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SqueezeWax

I don't know if I am safe going back to class

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Two nights ago, I bungled a speech in front of my class. I had taken my higher dosage on Clonazepam that day, as was prescribed by my psychiatrist, along with Propranolol. Over the week I had been taking Delsym and Mucinex for a cold. I somehow didn't think anything of taking cough syrup with sedatives.

I volunteer to present as soon as I could to get it over with as quickly as possible. I begin, and I am mispronouncing words, losing my train of thought, and repeating myself. I am speaking as if my tongue is made of styrofoam. I stop and tell the teacher, in front of everyone, that I am too sedated and can't continue, and leave the leave the room. I suddenly run to the bathroom, tear off a toilet seat, and start to smash the mirror. It falls off the wall and completely shatters. I run out, and take a thumbtack out of a bulletin board in the hall, and slash my throat. I run back into the classroom, grab my coat and bag, and run back out leaving my phone behind. 

Then I do something that unwittingly ends up getting the police involved at home. I decide I should call my therapist, as I am supposed to whenever something like this happens. Realizing I don't have my phone, I text him from my iPad. I don't get a response, so I figured he didn't receive it. I run to the other building to talk to someone at the disabilities or student health office, but they're closed.

I decide to head home on the train, and I'm met by my father. It's 10:44 at night. I drove myself to the train that day. I'm surprised to see him. It turns out my therapist had received my message, but wasn't sure if it was really me or a spammer. All I wrote was that it was _____. Instead he called the police in my hometown, and the campus security, all of who were apparently looking for me. Thankfully, my father isn't too alarmed by what happened, I call my therapist, and I see him and my psychiatrist the next day.

I don't know where to begin. I don't if I will be making sense. 

This is exactly what I had expected to happen if I went through with this speech class. Up to now, I had been doing rather well. The first few assignments went smoothly. All I had to do till now was read a short excerpt from a famous speech. I didn't tic, I didn't stammer, my voice didn't quiver, I spoke loudly enough, I made eye contact. I sounded confident and prepared. It seems the combination of a possible drug interaction, and the pressure of being required to write my own speech on the spot for the first time sent me over. 

Anytime I do something harmful or destructive it's on an impulse. At least that is how it feels. My first thought after breaking that mirror and cutting myself was that I had made an already difficult situation much harder. 

I had brought up the fact that I could be waived from the course to my psychologist, but I knew he would refuse to. In fact, he believes my life depends on taking this class. My therapist says he too wouldn't have signed the waiver. I didn't ask him to because I was afraid if he did, it would cause tension between him and my psychologist. They work doors down from each other. My psychiatrist hasn't offered, but I wouldn't expect him to if my therapists weren't willing to. 

Anyhow, I'm afraid this whole mess is only going to cause me to do something more destructive when, or if, I go back to class on Monday. I might end up avoid going until I fail out of it. It's something I did once in the past.

I understand my therapists point of view. They don't want to reinforce avoidant behavior. They want me to prove to myself that I can be comfortable being exposed in front of others, and being subject to their criticism whether bad or good. But I am frustrated. I honestly don't know if I can trust myself not to do something worse. 

 

 

 

Edited by SqueezeWax

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Damn.  I’m really sorry to hear of those dreadful developments.  I can only imagine how you’re feeling.

No easy answers or simple advice that I know how to give.  Dealing with this isn’t going to be easy, but I know you know that better than anyone.

All I know is that if you deal with it head on & don’t surrender or run from the situation, you will make absolutely monumental progress in your life.

Seems like this is a crossroads & an opportunity for tremendous growth & personal victory.  All the best, my friend.  Do keep us posted.

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Sounds like you have all the potential to continue this. You’ve already had great success. Is there anyone that could help you reign in your emotions if there’s ever another blunder? If so, is there any way to have them sit in on the class? I feel like maybe having back up might reboost that confidence until you’re ready to try again on your own.

Also, I think it may be wise to mention the mix of medication to your doctor and or pharmacist to see what they say and maybe receive an alternative mix of medicines for when you’ve got a cold/sick. Best wishes!

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Don't drop the class ! Especially if your own therapist and teacher thinks that you're capable and its in your best interest you should definitely stay. When I was at my worst mentally and I was taking my depression and anxiety meds I honestly could barely stand even sitting in a classroom. I was that bad that I could barely be sitting in class without feeling like i was having a panic attack. I even puked during a presentation. Not in class luckily I made it to the bathroom but honestly im happy that I stayed in those classes during those episodes because they slowly got me to feel normal being around others. Its also a reminder that we all ultimately live in our own bubble of self awarness and no one is going to judge u as bad as yourself. A lot of the things you think others are doing/thinking about you are stuff their probably not even noticing because their too busy focusing on their own anxieties and issues. I was horrible in speech class. I was the worst one. Yet by the end of the semester i got The most improved student award for the class. If I can do it so can you! Give yourself the chance and let yourself go through the sea of bad emotions. Trust youll end up coming out feeling and doing better ! 

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I'm really sorry you had to deal with these things. I'm sure they were very unpleasant and frightening.  I really hope you are feeling better now.

It may be possible the mix of OTC and prescription medication could have affected the situation. A quick layman's check shows moderate interaction between clonazepam and dextromethorphan (Delsym) and moderate interaction between propranolol  and clonazepam. Depending on which mucinex you took, it could also have contained dextromethorphan, which might have exacerbated things.

If it were me, I'd have a conversation with my doctor about the possible drug interactions.  You might also get your therapist to share notes with your psychiatrist. The reaction you experienced seems disproportionate to the unpleasantness you felt in the class. Harming yourself and other's property will not make any situation better and could potentially expose you to serious legal issues.  So it's important to get your health care team on the same page to help you to find non-destructive ways to deal with your impulses.

In the meantime, don't give up on yourself.  You are worth it.

Peace

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My psychiatrist said there shouldn't have been an interaction between the cough syrup and clonazepam. He thought there might have been an interaction with the Amiltriptyline I take. 

I told my instructor when the course began that I have a motor tic disorder and social anxiety, and that I'm on medication, as explained in a note from my psychiatrist. That first day I even told the entire class I had issues with tics, they might see a repetitive movement of my head, and that I might appear sedated. The teacher asked if anyone disliked public speaking, and I was the only one to raise my hand. I explained why. 

My therapist hasn't wavered in the slightest in his belief that taking this class is a matter of life or death. I haven't spoken yet to my psychologist, who is the most adamant I go through with this. 

I am seeing my school's student disabilities director on Friday. I don't know what to ask her, and I don't know how much to tell her. She could see me as a 'risk', amid all these public shootings.

I thought of transferring to another class, but five weeks into the semester it would be rough. I also thought of withdrawing myself, waiting to try again next semester. It is only one of two classes I need to complete to finally get my degree, eight long, rigorous years since my first semester.

I don't want to put my graduation off yet another semester, but...I have no idea what I plan to be doing afterwards anyway, so delaying it wouldn't matter much.

Edited by SqueezeWax

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I'm sorry to learn you're feeling anxiety over the situation. I can imagine it's very tough and it's understandable to feel uncertainty over it. Try to remember your caregivers are professionals who have your best interest at heart. If their advice is to keep going it may be a good idea. And your disabilities coordinator's job is to help you. Try to let them help you. You were open and honest with your class and instructor. So I'm sure they'll be understanding. 

One thing that helps get me through tough times is to remember that we will get through the worst day of our lives and wake up to a new day. In the big scheme of things what you experienced is an unfortunate bump in the road and you can get through it.

You'll get through this.

Peace

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I spoke to the head of the disabilities department yesterday. She said she was surprised my 'team' of doctors and therapists would still insist I go through with this. I didn't mention breaking the mirror. She seemed mostly concerned that my instructor would make us write speeches on the spot. She didn't seem to think that was a reasonable expectation. I have always been terrible at being creative under the gun. She sent him an email asking if I could possibly get the prompts before class, and for permission for me to decline speaking the next class. I haven't heard from him yet. I am still afraid I will end up overmedicating myself to deal with it, or walking out of the class and never returning. 

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Speech class is hard.  It was easier for me as I was a cadet and used to having to talk to people.  I did not do as well as I should as the instructor was not usually available for office hours (and that pissed off the whole class and she never explained why). 

If you never confront your fears you will always be controlled by them.  You can calm down and find a way out. 

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I saw my psychologist today. He is very, very disappointed in me. I think this has made him entirely disillusioned about any progress he thought I was making. He didn't even bother to see  to it that I was scheduled to see him again. 

I saw the Dean of Students yesterday, who had a psychiatrist along with him. They had placed a hold on my account. I was entirely honest about everything that happened. I think they may have expected me to be defensive, and have an attitude. I told them what my therapist's think, about my history of self harm, what might have happened as far as an interaction, etc. I did $750 in damage, but they were empathetic. They're going to see what accommodations can be made as far as this speech class. 

