Morphex's blogologue (Life, technology, music, politics, business, mental health and more)

This is the blog of Morten W. Petersen, aka. morphex in various places. I blog about my life, and what I find interesting and/or important. This is a personal blog without any editor or a lot of oversight so treat it as such. :)

My email is morphex@gmail.com.

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Going (c)old turkey

Last Saturday I quit using tobacco, Snus in my case. After having thought about it for a long time, over a year, I decided that enough is enough, and quit then and there.

It's now been a week and I think the worst of it is over, I had some trouble sleeping the entire night through a couple of days ago, but feel OK now.

I should have done this sooner. I'll save my health (heart rate is down 10-20), my money and I won't have another thing I *have* to have control over.

Here's probably the last box of Snus I've ever opened:

Holding a box of General snus

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [19 Aug 23:08 Europe/Oslo]

Norway - a land of cheap but not so good health care?

So, I've been reflecting lately, on the situation I've come into, and how I got here.

I'd say that I've had serious mental health issues since the start of my teens, and that this has impacted me in a way that my life on average hasn't been so good since then.

I'd also say that I've worked hard since maybe around being 18-20 years old, and worked hard until I got psychotic in 2009.

My company Nidelven IT was on an upwards trend financially, but after I got sick I figured the best things was to hand over the 24/7 hosting and support to another company. This was done, and although I have my doubts on whether it was a good deal financially, a lot of customers have been taken care of.

But since I got psychotic, the finances of the company have gone steadily downwards, and at this point there is little money left in the company, which doesn't give much room for marketing, sales and so on - generating new opportunities for work and growth.

At the same time, it seems to me that the mom of my kids has been deceitful and negative for my overall health and I'm now in a position that I get to see my kids 4 hours every 6 weeks.

In addition to all of this, I'm in a bit of a hole financially, since I was in court in the summer of 2015 to get a verdict on seeing my kids, as well as an evaluation of the kids mom, an evaluation I don't put trust into and I've pressed charges for false testimony. That evaluation was done by Institutt for Klinisk Forebyggende Tiltak - Ikft AS.

I guess I've always had my pride, and wanted to handle things on my own, so after I got sick I had partial sick leave, then unemployment benefits, and now something called AAP - a benefit which kicks in for a period where your work abilities and health is evaluated and clarified.

But since I've tried to make things on my own and had a low income after I got sick, the AAP from NAV is based on a low income which translates into an income of <200.000 NOK in 2016. At the same time, I got the court costs for the kids mom, which was around 80.000 and with 12% interest it is now approaching 100.000 NOK.

I think it is possible I could've been in a better place today, if I had been treated in an institution after I got sick, instead of being home with a woman that I think hurt me more than did me good.

Since the start of 2010 I've been taking medication and going to therapy, and I've worked hard to be in an OK situation today regarding my mental and physical health.

But it doesn't seem fair or right that I'm in a financial squeeze and don't get to see my kids, when I've worked hard all my life. Would it have cost more to treat me in an institution? Yes. But I think it would have been less likely that I would have been in the situation I am today, and the kids would have had more contact with a parent that does have their best interest at heart.

I also don't know the long term effects of having been in a stressful relationship and situation and taking medication that does have negative long term effects.

If anything, I'd recommend signing a contract before having kids, so that the other party is bound to a minimum of reasonable behaviour. And talking to a lawyer regarding medical treatment, work, sick leave, unemployment benefits and NAV.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [01 May 14:57 Europe/Oslo]

Dealing with DnB special engagement (Spesialengasjement) operations

So, because of illness my income has dwindled down the last couple of years, and I haven't quite kept pace with the downgoing income, I used some credit cards, and now have accrued a little bit of credit card debt.

Now I like to keep my commitments, so even though I don't have a lot of income today, I would like to maintain my debts. So I've asked the credit card issuer that I only pay the interest on this debt, until I'm into a better financial situation, but they have declined that offer, and want me to pay about double of that, each month.

This is even though I after deducting the rent for my flat, I have less money to spend than what the state limit for forced money collection is. So in other words, if I defaulted on the debt and let things just slide, I would ultimately have more money in my pocket than with this deal they're offering.

I asked for the name of the person who is responsible for what they're saying and offering, but they did not give a name, just said that the responsible department was special engagement (Spesialengasjement) operations.

Now this is a bit annoying by itself, but when I see that the state wants to collect double of the child support they used to, but don't have a right to, and I got a notice this week that my application to postpone the next student loan payments was rejected, it adds up. And next week I have a meeting with the state agency NAV, my doctor and so on about what happens next on my path to being back to work again. I can add that the student loan organization is also a state agency, and that they get information about my income and status from the other mentioned state agency, NAV.

Not to mention that I've started on medication for pains as well as exercises to train up my neck related to my accident last year, and the insurance company is declining to pay for these appointments with the chiropractor.

If you add all these up, it starts to suck as a lot of negative things are happening at once.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [31 Aug 11:02 Europe/Oslo]

In the belly of the Norwegian kafkaesque bureaucracy

So, I'm paying some money for child support for my kids, not because I want to, but because I'm forced to. These payments are deducted from my income automatically.

Now I see myself as a responsible man and do feel responsible for my kids, but paying more than I should, when I barely get to see my kids, doesn't seem, or feel, fair.

So I applied to get this child support reduced, but it was instead increased. It was increased, because I had some temporary income this summer from my company Nidelven IT, because I had to do some required-by-law accounting and tax-related work. Now I get my main income from the state, and I have to report work hours to the state. These work hours are then deducted from my payments. So if I get 3750 per week from the state and work 5 hours, that is reduced to 3250. I got about as much in payments from Nidelven IT these summer months as I lost in my regular income.

I made this clear on the application form to the state, that these payments from Nidelven IT were temporary and a compensation for the other lost income, but they managed to make it a regular, recurring income, and because of that increased my child support. I was left with the option of sending in a complaint which cost around 1000 NOK (~110 EUR), but I will not send in a complaint, I will rather send in a new application and make this blog post my complaint. You can talk about people nickle-and-diming you, but here it is the state, when I don't have a lot of income.

The case workers there were Erling Noste (office boss) and Eivor Merete Høgli (case worker).


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [26 Aug 02:58 Europe/Oslo]

Got a letter from the county governors office

So I was a trial to get to see my kids with supervision (partly to keep the kids mom at bay), and to get mental health professionals to review the kids mom, as I've seen quite a bit of negative behaviour from her, ranging from not signing an agreement about seeing the kids so that it wasn't legally binding, to manipulation and agressive acts.

I have it documented that we did agree on me seeing the kids 3 days every 2 weeks.

However, and this is my side of the story, after I rejected the kids mom when she still wanted to be in some sort of intimate relationship, it became difficult to see the kids.

So in this letter I got, which rejects my appeal on getting financial support to cover the kids moms court costs, there are a couple of things that don't seem right to me.

Because I've been sick, I'm now on a support plan from the state which doesn't give me much income, and because of that, it will be difficult for me to pay the court costs from the trial that was.

And because it will be difficult to cover the court costs, I might not get another change to go to court for some years, to get more time with the kids and another review of the kids mom.

In the trial that was, there were mental health professionals that reviewed the kids mom, and they found no narcissistic or sociopathic traits. And this was repeated in court when the judge asked the appointed mental health professionals, that this was the case. And this had been a subject before the trial. After discussing this online and with mental health professionals, my understanding is that it is unlikely that a person doesn't have at least one trait in either the sociopathic or narcissistic category. And I don't think they're incompetent, so it is likely that they lied.

So I'm now in a situation where I get to see my kids 4 hours every 6 weeks, and this is depressing and difficult. You can say what you want about a life with or without kids, but once you get attached to them it is heartbreaking to not be able to spend time with them. And because it is heartbreaking and depressing, it affects my well-being.

The letter states that I have and will have enough income for things like a place to live, food, necessities and this is true. But it also says that I'm already planning a new trial, and they can't put me in a position where I get myself in further debt. So basically, they won't cover my existing court costs because they assume that I will put myself in further debt with a new court case.

I find that as a bit of a strange argumentation, and the whole paragraph that states this convoluted.

Now, they also say in this letter that they understand that the situation can affect my mental health, and this is also true, but they have not taken into account that I am winding down on anti-psychotics, and that this medicine over a longer time perspective can have side effects such as diabetes and heart problems. So in fact, this whole situation is having a direct impact on my physical health.

I find it interesting that the letter also states that there wasn't found anything wrong with the kids moms ability to take care of the kids, when documentation about her lack of response to several emails regarding seeing the kids more and sharing the costs for my travels to see the kids were attached to the case.

If I put a cynical and negative look at what they're saying, they're basically saying that it doesn't matter if the kids mom screwed you over, she can take care of the kids. But not letting your kids see their other parent when they express that they want to see the other parent, and not cooperating around such a simple thing as costs that have arised from travelling to see the kids, when the law states that these costs should be shared between parents according to income, shows that the kids mom doesn't do what's best for the kids, and therefore is neglecting the kids!

It should be added that my lawyer has applied to get the court costs covered, and I think that was at the county govenors office as well, but I have not received any feedback regarding whether that was accepted or not. Which is strange.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [12 Aug 01:36 Europe/Oslo]

Insurance company Gjensidige, case worker Stein Rønning

So I've had a meeting with my old chiropractor regarding the fall I had on a bus last year, and she did find some stiffness in my neck. I have not been treated for neck issues earlier. I have a new appointment with the chiropractor and will get some documentation on the whole situtation.

Interestingly enough, I've told this to Stein Rønning at Gjensidige insurance company, but they are saying that they will only cover the immediate medical costs from the accident.

So I took at look at their home page, and took a screenshot. At the end there it says that "Our vision is to know our customer best and care the most". Does that mean that they care about their customer the bus company and their interests only? As a victim of an accident or something worse, am I a customer or an opponent?

Gjensidige about us screenshot

Oh I took a look at their Twitter account, and their header image is of a group of people known from the Norwegian series "Olsenbanden" (the Olsen gang) - a criminal gang that does various things to get money. I'm not sure what message they're trying to convey with that?

Gjensidige Twitter header the Olsen gang

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [11 Aug 12:06 Europe/Oslo]

A day in the life of..

So, life has been progressing, in a positive direction. I've blogged about being ill and different troubles, but now it looks like things have stabilized and I'm planning more for the future.

I've been reflecting the last couple of days, and although I've learned a lot in life, I also feel short-changed on the positive experiences, having lived with a diagnosis for psychosis and an anxiety disorder since 2010, but having suffered for many years before that.

So I decided some time ago that I should work to put more things into my positive experiences bag, and that also means taking care of my body (eating well, exercising) as well as doing things that feel good.

For some years now I've been changing my diet, starting with eating more fruits and vegetables. It has taken a couple of years of change and experimenting, and now I'm at a place where I enjoy eating a bowl of cooked kidney beans and white rice, along with about half a fried garlic.

Now, since I became acutely ill in 2009, I tried to keep things together and worked a bit in my own company, Nidelven IT. But things slowly dwindeled down there, and in 2013 I reached the end of the line with regard to money, and had to go ~100% unemployed. I stretched out the money and earned a lot less than before I got sick, but it was the end of the line.

Now though, after being unemployed for a while and also being on sick leave from that, I'm on the minimum support plan from the state, which doesn't give me a lot of money to work with, and I have to find ways of saving money and being frugal. I'm not sure, but I think if I had gone 100% sick from the day I became ill, I would have been in a better position now economically, so I do feel short-changed by the state for trying to make the best of things.

Anyway, as I've been changing my eating habits and getting better from my illness, I feel that eating healthy is nice, and I feel it as well, that the mood is more stable and see that my body is shedding some weight.

I've been following Paul McCartney on Twitter, and he's an advocate for Meat Free Monday, which has a website with vegetarian food.

Now I'm not going to jump into it and go fully vegan, but I think that it is generally a good idea, because less animals will be bred and kept for food, which is good for animal welfare, and more food will be available as it takes a lot of feed to generate 1 KG of meat for example.

So I experimented a bit, and found that about 200 grams of cooked kidney beans and 150 grams of cooked white rice as well as some fried garlic, was a good combination. What I like about this meal in particular is that it leaves me full, but not sluggish. I feel good after eating a meal like that.

Here are some soaked, but uncooked kidney beans:

Soaked kidney beans

I cook them for about an hour, and the water is boiling, to make sure that a toxin that can make you unwell is destroyed by cooking at high temperature.

After boiling, I take off the lid and continue at a low temperature, until most of the water has vaporized. I bag these kidney beans about 200 grams in each bag and put them in the freezer, and I like the idea that as much nutrients as possible go along with it (and aren't washed out in the cooking water), and it's easier to fill the bags with a little bit of water each that way.

I'm not a nutritional expert, but from what I gather, the protein combination from the beans and the rice combine well, to make a complete essential protein source. Which is important, as I don't want the strength exercise to go to waste and need protein. And it makes it a real alternative to for example meat.

I've got a whole salmon thawing in the refrigerator as well, and I'll be posting some pics and the recipe for that later today, it's my own recipe and I think it works quite well. :)

[Edit: Later the same day..] The salmon has thawed enough that I could put it in the pan in pieces:

Salmon pieces in pan

I bought some salmon for about 5 $ per kilo a while ago, which is cheap, and it's been lying around in the freezer. I'm not that good at creating filets yet, so I'll just let them simmer long enough that I can pluck all the edible parts off. I put a dash of oil in the bottom of the pan, and I'm hoping there will be some run-off as well which I can put in the soup.

Now this is farmed salmon, salmon that has been raised in a small pen out in the sea. As far as animal ethics go, the fish does have some intelligence and feelings, so I'm not sure how much of a life it is swimming around in a small enclosure and being fed pellets. They can't tell us.

