Archive for July, 2012


27 Jul

Further to my last post, I have definitely decided that I need to live. I want to train in some kind of counselling to help others in similar situations. But in the short-term, I have asked to be discharged.

I have been here for 3 days, have done as they asked, had daily showers and eaten and drank. But that is just the superficial side of things. I really do feel that I am ok to go home for the following reasons:

1 – I was suicidal, there is no getting away from that. I had set a deadline of today to make the decision of whether to go ahead and kill myself or really engage with the services and give my treatment a real go. Being in hospital has reminded me of what I have and can have again. Now that decision has been made (actually made it yesterday), I see no point whatsoever of being here anymore.

2 – I’ve actually realised how ridiculous it sounds that I had given myself this deadline and not only that but I had waited until my mum was in America. I love my mum to bits as I do the rest of my family and I want to see my nieces growing up!!

3 – I think until I fully accepted that there were people in my life that I loved, then suicide was always going to be option to go to. I know this will be a really long road, I’ve no doubt of that, and I also have to be aware that I will have suicidal thoughts, but that’s all they are – just like a lot of the population!

4 – It’s been so hard to see how much my life has changed since I was raped and very much felt ‘why should I suffer because of them?’ but the fact is, I am and I need to accept the help around me to move on and hopefully get back some of the old me!

So I need to know, how can I prove this to the staff here? I’m willing to work as intensively as needed with the home treatment team (crisis team) and my cc. I’m willing to go and stay with a friend who has offered me a bed or even go to my grandparents and stay with them (they live far so won’t be able to access services if that was the case).

I don’t see how being on the ward is helping me; I’ve had more flashbacks, feel on edge all the time cos of number of men walking around and generally don’t see how this can be to me benefit?

I’d really appreciate anyone reading this to let me know what they think the doctor will ask and if I have covered all parts?


24 hours in a Psychiatric Ward

25 Jul

If you have been reading my blog, you will know I’m not in the best of places and I had given myself a deadline of this coming friday to decide whether to live or not. I had been open and honest with my care coordinator (cc) about my feelings and that I was struggling, but that my motivation was so low I wasn’t a theat to myself.

Some of my family live in America (I recently visited) and my mum and step dad went on monday (I took them to the airport). Later that day I had an appointment with my cc that didn’t go very well. I was very uncommunicative as I was, understandably, upset. She left and then phoned later to say she is worried about me and would I go and see my psychiatrist tomorrow (Tues). I was in two minds about it as I was worried I would be put in to hospital, but I was told if I didn’t go then the psych would come to my home and so I thought I’d better go along.

So yesterday (Tues), I was compliant and went to my appointment as asked and we spoke for a while. My psychiatrist said she believed we were back in the same place as Jan and that she thought the only option was to go on to the wards where they could a) keep me safe and b) sort out my meds as she doesn’t think my current ones are working for me (trazodone 300mg). I told her I couldn’t go back in to hospital, that I still have nightmares about my last stay and that I feel it would be detrimental to my healing.

However, the bed was waiting for me and I had 2 options:

1) Go in voluntarily

2) Be detained under section 2 of the mental health act.

The thing with these options is they are exactly the same because I was told if I was in voluntarily and I wanted to leave, the staff would hold me on a section 5 (2) for up to 72 hours when I would be assessed and detained under the same section as option 2! So yeah, I really had an option didn’t I!!

I decided voluntarily as at least then I didn’t have to do all the waiting for another doctor to arrive etc. So my cc followed me home whilst I packed and then brought me here, to a different ward than the one I was on previously. I walked in and whilst my cc went in to the nurses station to handover, I was left standing in the corridor. This man walked up to me until he was about 1 foot from my face and just stared at me. I know people are in here for their own problems, but when it impacts on me and my issues then I’m not happy. When he walked away, I just started crying – I don’t belong in here!!!

My belongings were taken off me and I was shown to my room and my cc left. A woman who works here came in not long after and told me that a doctor would be coming to do a physical and take my bloods. She also asked me if I was planning to do anything about suicide whilst on the ward – I said no.

About 2 hours later she came back with another woman with my belongings and they set about going through them. They got to my asthma spray and asked how often I use it, I explained it was an as and when inhaler so no set time – they took it anyway! The did however leave me with all my power cables (laptop and 2 phone chargers!) and a broken cd in my laptop bag that has a nice pointy edge to it that could do some damage.

The doctor came, took bloods and usual stuff – bp, temp etc and then left. All this time, I could hear mens loud voices and although I am in the female only part, there is nothing physical to set the 2 areas a part and all communal areas are mixed (lounge, dining and the laundry room is right opposite me!) I was getting really triggered and had some horrible flashbacks – the magnitude of which I’ve not had for a while – they seemed to go on forever!

And then it was meds time – 10pm. I told the nurse I didn’t want mine because I couldn’t go to sleep knowing there were males so close and that could in my room during the night and so I didn’t want to fall asleep (which my meds make me do).They didn’t argue with me, just told me to tell my psych in ward rounds the next day.

I did doze off a few times but I needn’t have worried because I was on 15 min obs which means you get a nice flashlight shone in room every 15 mins.

So what hasn’t been done on my first day here? I’ve not been shown around, have no idea where anything is. I haven’t been given a named nurse or had my care plan discussed (even now at the end of 2nd day I havent!!). Then there are the small things. The fact I was in floods of tears last night and the woman who saw me told me that she was going off shift now so I’d have to speak to someone else (didn’t tell anyone herself). And then when I asked for a hairdryer this morning, I was told they’d bring it down – 8 hours later and still nothing! It’s these small things that matter when you are in here!

Anyway, I woke up this morning and went to go to the bathroom. WHen I opened the door, this man was stood there – right outside my room!! I quickly got back in bed and then the shouting started, he was arguing with a female member of staff – yelling at her that just because she was a woman don’t think he won’t hit her. The alarms went off, we were told to stay in our rooms and it was at this point I needed my asthma spray – what a joke!!!

It hit 12pm and I hadn’t eaten or drank since arriving (I was ok with that as I’m like that at home – it’s hit and miss!) And then I was told my psych was ready to see me. I needed to tell her al that had happened and why – why I hadn’t eaten, why I didn’t take my meds and most importantly why this was doing me more harm than good!

Well, i’m sure you can guess the outcome – layer me up with more meds!! So going from trazodone every night I am now on:

Promazine 50mg 4 times per day, fluoxetine in the morning and an extra dose of promazine (50mg) if needed and a sleeping tablet. So yes, that’s right – with the girl who is scared of mens voices because she knows what they are capable of, lets just drug her!

I asked when I can go home and she said she is off next week and still wants me here when she returns the week after (ward rounds are weds, so 2 weeks from today).

And here is my problem, being back in here has made me remember why I wanted to live – why I was fighting all the time. All I’ve wanted to do since being in here is speak to my mum (which I can’t – she is in America). The problem lies because no one will believe me if I tell them that – they will think I am just saying it to get out. I’m not dumb, I know I am at the bottom, but I also know I want to climb out. I don’t need 2 weeks of being scared and drugged up to realise this! I don’t even have anyone to visit, so it really isn’t doing me good with nothing to break up the monotony.

And so as I write this, big fat tears are rolling down my cheeks, just like they have been doing for the past 4 hours….


Psychiatry Appointment

17 Jul

For people who follow me on twitter, you will know how difficult this past week has been for me. For the first time since I joined, I actually had to stop going on as I was worried people would see how close to suicide I was. I don’t know how, but with the help of some really good friends on twitter, I managed to get through it. I think it was the closest I’ve been to non-impulsive suicide plans. However, I am now coming out the other side and want to write a more positive post.

Today I had the long awaited psychiatry appointment where I wanted to discuss the bpd diagnosis that I accidentally found out about on my records. My appointment was only half an hour long and I was conscious that once we had gone through the ‘usual’ questions I wouldn’t have much time. However, I was proven very wrong!

When I brought it up she apologised for how I found out. This really didn’t bother me, it was a total misunderstanding and I get that these things happen. She went through my diagnoses and explained briefly each one:

PTSD – delayed onset
Recurrent major depressive episode
Emotional instability disorder

I asked her to expand her reasoning behind the last one as I wasn’t entirely sure I understood it. She asked what I did know and I explained I looked at the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases from the World Health Authority) but it was so wooly that I looked to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association) for a more in depth diagnosis criteria. As a side point, it was also the DSM-IV that I used on my previous post on bpd.

I had taken my iPad a long and we looked at my last post and she said she could understand why I had been so put out as she didn’t believe I fitted in to 5 of the criteria which you need for a diagnosis. She explained how she perceives (using the ICD-10) the diagnosis and that I have things going on that she can’t put under the PTSD or depression heading and therefore used bpd. So essentially here is her reasoning:

– I can be push and pull with help. Sometimes my cc visits and I’m all ready to do whatever is asked of me and another time it can seem like I’m just going through the motions.

– The fact that I feel like I’m unhelpable (if that’s even a word!!) makes me extremely difficult to manage.

– That I visit my abusers to be re-abused because I feel I deserve it and am not worth better. She said that’s really complex and doesn’t fit anywhere.

– That when I was in hospital, I didn’t eat for 5 days because I wouldn’t go up to the dining room and then within a week I was asking for leave so I could go to an important business meeting.

– That I feel so hopeless about it all that I’m constantly battling suicidal thoughts.

I thanked her for explaining and said in my head they were all for different reasons than she is seeing:

– I agree I’m push-pull but I am so scared of letting people in to help as its something I have never done before. I’ve always just got on with things and dealt with them in my own way and that this is a learning curve for me.

– points 2 & 3 are really together. I feel worthless. That’s the basis of my belief system and it drives the things I do. So yeah, I don’t feel I’m worth helping and revisiting them just backs up that belief – gives me another stick to add to my collection for beating myself up with.

– I realised in hospital that the sooner you adhered to their rules, the sooner you would be discharged. So for example asking for leave to do with work showed I was thinking of the future.

I also explained that I felt like because they didn’t fit anywhere else, I was being put in to a box that doesn’t fit purely for labelling purposes. She told me that if both herself and my cc were off and someone needed to know more about me, that there had to be something in the diagnosis area for these other symptoms and that was another reason it was there.

We discussed the points for quite a while and at no time did she cut me off or make me feel like she’s the doctor and therefore how dare I be questioning her. Instead, she listened and took my views on board. She said maybe she should have used traits rather than disorder (so emotional instability traits) and I said I’d be a lot happier with that as a diagnosis.

The outcome was that she promised to revisit my notes and give it a lot more thought. I personally believe this was the system working as it should. My appointment lasted close to an hour and not once did she look at her watch or make me feel hurried for which I was truly grateful.

So i guess my point is, just because it has been given as a diagnosis, if you don’t agree with it or need more explanation then please ask. However, as with anything in life, go in to the conversation knowing that a) there might be things said that make you feel uncomfortable (it wasn’t pleasant hearing some of the things about me) and b) that the best approach is a civilised, adult one. It is not about arguing, it’s about discussing. And remember the psychiatrist is on our side – although I admit at times it’s not felt like that!