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Posts from June 2010

  • Question

    by Jamieevans on 29 June 2010

    Hello Everyone,

     

    I know you can't give me a definite answer but i'm interested in people's opinions cos some of you might understand. Does my (seemingly) increasing inability to interpret other people's reactions, moods, etc mean i'm becoming paranoid? I can't describe quite what i mean....

  • A game of two halves...

    by Kurse30 on 29 June 2010

    Well did anyone else see the England game? I watched a full game of foot ball for the second time in my life. The first time was a live game where I was actually at the ground. This time only via the wonders of technology.

    What's been going on? Well I contacted my ex-girlfriend this week, only via email. We've not seen each other for years or spoken but I just felt the need to explain a few things. I have been suffering for 9 years with schizophrenia and only been diagnosed three years so she was there all through my difficult time. She was the only girl I have ever loved and she meant the world to me. But that's all over now. It took me quite some time to get over her but I did. I wrote a stupid email trying just to catch up but it didn't really come out as planned. Ah well. Its a sign on my illness feeling so detached from life for such a long time and then trying to regain control by contacting people in your life or at least people that were in your life. Most have been great, friendly and the like but her she's just stubborn.

    Things are okay, getting better slowly – I've always been one to take my medication I fear the repercussions should I stop but oh how I long to get fully better and not to have to take the stupid pills again. My last post was rather obtuse I think, I didn't mean it that way, just found some interesting information having contacted mental health charities and looked up online. They never leave you alone charities once they have your details. I'm hoping these are different – I mean after all their mental health charities. If they do, leave me alone that is, I think I will donate to them. Nice to hear some new voices, excuse the pun (hearing voices is one of the charities I contacted!). Best wishes...

  • Hi. I'm having a bad few days...week...weeks. I don't know why. its a cross between indignance at why people don't make me feel valued and why i can't 'interpret' them properly versus a lack of confidence in doing things. I think i'm not scared of the things, just of having to try AGAIN. Always trying, always hoping, never able to be sure. i've tried so many things that just don't seem to work, especially in the long run. My head is exhausted - the exhaustion actually hurts - but half of me says 'why bother?' whilst the rest of me knows why we have to bother and try and...Who cares?????

    And why can't people be more plain about what they mean or who they aim their anger, frustration,happiness etc at? Why do they sound fed up with me when they say they're not, or when the fault is something else entirely? If i did that to them, they'd be complaining like there was no tomorrow, or sulking...Why should i a;ways have to take this yet supposedly not be meant to do the same in return? Am i worth less? Am i stronger so i can take all this flak better? No. so why do they think its theor right? And why can't they see that i find this behaviour so difficult to interpret, and that i should know how they feel or think without their actually displaying that?

    Then the guilt comes into play: you know - the 'well, they'll get so upset if you tell them what you think of them' or 'they're going through/been through a lot' or even why can't i just do something useful with the talents i have and ignore all this stuff going on in my head? Why am i so weak? I keep thinking i should do something - drawing or whatever, that i used to do as a hobby but at the moment i'm failing to see the point of doing something noone is going to look at or perhaps even understand - why bother with all that effort?

     

    I know i;m lucky compared to a great many of people - i havea home, food, drink, no work to worry about..my illness could be much worse  so what's my problem? Apart from people that is? I'm driving myself mad. Even the people i love and who love me sometimes drive me mad and confuse me so much without really doing much that you could actually cite.

     

    Does anyone else find people so confusing?

  • Okay, after struggling with my first post, (introductions always aren't an easy one to handle, how did I do?) I have chosen to write again and write about my progress so far. It may help me to understand, and may help others who are similar to myself.

    So I don't actually remember when I last wrote? I actually had to read back what I put as I do not remember. It's not I make it up and have to make sure I am following the "story" but I am actually suffering memory loss and have become very forgetful. Is this part of depression? Is my mind actually dying out? will this continue? will this get worse? As if I have not enouigh to deal with at the moment. i dont know If I could cope much more!

    So, As my introduction covered the whole background to when it started and how it came in short phases rather than a continuous illness (can I call this an illness?... What I do not know yet to be wrong cannot be an illness right? I am confused) I will go into my current states and the progress made so far.... I will try again at explaining how it has come to this moment so far..

    So, this time round started in November ish time I believe, I dont remeber how it started.. I think I felt low sometime, and tried to let it pass but it didn't. Thats when I saw my GP. Who prescribed me the lovely Fluoxetine... I wwas off work a week and the doctor had given me another sick note to take me through into January, But everyone wanted me at work. It was the busy christmas period after all and it was ME ONLY who was supposed to be covering boxing day. i was torn, I didn't want to let anyone down, and certainly make someone have to cover my day on such a day. So I returned under my own autority, after running upstairs to shake and cry and having no support on boxing day, yes I was left alone, I was in a panic and I wanted so much to smash the place up!! I had had enough, I couldnt take no more and ended up off again for the whole of January.