I like fishing, but I think that's fairly morally balanced as the fish I catch is going after my lure. If that lure had been a real fish, a big fish would've tried to eat a much smaller fish, but instead it ends up being my dinner. Which is ironic, but fair. I also expedite the fish I catch as soon as I can, with a quick stab and twist in the skull to put an end to the suffering. The way fish eat each other is fairly gruesome if you think about it, they swallow something alive and then it suffocates in their stomach.

[Edit: Even later in the day..] Alright. So I started making the soup itself, first I started off with a litre of almost skimmed milk and two litres of water:

Milk in pot in pan

And after that, I added a dash of olive oil as well as some corn starch (for thickness), and fish bouillon:

Fish bouillon cube in hand

Two whole garlic, chopped in pieces:

Garlic pieces on plate

I find it useful to keep all pieces fairly small, so that they take less time to cook.

Now this time I decided to go for some pre-cut vegetables, and over time I've grown fond of having frozen vegetables in the freezer. It doesn't spoil, and cooking time doesn't matter much, they thaw fairly quick:

Frozen vegetable mix bag

A nice mix of potatoes, carrot, celery and I think the last component was leek.

The salmon was cooked at low heat in some oil, and ended up in a tower on a plate, plucked once. Now I could see some fish bones left, so I'm going to pluck it another time when it goes into the caserole.

Salmon pieces plucked on a plate

The whole fish was 1099 grams, and I guess after plucking it, removing bones, most of the head etc. I was left with 900-950 grams of fish and skin, and that ended up being around half of what a similar weight in raw form would cost in the store.

My oh my. I almost forgot an ingredient that makes a big difference, green olives with red peppers!

Green olives with red peppers in salt brine glass

I think these make a big difference for the taste, also if they simmer in a warm soup for maybe an hour they become quite easy to chew. This is about 200 grams of that stuff.

So to sum up the ingredients:

  • 1 litre of almost skimmed milk
  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 cubes of fish bullion
  • Appropriate amount of corn starch
  • A dash of olive oil
  • 0.8 - 1 KG salmon
  • 2 whole garlic
  • 800 grams vegetable mix
  • 200 grams red pepper stuffed olives


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [19 Jul 06:52 Europe/Oslo]

All these people I have to deal with..

So I was in an accident towards the end of last year where I got a bad cut in the back of my head:

https://www.instagram.com/p/9Bd3XCKKuX/?taken-by=morphexx

There have been some different trouble since then with pain and nowadays the neck feels a bit stiff and there can be some pain here and there.

I've had a dialogue with the insurance company Gjensidige since the accident, and they keep repeating that they have closed the case, and I've also asked them to pay for a 675 NOK (~100 EUR) exam to see if I need some treatment for the neck, but they refuse to pay for it.

Oh and the case worker there is Stein Rønning.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [21 Jun 07:20 Europe/Oslo]

Dealing with the Norwegian wellfare state

So, since I've been sick for a while, I'm [edit: removed not] on a minimum economical support plan called AAP, or "work clearance money" from the Norwegian wellfare system, NAV. Which I guess is basically money you get while your health and work ability is being figured out.

I got a bit of a nasty surprise the other day though; there had been a mention of a meeting close to the summer, but after I asked about my case worker (Elisabeth Nossum) about getting AAP for the rest of the year because I need to update my tax rate, she replied that we could discuss that in "the meeting" in my doctors office on this coming Friday.

I hadn't gotten any notice of this meeting, and when I asked about when this meeting invitation had been sent, my case worker replied that there was some "technical issue" so that meeting invitation had not been sent out.

I followed up with an email to her superior, Per Olav Gundersen asking about this meeting invitation, but he was "too busy" to deal with it.

I really don't like this, because if the meeting had gone along, it could've looked like I was skipping it, and decisions could also have been made "over my head". Thus making me less credible towards my doctor, and the relationship to him is important for how my life is.

My doctor has also been asking me about anti-depressants, but what I need is to rest, eat healthy food and exercise. When I was psychotic I did agree to anti-psychotics because I was psychotic and had many unpleasant symptoms, but I really don't want to stuff more pills in my face and get a new dependency which I will have to gradually wean off, when I'm working well physically and mentally - I just need a period of rest before I start the next round of weaning off the anti-psychotics.

So, basically Elisabeth Nossum from NAV could've made me look bad in my doctors eyes, and she could also have gotten a reason to stop my AAP support, which would've forced me to do some paperwork and would've made my economical situation unpredictable. I really think this is unacceptable, and it doesn't look like NAV is going to explain their actions.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [07 Jun 13:48 Europe/Oslo]

Struggling in the Norwegian welfare state

So it's been a while since I got severely ill, and since then I've struggled to make things and ends meet. I thought things were getting good and was looking forward to the spring and summer, but this Easter an old substitute tooth loosened and took with it some of the foundation, and it feels like the foundation is cracked as well.

The cracking has me a bit worried, as I don't know if it can cause sores or infections (I talked briefly with some professionals today).

Anyway, since I've been sick, medicated and everything for a while, I'm not getting a lot of money from the state to get by, and in addition to that, they want me to pay child support for my kids, even though I only get to see them 4 hours every 6 weeks, and are forcing me to pay money now.

I stopped by the state service today (NAV) to get some help sorting out financing fixing the tooth, and even though I had things written down, things still seemed difficult for the clerk helping me out, so I got tired of it and basically asked for a written response to my written request and documentation. I later sent an email with price quotes.

It feels like some sick joke, that I have to make by with little income and then struggle when I get a problem with my teeth that could lead to complications. In addition to that I'm working on getting off the medication (but have paused that for now because of all this) and I don't get to see my kids.

How much shit is a person supposed to take? I've paid my taxes.

[Later same day..] Now I went to check on my clothes in the dryer, and the dryer was off and the clothes were dry. I heard it starting up earlier..

It seems many small things are not going my way these last couple of weeks.

[Later same day..] Clothes were NOT dry.

[Even later same day..] I emptied the water container before starting it up, and it is almost brand new. I'm not sure if it is a failure, some clown having fun, some clown doing something he or she shouldn't be doing or somebody asking someone to do something.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [31 Mar 18:22 Europe/Oslo]

Halfway there..

So, I reached a bit of a milestone. Because of mental illness I've had to take some heavy-duty medicine for some time, and at the most I took 800 mg of Seroquel per day.

Today I'm down on 400 mg per day, which is half of that, and I can say I'm quite happy about that. The medicine has short- and long-term side-effects, and on a very long term view, side-effects can also include diabetes and heart disease.

I'm glad that there has been treatment available for my issues, and I can say that today I'm feeling much better than I did 5-10-15-20 years ago.

Here's to many good years to come. 🍷 🍷

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Sep 08:29 Europe/Oslo]

A small victory

So, it's been a while since I blogged about my mental health, and I thought I'd do that today. Some years ago I had a major crash (psychosis), and after some months I was put on Seroquel, and over a period upped the dose to a top of 800 mg.

Together with the psychologists and psychiatrists and lately my doctor I've been reducing the amount of medicine, and today I'm on 450 mg a day and it feels OK.

I've seen some advocating for medicine-free treatment, but from my experience, the medicine has helped. That and going to therapy has helped me a lot, and today I feel better, smarter and stronger than what I did before the crash.

Now the medication isn't perfect, it has side effects as most medicines do, but I can say today that I'm glad medications were an option.

Psychosis can happen to anyone. There's a lot of stress and pressure in society, there is a lot of (heavy) things to think about, life is a mystery, and my impression is that mental health issues is rather something that counts towards the patients' intelligence than against it.

Some can become psychotic from physical trauma, some can develop it over time for various reasons, some can be slipped a pill - many different things can happen that causes psychosis and severe mental illness has been documented for a long time in history.

So it's good that there is a way to deal with these issues, the treatment isn't perfect but it is a lot better than the alternative, maybe going through a kind of hell for an entire life.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [29 Apr 17:18 Europe/Oslo]

My health, obsessive compulsions, privacy rights

OK, so it's been a long time since I blogged the last time. For about a year or so now my mental health has changed in a positive way.. although I guess I've been depressed for a while, my two main issues, psychosis and anxiety have improved dramatically.

So it's a mixed bag you may say, as things improve, there are (natural) reactions to what one has been through. At the same time I've not seen my kids more than a couple of hours each month since last summer, and that's really tough, in the emotional, sad way.

I think I've had fairly deep issues for many years, but been good at covering it up, for different reasons. Anxiety, or what could be said to be similar to obsessive compulsions, has been one of the main things I've worked with in therapy. To put it simply, OCD/anxiety has a lot to do with fear, fear of what one think might happen, what one is afraid will happen. Mix that with some maybe poor separation with daydreaming, fantasy and so on and one might end up thinking one is something or capable of something, or that others might do you something - dramatic and not good. And when this anxiety and obsessiveness gets bad enough, one goes around thinking about it all the time, and checking in different ways if these fears are true. Examples are worries one might stab someone with a knife (although that's far from what the obsessive person is capable of) and have problems around knives and people, that one can get contaminated by touching a door handle and has to wash the hands often and so on.

It might sound weird, but it's real in the mind of the sufferer and completely natural.

I've been in therapy and taking medication for a little over 4 years now, and I think there's been a steady improvement over the whole period, and when I started noticing improvements, that really gave motivation to continue the process. There have been three important things in my life, that has enabled me to change and become better. Two are therapy, talking to therapists, the other taking medication.

The third thing is my two kids.. there are wonderful things that happen when one becomes a parent, maybe the most positive thing is being able to give love to and take care of these small humans. I got psychotic around the birth of my first son, and that's maybe natural, as birth and the time around it is a time of a lot of changes, and natural, instinctive thoughts and feelings come into play. It might also have been poor sleep or lack of enough sleep, but I don't remember that much details from that period.

Regarding therapy and medication; I've noticed myself in periods with little therapy that my mental health has improved.. And I think that's because of the medicine doing its thing, as well as new ways of thinking and handling issues learned from therapy have been working gradually over time.

So it's maybe not the best thing to see a therapist every week, several times a week and so on. It might be more than enough to go every two weeks, once a month etc. This might be the most efficient way, as the mental health services can treat more people with less resources too.

As for psychosis, wow it's a trip to hell. It's like a nightmare you can't wake up from, and if you think of love, thinking, anger, fear, hate as separate wires in your brain, it's like these can get connected up the wrong way so that for example something you've feared deeply before now can be come fun. It's hard to explain in a good way, but it's important to say that most people who are psychotic do no harm, and that it's a lot about what goes on inside a person's head.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Mar 14:08 Europe/Oslo]

A good point

I found this video on Facebook and twittered about it

  https://twitter.com/blogologue/status/357625893239267328

It's about a guy who's scared of heights, and as a part of the bachelor party, they are doing a fake bungee jump from a bridgde.

It is funny, but after laughing and smiling a bit about it, I found how it can illustrate mental issues... you can see the guy there, after having believed that he was about to jump of a bridge blindfolded and jumping, that he's struggling.

The other guys think it's funny, and it is, but just look at the guy afterwards and his reaction.

I think it illustrates a very good point about mental health, anxiety and so on. The thinking that something is a lot worse than it actually is, and that you need to keep on pushing to break through these barriers.

For example, panic attacks, social phobia and so on, can tire out someone just like the guy in the video, on a daily, weekly or whatever basis. Mental health is very real in the mind, and it evokes reactions from the body, for example that you get tired, put out and so on.

But the trick is to keep on pushing.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [18 Jul 00:27 Europe/Oslo]

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger

So, long time since I've blogged :)

There has been a lot of changes in my life the last couple of months, Hilde has moved back to her home town to think about things, and I'm here in Trondheim trying to figure out things.

Not being around people you care about and have gotten used to, is hard. It's going better now than a month or two ago though, so one can adapt to most situations. Visiting Hilde and the kids now and then.

Up in the middle of all this, I've been working and hustling to get the house sold, things cleared up, getting more work and somewhere to go next. I feel more confident about myself now than I did half a year ago. The last couple of months have been very tough at times, but I've managed to get through it in a good way, and become more of myself again in the process.

Some months ago I also got a position as a board member in the local mental health organization (Mental Helse Trondheim), and also handling PR in that position. It's been a a very good experience participating there, seeing people who have been through tough times, that want to help others and getting paid nothing for it. Very inspiring and just the kind of positive experience I need.

So I'm up for new experiences these days, trying out new things and breaking away from my old, negative, thinking patterns.

Managed to cut down on the medicine as well, now using only 1 Truxal a day, compared to 3 some months ago. So I managed to cut down on medication while I was in a very tough situation.. that is something. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [04 Apr 13:59 Europe/Oslo]

Really feeling the rebound

So, life is pretty good these days. :)

Studying some Spanish every day, working hard and getting some exercise.. just over a month ago I was discussing the use of anti-depressants with my psychologist and the psychiatrist in charge of prescribing medicine. I got a prescription and was planning on starting taking it, in the start of January.

I didn't start taking it; after many talks with the psychologist I guess I'm all for managing mental issues naturally, and since I'm already using Seroquel and Truxal, starting with another medicine seemed somewhat daunting.

Here I am some weeks after I could have started with anti-depressants and things are feeling quite OK without them. I'm not saying that if your doctor says you *should* start taking anti-depressants you shouldn't - but sometimes it can be OK to try regular psychological therapy instead.

We talked about using anti-depressants not for depression, but for general anxiety (including panic attacks) and obsessive-compulsive thoughts. I guess it's hard to be pessimistic about life when life has been shitty for a good while and then gradually gets better and better. :)

A combination of therapy and medication has worked well for me.. now I'm looking forward to one day be completely off the medicine, but there's no rush. Life is OK and I don't notice a lot of side-effects from the medicine anymore.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Jan 13:30 Europe/Oslo]

Excessive worries and managing anxiety

OK, so I here I go blogging about mental issues again.. :)

A recurring theme for my mental health has been anxiety. Anxiety for many different things, panic attacks and so on.

