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New diagnosis

04 Mar

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on here and that’s been mainly for two reasons: 

1) so much has been going on but with family that I can’t blog about and 

2) I kinda lost my writing mojo

But this week has been a tough one and I’ve thought long and hard about if I want to go in to why. But I started this blog to chart my journey and I believe this is part of it. 

As I think I’ve documented elsewhere, my pre-trauma life was one filled with a lot of activity and exercise and I considered myself to be pretty healthy. I needed to lose some weight but I was playing football every week and training the rest of the time so it gives you some insight in to what I was like. 

When I was diagnosed with PTSD, they put me on quetiapine which is quite notorious for putting weight on. For me, it was about 3 stone in as many months. That made me feel hideous and led to me not wanting to go out in case people I knew saw me. The spiral continued and I began using food as a crutch and binge eating as well. My weight just kept going up and up. Add that to the fact I wasn’t going out and took to my bed most days, you can see how my lifestyle had changed dramatically and how unhealthy I had become. 

This week I got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and to be honest, I was totally shocked by my reaction. I felt unclean, like I had something wrong inside me that I just want to get out. I felt angry, that a) I’d let myself reach this point and b) that I also blamed the gang for taking something else from me. I’m not sure I’m explaining it very well. I’m not shifting responsibility, it was me who ate unhealthily and put myself in this position – but would it have happened if I didn’t suffer the multiple traumas? I honestly don’t believe it would have done. 

I’m really struggling to come to terms with this new diagnosis but I’m hoping that I can reverse it and am starting myself on quite a severe plan in order to do this. I know I need to get over it and then get on with it, but it’s just been another reminder of how my life has drastically changed and something else to deal with. 

 
 

Hope

23 Oct

I’m currently two weeks into a six week therapy assessment to see which type of therapy is right for me. During this time my therapist asked me to think of something that signifies hope growing over the period. We talked about a plant but I knew I’d kill it (not exactly green fingered) and then maybe something like a circle that was added to to make a swirl by the end. Anyway it turned out my homework was for me to think of something. 

One night I was feeling pretty low and put my ‘dark’ music on that makes me feel anger and hatred and that’s when I decided to do a hope playlist. My therapist loved the idea and I’ve been thinking ever since. Here is my list so far, what would be on your list?

Pink – try

Rachel Platten – My fight song

Josh Groben – Raise me up

Il Divo – Mama

R Kelly – Worlds greatest

Bill Withers – Lean on me

Labi Siffre – Something inside so strong

S club 7 – bring it all back

S club 7 – reach for the stars

Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston – when you believe

The fray – how to save a life 

Pink – just give me a reason 

R kelly – I believe I can fly

Mariah Carey – hero

Bon jovi – living on a prayer

Toploader – just hold on 

Christina Aguilera – beautiful 

Bon jovi – living on a prayer

Simon & Garfunkel – bridge over troubled water

The Journey – Don’t stop believing

Eminen – lose yourself

Gerry and the Pacemakers – You’ll never walk alone

Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Everybody hurts – REM 

Eminem- not afraid

Ben e king – stand by me 

Michael Jackson – man in the mirror 

 
 

Voices with PTSD or is it BPD?

22 Sep

**TW: Cutting**

On and off I’ve heard this voice; its external, it’s male and it calls me names. That was until this weekend when it started to do more than name calling, it began telling me to do things and if I didn’t there would be consequences. For example to cancel my appointment with my community psychiatric nurse (cpn) as I can’t trust them. If I didn’t do this, it said it would hurt me. It didn’t say how, but in such a way I believed it and do I didn’t go to my appointment. My cpn called and I decided to test the voice and explained why I wasn’t there. She told me I had to keep challenging it by doing things (like getting my meds for example) and to ignore the consequences it spoke of.

And so this afternoon I did. I went and got my meds and instantly I was told to cut myself. Now I tried cutting right at the beginning of my illness because I didn’t know what else to do but it hurt and I didn’t like it (this was about 5 years ago). I only have 1 tiny scar as they were very superficial cuts. I don’t want to cut myself but all I’m hearing is name calling and telling me to do it to stop it and so now the thought is in my mind. 