    This was when the self harming began, again. I had done well, I had gone a year and a half. But I did it... I couldn't stop, I didn't know. I only realised after it was done! I blacked out, I didn't have a reason to do it. I wasn't sad or down in myself as far I can remember  I didn't choseto go see my GP, I didn't speak to anyone. but automatically I stopped the harming I  didn't make myself stop I just did it, I carried on with months of re ordering presciptions of fluoxetine, But I didn't feel right, something wasn't right.

    So I don't remember much after that, I felt low for a while. I chose one night to go out for my boyfriends birthday. I didn't feel up to it and didn't wanna hurt his feelings a;though he understood and told me I didnnt have to go. At the same time I started feeling paranoid. He didn't want me out, people didn't want me there, They were hiding things from me. They didn't want me to know stuff. I had to go out to find out? But it got the better of me. I had only a few drinks, I wasn't drunk and I had drank senisbly I was sober, but the last thing I remember was the cashier of a club telling me I was holding up the que as I was finding the change in their stupid DARK ROOM, I lost it, I ran out and started crying shaking I wanted to rip my head off, I wanted to jump in front of the buses, I wanted to get out of there! Three days past I think....

    I finally was minimally focused, I took my mums arm and approached the doctors surgery. I dont rememember much from then, I was changed tablets, to citaloram and the crisis team became involved. I had my initial everyday contact period then became a weekly visit....

    I have been told to call the crisis team any time 24/7 if I need someone to talk to, or if am having thoughts of suicide or self harming. That I can ring them.... I have told them every time... I CANT CALL YOU. I DO NOT... DO NOT.... KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING!!

    Since beginning of June I have self harmed continuously, I have informed them that I have marks, (they told me to call them again if I feel like doing it again) ... WHAT DOES THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH SAY!! ....

    Last week, A week ago Saturday, I overdosed.... They again told me, ring if you feel this way again.... I DO NOT KNOW IT IS HAPPENING!! I DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING! seriously! does no one listen to anyone!!

    Last week they told me, they want me to have a CT scan, and are booking me in to see the consultant pshychitrist? ....

    Anyway, I had a call today... The crisis team to see how I am. I said I felt much better this weekend, So he said, if am feeling better I don't have to see anyone. Do they think because am okay now am gonna be okay in day or a week.... I am up and down like a yoyo right now and want some help! I cannot control this I cannot live like this longer.. It is tiring, Living my days worrying that tomorrow it could all be bad again!!

    So anyway... I'm being pushed off the computer... But just wanted to let you know really that I have my first consultation with the doctor at the mental health unit on Wednesday! I will keep up to date with my progress and hope for the best, It is all I can do right now!! :)

    Thank you for this site... It is giving me something to focus on and get help through! :)

  • pulled myself back from the brink yesterday, i hadnt slept for four days and things were starting to get...interesting.

    i spent nearly two hundred quid at a casino and then more at a strip club, i remember....scenes i guess is the best way to describe it.

    theres no continuity...just flashes of things that i've done and everything is....sparkly beautiful fantastic amazing.

    i now have less than no money to buy food, gas etc etc.

    but sensible me decided to take the full amount of medication and so i slept for a day and a half and now i feel more stable.

    its so difficult. i want to be happy and free and laughing and hyper and exciting but i know that its such a slippery slope from that to being completely incomprehensible and dangerous and nuts.

    im not really sure where im going with this.

    something needs to change, i need to either get better or get worse.

    i feel so on the edge at the moment whatever i do in the next few days will have such an impact on what happens next and in the long term it feels like too much responsibility for me to handle.

    they shouldnt let people like me decide these things. i feel like i have so much and at the same time so little power over what happens next.

    i feel so stuck. i hope we can find somewhere to live in the next couple of weeks, being displaced is not helpful for me right now i need stability and i need routine if i am going to stay sane.

     

    im on the edge.

     

  • My introduction (take 10)

    by milkybar on 26 June 2010

    I joined here many weeks ago, I thought it would be easy to type everything down and to post. I used to write everything on a piece of paper but then I'd rip it up and throw it away, no one ever to see it, no one ever to judge what I had written and no one to interfere. I did the same here, since joining I have come to write my "introduction" and as you see my take 10... You see I have done the same around that many times, I have typed I have deleted I have re typed and I have given up..... I won't give up this time, and as you read it I have suceeded in one thing at least!

    So to myself, were to start, this got me every previous time, I feel I may give up again! I dont know were to start, I dont know were to end and the worst part, I dont know when to stop.........

     

    So .................................................................... I've just actually deleted a whole paragraph, took me hour and half to write!.......... Try again.

    I may just get this over and done with, I dont know whats wrong with me, it may be nothing, just "clinical depression" as the doctors repeatedly say! As they have repeatedly said for the past 4 or 5 years!! It's not having a reason for being like this, not having a reason to be low that bothers me. To be happy and have no worries, but sit in a room and harm myself. To be happy and have no worries, but to overdose! I dont have a past that can be affecting me. To my own knowledge anyway. It's like sometimes I wish my health issue was, perhaps diabetes or something as an example, It's there, it's sorted. Doctors have my medication sorted, I am in control of it. But most of all ... I KNOW WHAT IT IS!!

    ............ I think I am giving up again....... Another hour spent on writing one paragraph. One more just deleted.

