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Lioninwinter

Stuck In A Rut

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I guess I wasn't sure in which forum to post this; it kind of falls into substance abuse, to which I don't have access, and also falls into relationships, but my underlying problem is and always been my own depression.

I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember, being suicidal as a teen, struggling with anger, depression, and despair. I have had two major relationships: My wife, with whom I was with for 12 years and married to for 7, and my ex-gf, which was long distance, although we did spend many months together, for two years. In between I had what I'd refer to as a cyber-fling, which I admit was due to loneliness and was very unhealthy on many levels.

I have been through a period a few years ago when I was suicidal. I did some terrible things and abused my medication as well as self-medicating. I would like to point out that since then I do not feel suicidal; I see some point in my life, but it is ill-defined and now I am 30, coming on 31, and have achieved so little, it is harder to find that point. I have tried joining AA for help with self-medication, and I have made some good, reliable friends online, if only a few. I still suffer from incredible loneliness and a complete lack of self-esteem. Last year I was given a five year disability status from the state for my diagnosis as borderline personality disorder and someone who simply cannot function normally.

My studio flat is in a terrible state. I have so little space to clear, but I often find myself leaving it until it is so dire that it is a ten hour job to clean it for inspection. I feel guilty because I have pets (two rats) who would be threatened by that. I feel guilty for my lack of self-care. I shower ... very infrequently ... and do my laundry almost never, favouring to wear my bath-robe given the fact that it is not in any way cold. I sleep in filthy bed and I do not engage in the hobbies which I so used to love.

Photography was always a release and a hobby of mine. I loved showing someone how I saw something. Now I feel I have no-one with whom to share those photos because I have only a few online friends and no friends "in real life" (btw, I hate that term). Photography was always about sharing something and now I don't know with whom to share it. Local camera clubs have year-long waiting lists and costs associated with them. My other hobbies have fallen by the wayside. http://www.flickr.co...N05/7504771576/ is where you can find one of my watercolours, made as a present to my ex-gf, and the only one I have done in two years.

Lately I have lain in bed for as long as I can manage. Today I went to bed at maybe 5am, 4am my time, and was there until 11pm. Every part of me ached. Every part of me refused to get up and work. I am no medication for my diagnosis, though I am seeing a psychiatrist in just over a week, but I have little faith in the British NHS due to their reluctance to medicate me in the past.

I have been through intensive CBT but I find my mind over-analyses things and CBT does not help. I would love to help for DBT or other treatment, but NHS options are limited --- even seeing a standard "therapist" has a year long waiting list in my area.

I am stuck. I don't want to be in this place. I spent several months in the States with my ex-gf and her young son and came back enthusiastic, motivated, and ready to do things. I built the cage for my rats, I had photos to edit, I had new clothes, and I cleaned my flat from top to bottom. In the last few months I have sunk deeper and deeper back into depression and she has left me and my photos seem worthless and I feel as though I have no skills. I have one year's work at an organisation for disabled people several years ago, and I have an undergraduate honours degree from 2005.

I'm lost, I'm lonely, and trust me, I tried to make local friends, but they all dropped away. I take no care of myself and have so little self-esteem or regard for myself.

I find it so scary going out. I find crowds so stressful, I find myself feeling vulnerable when I am out and I talk to myself, and get odd looks.

My break up was terrible. I have a post in the bullying forum describing it. I feel stuck

I'm sorry if I write too much. I will leave this here. Thanks for reading.

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Hi LioninWinter

You have come along way and I am sorry that you have fallen into this depressive state again. It is horrible when you lose interests in things that you enjoy and have no self esteem and no motivation. I have an idea, why don't you put some of your photo's and paintings (the painting from the link is awesome!) in DF's gallery, maybe it may help you find a little passion. When you are in a state like this, try and do tiny, small things to help with motivation, daily goals, even simple things like brushing your teeth, or washing the dishes. You can start with one and build it up. So you could say make a goal for today to brush your teeth and then give yourself some sort of reward for doing it. Then you build from there.

Trace

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Hi Mark,

Welcome to DF, it is good to have you here with us. I have read your thread in the New Members room but thought I would reply to you on this thread as my reply is more specific to what you have written here.

I would like you to know that you are not alone :hugs: I am also in England and I have Borderline Personality Disorder too. I can certainly relate to living in a messy place. I have a real problem with keeping my place clean and tidy for myself and my daughter. I decide to start slowly with things as Trace said.

When you feel like this taking things hour by hour can really help. Break ups are so diificulty for those of us with BPD and I think that people without the condition have a mourning period and we just have the whole roller coaster ride of emotions and it can take a long time to heal.

I really hope that your psychiatrist appointment goes well and that you can get some proper support for your BPD. If it helps print out this post and take it with you to the appointment and explain why you want to be on meds.

Really try, if you can to push for some specific therapy, I have had MBT, it is available in England although it may not be in Brighton. The waiting lists are long for psychodynamic therapy but the more you demand it the more chance you will get the treatment.

I know right now pushing for treatment will seem like an uphill task and I hope you can find the strength to do so. If you have any questions please, please let me know.

Take good care,

Girly

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Thanks for your replies.

TBH there was a time I thought I was getting over this horrible state. I can remember walking out my front door, looking at the sea, and thinking "maybe life isn't so bad." I was on 60mg of citalopram at the time and had stopped self medicating completely for months. I was a nicer person, I think. Still lonely, but comping. Then I got into the relationship I describe in the bullying forum and throughout last year everything fell apart. I had some opportunity to do an IT qualification with a grant from the mental health care, I tried some new meds, but I was tied into this relationship which my friends (again I stress, online) told me was hurting me and holding me back.

You have to realise as well that travelling to the states was a huge thing for me. I have never flown before and never been outside England. To go through airports, to travel so far, was a major deal for me, especially given my problem with crowds and panicking. To spend several months there was a major thing, as was looking after a four year old four days a week. And I was sober for all those months, even when we had fights and the stuff over there is so cheap compared to the UK.

I came home full of enthusiasm. Whilst in the states I really had a chance to engage in photography again and make use of my DLSR camera. e.g. there was one day I simply spent three hours in the snow walking very little but taking so many photos, or the day I got to take some shots of a flock of pelicans (which I'd never seen before) fly overhead in a wildfowl reserve.

Now I feel empty. I just cannotget myself out of bed. The first hour after I wake up is hell. I have self medicated again despite the help of AA, and I can't find the strength to clean my flat (bear in mind we have communal bins here, half way up the street, which also requires me to walk all my trash through the outside sittings of the two restaurants I live above). I just cannot function. I fel so frustrated with myself. I feel like there's a huge gap between where I was once and where I am now, and as if I've lost so much work.

Socialising scares the crap out of me. I hate even going to the mall. I also walk around talking to someone who isn't there --- well they are there to me, but not to anyone else. And I feel ashamed admitting that because then I sound like a complete nut case. When I've told psychiatrists they seem suspicious of that and I don't know why.

Pushing for treatment is hard. I have a degree in human sciences and I know a fair bit about pharmacology, but it seems if I display too much of that then they think I am making things up or pretending. If I play it down then I don't get the treatment I need. If I ask for specific therapy then they act as if I'm being arrogant for thinking I know better ... it is so frustrating.

All I know right now is that I lie in bed not reading, not watching TV, not doing anything, when there is so much to be done. I risk my flat, my income, and I've lost my relationship.... I can't sleep because all of this goes through my head, but sleeping pills are so hard to get hold of.

UGH

Sorry, I needed to vent. I feel so stuck. Every day everything seems to ache and even the smallest task seems like a Herculean effort.

Thanks for reading.

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I was just reading my posts in the bullying forum and they made me cry for several reasons. Some of them seem more appropriate for this thread, as they're more about some of my lack of motivation, etc. than about the bullying.

The break up has taken away my goals, and my future -- I loved America and could quite happily have lived there and helped to raise her son and we even had specific plans for making it happen, and apparently, according to her, I only have myself to blame.

More than that, her comments about two years ago, when we first met, has taken away the most special part of my life, when I was more in love than I have ever been, and when I had the happiest experiences of my life, especially when she first came to visit me in England. We both talked about how much we had in common, how comfortable we were, and we made love so much and every time it was so special -- something I'd never experienced before. Afterwards we both talked about we'd never felt so comfortable with someone else before. She's taken that away from me now. All the lovely things she said to me, all the long emails and conversations, she's even managed to take that away. She used to praise me for being such a good man, and such a good friend back then. She was always excited to talk to me. Now she's taking all that away from me and saying that I neve4r got it right, and even then I was getting it wrong. That thought alone makes me cry so much because I cherished that time, and I've held on to it as a reminder of how good life can be . Now it's gone, and I feel lost.

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Hi Lioninwinter

I know how much this must hurt. I have read some of your posts in the bullying room and I know it is easier said than done, but please do not let her make you feel this way. Break ups are hard, but when someone does what she did to you, it can completely wreck your self esteem. You deserve someone who will not run you down. I know right now it hurts, but now that it is over, perhaps you can focus on finding ways to build up your self esteem.

Trace

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I hate waking up. My depression has always been at its worst for the first hour or two after I wake up. That is when I was most likely to self-medicate. I wake up and realise "this is my life" and I dread it nowadays. Even in the states there were mornings when I would wake up and just sit and cry for a bit (my gf never came in to ask what was wrong btw). I just feel lost and useless, not just because of the break-up, but I have done more and more over the last ... however long. I don't clean or take care of myself or my flat because I have so little regard for myself. Last year a psychiatrist was almost annoyed with me for not washing or taking care of my flat because she said homeless peopel didn't have a choice but I did (it wasn't a very sympathetic thing to say at all). But she didn't get it -- I just didn't care enough about myself. I don't know how to. I see people who are so concerned with their appearance, their hygeine, their surroundings, and I think "***?" I don't get it.

Something that makes me really sad, as I have said, is that I used to so love photography. When I was in the U.S. I remember one day in about a foot of snow, being dropped at a trail by my gf and sayin gto come back in 3 hours. I wondered how on earth I would fill 3 hours. In the end I was late getting back to the car to be picked up. There was never enough time or space on the memory cards for everything. I was gutted when one day I lost a memory card of a lovely set of photos from a bird reserve and our last trip together. I became so enthusiastic again. Now I can't even pick the d*** thing up. I just don't care.the excitement of coming home and showing her and her son and mum the pcitures is gone. It's kind of stupid, because three people online have shown an interest, but ... I don't know. something's just gone. It's also the area. Brighton doesn't have very many interesting places you can get to by bus. We don't even have any forests. I'm not an architectural photographer, so I don't feel inspired in the same way as when I am in the country.

Anyway, tomorrow I have my psychiatrist appointment. I have to drag myself through Brighton city centre on foot, through all the crowds of people and probably end up being patronised and made to feel like I'm lying for some reason -- though why I would lie I don't know.

I still wonder what the point is. Where is any of this going? I had a future planned out twice now - once with my wife, and one with my gf. Now I have to start again? I'm so tired :(

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Hi Mark

Are you able to print this out and take it with you to your psychiatrist appointment tomorrow? Or if not writing the bullet points down to show them exactly how you are feeling right now? I once took about 4 pages of notes to my psychiatrist so they knew what the situation I was in was like.

I hope that the appointment goes well tomorrow and that you leave feeling more positive,

Girly

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Wish me luck ... psychiatrist appointment in 2 hours and I'm going to wimp out and take the bus even though it's only 20 minutes because I don't want to walk through the crowds :/

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Well, yesterday's appointment was ok. I was pleased to get a female psychiatrist, Amy, who was very nice. But guess what? They couldn't find my notes. She spent about 20 mins before the appointment trying to find them and couldn't. So I spent the whole hour trying to give them the best overview of every since my parents divorced when I was four :/ We never got to the point of discussing medication and I think some details still need clearing up. She was actually impressed, rather than disgruntled, that I managed to getmy printer working and I printed up the DSM IV section on Borderline Personality Disorder with all the highlighting I'd done (which was about 80% of the document!) where I felt I identified. She asked if having a label for my illness would help as some people don't like that. I think it would, both in terms of medicating me, and in terms of being able to say on forms and such "I have this condition, accompanied by severe depression and anxiety."

Anyway, she kindly said that she would try to get hold of my notes and would make an appointment for me again at 10 this morning (Friday) so we could finish up and that she would definitely try to find some right meds for me and probably keep the valium going for now. Tom also said he had an appointment but woudl try to reschedule it so he could sit in again. They also want to try and come up with somes ort of care plan for where to go from here.

So I guess it went well, but I'm still very anxious about today and what meds I'll come out with and what "plan."

The three things I really want are:

1) I don't want to start on a "starting dose" of quetiapine, for instance, because I know that I am fairly drug-resistant. Even when I was sober for so long, it took 2x5mg valium to relax me, as opposed to what most people get from 1x5mg. Likewise with quetiapine before. I found the starting dose of 75mg did very little except sedate me, but at 150-200 I started to feel better. I say this as well because I woudl have to wait 4-6 weeks to see them again and knowing I was taking something ineffective for that time would be depressing and disheartening. I worry it would trigger me to self-medicate thinkning "oh hell, if they're not going to giveme something to help me properly then I'll do it myself." We all know how long even 4 weeks can be with severe depression or mood swings.

I also need the valium. I'm not addicted to it and I can stop taking it without side effects, but it means I can face a difficult phone call, going out (e.g. to these appointments) without panicking so much.

2) I would like to see the same psychiatrist again next time. Last year I had three appointments and each was with a different person. They don't remember you, they only have computer notes to go off. They don't remember your emotions, your body language, your tone... and you end up repeating too much. I'd like to stay with one person.

3) If they suggest CBT again I'll throttle them. Nine months of CBT didn't really help me. I over-analyse things, I over think things, and my emotions are far too powerful and just get in the way. CBT is an intellectual exercise for me which makes theoretical sense but doesn't help me cope. It's almost like a game to me.

4) (I added one!) I woudl like home visits like I used to have. It guarantees that I won't miss appointments, it means I can talk in an environment where I feel comfortable, and it means they get to see how I am living, which reflects my state of mind. I found that very important last year.

I wonder if I will have any success?

I do wish they would ask the simple question "what do you want out of this" at some point. Grrr.

Wish me luck again, anyway, and thank you for your support.

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How did you get on at the appointment today Lioninwinter? I think that was very proactive in taking the printout with you. I do hope you get some stability in your treatment and that you are offered more than the CBT.

Girly

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I think I'm goign to try and focus on the positive things that came out of the appointment on Friday, even though it was a very mixed bag and I'm sure at time I will dwell on the disappointments.

Amy was very good. It was supposed to be her day off but before she saw me she found my notes on the computer and rather than skimming them she even read them, including emails I have sent to my GP (my regular physician to Americans reading this) describing my position and what I feel my needs are.

On the down side:

1) They offered me a 5 week CBT program. % weeks is hardly going ot make a dent in the way my life has gone for the last 26 years and especially the last 4. They also suggested other short-term CBT. SHe said that she had made the assumption that as an intellectual person (she was in awe of my academic achievments on Thurs) I woudl like something liek CBT with homework to take home and do. As I explained to her though, those always end up feeling like crossword puzzles to me - a mental exercise I simply don't engage with emotionally. She asked a very astute question: "CBT is supposed to help you recognise your thought patterns and why you feel and react differently to other people, do you feel that you already know those things, nd have analyses yourself so you get nothing from the CBT?" And that hit the nail on the head.

She checked with the consultant and there is no-one trained in DBT in the Brighton area, and certainly not in MBT. CBT is all they have to offer in this area. SHe said she'd try and look into it further but there wasn't much hope. They also offered me 6 weeks of Day Hospital, which means going to the hospital a couple of times a week for one talk session (not therapy I must stress) and some art activities. I don't want that because again, it's only for 6 weeks. I woudl just get into it, only to have it ripped away and be left right back where I am now. I've tried that before and that's what happened.

2) The Central Recovery Team is being disbanded as they yet again restructure the Brighton mental health system. In a couple of months they won't even exist. SO what support I can expect to get from them, I have no idea :sad: Tom said he woudl try and get a care worker to give me some home visits in the mean time but I do'nt know how long they will last.

3) The reason I saw a different person every time last year is because they rotate the post, though I don't know why. Amy leaves in 2 weeks and her post won't even be filled. The only two psychiatrists who will move on to County General are one with whom I have personal issues (whcih they were very sensitive about) and the consultant. SO not much hope of continuity.

On the up side:

1) The Consultant has said that if he can't find time to see me then he will liaise with my GP by phone and letter and give him instructions and guidance on how to medicate me and what needs to be done, which to me seems like a really nice gesture.

2) Amy has officially diagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder concurrent with Substance Abuse Disorder and severe depression. SHe will also write a letter in support of my benefit questionnaire to that effect.

3) Thje consultant agreed that I need to start on a high dose of quetiapine (seroquil) to stabilise my mood so we are jumping straight in at 200mg per day. Amy was going to give me zopiclone, but he suggested that as I need an antidepressant as well and have had no luck with SSRIs that I try mirtazapine (Remeron) in the hope it will help me sleep. I also get more diazepam for now.

4) Amy actually sat there and hand wrote a letter to my docotr as she is only allowed to prescribe 3-4 days of meds and made an exception giving me a week's worth, so that when I see him next week I can show him what she wants me to do - which is increase the remeron and get zopiclone to sleep if I need it.

5) Tom said that he woudl try and get a form stamped by the consultant so that I can go to City Hall and get a disabled bus pass. Bus travel round here is £4.50 flat rate for any return journey, whcih adds up! A free 3 month bus pass could really help me.

SO my main concerns are what happens when the Central team disbands -- what hapens to me? And also what about therapy? Meds are all very well, but I need therapy too :/

All in all I'm glad I went. The appointment went on for 1.5 hours and I was really pleased with how seriously they took me and how hard they tried. At least the meds give me hope. But the therapy thing sucks balls.

Edited by Girly
Removed Dr's names

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As I can't edit my post for some reason, I'd just like to tag on that another thing that makes me feel gutted about the Central Recovery Team being disbanded is that they offered more than just psychiatry and home visits. For instance I was put in touch with a work and employment advisor last year who specialised in helping people with mental health problems get back into work and she was talking about a possible grant I could get to get an IT qualification (I am well versed in the subject but have no qualification). It doesn't look like I'll get anything like that now and that was on hope I had for getting into work :/

They did suggest i might try one of their photography "courses" but I tried a couple of their "courses" last year and the simple fact is they were so basic that I stopped going after a couple of sessions. Also the people on them were handicapped in much more severe ways than me and I felt very uncomfortable.

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A good friend from these forums recommended this book to me: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Angry-Heart-Overcoming-Borderline/dp/1572240806

I'd actually love to do it. It seems like a really practical self-help program that woudl be the next best substitute for therapy. I'm kicking myself so much right now for breaking my bank balance on self-medication. I could have got a bike, to lose weight (I;m 5' 5" and 195lbs :sad:) and used to love cycling and my last bike, which was a gift from a friend the Christmas after Louise left, was stolen from inside my apartment building. I coudl have got this book, and others :sad: And before you even mention libraries, you have no idea what our system is like . Even as an alumnus I would have to pay £70 (or is it (£90) a year membership for the uni library and our public library sucks. You have to pay to rent DVDs, to reserve a book to be put to one side for you, to get one from another library in the county, and if it's overdue then you get charged like £1 a day per book. Not to mention how SMALL their catalogue is. Their IT books are all a good 6 or 7 years out of date.

But yeah, I'm kicking myself. I'm struggling even just because bus fares are £4.50 no matter where you go and I bought three this week :sad:

sigh. Sometimes everything seems to be against you

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Hi Lioninwinter

It is such a shame that the Central Recovery Team, it does sound as though they have helped you a lot. I do hope that following the restructure of the Brighton mental health system there is still a decent level of support available to you.

It is a positive thing that you have is that you know what you are dealing with now you have the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder. There are many resources available if you search for BPD.

I have had short term therapy of 6 weeks twice through my employer and although it was a short term thing it did help in crisis. I hope that you are able to attend the CBT and work with the therapist to suit your needs.

I know that your money situation is tough right now so I am including a link to a helpful website which has DBT skills online

http://www.dbtselfhelp.com/

Take care,

Girly

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So, here we are a week on.... Basically I'm fed up, I'm very depressed, and I wake up every morning wanting to self medicate and literally feeling like getting through the first few hours is like dragging a ten ton weight around behind me. I knwo I have some things here to be grateful for, but I am so sick of feeling this way :cry:

@Girl, I'm so sorry, for some reason the email notification of your reply went in my Junk folder in Outlook, which is odd, so I didn't know you'd left that link, but I will take a read.

As I say, I only have a few friends, all of whom are online, although one doesn't live too far away and could visit if she didn't have her own problems and wasn't also broke. One of them went though some intensive DBT (she's the one who recommended the above book), and she has generously said that she will buy them for me and that she will help me wok through any problems I have with them. They are practically oriented and she said working through them helped her a lot, and she reads a lot of mental health books,so I respect her judgement. It is extremely kind of her.

I spoke to Tom on Tuesday and I accepted a five week, once a week CBT program aimed at BPD, but I honestly doubt they will cover anything in five weeks that wasn't covered in the nine months I did at 3 90 minute sessions a week back in 2009-10. I did it more thinking: "Well, I can stick out five group sessions even if I hate it; it shows a willingness to engage and keep the recovery team on side; and it clinched the deal with the free bus pass, which is useful for more than just getting too appointments -- I might be able to persuade myself to go out with my camera on quieter days, you never know, and it means I can avoid walking through the city centre, although I get very anxious about buses too and always try to put my backpack on the seat next to me to deter anyone sitting there.

Tom was supposed to call back on Friday to tell me what was going on but he didn't, and I was sick most of the day and missed the chance to call him :-( I need the letter form the psychiatrist at the very least to send off my benefits assessment questionnaire!!!

I was supposed to have an inspection at 11:30am on Thursday. I managed to sober up last week (starting 10th June) and by the early hours of Sunday morning I started collecting bottles. You simply couldn't see my floor for bottles, stains of god-knows-what and broken glass and plastic bags. I lost Wednesday to being sick and I actually passed out at midday and woke up at 7:30pm, thinking it was Thursday morning. On checking the computer and seeing "Wednesday" I thought "phew! I still have all Weds to finish cleaning!" then I realised it was PM and I went into a panic and came within a hair's width of self medicating. Instead I took some valium and cleaned the bathroom. Thurs morning I was sitting IM'ing my English friend on Skype whilst she was at work, getting more and more anxious about the inspection. I'd sent an email asking for some things:

(1) My sink keeps blocking up so it won't drain, and I'm broke - besides, chemical cleaners haven't worked in the past. Whenever they send the maintenance guy round he uses a pneumatic plunger I've seen in the DIY store for £10. Surely reimbursing me £10 for one of those woudl be be cheaper than whatever they pay him to come out every time this happens?

(2) My hot water, whcih is an immersion heater, doesn't stay on. The breaker outside the flat flips off, so I assume it's overheating or something. Anyway, it means I don't have hot water.

(3) My flat is on the sea-front. The whole south side of the studio is 5 foot high, single (thin) pane windows, with one other window following round on the west side which is the only one that opens. However, the latch has no socket -- it simply goes into a hole in the plaster work, which is eroding more and more and the window simply doesn't shut tightly. In the rain, it leaks, and in the winter, god does it let in a draught. Bear in mind I have no heating in this flat (yes, I have no heating) I am not going through yet another winter without them something about that window.

For all those reasons I was very anxious about the inspection.

At 11:38 they call and say they can't come, could they do it in the afternoon. SO we said 4:30. They ddin't come. THey said 9am Friday. They. Didn't.Come. For pity's sake. Anyway, they have to come next Wednesday at 10:00 (worst time of day for me) because they're spraying the building with pesticide.

-------

It turns out my doctor is on leave for a month, so I had to see a different doctor at the same practice to follow up on my psychiatrist appointment. This doctor didn't read my notes. She also seemed to think she knew better than the psychiatrist. She's a General Practitioner, and not a psychiatrist, so that was pretty arrogant. She ignored the zopiclone, so now I can't sleep I slept 3hours last night. She was unsympathetic. She didn't ask how I was doing, how my week had been, she didn't even ask the question they are supposed to ask every time: Are you feeling suicidal? She just gave me 56 diazepam and a month of quetiapine and a month of mirtazapine and she doesn't ask if I have any thoughts of self harm?!!! She even said "Oh, btu you have a good network of friends and family" --- WHAT? No!! It's all through my notes that I have social anxiety, that I have no "real life" (again, I hate that term) friends and no family. She got me in and out the door as fast as she could!

I'm dreading talking to her again in a week. She didn't listen to a single word I said, and she didn't seem to give a s***. I came out feeling crap.

Finally two other things:

I'm broke. Seriously broke. I really wanted to get a bike - just a second hand one to get fit. I lost so much weight running round in America and now shop windows show me putting it back on by th eton. SO I looked at my finances. I'm deadly broke.

Also, one of my pet ratties died :-( It was very unpleasant and I'd rather not talk about it. But it just finished off a very s***ty week.

Thanks for letting me rant.

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Lion, I can relate to a lot of what you're writing about, the problems with self-care, the lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy. I know that terrible feeling when you first wake up. It's awful.

Here's a book that I am finding very helpful:

http://www.amazon.co... happiness trap

And here's a website that deals with having a life and home that is a mess. Click on "get started" (also called "can't have anyone over syndrome" !) in the upper right-hand corner in grey writing.

http://www.flylady.net/

One thing I find is that I simply have to force myself to do things. And not expect to enjoy them (yet.). And not waiting to feel better until I do things,

but just go ahead and force myself to do things because at least doing them will be better than not doing them, and maybe eventually I will feel better.

take care.

Edited by ellemint

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I thought I'd update this thread with how things stand at the moment as it's contributing a lot to my depression having got significantly worse in the last couple of weeks.

