CJ Rad

@cjrad007
I’m a writer who is working on getting a short story published. I have about 15 diagnoses that have made me disabled, so I’m not going to name them all here. I am an INTJ Meyers-Briggs personality type, and a Highly Sensitive Person who may be on the autism spectrum. I am punk at heart yet very spiritual.
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My therapist, my psychiatrist, and my mom are suspecting that I am on the autism spectrum. It’s not a surprise, but now that I’m seeing my symptoms in a new light, it seems crystal clear.
But, since I last posted, things have taken a down turn. My dog has become aggressive, and has drew blood on my multiple times- luckily he’s only 3 pounds. We’re trying to find a trainer for him but with each incident, I completely lose control.
It’s not just the dog, either. My therapist is retiring and I just had my last session with him. I’d seen him for over 13 years, so that change is difficult. I have a DBT therapist right now because I will soon be starting a 14 month DBT program, so I have someone else to reach out to.
Add in new diagnosis, the pressure of taking care of the dog all by myself, not feeling guilty because I’ve been spending my own money on myself, I just... last night he bit me pretty good with his walleye like teeth. I cried so hard. I texted and called my mom, dad, and brother multiple times begging for help- but they were asleep. And this morning I woke up just stone faced and having trouble talking. I can’t think straight or explain what I’m feeling. And most importantly, I don’t know how to help myself. What do I do? Usually when this happens, we all just blamed it on my depression and I was told to get out of bed, etc. But I can’t.
My room is darkened, I have on my noise-cancelling headphones and watching a show at a low volume. But it feels like I can’t move. Any tips? Do I just let myself cry with this stoic expression until I feel better? #Autism

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PTSD from psych ward

Went to psych hospital for suicidal ideation. I was strip searched naked, laughed at by the nurses while they did it and joked about me hiding drugs on my body (I don’t even do drugs). Windowless tiny facility with aching fluorescent lights and no color. I have never felt so trapped and claustrophobic in my life. I paced the hallways for hours on end, in the same pattern, for 5 days cause there was nothing to do except color. I was deprived a shower for 5 days and wore the same clothes morning and night, could smell my own odor and told I might not get out for 75 days. I was threatened by other patients who entered my room at night. Now, I am home and I wake up gasping for air at night, shaking and scared. #Trauma #PanicDisorder #PanicAttack #Anxiety #SuicidalThoughts

54 people are talking about this
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PTSD from psych ward

Went to psych hospital for suicidal ideation. I was strip searched naked, laughed at by the nurses while they did it and joked about me hiding drugs on my body (I don’t even do drugs). Windowless tiny facility with aching fluorescent lights and no color. I have never felt so trapped and claustrophobic in my life. I paced the hallways for hours on end, in the same pattern, for 5 days cause there was nothing to do except color. I was deprived a shower for 5 days and wore the same clothes morning and night, could smell my own odor and told I might not get out for 75 days. I was threatened by other patients who entered my room at night. Now, I am home and I wake up gasping for air at night, shaking and scared. #Trauma #PanicDisorder #PanicAttack #Anxiety #SuicidalThoughts

54 people are talking about this
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Tomorrow will be interesting. #nervous #Anxiety

Tomorrow I start back work after having COVID. I know I should have no reason to be worried about going back to work but I am. The people I work with are amazing and I know will be happy to see me. I just worry over how much I have missed and if I will even have the energy I need to get through the day. I guess tomorrow will tell. Hopefully I can get a good nights rest tonight.

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Just saying hello .... it’s been a while 💗

<p>Just saying hello .... it’s been a while 💗</p>
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Who would you dedicate the autobiography of your life to?

<p>Who would you dedicate the autobiography of your life to?</p>
189 people are talking about this
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Someone please tell my ribs to relax!!

It’s been a while since my ribs hurt this much. I’ve been diagnosed with costachondritis but it’s usually pretty mild and well managed by my medications... until last night when i woke up with absolutely searing pain in my ribs!! The weather change has been hard on me this year and moving towards the colder months is giving me a bit of anxiety about my pain increasing. How have you been managing? What are some cold weather hacks you’ve found?? I’m mostly relying on my heated blankets and heating pads to keep my joints from being too stiff!

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What do you really mean when you say “I’m fine”?

<p>What do you really mean when you say “I’m fine”?</p>
165 people are talking about this
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How Do I Work Bipolar Disorder Into My Mystery Novel?

As some of you may know, I have written two nonfiction books, bipolar disorder Me and bipolar disorder Us.

Now I’m working on a different kind of writing project – a mystery novel. I had written about two-thirds to three-quarters of it when life happened and I had to put it away for a few years. Now I am back to working on it, and one of the changes I decided to make was to have my main character, a journalist, be bipolar disorder.

It would be too easy and too cheap for me to make the murderer bipolar disorder, and less interesting, I think, than having the person who unmasks the killer struggling with a mental disorder while she does so. The world has had enough of psychologically damaged or deranged killers – especially serial killers. Such a novel would do nothing to lessen the stigma surrounding mental illness – would, in fact, increase it. Too many people already believe that most people with mental problems are dangerous.

One of the people who beta-tested my first four chapters described my main character as “ditzy,” which wasn’t what I had intended. Now, I think maybe she was on to something. Perhaps Maggie seems ditzy because bipolar disorder puts her out of sync with the neurotypical world. Perhaps her reactions are not “standard.”

I don’t want the book to be about her bipolar disorder. It’s still a mystery novel, with a crime to solve, interviews with suspects, dangerous situations, and all that. I just want to have a bipolar disorder person playing an active, positive role.

But how to introduce the concept of bipolar disorder? Should I just have Maggie say early on, “I have bipolar disorder“? (It’s written in first person.) Should she explain what that means to another character?

I think I’d rather have bipolar disorder as subtext, dropping hints that Maggie may have certain traits like imposter syndrome, hypersexuality, and depression; that she takes meds for the condition; that she functions well most of the time, but sometimes an event will send her off the rails. There might even be a chapter where the action stops for a few pages while we see Maggie trying to fight off the depression that is threatening to stall her quest for the answer.

I don’t know of too many bipolar disorder protagonists in fiction, and even fewer in mystery fiction. The only one that comes to mind is Bo Bradley, in one of Abigail Padgett’s series of novels. (I wrote about her and her character once: wp.me/p4e9Hv-nE.)

In my interview with Padgett, she said, “the experience of people who live with real, clinical mood disorders is still fraught, dangerous and revelatory….But the general public, including me, cannot ever actually ‘get’ what a manic or depressive or psychotic episode feels like.”

That may be true, but people experience many things in fiction – spaceflight, mountain climbing, murder – that they never do in real life. One of the marks of a really good writer is to transport the reader into the story so that it seems real, so that the reader understands what it is to fly that starship and meet that alien, climb that mountain or die trying, or kill that person who threatens you.

Perhaps, if I plan, write, draft, tweak, and edit carefully, I can show the experience of trying to do work – important, difficult work – while fighting the effects of bipolar disorder. It’s a different sort of writing than my nonfiction books.

It’s still a long way off. First, of course, I have to finish writing the damn thing. Then I have to sell the idea to an agent, who will then try to sell it to a publisher. Or I could go the indie route, which would be quicker, but not as satisfying.

Any suggestions?

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