    I'll cut it all short!!

    Mental illness runs in my family, my childhood spent visiting my mother in the mental health hospital on regular occasions. She has Bi Polar Disorder, though now it has been over ten years since her last hospital addmission. My sister who in the last couple of years has been diagnosed with OCD and is still dealing with the control!

    I have had on off periods throughout my life, shocking mood swings, head butting and punching things. Screaming!!

    My first "medicated" period was in 2006. I was first prescribed fluoxetine for feeling low and going through a rough patch (violent relationship). after getting out that and feeling better, a few month later I stopped taking them. Felt fine and carried on with life, after taking an overdose during the bad time.

    2008 had a downward spiral with no cause for it, wouldnt leave my room, or get out of bed and the self harming began ( I never knew I was doing it.) I was put back on fluoxetine and put on sick for three month, during which time I found I was suffering sickness and realised I was pregnant. Due to all that was happening I had to make a tough choice, one that remains with me forever. After a while the self harming had subsided and I returned to work and tried to get on with my life again.

    I tried following a career and thought about thearmy which due to the current state and other health matters in general that was turned down, but I stuck to my job, which I hadn't mentioned is working in a chemist. I am about to start my NVQ L2 in dispensary services.

    So recently....

    I started a relationship in may 2009 which I am still in now and he is extremely supportive and there with me at all times! Which is when I had my next "down" moment.

    It started in Novemeber last year. I just felt down with no explantation the doctors had put me on fluoxetine again, I was off work for a short while in December then returned only to end up back off again in January. Self harming started again. I kept taking my tablets for motnhs with no real noticable difference. After months of not helping I finally went to see my GP. He changed my medication onto Citalopram and gave me some Zopiclone for sleeping and reffered me to the local crisis team. 

    Since April/May I have had regualar weekely visits from CPN's and social workers, Increase's in my medication and regualr doctors visits. Due to a recent overdose in which I took all my zopiclone and citalopram (my dad found me on floor and put me to bed as he thought I had been out and drank too much) I hadnt told them till days after when my parents asked if I had been taking my meds and if they needed re ordering, I assumed the docs wouldnt give them as I had been giving a month two days previous! So I had to say something. So due to this my parents are now in control ofmy medication and all tablets are hidden from me.

    I can't explain why I have done this, or why I self harm, I have a complete black out at the time, I have come to the conclusion of my mind hates my body(myself) and will do what it can to hurt me... and I am in no control over it!! I want an explantaion. I'm scared of ever feeling happy and enjoying it too much just incase I go down again, I just drop with no explantion.

    Hopefully though I am now getting an appointment within the next week or so to see a new doctor, a consultant in the mental health team. I have also been asked to go for a CT scan for whatever reason.

    Soon I hpe this all gets sorted....

    Well looks like I have completed this, next time I may try and make more sense..... :) sorry if this was boring to anyone. and any help would be appriciated.

     

  • I never know really what to write in 'introduction posts' but I will give this a go! (Apologies if it's mind numbingly boring!)

    I'm 27, I live in the West of England with my partner of two years and I work in the Mental Health Sector of the NHS. My friends would most likely describe as 'outgoing, bubbly and the life and soul of the party!' but I’ve been self harming for the past 11 years.

    I was only 14 when I started to cut myself. That was 13 years ago and self-harm wasn’t as well-known as it is now. I didn’t even realise other people did what I was doing until I came across it in a magazine article some time later. There wasn’t one reason that set off my self harming; it was combination of issues that on their own weren’t that much of a big deal but put together with everything else and the pressures of being 14 year old made them seem impossible to cope with. I didn’t have any ‘close’ friends at school – I had friends, I wasn’t in the popular group, though I longed to be – but I wasn’t sat on my own every weekend either. But I had no one I could really talk too and at that age you need people to talk too. I don’t remember once talking about girls things with any of my friends until we were much older – which by that stage was too late. I was desperately lonely and terrified of growing up. Looking back now, everything seems simpler and perhaps if I had dealt with how I was feeling then I could have saved myself from everything that happened later on. But I didn’t even have the courage to put my hand up in class, how could I have had the courage to talk to someone about growing up? My self-harming was triggered by a series of events, but I started one afternoon in bedroom after an argument with my family. I picked up a pair of nail scissors and dug them into my skin, because I had so much frustration and anger within me that I needed to get out but had no outlet for it. And my self-harming began.

    When I was 17 I took an overdose and ended up in hospital. Just before that point I had managed to tell a doctor about 'feeling down'. By that stage I was quite severely depressed, and maybe had been since I started self harming. I was barely eating, sleeping or functioning. I was in a total haze most of the time. On top of how I was feeling I was studying for 4 A levels and holding down a part time job. I was quite quickly put on Fluoxetine (Prozac) and referred to see a counsellor attached the GP practise weekly. I don't remember feeling anything by this though. I just felt numb. I stopped seeing things in colour, life became completely black and white and I had no desire to go on living this life with these feelings I was completely unable to control. About 3 weeks before the overdose I managed to tell the doctor about my self harming. They were the first person I had ever told and it was the hardest sentence I have ever had to say in my whole life. At that point I was referred to an adolescent psychologist and a specialised community psychiatric service for adolescents with mental health problems. At the time, being referred there pretty much saved my life (and sanity). I saw a therapist for a year, whom I trusted and was slowly able to talk too and gradually things began to improve.