Amy, the psychiatrist, called me on the last afternoon of her last day in the job and asked em again about the letters I needed written -- this was two weeks after my appointments with her. The Department of Work and Pensions are waiting for my questionnaire, which is long-overdue, and I also really could do with the concessionary bus-pass that Tom seemed to think i could get. It woudl make a big difference to me as bus travel is basically £4.50 (about what ... $6.50?) for a return journey no matter where you are going because they only sell day passes or one-way trips, which cost £2.20 anyway. I avoid going out like the plague because I can't stand to be around crowds. Even getting the bus stresses me out when someone gets on and starts talking loudly, or it fills up with rowdy school-kids, but it woudl mean I could get to appointments without the financial concerns of bus travel, and that I might even convince myself to take the camera out to some quieter places, of which there are a couple, I guess.

The letters I got from her were actually very disappointing. Last Autumn my psychiatric nurse wrote a full side of A4 about my difficulties, particularly my social anxiety and personality disorder and how they impact me and my fear of going out. Amy managed to write two short paragraphs and didn't even use the term "borderline personality disorder" -- she simply referred to me as "expressing some personality disorder traits" and noted my depression and substance abuse. She didn't refer to my social anxiety at all. She simply stated that she would support an application for a concessionary bus-pass. However having got the form alongside her letter (which she obviously didn't look at or else she might have tried harder), I can't check a single box on it. It has boxes for paraplegics, war pensioners, etc, but no box for mental health and not "other" box. So I can't check a single box on the form, and can only include a cover letter, Amy's letter, and I guess I'd better put in the one written by Bruce last September/October which describes things in more detail and say that Amy's letter is confirmation that these issues are chronic.

So I feel rather disappointed in her, as I don't feel like she really took it seriously or tried her best to help me and I'm uncertain as to what the results will be.

Amy's post is now gone, as the Central Recovery Team is disbanded/restructured/whatever term they want to apply, so technically I now have no psychiatrist. If I were to have an appointment then they would want it to be with the doctor with whom I have personal problems due to the interactions I had with him last summer. I can only hope that Amy was at least sincere when she said that the consultant woudl be willing to collaborate with my GP (regular doctor) regarding my treatment. However, again, I feel lost because I technically have no psychiatrist assigned to me.

It has now been three weeks and I have no case-worker assigned to me either. In theory the appointments should have resulted in a "Care Plan," which is a written document that clearly states the route that the service intends to take to help you and which can be reviewed at regular intervals regarding its success and continued applicability. i have no care plan, and I have no care-co-ordinator. Again, I feel adrift.

My GP is away until next week, and I will run out of meds in the next few days. I will have to hope that the nurse at the surgery will authorise a repeat prescription. I am reluctant to talk to a doctor that isn't my own as they are completely unfamiliar with my history and in the two cases where I have had to see a different GP they have not even bothered to look at my notes properly beforehand or during the appointment. I have been taking the maximum dose of mirtazapine partly because it means I can spread it evenly in three doses throughout the "day" and that has meant that I have run out faster than I should have done, so I am worried about asking for a repeat when I should have had enough to see me through until the end of next week. Given how depressed I've been, I don't really see any problem in having taken the maximum dose and trying to at least stabilise my mood.

I am at the end of my diazepam. I am quietly pleased to say that I made it last much longer than I was supposed to, whereas in the past I might have abused it. However I do not feel that it is wise of them to have decided to end it this early. I am four weeks sober tomorrow, but the events that I can only describe as minor epileptic fits which I experienced in America, also after a period of alcohol abuse, went on for a good five weeks, maybe six, I'm not certain, decreasing in frequency of course. I still am having those episodes as far as I know. I phase out, the only thing i remember is a strange electrical buzzing sound pulsing loudly through my head, my vision going, and then I have a sudden headache. Tay described the period as lasting for about 10-20 seconds and I would jerk or scratch/claw repetitively at something, and often make some repetitive verbal sound, and sometimes drool. I woudl then come round, ask "what just happened?" complain about my headache, and then the next day I woudl have forgotten all about it. It took a few weeks for me to start remembering them. I know several weeks ago this happened twice on Skype with someone, and since then I have large, unexplained bruises and find drool on the keyboard accompanied by the headaches and a vague memory of the audio/visual sensations. I dont' think it is wise for me to be coming of diazepam yet; I think they are putting my health at risk unnecessarily by not giving me another two weeks worth; they claim that it is highly addictive but I have never seemed to have that problem and as I say, even now I have made mine last longer than it was supposed to, so I hardly think I can be accused of being addicted to it. Again, I feel as though they are putting theory and rubric before my actual health.

