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About me and why I created this blog

Sharing the joy of movement and raising awareness for mental health.
My name is Jasmine, 28, engaged, bisexual, cat mom, mental health advocate, and fitness enthusiast.
Mental illness has a stigma and some people feel alone because of it. I know I used to feel alone because of it. I’m using fitness and mindfulness to survive with borderline personality disorder, schizpaffective, and bipolar. I want to educate people on what mental health is like and how they can help the people in their lives who struggle or deal with mental illness. I also want others to know they are not alone in this battle. That they can make it.
Fitness is also another passion of mine and I think more people should embrace it. Fitness and running helped me quit smoking cigarettes. I want people to live the best life they can.

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/jazzyfitness_journey/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JazzyFitness1

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JazzyFitness1/

Strava – https://www.strava.com/athletes/18880651

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Impostor syndrome and being validated

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Impostor Syndrome is when you feel like you can’t accept your accomplishments. You feel that you don’t deserve the congratulations or acknowledgement over what you achieved because you feel like it was luck. You feel like at any moment someone is going to call you a fraud for what you achieved.

It’s not uncommon for people to feel this way. I know that once I learned what Impostor Syndrome was it clicked with how I have been feeling. I feel that no one should congratulate me or appreciate what I accomplished but at the same time I need that validation. These two emotions are very confusing and can cause me internal conflict.

When I achieve something I appreciate it for a while, someone will congratulate me or validate me and it feels nice at first, and after a while I feel like a fraud and that I need to be more or accomplish more because what I have done isn’t enough.

I think for me personally I can be a little self centered because I keep thinking about myself. I think about what others think of me. I worry that any mistake I do will just wipe out anything I accomplished in their eyes.

Some things that might help you with Impostor Syndrome

1 – Try to accept when people give me compliments or congratulate me on my accomplishments. Try not to overthink it. When I find myself doing this you have to remind myself that you’re enough. You don’t need to be amazing or perfect at something.

2 – Try to be more self accepting of my accomplishments. Try to find things you appreciate in your life. It can be as simple as being able to brush your teeth or cleaning the kitchen. Life is a journey and you should appreciate the good and the bad.

3 – Be open about your emotions because talking about it can be freeing. Creating this blog or blog posts is a way for me to express myself.

4 – Try to remind yourself that trying new things and potentially making mistakes is okay. It’s better to try and make mistakes and improve than to never try at all.

5 – I like encouraging and supporting others in their accomplishments and success. It doesn’t matter how big or small it might seem.

6 – You can reward myself with things I enjoy like watching anime, playing games, listening to audible, etc…

Sometimes I get nervous about being open and honest but I think it’s important that more people talk about their struggles or mental health. I just want you to know that you matter and your feelings are valid. Your accomplishments should be celebrated no matter if it’s big or small.

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Learning how to relax when you feel like you’re not good enough.

I have been trying to learn to relax again. I feel that I need to constantly be doing something. I feel that even when I’m successful at something that I should be doing more. That what I accomplished isn’t enough. Sometimes this isn’t a bad thing but when you’re constantly obsessing about not being enough it can wreck havoc on your mental and physical health.

It gets old when I constantly feel inadequate because I don’t have a job because of my mental health. It doesn’t make me any less of a person. I’m doing my best with the time I have. I do still have goals I want to achieve and I do want to keep improving. I also want to be able to relax sometimes. To just be able to play some games, watch anime, read a ton of books, and start working on my writing more.

It’s weird to me that this is what I’m struggling with again. I’m trying to live in the present and not worry about the future. I can’t predict everything that might happen in the future and that’s okay.

The same way I try to help and encourage others when I’m messaging people on crisis text line as a counselor. I’m learning I shouldn’t be so hard on myself either. If I was to talk to a friend or someone I care about and judge them and talk negatively to them. The same way I do to myself they wouldn’t be a part of my life for long. I just have this one life to live and I want to make the most of it.

Crisis Text Line – We are here for you

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I am now a crisis text line counselor. So far it’s been a fantastic experience. It’s like having another family.

Crisis Text line is for anyone in a crisis or needs someone to listen to them. You won’t be judged. It’s free. Just text “home” to 741741.

Now I can help people and spread more information about mental health. It can feel very isolating when you feel that no one is there to listen to you or when you’re being judged.

I want to create a place with my social networks, blog, and as a text  crisis counselor where people can open up and be themselves.

