Intermittent Explosive Disorder

mental health, violence, aggression, conduct disorder,

Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED)

The music gets louder and louder and louder.

I can’t hear you anymore.

Every cell in my body throbs with the percussion in my head.

I am about to burst!

If I can screech this off me and make it stop

stop STOP. I am blinded with that familiar red blaze. 

….

I open my eyes to a room of broken things, broken people 

and silence. {What have I done?}

-x-x-x-

If you want to know more about IED, you can go here and here. This article is pretty interesting too, especially if you’re a parent to someone who shows symptoms of IED.

[Please note, I am not justifying any violence brought about by IED, nor would I (or any mental health practitioner) give the impression that any kind of rage is naturally an indication of IED. All I am trying to do here is to increase the understanding and empathy for it, which then would hopefully help us deal with it in a more informed and sensitive way. IED can be really scary for both those who are going through it, and those who live with and/or love those who have it.]

 

 

 

Persecutory Delusion

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I can feel your breath on my back.

I taste the poison in my tea, I find your shadow in every crowd.

I hear those cameras clicking clicking,

as I undress in the dark.

My heart races whenever a car slows down beside me.

I change my route everyday.

I keep a knife under my pillow.

How many times I check and re-check every bolt in every door.

Yet every night as I lie awake, I wonder if tomorrow will be the day….

the day you get me.

 

For a one-stop place to get all kinds of preliminary information about persecutory delusion (symptoms, causes, conditions associated with it, treatment, etc.), go here.

Postpartum Depression

I had painted the walls myself, of the room in which he was to live. Jurassic themed. 

I had even allowed a corner for the Manchester United logo that my husband wanted, already thinking of ways in which he will suck the child into the soccer frenzy.

I can’t enter that room now. I have been back from the hospital for over three months  and those reptiles I had drawn and painted with so much patience (and love?)…they are out to get me! Their long faces, and those big mouths…they will expose me. They look at me with that look! that look…of knowing…they know, they sense the darkness inside me. 

And that…that child. Oh! Is he really mine? Did he really grow inside me all these months. They say he looks just like me. I can’t see the similarity…I can’t…oh I can’t say it…but… Aren’t you supposed to feel something? “It will change your life” they said about motherhood. What did my mother feel when she first held me in her arms. Did she feel love…why can’t I feel the love I am supposed to feel. 

I can’t look at him, I can’t…I can’t watch those arms stretch at me. They keep bringing him to me, but I can’t feed it…him. My breasts, my body, my heart has nothing. There is no mother in this body!

Every morsel I eat feeds this wretchedness inside me. I am scared to sleep…I am scared of what I will become when I wake up. Can I undo these 9 months? Can I undo this? He cannot deserve a mother like this? 

And each day those reptiles grow…bigger and bigger. They are all around me. I bathe and bathe and bathe wishing praying that I can shed this…this hideousness inside me. I can’t stand my own self, all my insides, my intestines, my brains, all mix and convolute into knots and knots of pain. 

As usual Mayo Clinic has all the basic information about the disease that you can read here. There is also this interesting account by Stephanie Grant about her mother who had suffered from Postpartum Depression; find it here.

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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I see you judging me, judging my frowns,

me with my big car and nice clothes,

or maybe I have a small car, but I have a family that loves me and friends who adore me.

You think I am being ungrateful…unappreciative.

But what I wouldn’t give for your easy smile, and those shoulders that relax in every room.

I would give all my wealth in exchange for a heart that does not jump every time it hears my name.

And to not have my hands shake and my legs tremble before every beginning and every end. 

One time in 9th grade I shat my pants. 

You laugh. They did too. They thought it was an accident. It was not. 

I could not gather the courage to go up and interrupt the teacher. I sat there thinking of all the ways my simple act of asking permission to leave the classroom can go wrong.

They all do it so easily, breezing in and out of rooms. I could not.

I did not go back to that school. I demanded my school be changed. I lost one year. 

All because one afternoon I could not gather the strength to go up and say 6 small words. 

I see you judging again, telling me all those who do not get to go to school. Those who don’t  have the choice. And here I was….spoilt brat you say. 

I fainted on the day of my wedding; I could not get out of bed for my first job interview. 

I am exhausted constantly.

What I wouldn’t give for that easy smile, those relaxed shoulders, and those eyes…that judge me. 

If you want to know more about GAD, wiki is actually the best out there in terms of giving you everything you need to know in one place. If you want to get some first-hand perspective and read some personal heart-felt and inspiring accounts, go here and here.

 

 

Grandiose Delusion

Excuse them crowds Darlings, poor souls they just want to touch my hand. 

I am the daughter of the Queen of Portland and the Head Shaman from the Himalayas. Their marriage didn’t last till my fourth birthday, but I inherited his healing hands and her royal blood. 

Please don’t mind them; they don’t have a crown to look up to anymore, and no faith to calm them at night. I hope you will allow them the small joy they get from being in my proximity. I don’t take my responsibility lightly, I promise you. 

And if you see the phone ringing and I don’t pick up, I hope you will understand it is not from indifference or hostility to the masses. I genuinely cannot help them all; I have to be careful and choose only the most needy. My time and powers are limited; the royal privileges I inherited from my mother is constantly under siege from the government, my step-sisters and my many cousins from my mother; and as for my healing energies, I do need to give a few hours everyday for them to renew itself. It’s all a constant work, but they don’t need to know that. I have dedicated my life to the masses with not a thought for myself. I don’t take it lightly; I have only brought three people back from the dead so far; not from a lack of capacity mind you, but just to ensure I don’t shake the cycle of life. Oh, I do get exhausted sometimes. Won’t you take a seat love?

