the unquiet mind
Here I am. It’s 6am and I write this after a good night’s pondering; not that the time matters anymore during this period of self-quarantine, and in South Africa, a nationwide lockdown.
When I get better, I won’t induce sleep with 50mg of Psyquet at 11am as a result of feeling grossly overwhelmed by my obsessive thoughts; without it, I lie awake, sometimes I cry, sometimes I claw at my skin wishing for my mind to hush. Until then, until I’m a little better, I’ll tell you what’s going on right now.
Obsessing over a diagnosis
So my therapist suspects, quite strongly I would assume because of how much it comes up, that I’m suffering at the hands of various forms of anxiety disorders; given my character and childhood experiences, not too much of a shocker. However, the other day during a session with her, in which I expressed a fear that perhaps I’m suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder after a few nights of wheels turning and skin burning. No, you’re very likely not a Borderline, she assured me. In her explanation of the spectrum of personality disorders, she mentioned that I’d more likely be suffering from OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) if I am indeed suffering from any personality disorder at all.
Cue the questions and obsessive thoughts.
what i’m being treated for
For some background, I’ve been diagnosed by two psychiatrists with Bipolar Disorder, likely because of the genetic component. I’m being medically treated for Bipolar Disorder, Generalised Anxiety Disorder and, although it’s kind of tied to the speculated bipolar, Major Depressive Disorder. I’ve questioned the Bipolar diagnosis for a few years and recently, it feels as though my psychologist questions this diagnosis as well. I know I’m severely, clinically depressed if my psychiatric records mean anything, but I can’t help but stupidly obsess over getting a concrete diagnosis of whatever the hell the issue is with me and my psyche. Have you ever experienced this? Questioning what’s wrong with you? Because there has to be.
troubles with timelines
I have all of these plans for my life, plans that have a timeline. The problem right now seems to be that I can’t, no matter how hard I try, lift this timeline. It’s an obsession. The problem is, with the worldwide pandemic, quarantines and lockdowns, the world and time itself seem to have stopped. Nothing can continue. I won’t get my degree next year will I? I won’t get a job, make enough money to buy my first house, get married and have children by 2023. It’s easy for others to tell me to take my time isn’t it? Perhaps you’re about to as well.
I’m 20 and I just can’t simply let myself enjoy each moment. And I’m terrified I’ll look back and regret the time I’ve wasted.
what’s wrong with me?
The question now remains with me: is it several forms of anxiety coupled with crippling depression? Is it bipolar disorder paired with severe anxiety? Is it OCPD and depression? Why the hell do I sleep so much? Why am I so obsessive over everything? Who the hell even am I?!
Perhaps a little dramatic.
I spend all of the hours of the day that I’m awake fighting away obsessive thoughts and compulsions of anxiety. Sometimes solutions to my sorrows come to me in the dark of the night, like getting a puppy to help me with my depression, moving into my own apartment would supposedly solve the anxiety that’s coupled with living on a university campus, and finding a job would spare me from the guilt of being a financial burden on my mother (more on that soon).
I’m sure it sounds illogical to juggle all of that while juggling the ever-present stresses of university, what with the political atmosphere at a university like Wits University. Sigh.
This dear country of mine, as much as I love the beauties of the South African landscape and the potential there is across the nation, my previous hopes and dreams of single-handedly turning the political climate around have been greatly outmatched by my cowardice. I even constantly think of migrating to another country once I finish studying in order to find a chance for success; well, the international pandemic subsides. I’m waiting for somebody to tell me I’m being unreasonable and to stick it out until things get better.
Maybe that’s the peril of obsessions and anxiety. Knowing logically that things like puppies and beautifully serene apartments in the city aren’t going to solve anything, but drowning in the cesspool of the darkness in your mind, so much so that a puppy promised to fix it. Even for a second. I’m sure I sound stupid, maybe pitiful even. Or does it feel like this for anybody else? Let me know. I’m starting some forums on this site, share your stories of anxiety there if you’d like!