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Update (with a trigger warning)

**TRIGGER WARNING – I TALK OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS BELOW**

I know it’s been a while since my last post but I’ve had to concentrate on myself and getting things a bit straighter in my head before even thinking about getting it down in writing.

I’d literally just been admitted in my last post. Well, the next day, I met with my psychiatrist and although it was about 4pm on a Friday afternoon, she was willing to spend a bit of time talking to me. I told her I wanted to go home, that the ward had done its job and kept me safe and now it was time to be discharged. She obviously didn’t agree and said that no way could I have had a 180 degree shift in 24 hours. Ok, yeah, she was right but I really do hate being in hospital. We agreed that I could go out over the weekend as long as someone was with me (don’t even get me started on the whole, I’m informal, and therefore can leave whenever I want argument!!). And she also agreed to come and see me first thing Monday morning and if I still felt as I did, then I could go home. In the meantime my anti-depressant dose was doubled.

And so on Monday I was discharged. I told the psychiatrist what she needed to hear and was allowed home. Over the next few days though at home, I realised this was wrong on my part – I wasn’t feeling safe and how no idea how I was going to keep myself ok. For the first time ever, I admitted to myself that I’d asked for discharge when I really shouldn’t have done, maybe even just a couple of extra days would have been enough.

After a weekend struggling (my cc is currently off), I called duty first thing and asked to be referred to the home treatment team. I didn’t know what else to ask for because here’s the thing:

I have a rating from 0-10 on suicidal feelings. Anything below an 8 and I know it’s tough but they are just thoughts and I can deal with them myself. Above 8 and this is when I become a risk. My team know this and I’m totally honest with them if they ask. I guess in the past I’ve been a 9.5 and took action and then regretted it immediately and either hoped I hadn’t done any damage or a few times ended up in a&e.

However, my birthday attempt was a 10. I had made my peace with things and I was ready. The week before, I was happy and finally saw an end. When I woke up in hospital, I told them, “I just want to die, please just let me”. I had never felt that before. I’d always felt some kind of relief, but I was truly gutted.

I struggled for weeks with this feeling of devastation and went on to make another plan. This time however was when I ended up in the mental health unit at hospital and obviously the plan was scrapped for now.

So what next? Since last week I’ve had the home treatment team (htt) and I’ve tried to be as honest as I can with them and have been glad of the break in my days and I guess, ultimately an interruption to my ruminating thoughts when I see them. They can’t change how I feel though and to be honest, I’ve had a testing time trying to bring my number down to a manageable level.

I met again with my psychiatrist and we openly discussed things. I explained about me thinking I’d got it wrong in discharge but that it would be no use to go back in now, that my suicidal thoughts were still there but the intent was less and I could be trusted on my own. I know, and have mentioned before, that she runs a high risk management plan with me, but she does so knowing that if asked, I will be honest. (The reason I managed such a serious attempt on my bday was because I cancelled appointments so my cc couldn’t ask me.)

Anyway, in that appointment, we decided to try a new drug called abilify (new for me, not new on market). I’m kind of at the stage now where I’ll try anything and so I am taking it on a low dose this week and then having it doubled next week.

I think I will be discharged from htt next Monday as well as there isn’t anything else that can be done with them. And then it’s just a waiting game; waiting for my therapy re-assessment (that my psychiatrist said she is chasing up) and starting from there again.

Sorry, I’m aware this post is all over the place but that’s similar to my thoughts right now!

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Psychiatry Appointment

Tomorrow I have my quarterly appointment with my psychiatrist. It is essentially a catch up, making sure the meds I’m on are ok and if they need any change in the dosage.

However, after last weeks therapy assessment outcome, I feel I need to get everything off my chest. I told it all to my cc but as she is off she told me she wouldn’t have chance to explain my thoughts to my psychiatrist before my appointment.

I’m ok with this, I am more than capable of expressing my thoughts and opinions to my psychiatrist. I have a lot of respect for her, we have clashed heads somewhat in the past because we both speak our minds, but I also like her for that reason. When my cc realised she was off on the day of my appointment she said she wasn’t worried as I can more than hold my own, so now I just need to!

I’m pretty nervous about it, but only because I am still so annoyed about last weeks recommendation. When I spoke to my cc about it, she said we will review it when the therapists report comes through and that it isn’t a no, but just a not today.

I asked her how the circle can be broken because from my perspective they are saying I’m too high risk, but the reason I am high risk is because of the images and thoughts that are constantly going through my head with the trauma. I don’t need emotional regulation, I need help with the flashbacks and the fact I’m scared to sleep. I’d like to see how anyone (without trauma) deals with 2 hours sleep a night – if affects the mood in a massive way.