There is not enough writing or information about Grandiose Delusion that I could find to share with you. You can read this article, to get an overall understanding of delusion. Then there is this slightly academic article on Grandiose Delusion that you may find of interest.

 

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

The teacher walks in a navy-blue dress, I know that perfume, it’s the same one that Auntie Rita used to wear. I go to tell her about Auntie Rita, but I hear someone say “sloth bear!“. I had just watched an episode on them, so I go and join the discussion. The teacher calls me back to seat and smiles a big sweet smile at me. I beam at her and tell her about Auntie Rita and how I think her new haircut suits her face. I sit on my desk and take out my notebooks, but just then a bird hits the glass of our classroom window! I rush to see if she is okay, but teacher calls me back again. The teacher gives us algebra sums, the same ones that we did last month. I tell her the answers, and she says “show me how you got them”. I open my notebook to write the steps, but then I remember I can probably check on the bird from the bathroom window. I am about to ask permission to go to the bathroom, when I remember that sloths only poop once every week. I am about to go tell the boys this information, when I see that Bina has a bug on her back. I call out and warn her when the whole class starts laughing at me. 

I frown and start writing the steps, when I hear the sound of badminton (!) from the field. I run to the window to see who is playing, the teacher calls me back again. She doesn’t smile anymore, and asks me to show her the steps. “But I already know these questions, why can’t we do something new?” She gives me five new questions, I smile at her, and do them on the board. Now that I am done with the lesson, I ask her if I can go play in the field. She scolds me and tells me there is still 15 mins left of the class. I am indignant now. The other children are still doing old sums; I finished five new ones! I am about to call her out on the injustice, when I see Karan has a band-aid on his knee. I go and ask him how he got hurt and he tells me his exciting adventures in the woods last evening. I sit down with him and do his sums for him, when I hear the airplane pass over the school. That’s when I remember about the missing airplane from last week, and I tell the class all about it. The teacher asks me to stand at the back. Good, now I can see all I want through the windows. 

ADHD, as the name suggests, is characterised by inattention and impulsive behaviour. “Inattention” or “impulsive behaviour” by themselves are perfectly normal attributes that every person experience sometime or the other. It becomes a “disorder” or requires help only when these behaviours are extremely frequent and are beyond the control of the person. Many ADHD children grow up to become super-achievers (like the famous Michael Phelps) and are able to use their excess energy in positive ways. But in order to do that, it is important that the disorder is diagnosed, recognised and treated. Treatment does not mean letting go of their innate gifts and personality; but treatment gives you the tools to have control over them- to dictate when and how you want to spend your energy and attention.

ADHD is one of the most common neuro-developmental disorders and is generally diagnosed during childhood. If you want to know more about it, CDC is a storehouse of information, click here. And if you’re a parent reading this, you can read these mothers of ADHD super-achievers talk about how they managed to channel their children’s energies here.

 

 

Bipolar Disorder

Hello darling, let me buy you a drink! I feel like I have known you all my life, I have a sudden urge to kiss you and feel your body in my hands. I know you find me attractive, I see it in your eyes; and if you don’t you will once you hear me pour out my heart to you. How can you not! I come like a gust of overpowering energy and charm that you have never seen before . You will not be the first woman to fall in love with me tonight, and you are the not the first girl I have bought a drink for today. I love them all. Every girl in this room has my attention, I want to buy them drinks and flowers and make them laugh all night long. Where do I have all the money, you ask? Well, that’s what they made credit cards for. 

I could fall in love with myself tonight. Look at these perfectly articulated sentences I create out of thin air. I conjure up stories and jokes without a pause. My stories sound so plausible that I almost believe them myself. I could be born in Mexico, or maybe New York City, or maybe I was born to the daughter of a concubine in Lucknow. It doesn’t matter, as long as the story is interesting and I have your attention. I want to call every single friend I have not been in touch with the last month and tell them how much I love and miss them. I have already called my mom and reminded her that she will always be my favorite woman in this world; I think I made her cry with emotion. I wish everyone could see me right now; how wonderfully charming I am. I  have the perfect comeback for everything today, and the answer to every question you have. I have so much poetry coming out of my brain, that I keep jotting down lines on tissue papers and on the backsides of drink bills. 

Three hours later I find myself on the terrace of this bar; I am with a girl, I can’t remember her name. When did we come here? How long have we been talking? Her face reminds me of my ex-wife, and my daughter that she (my ex-wife) won’t let me see. I feel the air leave my lungs, how dark this night has become; I look down the railing and see the ground stare back at me, waiting. I am suddenly aware that there is nothing holding me back, nothing holding me back from making the jump. I look at the girl that is (not) my daughter and my ex-wife and I plead “please don’t let me jump”.  Her eyes go wide and I am conscious of every single eye in this room looking and judging me. I want to get out of here, but what a long way till home and how tired I am. I look down again and realize how much closer that ground is to me right now, and how easy and quick it will be. I close my eye and try to think of my mother’s face and count till 20 and wait for this nausea to stop. 

 

If you’re unfamiliar with Bipolar Disorder, the NIMH site is of course a good place to get a basic understanding on it. But if you really want to know what it means to live with the disorder, consider reading this book by Kay Redfield Jamison, the wonderful writer and psychologist who has herself lived and thrived with (and despite) being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder since an early age. It’s beautifully written and I think will be an interesting read even if you’re not interested in mental health.