Into the system…

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Posts Tagged ‘psychotherapy

Too much to say…

with 12 comments

I have lots on my mind and plenty that I’d like to share, but the time and motivation has been lacking. I wish I could just empty my head onto this blog, without having to go to the effort to sit here and type. When I am lying awake at night, I think about what I’d like to post, but I rarely make those posts a reality. It would be brilliant if I could make posts happen just by thinking of them. It would make me a much better blogger and would save me a lot of time. It would give me something to do when I can’t sleep. It would also mean that this post wouldn’t have taken over two weeks to materialise.

So the big news is I’ve started therapy. Or rather I’ve started the assessment sessions for therapy with the new psychologist.

The first few appointments have been okay I guess. During the first appointment we mainly talked about the practicalities of therapy and she updated me on the changes going on in the service (change in Trusts). She asked me a bit about what has been going on for me lately and how I feel therapy can help. I didn’t really know what to say, but found myself talking about the whole diagnonsense malarky. I was scared about getting onto such territory, but I guess the fact I felt able to bring it up must suggest I was relatively comfortable talking to her. I was worried about how she would react but she seemed reasonably sympathetic and supportive of my concerns. I told her I was unhappy about how they were so quick to change my diagnosis to a PD, especially when I was obviously unwell and not exactly demonstrating my usual behaviour. I think she understood, but I don’t know if she agreed as such.

I felt completely exhausted after the first appointment. I had to go straight to work and had a few errands to run and wasn’t in any frame of mind to do so. I was feeling really dazed and found it was impossible to concentrate. I didn’t get anything useful done at work, but at least I didn’t have anything important to do. I got lost twice that afternoon too. Despite looking up directions, I would forget where I was going before I got to the first junction and have to pull over and look them up again. In total, I probably spent over an hour driving in circles on that day trying to find the depot to collect a parcel. One of the places I’d been to hundreds of times before too, which is even more frustrating because I never used to get lost. If I’d been somewhere, I could always find my way back. Not any more.

The second appointment was a lot less structured than the first and felt like it went all over the place. We covered ten billion things, yet I don’t know how much was relevant. It felt like we were skipping over things too quickly and completely missing out others. I guess it is hard to know where to start when there is so much history to cover and so many different layers. The appointment went in no time and I can barely remember anything which was discussed. At the end she suggested we tried to start from the beginning for the third appointment and she asked me to put together a timeline of key events, separated by good times and bad times. I’d done timelines and histories before, but was a bit worried about putting it together again and leaving things out.

So the third appointment was meant to go over my time line, but we ended up talking a little about the second appointment first. When we did get on to the timeline we didn’t get very far. We only managed to cover up until the end of primary school really. She asked a lot of questions, mainly about my family and what life was like as a child. I can barely remember, so this was hard and I didn’t know what to say. I have a few clear memories and a lot of fuzziness. The session disappeared in no time. We’re meant to be picking up on it again next week. Fingers crossed we will cover a little more. There are only two more assessment sessions left.

Aside from therapy I have got very little else done over the past few weeks.

I saw Dr N a couple weeks ago and we discussed the medication question. He hadn’t got the letter from Dr M. He said it usually takes her a while. I explained what her suggestions were and we discussed it. He thinks Quetiapine should be a definite no, which I agree with. He didn’t think it helped me the first time around and as I’m already on the Lamotrigine as a mood stabiliser he is not sure it will help. He was really keen for me to come off the Reboxetine though and was keen to find an alternative. He said that I have been “really quite unwell” since I started it. I know I’ve been struggling a lot with the side effects, but I’d never really considered the physical illness to be all that important even though it is problematic. I have always thought the mental improvement was worth it. When I was so depressed before, it was just a relief to feel different. He is not so sure that Reboxetine is good for me though. He still isn’t even convinced the Reboxetine was responsible for my mental improvement. I don’t know. He seems to like the idea of trying Mirtazapine. He considers it a more effective anti-depressant and thinks it will help with my sleep. We talked about the weight gain and he said I could always stop it if that became a problem. Overall, he seemed to want me to take it and he offered to write me the script, but I wasn’t so sure. I mentioned that the bloke wasn’t keen on the idea and he said that didn’t surprise him. It’s so common for people to want you to take less pills, not more. To be fair, I’d like to take less pills, but I know that is probably not a wise option. I decided I’d like to wait and think about it a while longer though. I also mentioned that I’d got the therapy appointment through and he agreed that therapy may be a reason to hold off making any changes right now. I wouldn’t be able to tell if something was making me worse or know what to blame. So that’s how I left things. I am going to see how the first few therapy appointments go and then decide. I could try and hang on until Spring and then maybe I can manage with a lower dose of Reboxetine again anyway, but we don’t know. It’s another case of “we shall see”. It’s a phrase I seem to use often at the moment.

