Archive for April, 2012

Non suicidal overdose scared me!

29 Apr

If I’m being honest, my latest episode of taking medication to ‘knock myself out’, really scared me. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I used over the counter sleeping tablets to help me get that effect (I usually took a weeks packet at once). However, in the early hours of Monday I was really struggling and the only tablets I had in was my prescription medication.

I knew that they were one of the least toxic medications on the market and so didn’t think twice about taking a weeks worth in one go. I use them mainly for their sedative effect and so I assumed a weeks worth would help me sleep for a good few hours.

My care coordinator (cc), came round about midday and found me unable to walk properly or speak very well. She asked what I’d taken and phoned an ambulance. I really didn’t want one, it was a waste of time and resources as I knew they weren’t toxic. And then I was sick and lost consciousness. I don’t actually remember much but it’s what my cc has told me since.

I was discharged, after a psych consult, around 11pm the same night. The tablets had made my blood pressure drop which is why I was out of it for a bit.

My cc came to see me on Thursday to see how I was and filled in the missing pieces. She told me she was really worried about me and that independently taking small overdoses of the tablets I use wouldn’t kill me. However, what would, is the culmination of them all in such a short space of time. This is what scared me!

Those that have known my blog and twitter (@femaleptsd) for a while know I’ve had my suicidal moments and that’s one thing. But for me to die because all I want is to numb the pain, then that is quite another. And so I have taken the decision to remove that coping strategy all together. The problem is, I haven’t been able to replace it with anything and so the end of this week has been one of the worst for me.

I’ve literally kept myself in bed so that I’m not tempted, and in the process have lost all motivation – you know it’s bad when even suicide is too much of a hassle!!

So, what’s next for me? My cc wants to arrange a review session with everyone involved in my care (my psychiatrist & therapist) to discuss if we are currently on the right path. She thinks that maybe its not the right time for me to be having therapy as I don’t have the coping skills for everything it’s bringing up. I’m not really sure of my opinion on this.

I am also waiting for an assessment to see if I can get a bed in mind’s crisis accommodation. This is essentially a place to go for up to 7 days with a more therapeutic environment and 24/7 access to support (via a phone). I’ve always battled against going to anywhere like this but I honestly think I need it right now. The waiting list is 2 weeks but the assessment should be next week sometime.

I also just want to say thank you so much to those on twitter who yet agin have been there for me. Words don’t feel enough to express my gratitude, but you know who you are!!


Ched Evans – might trigger!

22 Apr

I hope all the people who are calling the girl that was raped understand the following:

Rape is the worst thing I have gone through. I continuously have thoughts of shame, guilt, thinking I’m a slut and deserve everything I get (now and then) – to name a few emotions.

So to read all over my timeline on twitter that people are calling this woman so many bad names – just compounds all these thoughts. She will have to live with these memories forever, not just 5 years.

This “lads banter” is disgusting. The jury convicted him, he is guilty – stop making excuses – he is where he deserves to be.

1 in 3 women will be raped in their lifetime – do you have a sister, girlfriend and mother – think about it!!


Getting My Feelings Out

21 Apr

After my therapy session on Wednesday and still struggling to get in control of my emotions, I was hoping that a meeting with my care coordinator (cc) on the Thursday would allow us to discuss techniques and a way to cope. I also wanted to get off my chest everything that had gone on at the weekend and so was quite anxious about the appointment.

She was due at 10am but at 10 past 10 I got a voicemail to say she had stuff on and wouldn’t be able to make it. She was on AMHP duty and something had obviously come in for her to deal with and she rescheduled for next Tuesday. My immediate reaction was rash and if I’m being honest I felt that I wasn’t worth her time and so without thinking it through called up and left a message to say I wanted to cancel all appointments.

When she got the message, she called me back and said it was an extreme reaction to her cancelling an appointment. In hindsight I agree, but with how emotional I was during the week, I just acted impulsively again! The call didn’t go well and I ended up ending it after getting frustrated that I couldn’t explain. Instead I took the decision to write her a letter to try to get my feelings out. Here is the letter I wrote:

“I thought this would be a better idea to get my thoughts down and hand in – you can read when you have time & I won’t feel like I’m getting in the way.

As you know last weekend was horrid for me. Yes, it was my fault – I made the decision to drink and smoke and so I have to accept the consequences of my actions.

Regardless of that, it still brought up a lot of emotions and that’s why I called on monday to speak. My impulsiveness scares me at times and I needed to ask for help in managing that so it doesn’t happen again.

I know [my support worker] was round on Monday, but I don’t have enough trust yet to open up to her. In therapy with [my therapist], we looked at the graded exposure and worked out a plan for going forward. This was because I told her how the trigger point for me on Saturday was because I failed on going out on my own. I explained to her about that being the last straw, that I was struggling with the emotions brought up from therapy and the fact work is a huge stress to me at the min as well. And it was a culmination of everything that made me feel shit, worthless and pathetic.

What we didn’t look at in-depth was how to manage those emotions. We spoke for a few mins on mindfulness techniques and she gave me a cd to listen to but like I’d tried to explain – I go from 0-60 in seconds and whilst I develop these skills, I worry what I will do!!

I didn’t sleep last night. I was nervous about seeing you today as I had made the decision to open up more about the weekend. I knew you were on amhp duty and you might have to cancel but when it reached 10am, I expected to see you. I don’t know how things work in your role but I do understand that someone must be in real need if an amhp is called. I guess the thing that got to me was the fact it was 10 mins after you were due that you called to say you wouldn’t be making it.

I’m feeling extremely vulnerable right now. From therapy, feelings of worthlessness and rejection have been brought up and not finished being processed (because we worked on the graded exposure plan) and that’s exactly how I am feeling now. We both know how difficult I find calling, but maybe I shouldn’t make the assumption that because I called on Monday, you would know how shit I am right now. I do leave things thinking ‘well I’m seeing x on whatever day so just get till then’ and so when I don’t see x, I’ve built my emotions up so much that it feels personal – like I’m not worth anyone’s time.

Then I go from 0-60 in seconds and make the impulsive decisions that I keep mentioning (think you called it an extreme reaction). My rash thought process was that if I don’t let anyone in then no one can let me down and so it made sense to me to cancel everything.

All I know right in this moment is that I’m struggling. I feel like I’m going through one of the worst patches I’ve had and I have no idea how to deal with things. Tuesday might seem only a few days but when I’m counting in seconds, it feels like a lifetime away. I know you said [student social worker] would come tomorrow but I can’t deal with putting on a front at the min. I tried to talk to her about work stressing me out last week and without asking any questions about why she just said it’ll all work out in the end & conversation reverted back to her. I know she is learning & most days I’m ok with that – but not at the moment.

Anyway, I just had to get some things out there and hope this was ok to drop off. Please can you give me a call so that we can discuss what happens next.”

On Friday morning I got a call from my cc to say can we re-arrange the appointments I’d cancelled. I apologised for being so rash and she apologised for leaving it so late to let me know. I assumed she had read my letter but as we spoke it became apparent she hadn’t – it was still in reception where I’d dropped it off the previous day. We decided her and the student sw would come round that morning and discuss things.

I’m glad she did, it was a successful visit. She said nothing in my letter (which she’d read by then) was new to her and maybe in the future we wouldn’t make any appointments when she was on amhp duty to avoid this again. We talked about how my negative/self-destructive tool box had a lot more told in it than my positive one and we had to work on redressing this balance so instead of automatically turning to negative I will eventually turn to positive ones.

She recommended I get a DBT book and we are going to work through that when she comes round. She also said she knows between now and me going to America (7 weeks), I will have a lot of wobbles a long the way as I question if I can get to the usa on my own and that right before my anxiety will be sky high. She also believes that when I’m in america, my anxiety will reduce a lot – I also think this will happen.

