Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Sleeping and Pain Management

Quick! You are suffering from terrible mental anguish and can't see any escape! What do you do?
(a Distract yourself with entertainment
(b Masturbate
(c Write
(d Self-harm*
(e Sleep

What can I do?
(a General anhedonia not only means that this is useless and an exercise that simply reminds me of how horrible things are, but also means distracting myself is something that makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

(b I have the full set of 'anhedonia's now: first I had Social anhedonia, now I have General anhedonia as well, and quite recently I acquired Sexual anhedonia.

(c I wrote an entire page detailing how a general day of my life goes recently. I was somewhat proud of it (the intellectual knowing, not the emotion, which I can't feel), but other than that it did absolutely nothing. Writing on my blog is a little different however, since I still get 'tingles' when I do it, but I'm limited to one post a day (self-imposed limit, but whatever).

(d I had quite a bit of fun about a month ago sticking my fingernails into my gums to make them bleed (this is really messed up - I am fully aware of this). Now however, any form of self-harm just makes me feel physically in pain, and then empty and annoyed that nothing is working.

(e Sleep! Glorious sleep! This is, I think, the ultimate time waster. You can distract yourself all you want, and you can have as much fun as you like, but nothing makes the time go by as quickly as lying down and invading the land of Nod. This is one of the only good things about my medication - it makes me able to sleep basically at any moment I want to (and almost makes me sleep at other times when I don't want to). Another positive of sleep is that I can actually feel emotions in dreams. Not just the mental pain I normally feel, but weird emotions I didn't even know I had, like embarrassment. Crazy, right?

I plan to write, hopefully, a little more on sleep, especially since people seem to be searching my blog for it a lot, in the future. For now, with time restraints and how-much-I-can-be-bothered restraints, I can't really step up the prose or the content, so I'll make this a sort of little preliminary lead-up post to any post on sleep I do next.

*I don't recommend this for anyone by the way. The reward isn't worth the damage it does most of the time - it's only really worth doing if you don't care what other people think, don't care about being in physical pain all the time, and don't care about having the be taken to a mental ward. Which is a lot to not care about. I've only really done it in times of extreme pain - like where I'd otherwise scream from it.


  1. So if you're feeling intense mental anguish, you're incapable of feeling physical pain? Or at least dulled to it? Does it really work out that way?

    1. In my experience, they block each other - a migraine temporarily relieves emotional pain, and severe emotional pain makes physical pain a non-issue (if not welcome). While there is a lot of recent research on the neurological similarity between social/emotional pain and physical pain (same brain regions implicated, Tylenol relieves both), I haven't seen anything that specifically addresses the emotional/physical pain trade-off. If anyone has any links, I'd be interested.

  2. Snap re.entertainment and anhedonia. Never felt inclined toward the self-harm option myself. And sleep, yes, sleep, the greatest relief! I'd also suggest good long walks in a rural or semi-rural setting which can have a pleasant, mind-emptying effect.

  3. I take it you're too young to drink. Well, that's good and bad... if you REALLY don't give a shit what happens to you there's nothing like whiskey for a quick rush of some kind of feeling and then a rather long oblivion... yes, there's a hangover, but those used to be my guilty pleasure: you're far too busy dealing with the unavoidable physical pains of having poisoned yourself half to death to feel much of the old headshitties. Too bad I'm too old to benefit much from carousing anymore. Making a living can get in the way of that particular escape as well. When you're 21 you can bounce back and get on the job and feel better than you normally would thanks to the physical pain and mental numbness; when you're 30 or 40 not so much, but that's assuming you survive that long.
    Then again, I shouldn't be advising corruption to the youth. Ignore me. Just saying... if you make it to 21 and you still really don't give a shit, it is an option, though one with many pitfalls.

  4. Nope Ann, can drink in my country (18). Can't really though, since it's not exactly recommended with my medication. Also I am (a afraid of what I'd do if I drank and (b unable to explain to my parents why I would be drinking at home (can't drink with friends, they are mainly muslims and social outcasts). Still, I am thinking that supplementing my medication with other drugs is definitely the way to go in the future if this thing doesn't clear up - though again, gotta be out of the parents' house by then, and since the universities I picked are going to be so close to where I live, I can't explain to them why exactly I want to leave when it's just going to cost me money and my mental health (sort of).

    Thanks for the comments everyone, that was a pretty unexpected turn-out.

    1. I agree with Ann. Drinking has helped me somewhat.
      Beware, I have found it easier to cut myself when I've had a lot to drink.
      Still, sleep seems to be your best bet.

    2. Getting away from your parents would HARM your mental health?! Wow. That is endogenous depression if I've ever heard of it.

      Alcohol mixes better with some meds than with others... their blanket warnings are not very helpful. If you ever get a chance/feel the need, go slow and make sure you're in a safe place, preferably with someone you trust enough, although I realize that at the rock bottom of depression that isn't the likeliest scenario.

      But like EO Heim says, as long as you aren't suffering insomnia (which is hell), go for the sleep for as long as it keeps working.

  5. I just wanted to add a comment here to mention thanks for you very nice ideas. Blogs are troublesome to run and time consuming thus I appreciate when I see well written material. Your time isn’t going to waste with your posts. Thanks so much and stick with it No doubt you will definitely reach your goals! have a great day!

  6. When I feel mentally distressed, I find it helps to seek out Web sites like this because there are several great writers like yourself, Sister Y and Ann Sterzinger, who somehow make things seem not quite so bad by articulating the same kind of mental anguish I am feeling in a witty and entertaining way. Maybe there's no point in life overall, but I certainly treasure those small moments of connection, however fleeting they may be.