I'm more depressed over my psychologist than I am about the class.

He's doubting he can be of any more help to me.

My instructor knows what has happened, too, and my classmates might have some idea. He was paid a visit by campus security  during class after I had left that night. I did go back to class Monday night. It was terribly uncomfortable. I've never felt more alien in my life.

Edited by SqueezeWax

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Your progress is about you.

It's not about your psychologist. So it doesn't really matter what they think. If they're projecting their emotions onto you, and acting like a spoiled kid (not making a follow-up appointment) it's time for a new psychologist.  You can fire them and find someone who can help you.

I need to ask. Is this an actual psychologist? They have PhD in their title?  Or are they an LICSW?  If they're not a PhD they have no place calling themselves a psychologist.

Peace

 

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3 hours ago, Starsea said:

Your progress is about you.

It's not about your psychologist. So it doesn't really matter what they think. If they're projecting their emotions onto you, and acting like a spoiled kid (not making a follow-up appointment) it's time for a new psychologist.  You can fire them and find someone who can help you.

I need to ask. Is this an actual psychologist? They have PhD in their title?  Or are they an LICSW?  If they're not a PhD they have no place calling themselves a psychologist.

Peace

 

He is a neuropsychologist. He has a PhD. He is respected and fairly well known in his field.

It's not technically up to him to schedule our appointments. It's complicated.

He informed me in July that he was supposedly asked by DuPage Medical County to only focus on new 'intakes'. I've been having difficulty scheduling appointments with him on a consistent basis since December. I had been seeing him on a weekly basis until then. He was apologetic about the situation.

Then I hear from the others I work with that it is likely because he is meant to focus on his 'Brain To Behavior' program involving neurofeedback. In August, with this last semester approaching, he booked me a months worth of appointments himself with his brand new private secretary. It was quite generous of him. He knew I was having trouble booking appointments myself, and I figured this is how he now scheduled his clients. Now that that month has passed, I am again left to schedule them myself with no certainty of when I'd see him again. 

I don't want to bore anyone with these details, but this has been a problem in itself. He is uncharacteristically fuzzy on this matter.

Anyway, I'm uncertain of when or if he feels I should continue to see him. He didn't give me his customary 'see you need week' (usually turns out next month) parting today. He has never before failed to say that as I left. 

I love working with him. I value his opinion more than anyone else's. It kills me to think he has lost faith in me.

He asked me today If he was being of help anymore, and that he had to ask that saddens me.

-P.S. It will again be another month till I see him- I almost wanted to say f*ck him, and not book him again. I thought I might regret it, though.

Edited by SqueezeWax

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I don't know if it is that he has given up on me, or he has given up on his ability to help me. I don't know which is worse because it essentially comes down to the same thing. This matters far more to me than anything that happened that day at school. 

I thought he would be the least concerned about what had happened. He typically dismisses these situations as a 'bad day'-nothing more, and it wouldn't happen again. I realized after talking to him today that he has been the most concerned of anyone about this. Even more than my own father. 

 

Edited by SqueezeWax

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I'm really sorry you're having this trouble.  I think I better understand now that you've gone into detail about how things have been working with this Dr. 

It's most likely that the lack of his customary "see you next week" was just a slip on his part. I can remember being really depressed and thinking that such slips from people were indicative of something terrible. But they never were. It was always in my imagination.  And I can come up with some pretty complicated scenarios in my own head.

Don't give up. Just because this psychologist is being fuzzy (seemingly evasive) about your care, it does not mean you are beyond help. There are other qualified professionals (ones who haven't been directed to focus on new intakes) who can give you the time you deserve.

Peace

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11 hours ago, Starsea said:

I'm really sorry you're having this trouble.  I think I better understand now that you've gone into detail about how things have been working with this Dr. 

It's most likely that the lack of his customary "see you next week" was just a slip on his part. I can remember being really depressed and thinking that such slips from people were indicative of something terrible. But they never were. It was always in my imagination.  And I can come up with some pretty complicated scenarios in my own head.

Don't give up. Just because this psychologist is being fuzzy (seemingly evasive) about your care, it does not mean you are beyond help. There are other qualified professionals (ones who haven't been directed to focus on new intakes) who can give you the time you deserve.

Peace

I saw my psychiatrist on Friday, and he read the psychologist's notes, and he had written that we had planned to see each other in two weeks, as we had agreed upon at the end of last month. I was reassured, but the guy needs to remember that I have no control over when I see him again. He needs to set the appointments. The semester will be almost over by the time I see him next, and he vowed that he would see me through it to the end. 

On another note, it's been almost a week since I had spoken to the dean of students, and I haven't heard a word from them, or my instructor, since then. I don't even know if they want me to pay for that damn mirror. 

 

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I still have not heard a word from the dean of students.

I went to class last night, managed to write a speech--although well under the required length--and to deliver it, only embarrassing myself a little bit. I didn't sound very confident, and a couple of times almost lost track of what I was saying.

The more I think about this situation with my psychologist the more frustrated I get. He has misled me, albeit unintentionally. I don't know why someone as intelligent as he is--who is able to remember word for word something I had said once an entire year ago--can't keep straight on his own availability. 

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So now my psychologist thinks this incident was all a ploy to make him look as if he was wrong. I guess because he is not capable of actually being wrong, and can only be made to look as though he is.

This wasn't about him being wrong. It wasn't about anyone being wrong. I didn't expect him to give a shit at all.

It was my other therapist I was thinking of, and my psychiatrist, who are both quick to suggest hospitalization. And my father too.

I was angry because I humiliated myself in front of the class, after having lulled myself into a sense of security after the first few speeches went well. In that moment hated the school, the other students, the teacher (irrationally I know), and myself.

This psychologist thinks it was all about him. I thought I had made it crystal clear to him that I knew I had nothing to gain from my actions that day. That I knew I now had to deal with whatever consequences I'd face, either from the school or my therapist, and that I regretted it. I stressed to him that it was important that he knew that.

I knew I'd be back in that classroom the next week--or the week after if I was hospitalized. Nothing would have changed this guy's mind regarding this class. I was well aware of that. I knew the second after that mirror came down that I had made a big mistake.

I won't be seeing him after our appointment next month. I had already planned to stop in December. I hardly get to see him anymore, and it seemed like the right time to wrap it up. I will have finally attained my degree, will be entering the next stage in my life, and I wanted it to end on a positive note. If he had told me he felt this was last month, that would have been the end.

Up to now I considered the therapy I've had with him to be far and away the most positive and impactful experience of any I've in the 15 years I've been in and out of therapy, on and off of drugs, been hospitalized, been administered treatments, ect. And then he gives me this shit.

And to think that I was crushed when I thought I had disappointed him.

Edited by SqueezeWax

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I ran out of class Monday night. I was giving an introduction to a speech and struggled once again to string together a coherent sentence. The speech itself went alright. I was so frustrated that I was practically shouting it the further I went along. A certain kid in the class I can't stand was laying with his head on his arms the entire time. I was livid. I can't describe here what I wished I could have done to him. After I finished I grabbed my bag and coat and flew out of there, cut at my throat with a pushpin, and called my therapist. I screamed all kinds of threats towards the class to him at a Barnes and Noble a block away. I told him I refused to take part in the final next week which is a debate. I saw him the next day and he wrote a note for the instructor explaining how I was feeling the past few weeks. I emailed the teacher and told him I would read the speech we are required to write for it and nothing more. He hasn't responded to me.

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1 hour ago, Rattler6 said:

I would give school a break until you can settle down. 

All I want is to be spared having to endure this debate, which is the final assignment. I've come to feel an irrational amount of animosity towards this class, and I don't want to be put in a position where I'm made to 'compete' with another student. 

I don't know what to tell this guy. He thinks I simply suffer from stage fright. I don't want to end up doing something else destructive and being hospitalized. It was hard enough on my father to learn what I did on Monday. I know I am responsible for my actions. I have been trying teach myself that I have a choice, but in my worst moments I don't care about consequences. They don't matter. All I want is to scream and shout or break things or cut myself.

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It’s the damnedest thing.  At those times, consequences just don’t register.  I know.  It’s not rational at all, but it’s what our brains do.

Hang in there with this class.  You’re way too close.  Graduation is in a few weeks & that’s why you’ve done all this work in the first place.  You’ll do it & get there.  Deal with “after” afterwards.

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I came to wait outside our classroom --tonight will be our out final class--to find that f**king kid asleep on the floor across the hall, ostentatiously displaying his "don't give a f*ck" attitude. He's about eight feet away from me. I was hoping he wouldn't show up because he presented his final last week.

Edited by SqueezeWax

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