Now, I could try to describe panic attacks (for me), they start as a murmur and then build themselves up to a climax, and the process from murmur to climax is very uncomfortable. Today I'm glad to say that it has been quite some time since I've had a panic attack.

I think the most important thing around panic attacks is that you learn that they are uncomfortable, but not dangerous. It might feel dangerous, but it's just your mind having a bad time. And you can get anxiety for having a panic attack as well. That is, anxiety for anxiety.

It can seem like a vicious circle but with therapy and medication it can be managed.

Well, I was going to blog about anxiety in general, that is, lately I've had some pretty bad anxiety that is somewhat constant and uncomfortable, waxes and vanes but is ever present.

Before this anxiety I had a long period where I felt good about things and life was flowing nicely..

So yeah, I had a nice run for a month maybe where things were fine, then I started getting bad anxiety again.. I talked to the therapist during the summer whether we should start using SSRI (aka. anti-depressants) but that we would wait and see if it is necessary.

I'm still not sure if I should start with that medicine, thinking less medicine is better, but now that I've had some good time to contrast with the bad anxiety I'm thinking I should start taking more medicine. Life is too short to spend it on having a bad time..

OK, so I'll let you know how that medicine thing goes. But, back to the real spark for this post, why I'm writing this post. I've talked to people that also suffer from anxiety, and a recurring theme is that a part of the negative process with anxiety is how others will perceive and treat you. A part of the anxiety is the thought that "Oh, now I can't get anxiety, what will people think?" - so part of the problem with (social) anxiety is that one is afraid of showing feelings, behaviour and thoughts because it is a taboo or not socially normal to talk about.

That's why I'm blogging today. Because talking about it, whether it is in therapy, among friends or in public, makes anxiety smaller, lesser.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [25 Nov 19:23 Europe/Oslo]

Regaining sense of self and error correction

So, been a while since I blogged about mental health.. life has been pretty good the last couple of months but I have had a bit of a "dip" a couple of weeks now.

I guess most people go about their lives and don't think too hard about how they're thinking, how they're acting etc.. the last couple of months I've been myself without giving much thought to how I behave or how I think.

Which is how it should be.. there has been quite a bit of talks with therapists and I notice now that I'm able to stop my mind running away with some negative/weird/scary thoughts and feelings once I become aware of thinking like that. Maybe not immediately but I've learned to take a break from <whatever>, focus on here and now and apprehend these thinking patterns.

It's a bit like error correction in hardware and software I guess, and a funny thing is that I use a form parity checking in that medicine tablets should be even or odd in the packaging, and something is up if it has been even for a while and suddenly goes odd. I also have a calendar reminder for taking meds in the middle of day, because I often get so lost in what I'm doing that I can end up taking it an or hour or two late.

So I'm getting used to being close to normal, and also getting used to that now and then uncomfortable thoughts and feelings can come back in periods of stress for example. When I read about things the therapist mentions these days, names for different psychological issues for example I'm able to understand what I'm reading and understand myself, while earlier it was just a big mess of thoughts and feelings and not much clarity.

I think the deal with severe mental health issues is that the here and now can be scary and uncomfortable, but one must always strive to think, and know, that things can get much better. I think the psychotic episode and issues that came after our first (Isak) was born is the worst I've had. It's in the couple of last weeks I recognize that it must have been very hard for Hilde in this period as well, jumping into the role of mom while I was so far down and so mentally ill. Just so that's said. :)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [16 Nov 17:48 Europe/Oslo]

Bleeding me (haema-tomachrosis or hema-tomachrosis)

So it's been a while since I blogged anything about the "blood disorder" haematomachrosis/hematomachrosis. It is a thing where the body takes up too much iron which can lead to fatigue and other things.

Well, I've been going regularly (forgot the last appointment) to drain blood and they draw roughly a pint every time.

I feel a lot more energetic these days, and that might be due to the bloodletting, but it is more likely because I've been treated for psychosis for almost 3 years now.

Since both treatment for haematomachrosis/hematomachrosis and psychosis has been going on for the last couple of years it is hard to tell what helped, but I think both things helped, mostly the psychosis and mental health treatment but also the draining of blood.

It's quite an easy treatment for the haematomachrosis/hematomachrosis - they just draw blood, I drink some water before, during and after drawing blood and relax for a little while in the room when they're done and that's it.

I think I've felt fatigue after bloodletting, but the last couple of times I haven't felt anything in particular so I guess that could just be expectations. And that general anxiety about it made me more tired than usual.

That's how it goes with anxiety, one can get drained of energy (somewhat crippled) from doing things that should evoke some concern or worry and it can interfere with normal functioning.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [24 Oct 14:12 Europe/Oslo]

On treatment of mentall illness and public discourse

So, I've been participating in a discussion around treatment for mental health, primarily medication.

I've been discussing in Norwegian with @agteien ( https://twitter.com/agteien ) and her story about being on antipsychotic medication (forced). She told the story about becoming suicidal when under treatment and that's she's worked hard to keep herself from any mental health care to avoid being subject to forced medical treatment again.

Anything that is forced upon a person automatically sucks more. That's just the way it is, so I understand that after being forcibly treated that's she's sceptical about mental health care. Some 8 years (I think) she's now kept herself away from treatment.

So she twittered this in public and I began a long dicussion around mental health treatment. My point of view after being in treatment for some 3 years now is that medication works. It really does.

I've been talking to psychiatrists and psychologists during this period, and what struck me was that in a long period without appointments (vacation, calendar mismatch etc.) things improved by themselves, I take that as an indication that the medication works fairly well by itself. I believe that medication is important when treating psychosis or other very severe mental illnesses.

A person can get used to anything, including psychosis and related disorders. For me, life right now is so much different than what is has been the last 10-15 years maybe. I feel more relaxed, content and able to deal with complex situations and issues easily. This is due to the medicine, *as well as* the appointments with different therapists to talk about whatever is the most uncomfortable issues the last couple of weeks.

To add some comic relief, @mizzmonique81 headbutted herself into the end of the discussion claiming that @agteien's public twittering about medical treatment of mental issues was none of my business. Well it is, because it is in public, my public Twitter bio says "Software developer with an interest in management, politics (liberal) and a better life for the mentally ill." and I believe a lot of people with mental problems can be easily affected, or persuaded if you will, to for example not seek medical help or take medicine to improve their mental health.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [19 Sep 15:21 Europe/Oslo]

Upwards and onwards

So yeah, a little update from last time. What can I say, things are better than ever.. I feel relaxed and am able to take things easy if I feel negative emotions and thoughts are creeping up.

I've been discussing the use of another medicine (SSRI) with my psychologist and I'm going a bit back and forth on it in my own head as well.

Seeing how well the anti-psychotics and cognitive therapy have worked, that's a positive experience that makes me think the SSRI medicine could help as well, as it is similar to anti-psychotics in that they treat the current issues as well as has a long-term (permanent?) effect on the brain so that the chance of going nuts (...) again is reduced.

On the other hand, it would be good to just learn how to cope with things without medicine, and life is pretty good now. Just the social situations that are sometimes too much and I'm sure that will get better over time.

Oh well, we'll see. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [10 Aug 19:41 Europe/Oslo]

Taking things in stride

So this last week I've been on vacation in Geilo (see here for example https://twitter.com/blogologue/status/217356386647019520/pho... and things have been good, taking it easy.

Been fishing, been drinking (a little bit) and reflecting over life.. the pace in Nidelven IT is picking up and there is enough to do for a while to come.

I'm very glad we ditched the hosting part of our business (handed it over with care to another company) and that we now can focus on mostly one thing, selling our time to customers, as well as selling some licenses of in-house developed e-commerce software.

As far as my mental health goes, things have been steadily improving since I started treatment and that's encouraging because there is a dip in comfort now and then but it can be managed by taking some extra medicine.

I talked with Vebjørn (brother-in-law, studying to become a police officer) this week about drugs and medicine, and yes Valium can be considered a drug, but so can morphine if it is abused, so Valium as a solution now and then and not regular use or mixed with other things such as alcohol (dangerous), I consider to be OK. Although I'm thinking of trying an extra Truxal the next time there's too much anxiety, as I can have some beers then without worrying about a bad reaction to Valium and alcohol.

Life is pretty good.. and now some tea. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [01 Jul 10:25 Europe/Oslo]

Life is good

So it's been a little while since I blogged.. things are changing and getting better.

Ḯ've managed to go on without Valium for a while now, and now it's only Quetiapine (Seroquel) and Truxal (Chlorprothixene) to manage my symptoms..

I had a meeting with the psychologist and the doctor that prescribes the drugs and we talked about going at least another year on the Quetiapine and trying to get off the Chlorprothixene as soon as possible. Which is fine by me, when the time is right we can start reducing the medicine.

It's been a long and hard battle (to use that overused metaphor).. it is not so much a battle as it is accepting life's realities, accepting stress and things that get you out of balance and rolling with the punches (...) - or rather avoiding them. :)

I'm happy now.. I think I'll be even happier as more time passes by, but I must always remember to stop and enjoy the things that are plentiful and small, but oh so important. Such as playing with the kids, sitting outside when it is sunny, getting out and about.

This psychosis/anxiety thing has been difficult, and things still get very heavy at times, but I wouldn't have thought 1-2 years ago that I'd be doing as well as I'm doing now. Which makes me think about those who have heavy problems and end life prematurely.. such a loss, as one is out of it and in pain and miss out on so much of what comes in the future. It is true that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and today I feel strong. Things can still get heavy but I feel smarter, more energetic, peaceful and stronger than I ever have before.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [07 Jun 14:22 Europe/Oslo]

Loosing some battles, winning the war

Been a little while since I blogged so I thought it was time again. Long story short, things have been improving steadily since I first started treatment for psychosis.

I am able to think now that someday in the future, my mental problems will be mostly or completely over.

My medicine regime these days consists of 800 mg of Seroquel, 45 mg of Truxal and 1,25-5 mg of Valium when needed.

The deal with those who treat me is that I use Valium when necessary, and I've heard that those who use Valium (mostly) fare worse than those who don't, but it is a very effective and useful tool that brings stability for me. Knowing I have it and that I can use it, and using it, makes me able to control my mental health with confidence.

We had a new kid that arrived on Wednesday (Theo) and up to birth and after the birth I've used more Valium than usual. And events like childbirth can trigger psychosis or a relapse into psychosis, and now 4 days later I still feel things are well under control, that's thanks to anti-psychotics, Valium and the cognitive therapy I've had with different therapists the last couple of years. I just made sure I ate enough, slept enough, didn't undertake anything particularly stressful and took Valium when I felt severe anxiety creeping up.

Now that I was able to deal with the birth of Theo I feel more confident about most things and that it will be possible to beat (or rather, manage) my mental health problems.

It's been a long and at times incredibly (insanely..) hard battle, but it's possible to go through things like these and have a normal happy life. I know that now. :)

FWIW, I now have the "2012 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code" main diagnosis F41.3 and a "side diagnosis" (?) of F29. It's kind of nice to have a diagnosis, but the important thing has been working away at whatever problem I felt most pressing at the time, and over the last ̃2.5 years it has been just that, as well as taking medicine. There's a lot of hurt in those diagnoses which is hard for someone who hasn't gone through similar things to understand (just some of the feelings alone would probably scare the bejesus out of a mentally well person), but at least it's somewhat understandable now.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [05 May 15:53 Europe/Oslo]

Minor setback, life in general improving

So, yesterday I had a minor setback, as I awoke after falling to sleep and had a pretty bad anxiety/fear attack.

Thoughts about using more medicine and reacting badly to those (as in having dangerous side-effects) gave me a lot of anxiety and I had to rush to the local doctor that is open 24/7.

The anxiety lasted for about half an hour, most of it was pretty uncomfortable but when I got to the doctor and got to talk to someone things got better. After about 90 minutes of waiting I got to talk to a doctor about this anxiety and these concerns and I was calmed down by it.

The whole ordeal was pretty uncomfortable and I feel a bit tired today, but all in all it was OK. I managed to handle that situation as well. And did not even have to take a Valium to manage it.

These last months I feel things have greatly improved for my mental health, and incidents like these are more of a symptom of things that have been, not how they will be in the future. It is almost like I have gotten used to having it so bad, that feeling good feels a bit dangerous and I fall a bit back into feeling badly again.

Well, as far as medicine goes, I take and have always taken the medicines for psychosis regardless of how I feel about them and that other people are somewhat skeptical and some outright suggest that I stop taking them. That is something between me and those who give me treatment for (mental) health.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [07 Apr 18:14 Europe/Oslo]

Post psychosis

So, it seems I'm pretty much over the psychosis stage now, after having talked to the therapist the last time.. I'm not sure how this diagosis thing works and everything, but now they are thinking about changing it.

I've read quite about this and that diagnosis and things related to psychosis such as being bipolar, depressive, manic and schizophrenic. I've also talked quite a bit to different therapists about diagnosis, and so far delusional disorder with psychosis seems to fit well.

Now it seems there can be severe bouts of anxiety and maybe some PTSD left.

Should I stay or should I go?

I've blogged quite a bit over the years and even when I was severely mentally ill, and lately I've been thinking about whether it is a good idea to blog about mental illness for me personally..

Spring 2011 we sold a part of our business to a partner, because we found that we were too small to be doing a lot of significantly different things.

Since that time there has been a lot less to do in the company, and although I've been fully committed to working in the company, I've also applied for jobs to get a steady income (since we sold a lot of the work and income) as well as "to get out a bit" and socialize more.