I had my dental hospital appointment as well a few weeks ago. That was to discuss the TMJ (jaw joint) problems I’ve been having. I had an x-ray and after a long wait the consultant poked and prodded and moved my mouth about, to come to the conclusion it’s a cartilage problem. She didn’t really offer any solutions to this problem, other than the usual stuff. I was aware of the normal management techniques already – identify habits such as nail biting, night-time grinding etc, do some simple jaw exercises and take ibuprofen regularly. She agreed that there was no evidence of night-time grinding from my teeth, so she doesn’t think a splint or mouth guard will help. She did notice that I had short, bitten nails, but I actually tend to pick at them with my fingers rather than bite them. So she’s given me some jaw exercises anyway and I see her again in 3 months.

There was one weird thing about the appointment though. The consultant reminded me an awful lot of Dr Shock, who was in charge of the ECT. Considering I attribute the jaw problems to the ECT, I found this very unsettling. I don’t really remember what Dr Shock looked like, but this consultant was an equally large woman and I remember her voice was very similar. Something about her manner reminded me of her too.

Thinking of ECT, I drove past the hospital today. I have been past a couple of times since I had the treatment and every time I go past I feel a bit weird. I think of the taxi trips over to the other hospital and the strange nervousness that went with it.

Last week I had another appointment with Dr Occy Health. It was a strange appointment, made stranger by the fact he misunderstood me near the beginning and it only become clear towards the end of the appointment that he was mistaken. When I said I was still only working 6 hours a week, split over 2 days, he thought I was working 6 hour days, twice a week (12 hours). This is understandable because it is what we were aiming for. He went through most of the appointment under the assumption I was fine, had met the 12 hour target and we should set a new target of 15 hours by the end of Feb. I didn’t realise until he went to dictate his letter at the end. We had to back track quickly and he said we should just stick to the 12 hour target for now then. He was keen to stress that managing the 6 hours was an achievement, but I felt like I’d let him down a little. He seemed so pleased at my supposed progress, it was a little disheartening to admit I’d not made the target. Admittedly part of the reason for not making that target has been the reluctance to increase the hours from HR. Rehab Consultant Woman happened to contact me when I was at my worst in December and she had been somewhat concerned that I was struggling. It seems she passed this message on to HR, which is why they wouldn’t increase my hours. I hadn’t realised this at the time. Despite the fact I have been struggling a little, I’m not sure extra hours will make it worse. If anything it may even help. I often feel that the 3 hours I am working is not long enough and I try to cram too much stuff into that short period of time. A little bit more time may help me slow down. I don’t know. Then again, I don’t have enough work to fill 3 hours, so how I expect to fill 6 I don’t know.

Anyway, I should sign off. My mood is still up and down and all over the place. I’m managing though for now. Not getting much done aside from work, doctors/therapy appointments and walking the dog, but I am treading water I guess. It is a struggle, but I just have to keep reminding myself I’m miles ahead of where I was this time last year.

I hope everyone else is coping okay. Sorry I’ve been rubbish at commenting and stuff lately. I’m trying to read what I can, but I am also trying to step away at the same time. I find myself losing time and unfortunately reading blogs seems to eat time pretty quickly, so I am holding back until I can find the time.

Therapy Update…

with 4 comments

So I had my second therapy appointment a few weeks ago now, but I haven’t had the chance to post about it yet. I’ve wanted to write a lot over the past few weeks, but for one reason or another I haven’t managed it.

The appointment covered pretty similar territory to the last one really and I am not sure it was all that helpful. I guess it was worth meeting again, if only to let us bring things to a close a little better, but it still felt a bit like a waste of time. It would have felt very rushed if we only had the one appointment though and I guess I may as well make the most of the psychologist’s time whilst I have it.

