Into the system…

blogging, work, mental health, therapy, disability, benefits and more…

Days pass by…

with 12 comments

I’ve been wanting to write for days now, but not got around to it. Things keep coming up or I get distracted.

I saw Dr N on Friday. It was the first time I’d seen him in weeks. First there was the secretary screwing up incident, then I was at Glasto and then he was on holiday for a couple of weeks. I’d missed him, but we didn’t have long to catch up, as is the norm with GP appointments. I told him I’d met my CMHT worker. When he asked if she was a CPN, he was pretty surprised and seemed disappointed when I said I had a social worker instead. I don’t think I’m the only person to be sceptical about the usefulness of a social worker. I left soon after with a new sick note and a couple of scripts.

On Friday night I took the increased Nitrazepam dose (20mg)  for the first time. Had a night of restless sleep, but more than I had been getting before. The problem is it sent me bat-shit crazy.

I woke up in the blackest of black moods. Far worse than anything I have experienced of late and that is saying something considering my mood over the past few months. My mind was focussed on one thing and I was agitated, irritable and highly emotional. I woke up with a splitting headache and generally felt terrible. I spent most of the morning in bed, virtually unable to stand my head hurt so much and completely unwilling to face the world.

In the afternoon, my bloke insisted on dragging me out to The Peak District with the dog. I felt awful and was not in the mood at all, but didn’t have much choice in the matter. During the walk I was angry and upset and unable to control myself. I was crying and shouting and taking everything out on my partner. At one point we stopped at a bench, my bloke determined to talk to me and find out what was wrong. I was pretty much screaming at him that I hated him and just wanted to throw myself off a cliff. There was one point when I realised that we were close to a steep drop down to the reservoir below and I walked straight at it contemplating a jump. It was enticing me, calling to me. I don’t think it would have worked, but it was all I had at the time. My partner was quick to respond, realising what I was considering and restraining me, pulling me from the edge. I did my best to try and calm down and we carried around the walk and then went home, myself occupied by the black thoughts, occasionally bursting into tears for no real reason. I spent a lot of time wishing I’d been quicker at the edge.

Sunday was miserable too. I’d taken the higher dose again, unsure if it was the Nitrazepam or something else that had caused the dramatic swing downwards. I was less out of control but just low and lethargic. The headache was even worse than the previous day. At puppy school I couldn’t stand up for the pain and had to leave my bloke to do most of the training.

I reduced the dose on Sunday night to 15mg. Halfway between my last dose and my new dose. I slept much worse again, but woke up with a clearer head. I emailed Dr G’s secretary with a message for her, explaining what had happened on Saturday and how I’d felt. I said I didn’t know if it was the Nitrazepam or just a natural swing, but that I would continue to take the reduced dose unless she suggested otherwise. She agreed to that.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I do not see much point me being on sleeping tablets when I still take ages to get to sleep, wake up in the middle of the night for a few hours and struggle with frequent waking and disturbing dreams. 10mg of Nitrazepam is meant to be the highest dose and should cause me to sleep for hours and still feel drowsy the next day. It just doesn’t. Even the 20mg dose didn’t have much of an effect on my sleep.

I don’t seem to respond to sedatives much at all. Zopiclone didn’t do much and makes me hallucinate and for that reason I haven’t been given Zolpidem. Promethezine Hydrochloride, Promazine, Diazepam, Nitrazepam all have had little effect. Quetiapine didn’t sedate me at all, even on 500mg. Depakote did have some effect, but generally just slowed me down all day rather than making me sleep. Only Haloperidol has successfully resulted in sleep, but even that included frequent waking and the subsequent hangover and drowsiness lasted all day.

I wonder if Dr G will find anything else to try. She goes through her psychotropic drugs handbook regularly under insomnia and never really finds a new solution. Melatonin was mentioned and may be the next attempt, but we shall see. She also suggested Temazepam but then prescribed Nitrazepam instead. Something I think she may be regretting. It all could have been very nasty indeed on Saturday if I wasn’t kept safe.

