Bipolar, Mania, Mixed Episode, Psychologist, Treatment

Labeling the Noise

I had an appointment with Dr F, the psychologist today. I told her about the voice I heard the other nightCan you tell me what was going through your mind when you heard the voice? Well I had one part of me saying “don’t be ridiculous, you can see there is nobody here!” While another part of me was terrified, to the point I had blocked the door shut to make sure nothing could come in. She then asked me if I was ever able to identify the part of me that is scared of the dark and doesn’t listen to reason, is it the little girl that was afraid of the dark? I thought about it for a moment – No, I begin to explain that I have never thought of these two parts as different ages but rather the rational mind and the crazy mind, the crazy mind being the one that lacks insight and can’t see that I am experiencing symptoms of bipolar.

I explain how a lot of the noise in my mind is dialogue, constantly talking, asking and answering questions, commenting on what I am doing and sometimes telling me to hurt myself if I am distressed. I also told her about the negative part that criticises and puts me down. Have you ever tried labeling them? You can call them whatever you find helpful. For example, when you notice the crazy mind coming out just acknowledge it and say that’s crazy mind and then ignore it. Labeling them?! But isn’t that going to lead to me having multiple personality disorder?! What is the fear here? Well, I answer, let’s say I acknowledge these other parts and one of them tells me to hurt myself then what? – How do I go back to ignoring these parts as she suggests? It is so hard to drown these ‘voices’ or ‘parts’ of me out. Ignoring it used to be possible, now it seems easier said than done.

Oh no – times up. We will pick this up next week. I’m walking back to work and the chatting starts again. “Shut up!” I yell in my head, “Just because she said to label you doesn’t mean I want to hear you!” Apparently inner dialogue is normal but how do you explain when it is so loud and difficult to ignore? When does normal inner dialogue become different parts of your mind addressing and talking to each other rather than someone talking to themselves? I have a session with my psychiatrist tomorrow, hopefully Dr I won’t say I should be carted off and locked away for good.



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