Unfortunately, she didn’t really have any further information on the future of the therapy service or when I might be able to see another therapist. They don’t know what is going to happen and it is unlikely that anyone else will be joining the team in the near future. It seems there are only 3 therapists working in the service at the moment, which explains why the waiting lists are so long. Two of those are CBT therapists, so are not really suitable, although apparently one of those is “much more than just a CBT therapist”. The other therapist is male and the assessing psychologist thought that a female might be better and more challenging for me (due to my usual preference of dealing with men). They all have full case loads anyway, so wouldn’t be able to take me on, even if they were considered suitable. It was suggested that perhaps the “much more than CBT” therapist could have maybe taken me on, but the assessing psychologist wasn’t sure if she had the space or if she’d really be suitable. She was going to talk to the team manager and discuss that possibility, but she did think that someone else would probably be better. If she can take me on though I wondered if I should just see her. At least there would be a concrete offer of therapy soon, which could mean I would get started before I am planning to go back to work. I am worried that if I have to keep waiting I will miss my opportunity.

The other option is to wait for the therapist that is out on maternity leave until November and hope that she will be able to take me on. She is a psychodynamic therapist and the psychologist I saw thinks she would be best placed to work with me. I am worried that she will decide not to come back to work or that she won’t have room in her case load for me though. Even worse, I worry that I won’t like her or be able to work with her. If I am going to have to wait a few more months, I’d like there to be some guarantee of a positive outcome at the end of it.

Otherwise I will just be waiting for someone else to join the service, although the likelihood of that happening and them being suitable seems pretty slim. I still can’t believe there are only 3 therapists for the whole service. I dread to think how many people they are meant to be covering between them or how many people are waiting.

As well as talking about therapists, we also talked about topics for therapy and what things I needed to address when I eventually get offered a therapist. We didn’t really identify much more aside from the previous session, but we did look at a few things in more depth.

We talked about school and about bullying a little. I never used to think much of the bullying I went through at school. I didn’t think it really bothered me, aside from making me a bit miserable at the time, but I’d been dreaming a lot about some of the main protagonists lately and some of the dreams or nightmares have been really upsetting. They have been less frequent in the past fortnight, but in the weeks before that they were starting to bother me a lot. I would wake up shaking and confused. I don’t know why it has suddenly come up in my dreams. There is no reason for it to be a problem all of a sudden. I’ve had a lot of nightmares in general lately, but school has definitely been the main focus. Some of these dreams are so realistic, they feel like buried memories and I wake up terrified that I’m back at school. Others are strange and convoluted and make little sense. It has made me think about how I felt back then, a little more. I wonder if things were actually worse than I remembered or hurt me more than I would like to admit. There are periods from school that are really clear in my memory, but other times are just gone and I wonder how much of that is me trying to forget the worst of it all. My  memory is patchy these days anyway, especially since the ECT, but my long-term memory is certainly less affected than more recent times.

Specifically we talked about how there were two kinds of bullying I went through and how they affected me differently. I was teased and bullied during a lot of primary and early secondary school. On the surface, most of the bullying at secondary school came in the form of name calling and the occasional push on the stairs from a bunch of lads in the year above. This was annoying, but I tended to brush it off and ignore them, or be pretty mouthy back. I was usually too quick for them..

On the other hand, even though it was less visible, it was the other stuff that got me. There was always a lot of teasing and bitching from most of the girls, many of whom were meant to be friends. There were a lot of things supposedly said in jest, that really hurt and worse of all, they were meant to hurt. People would pretend to be nice, but many of them were pretty damn cruel when they wanted to be.

In the long-term, this side of things has certainly had the most effect on me. I became afraid to get close to anyone, because they always seemed to stab me in the back. Even now I struggle to trust friends and worry about what they really think about me. I get anxious in social situations and never feel good enough. If people are being nice, I always worry they aren’t genuine. I try to come across as confident, but afterwards I always analyse everything to death and worry I came across as an idiot. I have little true self-esteem (although I can pretend), but when it was battered constantly for years, that is probably understandable. The only thing I have much faith in is my intelligence, ability at school/work and the like and over the past couple years that has somewhat taken a knock too, due to being ill.

Anyway, this wasn’t what I set out to write about, but we didn’t discuss all that much else aside from what I wrote about in the last post.

We left the situation with the psychologist planning to talk to her manager to discuss whether “Not Just CBT Therapist” or “Maternity Leave Therapist” would be best placed to take me on. She was then going to call me to let me know what is happening.

I thought she had forgotten about me, but she finally called on Monday. It seems I will have to wait for “Maternity Therapist” to come back. She may not be able to take me on straight away, but at least they will know more then. It could be months before I actually get to see someone now though.

