Monday, 18 June 2012
ARE THESE THE ANSWERS I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR?
Life has a way of throwing up many different situations for us to deal with and whilst they are inevitably different for each and every one of us they are also 100% important to us because it is us as individuals that have to deal with our life situations and my latest situation is one of the most interesting but important ones that I have yet faced.As many of you may know I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in October 2008 and for me it was a brand new start and a chance for me to learn about myself and others and to have a deeper understanding of myself and for life to have meaning for me and far less questions.
In between getting the diagnosis and this point in my life so much has happened and I have achieved so much. I have done two successful years at Bradford College and have one successful year at Huddersfield University under my belt. I have learnt so much about life and people and in the process have become a far more knowledgeable person and a far better person in the process.However despite all this progress I still felt that there were many unanswered questions about myself but because of the progress I had made and the answers I had found I was content to accept that not all of life’s questions could be answered and so carried on trying to make the most of my life.
For the past six months I have been seeing a clinical psychologist for cognitive behaviour therapy and this has been helping me to understand how others behave and why. It was during one of my appointments that a whole new chapter in my life opened up.It all started when I got back in contact with an old school friend who had surgery last year for a brain tumour and is now making a full recovery. However he told me that he had, had to finish work and had, had major personality changes. This resonated with me because when I was 21 I had testicular cancer which was very advanced when it was found and had spread to my lungs and brain resulting in seven secondary tumours in my brain. At the time I had chemotherapy treatment which was successful and I never gave it a second thought until recently.
I mentioned this to my psychologist and immediately she said that it made more sense for me to have suffered from brain damage due to the tumours than to have Asperger’s Syndrome. Because of this I did some research of my own into brain damage on www.headway.org.uk and discovered that because the brain is so soft and complex it is very easily damaged and brain tumours whether primary or secondary can cause brain damage depending on where they are located in the brain.As I have researched further into the after effects of brain damage I am beginning to feel that many of my mental health issues are a result of brain damage from the tumours rather than any other issues. Even though the brain injury is only mild the repercussions from it and at least moderate. On their own the mental health issues I have may not cause many problems. However as my psychologist has explained to me it is far more common to have multiple mental health issues resulting from brain tumours especially because of the number I had.
So now I set off on yet another exciting journey of self-discovery. I am awaiting an appointment for an MRI scan to find out if the structure of my brain has been damaged and I need to see my doctor about getting a psychological assessment from a neuropsychologist. I am reflecting and analysing on my past and especially my present mental health and behaviour. But most importantly I am remaining positive and confident for the future because I have a truly amazing opportunity to learn about myself and why I am the way I am, but I also have the opportunity to change myself and my behaviour for the better and contribute more to society.