I’ve tried looking in to PTSD and hearing voices but I’m not really finding anything about it and was wondering if anyone else deals with similar and what they do? I’ve tried telling it to go away and imagined I’ve got a volume button that I’m turning down but it still prevails.  

I’ve heard more than once it being mentioned that it’s to do with bpd and I also wondered if anyone had had any dealings with this? My psychiatrist said it isn’t psychosis and the voice really only makes itself known when I’m in a high state of anxiety (or that’s what I’m told by services). 

I’m just looking for other experiences I guess. Thankyou. 

 
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Hospital

25 Aug

So here I am again, on a psychiatric ward listening to the usual alarms going off, people kicking off and general hum drum of life on a mental health ward. 

I don’t want to be here, I don’t think I should be here but the choice was pretty much taken out of my hands; go informal or we’ll section you. 

Just so people realise, there is no therapy in these places – the sole purpose is to keep you safe. Now the fact I took an overdose on Sunday (now Tuesday), it’s a bit reactive wouldn’t you say? 

I want to go home I’m in the mixed part of the ward so the room next to me is male. I’ve locked my door but just feel hyper vigilant and unsafe. 

I’ve been ‘clerked in’ where they take your bloods and you literally go over everything the consultant has just been over with you including the reason you’re there (erm because you made me). 

I’ve just asked for some prn (which means as needed) promazine for my anxiety and to try and stop the thoughts ruminating but been told it’s not been written up yet – seriously, what is it with this place, I couldn’t even get paracetamol for a bad headache earlier. 

This post has been long coming, I’ve gone further and deeper in to the black hole. Sorry if this is where it cut off last night, I pressed publish instead of send when I gave my phone in to be charged. 

So it’s now 6.15am on Wednesday morning and I’ve been woken up every 15 mins by them switching my lights on to do observations. So now I’m tired as well as ratty!! Im just going to have to play ball until I can get out of here now! 

 
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Going Away

25 Jun

**TRIGGER WARNING – SUICIDAL THOUGHTS**

I’m sat here on a deck in gorgeous weather overlooking a lake surrounded by all my family and yet I’m feeling suicidal. Why does this happen? Surely I should be at my happiest right now?

  
I’ve already had thoughts of jumping out of a boat in the middle of the lake without a life jacket on and just drowning and even as far as jumping in to the fire we had one night – so much so that I had to come inside because the urges were so overwhelming. 

I’ve forgotten to bring my medications up to the house on the lake and so maybe that’s why I’ve gone downhill so quickly but I wouldn’t have thought being off them for 5 days would have such a dramatic effect. 

I leave on Tuesday to come home to having no family (except my grandma who I have to look after) so I should be making the most of this trip, right?

My sleep is so disturbed, I’m sleeping in the sunroom (living room without blinds) and everyone has to go through to get to the bathroom and as soon as the sun rises it shines right on to my bed so I’m awake. I know how petty and whiny this sounds but I’m just trying to understand why I’m so suicidal when I should be happy πŸ™

 
 

Update

15 Jun

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last blogged. So much has happened since and yet nothing much at all. 

I’ve finished dbt and 2 months later have just received a copy of the one page post therapy report. It basically says I need to consolidate my skills from dbt and I’m not stable enough for any trauma work yet. If not now, then when? I feel this past year in dbt has been a waste of time as I was supposed to be doing trauma work alongside the group skills sessions. 

In terms of where I’m at right now, I’ve very dissociative and my cc believes this is due to my impending trip to America, which I am going alone and isn’t sure it’s the best idea. But as the stubborn person I am, I’m going to prove people wrong and do what I need to – it’s for my mum after all. 

I know this is a short update but hopefully I’ll blog when I’m back from America with more about how I am and fingers crossed more about therapy. 

 
 

TW: What Would You Do?

18 Feb

Below is a hypothetical situation – some of it is based on me and some added in to the post. It is based on a situation that involves the home treatment team (htt) (or crisis team depending on where you are from).

Htt is a team that works in the community to stop people being admitted to hospital. It is their job to work with people in acute crisis.

So the following is a situation that I want opinions on please (as I say there is a mix of reality and hypothetical so say what you think).

