.

    Like

  3. Hi there. I really need someone to talk to. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 a year ago after 2 weeks in hospital…am hoping someone will make contact with me so I can chat. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I replied by email but not sure if you received it…I am on facebook – Denise Schoon in Durban South Africa. Do you have mainly lows and no manic stage..just occasionally feel happy? Are you OCD? Are you ultra sensitive?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise. I will look you up now. Jade may have received you email. I haven’t seen anything in my email. Here is my Facebook profile. Send me a friend request. https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004814831102

      My medication pretty much prevents mania now. Occassionally I’ll get some. Nothing I cannot tolerate or handle. But I get zero relief from the bipolar depression. Sometimes I am happy, but it is rare.

      The irritation is the biggest thing for me. I get irritated so easily. I plan on doing a piece about that at some point. Just haven’t had the time. I am not OCD.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just to let you know, Memee, that I have been in contact with Denise. I sent an email straight away and gave as much advice as I was capable of (bearing in mind I don’t suffer from bipolar). Hope you are able to connect with Denise on facebook.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You are describe a painful and debilitating set of symptoms.

    It also sounds like you are trying to get treatment from a behavioral health system that is better suited to treating substance abuse disorders which is why the limited groups they offer are top heavy with substance abuse clients.

    A good psychotherapist learns to ‘see’ through a patients defenses and is able to arrive at a fairly accurate multi-axial diagnosis.

    The kind of ‘morphing’ diagnosis you describe is more common with teens who are emotionally unstable because they are teens, which makes it difficult to know what the underlying problem is.

    Please bear in mind that I am extrapolating from what I’ve read in your post.

    If the system is changing your diagnosis to fit the treatment it may be so they can get paid….

    Please don’t understand this to suggest that you can’t benefit from the groups you’re in…

    What I’m suggesting is that you might benefit from seeking out a psychotherapist who can work with you one to one.

    Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:

    You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.

    Your problems don’t seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.

    You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.

    You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.

    What are the different kinds of psychotherapy?

    “There are many different approaches to psychotherapy. Psychologists generally draw on one or more of these. Each theoretical perspective acts as a road-map to help the psychologist understand their clients and their problems and develop solutions.

    The kind of treatment you receive will depend on a variety of factors: current psychological research, your psychologist’s theoretical orientation and what works best for your situation.

    Your psychologist’s theoretical perspective will affect what goes on in his or her office. Psychologists who use cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, have a practical approach to treatment. Your psychologist might ask you to tackle certain tasks designed to help you develop more effective coping skills. This approach often involves homework assignments. Your psychologist might ask you to gather more information, such as logging your reactions to a particular situation as they occur. Or your psychologist might want you to practice new skills between sessions, such as asking someone with an elevator phobia to practice pushing elevator buttons. You might also have reading assignments so you can learn more about a particular topic.

    In contrast, psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches typically focus more on talking than doing. You might spend your sessions discussing your early experiences to help you and your psychologist better understand the root causes of your current problems.

    Your psychologist may combine elements from several styles of psychotherapy. In fact, most therapists don’t tie themselves to any one approach. Instead, they blend elements from different approaches and tailor their treatment according to each client’s needs.

    The main thing to know is whether your psychologist has expertise in the area you need help with and whether your psychologist feels he or she can help you.

    From here: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/understanding-psychotherapy.aspx

    Like

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