Building on Strengths

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You are not your illness//The illness is ALL YOU

Don’t take the easy surrender when you face “symptoms” or triggers, especially after they or “Illness” has been identified in you.

“You are not your Illness”

Knowing what your “diagnosis” is, is useful in understanding the traits in your character and mood patterns that result in difficulties. However, being diagnosed should not aid you in giving you an easier time than “normal” folks.

Many advocates thus tell you: “you are not your illness”.

Actually, it is pressing to know that:

The “illness is ALL YOU” (even though you are NOT your illness).

What I mean is that you, are a unique Human being. You are a person, a person with a personality. These characteristics, including your traits and moderation of mood, when permutated with certain circumstances, reflect traits of what doctors, psychologists and researchers have identified and studied to enshrine as “Mental Illness”. This has occurred over the history of the development of modern medical and behavioural science.

But a diagnosis is useless – and in fact, can be very harmful as it connotes an identifier or label. Diagnosis feeds disorder and dysfunction by exacerbating the initial difficulty that an individual experiences into disempowerment in the traditional medical setting and within the current medical model. The individual perceives him or herself as having a disease or even as being disabled. I am not “normal”. This cycle is enforced when he or she is not treated “normal” if this information is disclosed to others.

What then can someone do if they are identified as mentally ill?

I would want to know what the traits of my diagnosis and symptoms are supposed to be, to see if they are consistent with the patterns in my behaviour that play out from my personality repertoire in certain circumstances. I need to own the characteristic traits that are correlated to my challenges. Not accepting the identifier of illness, but being aware of the things and areas that set me off allows me to start to make active change. This empowers me to own who I am. I am self-aware. I am proactive.

Beyond that, I also want to be a contributing participant of the bigger community around me. So often, psychology, especially the therapy approaches used, bring us inward. We reflect on our lives, our past relationships, early development. (What went wrong?) It is not wrong to be kind to, respect and explore oneself – However, outside of ourselves is a community and a world of both opportunity and yet a world that is for the most part perishing, (if you hadn’t noticed). People who are diagnosed with mental illness often are shelled up within their peer groups. The fear of stigma or feelings of inadequacy cause us to shy away from society. However, this avoidance only breeds ignorance and misunderstanding.

I am not asking anyone to heal the world. However, to break the suffocating stigma around mental illness, more people have to step out into the small domains around them, and work towards becoming who they want to be. But first, one must recognise that what has been happening is in part, a part of us that is under our control. Only then can we build on our strengths and create a life with vision and purpose.

Let’s leave this wretched self-imposed cage behind, shall we?

A New Brand of Religious Affliation

ISIS claims blood 18-1-16

Ok, so again.. the choice of articles on page A4 of The Straits Times made me think about the desperate emphasis of (positive – much needed.. if you saw the TIME magazine cover:see below…) propaganda again…

On top, the biggest article headlines: “DNA test shows ‘fifth militant’ a bystander in Jakarta attack”, below this article the latest Terror news is juxataposed by: “Man killed in gunfight may be Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist” – so maybe there is hope after all. Finally the last article at the bottom of the page emphasises how more than 400 Sunni Muslims, quote“most of them women, children and elderly people..unquote had been killed in the assault on Deir Ezzor(described as a Massacre)…”.

Is my perspective is certainly warped to think that reporting more than 400 unnecessary deaths is just to make the readers less likely to believe that Islam is the root of all terror and all evil, might as well have a scapegoat right? But then again, 7 dead in JKT including the 4 or 5 attackers should be slightly less painful right(?), since both assaults were carried out in with equally malevolent motivations??


Regarding ‘ISIS claiming credit for blood spilled in its name: Analysts’, which outlines its argument that disillusioned and alienated militants around the world have carried out attacks and claimed affiliation with ISIS due to what the author calls “brand recognition”. The unnamed author (writing from Paris, I see..) claims that although ISIS had vowed to ‘take its fight globally’ it had been too preoccupied with maintaining its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, “apparently”, until the recent spate of global attacks, including JKT, occurred. In the author’s and several analysts’ opinions, it is not really ISIS militants managed by ISIS who have carried out these attacks, but  disillusioned militant who have been fighting with different organisations that have not borne fruit that have only INSPIRED these militants.

If this is to in any way reduce our fear of ISIS building its influence globally, I think the argument is fundamentally flawed. ISIS is, as the Analyst from Woodrow Wilson Centre says, ‘a very dynamic cause’. The very fact that there is brand recognition of the ISIS name, its cause and its distinctive black flag shows how strong ISIS is across the world, even across physical boundaries.. And all this Despite whatever the state of its military affairs in its defence of its caliphate might be. (Got a bit tired of keeping up.. yes it’s that same syndrome I explained a few paragraphs up there.. too far away to think about 400 lives, but 7 killed will wreck u..)

In fact, I would compare the symbolic level that ISIS has reached to that of a cause or religion. If it were Taoism (just e.g.), I may be so fired up about the beliefs that I follow all the actions and instructions that the other Taoist followers that I know also follow. These followers, they have tie ups of course, with their leader – who has tie ups with the main leader in my country – and that guy knows the big boss.

