The Confession: I have been seeing a psychotherapist.
The Reason: Insomnia that has become physically and mentally painful
I know, I can’t believe I actually went, however my health insurance covers it, so I figured why not, lets see what they have to say about this. So here goes.
I will not go into too much detail about the psychotherapist, she is a middle aged woman, very nice, very intelligent, and is very easy to talk to. She seems very genuine and I have even given her some subtle tests to see if she was a phony, either she was smart enough to recognize them and told me what I wanted to hear, or she is genuine, either outcome is good enough for me.
Let me give you some background of the symptoms.
1. I perpetually tap, twitch, and roll things in my hands, whether its my shirt seams or paper, I cannot keep them still.
2. When I lay down to sleep it takes me at least an hour to fall asleep. This is caused by active brain and a very strange restlessness in my legs and arms…let me go further with this one since it has afflicted me my whole life. When I lay down at night, my arms and legs get extremely restless, If I dont move them it becomes physically painful. The pain builds up and gradually gets worse until I move them, then it subsides, then starts again. Sometimes I have to get up and pace for awhile to get them to settle down……strange, very strange. When it gets bad my muscles involuntarily twitch rapidly, over and over again, it is unspeakably uncomfortable.
3. When having conversations with people I am constantly looking around, at everything, and as I listen, I also have a conversation my head about what I am a feeling and a conversation in my head about whats going on in the environment around me.
These are the three main points I told the doctor. She was keenly interested in all this.
She said she noticed when I spoke to her that my eyes were rapidly moving all over the place as I was speaking and as she was speaking and she noticed my hands were in constant motion.
She tested me, without saying it was a test we began to talk. We had a 5 minute conversation, she then said “do you mind if we switch seats”? So we switched, I was now facing the opposite direction. Here is what followed
Her: What was the picture of behind me? (It is now behind me since we switched)
me: an ink drawing of a woman with a slight smile and her head cradled in her left hand.
her: what was to the left of me?
me: a chest of drawers with chinese characters on them….12 drawers total, 3 rows of 4.
her: what did I tell you would help your stomach problems
me: hydrochloric acid, however I told you that I often have acid problems and that may cause a different set of stomach pains in which you responded that I can take antacids and that you prefer tums becomes they have calcium and you are taking preventative measures against osteoporosis, but me being a young male does not have to worry about that, at which point your phone rang and you checked the caller ID, and mouthed the number to yourself and then seemed to recall who the number belonged to and then returned to the conversation.
her: that was thorough
me: ya, I tend to over explain things, by the way, the pothos plant that is behind me could use water, I noticed some wilting in the larger leaves.
her: I will note that.
She then paused and looked at me for a few seconds which made me rather uncomfortable.
That was a brief taste as to what went on. She did a few more observations and tests and then discussed what she thought might be going on.
One test was to read a few paragraphs in a book while she talked to me. She then asked me questions about our conversations and questions about the book. Both of which I could answer. She says next time she wants to try a book, conversation, and a talk radio conversation to see the extent of my comprehension.
She said that the results of her observational/tests on me were, well in her words “pretty incredible”. She asked me if I studied much in school or took notes, I laughed and said “I really didnt try to hard in school, and to be honest I could never study and my notebooks consist of doodles.” She said that is exactly what she expected.
Here is her “professional opinion” on the weird, unique being that is I.
I have a very well developed and heightened sensory perception. She believes my brain takes in the different parts of the environment around me, such as the visual part (colors, objects, movements) the audio part (sounds in the environment) and then the conversation I am involved in. She claims this is responsible for the 2-3 “conversations” I have going on in my head at once.
She then asked me if I have extremely detailed, long and involved dreams that sometimes may actually involve me physically feeling what is going on in the dream. I was like YES!!!! She explained that this is often the type of dreams someone with my brain activity has. Since it is very active during the day, it needs to be very active during REM to recharge. She said there is a small percentage of people who will actually be able to feel what is going on in their dreams, which can be frightening to the person. I told her about the time I dreamed I was in a knife fight and I felt the person slash my arm. She said that is exactly what she is talking about.
Now, how does this pertain to my restlessness? Here is what she said….
When a brain is as active as yours all day, it cannot just shut off at night. It is constantly processing. So what happens is that you have all these neurons firing, all these electric impulses going on, however the receptors are shutting down and not open to these impulses, the energy has to go somewhere, and this is most likely whats causing the twitching and restlessness……now how can we solve this???
Well she wants me to see a doctor to get some actual medical tests to make sure this is whats going on. So she gave me a number, she said she was going to call him to and explain to him her observations and he will do the medical tests. Apparently there is a medication you can take to help this, however do I want to help this? I mean I dont want to alter any of my brain activity, so if it does turn out this way I am going to say thanks but no thanks……