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Hi everyone,

I joined this forum because the DP community seems like the only one to take seriously people's problems with blank mind. Although I am not diagnosed with DP, my therapist does believe that trauma plays a role in how I'm doing. I'm also very medicated for a diagnosis of Bipolar 1 disorder, which has never sat well with me, and I'm concerned that my drugs could be causing this mental blankness.

Basically, I struggle to think about anything. My mind is ridiculously empty most of the time. I have better access to feelings in my body and the occasional mental imagery, but when it comes to words, nothing.

YET when I'm with people I can still carry on a conversation.

Alone, I can sit for hours, trying to get myself to move, to get myself to want to do something, to feel the urge or desire. I have to use all kinds of mental tricks - visualization, small movements, deliberately coming up with encouraging words (because they're not spontaneous), that kind of thing. I feel like I invest so much effort in getting the smallest response.

You could assume that I'm depressed, except I often don't feel sad at all, just scared or angry at times (from trauma, I think). Or if I do feel sad, it's not overwhelming. Plus I don't have depressive thoughts, I don't find myself beating myself up. I don't find myself thinking much at all.

Then, when it comes to "mania", I often do feel like the world is unreal somehow. Admittedly there are delusional thoughts, maybe wishful thinking, and some of the behaviours typical of mania.

Before I was medicated for the bipolar diagnosis, I had lots of thoughts. I felt fine that way. I knew who I was and my opinions. The thoughts just flowed continuously. But then they put me on meds and the thoughts stopped. Yet they did that at the same time as a very forceful, traumatizing hospital stay, which could have blocked things too. One time I was hospitalized, then got off the meds, and I did experience that sense of being blocked.

Needless to say with all this, I don't feel comfortable. I feel overly calm, if that makes sense. I feel artificially quiet inside. And instead of words, I just get muddy sensations. It's also really hard to concentrate, and I spent years trying to reconnect my words and images with my feelings in my body. I've gotten better at that, but sometimes I can't feel large parts of my body, emotionally.

I used to think of my "bipolar" as long periods of hypoarousal followed by shorter periods of hyperarousal, because it never felt like "ups" and "downs" to me. And none of the bipolar meds has put me in a place where I can function and feel fine. This after about 12 years of different trials, and going through every major mood stabilizer and many antipsychotics. They have either been intolerable (e.g. made me a zombie), failed to prevent "mania", or left me dysfunctional. But antidepressants have put me at risk of mania. I've gone in and out of the hospital at the same rate since being medicated as before. So I would say the bipolar treatment has been a failure.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I think the blank mind problem could be due to: trauma (some variation on DP?), meds (currently Lithium, Seroquel, a little Tegretol and clonazepam), "bipolar depression", or something neurological. I'm not sure how to figure it out, especially since my inner resources are so hard to access.

I could really use some help with this problem, as it's making my life very hard to live. I get up in the morning and just can't get myself going. It's like the fog circles round and round in my head and whenever I try to grasp a thought or idea, my hand might as well be vapour. I want to move, somewhere deep inside me, but that deep feeling can't make it to the surface and get me doing something. I feel really stuck in life, unable to move forward.

Thanks for reading.

Sara
 

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Hey sara welcome, I did write a lot but the page got refreshed so all is gone. I have to rewrite this time and I will keep it short. I'm also experienced with a lot of you have been through, trauma, use of antipsychotics, antidepressants. Used seroquel. Also had a blank mind. Depression. I will write what might cause you these things and how to approach to these issues.

1) Drugs are causing it most probably. Seroquel in high amounts is highly efficient in that. Even if not seroquel, you are using hard core antipsychotic drugs, these are not made to make people feel good but they are made to make people function in society, I'm really sorry, but is what it is. If you feel good you can offer to reduce your dosage and see how you feel. I know you can't quit since you have bipolar. You seem to have an active Right Mind(imagination, and awareness). Yet the drugs might block your verbal Left Mind(verbal expression) to keep you off the bay of bipolar.

2) Depression. Drugs also can induce depression, I'm so sorry. And depression can cause blank mind. And the reason you cannot get off on the couch. But it doesn't mean you can't tackle it while you are still using drugs Sara. I will offer my advices at the end of the page.

3) Unactive Left Mind by improved Right Brain functions when you always blocked by the drugs most of your life so you improved and enhanced your imagination and used it for the verbal part.

Sara you seem like a survivor and you seemed to me that you want to tackle these issues and not indulge in how you feel bad or how you feel blank mind. That is so great. First of all, you need to do things to reduce depression, and my best bet is your blank mind will lift up. I also had blank mind but could also speak greatly in interaction, but it is all with effort I know what you are going through. So my advice for your blank mind would be, try to reducing drugs with your doctor's approval, starting cardio or exercise immediately, the exercise is so important, it would kick your blank mind up, also try not to give yourself a hard time when you can't generate words Sara, accept your situation and know it will be better soon if you don't stress it, see your positives, when you are able to create sentences while you have blank mind, that is quite a success isn't it? It is not faking, it is maintaining an atittude till you get your mind back. Sara you could also look for Omega 3 and Vitamin supplements, try to eat good and maintain a positive attitude. Look for CBT therapy(you don't need to go to the therapy to use the techniques and therapy is not a most, search for CBT worksheets and learn what is CBT and get to work immediately, get a worksheet or a notebook and start doing exercises) and Mindfulness Meditation(download Headspace app or Insight timer or search Jon Kabat-Zinn meditations on youtube quickly and do these when you wake up or before you go to the bed, you will so much better). These are 2 approaches to beat depression anxiety and anything you are opposing now, it will be so hard with blank mind but I think you can do this Sara, I believe you. If you are able to use and apply what I say here, you probably will get your mind back in a month or less than it.
 
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