    Aged 18 and armed with 3 good A levels, I set off, as many young people do, to University. I moved away from my home town. I absolutely had to. I needed to get away and University was the easiest option for me at the time. I found being 150 miles away from my family and friends much tougher than I thought. I thought being away from all that made me unhappy, would make me happy, but it didn’t bring the happiest that I was so desperately craving and I struggled through University. I was definitely not as ill as I had been before I moved away and I managed to stay off anti-depressants for the whole 3 years (mainly because I was terrified of going to the doctors and reliving it) but I didn’t feel ‘happy’, although I felt to some degree I was coping and surviving which was all that mattered. I left University aged 21 with a good degree and a good job lined up. I didn’t return home, instead staying where I went to University and moved with my boyfriend at the time.

    For the next 2 years I felt settled. Life wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t all joyful and filled with roses but I was settled and enjoying some of life. When that relationship ended I lived on my own and then entered my second ‘episode’ of depression. I was happy to be out of my relationship, but Id lost all my grounding. Being in that relationship had kept my depression at bay, even if I wasn’t 100% into the relationship. Living alone was fantastic and awful. Living alone at 25 for the first time in 25 years was liberating, but frightening, because there is no safety net. I had great friends, a great job, but I was desperately unhappy and before I barely had time to think, my self harming had begun again, and this time to a much more severe level than before. This time my depression seemed more ‘real’ than the first time. I was exhausted, constantly. I struggled to get through the day, I started drinking, in the morning, in the evening, any time I could. I eventually went to the doctors and was put back on Fluoxetine.

    I struggled on for 3 months before ending up in hospital again following another overdose. At that point I ended up being referred to the Community Mental Health Team, seeing a CPN for 3 months, changing medication to Citalopram and being signed off work. I was more mortified about not going to work than anything else. I had never told anyone I how I was feeling at work and was distressed as to what I was going to tell them when I went back. I think it was safe to say my colleagues gathered I wasn’t exactly having the time of my life, but there’s a big difference between that and feeling actively suicidal. I went through 5 months of complete hell with my second bout of depression, and it probably took me near on a year to get myself back together. That was helped by a combination of factors. I was able to go away abroad for a few months which helped no end, and when I did come back I moved, and ended up meeting my now partner, who is incredibly supportive and has had a positive effect on my mental health since we’ve been together.

    That all happened 2 years ago now. Life now for me is generally more settled but I still battle on a daily basis to cope with and control my Mental Health. I wanted to write this blog to share my experiences and thoughts around Mental Health and Self Harm and to try to make some sort of sense of it all for me. I read a quote in a paper, many years ago which said “There’s a naïve notion that you put someone on medication and they walk off into the sunset… But you have to get that you’ve embarrassed yourself, that you’ve put other people out for you. And how on earth are you going to face the rest of your life thinking; this could happen again?” And that for me is the biggest task I struggle with on a daily basis. I know I will struggle with depression for all my life now. And I do live with an underlying fear of it. Am I getting ill again? Am I going to feel like that again? Will I have to go back on medication and what will happen in my life and work because of it?

    Well… that’s my long winded and rambled introduction blog!!

    Fairy Wings :-)


  • I am in the process of researching mental illness; this is some of my reading which I found interesting. It is regarding the classification of diseases, in particular mental disorder:

    Strangely enough the clinicians tend to use the term mental disorder rather than mental illness. Mental disorder can be categorised into several subcategories, this is the classification of mental disorders which is an elemental part of the mental health profession. There are currently two widely used classifications of mental illness, one, Chapter V of the international Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) produced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and, two, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) produced by the American Psychiatric Association.

    Arguments in the scientific and academic world put the categorisation of mental disorders in the subjective or objective extreme, some even argue that the categorisation is purely hypothetical and can never be precisely defined and can vary across cultures and civilisations who place different people in different categories.

    The WHO present no single consensus on the definition of mental illness and that it depends on a number of factors such as social, cultural, economic and legal which differ and present in different contexts in different societies.

    The ICD-10 creates ten main groups of mental disorder. These are: organic, mental and behavioural disorders, schizophrenia and schizotypal delusional disorders, mood disorders and mood affective disorders, neurotic or stress related and somatoform disorders, behavioural syndromes associated with physiological disturbances and physical factors, disorders of personalty or behaviour, mental retardation, disorders of psychological development, behavioural and emotional disorders usually occurring in childhood, and finally, unspecified mental disorders.

    The DSM-IV characterises mental disorder as “a clinically significant behavioural or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual...is associated with present distress...or disability...or with a significant increased risk of suffering...” but that “...no definition adequately specifies precise boundaries for the concept of 'mental disorder' ...different situations call for different definitions”. The DSM also states that “there is no assumption that each category of mental disorder is a completely discrete entity with absolute boundaries dividing it from other mental disorders or from no mental disorder”.