Anyway, I've got a ton of experience in running technical stuff as well as developing it and managing things. Even with that experience and having applied for a number of jobs I've only gotten one interview offer.

It's easy to find my blog through Google, and I think a lot of employers do search on the to get information about the applicant.

Ending a vicious circle

I think the problem with being mentally ill is that it is still a bit of a taboo, and this makes things worse because stigmatization adds to the problems. So what's needed is that more people talk about it and make it more acceptable to be ill. That's the only way to fix it really.

If I'm missing out on jobs because I'm blogging about my illness, then that's a part of a negative circle. If I'm not getting a job, then that could mean I could be out of work for a long period, and the longer you are without a job, the bigger the chance is that you don't get back in the job market - regardless of mental health.

Having something to do makes the days go by, and having a job is (I guess) a big deal for most people, as there is something to do and you get some social status from working. I think there are a lot of people out there who are mentally ill that could maybe work 10%, 30% and more, and that would be very helpful to the economy as well as IMO more people would get better, mentally.

During my most intense periods of psychosis I still worked 20% in the company, and in that period made decisions and plans that have in hindsight been very positive, and correct. So even if you're psychotic you can do something. And it helps to have something to do.

So this vicious circle.. you get ill, then you can't talk to a lot of people about it and if you apply for a job you can't talk about it. I think there is apprehension and fear around mental illness. Another part of that negative cycle is that not a lot of people talk about mental illness. There are I'm sure a lot of people who have varying degrees of mental illness, but because of for example stigmatization they don't seek help. Or maybe they are so ill that they lack the ability to understand that something is wrong with the way they think, or that they have become accustomed so the various symptoms of mental illness and go around with a serious mental handicap that hinders optimal functioning in life and enjoyment of it.

For the severely mentally ill, the problem with self-diagnosis or knowing that something is wrong with the way you think is that the same thing you're using to understand yourself is the thing that isn't working properly.

In that regard, it is helpful that mental illness gains acceptance, so that for example you can save a friend, relative or anyone by knowing a little more about mental illness and symptoms. Save them from squandering years of happiness, or even a whole lifetime of unecessary pain and stress.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Jan 14:15 Europe/Oslo]

Over 2 years and counting

So, now it has been well over 2 years since I had a psychotic break. I'm feeling better and feeling more now than for a long time.

I've had to deal with my issues and change my ways. Change the way I think about things, change habits.

And I'm glad to say that it works. Life is pretty good.

I think I've had a bad relationship towards web usage (using it too much) as well as work (working too much, not "disconnecting") for a number of years..

So what have I learned from all this? That life is short and it isn't easy for a lot of people. And that people can always change.

But the most important thing is taking the meds. Without them I would probably still be in a bit of a mess. And going to the therapist and being honest. That can be very hard, but to change something, it helps to start talking about it.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [19 Dec 11:43 Europe/Oslo]

Life still improving, now getting it

So, been a while since I blogged the last time. I've blogged a lot about psychosis and the related issues, and the last 2 years or so have been a steady climb towards feeling well. Some ups-and-downs, but in the longer perspective it's been going up all the way.

I was at a high-school reunion on Saturday and had fun and there I talked a bit about being ill as well. At its worst, the psychosis was the worst thing I've ever experienced.. and as we talked about on Saturday, it is hard to know how a mental illness feels for a person as the different illnesses vary and there are subjective feelings involved as well.

I've thought about explaining psychosis, and the best and shortest explanation is that it is like a nightmare you can't wake up from. Maybe some "weird" symptoms such as hallucinations as well, but mostly just intense fear and loosing the ability to observe and interact with the world around you. For me it was a nightmare initially, then I think I went into some mode of coping with dashes of intense fear and other things.

You can imagine how a person comes into a coping mode, if you compare the fear involved (for me anyway) with the fear you would have if you are in danger of being seriously hurt or dying. And going around with such a fear constantly makes your mind and body work in a different way than it would for a normal, healthy person.

I guess it changes the mind as well, and that's where antipsychotic medicine is so valuable. Some brain/body chemistry or interaction is off. I wasn't paying attention a week or so ago and forgot to take my last pill before going to bed. And the next morning I got some of the psychosis-related symptoms back, not uncontrollably intense, but uncomfortable. As I've mentioned before, "coming down" from a psychosis can be uncomfortable as one can get PTSD and other related problems, and these may be attributed to the medicine, but taking the meds is vitally important. I've taken them since day 1 of getting them, and that's a part of the reason I'm doing as well as I'm doing now.

Anyway, now I feel good and feel smart, and act smart. :)

[Later same day..] Got a phone from the psychologist's office that she was on sick leave. So I may have to get a new psychologist, maybe for a longer period. Of course, I forgot to mention that the psychiatrists/psychologists have been very helpful as well and I notice a little stress about establishing a new connection. Talking about some things is hard, but it also gets easier every time I have to do it with a new person.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [26 Oct 08:17 Europe/Oslo]

Life still improving

Well, my mental health is still improving (or rather at the moment at a bit of a plataeu). There is still some bouts of anxiety which are uncomfortable, but with techniques and ways of thinking about it I learned from my psychiatrist, they are at times manageable.

It is a great comfort to have Valium, if nothing else as a backup and then trying to deal with situations without using it.

I think the Valium is a great aide, but that it also maybe postpones some natural emotional processes.. so that if I take it one evening it does enable me to disconnect from stress and problematic emotions and then the day after deal with them.

So taking a Valium in the evening and then going to bed at an early hour and getting a good nights sleep breaks up stress and troubled hours and makes them manageable.

As the doctor in Spain said, people who use it over time and relatively often are worse off in the long run than those who don't. And I see that now. A lot of my mental problems are entangled experiences and emotions and need to be untangled.

I still look back sometimes and think of a lot of wasted time (happiness) during my life due to mental issues, but it is getting better now. I think I remember from a younger age that I wondered what mental illness and such was and not understanding, and for better or worse, I understand a lot about it now.

Norway is a pretty good place to live, but if the thing that's handling the input is broken, one can still be in a kind of hell while everyone around is OK or happy, and playful. It is a handicap to have serious mental issues, a handicap that you can hide from everyone else but at times come off as odd, irritable, weird, clumsy, stupid and so on. And a handicap you can get rid off by taking medicine and/or going to therapy, although one is (in the case of psychosis) more vulnerable to a new psychotic episode after having one.

Well, I'm exercising more and trying to get at least 30-60 minutes of exercise every day, either walking, doing strength exercises and so on. Exercise is as I've said earlier probably one of the best things one can do for mind and body, although overdoing it makes things worse.

I'm up to 50 seconds sideways plank (25 seconds on each side), 50 seconds static pushups (25 seconds on each side) 64 squats (without weights), 63 push-ups (12, 12, 12, 27), 108 sit-ups, 108 back-lifts (lying on the back and lifting the butt) and 108 lower-back push-downs (lying on the back pushing the lower-back down to the floor) and 120 arm pull-ups, sitting and squatting forward while lifting the arm up fast or slow.

I'm quite proud of reaching this level of exercise and strength now, and it has been a gradual build up from about half of what's listed above.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [25 Jul 12:22 Europe/Oslo]

Suffering from the old clock mechanics

So, I've been a bit overweight for a while, and that's not good for the health. Some acquaintances are doing the low-carb diet, and I see it has been successful, as in they've lost quite a bit of weight.

I was watching the Discovery channel today about the "fertile half moon" (in the Middle East) where the oldest known form of farming started some 10000 years ago.

For us white westerners the problem is surplus of food, surplus of "bad" food such as sugar and fat. In the olden days I assume that we were hunter-gatherers here up north, and eating carbs was associated with autumn, berries and other ripe fruits and vegetables and storing up fat for the long, hard, cold and energy-lacking winter.

It makes sense to me that low-carb diets would work, and I'm thinking of starting one at a later point, although I see Quetiapine can raise the blood-sugar (and thus hindering the ketosis process which burns fat in low-carb diets).

Oh well, we'll see.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [17 Jul 18:08 Europe/Oslo]

Coming down, getting up

So, we've been on vacation for a week now. Good fun, and nice to be with family.

I feel better than ever I think, it's been steady progress towards a stable-everyday mental state. I'm getting more relaxed about things now, and see most things (problems) as something I can try at and if I fail or get self-conscious I tend to be able to not give a fuck, or shrug it off if you will.

I see most things as an exercise and just see opportunities at getting better. If people want to make fun of things or give me a hard time then that's their problem.

I feel smart, I feel sharp. It's easy to talk about most things, and I'm also getting playful in social situations.

At times I've had some scary physical symptoms which I did talk to my psychiatrist about, and I'm able to tell myself now that thinking about having a scary physical condition doesn't necessarily give you that condition. Although stressing about blood pressure over time would probably give, high blood pressure. It's easy to get psychosomatic symptoms I think, maybe in combination with medicine as "coming down" from a psychotic episode presents its own challenges and then psychosis restitution symptoms are attributed to the medicine.

A small thing I found that works well, is splitting the "good night" dose into 2 smaller parts, so instead of taking 400 mg of Quetiapine at 9, I take 2 at 7 and 2 at 9. Works well, and take the unpleasant side-effects of the medicine away. And it's good sense too, as taking 400 at once is a lot more than 200 in the morning and 200 in the early afternoon.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [08 Jul 19:49 Europe/Oslo]

Being frugal & caring for myself

So, I bought myself a bike last week, after having advertised that I would buy a bike on a local advertising site.

I ended up with a Nakamura hybrid bike about 5 years old but in good shape, with a Cateeye Velo 5 bike computer. I only paid 700 kroner for it, which I think is a very good deal.

I'm getting into good shape these days both mentally and physically, but I still weigh too much. So going for longer bike rides seems like a good idea as I play soccer 1-2 times a week, and soccer + high weight = could be bad for the knees. And biking isn't that hard on the knees.

I'm also reducing the amount of snus I'm using, partly because it's expensive, but mostly because it's known that you get a high blood pressure when using it and my blood pressure is a bit too high.

Mentally things are mostly up, I get "out of it" sometimes, but not for long and when I feel OK I'm relaxed and sometimes happy. Just taking my meds and being aware and thoughtful about how I treat myself. Not taking Valium either, just working through it and not masking the symptoms which are signals that I should stop and think about what's happening.

In regular week mode I now drink 1-2 days a week, and then not more than 3 units at a time. Doctor said the liver values were a bit high so no use in pushing it. And getting too drunk isn't fun anyway, "I'm too old for this shit." :)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Jun 18:34 Europe/Oslo]

Things are good, manageable and starting to be fun

So after a year of work with my psychiatrist he's moving on, starting work on a more acute part of the mental health sector.

We've talked a lot about structure and stress in my life, and structure is something that's been there for a while now. Now other stressors are something I have to manage, and I think I'm getting better at that as well. Hilde has been great at getting up in the night if Isak needed tending, and that has helped me as well as interrupted or too little sleep is a very real stressor.

My psychiatrist has been very restrictive about doling out medicine, only prescribing me Quetiapine (the Valium I got from a doctor in Spain). There's a (paraphrasing) saying that your current solution might be your next problem.

I think that's a good thing, using as little medicine as possible.. as taking additional medicine could in many ways make it easy to mask the real source of the problem which are lack of structure and stressors. Sure it has been painful, but I'm in a pretty good place now.

Tonight there's a late soccer match, starting around when I usually go to bed. But things are feeling good and I want to push myself a bit so I'm going.

Exercise in the right amounts is probably one of the best all-round medicines out there.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [01 Jun 20:11 Europe/Oslo]

Stating the obvious

Well, things have improved the last couple of months, and life is a lot better, better than it has been in a long time.

Last week I got a stomach-flu bug which resulted in quick passing of what was ingested, as well as some exhaustion. I didn't think that much about it, but noted to myself that the antipsychotics would probably have less effect as well so I just took things easy, but also did normal things.

Sunday evening I opened up a bottle of red wine and was planning to have an easy evening. But then at 8 or 9 in the evening I "crashed" and went back to a mental form last visited 3 or more months ago.

It was quite terrible and stressful, and today 2 days later I'm still recovering as last night was tough as well, thinking about if I could crash again.

Well I didn't, but today Tuesday I still feel exhausted; probably a combination of having a crash and having the stomach-flu.

On the other hand, I kind of welcome it happening, as I was able to deal with it on Sunday, and go to sleep yesterday without taking any extra meds. I'll have some Valium this evening though I think, because I do feel exhausted and a bit sick and it's important to recuperate.

Yes, I welcomed this happening. Because up until now it has been hard to differantiate what's me and what's psychosis-related-thoughts. I feel that with Sunday evening's crash, it is now easier to see what was psychosis-related, and that the healthy-me is a normal, good guy.

Oh well, as we say.. It's not so bad that it isn't good for something. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [10 May 14:00 Europe/Oslo]

Structure is king

So, lately things have gotten a lot better, I feel normal and it is easy to concentrate on things. Easier than it has been for many years.

One of the things I've lacked for some years is a good structure on the day. Clear 8-4 workhours, then not doing anything too exciting in the evenings and getting a good night of sleep.

No caffeine, no alcohol, no truxal (I stopped taking 30 mgs in the mornings a couple of weeks ago), no work after 15 or 17 depending, and going to bed early as well as getting up early at around the same time every day.

+ Some exercise of course, and eating healthy food such as 3-4 fruits a day, one fiber-rich meal and normal Norwegian "household feed".

I have one vice left, and that is "snus". Maybe I'll stop using it some day, but right now it is good to have something to enjoy.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [18 Mar 09:04 Europe/Oslo]

Stable and working it

Well, been a while since I blogged the last time. Things have really improved.. I'm on a regiment of 800 mgs of Seroquel now per day. 400 mgs before bedtime to get some proper sleep.

