The Art of Conversation? 

I held from hitting the button to publish this article last week,  as I heard last week of someone attempting suicide. 

A concerning and worrying thing. These are my thoughts on me really, but there may be some help for others. 

Article below:-

It’s suicide prevention week. There’s a few good documents out there. Saw one from Scottish NHS called ‘The Art of Conversation’.

It’s everything that you need if you worry about someone else and yes it’s a difficult question to approach.

Mainly, it’s just the importance of talking. ‘Are you okay’ goes a long way.

My current worry is in terms of mood/self esteem, it’s probably progress that I’m even thinking about this or being worried about it.

I’ve been reading about ‘Cyclothymic Disorder’, it’s apparently a milder version of Bipolar and can affect people with my diagnosis.

As name suggests, it goes in cycles. I suppose that I get the cycles of down, but the cycles of up? 

I’m not sure that I do anything in a manic way and I’m not sure I experience the high ‘highs’, that way. 

It’s more like plateaus and slides, the overall effect being a kind of faster slide than the slower stepped recovery phase and with smaller slides within that as well.

I saw an article recently that was titled ‘The Lonely, Isolated, Unwanted, Mocked and Misunderstood.’ I think the title alone sums up some days for me.

I didn’t read it. The title put me off. (Sometimes it’s not good to face everything)

I do experience all of those in different ways each day and I could write at length on each descriptor.

I think for now, the main issues in my mental health are Anxiety and Depression and that’s pretty much it.

I don’t think there’s a cyclical element to it, it’s not a pattern and I’m generally pushing myself onward each day past sensory issues and the anxiety triggers that come with them. 

If I’m not stressed and worried then my mood isn’t as low, simple as that, if I am able to remove issues,  I function a bit better. Add issues and I don’t.

I’m not sure there’s Day to Day enjoyment and highs as per the manic stuff. I think there’s comfort and security in some things and I take what I can, when I can.

I think it is lonely, it is at times an isolated feeling and I do feel misunderstood, but a great deal of that is through miscommunication and my inabilities to express when things are wrong or difficult.

My limits, therefore limit my recovery and limit my progress. 

I won’t just pop up suddenly feeling better. I’m conscious of my weight, aware of my appearance and knowing my age, lifestyle and resources.

Aware or too aware? Now that’s where the pop-psychology turns back on itself. 

Being aware of my effect on people in turn affects my behaviour towards them. I have withdrawn myself quite a bit in recent years and it’s defensive. I don’t engage much if I can otherwise help it. 

So to a degree, my awareness of myself and my moods and issues isn’t likely to be a help. It’s also unlikely to predict a meltdown situation or the factors that could build up to one.

Suicide isn’t high in my thoughts. 

I’m aware of the dangers, and know that there’s added risk and possibility having the condition that I have and that I can ‘mask’ quite a lot of the condition and mask quite a lot of frustration but that comes out in the end by a rant or a meltdown. 

Verbal communication or a chat won’t always work for me, sometimes it helps, but I can stumble over words and what I’m trying to get across at that time.

Even a patient, engaged, interested listener can get frustrated with me.

Sometimes things are internalised as may be necessary, I have some filters on some things

But although I might be down and low, I’m usually not at the mindset that dying would solve anything. I certainly could use a rest at times, I could use less pressure on me in a few ways but I do keep going.

Someone that may be thinking suicidally may have kept going a long time, may be subject to the same pressures, so it’s always worthwhile reading the materials on it and knowing that it’s a real prospect for some people. 

It’s an extreme decision but it gives the person control back over what they felt they had lost control of and whilst it’s understandable, it’s a real live issue, not to be taken lightly.

Triggers can be minute, but it’s the regaining of some control when it seemed all was lost. Not good but understandable.

^ that’s what I had wrote.

I’d add that the wider effect of suicide is upon who you leave behind and the grief process around death can be bad enough without adding an extra layer of thinking for them to try and negotiate.

As I’ve said it’s easy enough to avoid people and internalise things, but doing so for a prolonged period is a sign that you need help. Coping isn’t always enough and that small question about ‘how are you’ can be absolutely vital.

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