I’m still frustrated by this. To think the wait is coming to an end and then to be let down is annoying. I just don’t know if it will be worth bothering by the time I actually get to see someone.

Oh well. I don’t know why I expected anything better.

Written by intothesystem

Wednesday, 6th October 2010 at 1:47 pm

Therapy Non-Assessment…

with 3 comments

So I actually posted this a couple of days ago in a rush and then realised it wasn’t really finished and didn’t make much sense so pulled it. It seems plenty of you have actually read it anyway as google appears to have cached it. That’s nice of google isn’t it? dammit.

I have been trying to write about the assessment on 3rd September since it happened, but I don’t really know what to say because it didn’t really happen. Hence the “non-assessment” in the title.

The psychologist who was meant to be assessing me found out a few days before that she will be moved out of the team soon and therefore she won’t be taking on any further case-load. When I arrived, she asked me if I wanted to bother with the appointment at all as I will have to go back onto the waiting list and be reassessed when a new therapist is available. As I’d already made the effort to get to the appointment and my lift wasn’t due for another hour, I decided I might as well stay. Why they didn’t just phone me before and cancel I don’t know, but the psychologist suggested we had a chat about what “is going on for me now” and how therapy might be able to help me.

Talking about my current “needs and problems” was pretty difficult as I don’t know what they are. So much has changed and happened since I was initially referred over a year ago. Enough has happened since I was assessed by a psychologist in January too. I don’t know how much she knew of my notes, so I didn’t know where to start. There is too much to cover, so I just tried to focus on the present. The problem with the present is that there isn’t all that much going on.

She asked me what I hoped to achieve or what I want from therapy. I have always found this a hard question to answer, but I really don’t know any more. When I was really low, my answer was always just to feel better. Not exactly an easy task or one that had any obvious answers. Now I have even less idea what I want.

The fact that things have improved so much since introducing the reboxetine has left me wondering if I need therapy any more. The success of the reboxetine does suggest that my depression was mainly down to a chemical problem, so maybe therapy won’t be that helpful?

I do conceed though that although I may be feeling a lot better, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I should be looking at. I am aware of things that do make me more susceptible to depression and other issues that exacerbate my mood when I am low, so I do want to try and address those. Only thing is, I don’t know where to start. I find it hard to remember what I was thinking and how things really were when I was so ill. I look at some of the things I wrote back in January and I wonder if I was delusional. My thoughts back then make so little sense to me now. How do I try and tackle those things if they’re no longer fresh in my mind? How can I make sense of thoughts that made so much sense then and so little sense now?

I hate the fact that Dr M judged me so quickly on how I was back then and I still wonder if she has changed her view since. She wanted to wait for the therapy assessment to discuss my diagnosis, but it seems I will have to wait longer for that too. I wanted to bring this up with the psychologist, but I was too scared. I am curious to know what a psychologist would think of me now that I’m thinking a little clearer and acting a little more like myself. Would they still be so quick to want to slap on a PD label or would they try to get to know me a bit better first? I don’t think I want to go back to the argument of diagnonsense though. I am not sure the label matters at the moment and it may be best to leave alone. Questioning things only seems to lead to more problems.

I managed to bring up some of the issues I know I need to discuss with her, but there were a few things that I didn’t know how to broach. It’s really hard to just open up to someone you’ve only met for five minutes and I do wonder how they expect us to do this on demand. The world of mental health assessments is a strange one. I don’t know how she is going to react or what she might think if I’m honest about some things, so it is quite hard to know how much to say. We didn’t talk about my past really or anything in depth, but I know I will have to again at some point.

We talked a bit about what therapy I’d had in the past and what kind of therapy I think might help in future. She was quite impressed by the range of therapy I’d experienced at The Priory, my understanding of therapy techniques and the list of things I’d tried to work on in the groups. I pointed out that a lot of it had been helpful in helping me manage things, although it didn’t really feel it at the time. When you’re really ill, therapy really isn’t helpful, but a lot of what I learnt back then has been more use as I’ve been recovering. I did point out though that although I’ve done a lot of therapy it has always been limited. We were scared to look at anything in too much depth, because we never knew when the funding would end and it seemed too risky to dig too deep and potentially leave things hanging.