Using an analogy, I also told my cc that I feel that I’ve gone to my GP two years ago with a sore arm (PTSD symptoms) and initially they have tried treating that, but then they’ve seen a problem with my leg (even though I’ve never had any issues with it) and they decide to concentrate on that. And last weeks assessment makes me feel like they are recommending putting my leg in plaster and I keep saying but what about my arm? That’s my problem, why can’t we treat my arm?

I’m not sure how all this will come over to my psychiatrist tomorrow, but I can only hope I fight my corner well enough!

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Weird Experience, Anyone Else?

It’s currently 4am and another sleepless night. I’ve struggled the past two weeks to sleep much and to be honest I wasn’t going to share why on here. However, as I’ve said a few times before, I want this to be a ‘warts an all’ account of my journey because if I write about it, maybe someone else won’t feel as alone as I do!

After the visit from the police at the beginning of the month, I’ve really struggled. I think I’d put so much of my past into a box and shoved it as far away as possible, that it has all come pouring out and I’ve no way of stopping it.

The worst part happened last week. I think I’ve mentioned quantum physics in some other posts but it’s an area that I really find interesting and the whole parallel universe thing. There is nothing in that last sentence that is unusual but last week I felt like I had a connection. I can’t describe it any better than that, it was with an infant from a parallel universe (I don’t know how I knew this, i just did) and it was making me realise some things:

1) the meds I was taking were going to harm me
2) the ‘services’ who were part of my treatment were also out to harm me
3) the place where the infant was from, was a much better one and should join him there.

In the place I am now, I can see that maybe it doesn’t sound very logical. But I can’t discount that it wasn’t a real experience. I stopped my meds, I cancelled my care coordinators (cc) appointment and I shut myself away. When I told the pharmacist I didn’t need anymore medication, he contacted my GP, who in turn contacted my cc and she tried to get in touch.

I finally spoke to her this week and only because I started to become confused. Was this connection I was feeling real? Why would people want to hurt me? I decided to speak to her because in the past she has always done right by me and I had to trust the logic that she still would.

I went in to see her and we discussed what I’d said above and that I was confused. She told me that meds were always just an option for me. That they aren’t going to make me better, just maybe give me a notch on a ladder of emotions to work on and that only therapy will help me. She explained that I could stop them if I wanted, that her and my psychiatrist have always said that to me.

I left, still confused, but agreed to see her again later in the week and to have a think about whether I would be taking them or not. I’ve been so anxious and in a mess that I decided that if I was in control of taking them, then they couldn’t be to harm me and so on Wednesday I started them again.

On Thursday, we discussed what had happened and how my thoughts were. I explained I was still confused. How could I think something to be so true and know it as completely certain and yet it not be right? I still believe something happened last week and to be honest I’m still left with paranoia over people’s roles in my life and whether in actual fact, I shouldn’t be here and instead just carry on in some parallel universe and that this was a sign for me.

I’d be interested to know if anyone else has ever been through similar. My cc seems to think it is in the cluster of symptoms that my dissociation is in and it’s just one of those unanswerable things. However, I’d prefer to know more and why it happened and so if anyone knows of similar please let me know.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Psychiatrist Appointment

Today I had my quarterly psychiatrist review to see how I am getting on and if anything can be changed with medication etc. Normally my care co-ordinator is there as well but she couldn’t make it today so it was just me and my psychiatrist. I actually get on quite well with her, I think she is fair and I know that she backs the high risk management plan my care co-ordinator uses with me and without her, I’d be in a very different place right now.

Each appointment basically takes the same brief outline with questions such as:
How are you?
Do you think you are better or worse than last time you were here?
How do you think your meds are working?
How is work?
How do you see your future?
etc…

I generally struggle with these appointments because it feels like you have to bare your soul and then just be able to switch off all emotions once you’ve done that. It was all going ok until she asked about work and I told her about recent issues with my main client and with a smaller one which has left me with little income (I’m self-employed). In response my psychiatrist said she doesn’t think I’m fit for work and I should think about stopping it altogether at the moment.

I can see where she is coming from but I also think work has given me the incentive to get up at times and taken my mind off things. It has helped with my self esteem as I’ve known whilst working, my clients see some worth in continuing with my service and therefore that I am good at something.

We also spoke about suicidal thoughts and my recent overdose. I explained that I’m currently struggling daily with thoughts but they have just been thoughts. I told her that I have the means and a plan but that’s all and the last time I seriously thought about it was this morning but my plan needed darkness so I didn’t do anything. I guess this shows me how precariously on the edge I am – if it was dark and I had those feelings would I have gone through with it? I can’t answer that right now!