Schizoaffective Bipolar – A form of Schizophrenia

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I have a mild form of schizophrenia called schizoaffective. People will sometimes avoid others if you mention having anything linked with schizophrenia it can be scary if someone is misinformed.

May is mental health awareness month and I think more people should know about this disorder. I have Schizoaffective bipolar. At first I thought my bipolar diagnosis was something separate but it’s a part of my schizoaffective disorder.

Schizoaffective disorder is defined from mayoclinic as ”

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental disorder in which a person experiences a combination of schizophrenia symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, and mood disorder symptoms, such as depression or mania. The two types of schizoaffective disorder — both of which include some symptoms of schizophrenia — are:

  • Bipolar type, which includes episodes of mania and sometimes major depression
  • Depressive type, which includes only major depressive episodes

Schizoaffective disorder may run a unique course in each affected person, so it’s not as well-understood or well-defined as other mental health conditions.”

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Symptoms include

  • Delusions — having false, fixed beliefs, despite evidence to the contrary
  • Hallucinations, such as hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there

(I think people are plotting to kill me, to hurt me, or to harm me in some way. I sometimes think people can read my thoughts, or there are security cameras in my home. I sometimes have very self destructive internal conversations about myself.)

  • Symptoms of depression, such as feeling empty, sad or worthless

 

  • Periods of manic mood or a sudden increase in energy with behavior that’s out of character

 

  • Impaired communication, such as only partially answering questions or giving answers that are completely unrelated
  • Impaired occupational, academic and social functioning
  • Problems with managing personal care, including cleanliness and physical appearance

It also depends on if you’re bipolar or depressive schizoaffective.

The Cause

The cause of schizoaffective can be a combination of different things like genetics or brain chemistry and structure.

Taking psychoactive drugs, having a family member with schizophrenia, or stressful events can cause schizoaffective.

Complications

People with schizoaffective disorder are at an increased risk of:

  • Suicide, suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts
  • Social isolation
  • Family and interpersonal conflicts
  • Unemployment
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Developing alcohol or other substance abuse problems
  • Significant health problems
  • Poverty and homelessness

 

Diagnosis 

Some ways that someone can get diagnosed is though having a physical exam to rule out any physical illness or health issues, test and screenings to rule out any similar disorders and a psychiatric evaluation by a doctor or professional therapist and it’s very important that you don’t self diagnose.

Treatment

“People with schizoaffective disorder generally respond best to a combination of medications, psychotherapy and life skills training. Treatment varies, depending on the type and severity of symptoms, and whether the disorder is the depressive or bipolar type. In some cases, hospitalization may be needed. Long-term treatment can help to manage the symptoms.”

Medications

In general, doctors prescribe medications for schizoaffective disorder to relieve psychotic symptoms, stabilize mood and treat depression. These medications may include:

  • Antipsychotics. The only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration specifically for the treatment of schizoaffective disorder is the antipsychotic drug paliperidone (Invega). However, doctors may prescribe other antipsychotic drugs to help manage psychotic symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.
  • Mood-stabilizing medications. When the schizoaffective disorder is bipolar type, mood stabilizers can help level out the mania highs and depression lows.
  • Antidepressants. When depression is the underlying mood disorder, antidepressants can help manage feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or difficulty with sleep and concentration.

Psychotherapy

In addition to medication, psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, may help. Psychotherapy may include:

  • Individual therapy. Psychotherapy may help to normalize thought patterns and reduce symptoms. Building a trusting relationship in therapy can help people with schizoaffective disorder better understand their condition and learn to manage symptoms. Effective sessions focus on real-life plans, problems and relationships.
  • Family or group therapy. Treatment can be more effective when people with schizoaffective disorder are able to discuss their real-life problems with others. Supportive group settings can also help decrease social isolation and provide a reality check during periods of psychosis.

Life skills training

Learning social and vocational skills can help reduce isolation and improve quality of life.

  • Social skills training. This focuses on improving communication and social interactions and improving the ability to participate in daily activities. New skills and behaviors specific to settings such as the home or workplace can be practiced.
  • Vocational rehabilitation and supported employment. This focuses on helping people with schizoaffective disorder prepare for, find and keep jobs.

Hospitalization

During crisis periods or times of severe symptoms, hospitalization may be necessary to ensure safety, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and basic personal care and cleanliness.