We both recognised that intellectally I understand a lot of what is wrong, but sometimes in practice, especially emotionally, it doesn’t always help to know that. I can understand the cycles and can even intervene with the thoughts and behaviours, but somehow it doesn’t seem to change the way I feel. If anything, intellectualising things can actually complicate matters, because I end up getting frustrated that I feel no different, even though I try to do all the things that “should help”. With this in mind, she said a psychodynamic/psychoanalytical approach would probably be more helpful as she didn’t want me to intellectualise things too much. Dr G always said this too, so I was expecting that. She thought that CBT is probably not going to help, because of the risk I’d intellectualise things too much and would avoid connecting with things more emotionally. I am glad about this as I feared that I would just be offered a short course of CBT, which often seems to be the only therapy on offer. She seemed to agree though with my general assessment of CBT. I think it can be useful for some people, particularly those with milder, usually reactionary, depression, stress and anxiety-related problems, but for anything more complex it’s often a waste of time or can even make things worse.  I always get fed up of the assumption that CBT will fix all my problems and if it doesn’t then it is my fault. The NHS, politicans and everyone else seems so fixated on CBT and how it can be the answer to all mental health issues. Although I agree that therapy can be important, CBT isn’t the only therapy out there. It is not a panacea. It doesn’t work for everyone and in my experience it doesn’t really help me.

We talked about what kind of person I would feel best working with. I pointed out that I generally find it easier to talk to and prefer to work with men, but we also recognised that it might be good to challenge that by seeing a female therapist, especially as I think that  my relationship with my mother is definitely one that needs to be looked at. She said some motherly transference may be helpful! I find that thought a little scary and I’m not sure I want to go there, but she may have a point. She mentioned that someone is due back from maternity in November who might be suitable, but she wasn’t sure what was happening with all the service changes.

It seems that the therapy service for our local Mental Health Trust is out to tender. It could be taken on by another part of the NHS or a private company, but at the moment it basically means there isn’t really a service at all. A lot of the therapists are being transferred to other parts of the trust and the waiting lists are just getting longer. They hope it will bring about improvements in the long term, but it’s not really helping me. They expect to take on new therapists when the future of the service is decided, but how long that is going to take seems to be anyone’s guess. The psychologist warned me that because of the changes it may well be January before someone will come available to assess me properly, so it is unlikely that I will receive therapy now for another 6 months.

Towards the end of the session we talked for a bit about the failings of the NHS, specifically around the provision of therapy. She agreed that IAPT is making it harder for people with more severe conditions or complex issues to access therapy. Money is being diverted towards CBT at the expense of other forms of therapy. IAPT specifically focusses on providing CBT for people with mild depression and anxiety, which is all well and good, but it is doing so at the expense of others. Potential new therapists are tending to go into CBT because that’s where the money is, so it’s only going to cause bigger shortages and problems in future. I read something recently that said that a lot of money in the NHS is wasted on catering for the “worried well” and I think that this probably applies to the provision of CBT too. If someone hints of showing signs of stress or depression, there’s a good chance now they will be referred for a short course of CBT, so that the NHS can claim that they are offering people “talking therapies” over medication in more cases and that they are meeting targets to make therapy more accessible. These cases will skew the stats and will make it easier to ignore the smaller number of people with more severe or enduring problems that are waiting for therapy even longer.

Anyway, after all that, we did agree that we’d meet one more time to discuss in more depth what my aims may be and what I want from a therapist. She said if I’m going to have to wait a while longer yet, I may as well make myself a shopping list for what I want from therapy and my therapist! Quite a good idea I think, although how much my requests will be honoured is anyone’s guess. I may as well make use of the appointment time whilst I’ve got it though and maybe she can give me some idea of where to start. I see her again on Friday, so fingers crossed it will be helpful in some way.

I am pretty disappointed by the whole thing though. Not only because I will be waiting much longer and I got my hopes up about this assessment, but because I think I probably could have worked with her. It’s a shame she is being moved elsewhere and I will have to see someone else. The whole system is a total failure and I’m fed up of it.

Written by intothesystem

Monday, 13th September 2010 at 4:31 pm

Bombshell…

with 16 comments

On Wednesday night Dr M dropped a bombshell and then ran away whilst it detonated.

Contrary to what was said in ward round on Tuesday, “yes, it does sound like a mood disorder. We shall discuss your notes and call you in later to discuss medication”, they are now questioning my diagnosis, saying my picture doesn’t fit with their understanding of Bipolar Disorder. Now, considering this is based on a half hour conversation with me and a couple days of uncharacteristically fast (for me) mood swings, I am concerned.

