In part 2 I left off discussing how some of my family is Mentally Ill and how other family members felt about it. I also mentioned Psychosis and Catatonia. Because I have witnessed so much from a young age I had my own ideas about Mental Illness.
I call it Mental Illness because those in my family that were diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder were all unable to care for themselves. To me that is an illness no matter what Political Correctness you want brought to the table.
So whenever I heard Psychosis or Catatonia I thought of my family members who hallucinated or couldn’t care for themselves.
After the kitchen incident with me and the butcher knife I talked to Dr. T about ECT or Electroconvulsive Therapy. I was running out of options. He agreed. I did my research as usual. Neither one of us took in to account my diagnosis of Conversion Disorder, Psychosis, and Catatonia. I only knew about the first one he knew about them all. He had stopped seeing me as a person and now I was “something to fix”.
Psychosis usually happens during a Depressive Episode.
Delusions can be part of Psychosis. Delusions include thoughts of being “important”, jealousy, feeling like “everyone” secretly dislikes you, that random events have a special meaning “just for you”. There can also be Paranoia.
Paranoia isn’t always what we’ve been taught through TV or Movies. Excessive worry about what people think of you or if they really think you’re a joke. Misreading facial expressions between people like “eye rolling” and assuming it’s about you. Starting to dislike parties, crowds, stores, because you become uncomfortable thinking everyone is staring at you. You then start to avoid groups or social situations all together so you don’t have to feel embarrassed or lonely.
Catatonia involves many aspects. Some of the frequent ones are mutism, negatism, repeating the movements of others, repeating words of others, withdrawal from family and friends, malnutrition, and the beginning of muscle breakdown.
Usually a Psychiatrist and a Neurologist will each do exams to rule out any other possible causes. What they look at are repetitive movements of the mouth, jaw, and eyes. Tapping of the feet, fingers, hand fluttering, shoulder shrugging and body rocking.
Psychomotor Agitation and Psychomotor Retardation (used as a Medical Term) describe what the “Team” looks for to make a Diagnosis.
Psychomotor Agitation includes mostly your motor functions. The Doctors look for fidgeting, tapping, pacing, restlessness, talking faster than normal, and racing thoughts.
In Bipolar patients there are more specific signs. Bragging about your opinions and skills, disregarding social cues, being over friendly, and monopolizing conversations.
Psychomotor Retardation is somewhat the opposite. You can’t get out of bed, make decisions or concentrate, you feel weak and talk slower, you can also have trouble walking, writing, and hand eye coordination.
ME, MYSELF, AND I
Since my crib days I have fidgeted and done repetitive action. I don’t know what this means. I never told any of the Doctors because I didn’t think it was important.
My twin sister and I had cribs that were on wheels. You know, the real safe kind from 1973 where the wheels didn’t lock correctly. When I could pull myself up in my crib I would rock back and forth until my crib was on the other side of the room. I would also “wiggle” my leg to fall asleep, or bang my head on my pillow until I fell asleep. Why my parents never found this odd I don’t know. Wait, I do know. My mother had seen far worse.
Throughout my life I always had one leg going up and down if I was sitting. I was often asked how much caffeine I had consumed when I maybe had one ice coffee. I agree to monopolizing conversations. I also clench my jaw without realizing it causing severe problems, and the body rocking I still do when things are really bad, accompanying it is a hand flutter that taps my head and a stutter.
I have had long periods of time where I have stayed in bed, I definitely can’t make decisions, my legs and arms are weak, I stumble backwards often or “trip” over nothing. My hand eye coordination has diminished, one of the reasons I stopped making jewelry and stopped driving at night. And I can’t forget losses of time or once or twice seeing some things that were not there. (Like at the library where I was hanging from hundreds of trees).
Like most issues if left untreated they are difficult to treat. ECT is really the only suggested choice as of now and even with that the chances of recovery or improvement is poor regardless of treatment.
OK, WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING TO DISCUSS ECT, AKA SHOCK THERAPY, AKA ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY, WHAT TYPES ARE THERE, WHAT TO EXPECT, SIDE EFFECTS, LISTENING TO OPINIONS AND YOUR CHOICE!! (Took this pic 2yrs ago)