My psychiatrist then told me that on Friday, her, my cc and a psychologist were going to be meeting to discuss the way forward in terms of therapy. Is this not something they think I should be involved in? I only hope they are meeting to discuss options and not to make a decision as I honestly believe I need to be part of that final choice.

The next thing we spoke about was my medication and how I was finding it. I said I felt the promazine (for night anxiety) wasn’t as effective anymore and that I’m not sure the fluoxetine (anti-depressant) has ever been much use. She explained to me that she didn’t believe I had a major depression and so didn’t think upping my anti-depressant would help. Instead she believes because I have been victim of severe abuse, this is just the reaction to that abuse.

To be honest, that has completely thrown me. When I had depression as a diagnosis, I could tell myself, it’s ok, your brain isn’t working properly and that’s ok. But now I feel like this is my fault, that it’s about my ‘reaction’ and therefore I’m in the wrong.

I always remember an equation someone taught me; e+r=o (event + response = outcome). They said that the only thing you can control in that equation is your response to change the outcome. Now all of a sudden I am being told its my response to the event that is leaving me feeling this way, and that I have full control of that response (as opposed to only some and depression the other), I feel like a complete failure.

So basically the outcome of today was that

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Suicide Attempt – PTSD

On my last post I mentioned that I was being seen by the home treatment team (htt) but I wasn’t finding them much use. They weren’t being horrible or anything, just not particularly useful and I couldn’t really see the point in seeing them. But I did, and tried to be open as much as I could with them. One session with a different cpn  (community psychiatric nurse) left me feeling that I really didn’t have anywhere mentally to go. I felt like she just kept asking questions that made me see how bad my life had become from what it used to be and that I had such a long journey to go on and essentially left me feeling what the hell is the point? I spent a couple of days going backwards and forwards in my own head, asking myself questions about if I could see how/if things could change – I wasn’t coming up with many answers.

On Wednesday, I decided (rationally) that I’d had enough and wasn’t willing to go on this journey anymore. Part of me however knew that maybe there was a small section of me that still wanted to live and so I decided to call the home treatment team (as I kept being told to do) and see how I felt afterwards. It was 8.30pm (they are open until 9pm), but they share a number with a community mental health team that switch their phones off at 5pm. I left a message asking for a call back, and I waited! Nothing came. I ended up taking myself to a&e after taking an overdose – I’ve no idea how that small part of me overcame the rest in order to get help but it was obviously stronger than I thought.

I arrived at hospital and sat down expecting a long wait but when I saw the triage nurse, he took me straight through to the majors unit and gave me a cup of charcoal to start drinking. I’ve never had it before and never want to again – it was disgusting, gritty and just yuck!! I was starting to drift off to sleep and the next bits are really a blur, but I remember having bloods taken and a drip put in, an ecg and blood pressure etc taken a few times. I also vaguely remember a registrar being called and some things happening but was too out of it to know what.

I was admitted and sent to an escalation ward for a bed and again had obs done a few times and still had an iv drip in. I was due to see my cc at home on thursday morning and when I didn’t answer, she left me a message to see if I was ok. I called her back and she already knew I was in hospital and told me that she wanted to be in my psych assessment that they would ask for and she’d see me later.

I saw a medical doctor (with 3 juniors) and got passed as medically fit and they would arrange the assessment with psych. I also had a nice lecture from her about the dangerous-ness of overdoses – well yeah, I kind of wanted that to be the point!! I’m over medical dr’s being able to understand mental health as I’ve yet to see any real evidence of it. The same with the nurse on the ward I was on. There was 11 patients and 2 nurses and 1 auxiliary. Apart from the auxiliary asking me if I wanted a drink, I didn’t get any communication from the nurses – every other bed did – maybe they thought I wanted to be left alone but ah well.

My cc arrived and took me in to a private room where another woman was waiting from access and liaison services and luckily my cc took the lead. She asked to explain why we were there and I told her I’d had enough and that I’d tried to call the crisis team but I didn’t get a reply and I’d spent a couple of days thinking everything over. We spoke about the fact I just wanted to go home and sleep and I had to promise I would carry on with the home treatment team if I was to be discharged. I agreed and was left to go on my way.

I then saw my cc yesterday, she wanted to check how I was and she explained that her and my psychiatrist were going with a high risk management plan with me and if she wasn’t involved in my assessment at the hospital the day before, it was likely I would have been admitted. I’m extremely glad and grateful to them for that, as I know hospital is not an option for me!

