Coping

As I mentioned in my last post I have been hearing voices for a while now and my CPN and Psychiatrist have insisted that I carry on implementing my current coping strategies and develop more. This is a challenge to me, mainly because the things I use at the moment have pretty much always worked in the past. I have never really had to stretch myself to find new ones. Eventually all of what I know how to do will work.

My current methods are:

Music – I can usually find some peace for a short while in an album that has some kind of story to it. Mainly I use The Wall by Pink Floyd. I relate to that story. Not that I have ever been a rock star isolated from the world he has created for himself and ultimately in the end become a fascist dictator.

For me it’s about the isolation that occurs in my mind that I can never really seem to break through when depression hits. It may sound strange to immerse myself in a “world” where it appears to drag me further down, but don’t forget all good stories have a suitable ending. In The wall, and for me, Pink (Me) emerges from his torment by realising that everything in my mind is just a construct of bullshit that only I have built up and only I can break down the walls it has created. It empowers me.

Reading – This is a tenuous strategy at best. I try it and I find if it’s not going to work, it’s not going to work within the first ten to fifteen minutes and I move on. When it does work it’s great, because I concentrate and concentration is something that has been lacking in my life. My mind as it has become used to the Drugs I take each and every day has caused me to get lazy and sloppy. There is no way today that I could sit down and read a 2 act play with the intention of learning lines and getting ready to perform in the play. At the moment, I have problems reading a full article in my monthly issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

Movies – My concentration isn’t the greatest and this is affected even more so by the voices that are hounding me in my head. If the voices are particularly vicious and negative then I find the shock of a horror film can be effective in staving off the horror that goes on in my head. My CPN was shocked when I mentioned this to him. I think he assumed that seeing Freddy Kruger rip seven shades of skin off of some young innocent Teenager would cause more problems than it would cure. I have been watching horror movies for more years than I have Doctor Who and there is very little that phases me in them. At present I really can’t watch anything with to many JUMP moments as with what’s going on in my head and the constant tension of what is always around the corner they actually make me feel physically ill. When that happens I move on to something else and leave the rest of the family to carry on watching.

Writing – When things in my little world get too much, just sitting down with an open document on my PC or Tablet is all it takes for me to escape from what is happening in my head. When I write it is pretty much always a stream of conscious splurge. In the past I have rarely edited what I write as I feel that what is in my head and what ends up on the screen is what I really wanted to say in the first place so why bother changing anything. I have started tidying up a few spots here and there. The bulk of any post I make is exactly as I intended it to be and only spelling mistakes are corrected (sometimes).

With the suggestion that I find alternative ways of managing the stress and voices, I had to go and search out what others had suggested. Google is grand. The first hit on a search of Hearing Voices is www.hearing-voices.org.

I had come across this site before. I hadn’t really paid much attention as they seem to place a great deal of emphasis on accepting the voices and maintaining a better quality of life with the voices in your life. That didn’t sit well with me. I want these bloody things gone and I will do pretty much anything to get that. At least that was my old plan. After being stuck inside my own head for the best part of three months having various and random crap splurged from inside out… maybe it was time to look at alternative ways of living with these “things”.

Is there a way to negotiate with voices that are randomly spouting bullshit in your head for 20 hours out of 24? How should I handle this problem?

I have to try these coping strategies and develop more. They want a more structured path in my day. I haven’t had any structure in my life since October 2008. There has been no routine that I couldn’t absolutely break out from with the drop of a phone call. Maybe I made it to easy for myself to get out of it. I don’t know where to start and even now a week after the phone call I am still trying to work it out.

If anyone has any ideas, feel free to leave a comment.

Until Next Time…

2 comments

  1. Hi Paul

    Sorry to hear about the voices. I do get the Hearing Voices Network’s point that some people can live with them, but it’s insulting that their approach is so generic and universally dismissive of medication and whatnot. Assuming that we’re all in the same situation is patronising rubbish. I once had a benevolent voice whom I’d have been happy to keep, but then came the belligerent lot and there’s no way I wanted to live with that shit.

    I did find I could negotiate a little with them, though. They found it amusing, but the main thing was that they agreed (to a point). Now, my circumstances at the time were quite extreme, but to speak generally, I bartered with them; if they’d concede that, I’d concede this. So I suppose what I’m saying is that it’s worth a go – agree to let them bother you for part of the day if they’ll leave you alone for the rest, or something? Who knows if it would work, but you can always ask them. Or threaten them with ludicrous doses of Seroquel if they don’t shut their faces 😉

    I get the impression your mental health team aren’t really taking this seriously. Yeah, routine and structure are important, but when you’re ill, even trying to sort those things is nigh on impossible. One of my now-many CPNs suggested to me to start with really small things. Get up whenever, and make a cup of tea. That was all; just to do it every day, until I felt I could introduce something else. I don’t know if that’s any help to you, but I hope so.

    Anyway, sorry again to hear things are rubbish. Kudos to you for managing to stick with music, writing etc though – I know I can’t even do these things a lot of the time.

    Take care

    Karen xox

    • Hi Karen,

      Things seem to be moving on. I actually start a group thing on Monday that I wasn’t sure was going to happen due to the group leader not being well. So that’s one morning a week that is taken care of. I think the idea of negotiating with the voices is something that I could try in the more extreme times, but I have always thought that that would be giving in to them and letting them know that they have the upper hand. I am game for anything some times lately.

      You are correct about the MH team being very offhand by it all. Each time I see them, 25% of the time is spent by them telling me that services are being cut and there is no money.

      Thank you for the comment and I hope things are not to awful for you at the moment.

      P

      ps. I have amended your URL in your original comment and have taken the updated one down, hope that’s OK.