Electroconvulsive therapy

For adults with schizoaffective disorder who do not respond to psychotherapy or medications, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered.

Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic

Coping and support

Schizoaffective disorder requires ongoing treatment and support. People with schizoaffective disorder can benefit from:

  • Learning about the disorder. Education about schizoaffective disorder may help the person stick to the treatment plan. Education also can help friends and family understand the disorder and be more compassionate.
  • Paying attention to warning signs. Identify things that may trigger symptoms or interfere with carrying out daily activities. Make a plan for what to do if symptoms return. Contact the doctor or therapist if needed to prevent the situation from worsening.
  • Joining a support group. Support groups can help make connections with others facing similar challenges. Support groups may also help family and friends cope.
  • Asking about social services assistance. These services may be able to help with affordable housing, transportation and daily activities.

Also, avoid drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Drugs, tobacco and alcohol can worsen schizoaffective symptoms or interfere with medications. If necessary, get appropriate treatment for a substance use problem.

Preparing for your appointment

If you think you may have schizoaffective disorder or that your loved one may have it, take steps to prepare for the appointment, whether it’s with a primary care doctor or a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist.

If the appointment is for a relative or friend, offer to go with him or her. Getting the information firsthand will help you know what you’re facing and how you can help your loved one.

What you can do

To prepare for the appointment, make a list of:

  • Any symptoms you’ve noticed, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment
  • Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
  • All medications, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, herbal preparations and any other supplements, and the doses
  • Questions to ask the doctor to help you make the most of your time

Some basic questions to ask include:

  • What is likely causing the symptoms?
  • Are there any other possible causes?
  • How will you determine the diagnosis?
  • Is this condition likely temporary or long term?
  • What treatments do you recommend?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you’re suggesting?
  • What are the side effects of the medication you’re prescribing?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
  • What websites do you recommend?

Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions during the appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask several questions, such as:

  • What symptoms have you noticed?
  • When did you start noticing symptoms?
  • Have symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • Have you thought about or attempted suicide?
  • How are you functioning in daily life — are you eating regularly, bathing regularly, going to work, school or social activities?
  • Have other family members or friends expressed concern about your behavior?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
  • Has anyone else in your family been diagnosed with or treated for mental illness?

Be ready to answer these questions so you’ll have time to go over any other points you want to focus on.

 

My experience with Schizoaffective Bipolar 

I experience paranoia that someone is going to harm me or that I’m being watched by video cameras inside my apartment. I hear voices saying how useless and worthless I am and that I’m better off dead or that my mom knows she should of have had a abortion with me. I sometimes feel that people can read my thoughts.

This is a sample of what the voices can sound like to me. Listening to this video might trigger you or those around you. Maker sure you’re safe. It’s best listened to with headphones on for full effect. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vvU-Ajwbok

I also experience mania where I feel like I’m on top of the world and can do and achieve anything. I jump from subject to subject or from activity to activity. It’s almost like being on to much caffeine and not being able to control it. After mania is usually a fall on the opposite end where I feel worthless and it’s hard for me to do basic functions like getting out of bed or looking after myself

I survive this with fitness, mindfulness, therapy, and medications.

If you believe someone might be suffering with schizoaffective or any other mental illness please urge them to seek help and let them know they have a support system.

 

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If you or someone you know is suicidal please reach out to them or reach out for help. You can call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255

or text “HOME” to 741741

 

Sources 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizoaffective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20354504

Home

https://www.crisistextline.org/

 

 

Suicide Attempt Survivor and what that means

When someone attempts suicide it can change them. It can change them in a positive or negative or both. It can change how people view and treat them. It can make people watchful and scared. It can make the person who attempted feel they lack privacy. It can cause people to start blaming them or criticizing them. A lot of emotions and actions can occur.

When it comes to someone who has attempted suicide there should be open dialogue and patience to try to understand what might have led to that point. Patience to understand what might be going on in their head.

I’m not sure how many times I attempted suicide. When my mom found out about my attempts for the first time she broke down in tears. Another attempt happen later in my life and my mom cried once again. My boyfriend at the time called the ambulance upon learning that I attempted to overdose on pain pills. The thing is I didn’t want to die necessarily. I just needed the noise to stop. The emotions to stop. The feeling of paranoia and sometimes emptiness to stop. I didn’t see another way out.