Also on Monday, my CMHT social worker came to visit. I hadn’t seen her for two weeks as she had been on holiday. We talked about what had happened on Saturday and I explained I’d contact Dr G about it. She didn’t seem too bothered. We spent the rest of the appointment talking about things that I spend my time doing. She seemed keen to get me to go to the cinema or swimming and spent far too long labouring the point. I know I have to try and find pleasurable activities, but when you find no pleasure in anything it is difficult. I remember her trying to explain a cycle of depression and how the way to break the cycle is to change our behaviour using CBT methods, but she didn’t have a clue about how the CBT model worked or much else for that matter. It turned into me explaining The Priory CBT model to her as she attempted to patronise and bluff her way through it. She kept saying how she’s only a lay person and doesn’t know much about psychiatry. I found this alarming when she is meant to be my first point of call on all things mental health. Why oh why do I not have a CPN? I keep wondering if it is too early to ask for someone else? I don’t like her, find her patronising and her lack of knowledge scary.

She was also meant to be reviewing what services to refer me to, but had forgotten and didn’t have any of the information. Surely I should be referred to these services asap as I’ll be waiting long enough as it is?! She said she’d put some info about other services in the post for me to look at so we can discuss next time, but I still haven’t got anything. She also asked if I’d got an appointment with the consultant yet, but I still haven’t. She was meant to have chased that up but hadn’t done.  No appointment and no information. The other thing she was meant to have done was refer me to some telephone support service that I can’t remember the name of. They were meant to call me when she had, but she clearly hasn’t done that either. Chocolate teapot comes to mind. A different one to Kate and Chouette’s though! Thankfully I don’t see her again for another three weeks.

Since Monday I’ve just been feeling generally low. Tuesday night was jovial, as we had our Ladies Circle meeting. I am always cheery when there, but it is only holding the mood back for a couple of hours, assisted in my act by alcohol. I suspect people find it hard to equate how I come across there, with the openly manic depressive person most of them know me to be. I’ve been open with the group about my mental health as they all know I’m on long-term sick. They probably wonder what, if anything is really wrong with me, but I can’t help the front. It’s second nature when with people I don’t know very well.

This morning I was left on my own for a short while whilst my partner went to do a couple hours work for his old company. Thoughts were running rife, but I kept them at bay. I am low, but managing to stay safe. I am just frustrated that I still don’t want to be managing. I know I should stay safe, but my thinking is still distorted enough not to want to. I have the insight to know this, yet still don’t want to and don’t know how to change it. It’s a trap I am caught in and I know it has to change, but when and how, I don’t know.

Anyway, I’ve rambled long enough. I hope everyone out there is okay. The madosphere is quiet, but then I guess it is summer. People are on holiday.

I see others are moving on or posting less. Paranoia about anonymity seems rife. I think it’s a shame, but understand why. I hope people can continue to blog safely elsewhere or are happy outside of the blogging world.

I’ve actually considered giving up on anonymity here recently. I’ve even mentioned my first name on one of my posts, although hidden. If anyone that knew me found this blog they would instantly recognise it as me. I think it’s important more people are open about mental illness and I have been trying to be a lot more open elsewhere, but here I am hiding behind a pseudonym. Maybe it is time for that to change. We will see anyway. I still worry about my future, employment and reputation and don’t want my moaning here to jeopardise that.

As an aside – what a lot of tags I’ve stuck on this post! Blimey!

12 Responses

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  1. You need to get out of your own head and maybe do some volunteer work and see how some people have bigger problems that you do, you self-indulgent whiney bitch.

    Sue Bradford

    Thursday, 30th July 2009 at 9:40 pm

  2. I smile somewhat at your post… but more on that later…

    I am really sorry to read about what happen over at the Peak District that must have been scary for you but as equally as scary for your partner, like you said if perhaps it had not been for his quick actions you might not have been here to write this post. (((hugs)))

    As for the Social Worker I think this one needs to be ditched asap, your far too vulnerable to be left with someone who has no experience in mental health care, you need a CPN, perhaps Dr G can sort something out for you, maybe some letter writing perhaps… this SW sounds like a real waste of breath!

    As for the blog world, I don’t post as much as I would like… I have become wary since I know the auntie (see today’s post) is still reading, the one who enticed me into hospital in may… and I am paranoid about being totally honest in my posts. Truthfully at the moment I am as depressed as hell… still looking forward to college but feeling stuck in limbo, sleeping most of day and spending the rest lounging around the house in my PJ’s if I don’t go out to dad’s and I try and avoid that at all costs if I can… I have to make excuses because he’s on the phone come 9.30am… so I lie and say I am going to town but truthfully I go nowhere at the moment if I can help it. I little motivation to do much… I hope this changes when college starts, I perhaps I was not totally honest with Dr G at the last appointment – I don’t know why… but then I guess over the past week the mood has dropped somewhat more and I am struggling. Been in floods of tears tonight watching the videos of my mum I got today, to think they were recorded just five days before she died… and yes thoughts of suicide pass my mind, but thankfully at the moment they are just passing thoughts…