    The DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision 2000) consists of five axes (domains) on which the assessment of disorder can be fixed. The five axes are: clinical disorder, personality disorder and mental retardation, general medical conditions, psychosocial and environmental problems, and, global assessment functioning. The DSM groups disorders into the following, disorders usually diagnosed in childhood, such as mental retardation and ADHD; delirium, dementia, amnesia and other cognitive disorders; mental disorders due to a general medical condition, such as AIDS-related psychosis; substance related disorders, such as alcohol abuse; schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders such as delusional disorder; mood disorders, such as depression, manic depression, bipolar disorder; anxiety disorders; somatoform disorders, factitious disorders, such as Münchhausen syndrome; dissociative disorders, such as dissociative identity disorder; sexual and gender identity disorders, dyspareunia, gender identity disorder; eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia; sleep disorders, such as insomina; impulse control disorders, such as kleptomania; adjustment disorder; personaility disorder, such as narcissistic personality, and finally lists other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention, i.e. tardive dyskinesia.

    Its interesting, I find because there are so many categories or classes of mental disorder that everyone in the world is bound to fall under one of the categories to a lesser or greater extent. I truly believe the statistics that present as 1 in 4 people suffer from mental disorder and this comforts me in a way to know that there are others out there suffering from these illness' and that though the psychiatrists are reluctant to categorise patients they do so with a whole heap of background support and it is on this basis that I feel that I am not alone.  

  • Catching you up (19)

    by JustEliza on 11 June 2010

    (Selections from October, 2009)

    I cried in the hospital clinic yesterday.

    It's not his fault he was so rushed, uncaring, and uninterested. He's being trained to focus on lab results rather than people, and if the lab results are fine, it's somebody else's business, eh?

    But I have the luxury of caring. I don't have responsibility for targets, for integrated pathways, or for commissioning patient tests and services. Therefore, I have the time to actually think about what might be wrong with me. Me. One Person. One non-dying non-emergency person whose bloodwork just happened to be, for the most part, on the right side of normal. Normal. Who really decides what normal is? And why is 220 normal and 180 not?

    "Your cortisol levels are fine" ... well actually, you haven't tested them in the afternoon, the evening nor when I am stressed, so what have you really told me about the symptoms I'm reporting? All I've learned is that you are NOT LISTENING to anything I tell you and that you are basing your diagnosis on an unfounded medical assumption that if my levels in a non-stressed morning are fine (and yes, they are low but fine), they must also be fine at 3 pm, when my headaches and fatigue return full force. Thanks for invalidating my actual experience in favour of a single blood test.

    "Your testosterone levels are fine but your sex hormone binding globulin is ever so slightly low" ... strange how NOW my barely normal values actually matter to him. Oh wait, you've already decided what was wrong with me based on my phenotype and the occurrence rate of the syndrome, didn't you?

    Now I'm really angry.

    You see, it's a bit of a sore spot to me.  Some doctor came up with an idea about polycystic ovarian syndrome and other doctors ran away with it. And now, thanks to one of the worst diagnostic criteria in the world and way, way too much press, women everywhere can be labelled PCOS just because they ovulate irregularly, are overweight, and (god forbid) aren't perfect little hairless treasures: based on a few inconclusive and conflicting blood tests, irrespective of their personal accounts, because, as we all know, if it can't be discovered by existing blood tests, it doesn't exist. It can't be true. And there are no other reasons for why.

    Let me remind you, doctor, since I didn't have the energy or the inclination to do it then, that obesity is not a diagnostic criteria of PCOS. At best, it's a correlation. So, thank you in advance for not listening in your medical statistics class in school. And also thank you for not actually admitting that was the main reason you felt I had PCOS. Because your real reasons sound just so conclusive now in light of my actual results:

    (1) My repeated glucose tests are NORMAL. Not even borderline. Not anywhere near that border. In fact, you might say they are my most conclusive test.

    (2) My ultrasound showed completely a NORMAL and HEALTHY production of follicles ready for ovulation. Not a single indication of PCOS nor any cysts at all.

    (3) My hormones for ovulation (FSH, LH) are NORMAL and my LH peaks as expected. I have every physical indication of ovulating, including changes in my basal temperature. But one mis-timed progesterone test suddenly tells you I didn't ovulate. And one test showing I didn't ovulate means I have PCOS.

    I told you I had a very stressful episode which disrupted my menstrual cycle and caused my luteal temperatures to drop early. And you mumbled about how stress can put my ovarian reserves over the edge. Wait, are you trying to tell me that every athlete and high-powered female exec has PCOS? I'm sorry, I had no idea 7% of the population actually meant 70%. Because clearly living a chronically stressed life means absolutely nothing to you. And so, every women who has ever missed a period because of stress must have elevated androgen hormones just waiting gleefully for an excuse to cause polycystic ovaries.

    To be honest, other than the wealth of information from these blood tests, which I could've gotten without the insulting interjections from medical professionals, this jaunt in endocrinology was nearly a complete waste of time. I was afraid it would be. I sat down in advance and said to myself "the worst case scenario is if the blood tests come back and all they can say is that I have PCOS".

