Symptoms and Behavior

There’s a huge difference between symptoms and behavior.

They do overlap.

Quite often.

And quite detrimentally at times.

But they are very different parts of me.

I thought they were kinda one in the same until this week.

Behavior is more of a controllable aspect.

To an extent.

Once I was aware of them.

Then I could start to try to control them.

On a different note, symptoms happen randomly.

Spontaneously.

Without any regard for how it will affect me.

So, maybe more impulsively.

And without warning.

But symptoms are something that I can’t control.

They happen regardless of my wants and needs.

They’re horrible.

Awful.

Terrifying.

And my behaviors reflect my interpretation of my symptoms.

If my symptoms are out of control.

My behavior will most likely follow suit.

Especially if I’m not aware of it.

Awareness is fucking crucial.

I was not aware of the extent of my mental illness until my life collapsed on itself.

But once I became aware.

I could tell my doctors what was actually happening.

Get my medication changed.

And have a better quality of life.

So my symptoms can directly relate to my behavior.

Not a lot of people work on their mental health as much as I do.

That’s not a brag.

That’s just something I’ve noticed.

It just is.

Neither bad nor good.

Well maybe a little bad, in my opinion.

But it’s draining to work on my mental health like I do.

It’s not for the weak.

It takes a lot of patience.

And I’m starting to learn how to care for myself because of it.

I’m now very aware that my behaviors are usually reactive.

They usually stem from internal and interpretation issues.

And my behavior can affect my symptoms.

If I don’t take my meds.

If I don’t go to therapy.

If I don’t make my injection appointments.

But now that I’m aware of the interaction between my behaviors and symptoms.

I can help curb some of the symptoms that become exacerbated from my behaviors.

As much as I can.

It’s not a perfect system.

It’s trial by error for sure.

Symptoms alone are an entirely different issue.

They stem from the abyss.

They stem from deep within a broken mind.

A mind that’s not firing properly.

For me, they can form as anything I’ve seen before.

Anything I’ve heard.

Ever.

It’s daunting.

And it absolutely has influenced my behavior over my lifetime.

So much so.

I know my symptoms took over my behavior for years.

They influenced everything that passed in front of me for a very long time.

When my symptoms took control of me I completely lost control.

Of everything.

I never really put much thought into separating these two.

Before last year I thought both were out of my hands.

I knew they were different from one another.

But I didn’t get how.

I didn’t understand where my symptoms stopped.

And where my behaviors began.

It was like a big unknown to me.

Once I breached that topic with myself.

And have been really trying to sort everything out.

It’s becoming easier to see them for what they are.

I started thinking about this in regards to my dissociation.

Is it a behavior that leads to the symptoms?

Or the symptoms taking over and inhibiting my behavior?

I realized.

After a few days.

That it’s the latter.

I can’t control when I dissociate.

But I can try my damndest to rope in my behavior while it’s happening.

The only problem is that dissociating can block my behaviors from my consciousness.

I won’t know what I did.

For example, dissociation is the only thing I really remember from all of last week.

That and what I wrote down for myself in my mood app notes.

It leaves a pocket of blankness in its wake.

Which can get very frustrating.

Especially because the blankness is a running theme in my life.

And I’m glad that today I know that my symptoms do not make up my personality.

That my behaviors do.

And just because I can’t control or change my symptoms doesn’t mean I’m out of control again.

I can now start to mold my behaviors into who I thought I was and what I thought I was doing, this whole time.

– Keren

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6 responses to “Symptoms and Behavior”

  1. This is an amazing thing to find out! Sometimes it hard for me to separate myself from my symptoms for my mental health. Some of it wasn’t my fault when I assumed it was. This is eye-opening. And you are right, you do take care of your mental health more than a lot of people. Most people can’t make a blog being honest about how they feel and just take care of themselves later. Who knows why? ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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