In the course of a couple of months, things have improved and it is possible to function close to normal.

Four major changes have been that I've gone from drinking a little, to nothing at all. I've also started participating in a soccer team and we have exercises every Sunday and will start playing in a league soon. And no more caffeine, just decaf instant coffee. And, no candy and little sugary foods. Just wholesome fiber food, fruits, vegetables and regular, healthy meals. Sushi for example. :)

When you're down and out, it is hard to get things going. For me, I had to work just to keep the money wheels turning, and I think it is good to do something you feel you're good at.

But, exercise is a really great medicine. I've talked to the psychiatrist about it and it is something that is well known. As an anti-depressant and many other things. I agree, things have gotten a lot better after starting soccer exercise as well.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [12 Mar 08:23 Europe/Oslo]

Taking it in stride

This last week has been good. I'm able to relax, work and in general take control of my mind.

There has been a component of obessive thoughts in my problems, and it is something I've become better at dealing with. Talking to the psychiatrist and being aware my own thoughts and what stresses me enables me to see what I should do.

Take it easy is one thing. I have a tendency to work 120% and exhaust myself when programming for example, but at least I'm getting better at taking breaks now.

Lately I've also thought about blogging about this thing. Sometimes it feels like I'm whining, and sometimes I want to pull the curtain and be private again.. but now that I've blogged about it, it's out there, and it is nice to see people get in touch and treat me normally, now that I'm feeling normal again.

I think it's important to talk about it; it is just a disease after all. A terrible disease, but something you can recover from.

I find myself meeting new people, and my mental health isn't something I want to talk about. It's more important to just be "on par" and be able to do normal things.

I did something big this weekend. I attended a class about politics, arranged by the political party I support (Venstre, http://www.venstre.no/print.php?article=981). There I had 2 presentations (one presentation reading off paper, one speech where I also stared a bit too much at the paper). But I have to congratulate myself on that.

Being scared, having a high pulse and then managing to pull it off.

For better or worse, I think being on the net has helped me through a lot of problems through the years, having something to do, talking a little to people and being a bit in touch. But there is also this thing that I've had scary thoughts and problems before, and I think being on the net and not interacting with people, has made me interpret things in the wrong (negative way).

Oh well, it feels a bit weird now to have blogged about this whole process and sometimes I want to undo it. But it's also important to just get the word out there and make it more normal to be sick, and be aware of what the signs are.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [26 Jan 08:41 Europe/Oslo]

Daring to try

So, lately I've been feeling a lot better, and the start of this week was nice.. However, I think too much coffee and activity brought me to a crash towards the end of the week.

During the Christmas holidays, I was feeling relaxed and really good, so the last couple of weeks had been good as well.

But I think the culprit here, as I think I had some manic episode this week. Tricked by feeling closer to normal, I set myself up for a knockout punch or two..

I'm aware now that a lot of my thinking earlier for some years, had been overly paranoid, and at times or all the time delusional.

So I see there is a psychotic disorder which is mainly about delusions.. But this week it felt like I was on top of the world.. So maybe it is schizoaffective disorder, which I see covers both paranoia, delusions and some sort of "bipolar" thing.

The doctor pretty much told me to not ruminate and read about mental diseases on the net but I don't feel it is ruminating, and anything that speeds up the process of getting the right diagnosis, and then treatment through medicine and therapy, is important.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [16 Jan 19:35 Europe/Oslo]

Sudden increase in horsepower

Well, things are going flying these days. Things feel simple, and I have a lot of energy.

That will take some getting used to as well, so I don't burn myself out..

But structure and clear limits should help.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [12 Jan 17:55 Europe/Oslo]

Playing the blues

So last week I talked to another person at the treatment centre, and the topic of depression after a psychotic episode came up.

I feel a bit sad this evening, but I don't know if it is a day's blues or something else. I see the Seroquel can be recommended for depression as well.

I'm getting used to seeing and experiencing the world 'as it is', and it is nice, sad, scary and exciting.

I also watch out in a different way than before, looking out for things that can be dangerous for Isak. I think I have one main goal for him, and that's giving him love and attention. Anything else should come naturally out of that.

It's good to be 'normal', but it is also a bit hard.



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [09 Jan 20:59 Europe/Oslo]

A lot of time

So.. i'm sick. I have been very sick, but I'm getting better.

I'm getting more structured, and I'm learning how to leave things as they are and not obsess.

I'm understanding more about this illness, and I'm getting better at asking for help.

Life is getting better, but it is very tough at times. It is more good than bad though.

I'm able to enjoy social situations more.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [06 Jan 19:42 Europe/Oslo]

10 a day (I don't think it will go to 11)

So I've stepped up another notch with the doctor's approval. 800 mg of Quetiapine per day and 30 mg Truxal. The Quetiapine is in the upper normal range now, on dosage.

I feel better and more normal than I have in many years. That's thanks to medicine, family and Hilde & Isak.

I've talked to my doctor a bit about structure. Going to bed and getting up at around the same time, keeping things predictable as stress is something that makes things worse.

A big thanks to Hilde that has been a good help in keeping me structured, and also forcing me to evaluate how I think and do things with her verbal and vocal fists.

Although other issues pop up and become dominant now that the psychosis and paranoia thing is settling down, it is still manageable if a bit unpleasant at times.

If I hadn't dealt with things and gotten help from various places, I kind of wonder where I would be today, and 10 years from now. I can tell you one thing, living with heavy mental issues can't be good for the body and would probably have gotten me to an early grave if things hadn't gone they way they did.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [04 Jan 13:52 Europe/Oslo]

Paranoid android coaster complete

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z42fchrzhHY

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [04 Jan 09:15 Europe/Oslo]

Oh grow up

So, this disease I have.. I think it is Schizophrenia or maybe bipolar. I used to have quite a bit of social anxiety, and I see that's part of the Schizo process.

Now with the meds, today for example, I am able to deal with largeer groups of people and focus.

In any case, meeting and dealing with people is good for my issues, now that I've "been myself" towards the psychiatrist and Hilde and come to a level field with them, it is easier to deal with others as well I think.

Looking back, I think I've spent WAY too much time working and not socializing.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [31 Dec 18:23 Europe/Oslo]

9 a day

So I've found a good place to be, medication-wise. I'm taking 700 mg of Seroquel and 30 mg of Truxal.

That kind of dosage takes the edge of most things, but I could hope I'd be able to cut down or drop medicines at some point.

It looks like I'll be on these meds for up to 5 more years in the first run. It doesn't matter, life is so much more manageable now.

Thank god there has been much work done in this field.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [31 Dec 16:46 Europe/Oslo]

Speaking of tips and tricks

Another thing that is vital to me, is having a medicine dosette. Just one used day-to-day.

I sometimes catch myself a couple of hours after I should have taken medicine, and it's not a problem as you can see what's supposed to be taken.

Makes life easier, one less thing to worry about.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [21 Dec 09:16 Europe/Oslo]

A trick

So, last week was stressful; to boot I had some stomach problems this weekend - which I've paid attention to.

I think (not sure) that having stomach problems while taking Seroquel makes things worse, as the stomach problems makes things go through the system faster, or makes it so that the medicine isn't fully absorbed.

I thought about this yesterday, and surely enough today I had some problems. It was handled though, by taking about 1,25 mg of Valium.

Tips to the people out there on meds! If you have stomach problems, check with your doctor if it can affect the medicine you're taking.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Dec 13:56 Europe/Oslo]

Close to Christmas

Well, the last week has been stressful. 2 major issues on work, but we managed to handle them.

Yesterday after work I felt tired, dead tired. That's a feeling I need to get used to.. Now I can be tired and lack energy, without some negative thoughts popping into my head or feeling stressed.

In some ways, I feel like a kid who has seen and been through a lot.. Strange as it may sound.

I look forward to Christmas eve.



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [18 Dec 15:39 Europe/Oslo]

Stepping it up a notch

Yesterday I had another appointment with the psychiatrist. They have some doctors-to-be (4th year students) who attend the therapy as well, and I agreed earlier that one could attend.

So we talked and I explained how life was at time before the psychotic episode that started last winter. And it was screwed up mentally in periods.

I think I have some problems relating to people, and now I'm more open about my thoughts and feelings it is possible to talk to Hilde about our "connectivity issues" as well. And in the process also get better from the disease.

Well, I'm taking one more Seroquel starting yesterday, and that feels right.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [09 Dec 06:58 Europe/Oslo]

Taking control

So, I've learned to manage myself better this last year. Setup appointments, not work too much, not exercise too much.

I had a small meltdown earlier today, but as with different thoughts and "trains of thought" - I am now able to break them off. Instead of quietly suffering and feeling stress, I can pretty much just stop it.

That's a great thing. I still have moments of feeling pretty out of it, but it is possible to combat and handle it, so it's good.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [07 Dec 21:37 Europe/Oslo]

Some comforting news

So I went to the doctor today, after tests on Tuesday. They did different tests, blood pressure (120/85), an EKG, liver tests, iron and so on.

Everything looked good, except slightly elevated liver values, which makes sense as I did have a couple of beers the day before the test.

Knock on wood, life is good. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [02 Dec 20:21 Europe/Oslo]

Feeling much better, and normal

Well, well. I feel a lot better.

I feel normal; normal in the sense that well.. I feel a bit restless sometimes, and other times I feel like I can focus and think normally about things.

There are still some tendencies to panic attacks in the late morning, but I think that will get better. It's interesting that my psychiatrist wouldn't give me Valium, while a doctor would, and I feel like that helped a lot with the panic attacks.

I'm starting to see the experiences I've had in another perspective, and I can see why I feel this or that way, or experience weird things. Something to talk to the psychiatrist about tomorrow.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [10 Nov 21:50 Europe/Oslo]

Keeping track

So last Friday I bought myself a pill-box, which contains the pills for the day + emergency pills (Diazepam).

I think it works well, and I feel a bit more comfortable now, it's easier to keep track of things.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [01 Nov 20:12 Europe/Oslo]

One-sided

Today I got up somewhere around 7, with Isak. Gave him some food and enjoyed the first hours of the day.

Then I read a bit in various online newspapers and read some articles that annoyed and affected me. I see people in Norway believe in the death penalty for some crimes, and that's a bit scary. But I think those people are a small minority.

After that, Hilde and I argued a bit about things that needed doing, and who does what it in the household.

I started feeding Isak and relaxed a bit and thought after; I think Hilde and I's biggest job is communicating better and breaking out of negative patterns. So I made some good points and saved the day.

In the process, I could also feel pain in the left side of my body; in my chest, my chin, my leg. Usually that pain would scare me and set off some negative cycle of working too much, exercising or just stressing, but now I was able to just let it hurt a bit and control it.

Left/right balance has been a theme for me, I was talking to the chiropractor yesterday and she gave me some new exercises; there has been the matter of one side of the body being stronger than the other.

I wonder if that has something to do with the mental issues as well; IIRC, the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and vice versa.

Oh well, we're off to the photograph, to see if any of the pictures we took were keepers. But I doubt we'll have any, as it costs way, way too much to get a CD with high-resolution pictures.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [28 Oct 12:16 Europe/Oslo]

Big leap

So I made a big leap today, in telling how I think and feel about things. I think the good doctor pushed a bit as well, to see.

It's weird with this thing, feeling and thinking the wrong way. But I feel it's really getting better.

I had to lie down for half an hour when I got home, it was that taxing. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [27 Oct 16:14 Europe/Oslo]

Making good ground

So, today I have an appointment with the psychiatrist again, first time in well over a month.

I've been able to relax during the vacation, and reflect. So I went on and on about thoughts and such, the "hour" we had went by pretty fast.

I'm happy with my psychiatrist, but I think I want things to progress faster, so I might use a psychologist as well. I see they have different lengths of psychological education, so it might be worth doing both.

I don't think I'd be as normal as I am now, without the medicines. But it looks like I'm getting the money I should from the state regarding sick-leave, so I'll get a dash of cash where I can spend some on a private psychologist. 1 hour, for 46 weeks, is 23000 NOK. I think that sounds reasonable.

The question will be if the psychiatrist and psychologist can work in paralell, or even work a little bit together.

And that I can deduct on my taxes as well.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [21 Oct 20:24 Europe/Oslo]

An encounter with nasty

So, yesterday I think I slipped back into kind of a psychosis for a couple of hours.

Today I'm OK though, although I've been tired and a bit out of it.

Tracing things back a bit, I found that the last 3-4 evenings before yesterday evening I took less than usual of the Quetiapine, because there was some drinking.

Yesterday afternoon I forgot the pill as well, I don't know exactly why.

But, last night was bad. Not a panic attack, I think it was more of a psychosis moment for some hours. Chugged down a Truxal 15 and a Valium 5 and was able to sleep after a while.

But f*** me, that was uncomfortable.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [13 Oct 17:09 Europe/Oslo]

Used it twice (Diazepam)

So, I took another one of these on Thursday, and it helped then too. The plan was to use it max once a week, but given the choice, I took 5 mg.

Mmm, we've been here 3 weeks now, I'm starting to miss Norway. The cold weather, and firing up the fireplace. And good long walks.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [In control (Atom feed)] [09 Oct 19:19 Europe/Oslo]

In control

So, I'm really happy about the Diazepam, it gives me control over the panic attacks, the last big thing that's really been bugging me.

The panic attacks and the anticipatory angst of a new one are a vicious cycle, and with other things such as psychosis and regular angst under control, it is possible to feel when panic angst is building.

As long as I have the Diazepam ready, I'm able to relax. Used it once so far.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Diazepam approved (Atom feed)] [06 Oct 22:41 Europe/Oslo]

And that's why you should listen to the doctor, not the internet

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_affects_of_Valium_and...

