I spent a year in a psych ward instead of going to jail 4 years ago. It was the worst experience of my life. I coudnt go outside most of the time, my girlfriend didnt visit much (for personal reasons) and i got very few visitors anyways. I tried to keep focused on my goals but it became an obsession to do so. I couldnt STOP thinking. Whe i got out, i was sent to a group home and was not allowed to leave the house for more than an hour or two at a time for almost a year, preventing me from continuing my career as a cyclist. After almost 2 years they gave me an apartment and i tried so hard to go back to normal, but it didnt work. So, i gave up cycling. Ever since the hospital, i cant seem to stay goal oriented, and, in the rare case i do, i get distracted by some "better" thing. I get hyped up for something, obsess over it, dissect it and drop it. In 2 years i have tried cycling (again), several types of martial arts, weight lifting, jobs, college and now, the idea of joining the military. Having always been a driven, focused person, this is a torture worse than hell. I have tried therapy, medication, hypnosis, self help books and meditation. I feel there is no point to living if i cant solve this problem. What could this be?
It sounds like a very traumatic experience that you had in the psych hospital and the group home, and regardless of any other issues going on with you, I would do some work on resolving those traumas (meridian tapping/EFT would be my first choice of methods to work on that). As far as figuring out what's going on with you, I'd be curious to know what therapists and doctors have diagnosed you with in the past. I'm guessing you've had several different diagnoses by different people.
Some of the issues you describe sound like Bipolar Disorder; Some like Obsessive-Compulsive issues; Some like depression. Just because you've had therapy in the past doesn't mean it was good therapy, or the right kind of therapy. And trying medications would do no good (or even make things worse), if they were inappropriate medications, or simply the wrong medications for you're constitution. So I encourage you to not give up just because you've tried many things that seem to have not worked up until now.
The average length of time before a person receives an accurate diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder is more than 10 years. They might be diagnosed with Depression, anxiety, OCD, ADHD, Borderline Personality, etc, until they get a more fitting diagnosis of Bipolar. On the other hand, it's possible to have more than one diagnosis (such as Bipolar and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Attention Deficit Disorder);
The problem with diagnosing is that the medical community would have you believe that there is one single cause of a "disorder" or psychiatric "illness," (even if they don't understand what that cause really is). And their answer is usually medication, and maybe psychotherapy.
But the truth is there are multiple factors and triggers that can cause the symptoms of a "psychiatric illness." From digestive problems causing protein deficiency, to toxin exposure, and various other issues that can disturb brain functioning. Those issues are rarely even considered by mainstream doctors.
One of the more powerful techniques I've found and use routinely with my clients is Meridian Tapping/EFT. I love it because it's usually fast, it's specific, very versatile, and can be used to permanently relieve both emotional/psychological and physiological issues, as it seems to activate the mind-body's natural healing potential.
Don't give up looking for the answer. There is a lot to explore and discover and no matter how much you've learned and tried different things to help yourself - there is always more.
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist