I’ve been trying to write this post for a few days and make as much sense of it as possible, but for some reason I found it rather hard and had a lot going on in a few days, so decided to write it much shorter and all over again.
So as you may remember if you read my post about my last Zombie day, I was significantly depressed for days lately. I mean, my depression is generally bigger than even a few months ago as I am so much concerned about my future, not knowing what to do with it at all and other things get in the way as well, but, you know, you always have ups and downs, and that time surely was a massive down, but now I’m much much more stable luckily. In fact right now I’m doing really well and I can’t recall feeling so well in months. That’s really great. And you may also remember that I’ve been thinking more about my psychiatric diagnosis, which I still don’t have. On the one hand, I’ve been anxious about it and wanted it to stay this way, I was afraid to find out what is wrong with me, so in some way I preferred the fact that I still don’t know for sure. On the other hand though, I felt somewhat inadequate, like if they still can’t find out what it is, I surely have to be too complex, and maybe even am just faking all that, also I wanted to finally get appropriate support, which is much more difficult when you don’t know what’s going on with you. Of course I knew that it’s not a rare thing that people don’t know their diagnoses for much longer, but I think they also have to be really frustrated with it, that’s why I even more understand people struggling with it ’cause I know at least in some way how they feel, no matter whether it is a psychiatric or medical diagnosis. I didn’t think about it much usually, but it always was somewhere in the background of my life, some bothering insecurity about what’s the case with me.
I know I have GAD, I know I’ve had reactive depression, but since its symptoms didn’t fully disappear my therapist, or rather former therapist, as I don’t see her on a regular basis any longer ’cause it’s impossible for her, started to think I may be dysthymic, but to be diagnosed with dysthymia, you need to show the symptoms for two years at least, plus I also have hypothyroidism and it wasn’t stabilised back then, so the psychiatrist who examined me then suspected I may be so down all the time because of it or at least partly because of it, which I also think might be true. The thing is, as long as I can remember I was more or less depressive, but I was in a rather unfavourable environment for most of my childhood, which was the boarding school, so my therapist said it was rather normal, and I think so too. Since I also tend to experience moodswings and go high, (or just noticeably higher) suddenly, sometimes completely for no apparent reason, she also told me she thinks I might be bipolar, not dysthymic. But nothing more speciffic.
And now as this last depressive episode hit me, I started to think more about the thing wit my diagnosis. I am usually very very prone to self-loathing when significantly depressed and that time it felt like I must be very different in a bad sense of this word from other people if there aren’t any criteria I could fit in to. Not because I wanted so much to be labelled, but just because I think it would help me to find some help with my struggles. So yeah it was on my mind a lot of the time recently.
Then when I already felt more functional and a bit less depressive I was reading some Swedish blogs online and came across a blog written by girl with avoidant personality disorder. I was reading it with a lot of interest, firstly because I liked her style of writing and I just found interesting what she was writing about in general, but secondly –
because when she wrote about her disorder, about her feelings, relationships with other people etc. I was just like WOW! it’s so much like me! and as I was reading her posts, at some point I felt a kinda impulse and checked out something more about AVPD. I had a brief idea about it, I am into psychology, medicine and like to go deeply into others’ personalities so there was no way I couldn’t hear about it before, but I didn’t know much. Just much enough to feel this weird impulse and find out to how much I can relate to it and to what people having it struggle with. You know what? I went through WHO and DSM criteria and other basic stuff on all Wikipedias I can understand and I got a massive shock. I know people with AVPD need to fit general PD’s criteria as well, but so far almost everything was like me. Well, various symptoms to various extents, like I think I’m much more assertive now than when I was a kid, but still there are situations when I can’t feel very assertive, or I won’t try to make friends for the sake of having friends, changing my personality, likes, dislikes, way of being for others, just to be accepted by them, unless something in my attitude could be harming for someone of course, but I still do want to have real friendships and be accepted as I am. Basically as I was reading about AVPD, the vast majority of things was basically as if someone was writing about me, no matter if I read an article or a post from someone dealing with it. I felt very shocked and overloaded and didn’t know what to do with this, why did I actually wanted to deepen this topic? Shit.