So what now? The feelings don’t just go away – it’s not like one day I am suicidal and the next, after some charcoal and fluids I’m fixed. I still don’t know how to cope with what’s going through my mind all the time. The flashbacks, the anxiety, the tiredness – I’m just feeling so weary of it all and whilst I am giving things a go with my cc and htt, I can’t promise what the future holds.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Decision Time…

So the time has come for me to make a decision about the next step in therapy. Tomorrow I have a meeting with my care co-ordinator, therapist and psychiatrist to make this decision. I’m really grateful that they are allowing me to maintain a certain amount of control in this process but part of me is really nervous about seeing all three of them together (ridiculous eh!!)

Over the past week I have spoken to both my therapist and cc separately, to try and come to a decision. My therapist thinks that carrying on as me and her have been doing is a good idea and therefore I will be passed on to another cbt therapist (although it’s not cbt that we’ve been doing!). And when speaking to her, that sounded the best course of action.

And then after speaking to my cc who thinks a more explorative therapy might be useful, I tended to agree with her. I guess I don’t actually have an opinion on this. I don’t know if a certain type of therapy has helped me or it’s just the therapeutic relationship that has. The fact I’ve been able to go somewhere once a week and offload has probably been the most important thing for me.

I’ve asked my therapist in her experience, will I benefit from more of the same? Both her and my cc have agreed that it depends on how I get on with the new therapist and there is no right or wrong answer. If it doesn’t help me the way we think it should, then I can be switched (but that switch would involve going back on the waiting list).

I guess I’m just really confused and tomorrow I need to make a decision!

The other thing that is bothering me about this whole period is that I know I don’t let my defences down easily and trust is a difficult thing for me. I will miss the ease of turning up for a session and being myself without having to explain things too much. To build a new relationship is going to take time and the month of december is really not the best time for this to be happening. Whichever route I take, I’m likely to have a few weeks with no therapy and this coincides with the anniversary and if anything is the time I need support around me. I’m pretty worried how I will deal with this to be honest. Then for good measure just throw in the ‘c’ word, which is an incredibly triggering time for me, and this upheaval is something I could do without.

**Update**

So I met with all 3 of them (a very surreal experience) and I think it had pretty much been decided by them, and me separately, that things would carry on as they are but just a different therapist. I was asked how I wanted the new therapist to be introduced; in my current sessions, with my cc or on my own. I picked on my own (you have to do it alone initially, so why not now!!). Both my cc and psychiatrist said at same time, “I knew you’d say that”. Apparently my stubbornness doesn’t just come across on here 🙂

It was also nice for my psych to say they’d all noticed how much effort I’m putting in to sorting things out and really pleased with that side of things.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rant about getting help!

This is no more than me having a rant about trying to get help when I feel I need it.

I’m not one to call my care co-ordinator outside of our weekly appointments, I generally try to hang on until I see her face to face. This is mainly because I really struggle to use the phone and ask for help, so when I do it, it’s actually quite a big deal. My cc knows and appreciates this.

Today, I’d had enough. On Monday in my appointment with my cc, it was suggested that my anti-depressants might be increased because I’m having such a hard time at the moment. She also asked if I thought a sleeping tablet for a few days would be a good idea. I said I’m happy for increase but I’d rather not take another medication on top of this.

However, after 6 nights of hardly any sleep (think I’ve managed around 10 hours in that time), I decided I’d ask for those sleeping tablets. In the past they haven’t really been effective, but really grasping at straws here. For those that don’t know, until fairly recently I used to use over the counter sleeping meds to ‘knock me out’ when my emotions got too much for me to deal with (usually taking quite a few of them!) and to be quite honest it’s been in the back of my mind that I should do it again just to relieve some sleep tension.

But instead, I called my cc just now and asked if she could get me some prescription ones and she told me she’d already asked my psychiatrist at the same time as asking about a dose increase. In terms of that increase, my psych had said no, she feels that it’s because I’m going through a rough time in therapy and not something an anti-depressant can help with. Fair enough, I trust she knows her job and the best for me in terms of that. But she also refused me sleeping tablets because she said I’m an increased risk with the way I’m feeling.

So here’s me, trying to work with them, asking for only 2-3 days worth and being told no. Exactly what incentive have I got not to go back to my old way? I’ve tried really hard to see their point of view, but I can’t! How much harm can I do with 2 or 3 tablets as opposed to the pack that’s now looking likely of the over the counter stuff?

It seems I’m always told to ring in for help, but when I do there is nothing they are willing to do. Not even give me a daily prescription, just a resounding no!

**UPDATE**
This afternoon (the next day), my cc called and said her & my psych had a chat and because I’m working so hard in therapy at the min, and trying to avoid old coping strategies, they want to support me. And so I’ve been prescribed 4 days worth of zopiclone to get me over the weekend and will reassess on Monday. Feel happy that I’m being taken seriously and listened to!

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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