    Now, there's nothing actually wrong with me having PCOS, per se. It's just that: I don't have it. And I'm offended by the idea that a blanket diagnosis is the best they can do. I told him specifically that fertility is just one part of why I was there. And he promptly ignored me.

    So, no wonder I started to cry.

    My counsellor suggested that there might be something biological going on, as the depression and anxiety never seem to be in reaction to any of my life events. And, the anxiety is getting worse. My endocrinologists say my blood tests are fine and don't even ask about my symptoms or why I am there. No wonder people with mental health problems keep them so quiet. It's not very hard to do, when even medical professionals try to pretend they don't exist, muchless that they have anything to do with MEDICINE.

    I can't really say I was surprised though. I already self-referred for CBT before I came to this appointment, because I expected the endocrinology clinic would be useless. So now my little hot potato is being passed back into my hands, and I get to decide whether I want, in the next 18+ weeks of waiting for CBT, to be referred to a reproductive endocrinologist.

    I can see that conversation now:
    "You are overweight. I cannot tell you what's wrong until you lose weight."
    or "You aren't menstruating every 28 days? Here are some drugs."

    So very productive. Thanks for that referral. You'd never know that just moments before, I had looked straight into his nervous eye and said "Listen, I could care less about my fertility right now. My priority is sorting out my depression, anxiety, headaches and fatigue first."

    It was written all over his face: what does your mental health have to do with me?

  • so i got the phone call to say i've been referred to the mental health team.

    not sure if im supposed to put the name of them in so i wont but lets just say that im not holding my breath.

    i moved out of the house in cardiff, the tenancy was up and i've fallen out with the friend i was living with and so now im officially no fixed abode again. *sigh* its pretty ongoing really, i've got vague plans to move to bristol which im quite looking forward to but yeah, we'll see.

    so.

    the mental health team here? well lets put it like this; i was in the middle of a psychotic episode, i was hearing things and having full on visual hallucinations of hideous bird creatures all staring at me from the rooftops, i saw things on fire, i saw people stealing my thoughts and eating them, i could feel them coming out of my head; they looked like ribbons of smoke if you can imagine that.

    i was convinced that i was full of insects, i could feel them in my stomach and behind my eyes.

    first of all i went to the GP, who was lovely but not exactly qualified to deal with this.

    which is fair enough. they referred me to the psychiatric nurse who told me that i was "a bit mixed up but there wasnt anything actually wrong with[me]" and had i thought of "taking up weaving"?

    at which point i walked out.

    then i went back to swansea and got put in the acute day services, on antipsychotics and actually got some real help.

    the second time i got invovled with this lot i had left swansea and university because of my mental health problems.

    they referred me to the actual community mental health team who were lovely, but more than a little ineffectual.

    they declared that i didnt, in fact, have a psychotic illness and referred me to the other lot.

    (basically here the community mental health team comprises two groups - the pychosis lot and the non psychosis lot, as well as other groups for various other problems and a lot of other complicated hippy stuff on top of that)

    anyway the other lot did very little, i saw them about once every couple of months

    when i had a crisis they were worse than useless.

    i got told in A&E by the crisis lot they are affiliated with that 'no doctor on earth would prescribe antidepressants to somebody with bipolar disorder' which i know now to be absolute ****. this was after i'd seen the doctor on call who called me 'a stupid little girl' 'attention seeking' 'drunk' (i dont drink and havent for three and a bit years now) and told me to 'grow the hell up' 'stop wasting his precious time' as well as other things i wont repeat here.

    its one of the great regrets of my life that i never reported him for unprofessional conduct.

    at the time i was incoherant and hysterical believing there to be some kind of insect eating my brain and felt that it would be his word against mine.

    he also denied the girl who was acting as my carer at the time to come in with me.

     

    but i digress.

    im feeling pretty unstable at the moment, i can feel things slipping out of my control like reality is starting to slide. its just little things at the moment - like seeing a man walking across the flat, the odd monster eyed person in the street, feeling myself leaving my body for shot periods of time, things i can rationalize almost straight after they happen but i feel that it might not be too long before i cant.

    i've been cutting down on the seroquel slightly because they refuse to up the dose of paroxetine to 60mg. the best combination for me is 600mg of seroquel and 60mg of paroxetine. i was entirely stable on this for a good six months.

    (they mistakenly believe the paroxetine to be the reason for the manic episode over the summer, this is not the case - the reason i went manic was because i took myself entirely off of the seroquel and then proceeded to take 28 paroxetine and a few citalopram and other assorted antidepressants i happened to have lying around)

    so 600mg of seroquel and 30mg of paroxetine doesnt work. it would need to be 300mg of seroquel in order for the proportions to be right but i know from long experience that 300mg just is not enough. i dont sleep, i get frantic and hyper i get paranoid and start hallucinating. its not mania but its well on the way.

    my relationship with my boyfriend of eight years is i think on the brink of collapse.

    my relationship with my father is volatile at best.

    my best friend and i arent talking due to her horrific indiscretion concerning a mutual friend.

    im going to lose the deposit on the house in cardiff because of said falling out also her refusal to clean after keeping two cats in the house and not cleaning since january.

    i have nowhere to live, no money since i had to lend my boyfriend half of mine

    i know i wont get it back, but it makes him feel better to feel its a loan.

    im feeling more than slightly desperate.