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [04 Oct 21:50 Europe/Oslo]

Diazepam approved

Well, I had that panic-attack-could-come feeling today, so I took a 5 mg tablet. It took a little while before it worked, but I did feel better.

Lately I've gotten a thing against intoxication, but this Valium thing wasn't a "buzz", it was more of a calm and snooze. :)

Good to know I have this available now, I know the whole day and next day(s) won't feel like crap and then some.

I'd rather not take it, but snoozy and feeling OK is better.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [04 Oct 21:22 Europe/Oslo]

Final tool in the toolbox?

Todsy I got a prescription for Valium (Diazepam). The contrast between relaxing and enjoying the vacation, and a panic attack was too great.

I now have daily Seroquel (Quetiapine) - antipsychotic, Truxal (Chlorprothixene) - antipsychotic, but in smaller doses against anxiety and finally Valium.

I think I'll be able to use less Truxal now, as I have the Valium in the emergency kit. Both my psychiatrist at home and the doctor here in Spain made it perfectly clear that it is easy to get used to using Valium daily, so one has to watch out. And that using it too much was like pissing in your pants to stay warm.. Which has special connotations for those who live in .. colder regions. :)

Anyway, I'm set for cognitive behavioural therapy helping me with the panic attacks.

It's a balance, and it's a training deal.. I need to charge the batteries, as well as build up more mental strength. I'll be able to push harder now, and get well faster. And climb old mental walls.

Physical exercise and healthy food makes life easier, but in manageable and correct doseage. I feel it is easy to get in shape, I think that's thanks to exercising heavily at periods in my life, it comes back easy. :)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [01 Oct 20:29 Europe/Oslo]

Feeling full

Well, had some beers today, but poured the final parts of the last one down the drain.

That's a good thing, feels better now.. It didn't taste good today.

Hilde's parents arrived, which is cool. We're getting some time off as they care a bit for Isak.

Hilde and I are considering a day or two in Valencia, which is about 23 miles from here (Torrevieja).

IIRC, John Carew played some years for Valencia, and I'd like to experience a soccer match in Spain. I have a feeling it would be fun.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [27 Sep 18:50 Europe/Oslo]

Thinking differently

So I've started noticing more about how I think, and trying to be careful about how I think and what thinking/emotional paths I go down.

As I try to relax and think about how things have been, I am able to think at times that I am doing very well, given the starting point I've come from.

I think my problem has been that there has been a disconnect between my expectations of myself and reality.. with therapy and help now I think I should find some base level that I can build on.

Some structure and realistic goals is what I need. While I'm in Spain I'm not working (well, had to work a little, but that's the way it is) and just trying to relax and enjoy the vacation.

Walking every day (Hilde, Isak and I), and I think I should walk 2 days towards the evenings as well. It's about managing health and weight.. it's funny how that goes, one can dabble and drabble along and suddenly find that the sum of many things can be dangerous and then it might be too late (damage done). I think a lot of people fall into that trap, living (somewhat) vicariously and then getting a rude awakening.

I'm drinking a bit again, it's more of a enjoyment thing here in Spain. I've figured as far as drinking goes, that if i drink max 2 days a week, never get drunk and never drink 2 days in a row, things should be manageable.

That's the nice things about rules and structure, you don't have to watch and think all the time, just play along.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [25 Sep 17:28 Europe/Oslo]

A little setback - or glimpse of self

Yesterday evening I noticed I was daydreaming or having very "high" thoughts.

Which I didn't put too much into, but I noticed today that I was a bit out of it, and this last hour or two I got some real downer-time.

But it's not depressed, if I look at bipolar terms and explanations, mixed episode seems right. This evening I got far down and remember things negatiely and crisis-maximize it all and then my mind goes into hypergear.

But it's not as bad ; I am able to take control now.. as I tell it to Hilde and get some feedback. Maybe the meds help as well.

I think the daydreaming yesterday was some sort of escape mechanism, and I can get grandiose ideas and put a lot of mental energy into imagining and living in a dream - quite vividly.

Well, this vacation should be the first time in many, many years where I don't work at all and as Hilde says 1-2 weeks isn't enough to get fairly or completely unplugged.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [22 Sep 21:00 Europe/Oslo]

Breakthrough?

Well last night, and this morning.. I feel normal like I haven't done in a looong time. It's weird, a bit scary.. but also good.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [15 Sep 07:46 Europe/Oslo]

Same-same, something new

Things are going OK these days, I've started doing some more strength exercise and keeping a very healthy diet.

I see the weight isn't changing that much, but the body is firming up, which is positive.

I've talked a bit to Hilde about what happened this winter, and after Hilde's observations, I got a lot better when they took me off the Zoloft. It's hard to describe what that Zoloft period did to me and I've probably forgotten/supressed a lot of it.

So I'm considering suing/raising a case for that specific medical treatment; if they want to cure or drug down patients with pills (which is cheaper) when it can have such an effect, they're also gambling a bit and should be made to pay when treatment goes drastically wrong. I got Zoloft "just like that" from my primary physician.

In other news, I'm doing the application for more sick-leave payment from the state in the proper way tomorrow, handing in some papers and documentation. I think it'll either be settled and I get the money, or we might try to get back a lot of the fees paid over the years to cover the sick-leave "insurance".

[Later..]

Which brings an idea to my mind. I think a lot of people in the psychiatric part of the health sector might be unable to fend for themselves, and maybe don't have the network.

It might be an idea to appoint a guardian to anyone who gets in touch with the psychiatry, so that the person's interests are taken care of.

I wouldn't have thought much about this Zoloft crap unless Hilde mentioned it to me a couple of times.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [12 Sep 12:21 Europe/Oslo]

A little pharmaceutical hacking [Deleted]

This issue has been deleted, and was probably spam.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [18 Aug 19:45 Europe/Oslo]

Day to day survival

So, I've learned some tricks lately that can help with day-to-day living if you have serious mental challenges, either just in your head or also brought upon you by others.

It is easy to get stressed (and have a high pulse). One might automatically start doing something if stressed, such as working, exercising, drinking water, drink alcohol or simply just sit there fretting.

And then the alternatives for calming down are usually medicine. But I've found a better way which requires some work and focus, but it has worked for me recently. It is as simple as taking deep breaths (suck air down to the stomach area) through the nose, and then exhaling through the mouth.

I tried it yesterday, and it worked well. Another thing with these mental matters is that a lot of things feel real and scary, but there isn't much one can do to control them. So one has to "let go"; ultimately one only has control over one's own actions and thoughts (and not even that at times when unstable), and scary things can happen anywhere.. Best trick to deal with it is to take things at a normal or slow pace.

Another thing I've discovered (reminded by a psychologist who was on the morning TV today) is that it is good to take 10-15 or even 30 minute breaks doing nothing, between mentally challenging tasks.

Work for me is mentally challenging, and it feels better to do something with flair and pace and take a good break afterwards, rather than to .. sift through it. And what to do during those breaks? Nothing, just relax and let whatever that wants to pop into your focus do so. But the point of the break is to relax.

If you can't relax after doing some task.. then you have to analyze the situation and figure out why you can't relax. But I think that just relaxing properly for some days or weeks can help the situation.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [18 Aug 09:12 Europe/Oslo]

Salt at 120 NOK (20 USD) per gram [Deleted]

This issue has been deleted, and was probably spam.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Aug 20:24 Europe/Oslo]

Upping the ante

So I talked to the doctor the other day, that the symptoms I've been having come and go, and I guess stress worsens them.

So we agreed to up the dosage, so I'm on 600 mg of Seroquel per day now.. I feel that it helps a good bit, and it gives some comfort that the dose can be increased still so that meds could help me with most of my issues.

I've found that smoking and drinking alcohol are really, really bad for me now, so I think I'll avoid those two things for a good while. I think I might have had my last cigarette, ever.

I've been using nicotine patches for a good while now, and they worked, but I've switched to Snus portion, since it is easy to dose and decrease, and at this point it is cheaper and easier to do the gradual nicotine ditch using Snus.

I think that says something, that a tobacoo with carcinogenics is cheaper to use than pure-nicotine substitutes.. and, nicotine is a poison, but I can't do the quitting cold-turkey, then I'd probably suffer a good bit.

It's established with the doctors etc. that I have a psychotic disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). So I'm told that schizophrenia, bipolar and so on are basically groups you fall into, once a given set of symptoms are reached. It is work from now on to see if I fit in a given group.

I have gotten some time to reflect the last months, and the whole experience since last autumn/winter has been.. quite an experience you might say. I see life a lot differently now.

At the same time, I feel a lot more like myself as well, at least I can relax and enjoy things now, if it is just watching at the trees and nature outside the window. Long story short, I was a propellerhead when I was younger, but when I entered into my teens I started having problems.

Work is going OK too, I'm able to work better now.



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [31 Jul 20:35 Europe/Oslo]

A daily treat with Quetiapine </sarcasm>

I'm taking Quetiapine 200 mg around lunchtime and 300 mg before bedtime.

It works fairly well - lately I've been able to think more clearly and coherently, but I seem to get some weird mental state after taking it
around lunch sometimes which is very unpleasant.

I'd describe it as a panic or stressful thing and I get dizzy - almost as if I feel drunk. It also sucks energy, I had to lie down and sleep for a couple of hours because I felt exhausted after the fact.

It sucks because for two reasons. 1) It sucks. 2) It can come without warning, some days it happens, some days it doesn't happen.

I think I'll need to keep a diary of events and nutrition to see if it is predictable.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [10 Jun 21:39 Europe/Oslo]

Annoying throat infection

So, I probably need to get some antibiotics for my throat, the sickness has been lasting for 1 1/2 weeks now and it won't let go.

Sickness has been going around in the family, and some have used antibiotics (Isak has started Clarithromycin today, and is already better, ate most of his porridge for the first time in weeks). (Later.. well, he still coughs, but eating more. Which is good).

But I see Quetiapine's effectiveness (rate of metabolization) changes when using Clarithromycin so that's something I'll need to talk about with my doctor (...).

I guess they'll need to do bloodtests and such, and the TOP project which maps psychosis-related things also does bloodtests - which is next week.

Well, I'll visit the doctor tomorrow and see what he says.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [21 Apr 20:43 Europe/Oslo]

Quetiapine (Seroquel) and herbs (mixing the new with the old)

I've been "coming down" as one might say in the last month or so, and in that process the last week-and-a-half I've been having a dry mouth and an ear infection, a runny and stuffy nose and a sore and try throat. And dry mouth.

Well, I've been taking 45 mg Truxal along with the 400 mg Quetiapine a day, and I've had serious problems with a dry mouth and throat. So I ditched the Truxal, and started drinking some hot water with either honey+lemon juice or Sage and Thyme + honey.

It feels like the Sage and Thyme with honey helps quite a bit, and it might even help me relax and soothe the throat.

I see that Sage is considered a drug once you put it into hot water and make a tea.. which is interesting. Medical use of herbs, who would've thought.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Apr 10:14 Europe/Oslo]

Unplugged

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-safe-ways-to-remove-ear-wax...

Is about removing earwax. Short story, a bit warm olive oil + one of those "ear cleaning bulbs" = win.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Apr 16:38 Europe/Oslo]

The walk

I think I'll go for a walk tomorrow, try to get somewhat into shape. 1-2 walks a week is a high enough goal for now.

Things feel OK, although I guess it is hard, I don't know if it is because I'm depressed or something else. Been pretty drained for energy the last 7-8 days.

I feel more normal, no that's wrong, *different* than I've felt in the last 6-7 months, and maybe for some years. This feeling of being burned out or something is there. I've been in the TOP project for a while now, where they map psychosis and such, where I answer questions in a structured interview.

Work is what keeps me going in many ways, it is good to have something to do. And the joy Isak can bring, even through an MMS message from the mountain. He's a cute kid, and brings me great joy. Even though I went through hell the last half year or so, I think maybe something has improved. I remember it was pretty bad and weird, but it is also a bit distant, maybe that's a coping mechanism.. forgetting the pain and stress. If not anything else, I'm in a system now where I could get some help.

I'm by myself now, taking a few days to wind down while Hilde and family are up on the mountain.

I need to find something fun and not stressful I think. A hobby. Whatever that should be I don't know. Maybe start reading books.

Playing Call of Duty is not as much fun now as it was some weeks or months ago. Maybe that's the meds.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [02 Apr 00:30 Europe/Oslo]

Aftershocks

So, I've been reading up on various mental things on the net, and figuring I have something like PTSD now:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder

Which is interesting, since I know the feeling I have today from earlier in my life. I don't know where I got into this track I've been in, but anyway. Feeling like you're going to die for a good while kinda sucks.

Stress and such, well there are different kinds of threats. With this condition I have, whatever it is, I guess I've always been quite sensitive to what other people want and need.

So I think I've treated the people in my company pretty well, not laying too much on them, and at times handing out a lesson. I know this past half year has been tough on "my crew" but I've been having it tough too, so now we might get to wind down the next month. I see people performing well now, and it is good to see that the time and effort I've invested is rewarded. I know some people might prefer to break people down with techniques such as Gaslighting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_torture

But that's not my style. Think of it.. with the web things can be setup and changed without a trace. And you have no physical wounds or traces to show..

Interestingly, my psychologist has spoken to a friend I know about my history, and things were taken up there, things I didn't remember. So he said it might just be a misunderstanding too.

Anyway, this paranoia/schizophrenia/bipolar thing. The meds help, but right now I'm at a place emotionally where I've been before. So I dunno, things are taking their time. I'll relax now and try to do as little as possible and just get better.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [29 Mar 22:32 Europe/Oslo]

So so, getting better, getting worse

Lately I've been getting better, but there has also been some major holes in the road. :)

But, I can feel again now. Feel more than I have done in a long long time. Cuddling for example feels great now, compared to one year ago. And I feel more around anything, really. It isn't just going through the motions any more.