If someone were to question me about my Taoist beliefs, I would get really passionate, for I have essentially indoctrinated myself through the Taoist literature, media, and social or  other types of exposure to immerse myself into. This symbolism is what I feel is a great ‘dynamic cause’ for belief, for faith and for what I must dedicate the energy in my life to.

SO what is the difference even if ISIS didn’t manage or have the means to manage those global attacks? The fact that more and more claims of ISIS attacks are occurring shows that its cause and its symbolism is growing, its power to inspire is growing more and more.

The ISIS Brand of Religious Affiliation has flourished along with some free advertising assistance from the media, social media, internet, hate of Islam, retaliation, etc… oh what horrible things the media can do..

[save the good ole’ Straits Times :D]


Anyway, as promised, here’s a man I really ____ … :p

This cover makes me feel the same Utter, Stupid, Shock I felt when I was in hospital for a month after finally emerging from severe psychosis that I had had for a year (I did not know what was going on in the world); and I saw that American troops had withdrawn from Afghanistan.

trump

A simple explanation of Paranoia

When you someone has Paranoia, and asks you for help, what would your first reaction be? Do you just brush it aside? Are they simply overthinking things? Or are they just weirdos?

I have made it a resolution of mine for 2016 to overcome my paranoid thinking. This usually only occurs to me in a bad way but specifically only when I don’t sleep the whole night before.

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The next day I will start having pervasive paranoid thoughts about how people are appraising me, especially in a crowded space or among strangers. But if I sleep it off. The feelings n thoughts go away.

I realised that paranoid thoughts come about due to overly emphasing the importance of random associations and deriving meaning from these links. It usually also is due to an insecurity or a strong emotion that is being felt by the person.

What do I mean? For example, John is having the paranoid thought that the lady sitting next to her in the train thoughts he smelt bad. He thinks so because the lady kept rubbing her nose and then got up one stop after he sat next to her. The emphasis on the association between John’s smelliness and the lady’s action of rubbing her nose.. which again is associated with not liking his body odour and her getting off quickly also being linked up, are the assumptions that a paranoid person makes.

I think these are probably made due to the person’s underlying feelings of insecurity or other strong emotions like anger or jealousy.

That’s why the paranoid thoughts are so trechant and difficult to dismiss despite having people try to convince you that you are just “thinking too much”, a phrase I think is too loosely used and may not help much. The emotions behind it are real but the paranoia is not.

Hope that these thoughts about this topic were meaningful to you. What do you think? Do comment If u have any ideas about It.

Here’s some Garbage in the meantime:

The Wandering Insomniac Returns v.1.1.2016

I recently made a friend, also a peer, who told me that at the height of her illness, she used to sneak out of the house in the ungodly hours of the morning and she would always somehow gravitate to a heartland that reminded her of her growing up years. She would reminiscence of her childhood friend whom she used to play with in that neighbourhood, which she was so attached to that it literally drew her back, “awake-walking” – when she should have been sleeping.

Tonight or this morning, I have taken a trip to little India to seek out a cheap mobile phone. Why? The urge and impulse and the persistent restlessness in my soul was just so? I don’t know??! Wha was it thinking taking a cab with all my liquid cash at 3am to Mustafa Centre?

Well, there is a back story.. my iPhone 6, which my brother bought for me when I recontracted and which I dutifully paid for when I had enough cash, disappeared one morning… also after I had been having insomnia. It had clearly been next to my pillow. And the whole household was frantically mobilized in a top to bottom search. Strangely enough, my father didnt seem too concerned, but told me to get a new SIM card quickly.

It was only when this disappearing incident was repeated on another object in the house, announced by my father.. and then a replacement made by him.. and then when my mother could not use the replacement..  the object mysteriously was found by, again my father.. who said, “lucky I found it! The bangla must have climbed in the gate and took it when the door was unlocked!”..(sorry long sentence) THAT IT DAWNED on us, what had happened to my phone.

But as a person who suffers from paranoia, I couldnt complain… e.g. a schizophrenic telling his shrink that people are talking about him.. WHEN they REALLY are. Just that, in my case.. I am not the only psycho in the house. My brother tried to ask him about it but he was extremely defensive and almost bombed.. well.

Now I am using a 3G phone yes that was ok three years ago..but it constantly hangs wheb I open large apps or have more than 3 apps open. And it has been getting progressively worse. I had been happy at first.. downgrading. I was impressed by three year old samsung’s frontline basic smartphone. I even managed to upgrade to jellybean from pathetic gingerbread.  Wow cmon have a break have a kit kat! (Sorry I blame lack of sleep).

But it isnt the phone but that apps now are built for faster, heavier duty phones. Minimum for a mainstream app is 10MB. Without a huge micro SD u are dying on your first day of downloading “basic” and “necessary” apps.

I guess I should go and live in the kampung. And go off the internet altogether and see how I do without these luxuries… but seriously I dunno why I get so carried away and am unable to stop concentrating once I am tring to get any type of technology working that isnt. for example back when miss noob was trying to jail break her brand new first gen ipod touch. A sleepness night there.

I think it could be the complusiveness in my personality. This need to achieve the goal I set out to do. Added to the mood of impulse and a restless high. DANGER! !! CRAZYYY SLEEPLESS ZOMBIE OUT ON THE LOOSE!!

OK I think I have ranted enough and I am also safely at my destination:

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No, I am just a visitor today.

Thank God for preserving me.