Gorotsuki Tenshi (aekiy) wrote,
Gorotsuki Tenshi
aekiy

the fragility of pesonhood

Twice in the past week, friends of mine have discussed serious troubles with their mental wellbeing, most notably the sense of not being a real person.  As I said to one of them, I wish I didn't understand what they meant as well as I do.  Apart from small leakages of selfhood through all my damage, physical and psychological, I have not truly felt like a real person for about four years, and I was having at least some difficulty with it on and off for about two years or so prior.

For me, it began slowly with an increased realization of the impressions left by other people on my psyche.  I don't know how to explain it without sounding like a froufrou mystic or schizophrenic, but I became increasingly aware that bits of others' personalities would become imprinted in my mind.  It seems almost like my mind downloads packets, and so increased interaction, proximity, and contact with individuals will increase the that person's partition in my brain.  Over time, this tendency seemed to become more and more prominent, such that I gradually began to question whether there was really a "me" underneath all the others in my mind.  For a long time, I managed this fairly well, keeping things fairly tidy and even managing conversations between the different psyches overlapping my own.

Sometime in late 2003, however, my health started taking a nosedive and finally crashed in spring 2004.  During this time, I became increasingly confused and less able to separate the jumbled voices in my mind.  This is also when the pervasive chronic fatigue and chronic pain I've been experiencing since made my body its home, decreasing my ability to cope with life significantly.  It's the chronic physical illness which has really cemented my lacking sense of personhood.  I've had a diminished sense of individuality for a long time, but being chronically ill for several years makes it very difficult to think that I am a person with a disease instead of simply being the disease itself; I tend to see myself as a problem to be eliminated, not as a person with a problem that needs to be cured.  I have to actively remind myself that the latter is true as motivation to keep doing the things I need to do to hopefully get the medical and psychiatric attention I need.

On the plus side for me, my Primary Adult Care benefits are registered to operate through Jai and set to begin next week.  Today I set an appointment to see a councilor a couple weeks from now, pending verification by the office that my benefits will cover the visit, and the councilor will then decide whether I also require psychiatric care.  I believe they'll recommend me for psychiatric care, and I'll certainly accept a visit—which is free anyway—but I'd rather tackle the medical angle before accepting psychiatric drugs, since I know that's the single biggest factor effecting my mental health.  On the other hand, PAC includes a program of free and/or heavily discounted pharmaceutical care (copays under $10 for out-of-network care), so I'll accept whatever prescriptions, check for effects, and see how I feel about actually taking them.

I certainly would like to feel less anxious all the time, and anything anyone can do to help me feel more like a person again would be welcome.
Tags: depersonalization, friends, health
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