As the psychologist said, I've been going around in my own bubble for quite some time (think 10-15 years maybe) and that's true. I've been out of touch with my emotions.

I can feel the anxiety sneaking up on me when it gets closer to bedtime, but it isn't so bad now, probably because I've been taking Truxal again.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [28 Mar 23:42 Europe/Oslo]

An attacking panic

So, yesterday I had a panic attack. A pretty bad one. :)

It started around 22:30 I think, because my mouth gets so dry from the meds. So I started compulsively swallowing, and getting stressed out.

I've recently upped my meds, from 300 mg a day to 500 mg a day. And I find it strange that the doctor would let me make a 200 mg jump just like that and not 100 mg.

Anyway, so this panic attack started, and around 22:50 or so I think it got really bad. To the point that I was wheezing like I had been running and getting a panic. The feeling that I might choke up and die was there and very real, and I considered calling 113 (911). But then Hilde organized things and I was able to take a taxi with Vebjørn down to the health emergency center.

So, for 20-30 minutes (at home and on the way to the hospital) I had a feeling that death by choking could be imminent, and there was panic, numbness in my hands and dizzyness.

I felt better when I arrived at the emergency health center. I knew there were doctors and such there who could help me.

So I talked a bit to one of the nurses after a while and got to stay over there during the night. Got something to help me sleep and in the morning I talked to a doctor about what happened and was let on my way.

Today I've been feeling a bit tired, but relatively OK. Hilde says I look serious.

The scary thing to this compared to the radiating angst thing is that lately I've begun feeling what you could call normal, with a somewhat normal range of emotions. But that angst/choke incident was scary as FUCK.

[Later..] And funnily enough, the dials you have to punch to get a direct taxi order is 119.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [26 Mar 19:32 Europe/Oslo]

Aspergers

So, I've read a bit about Aspergers today, and that seems to fit my way of being pretty well. I also see that Seroquel which I'm taking has had a good effect on Aspergers too.

But I see also on the net that you could be diagnosed with both Aspergers and Schizophrenia.

I mean, I hallucinated in November I think it was and saw a globe that spun above me (while I was lying in bed) which I could touch and it glowed of red almost in a magical, hedonic or evil way. I also for a second saw an item in our home as something else. Sometime after new year I thought some low-clicking noise (in a sense modem-transfer-noise) from the phone triggered something in me that gave me negative thoughts and .. "visions". I call them visions because they aren't hallucinations i.e. something that is like any object you see which seems real. They were more like.. what you can get if you play a game all day, you still see the game playing when you close your eyes, but it is also a bit more .. creative/uncontrolled/mixed together.

And that feeling of radiating angst or whatever out of my body was.. on a scale from 1-10 of fucked-upness.. A 9.5 I think.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [18 Mar 13:50 Europe/Oslo]

A good day

So, today I had a good day. It started out good, then at around 1700 it was a bit difficult (tired, annoyable) and a bit struggling on the social part.

But I was able to pull myself together and keep going. So, I'm feeling so much more .. good and relaxed, and a bit more human.

I may be a bit cold and calculating at times, but I guess I've been burned enough times and struggled so much that I've had to think hard to be able to function and exist. And running your own business makes you understand that you have to decide and move on or sink. During my psychosis from before Christmas to over new years I wondered if I was a sociopath or something like that.

But I've looked at the traits of sociopaths and I don't score high so I think I'm OK. I have difficulties watching things like "Norwegian talents" (similar to Idol or X factor except it accepts all kinds of weird acts). Anyway, I have difficulties watching that and soap operas and whatever, because I become so embarrased over difficult social situations. And I can get teary eyed watching some programs.

But, I wonder if I've been exposed to people with sociopathic traits, or people who can put you down and make you very self aware. And it might be that I react without knowing sometimes when I'm in the presence of sociopaths.

When I think of it, I think I've met some and may have even been burned by some. But that's part of growing up too, you learn and move on. I saw an old program on NRK via streaming where there was a psychiatrist who said something like "I'd rather have a sociopath than a softhearted person if it was about sending away a bomb while at war" or something like that.

So sociopaths are everywhere I've read, and I guess it must be a different life experience.

There was a blog post I read during my desperate-quest-to-figure-out-myself during the psychosis too, which said that everyone is a sociopath, you have the winners, the ignorants and the losers. That's funny, and it might even be true. I guess all people have someone to "look down on" if you think about it. And with the selfish-gene theory, yeah.. Oh well. I experience warmth and care now from Hilde's family and get something good thrown at me or after me every day, so I think there's hope. :)


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [17 Mar 19:24 Europe/Oslo]

Filling in the pieces

So, I'm playing along with the Schizophrenia theme, and have been reading up a bit about it.

On this page:

http://schizophrenia.com/hypo.php

There was a nice "flow chart" of how Schizophrenia develops. I looked at that page a week or so ago, and it stuck to my mind.

Today there was the baptizing of Isak (which went well). Afterwards there was dinner, and I had to make a little speech. Which was very short, and I could feel my hands shaking for 5-10 minutes afterwards. :|

Anyway, down to business. Later we went to Hilde's parents place and had coffee & cake. So far so good.. but after some time I started thinking negatively and with anxiety and shame for my lack of ability to cope socially. What had been an OK or good day turned bad. And things in that light of negativity became bad, so that the whole day felt rotten and shitty. In such a cycle there seems to be some emotional hyperfocus, where I can tell exactly what's happening on the social/personal level between people. So, I guess that's a feature, at times when I'm tense or focused I'm easily able to tell what's happening by reading facial expressions and other things. But at the same time, I'm bombing my own mind with negative thoughts and feelings.

But, I managed to pull things together afterwards, and had an hour or so with talk and such with others. I think I managed to pull together because, today, I have a fairly good life (status) and something to "brag about" plus 2 very important people (Hilde and Isak).0

But is this Bipolar or Schizophrenia? I'm not sure. I know now when I think back, I've had periods where I'm helpless and bomb myself with negative thoughts (it is hard to describe the emotional impact), but you can say that such a negative feedback-loop becomes so bad that you don't get sad any longer, it is just negative thoughts and anxiety and confusion, fatigue, agression and compulsion. And something negative said by someone else can be devastating, unless the "shield is up" and I press on no matter what.

Today had such a negative cycle that lasted for an hour or two, but the preceeding week or so had been fairly good, so I was able to be sad afterwards instead of just turning into some sort of emotional zombie where emotional and mental "noise/storm" was the result.

And I feel now that I'm exhausted. This crap can tear you down, time after time.

A coping mechanism I've developed since childhood perhaps, is that I daydream and think that I am great in some ways, and "read a lot into" things I read, hear or say. That's fine and dandy, but also a bit weird as there is a disconnect with reality.

So, I can dream and think I'm something, and sometimes those daydreams and perceptions can be good. But it is also a downside, as one of those negative cycles get really bad, because not only are things difficult, you "daydream" a lot of negative things too. So that life in essence becomes a nightmare you can't escape from.

And then there's the compulsion to fix things. Not myself directly, but I read, think and try to fix things and work on things. And then things that a "normal" person would see as straightforward I mull over and just about everything takes an effort.

I find the writing therapeutical right now and could've written more, but I have to go.

[Later..] Some units of alcohol later, things are fine and dandy.

And the negative self-bombing thing. Well, to explain it, things in recent events come back in a negative light, and then other things that have happened in the past also come back with a vengeance. Jokes, things I've said and done. It sounds like the deep depression thing from BiPolar. But the thing is I haven't felt very "euphoric" for longer periods of time, or at least I can't remember them as such.

I don't know if this rubber-band backlash effect is because of unprosessed (undiscussed) events or something else.

On 300 mg of Seroquel now, plus 30-45 mg of Truxal. I think that helps a lot.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Mar 19:32 Europe/Oslo]

A Saturday with chicken wings and cider

So, I'm on my 3rd pint of cider now, just relaxing on a Saturday. These last couple of days I've come closer to my real self I think.

I'm in the TOP research project now (http://www.med.uio.no/forskning/tematisk/top/), helping science with psychosis-related issues and the carrot is that they'll give me me an evaluation of what the possible causes of my problems are.

I've been at two visits at TOP now where they ask questions and such, the last visit was OK, but afterwards I felt a bit annoyed as if they questioned my ability to answer honestly. It is kind of strange when your state of mind for the last 10-15 years has been in a flux of sorts and you're asked to accurately define your experiences. Although this depressed, sad feeling I have right now is something I *have* had for periods in that time. I think it has been at times combined with a feeling of being exhausted as if you've just sprinted for a while without warming up first.

Anyway, since I started having big problems towards the end of last year I've been to observation, gotten medicines etc. and talked to doctors, psychologists and so on.

I visited some website about Schizophrenia last week and had an epiphany for an hour or two that "That's me!" but then it went away again.

They say Bipolar and Schizophrenia are difficult to differantiate, so I guess the gene tests and brain scans on the TOP project will give some hard data.

The latest papers from the diagnosing doctor says "Unspecified Schizophrenia" which as I've read also happens to be the most regular variant.

I know I've done some dumb things in the past, and that's to a lesser or greater degree grade my own fault, but it'll be good to get an explanation of why. Not an excuse, but an explanation.

I guess most people do dumb things in the start of their lives, and then it is the opportunity (obligation?) to turn things around and help others in trouble as well as yourself.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Feb 14:51 Europe/Oslo]

Moving forward

Today I had a pretty good day. Played some Call of Duty with Vebjørn, which was stressful at times, but it felt good afterwards. Walking a little and taking my meds helps. There was a Norwegian soldier who got killed a little while ago by a roadbomb.. it feels kinda lame in a way to play war games when I never was in the military, and seeing people make such sacrifices, but I'll try to contribute in my way.

It has been tough lately, but there are also good moments.. I'm glad I have Hilde and Isak, and Isak is starting to be a lot of fun where he responds a bit. Both Hilde and I think he looks like some character that could be from "Barne-TV" (kids hour on the regional broadcaster NRK). It is great fun to blow him quickly in the face, he gulps a bit, blinks his eyes and smiles. Simple joys.

I've found myself in a way these last months, gotten on the right track it seems.. atleast when I'm with Hilde. She's the CEO of the house, and that's OK. This is a good moment, but there are difficult times too, but I manage to feel good now and then.

Some years ago I did create lots of graphics with The GIMP, and I'm thinking of going back to that perhaps.. express things that are there in the subconsious. A bit therapeutic too. Maybe do some programming/graphical thing.

The meds are a story in themselves.. I don't know how long I'll have to take them (maybe forever), and in that case I'll have to cut down on drinking (which isn't a big loss). They drive up the apetite too, and that's something I'll have to watch since I've always been a bit.. dietically challenged.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [30 Jan 21:15 Europe/Oslo]

Hanging in there

So I'm hanging in there.. getting to talk to a psychologist and then later they'll do more thorough tests including scans..

I'm working a little, and it feels good to work a bit. Keeps the juices flowing as they say. It is good to get support, care and understanding from friends.. Dave (aktivnett.no) says that I should crawl-walk-run, and crawling seems about right now. ;)

The meds are helping, but getting a fix on "reality" is somewhat difficult. Some nosebleeds, including feeling, no, *being* knocked out and having a stuffed nose an hour or two after taking the meds are side effects. I tried drinking 2 pints of beer some hours before taking the meds the other day and had jello-legs when walking to the bed.

(The medication is a generic substitute for Seroquel, google it and see..)

I feel tired too, not sure if that's the illness or the cure.



[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [26 Jan 16:39 Europe/Oslo]

Mental help

So, I'm getting some mental (therapy...) help now. Been mostly away from home the last week.

Got some tough work to do. :|

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [21 Nov 18:01 Europe/Oslo]

Shotgun approach!

I went to see the doctor today to get my (partial) sick-leave extended.. there we discussed medicines and such and he convinced me I should give that a try too.

So I got a prescription for Zoloft and took the first pill today. In sum I'm: talking to a the-rapist (haha), reading self-help books, ditching caffeine and taking medicine.

If that doesn't work, I don't know what will. If I had more time and money I'd do more therapist sessions and self-help, but I don't. I've got work to do.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [OCD (Atom feed)] [06 Nov 00:21 Europe/Oslo]

Ditching caffeine (pretty much)

In my quest to rid my self of OCD and other issues I'm going to cut down on the caffeine, maybe completely or I'll dare myself to drinking a cup of coffee each day. It sucks because they have really, really good caffe latte here at the local mall.

I'll let you know how it goes.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [OCD (Atom feed)] [05 Nov 00:51 Europe/Oslo]

Prescription book

After a couple of hours with the psychologist, I've now gotten my hands on "Feeling good" - a book by D. Burns.

Website here:

  http://www.feelinggood.com/

(Yes I know, sales opportunity there, design and such could be better..)

I've started reading a bit and so far I'm optimistic. They make good arguments that you can change the way your brain works without using prescription drugs (such as SSRIs) and I'm thinking "Yes I can". ;)

I'm all for using as little medicine as possible, that's something I have from my mom I guess who has worked and is still working in the health sector.

Anyway, after trying to "fix" myself and cope in various ways for many years it feels good to be guided and helped by someone who is trained and pretty much nailed my state of mind on the first session. Which is good since the psychologist charges an arm and a leg an hour (around 165 USD per hour).

Reading books can be good, but when it comes to self-help, I think having a guide and help and then reading books to speed up / help the process is the key.

Fuck OCD, I think it stole a big chunk of my happy parts of life and fuck me for letting it. ;)

I just hope something good comes out of it all..

[Permalink] [By morphex] [OCD (Atom feed)] [03 Nov 22:58 Europe/Oslo]

OCD

Since the last couple of weeks have been rough, and that I take the responsibility of being a good father very seriously, I went to see a psychologist today.