I now feel like we have more direction and I hope this is the start of me moving forwards!


Therapy session

18 Apr

I have just got back from my therapy session and needed to get thoughts out!!

Last weekend saw a difficult one (not really ready to go into why) that essentially felt like me pressing my self-destruct button. I put myself in an unsafe situation and spent a lot of the weekend pretty drunk and stoned. All this because I felt like I deserved to be punished because I couldn’t even manage to go out for a walk on my own (that was my homework from care co-ordinator!!)

After the weekend, a lot of emotions from the original rape were brought up (that I’d well and truly buried), and so going to therapy today I thought we could discuss them and see what strategies for helping me if I was in that place again we could come up with and also deal with all the emotions that have bee brought up.

I explained what had happened to my therapist and that it came about because of a culmination of being angry that I couldn’t go for a walk, emotions that were brought up in emdr therapy last week plus stresses to do with my work. I told her my emotions go from 0-10 in seconds and when they are so extreme all the distraction techniques I have are pointless. That I needed help on things I could do at that point. I think I set out what I needed from the session.

Instead, we spent an hour putting a plan together about what was achievable for me going out on my own. I understand that this was the trigger point that day, but another day it could be something completely different. I needed help in dealing with the emotions it brings up that makes me want to hurt myself in whatever way.

Towards the end of the session I told her this and she said we can work on that next time (in 2 weeks). So now I have two weeks where I’m feeling right on the edge of self-destruction and no real way to manage it. I’ve got mindfulness stuff as well as relaxation tracks but at the min, for me, these could also be triggers because if I don’t get them right or they don’t have the desired effect then I will beat self up over the fact that I can’t do them!!

Feeling rather frustrated at the moment. I’m sure it’s probably me over reacting like I tend to do immediately after something gets to me!!


EMDR sessions and therapy

12 Apr

Yesterday saw me continuing with therapy and emdr. I think to understand where my emotions went, I need to explain the process a bit more.

In the past we had spent a long time doing my timeline (essentially looking at significant events in life) and from this me and my therapist extracted bits that she thought I needed to process.

So beginning with the earliest traumatic memory, she asks me to remember it and how distressed it makes me feel in the now. This is given a mark out of 10 (10 being extremely distressed). Next she asks me what the memory makes me feel. As an example I said ‘I am worthless’ – that is then given a mark from 0-7 on how much I feel that to be true (7 being very true). Lastly, she asks how I would like to feel in that memory. Mine was ‘I am ok and worthwhile’ and again this is rated from 0-7 on how much I believe that to be true.

Once those 3 marks have been given, my therapist asks me to imagine that memory again and how worthless I feel and then she begins the finger movement. I literally follow her fingers back and forth a number of times with my eyes. She then asks what feelings that has brought up and she does the finger movement again. We keep going until I don’t really know what I’m feeling (this happens a lot more than I thought!) and then she asks me to revisit the memory and do the 3 ratings again.

So yesterday I started with I’m worthless and believed it was a 7. The emotions that were brought up were:

It was my fault
Under valued
Should never have been born
I should be dead
I want to kill myself

I’ve never felt suicidal in an actual session before and it really shocked me and made me see where the suicidal thoughts were originating from. The problem with emdr is the feelings that come up aren’t really discussed. They are attempted to be processed and then use mindfulness and safe place techniques to manage the emotion and so it can leave me feeling a bit lost in my own thoughts.

At the end, we revisited the original memory and for me non of the ratings had changed. I’m not sure if that means its not working or I’m expecting too much from one session. The feelings/emotions that were brought up were very powerful ones and as they were coming up I was crying more and more. So when the session was over I was exhausted and I can’t seem to shake them off – even 24 hours later!