     

     

     

  • Feeling a bit better

    by Jamieevans on 08 June 2010

    well, thankfully i'm feeling a lot better than last time i wrote, but i'm still not sure quite why i felt so bad just then. I think ( Does anyone else feel the same?) that sometimes past issues come back to loom heavy on the mind for no apparent reason, even when you think you've virtually completed dealing with them. I get a lot of dreams about my dad mentally abusing my Mum in times like that, and not being able to get her to reject the treatment, or somehow getting the blame for it myself ( this actually happened, though not as seriously as in the dream - two of my siblings and an uncle tried to blame me (whilst i was having a semi- nervous breakdown - very helpful) for the state my poor Mum was in) - and i can't get rid of the resulting motions for a long time after i wake. an alternative is nightmares about the bullying and rejection i went through at school, even though i'm now 33! Sometimes its obvious what triggers the attacks, sometimes its not...

  • After my last post I wasn't sure that I would write again. Not because I am so busy that I would find it hard to fit this into my life but just that I found it a little bit emotional writing about myself and condition – putting myself out there for scrutiny, however, its not like I haven't done it before. I remember my last place of work and having to explain why I was off sick from work so much. They were lovely if not a little surprised regarding my explanation. Once they had decided I wasn't a threat they were great so supportive. Its the initial shock of it all - “I have schizophrenia” that bothers me, much more than it has bothered any person I have told. I don't like to be labelled as such. It detracts from my independence and strength of character, but it is something I am going to have to live with for now with the hope that I will eventually get better.

    Gosh...I sound terminal. I'm not. However I feel that my future is now already made and I am going to be like this for the rest of my life. I would like to change it but that change involves not taking the medication and getting better, which even I have to admit is unlikely.

    I've had a difficult day today, just found out our home isn't as secure as it once was and that we are going to have to fight tooth and nail to remain living in this property. Why is everything always so difficult? Granted I have had the benefit of my mothers support I just hope that during this difficult time that I can be of support to her. She is so lovely as is my sister and without them I don't know where I would be. I feel deep sorrow for anyone who has lost members of their family. I mean, I know what it feels like to grow up without a father but he died in my early years so I never really knew him. I would have liked to though I'm sure it would have been a more difficult loss had he died when I was a young man than just a child.

    Today I was unwell. I was in town and suddenly didn't want to be there. In the midst of throngs of people. I knew I wasn't feeling good this morning but did nothing to alleviate the pain and anguish. It goes like that my life – it ebbs and flows. Often flowing in the wrong direction.  

    Thanks for the support JustEliza, someone with a history of eclectic posting and ranking commenting like that is so encouraging!

     

  • Hello Again

    by Jamieevans on 07 June 2010

    Why are humans so complicated yet SOOOOOO hard to get through to when you try to explain something to them? Why do theybe angry with one person yet make it sound  that everything's your fault? I'm having one of my 'Confused and questionning' nights. I know i have a really good boyfriend, so why do i get so worried or upset the second he's quiet for an amount of time or doesn't pay me quite as much as attention. The stupid thing is, i know its because he has loads on his mind at the moment, so why can't i just accept that? Why can't my mind aceept its own logic? Grrrrrrrr!

    I guess researching Vincent Van Gogh's life wasn't such a great idea  at the moment either... : )).

     

    Sometimes i wish i knew exactly what's really wrong with me. ALL of it. The Dr's just call all the symptoms 'Anxiety Depression' but, from what i've read up on thatironically, i have a psychotherapy qualification) , it does't cover the whole thing...Maybe they're right and i'm just cynical...

    Filed under:
  • Catching you up (18)

    by JustEliza on 06 June 2010

    (Selections from October, 2009)

    The 'nature versus nurture' debate was publicised in the UK via a two part show on BBC --  The Secret Life of Twins -- based on US research. It touches on mental illness among other things.

    The philosophical question of 'which came first' (aka the chicken or the egg debate) interests me greatly. I know there are aspects of myself, like my hypersensitivity, which reacted with my environment to provoke certain events, like the traumatic bullying. I also know these events had a lasting effect on aspects of myself, like my personality and how I cope with stress. I suppose cognitive behavioural therapy rests on this same idea: that in knowing the process, you can change yourself through manipulating that process. But where to begin? And is it even possible?

    Let's let those questions sit for a while.

    In the meantime, I'm reading excerpts from:

    If Only I Had Known: Lessons from Gifted Adults
    Volume 3 / Issue 3 / Spring 2003
    Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, PsyD

    ---

    Well, it's official. I 'opted in' to my referral to the community mental health services. I should be getting a letter in the mail regarding my assessment. They are deciding at their next team meeting who gets the pleasure of judging me. I've already done a full 12 sessions with the counsellor, so now it is on to the next step: in my case, cognitive behavioural therapy.