They said they want me assessed by the clinical psychologist, which may take “many weeks” before they make any decisions. She isn’t sure where I should wait, here or at home, but is concerned about my safety (which to be honest she needs to be! Being in here doesn’t exactly do anything to convince you life is worth it, when you have already given up).

She said she doesn’t want to change my medication as it might influence the assessment. No mention of taking me off my current meds, which could be doing the same!

Then the meeting was over and I was left to handle the fallout alone.

I am a little shocked. They haven’t seen my Priory notes as the CMHT has lost them. I was under the care of The Priory for many months and I think they had enough time to assess me. Not make assumptions based on a short conversation and observations over a couple of days, which have obviously been influenced by an overdose and stress!

I am concerned that the change of tack seems to have come after J spoke to them. What on earth did she say, especially as she didn’t exactly know me or get the full picture as I didn’t trust her?

I can also sense what is coming. A borderline diagnosis is ahead on the tracks and coming at me fast (or slowly as it’s the NHS). I wouldn’t mind if this seemed to fit, but I am fairly familiar with the criteria and nature of the condition. It doesn’t ring true with my experience. I have no fears of abandonment – I am fiercely independent and quite happy to accept someone won’t be in my life any more, e.g. when therapy has ended. I may miss the person or thing, but not object to losing it and will not try to stop them. I do not have stormy and unreliable relationships – I have been with my partner 7 years. We argue like man and wife and our relationship is strained by this episode of illness, but I don’t love him one minute and hate him the next. My mood swings are not generally reactive and *usually* slower than those suggested for BPD. I don’t suddenly want to kill myself after bad news. Yes, I can express frustration or be upset, but not out to a level that is out of the norm or to extremes. I do not act impulsively without considering the consequences. My major suicide attempts have both been a result of a huge amount of thought and planning. In fact, aside from my mood swings I don’t think I am generally a person of extremes. I also have no past trauma, which is often involved with the condition. I could probably half meet maybe 3 or 4 criteria, but never the 5 needed by the DSM or the descriptions given in the ICD. I’m aware I am having to simplify things through lack of space or time – my thumbs will fall off if I write everything I want to, but I think you get the idea.

Also worth noting that borderline PD is one of Dr G’s specialisms and she never mentioned it to me. She tends to be pretty straight with people, so if she thought it was that then surely she would have been able to say so? She also wouldn’t have referred me to Dr P, him being the mood disorder specialist.

I can’t help but feel this is all part and parcel of the way this label can be misused. Don’t fit classic diagnosis, don’t respond to first line medication, female, suicidal and have mood swings. Oh BPD will do. Lets try and put the square peg in the round hole.

Maybe they aren’t thinking Borderline PD, but the mention of psychologists and lack of anything else even remotely close, suggests they are.

I am also frustrated at the lack of desire to do anything whilst waiting for the psychology/therapy assessment. Even if it was BPD, medication can be helpful with treatment and is often following the same kind of strategy as Bipolar II. She may in a couple months time go back to my current diagnosis, make the same changes and in the meantime I have wasted months of my life stuck on this ward. There never seems to be much desire to get you out, unless they suddenly need a bed then you can be out on your ear, recovered or not.

There are a lot of questions and no one has given any answers yet. I wrote a list of the key practical ones and handed it to my nurse to pass on yesterday, but no mention yet. I suspect I will be waiting until ward round next week.

After all this, my bloke went to see Dr N yesterday for his opinion. I thought this would help but it has made me more confused. Apparently Dr N is quite pleased I am being reassessed as he was never convinced by my diagnosis and he even suggested Dr G wasn’t. I had suspected this myself, but when I questioned Dr G on it, she said she agreed with Dr P. My bloke and Dr N apparently discussed borderline PD for a bit too. My bloke also expressed his concerns about rumination (he seems to think if I stop overthinking and forget about my illness I will be okay) and my blog came up. Apparently Dr N didn’t know I was still doing it! Surprised by this as everyone else, including the CMHT knew. I kinda feel left out of my own care again, so am wishing I had been there yesterday, although I know it is not practical.

Since then I have spent a lot of the last day or so pondering all this. I had a visit from Em in the afternoon which was lovely of her and a short break from everything.

My bloke came in the evening. It was his birthday but he wasn’t exactly full of birthday cheer. Em had got me a cake to give him, which we shared some of, but then we spent the rest of the time talking about all this. He has been doing a lot of research, trying to fix everything and find solutions (typical man).