Add to that the other Dr.'s refusal to give me a sleeping aid. Right now I am terrified of sleeping. I have horrible dreams, sometimes nightmarish, other times simply horrible, but all of them leave me feeling unrested and scared to go to sleep. I literally stay up until I am exhausted and then try to sleep. Some days I get 3 hours, other days I get stuck in saga-like nightmares and sleep for hours. Never do I feel rested. However asking for zopiclone or zolpidem (Ambien) is like asking for a class-A drug over here; I was told last summer that they prefer to treat sleep from a psychological perspective. Well I'm not even being offered any therapy, and certainly not the therapy that is recommended for my diagnosis, so how does that argument hold any water?

I think I am coming down off something of a "hopeful high." I felt much more peppy the other week. I had new meds that I hadn't tried before, I didn't have the drama of my former relationship going on, and I cleaned up the flat and got rid of all the bottles and signs of my alcoholism and was sober for two weeks, having been worried I wouldn't even make the one week mark.

Now I feel adrift and lost. My relationship has gone, and I feel like I'm fighting to get even the most basic care. I feel like I know what I need and I'm hitting my head against a brick wall trying to get it, and it's leaving me feeling frustrated, disillusioned and depressed as well as angry, which together make for a very horrible experience. I woudl give anything for a sleeping aid so I could take it, read, and know I was going to get say 5 or 6 hours of quality sleep each day. I could even try and get into a routine instead of "day" and "night" being variable on a daily basis.

The only positive thing is that (on top of being sober for four weeks come midday today -- which, given this last week and the depth of my depression, surprises me) is the following. I have a good online friend who has been through intense DBT and also knows the struggles of substance addiction and she has been kind enough to buy me some of the workbooks that her course used that she found most insightful and helpful. I have made the effort to start reading one, though I feel guilty that in the last few days I have not done so because I have felt so horribly depressed as I describe in my other thread. However, having looked at them, and having read what I have done, I find some relief in reading the words and thinking "that is exactly me." The one I started with in particular is aimed specifically at Borderline Personality Disorder, its development and hope for helping yourself, and I am amazed at -- and slightly comforted by -- how accurate the model of development is and how well it does fit my own life experience.

Anyway, right now I am basically adrift, waiting on answers from everyone, and feeling as though I am going no-where with no support. Now that my relationship is over, I don't even have any human contact and have only had two actual verbal conversations over Skype in about three weeks.

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Aww... I wish I could say something that would help, but as usual for me, it's not easy. It's good that you're staying sober, in spite of all the problems that seem to have piled up as of late, though. Hopefully you'll get a sympathetic nurse when you're next at the health centre who can prescribe you what you need without being judgmental. :)

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Hi Mark,

I'm so sorry I missed your post of 21/07 as I was away. I really admire you for doing so much to help yourself through all of this. Four weeks sober is so great to read. Well done on doing that. Would you be able to try AA for some support while you await more from the Mental Health team? There is no pressure to talk at the meetings if you could just go along and listen as something to do to get you out of the flat and to have some human contact.

It is great that you have these workbooks from your friend and that you are working on some DBT skills. Have a look online for meditations that you could also try. I find these really useful. I think that you will be surprised at how much you can get from 5 therapy sessions tailored to BPD and as you wrote it will show that you are committed to the therapy. The unfortunate thing with BPD is that so many of us with the illness drop out of the intensive therapies. Engaging is so important. The therapy is so hard but I think you have the determination to succeed.

If you can look for some advocacy in your area if you haven't already to support you with your applications. PM me if you would like some help in finding some. I will look at your other thread now.

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I did actually try AA when I wanted to sober up in May. However I found the meetings to be terribly (a) boring and (b) triggering; I would often come out and buy alcohol on my way home. I also just don't have the motivation to drag myself up and walk to a meeting. Sitting in a crowded room isn't very pleasant for me with my social anxiety either. Also AA seemed to be incredibly cult-ish and I just couldn't digest that aspect of it. After a few weeks I stopped going. I really didn't find much support there. The only advice I would ever get was "meetings meetings meetings" (and yes, that was a quotation from someone). They woudl point out how I could spend my day walking between three meetings if I wanted to! How fun!

I feel terrible. I'm sitting here and even typing seems like such an effort. I just want to go back to bed. But then I feel miserable.

I don't expect much from those 5 sessions having done such intense CBT in the past. I went for up to 5 hours a week of CBT for the best part of a year.

I miss Tay. I miss the good times. It hurts so much that she spent that night we broke up writing a list of two year's worth of things I'd done wrong, and she never wrote a list of the things I'd done right in two years or what I had given her. BUt then she was always so focused on what she didn't get, what I did wrong, and never what I did right.

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