There are many instances of mental health sufferers who don’t have the help to cope with mental illness on a regular basis and this quarantine epidemic makes things 100x worse. You may have asked yourself, “What am I to do to cope during this crisis?? Who really understands what its like to isolate in an isolation??” Believe me I have asked myself the same questions. Its one thing to isolate by choice and another thing to isolate by force.
So what does isolation mean to me??
Isolation for me means withdrawal from my family and friends, frequent mood changes and depression episodes. Sometimes, when I try to climb my way out of the darkness the only thing that helps is to sleep and even that’s a battle in itself. There are days where I am pacing the floor and nothing helps to calm me down. Days when the days and hours seem to blend together and its hard to take things one day at a time. This is when I pray for God to ease my anxiety and give me his peace. (Philippians 4: 6 – 7) Sometimes it doesn’t help immediately. But, it gives me hope that God is aware of my struggles and things will and can get better soon.
And what do I do about it??
During times like these I play Scrabble with my friends. Try to reread my favorite books. When I can’t sleep I listen to music that calms me. For stress management I do adult coloring (these can be found at Walmart and Amazon.) There is also an app called What’s Up App in the playstore (its red and has two hands joined together) where you can create a monthly mood chart, play mindfulness games and use their additional coping skills for anxiety and stress. If all else fails I send a encouraging call or text to someone else who may be struggling with similar issues. This helps to “get out of myself” and think of others. This encourages me to know I’m not alone.
So in essence I am saying don’t give up! Don’t give in! Trust me…I know its hard. But, you gotta keep fighting for your sanity and the peace you deserve. Try your best to not isolate and if you find yourself slipping please feel to reach out here or to someone you trust. Recently I connected with someone on YouTube who has the exact same symptoms and struggles I have. She has been a real comfort and I know there is someone out there for you too.
I know we are to run our race. I know we are here to have victory. I know we trust and believe all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28) and no weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
But, I am reminded of (2 Corinthians 12: 5 -10.) That everyday his power works best in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9.)
See many Christians struggle with unforeseen strongholds and we pray for healing and that is exactly what we should be doing.
But, sometimes certain situations are out of our control and deliverance is just not in the plan for us at this time.
But, you know what we gotta tell ourselves?? That his grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9.)
That we are strong because his power is made perfect in and through us!!
That we don’t boast in ourselves.
That we need to boast in him.
That our weaknesses does not make you inadequate💯 Be blessed!!
There are three main parts of the brain which are greatly affected by experiences severe or chronic traumatic events.
The hippocampus processes trauma memories, by recycling the memory, mostly at night via dreams, which takes place over weeks or months. It then transfers the integrated stored memory to another part of the brain. High levels of stress hormones causes the hippocampus to shrink or under-develop, resulting in impaired function. Childhood traumas exaggerates this effect. The trauma memory therefore remains unprocessed in the hippocampus, disintegrated, fragmented, and feels “current” rather than in the past. Some people can be born with a smaller hippocampus making them more vulnerable to develop PTSD.
The brains “fear center.” The amygdala helps to store memories, paticularly emotions and physical sensations. It also controls activation of stress hormones … the body’s flight or fight response. In PTSD, the amygdala becomes over-reactive causing frequent or near constant high levels of stress hormones.
The pre-frontal cortex helps us to asses threats, manage emotion, plan reaponses, and control impulses. It is the centre of rational thinking. Childhood trauma causes under-development of the pre-frontal cortex, which results in impaired ability to assess theeat through thinking, manage emotions and control impulses.
Everything you do is based on the choices you make. Its not your parents. Its not your past. Its not your past relationships. Its not your job, the economy. the weather. Or an argument of your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.
All Negativity is an accumulation of the present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry-all forms of fear, are caused by too much future and not enough present.
Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness. bitterness- all forms of nonforgiveness, are caused by too much past and not enough present.
Black and white thinking, exaggerating, filtering, catastrophizing, judging, mind reading, forecasting, feelings as facts, labeling, self-blaming, hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness.
Identify the Distortion: Write down your negative thoughts so you can see which of the ten cognitive distortions you’re involved in. This will make it easier to think about the problem in a more positive and realistic way.
Examine the evidence: Instead of assuming that your negative thought it true, examine the actual evidence for it. For example, if you feel that you never do anything right, you could list several things you have done successfully.
The Double Standard Method: Instead of putting yourself down in a harsh, condemning way, talk to yourself in the same compassionate way you would talk to a friend with a similar problem.
The Experimental Technique: Do an experiment to test the validity of your negative thought. For example, if, during an episode of panic, you become terrified that you’re about to die of a heart attack, you could jog or rum up and down several flights of stairs. This will prove that your heart is healthy and strong.
Thinking in Shades of Gray: Although this method might sound drab, the effects can be things on a range from 0 to 100. When things don’t work out as well as you hoped, think about the experience as a partial success rather than a complete failure. See what you can learn from the situation.
The Survey Method: Ask people questions to find out if your thoughts and attitudes are realistic. For example, if you believe that public speaking anxiety is abnormal and shameful, ask several friends if they ever felt nervous before they gave a talk.
Define Terms: When you label yourself “inferior” or “a fool” or “a loser” ask, “What is the definition of “a fool”? You will feel better when you see that there is no such thing as “a fool” or “a loser.”
The Semantic Method: Simply substitute language that is less colorful and emotionally loaded. This method is helpful for “should statements.” Instead of tellling yourself I shouldn’t have made that mistake,” you can say, “It would be better if I hadn’t made that mistake.”
Re-attribution: Instead of automatically assuming that you are “bad” and blaming yourself entirely for a problem, think about the many factors that may have contributed to it. Focus on solving the problem instead of using up all your energy blaming yourself and feeling guilty.
Cost Benefit Analysis: List the advantages and disadvantages of a feeling (like getting angry when your plane is late), a negative thought (like “No matter how hard I try, I always screw up”), or a behavior pattern (like overrating and lying around in bed when you’re depressed.) You can also use the Cost-Benefit Analysis to modify a self-defeating belief such as, “I must always try to be perfect.”
Today was my 1st day of intensive Outpatient Therapy. I had anxiety about going. The program has really changed for the better since 2013. My short term goal is to complete the program. Long term to get a part-time job. I’m in good spirit right now. So it’s one day at a time!! I’m excited to set some realistic goals for myself. I also plan to take better care of myself.
If there is a group therapy program in your area take advantage of it. You are NOT alone!!
Good morning devoted followers!! I pray you had a wonderful weekend. As you can see I am back into posting. Its also a great release from stress and posting for non-judgmental suffers.
I plan to change the blog up and little bit and will be posting daily for the next 30 days. As I told you in a previous post, I will be doing an outpatient intensive program. My plan is to encourage you.
I have had an eventful week. I had a psychotic episode and went to the e.r. because I knew what mania looked like for me. In the process I was on my way to Texas to visit family. I had bought my bus ticker and everything. Can you imagine what would have happened if I had went to Texas?? I also hadn’t really gotten much sleep from the week before. My psychiatrist had to change all my meds. But, I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world. The nurse was nice. The place was spotless. I learned some things. Let go of some things. God works in mysterious ways.
Next week I am starting a 30 day intensive therapy program. I will be posting about my experiences. Please pray I can complete the program!!