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margharris
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Body dysmorphia: The carer's role

Permanent Linkby margharris on Wed May 06, 2015 11:18 pm

He was shaking all over and calling out, ‘suicide, suicide, suicide,’ as he reached the side of my bed early this morning. He wanted a morning dose of Lyrica to be followed, once that kicked in, with his dose of Prozac. He commented that the faint noise of a garbage truck bothered him a lot. I could barely hear it. I took from this that his anxiety is at psychotic levels.
Although he wanted to raise the dose of Prozac again, I advised against it. The headache, anxiety level and return to bed yesterday are all signs of biological unbalance. The neurotransmitters are being affected and he needs to stabilize.
His brain is in FUD mode. Fear, uncertainty and doubt completely control his working focus. He is so fearful it is getting hard for me to watch. The deer in the headlights gaze as he talks. The hand constantly moving to grab body hair. His hand moving frantically to the back of his shirt and descends down his back to check body hair regrowth. I desperately try to control my urge to smack his hand. I just tell him how I am feeling about what he is doing instead.
He returns to bed and the Prozac dose seems to have calmed him down. I don’t hear a call until after 9. I know he can’t control the fear but there is little evidence he is doing much to challenge it either. We are still at the stage where he talks up the hair and I talk up the level of fear as the issue I am welcome to debate.
So what is the appeal of living with such a level of fear in your life. Hope for better and yet fear of the day being just the same as yesterday is a level of acceptance I don’t want for myself. It’s like a resignation. I question this appeal of fear. Where is the emotion of regret and guilt and the desire for challenge? The regret surrounding the loss of another day in your life to this fear. The guilt that I am living this hell with him. The challenge that he could resist his compulsions and check in with some logic. It is not that he is missing out on hearing it. I need to gag myself or leave. I am prone to write postits to give him some inspiration. I know it is for myself that I do it. Am I just doing so much that he has no purpose to fulfil. Nothing to be responsible or accountable for…not even his own illness. I question his motivation to get better. The emotion of regret, guilt and the feeling of being accountable for challenging himself is part of the motivation equation that isn’t present.
He calls for his Propecia tablet. But he doesn’t think he has to have a shower, dress himself, make a bed, open the curtains to see the light of day. He thinks his important activity is to take a tablet and fall back in bed in a heap.
His response to me reading this to him is to tell me he doesn’t give a $#%^. I am riled already by the lack of forward momentum and resignation. It wasn’t going to help my cause but having to recognize an outreach worker is needed to get him to cooperate to even wash hair is hurting me. And that is the problem. There is a strong passive aggressive personality in there. Do you call it learnt helplessness?
He tells me it isn’t appropriate for my blog. I tell him to follow his own advice and start to respond to his own needs and stop calling out. The day isn’t going well. Is it? He calls out for me to turn off the passage light. It is 10.12 am and he is in paralysis mode.
I am going to a hairdresser soon. I am due for a dying, in a different form than my daily experience. The cover up, mask like smile will be worn throughout. How can anyone know what this is like to live through? It is just so painful. This is my son and I had hoped for so much more for him. It feels so unfair. I can only hope things will get better.
I have thought about deleting all this but then again, I am not impervious to this pain. I am hurting and grieving for a happy life but the control to grab it is out of my reach. The carer’s role and family support are a vital ingredient in any recovery. I still need to let the tears flow. I have to trust that this all has a purpose. Our suffering now will be of help in the bigger picture.
Thanks to those who continue to support my journey. Your messages do keep me going. Marg

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