Friday, November 30, 2012

Discovering a Paradigm Shift in Mental Health?

Prof, Stephen Porges - "The Polyvagal Theory"

Understanding the Face-Heart connection, and hidden vitality affects, in human health?

The paradigm shifting discovery of a “polyvagal” control of the heart, explains just how, those of us suffering from unresolved trauma experience, become locked out of the social system of group survival, in our inability to self-regulate unconscious survival reflexes,
ie, freeze/flight/fight?

The theory shows just how “unconscious, spontaneous, social reflexes,” are inhibited in those of us struggling to cope with unresolved traumatic experience, so often diagnosed as a mental illness. In a computer analogy, its like having two distinctly different operating systems, (1) survival, (2) social. If our unconscious spontaneous social reflex functioning is “turned off,” by unresolved trauma experience, we cannot form the kind of healthy human relationships, so vital for our physical/emotional/mental health. See; The Polyvagal Theory Stephen W. Porges, PhD. Brain-Body Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bipolar Mania & its Re-Birth Experience?

A shift into mania & weeks of sleepless nights
"Wow! Wow! Wow! Has God just touched me on the shoulder? Is this a religious experience?"

I'd sat looking into a mirror in 1980, yearning for a new direction, something I could feed with a sense of dedication. I prayed sincerely, promising I'd do whatever was required if he’d just show me the way, give me a sign, help me please! Nothing happened for what felt like minutes as I sat there in hopeful expectation while looking at my own reflection, looking into my face.

Then it began, a new sensation, a feeling at the top of my head which flowed down slowly, down through my face, into my shoulders and down through my chest, down into my pelvic area. I sat with a sense of "what is it” wonder, although more felt than in any thinking sense.

A sense of wonder that was similar to the out of body experience when I was fourteen, except this slowly descending calm was the polar opposite of the sudden sharp elevation, when I'd seemly left my body. It felt like I'd been sitting in a bath of water that was over my head and someone had pulled the plug. I sat there as calm descended slowly from head to toe, as if a mind numbing tension were being drained out of me, like waste water flowing down and out through my toes. Next came a mindful realization of the experience in a pleasant and very welcomed surprise. I felt unburdened somehow, refreshed and excited, happy and new.

This was not like the out of body incident when I was fourteen years old, which had lasted for less than a minute. Here was a shift in mind-body awareness that was lasting beyond minutes, with a mellow yellow kind of pleasantness that was intoxicating, I suddenly felt more alive than I had ever done before. Feelings of muscular ease were most notable in my stomach, with an expanded sensory awareness that included a freshness on the surface of my skin. Perception changed, with room colors appearing deeper, brighter and every object seemed to have more depth too it. Background sounds were clearer, easier to perceive and define, like the rustling of leafs just beyond the open window. I could hear birds singing too, their music bringing an easy attention awareness to a degree I’d never experienced before. You could say I bathed in this new experience for a good few minutes, while the “what is it” wonder gave way to thoughtful questions about the seemingly heaven sent nature of it. I walked around the house retaining this everything feels so new perception before spending time in the garden, where I simply sat and listened to the birds sing.....

Monday, November 19, 2012

mood swings bipolar & suicidal ideation?

Mental Anguish & its Metabolism Within?
Letting go of "subjective states" is my salvation.
I feel it once again, attachment loss, as I gaze out the window of my room, here at the homeless men's shelter. Thoughts about Phen of coarse, my Thai partner of the last two and half years. Images of the shop/house come to mind, as I realize the time over there is now 3pm, "what's she doing," I wonder, finding myself in an unconsciously stimulated fantasy of attachment need. "A Fantasy Bond of Love Me Knots & Self-Nurture?," I remember writing on the first floor, just above where she will now be working, I assume. I lay my head down in familiar despair, with old thoughts of suicidal escape, my current pillow mate.

The Fantasy Bond in the Adult:
Establishing an imaginary connection with another person can become a major defense against unbearable anxiety. The illusion of connection to others is a dynamic formulation of a primitive, defensive inner world. Anxiety arises whenever this inner world is intruded upon, and especially when the fantasy bond, the imaginary connection, and one’s pseudo-independence is threatened. Anxiety aroused too, whenever there is awareness of one’s separateness and mortality. As humans, we are torn between pursuing an assertive goal-directed life, and depending on passive-dependant machinations that assure us of a fantasy bond.

How we resolve this basic conflict determines whether we have a free-flowing, changing existence or a static, rigid, defensive posture. The primary fantasy bond is the core defense underlying our resistance to change. It is the major barrier to a full, rich existence.” _Robert Firestone. “The Fantasy Bond.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bipolar Cycles & An Ongoing Process of Recovery

I return to Australia, after my Thai visa renewal is denied.
October 27th 2012: 9am, and I've arrived back in Sydney, fourteen hours after a very emotional farewell to my Thai partner of the past two and half years, and an abrupt end to my South East Asia sojourn.
As I waited inline at immigration the anxious butter-fly's in my stomach rose to higher flight, in respect for an increasingly imminent, family greeting.

"Stay grounded, resist replaying the scenes from the same arrival two years ago," I told myself. Considering how my oldest son James was waiting for me again, after agreeing to bail his father out of a self-imposed "fix," and fly me back to Australia. "No money, no home, no resources of a material kind, how could my children, not see me as having hit rock bottom?" I wondered, and would I get the chance to explain? Life is paradoxical, I thought, as I walked into the arrivals area carrying 15 less kilo's of luggage than I'd taken to Thailand almost three years before. Materially lighter, stripped of all possessions save for my precious laptop, six books and 20 kilo's of clothes. Objectively speaking, should I deny, my life appears to be going backwards? "Your a sad looser!" I probably would have told myself a decade ago, yet I feel more comfortable in my own skin than at any previous time in my life, ready, willing and able, to face the undoubted challenges to come.