He has been going over the rumination thing and my lack of positive thinking. I know I overthink. I even overthink good things. The problem is I always have and it feels like part of me. Questioning that feels like a direct attack. It may be an exacerbating factor, but it isn’t the only problem and I also don’t know how I could really change this. I can tell myself to stop and distract myself, but the running commentary just carries on and questions me further. I will almost overthink, overthinking. Distraction works to a point, but when I stop I just go into thinking overdrive instead and I can’t distract forever.

He has all these suggestions of how I can get better and things I need to do. Thinking and therapy techniques, supplements, the usuals of exercise etc. Many of these I do try to employ already and it is all well and good to suggest them, but at the end of the day I am: a) unwell and that can make it hard to do anything, especially when I’m in crisis and all logic goes out of the window, b) stuck in here so many of the suggestions are impractical and c) they may help to some degree but none of these things are going to fix things.

It still feels like he basically wants me to buck my ideas up. I was getting frustrated by this. I know he means well and is trying to help, but I wish he was perhaps more sensitive in his approach. He has gone from acting caring and supportively over the last couple days to criticising me again. I do wish things were all as simple as a bit of CBT, some positive thoughts, routine, eating and exercising well and some distraction. Sadly they are not.

Edit: Maybe this is unfair. The conversation was frustrating and I did feel attacked at times, but I am glad he is trying to help. Some of his suggestions were helpful. There are good bits within the bad. I do just find it hard to see them and I don’t know how much I can do right now.

Today looks pretty bleak and pointless. More waiting and the thought of another long weekend ahead is tiresome. I asked about having Nikki, coming to visit so we could have a walk around the grounds, utilities the nurse said I need to get it sanctioned by the doctor. Considering I am not on a section and would be escorted by my partner this seems unfair. I wish I could just walk out and although in theory I can, they are unlikely to let me. A section would probably beckon, if only an assessment one.

I am tempted to ask for some haloperidol! It is the only thing to ever sedate me and although it turns me into a zombie, I’d quite like to sleep away a few days in an antipsychotic-fueled daze right now. It is not practical in the real world, but in here it doesn’t matter. I don’t have any PRN written up as nothing really works.

Anyway this is pretty long and I’m scared it won’t post! I better go. Xx

Strange Appointment…

with 6 comments

Today I saw Dr G. It was slightly weird. She talked about her thoughts after meeting my Mum and Dad last week. She asked me if I thought my mum has problems too and I had to admit I thought she did, even if I know my mum would never admit it or seek help for them. She wanted to talk about how my mum’s inability to connect emotionally may have affected me as a child. It’s something I have thought about myself, but I don’t have any answers. Dr G is a psychotherapist as well as a psychiatrist so she had her psychoanalytical hat on. It was weird to hear her thoughts on the subject and it was clear she thought my mum had real difficulties emotionally and more importantly that her inability to show her emotions to me may have contributed to my problems now. She even suggested that my mum may have asperger’s syndrome, which was quite surprising. It seemed amazing that Dr G could suggest that having only met my mum for a few minutes and knowing what I’ve said about her, but reading up on it since, I think she may be right.

The thing is, I don’t know where this leaves me. It’s true that it probably had some impact on me growing up and may be another thing that has contributed to how things are, but I don’t see how thinking about this now will make my illness go away. It’s strange. I just don’t know how to react. I didn’t really know what to say when Dr G was talking to me about this. She still agrees that I have bipolar disorder and that my depression and mood swings are probably chemical, but she also thinks that this may be an added issue that I need to deal with. How I deal with it is an entirely different story and I don’t think she has the answer either.

We also talked about more comfortable topics such as medication. She wants me to come off the Haloperidol as it was only meant to be a temporary measure to combat the racing thoughts, agitation and hypomania of a few weeks ago. I’m apprehensive about stopping it as I don’t want to become agitated again and I am worried the insomnia will creep back. I am fed up of the constant sleepiness that the Haloperidol gives me, but it’s preferable to a mixed state any day. We shall see I guess.

In other news, my CPN was meant to come and see me yesterday for the first time but she cancelled. This means I am now seeing her on Monday. I was apprehensive so was a little annoyed when I got a phone call a couple of hours before saying she couldn’t come. It makes me feel as if I’m not important and makes me worry about the amount of support I am going to get going forward. The NHS really is crap.

Written by intothesystem

Thursday, 2nd July 2009 at 5:18 pm