Sunday, September 02, 2007

Exploding Pumpkin Head

Warning: Gruesome images...may trigger

I've been hiding under the covers for two hours...trying to hide from the voices inside my head; those brutal, self-critical, damning voices that won't go away and are continuously pushing through my head, intensifying both my anxiety and irritability and occasionally making me cry.

A sampling of the voices..."Do the BDI"(Beck Depression Inventory)...because I have no idea what I'm feeling right now. I told Dr. X I wasn't feeling depressed anymore, but I think rather my depressive symptoms have changed and the sadness is less, but the rest are worse. Am I depressed? Dysphorically manic? Anxious? Irritable?

So I do the BDI and I score 44, well, I's better than when I was at the Outpatient Hospital Program...but my voices say, "both times the scores seemed way too high to be right". "Look up what the scores mean", they say. So I go online and it says, "...anything above 40 is unlikely and is indicative of either an exaggeration of symptoms, Borderline Personality Disorder, or Histrionic Personality Disorder". My voices tell me I have heard this type of criticism of my scoring on these types of tests before...remember the psychologist who tested me for vocational aptitude. I feel judged. I also feel like the veracity and intensity of my symptoms and the despair they cause me have been dismissed

I sit shocked...feeling like I was trying to answer the questions as honestly as possible and I know I was more depressed when I was in the hospital program. I try to be okay with this outcome and think, " Well, the questions are really open to interpretation (and I always over think the questions) and they are highly subjective. The questions and interpreters of my responses don't see/hear what goes on in my head"...but a huge part of me doubts myself and thinks, "maybe I'm not depressed, maybe this is just the way I am...and there's no hope for me in terms of being able to change".

Then the voices start asking, "Why won't Dr. X just tell me I have a personality disorder"? The question that I do or don't always seems to come up in my head. I do have a poor sense of self, I think of suicide all the time, a couple of my relationships are all over the map, I feel lost, empty, depersonalised and dissociated from my world and the people in it.

Many times I have asked Dr. X. if I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). He always answers, "I have never even considered it, you have some of the symptoms, but if you look at the general population almost everyone will have some of the symptoms". This, and the fact that when I am well I lose all, or almost all, the symptoms of BPD should console me. When well I rarely have interpersonal difficulties. In fact, I have been praised for my diplomacy and relationship or team building skills (at work) throughout all my jobs. When well I am alive, a bit wild, and have what is called a "hyperthymic temperament".

But I am not well...I start to feel really stressed out. I can't breathe. I'm having so much anxiety I feel like I'm losing it. Then the voices tell me I should kill myself. I start to visualize myself shooting myself in the head, over and over and over. I feel intensely angry at myself. I visualize myself taking a thin piece of wire between two sticks. I wrap the wire around my neck and I pull as fast and hard as I can until my head pops off. Then I pick up my head and I smash it into the cement over and over and over, until it breaks apart like a pumpkin exploding on a sidewalk.

Then I think...This is an impossible scenario, though comforting in some macabre way. So I think about how I could leave the party tonight, go swimming in English Bay and keep swimming until I drown.

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