Into the system…

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Posts Tagged ‘blogosphere

Days pass by…

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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!

August – November: Up to now…

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I know I’ve been pretty quiet since I returned to the blogosphere, but I’ve generally been pretty busy with day care and when I haven’t been, I’ve been too ill to write or busy working on therapy homework. Or at least pretending to be busy working on therapy homework.

One of my therapy groups is something called Life Maps. For this session we have to create a “map” of our lives to date, highlighting key dates, events and people from our life story. We can do this however we wish, such as a big timeline, bubble charts or just written as prose, as long as we can use it to explain our story. During the sessions we look at an area of our map and by talking though our story, we can look at the key events that have shaped us and also keep an eye out for repeated behaviour and issues which may or may not have contributed to the development of our illnesses.

Simple right? Haha!! It is hard work. I have barely started to go through things and everything I’ve covered so far seems pointless and unrelated, except the info from the last couple of months. I feel guilty for my lack of progress. I need to look at my teenage years, but I am struggling. My concentration is shot to pieces due to medication and illness and my memory is terrible, so trying to recall events of the past 22 years is not easy. Problem is, I know I can’t use that as an excuse. Everyone else is in the same boat. My perfectionism also haunts me and makes it difficult for me to put things to paper, for fear of it not being right, but I know I need to fight this. I hate that I am not making the most of the therapy offered to me, but I am just not well enough. I know the therapy coordinator was worried I wouldn’t be up to it, but I want to prove him wrong. Problem is, I’m failing so far.

Anyway, I explained how Life Maps works because I decided to try and kill two birds with one stone and type up a potted history of events since I left the blogosphere, covering my path to hospital and beyond.

It has been a crazy few months. This doesn’t really begin to cover half of it, despite the amount of detail I’ve included. I just couldn’t explain how it’s felt to go through all this. It’s been a whirlwind. The future is still hazy. I am still unwell and still waiting for answers. I hate that despite all this, things really haven’t changed all that much since August, when I was last blogging. I just hope that things start to change soon, as I don’t know how much more I can go through before I break.

I’ve decided to do this as a series of posts as it is really long and unwieldy. Below, you can see a number of titles linked to the other posts. I hope this works out okay.

EDIT:– Why are trackbacks so unreliable? If you make a post with lots of links they don’t all ping at the same time. Usually only the first link pings. You then have to keep editing and saving the post until they all work. Stupid thing!

August/September: New GP, New Meds…

September 9th: The Bridge…

September: Caffeine Crisis…

September/October: Meet the Shrink…

October 4th: Tell the parents…

October 7th: Into the hospital…

November 4th: Out of the hospital…

Quiet…

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It’s still quiet in the blogosphere. I’m not really feeling in the mood to write much myself and it seems I’m not the only one.

Last night I had a bit of a scare. My dad emailed me at work and of course my out of office is on. He saw it and questioned what it said (That I am out of the office until further notice!). F*ck! He put me on the spot so I kinda mumbled some excuse about sticking the out of office on so that I didn’t get bothered and could focus on some important work, but I’m not sure he bought it. I hate lying to him, but I didn’t know what else to do. I know I should really have taken that opportunity to be honest, but I was just too scared. Sadly, this exchange only served to make me confused, stressed and agitated, worrying endlessly about the repercussions of people knowing and the fact I don’t think I can be honest with my family ever. I struggled most of the night with recurrent thoughts that it would be just easier to not be here. The usual I guess.

Not only was that conversation still on my mind, but I was fidgety again and unable to sleep. In the end, my other half kicked me out of the bed and sent me downstairs to take my energy out on the Wii. So I was in my living room, playing Mario and Sonic at the Olympics at 2am! It didn’t really help much unfortunately, so I spent the next few hours staring out of the window again. I’m getting fed up of it. I have no idea why I seem to acquire a ton of agitated energy at 11pm every day. I guess I do need to do more in the day and try and tire myself out, but I just feel sick all the time!

This morning, I got an appointment letter through for another occupational health assessment. It’s a different doctor and this time I can’t find anything out about him, which I find a little scary. Usually when you google a doctor or surgery you can at least find out what their specialism is or something. The appointment isn’t until September either! Much longer to wait compared to last time and it scares me to think that I can’t imagine making it through the next four weeks. I find it hard to think ahead a few days, let alone a few weeks.

Today has been another mixed day. Started feeling low, followed by a short period of feeling fairly up and cheery, followed by a quick change to miserable and now headed towards agitation again. All accompanied by nausea, although it seemed a bit better during the “up” periods – probably why I was feeling okay!! The thing is, it feels like this is never going to get better. The intrusive thoughts are there pretty much constantly, even in the more up periods and I just feel physically “bleh” all the time. I’m not struggling with the real extremes of my mood, but I’m finding this constant fluctuation between varying degrees of crapness or agitation equally difficult. It somehow feels like I’ll never be able to cope with normal life again. I’m not even sure I can remember what “normal” life felt like.

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 13th August 2008 at 4:45 pm

Side Effects…?

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I feel pretty awful right now. I’ve lost what good was mixed in with my mood and am just left with the terrible concentration, frustration and gloominess.

Physically, I’m feeling pretty terrible too. I have a splitting headache, am hot and bothered and feel sick. Last night my gums bled after I brushed my teeth and I woke up this morning with shaking hands, although that seems to have calmed down now. I have no idea if I’m actually ill or if they are all just stupid side effects or if it’s a combination, but I’m fed up. I wonder if I’m just been paranoid and it’s some evil placebo effect or if the medication can really be making me feel like this. I don’t know what to think or do about it.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with Fluoxetine?

We’re visiting my family this weekend. They don’t know about any of this, which means it could be a difficult weekend if I’m struggling with side-effects and having to put up my happy-front. I’m not sure I can face it.

Meh. I think I’m just going to go back to bed. I have stuff to do today, but I just feel awful.

p.s. is it just me or is the blogosphere quiet at the moment? I hope everyone is okay. I find myself refreshing the blog surfer page and wishing there was more to read.

Written by intothesystem

Friday, 8th August 2008 at 1:17 pm