    The problem I have with talking therapies is that I've spent most of my life practicing how to talk and act "right", no matter how I feel. That isn't an easy thing to unpeel. And it really, really needs unpeeling.

    I'm quite well insulated from most of my triggers now, being thousands of miles away from my past. But I'm also becoming dangerously antisocial, even sociophobic. When does a strong preference become unhealthy fear? Is it abnormal if I can apply sound logic to it?

    I suppose the point is that I know I can be more. And I need help to get there. I need to acknowledge and understand how my life experiences have shaped me. I have many good habits for dealing with depression, but many more worse ones. Habits take time to break.

    And I'm just plain scared. My mind may be stable, motivated, and in control, but my body is often riding a completely different train. I feel physically depressed. Restless. Empty. Anxious. I want to die. And then one bad headache, and it all disappears. In comparison, the lack of those bad feelings is so pronounced, it feels almost orgasmic. Relief. Harmony. Optimism. Energy.

    Normal. Peaceful. Me.

  • Warm as toast!

    by Kurse30 on 05 June 2010

    How has this illness affected me? Recently I was made bankrupt my illness contributed to the wayward spending habits I rapidly developed. I sought solace in spending money I didn't have. This wasn't a long term thing, collective debts over a period of months or years but more over about a week. I ranked up the bank accounts and credit cards as well as loans and spent the vast majority of it on gambling. I was in the fortunate situation to be employed at the time and had a regular income coming in. This meant that the threat and subsequent bankruptcy didn't affect me much at all. In fact it was rather simple again my condition was brought under scrutiny and evaluated. It is forever being evaluated. I am currently in receipt of benefit unable to work though wanting too. I find that crowded places cause me concern. I worry that I may shout out loud or act in a strange manner though I am perfectly normal on medication. The doctors stated in support of my bankruptcy that spending was one way people with my condition were affected, i.e. it was not unheard of that I accumulated so much debt. I put it down to normal life. Everyone has debts (except for maybe a lucky few – I fall into that category now). It started early in life but only to a small degree then during University it became more abundant and encompassing. Thankfully I am free of it. I find that when you are dealing with a mental health illness with no immediately noticeable effects, you can be treated as normal but that everything is so much more difficult. Simply getting up in the morning knowing that I am going to be forever ill is not a pleasant thought. What keeps me going is the fact that I have a lovely family and they are very supportive.

    I always ask my doctors “when do you think I can stop taking the medication?” their reply is always the same - “its probably best that you don't.” I think this scares me to a certain degree. I am scared what will happen if I decide not to take medication will I somehow become a monster? Okay so that's probably an extreme but nevertheless its a worry. I've never been a paranoid schizophrenic and can't imagine what that's like though I once saw a programme on channel 4 called “Embarrassing Bodies” and they had a paranoid schizophrenic on talking about his illness. He seemed perfectly normal – again controlled by medication.

    When I first read some of the bloggers evaluations I was feeling such sadness that there were so many intelligent people writing about their illness' for the benefit of others. I have since linked my facebook with this account and have made a concerted decision that I am no longer going to be afraid of myself and will seek to attack with rigour and enthusiasm every opportunity that comes in my path for that I give thanks.

    So a little bit of me goes into this post,

    As I sit in bed as warm as toast,

    I'm in a dream land a little bit blue,

    As I think of tomorrow I think of you...

    Life is on the up presently, we have recently moved house, mom and I. We are now living in my sisters new home which has been renovated beautifully. I'm in a new area with new people and new prospects. Life is one big adventure for me. I have experienced some particularly upsetting times in my life but the old adage of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger applies here I think. I'm big on proverbs and have an interest in entomology. I also love languages and read Latin and Arabic something I have taught myself since University. These activities keep me ensconced in life and enable me to fully appreciate my existence.

    The medication is part of my life now. I will have to take it forever. That has been the cause of my depression but I think that I now am coming out of that phase of my life and moving on to a new phase.

    I hope you'll forgive me as I defiantly seem to have perked up since discovering that there are others just coping with life and that it is just about that. Life

    I remember being in hospital and how that affected me terribly. My story goes like this...

    ...I was forceably taken by police under section to a hospital in West Yorkshire where I had to stay indefinitely whilst my condition was evaluated. There I tried repeatedly to escape to no avail. Then I tried to take my own life – I'll spare you the gory details. Eventually I managed to escape after asking my mother to bring my passport and credit cards (to this day she tells me she knew I had to get out of there) and went out to read a book and never went back. I got on the first national express coach to London and from there to Germany where I spent some time in a hotel before ringing my sister in Cyprus to help me. Then I spent 3 months in Cyprus getting fit and enjoying life before eventually returning to the UK for hospital treatment.

    I don't know what my illness is. I've read about it. I've talked about it. Worst of all I am living it, but I realise that I am not alone. The statistics that put 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness are steadily becoming believable to me. I am beginning to recognise this and come to terms with it.

    I hope that the others on this site will find their level in life and are not too afraid to ask for help and accept it when given.

    I don't know if I'll write again. I just felt I needed to say a few things and this gave me that opportunity.

    Best Wishes....

     

     

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