Use of the word ‘overdose’

10 Apr

Today I woke up from taking a number of sleeping tablets on sunday (and every time I woke up since). When I went on twitter I saw a number of people had messaged me to see if I was ok and one of my replies said, “thanks for concern – am safe just sleeping off after effects of od”. Let me try to explain my use of the word overdose (od).

I am a very impulsive person and when I am in a very bad place, I worry that I will make a serious attempt at suicide. To overcome this, I take sleeping tablets (around 2 weeks worth) to ‘knock me out’ for a few days. This might sound unconventional but for me it is about passing time until I can manage my emotions and feelings more. In no way are they overdoses with suicidal intent and I openly discuss them with my care co-ordinator (cc).

I always used to call it knocking myself out – it described what I was doing and also what I wanted to do (when knocked out, you can’t feel emotion!!). However my cc has worked with me to call them what they are – overdoses. Whether intentional, accidental or suicidal, the act of taking more tablets than you are supposed to, is an overdose and this therefore brings us to today.

I think the word overdose for me has now become a ‘norm’. Sad I know, but that’s just where my life is at the min. It was pointed out to me that when I said I’d od’d, it actually worried people on twitter. This is NEVER my intention, I actually felt horrendous when it was pointed out. I forget that for most people, overdose is synonymous with suicide and when I say it, that’s what people think. For that, I am really sorry, I never want anyone to worry about me – I am not worth that and would hate that I am making anyone feel that way.

My initial reaction was to say I should leave twitter, that if I couldn’t say how I actually felt then there was no point me being there. This was in the heat of the moment as to be honest I felt shit and guilty and ashamed and a myriad of other emotions – purely because people said they were worried. In hindsight this isn’t the right thing to do and I need twitter as a place to air my feelings.

When I am in a bad place, I often go offline for a few days purely because I’m either asleep or I just want to lie and do nothing. In the future I will try to just say I am ok so this doesn’t happen again.

I really am grateful for the messages I received – it showed people cared. I am just really bad at thinking anyone would care about me – sorry!



Support system

06 Apr

The last time I posted I mentioned that I was going to go through my expectations with my care coordinator (cc). I was due to see her on the weds and she called on the Monday to say she had been thinking about my needs and wanted to introduce a support worker in to the equation and would I be ok with this. I told her I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get me better!

When she came round on the weds, we discussed both sets of expectations. I told her that 90% of them were being met but it was the regular contact and not leaving me for weeks on own that wasn’t. She explained why she doesn’t ask duty to call me in these instances. We have an understanding that I don’t answer calls from blocked numbers (just because I worry it could be someone from the gang), and so my cc always leaves a message and I’ll call her straight back. Sometimes though when not in a good place, I don’t want to call back and she knows that I will do when I feel able (because I’m returning a call and not making one out of the blue – I’m ok with this!). Anyway, her reasoning was that a duty worker doesn’t know that about me and if it’s 2 or 3 days and they haven’t had a reply it is likely they will send an ambulance or police and that’s why she doesn’t like asking duty to call if she is off. I can understand that and see her point.

We also discussed plans for moving forward. I’m going to see my brother in America in 9 weeks (arrrrgh!!) and so need to do some intensive work on getting me out of the house and being around other people. It’s 2 flights to get me to where he lives – one for 8 hours, then a 4.5 hour wait at that airport and then another 3 hour flight and I’m going by myself – not sure this was my brightest idea!!

With that in mind, we are doing some intense graded exposure and will have the following:
A support worker once a week
A student social worker twice a week
My cc once a week &
Therapy once a week
I know I asked for regular contact but I’m worried this will overwhelm me (I only asked for once a week). We are doing some tough stuff in therapy and then to tackle the social stuff at the same time might just be that bit too far.

However, I’m giving it my best shot. This week saw me go for a 15 min walk with student, a difficult therapy session and a half hour walk with my cc. It’s a 4 day week this and next so won’t be seeing support worker until the week after. I’ll see how it goes on the first full week of having everyone round and how it leaves me feeling!!