But when I cooled down a little bit I decided to talk about it to my Mum. It was very hard. Like VERY, VEERY hard. I suck at talking about feelings and all that related stuff, it’s scary! But I tried to do my best and also my Mum was very supportive. I mean she always is, but I wouldn’t think she could be as supportive as she turned out to be in this particular situation. She got it and we both laughed a bit how much it is like me, but also quite like her too, only not to such extend definitely. She accepted it and we had a long long talk about it and everything related, which, although hard, was also very rewarding. I think for both of us. I think I haven’t opened up to her so much for quite a long time until then. I felt so close to her and that felt really good. I feel like this talk, and the one we had next day, on Sunday, changed a lot in our relationship. We were always very close, but now we get each other more, there was just so many incredibly important things we didn’t talk about before, which we didn’t know about each other. After that second long chat we went for a long walk and had a drink afterwards. It feels so good she doesn’t care whether I have this AVPD or not, I was almost sure she’ll be overwhelmed and maybe even make a little drama, as she is so emotional and impulsive, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to explain things to her from my perspective. But she knew them before I even started. It really changes things and now I myself don’t care that much whether I might have AVPD or not, I think if I have it, it’s really good I finally know it. Maybe it will help me to heal from it at least a bit. I realise that probably if not my own inquisitiveness, no one would tell me I may have it. And I’m glad there is a name for what I experience. It means there are other people struggling with almost the same stuff, which in turn means we aren’t alone in struggling, at least that’s how I see it. As for my anxiety in all kinds of social situations, I’ve been always calling it simply “social anxiety”, although I didn’t get an official diagnosis for it, but, for me it seemed obvious. Only that when I talked to people with social anxiety, my anxiety seemed more, hm, general. Like, most of them have it in particular situations – talking to a stranger on the street, speaking in front of an audience, or they’re afraid that something weird and awkward will happen while they’re with other people, while my anxiety is present all the time or almost all the time when I’m socialising. It even happens that I feel anxious talking to my family. Not only my extended family It’s a strange kind of anxiety, hence I’ve always felt kinda different to people with this classic form of social anxiety. In some ways my anxiety is even hard to explain. Actually, before I found out abou t AVPD, I didn’t even fully and consciously realise I’m afraid of rejection and how much I’m afraid of it, only that I’ve read it and then thought it through thoroughly and talked about with my Mum and therapist helped me to get to it.
Another important thing that happened on Saturday, the day I found out more about AVPD was that after talking with Mum, I called my therapist and asked her for her opinion. This was another lengthy and exhausting talk, we discussed plenty of things. She said that as she knows me for more than 5 years, it’s very clear to her how my personality resonates with description of AVPD, we also analysed all the diagnostic criteria and other stuff. So she said she’ll talk about me wit another therapist, who is her friend and who is professionally very interested in all kinds of personality disorders and maybe she will be able to schedule an appt with me just to be able to relate and say her opinion on that and then we’ll see what will come out next. If she will also say I seem to have it, then a psychiatrist will be involved. I also asked her about that dysthymia thing and she said that as two years have passed since that assessment I had and not much has changed as for my mood patterns, I should be tested again and she said she will talk about it to the psychiatrist who examined me back then. I’ve never tracked my mood specifically before, only wrote in my diary about it as about many other things, but I think that even if I didn’t do it, it’s clear enough for me that my depressive mood is very persistent, although with its intensiffication differs. But since that talk with my therapist I decided I will also make a special journal only for tracking my mood. Then on Monday she emailed me and told me that therapist working with personality disorders is willing to see me on Tuesday next week.
So as you see a lot was going on in a very short time and I have a feeling that now things will speed up a lot. I am still a bit shocked, but just because I wouldn’t ever thought I may have AVPD if not that girl’s blog, that’s just so new to me. But since I’m over that big depressive abyss for now, I got much more positive approach to things and I think my Mum’s support helps me a lot right now and her optimism about this whole situation is kind of infectious.
Sorry it is so chaotic and probably not the best stylistically , but hopefully readable. 😀 Just wanted to update you guys a little bit as my blog is also about my mental difficulties so I thought it’s very important to at least mention about what’s going on in this area of my life right now.
Thanks for reading. 🙂