Halloumi nights


I cannot stop. I don’t want to stop.  I am eating Halloumi for breakfast lunch and dinner. Yes, I was exaggerating for effect.  Well spotted. Moving forward, the CHEESE!! The above isn’t the exact cheese I ate as I can’t keep it on the plate long enough to take photographs of it.  It’s the next […]

Home Treatment vs. inpatient


I’ve had a really positive experience with the Home Treatment Team from my local hospital.

After my recent overdose, I had to wait for a psychological assessment after the hospital had cleared me on medical grounds.  So, in A&E, after a massive wait to see the psych team, a psychiatric doctor came to chat to me.  It became clear that I couldn’t say I regretted the incident and as such I was difficult to gauge risk of repeating the action.

So, the options in my case were to go in for a hospital admission, or get something called home treatment, which is like being an inpatient while being allowed to stay at home.  The monitoring is quite intensive, with psychiatric nurses visiting in your own home on a daily or every other day basis.

I have not put myself in this situation before, as in the past I’ve not crossed the line between thinking about taking a bunch of tablets to harm myself, and actually doing it.  I think I’m just so fed up with the depressive cycles that I’ve lost the balance between thinking and doing suicidal behaviour.  I’ve crossed the line in my head.  I don’t want this anymore, this messed up life, marred by relapses that set me back to the start again.

My family wanted to get me admitted – partially due to feeling helpless to ‘save’ me at home.  I suspect they wanted a break from being on suicide watch 24/7 and who could blame them.  Saying that, I didn’t want to be in a foreign environment though.  I thought it could freak me out to be around people with worse symptoms than myself – especially if there were violent patients too.  I think I may be speaking from ignorance here since I’ve never been on a psych ward so I’m only guessing from the media and what I’ve been told.

I finally got discharged into the home treatment plan option.  They have visited me on alternate days and, to be honest, it has been a really positive experience.  I was told the staff doing these home visits are highly trained and experienced.  That comes across in their knowledge, bedside manner, everything is professional and helpful.

Thank you to that team – you’ve been really helpful!

 

Self harm and suicidal thoughts


I have come back to this blog after a break.  I loved writing in it and enjoyed reading bloggers’ viewpoints on things mental health related.  I’m back writing here now mainly because of my depressive relapse.  I need the support at the moment and this is my outlet.  For now.

Everything is such a blur lately.  I have already touched on the problems with a job contract ending a few months ago, which is what I believe started this sharp downward spiral.

Most worrying for myself and family has been the three recent hospital admissions.  The previous two admissions had been intentional overdoses.  Was I trying to kill myself?  Well, not exactly.  I wanted to feel poorly (take my focus away from the mental pain).  I also had strong urges to cause harm to myself in general, and to take too many pills in particular.  Additionally, the first hospitalisation made me feel better when I did wake up post-seizure, almost like the seizure reset my brain chemicals to near normal function.  I had it in mind that if I could replicate this seizure resetting, I might feel better again.

As it happened, the second overdose precipitated a seizure while in the hospital and, again, I felt a bit better.  This sounds quite bizarre, I know, but I wondered if it was somewhat the effect of Electro-Convulsive action of the seizures.

Following the overdoses, I was given a psychiatric assessment in hospital, the result of which was a scary discussion about a possible hospital admission.  I was against going onto a psych ward because I’m quite easily overwhelmed by strange new places and people and, frankly, I was just picturing all the films I may have seen where some poor sod is holed up in a crazy ward.  I am worrying it would be a pretty horrific experience.

My close family were with me and wanted me to stay and wait for the psych evaluation.  I wanted to get out of there.  The psych team had a crisis on, so we were told we could be hanging around for a few hours.  Yeah, hardly.  It was about 16 hours!!  I was so tired but couldn’t sleep in a hospital buzzing environment.  I’m grateful now that my Mum told me to stay and my Dad came in and told me the same thing.  It was the worst waiting experience I’ve ever had.  We were in a relatives room on the day it was roasting hot temperatures.  They found a bed for me but my family had to just deal with no sleep.  I never imagined it was going to take longer than three hours, so no one went home to sleep ,because I needed someone to come into the consultation with me, advocate for me and generally remember what was said.

When I got the hospital doctor sometime around lunch the next day, he asked me tons of questions: What happened?  Why did you take the tablets?  What were you hoping for?  Do you regret it now?  If you go home now, do you think you can stay safe?

I’m sure there is some way these questions help them determine my risk to self and others.  I took the overdose because I felt awful and I thought either I could have a seizure again (perhaps feeling some symptomatic relief), or perhaps I would die.  The place my mind was in, it didn’t matter too much which outcome I got.  Having said that, the doctor said he had to go talk to his consultant to discuss what to do with me.

My family wanted me to go into hospital.  I didn’t want that so I took the home treatment option instead.  This is not something I’ve heard of, but it was explained to me that it’s like being an inpatient without being in hospital.  I know, strange concept…  This option means you have psychiatric nurses coming to your home every day or every other day.  They check how you are doing and I assume continue assessing your mood.  It’s more intensive than community psychiatric nurses and it has been pretty helpful so far.