I explained how I felt and thought about things, and he hinted that I might have OCD, which is explained here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsessive-compulsive_disorder

I thought that was a perfect match. I didn't delve much deeper into it, as I think knowing too much about the treatment process might taint the treatment itself. I don't know whether it is physiological or psychological, but we'll see..

Anyway, I found a Norwegian support group:

http://www.ananke.no/

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [20 Oct 23:15 Europe/Oslo]

Haematomachrosis

So, a couple of months ago I got the diagnosis haematomachrosis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haematomachrosis

It is an iron-overload disorder, where the intestines absorb too much iron from the diet, which results in too much iron in the blood as well as iron sediments being deposited in major organs such as the heart, liver etc. (This could be helpful where there is little iron available in the diet, bug or feature you be the judge).

Anyway, I've been on dailystrength.org:

http://www.dailystrength.org/c/Hemochromatosis/forum/8058404...

Where another person with the same condition listed up some symptoms, such as anxiety, fatigue, depression and IBS. Trust me, I can relate to that. My teens were pretty rough and I thought the anxiety (which I got medication for) was a result of that. But now that I've been "phlebbed" (drained for blood) 3-4 times, I feel great. I mean, I *feel*, I'm energetic and most of the time it feels like I'm using 1% of my brain, even if I'm doing complex tasks. I think I've been depressed for a long time as well, because how I'm feeling now can't compare..

When I was maybe 14-15 I remember my (at the time) girlfriend commenting on how much I slept, her dad noticing as well. Since that time I've had a need to sleep a lot, maybe 10-12 hours per day.

Now, I think this condition was triggered somewhere in my early teens, but maybe I've had it most of my life. But I guess boys are brought up this way, to be tough and suck it up and not complain. So for the last 15 or so years I've been dragging around this extra weight, being emotionally numb and drained for energy.

I've tried most things, including a long stretch of 1-2 years where I exercised rigorously and ate properly, but nothing helped.

It is kinda funny that all I needed was a little old-fashioned bloodletting to get up to and beyond par.

So, what's the lesson here? Mmm.. Ask for help is one. Another is, if you're not feeling well, chase up the health system until you get help. It took 3 different doctors before one finally bothered to take my high iron levels seriously and thanks to that, I have a new life.

So, now that I feel much more, I've quit smoking and expect a baby to arrive in a couple of weeks, my life is really an emotional rollercoaster. But, paraphrasing.. it is better to have felt than to never have felt at all. ;)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [02 Oct 21:57 Europe/Oslo]

Something for my back

Monday and Wednesday this week I've been hiking up a mountain here in Mo i Rana where I'm on .. "workation" :) It is a great exercise, tough, but I can feel it is improving my body.

It is something the chiropractor recommended, who I've been visiting now a couple of times. Interestingly, he told me that chiropractors weren't recommended by doctors as they can compete with doctors.

Well, I'm kind of holding my breath here, hoping this chiropractor treatment + walking in varied (and soft) terrain will help. Tired of chugging down painkillers. A couple of people with back problems I've talked with have recommended chiropractors and they have gotten well quick, but now that I've had this back conditition for a while, it will probably take a while to get well too.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [02 Jul 01:22 Europe/Oslo]

Fat and happy

A couple of years ago I was working out really hard.. I've never been a jock so I decided I'd try out being really fit.

Now I'm a bit heavier than in my "fit period", but I'm happy. I eat what I want pretty much when I want and I don't spend a lot of time working out. I should get out and walk more often though.

I guess my "fit period" was just a daze I was in trying to find the up/down, left/right in life. I blame all the models and clothing people pushing their photoshopped images of people who can't do much else than work out and eat salads.

A bit FU to bad role models and a big grouphug to the big & tall and round & small.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [21 Jun 01:23 Europe/Oslo]

eq != iq

Yesterday I went to my first appointment with the physiotherapist, which was an interesting and fun experience.

Roger was his name, a swede that had lived in Alta (Northern Norway) for 12 years and now living in Oslo.

I think we went on for about 30 minutes, but time flied by as we were busy talking about soccer, spurred by Rosenborg - my favorite and home-town team, owning Valencia in Tuesdays Champions League match. I've never seen Rosenborg kick that much butt against a formidable opponent like Valencia.

The physiotherapist pulled, massaged, twisted and whatever - using a strap at times so he could use his own body weight to pull my leg. Yes, literally, he was pulling my leg. :)

Interesting experience. I've never been .. "handled" by a guy before, but it was totally OK and I'm sure that's thanks to Roger who was able to keep it casual by talking and being friendly.

After the treatment I could lift my leg up higher without experiencing pain, whether that was in my head or an actual improvement I'm not sure. But I think so.

My respect and appreciation for health care professionals grows by each day.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Sciatica (Atom feed)] [08 Nov 13:44 Europe/Oslo]

Sucking it up

This Sciatica thing has been bugging me for 4-5-6 weeks now, and it goes up and down, but it is always there. Last Monday I took some x-rays and the doctor should have them soon, so I guess it's just about waiting to hear what the doctor has to say about it.

Speaking to my mom (back problems are a common thing, and women talk-talk-talk :) a couple of days ago, I learned that these things can be for life. You can operate and such but it isn't certain that an operation will fix the problem and there may be relapses.

The proper exercise, stretches and such can help, and could be a better or complementary alternative to having an operation.

For me, the Sciatica isn't so bad, a combination of two different painkillers up to 3 times a day is taking the edge off things, and taking these isn't affecting me much (that I can notice anyway) except taking the pain away. I'm a little bit worried about the long-term effect of these pills on the stomach and liver though.

Experiencing this really makes me reconsider my lifestyle and how I treat my body. I exercise and I'm probably more fit now than ever before, but my guess is that a bad working posture has been one of the things that has led to this. I have a couple of vices, and maybe I should give up those as well, before it is too late.

Maybe.. :)

Oh well, it isn't so bad. I can work, exercise, walk (with a pimp limp!), talk and function relatively normally. Remembering what my mom always told me when I was younger: you should be grateful you can walk, talk and do completely normal things. She should know, after having worked with physically disabled people for most of her adult life.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Sciatica (Atom feed)] [22 Oct 01:41 Europe/Oslo]

It's times like these

I'm glad I pay my taxes.

Went to the doctor today and did some more tests; looks like there is indeed a herniated disk.. That means taking X-rays and going to a physiotherapist.

Fortunately I don't have to pay much for this, thanks to the public health system we have here in Norway.


[Permalink] [By morphex] [Sciatica (Atom feed)] [09 Oct 12:14 Europe/Oslo]

Sciatica

Some weeks ago I got a shooting pain in my right leg, and couldn't figure out what was causing it. So shortly after I went to the "emergency doctor" and got a diagnose of Lumbago/Sciatica.

I've read quite a bit about Sciatica on the net so I have an understanding of what it is and what to do about it, but it seems like I'll have to get some professional help to fix it.

My personal trainer Peter gave me some stretching exercises which should fix things, but that hasn't helped much so far.

So it's probably a disc herniation or something that's "locked" back there, so professional help is the next logical step and I'll see my doctor in a couple of days to see if something can be arranged.

I'm getting tired of chugging down painkillers in any case, getting through the maximum recommended amount for two different painkiller brands per day, and I'd rather be without it.. but what can you do, it's either that or have shooting pains.. the first day I took those pills I just had to lay down and relax for a while - it took the wind out of me.

Oh well, what doesn't kill you etc. ;)

Bonus link: interesting article on how to treat Sciatica:

http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/articles-submit/jesse-cann...

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [08 Oct 02:28 Europe/Oslo]

It's a damn shame

This morning I was taking the bus home, and had to stop by the "city centre" to take the second leg of the bus trip. I ended up on a "nachspiel" night to Saturday and started the trip home around 8 Saturday morning.

When I stopped in the city centre there was around 20 minutes of waiting time before my bus home arrived, so I decided to get some food.

When I walked towards the 7-11 to get some grub, a 18-19-20-ish year old girl stopped me and asked if I had some "blablabla" (don't remember what it was). I said no and asked what that was.

She explained it was morphine, and I asked her, "what is a cute girl like you wasting your life on stuff like that for?" (she was cute). She didn't give any sensible answer so I said I would go to the store to get some food and come back afterwards (to continue chatting).

I got some food and came back to the place where she was standing, but then she was gone, and I wondered where she went.

I couldn't see her anywhere so I ended up taking the next bus home, and on the way back I found myself wiping some tears every 5 minutes, thinking it was a damn shame a cute girl like her would stand on a street corner early in the morning asking for drugs, because she had some pain to numb.

I have friends who smoke on occasion, and I don't mind smoking myself if the occasion is right, to have an alternative to drinking. I find it makes me very creative in the following weeks. But abusing drugs to numb pain is just.. sad, and it is a shame that drugs are illegal, since people who abuse drugs have issues. I'm sure if alcohol was the only drug available, you would have people who abused it to the .. level of heroin addicts abuse heroin.

I hope we get a drug law similar to what they have in the Netherlands here in Norway, and that focus is put on helping people with issues instead of punishing them (and hoping that will fix things).

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Apr 09:40 Europe/Oslo]

Slight cold

The last couple of days I've had a bit of a cold, so there's not much to do except relax, type away at the computer and wait for it to pass.

Kinda sucks not being able to go to the gym or taking walks (the weather is pretty bad) - but on the other hand, I do get a lot of excessive energy which makes me more productive.

Nothing is so bad that it isn't good for something, I guess.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [05 Apr 21:49 Europe/Oslo]

Woken up by light

I love sleeping - I sleep a lot.

Lately I've been starting to wake up around 8-8:30 thanks to the light that's coming in through the window, which is nice.

Starting to think that maybe I'm missing a lot since I sleep as much as I do, and maybe some sort of lighting rig is in order.

Waking up from natural light sure beats any alarm clock and sure enough, some googling produces interesting results:

  http://www.outsidein.co.uk/bodyclock.htm

now when it is going towards the summer I guess it isn't necessary, but maybe it is something for the winter..

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [14 Mar 10:13 Europe/Oslo]

I can believe that

http://science.slashdot.org/science/07/03/13/1638245.shtml

Exercise boosts your intelligence, and just about anything else. After talking to people in the gym, I've gotten a new respect for people who actively work out. Some people's knowledge about exercise and their ability and willingness to experiment with different training techniques and intake of nutrients, and the systematic way in which they do it makes them researchers and innovators in my eyes. And it's also a great deal of discipline involved - discipline to the point that you learn to enjoy pain (no pain no gain..)

Now, the prize for doing this exercise thing isn't exactly money (directly anyway) - but you'll find droves of info supporting that exercise and the intake of the "right stuff" will do wonders for your body and it will probably lengthen your lifespan as well. So you get quality *and* quantity.

Back in the day I might've labelled people as "muscle heads", but many are very intelligent - and that they speak in simple terms shows that they're intelligent (vs. intellectual).

So, learning as I go..

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [13 Mar 19:50 Europe/Oslo]

Obese

Well, I ordered a body fat measurement tool and got it in the mail today (the Creatine also arrived, yay!). I got a bit of a surprise when the body fat "counter" said I had 26.7% body fat, which is considered obese.

I don't think anyone (normal) would call me fat these days, but doing the math it kinda makes sense. I probably have 1-2 KGs of fat around the stomach and some pounds here and there. So my goal towards the summer is to go down to around 20% body fat. That's roughly another 5 KGs of fat so if things progress like they have been doing until now, that should be possible in the next 2-3 months.

That should be my goal, and I'm also considering a partial or full vegetarian diet - but getting enough of the right proteins could be a bit tricky, since I'm also on a training schedule.

My mouth fills with water when thinking about all the tasty vegetarian food I ate with Vinay while staying in India. I'll have to start making some myself or visit Bangalore again. ;)

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [10 Mar 13:56 Europe/Oslo]

Doing the math, part 2

Well, I got a little surprise at the gym today. Just for fun I checked my weight again and now I was down 5.5 KGs since the start of this year.

I guess it varies on the amount of water, goo and stuff you have in your body, the time of day and so on - but wow. That's a 1.5KG difference in two days.

Anyway, the people at the gym are nice and helpful. Discussed whether Creatine could be helpful and they said it was helpful in gaining extra "juice" while working out, as well as buffing the muscle mass since Creatine helps the muscles bind more water.

So I ordered a box of Creatine today and will start using that next week, look forward to seeing the results.

There's a study that suggests Creatine helps boost the brain as well:

  http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20030816/fob4.asp

for veggies at least. More about Creatine supplements here:

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatine_supplements

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [09 Mar 11:22 Europe/Oslo]

Doing the math

Today I started working out at a new gym, as we decided the company should pay for our gym expenses. It was a nice place with lots of equipment and space.

Did the regular thing with 30 minutes of cardio and then 2-3 strength related exercises and got some tips from one of the guys who worked there, on how to focus on certain muscle groups and improve the results.

They also had a weight there, so I checked my weight and lo and behold, I've lost 4 KGs since the start of this year. Doing the math, that's 4000 (grams) * 9 (calories) = 36000 calories, which amounts to about 600 ((4000*9)/60) calories per day or about 0.5 KGs of fat per week.

That's a healthy weight reduction, and I must say that I'm happy with the results, even after having a weekend here and there with partying and extra food.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [07 Mar 12:07 Europe/Oslo]

Clogged up again

Well, it is time for another visit to the doctor. Think my right ear is getting clogged up again with earwax, even if I use q-tips and some do-it-yourself ear cleaning kits.

Hopefully I'll get a same day appointment, it is a quick operation anyway.. 5 minutes and done.

[Permalink] [By morphex] [Health (Atom feed)] [13 Feb 06:53 Europe/Oslo]