There are times I feel blessed that I didn’t succeed in taking my life. There are other times where I wish I wasn’t here or wasn’t even born at all. Dealing with a mental illness daily can be draining. I wish I could put how bad it can be in words. The thing about attempting suicide is that for some the thought can pop up at any given moment. When something doesn’t go right I can just end my life. Treatment isn’t working I guess it’s time to check out of life. I know as I got older that suicide would never truly end my pain.

I have been attempting to raise awareness about mental health and try to work with my own mental illness. It’s strange that I’m 28 now and I didn’t think I would live to turn 18 years old. I was sure I would be dead before than. Now I’m piecing together a life that I want to be proud of. After you attempt suicide and survive you feel a bit lost on what to do next. You question your purpose in life.

I’m hoping to keep people away from ever experiencing any of this. I don’t want anyone to attempt to take their own life. It will solve nothing. I know it’s easier to say this but I still struggle but I want to keep fighting. I want to keep trying to build a life I’m happy with. I think others can do the same. Even when I’m in the darkest depths of my mind I want to keep trying. It can be a bit scary for me to post about certain experiences but I want others to feel they aren’t alone. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making sense to people when I speak to them and when I make posts.

I want to share what it’s like to battle with your mind and to stop the stigma surrounding it. Maybe once we open up conversation more people can seek out help and they won’t feel so alone. They won’t feel that ending their life is the only option. I know that some days it can be hard to get out of bed but we must keep moving forward. We must keep fighting to live and create a good life for ourselves.

I wish I could say I knew the all the answers for how to make this happen but I don’t. I do know that ending your life won’t be the solution. That’s what I tell myself at least. I am a suicide attempt survivor and you’re not alone.

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If you or someone you know is suicidal please reach out to them or reach out for help. You can call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255

or text “HOME” to 741741

 

https://www.crisistextline.org/

Home

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Craving cigarettes and hitting a mental wall

I didn’t think I would be the type of person that started smoking cigarettes. To be honest I never understood why people would start if the knew the harm it caused.

To be honest I was feeling pressured and stressed from dealing with borderline personality disorder, schizpaffective, and bipolar. I was also dealing with low self esteem and self worth. On top of that my weight was getting out of control due to unhealthy eating, little activities, and the medication I was on at the time.

I thought that one or two cigarettes would be fine. After a while I was smoking about one pack a day and sometimes a little more. I was becoming a chain smoker. It was putting a strain on my fitness and my running. Starting my exercise and fitness journey helped when it came to me finally deciding to quit smoking.

Running is one the things that is helping me stay away from cigarettes. I don’t want to ruin my progress. I also don’t want to ruin my health and what I’m attempting to improve. I haven’t smoked a cigarette in 9 months. June will make 1 year without smoking. Unfortunately I still have cravings. I still want to go buy a pack of cigarettes a smoke one if I’m stressed or feeling overwhelmed.

I worry sometimes that I won’t be able to fully be smoke free but I’m trying my best. I’m trying to take it one day at a time. I know that quitting smoking has improved my running and my cardio workouts. I don’t feel as tired and I can breathe easier. I try to remind myself of this when I’m having cravings. The first week of my quit was the worst but I made it though and now I’m close to 1 year. A motto I use is not another puff no matter what. If I was to smoke a cigarette I will have to reset my quit date. I would hate to have to lose all of that progress.

When I have a craving I will go for a run, bike ride, walk, workout, or even play Just Dance. Working out can release endorphins and it can help a lot with cravings.

Recently I have been focusing more on my mental health. Sometimes I feel drained just trying to get though the day. It feels that I hit a mental wall but I think posting to my blog would help me if I stay consistent. I also started training for crisis text hotline and I hope to be able to let others know they aren’t alone. I want to be able to support others.

Some days it’s hard for me to just be productive but I’m just taking it one step and one hour at a time. I’m also exploring my faith. Currently still identify as Christian. Sometimes this does help me with my anxiety. I don’t know if that’s a weird way to see it or not but for me it’s helping.

Currently working on accomplishing goals like streaming Just Dance and games on twitch, possibly starting a YouTube channel to raise awareness about mental health, volunteer text crisis as a counselor, fitness goals, participate in the great cycle challenge, take medication and see my therapist and doctors as well as look after my mental health.

Also practice more self love and self care and spend time with my cats and the ones I love.