I may write a bit more on these recent events as they are new territory for me and, maybe, if I explain how the treatment scenario panned out for me it could help someone else who’s facing the unknown or thinking of hurting themselves.


Some time after I found myself in hospital, due to some dodgy drug combination, I decided to face the music.  I went to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting to find out what kind of addict I am.  I’ve never been in a room with so many withered, wretched human beings.  Scarred from their usage head to toe.  Strange smelling, roughly clothed, down and outs.  I saw in that group of drug users the haunted faces of those who haven’t the luxury of being cushioned from the consequences of their behaviour.

For better or worse, I really haven’t paid the price of my drug habit, in terms of lost accommodation, loss of a child or withdrawal of family support.  I haven’t had to steal to fund my habit and I have been supported by family, emotionally speaking.  Those poor people had suffered for their addiction to substances.

I may go back in the future, yet I don’t feel at home there.  The giving mentality that those NA members demonstrated was truly humbling.  I was made to feel so welcome, given phone numbers of some of the women there to call when support is needed.  I really felt the whole giving back concept was a beautiful thing.  Hmm, if I could just find a group with some similar backgrounds for me to relate to.  That’s what i would like.

I’m taking rather a lot of meds


Did you ever wonder what doctors do about antidepressant therapy for clients who are already on them?

It might interest you to know that if you have had an episode of mental ill health, requring antidepressant therapy, then it is recommended that you stay on those tablets for a further six months AFTER the depressive illness has been cured.

I have no thoughts on that.  I’ve been munching them for 15 years with very few breaks for santity.  When you first go on the doctor, naturally, starts you on the lowest effective (AD) dose for your height/weight.  20mg for me then.

As we sit now I am currently maxed out on the highest dose of the particular SSRI I’ve been on for 15 years.  As someone with a long term depressive illness, I do not feel it has been sufficiently dealt with that I’ve ever had the chance to realistically go off the meds.  So, chundle along….

Anyway, since the G.P. couldn’t legally overdose me on his own prescription, he suggested a drug combo with a second SSRI of the “oh I’m so tired; let’s just eat a pizza before bed though” variety.

So I’m only in the first week of this adjunct therapy.  I can’t tell yet if it will suit me.  I did say that I’d really like to be able to sleep, which is something I struggle with from the anxiety side of the depression.

I have a feeling I’m going to be setting the medical tone for the rest of my life – anti-depressants next to morning bran flakes, evening antidepressants greeting me from the bedside table.

I’ve heard they can have long term side effects too, but we haven’t got the numbers through yet for all the people who started on these drugs in the 80s, 90s and beyond.

At the moment the focus is survival, if that’s possible.  At the moment I’m not thinking about anything except doing the textbook-correct moves in order to shorten or minimimise the acute suffering (subjective though it be) of a depressive episode.

Nighty night

 

 

 

16


Hello.

I’m very sorry to darken the door again but I am afraid I, as before, need a little self-therapy.

I left this blog up to view, leaving it unaltered for four years.  I very rarely came here myself during the past years, but I thought others might find something in it and in that spirit left it up.

The Depression thingy:

The Depression thingy is still alive.  I have been pummelled by it the last few days to such a degree that I ended up returning here.

I’m pretty sure HIM-Macarbre has syruped its way into my head again.  The blank affect.  The guilt.  The lack of any energy.  The reduced enjoyment in anything in daily life. Have I missed some symptoms out there; probably.

I am your weary blogger, returned from my four-year-trip; you can stay as I unpack my case, if you’d like.

 

ESA benefit changes – how will it affect me?


I started writing on this topic and the post became too long, so I’m splitting it.  I am one person, affected by a welfare benefits overhaul, who doesn’t know how to feel yet.  So, first part:

There is a massive change in welfare benefits in the UK at the moment, which is of concern to anyone who is already claiming sickness related benefits or will shortly need to.

If you are in the process of being assessed or wish to download the forms and information guides, then the dwp website has the links if you click—–> here.

Since there is the whole country to get through, people must feel the impact, for good or bad, at staggered times.

It’s my turn to be staggered.

Well, I completed the limited capability for work form, within the month, as required.  I then awaited for the results.

A few days ago I got the decision letter telling me that I had been placed in the work related activity group (as opposed to the ‘support’ group, which is reserved for those with limited capability for work related activity – KEEP UP, WILL YOU, this stuff is reviting.  I’m about to RIVET you.

 I was totally anxious when I got that letter.  I’ve not had time to read through the time-consuming, dreary particulars, which I am endeavouring to do, one clause at a time, but it really set me in a tail spin of anxiety when it hit me that I knew nothing about the new structure.

The greatest fear comes from simply not knowing.

I only knew the true extent of my not-knowing, when I received the decision letter, which helped to clarify that I was in a very vague category, with vague responsibilities to attend and take part in job focused interviews (or my benefit could be affected).  That last part was pretty clear.

Phrases like taking reasonable steps, seeing a job focused adviser at regular intervals rang out crystal clear, like piccolo song across a frosty lake.