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Meningitis - Long Term Effects, Behavior

Hello, all.

I had meningitis when I was little more than an infant. According to my parents it was severe enough for my doctors to have them prepare for "the worst". My parents never trusted doctors much (my father says "the best way to avoid being sick is to avoid going to the doctor"), so they avoided taking me to see them as much as they could.

I presume some or most of the after-effects went unnoticed, though my parents will not say anything apart from that story of how I almost died despite my persistence over the last 20 years in asking about my early childhood. Unfortunately with a constantly absent father, an angry and resentful mother (she used to yell things like "everything happened because you were born" at me) and most days spent home alone while the rest of the family was off at work or school there was little support to speak of.

Luckily, I hardly even remember the vast majority of my life - all I can recall are a few 10-20 second snippets from any given 2-3 year period. From an early age I have been able to memorize poems and numbers but not conversations or experiences.

I have had memory and vision problems, tinnitus, shaky hands, problems with motor functions, epilepsy, migraines and a weakened immune system for as long as I can remember.

I do not have access to my childhood medical file, which leads to many frustrations now that I can and do visit the doctor on my own.

Of course all of this has come together to form a wonderful cocktail of behavioral issues against which I have been fighting a losing battle all my life - lethargy, mood swings, the occasional burst of anxiety, near impossibility to concentrate, a sense of loss and grief which has plagued me for almost a quarter of a century, dependency, impulsiveness and anger which I have managed to contain but which disrupts my health every time it occurs (my digestive system seems to turn on its ear, I often heave and sometimes vomit).

I am still working very hard on behaving and reacting in a manner that I and those around me can accept. Despite draining most of my energy every day, these efforts seem doomed to failure. I only remember one period of time where I seemed to be the patient, calm, cheerful, nice person I want to be - when I was in my teens and had to take massive amounts of painkillers for the constant migraines, back pains and random aches all over my body.

Now that I have work, school and a social life I simply cannot afford to be sedated to such an extent and mostly bear with my migraines and pains or drink huge amounts of tea, as the warmth and some of the herbs, like chamomile, have a soothing effect.

Does anyone have any advice on dealing with the behavior and emotions this nonsense keeps triggering? Ideally, I would prefer to stay off medication as I have a very low tolerance for most chemicals.
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