    Hang on in there… x

    Alison

    Thursday, 30th July 2009 at 9:40 pm

  3. I smile somewhat at your post… but more on that later…

    I am really sorry to read about what happen over at the Peak District that must have been scary for you but as equally as scary for your partner, like you said if perhaps it had not been for his quick actions you might not have been here to write this post. (((hugs)))

    As for the Social Worker I think this one needs to be ditched asap, your far too vulnerable to be left with someone who has no experience in mental health care, you need a CPN, perhaps Dr G can sort something out for you, maybe some letter writing perhaps… this SW sounds like a real waste of breath!

    As for the blog world, I don’t post as much as I would like… I have become wary since I know the auntie (see today’s post) is still reading, the one who enticed me into hospital in may… and I am paranoid about being totally honest in my posts. Truthfully at the moment I am as depressed as hell… still looking forward to college but feeling stuck in limbo, sleeping most of day and spending the rest lounging around the house in my PJ’s if I don’t go out to dad’s and I try and avoid that at all costs if I can… I have to make excuses because he’s on the phone come 9.30am… so I lie and say I am going to town but truthfully I go nowhere at the moment if I can help it. I little motivation to do much… I hope this changes when college starts, I perhaps I was not totally honest with Dr G at the last appointment – I don’t know why… but then I guess over the past week the mood has dropped somewhat more and I am struggling. Been in floods of tears tonight watching the videos of my mum I got today, to think they were recorded just five days before she died… and yes thoughts of suicide pass my mind, but thankfully at the moment they are just passing thoughts…

    Hang on in there… x

    Alison

    Thursday, 30th July 2009 at 9:40 pm

  4. Thanks Alison.

    The Peak District situation was a little scary, but I’ve had pretty extreme reactions to medication in the past so it doesn’t surprise me.

    I think you are right about the social worker. I will bring it up with my GP. He might be able to do something at least being in the NHS. I shall of course talk to Dr G, but not sure what she can do.

    I understand how you feel with your Aunt reading. I have my partner reading every post and it was hard to be honest. I’ve got used to it though.

    I’m sorry to hear things aren’t as good as you told Dr G. I understand why you may not have been quite so honest. I guess you probably didn’t want to admit things to yourself either. Sorry to hear the videos are upsetting you, although at least you have the memories of your mum. (Sorry, I know that sounds awfully trite) Also glad the thoughts are just passing at least. Hope they stay that way.

    Take care, L x

    intothesystem

    Thursday, 30th July 2009 at 10:59 pm

  5. Just ignore the comment above, some how I never even noticed it last night…

    I may write a more honest post over the weekend since I have some spare time on my hands!

    I hope the weekend is a little more peaceful for you, take care x

    Alison

    Friday, 31st July 2009 at 10:02 pm

  6. Don’t give the evil cow who wrote the first comment the satisfaction. I know it’s tempting but they look for a response.

    As for the reaction to the drug, I have had similar reactions. Melatonin was tried with me at the Priory and worked well to send me to sleep and keep me asleep but didn’t zonk me out sufficiently enough to stop my nightmares (the joys of flashbacks) so it was soon ditched for the sedatives (I think it was haloperidol on that occasion).

    The social worker sounds useless, maybe bring it up with Dr G and/or Dr N. If not the CMHT should have a duty worker who you can contact during the day if your SW is not around who you can talk to and maybe you could drop your concerns into a conversation with them? I think you deserve someone with a knowledge of mental health problems or at least someone with an interest, not a self-confessed lay-person.

    xx

    Ruth

    Sunday, 2nd August 2009 at 7:58 pm

  7. Hey, I think I read this sometime whilst I was on holiday but never commented… I know the feeling all too well, I’m sorry about what happened in the Peak District. Has your partner said anything since?

    Your social worker is useless, if you want any distinctive signs of mine, I’m sure me and Chou can assist with a Chocolate Teapot spotters guide!

    How can she supposed to help if she has no MH knowledge? I know she may not have had the sort of training some people will have in relation to MH, but come on… what’s the point of her?

    Kate

    Monday, 10th August 2009 at 7:25 pm

  8. […] was the trip to The Peak District after the dose was increased. When I explained what happened here, I didn’t really mention the fact I was quite aggressive. I was too ashamed to admit […]

    Anger… « Into the system…

    Monday, 10th August 2009 at 9:50 pm


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