Into the system…

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

Posts Tagged ‘diazepam

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!

Or perhaps it does…

with 6 comments

I last wrote that nothing changes. No sooner than I say that, things seem to be shifting. Things have changed, but I’m not sure that it’s a good thing. Coming off the Depakote and increasing the Lamotrigine appears to have given me loads of energy and is doing something to my mood. Over the past week I have felt this happening and have not known how to stop it and slow things down. I’m now agitated to the point of hypomania, yet still suicidally depressed and I know this is a risky place to be. I’m in the land of agitated depression. My thoughts race, but are largely negative, suicidal and destructive.

My sleep is bad. I think I’m getting a couple of hours at most. At 3.30am last night, I hadn’t slept a wink. I just seem to spend all night tossing and turning, feeling restless and unable to settle with thoughts racing through my head at a million miles an hour.

I’ve ended up seeing Dr G twice this week. I saw her on Tuesday with my partner. This was similar to the last appointment when he came, in that I felt unable to speak and extremely anxious. I become restless and fidgety, which doesn’t help as afterwards my bloke was moaning that I was rude and didn’t seem like I was listening. I was doing my best, but it is hard to follow things when you’re so anxious and your head is doing its best to distract you.

Generally I wasn’t able to be honest with her about how I was feeling and although I mentioned the agitation, I didn’t warn her how destructive I’ve felt. I was quiet and had little to say.

We talked about how I hadn’t heard from the CMHT yet. Dr G said that she still hadn’t spoke to Dr B, but she thinks she knew which psychiatrist it was and she was happy to pass my care onto her. Dr G also said that she hoped to set up a CPA meeting with everyone involved including the CMHT, so we shall see if that ever materialises. She also asked me to give the Allocation team a call to see if they knew what was happening. I did afterwards and it seems I’m being allocated to team this week, so should hear from them soon.

I can’t really remember what else was discussed except the inevitable increase in Lamotrigine. I knew it was coming really.

Yesterday, I saw my GP, Dr N to get my prescriptions and to sort out my sick notes. He was lovely as always and listened to my honest assessment of how things are. He was concerned and tried to get me to promise to use the crisis team if I need it. I just don’t know if I can. My last experience of them was terrible and I just don’t have the self confidence to call them, especially when I’m in a crisis!

Today I had a support group at The Priory and was really agitated and struggling to control the racing thoughts. I managed to be quite honest about how I’ve been feeling, which only caused worry. The therapist, D was doing her best to get me to agree to keep myself safe and to find ways to look after myself. She tried to get me to ask to see Dr G today instead of waiting until next week, but I really didn’t want to do that. She tried to get me to tell my bloke not to go out and leave me alone this evening, but I really didn’t want to do that either.

Following the session, D came over to me and said she’d talked to Dr G. Next thing I knew, Dr G was asking me up to her room. I was able to be more honest with her, although I had to be knowing that the therapist had already filled her in on the basics. I was honest about the agitation and the fact I could feel my mood was shifting. I told her I feel like I’m on the edge and that I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know I can be impulsive when I’m like this and I have all the energy I need to act on these thoughts, something I’ve not had recently. I told her that my partner was out for a few hours this evening and I was scared that I’d take the opportunity whilst it presented itself. Even as I write this, my head is telling me I should be making the most of the opportunity because I might not get another for a while.

Dr G said that she thinks I need medication to help bring things back under control. She wanted me to up the Lamotrigine again and talked about introducing Lithium when I next see her. This change in mood is only making it more obvious that Bipolar is the right diagnosis. She also wanted to give me some short term medication to bring things under control whilst the other meds are titrated up to a therapeutic dose. She wrote me a note for some Diazepam and a few days of Haloperidol. The idea was I’d get a prescription from my doctor this afternoon and then dose myself up so I couldn’t do anything this evening. Unfortunately getting a script today was impossible as Dr N wasn’t working and the stupid receptionist would not agree that it was urgent so wouldn’t push the prescription through as an emergency. Her argument was that the specialist would have given me the medication if she wanted me to start immediately. She wouldn’t listen to the fact that The Priory only issue medication on the ward, don’t have a pharmacy service and didn’t issue me a private script as that would cost me a fortune.

I was glad I got pushed into seeing Dr G as it was a good appointment for once. I was pretty honest and managed to speak up that I needed help. She was concerned, but I think she was pleased that I was able to say something, even if I wasn’t given any choice in the matter by D.

I see her again sometime next week and we’ll discuss the Lithium again. I don’t really know what I think about it. Lithium brings the reality of my diagnosis to the forefront of my mind. I am not too bothered about the blood tests, but I worry about side effects. Mainly I just hope that it works. It’s always been seen as the last option for me and now Dr G is reaching for it. I wonder what happens if it isn’t the drug for me. Do we persevere with the Lamotrigine and hope that can handle things on its own? Do we give up on drugs all together? I don’t know. I guess these are questions for the qualified, questions for the psychiatrist to answer.

Anyway, the evening has come and I’m on my own. I’m trying to keep myself distracted and to keep things under control. I was going to do some painting but I keep staring at my paints and canvases and don’t know what to do.

Instead, I just sit here, unable to stay still and trying to write. I am finding it hard to extract my entry from the muddle of thoughts and words that are in my head, but am doing my best. It is taking longer to write than normal even though everything is going so fast. I think I could stay here rambling for hours, but I am sure it will get boring for everyone and I doubt I’ll make much sense. I’m surprised that what I’ve written so far seems to be half coherent. It doesn’t feel very coherent in my head.

I can feel the agitation on the increase. Things calmed down a bit this afternoon, but I am back up again. I don’t have long left on my own, so I think I can get through it. I hope tonight that I can get some sleep and that things slow down soon, but I don’t know that they will. It only feels that things will get faster and faster at the moment until I fall over the edge or crash into something. Hopefully the medication will settle things down if I can eventually get some tomorrow.

Short-lived Up…

with 2 comments

After ECT today, I’ve had a bit of a short period of up-ness. I am exhausted now though so the diazepam has come out to settle any restlessness and hopefully allow me to sleep. I woke up about 3.30 am last night which really hasn’t helped things.

Today, has been okay though. My mood has been lifted by the nice weather and the ECT. I’ve had a splitting headache all day but have been talkative and a little restless. I wish my mood would hit normal though. All this up and down is so frustrating!

Anyway. Hopefully this diazepam will kick in soon. I’m worried I am going to end up addicted but it’s the only thing that actually works. Zopiclone is evil and makes me psychotic. My quetiapine dose is being reduced and even at 400mg it didn’t really sedate me. I can’t have phenergan after my OD and promazine doesn’t work at all. I just wished something would! Must get Dr G to sort something out.

Written by intothesystem

Friday, 20th March 2009 at 11:14 pm

Agitated to Diazepam…

with 2 comments

So, I am feeling agitated this evening. I’ve spent the entire day, yawning, exhausted, struggling to keep my eyes open, head awake and in gear. Then, it becomes the evening and it is almost time for evening medication and I become agitated. So agitated, some time in the lounge, some time pacing the room or some time on the dance mat was not enough to dissipate the energy. I’ve resorted to diazepam now instead but I fear that might not be enough to calm the agitation enough for me to sleep. I’m just glad it’s not a pre-ECT evening! I hate this stupid condition. It is always working against me. Always making it harder. I just wish there were quick and easy solutions. I hate the way agitation makes me feel. So restless and on edge. All jittery. It’s horrible.

Written by intothesystem

Sunday, 15th March 2009 at 11:50 pm