Htt were due for a visit at the clients home and the client had left a makeshift noose on the table (it could have been anything, not necessarily a noose because of it’s make up). Whether or not the object was left on the table on purpose is to be ignored in this situation.

The conversation went as follows:

Htt (H): what is this for?
Client (C): it’s a makeshift noose, good idea eh?
(H): well no, not really. What are your plans for it?
(C): I think that’s fairly obvious
(H): you do realise the way it’s set up, if you do it there’s a point of no return
(C): yeah, that’s kinda the point
(H): it’s your property but would you be willing to give it to me
(C): no, that’s not an option
(H): ok, I had to ask. You have all the out of hours emergency numbers, would you call them if needed?
(C): to be honest, no, I wouldn’t
(H): ok, all I can ask is you keep yourself self and we are around for the next 4 hours if you need us.

So the question is, what would you as the htt have done in this situation?

 
 

TW: when I need help

30 Dec

**trigger warning – mention of suicidal thoughts**

I’ve had a very short term stay in hospital from 16th December and since being discharged on the 19th, I’ve really struggled. Suicidal thoughts are at their peak, I wouldn’t be missed but make close people around me freer and that’s a hard battle to fight by yourself.

It’s obviously been the Christmas period and I’ve just ignored everyone these past couple of days – this resulted in a cause for concern police visit which was a waste of everyone’s time.

I kept being told by the community mental health team to let them help me and so I decided to ask for help this afternoon and was basically told to call a friend. My issue with calling for support is how can anyone take this dark feeling out of my heart and make it ok again? No one can and so why do they insist on me calling in. I don’t know what the next couple of days will bring for me but if I’m not around much, have a good new year and hope people get the help they need and deserve.

 
 

What is DBT?

13 Dec

DBT (Dialectical Behavioural Therapy) is a form of therapy that was originally set out to help people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) by teaching them certain skills so they could manage their symptoms more effectively. A lot is thought about this therapy and it has quite a high success rate. Let me make it it clear before I go on, I have nothing against the therapy, it seems to help a lot of people and that’s great, but not me.

DBT is made up of four modules:

– Mindfulness, which is done at the end of the other modules for 2 weeks at a time

– Distress Tolerance which lasts 6 weeks

– Emotional Regulation which lasts 6 weeks

– Interpersonal Effectiveness which acts 6 weeks

You are signed up for a minimum of a year and so go through each of the modules twice (except mindfulness which is a lot more).

So why am I bothering to write a post about what DBT is? As I’ve made it abundantly clear in other posts, I do not believe this is for me. I have a 70% attendance rate which to say my granddad died during the time, I think is more than acceptable to say I’ve given it a go.

Let me take the interpersonal effectiveness module (just because I’m now on the second round for this). The aim of this is to allow you to gain your objective in a given situation. Teaching you to express yourself, assert yourself, being able to say no and coping with interpersonal conflict.

Which of these allows me to deal with my ptsd symptoms? I’ve run a business, I’ve had to use these skills more than most people so I’d say it’s actually a strength of mine.

After going through this module first time around I was even more at a loss as to why I was there but decided, after much thought, to carry on.

The next module was distress tolerance and I thought maybe this is where I could learn some new skills and the therapy be worthwhile. However it was full of distraction techniques I’d either already been taught or I’d learnt myself. They also teach you self soothing techniques, but what actually is this? Is it not extremely personal what you find to self soothe? I wasn’t a fan of this module either.

That left emotional regulation and I must admit that I missed most of this module with everything going on at the time but the aim is to look at the theory of emotions, how to describe them and then be able to change them using skills learnt in other modules. I can’t really make a comment about this one for reasons just explained.

Mindfulness is the only one I found useful but every 6 weeks you literally go through exactly the same PowerPoint slides as every other time so nothing new is really being learnt. I forgot to mention, every session, regardless of module, is started with a 10 minute mindfulness practice.

So as you can see, this is a very thorough therapy that covers a lot and as I said at the beginning can be a real help to some people.

But can it be to me? I honestly don’t see how. First time through I have learnt nothing new and so it has come to the point where I need to decide if it’s worth me going through it all again? I know I’ve been reticent from the beginning and this has probably hampered me slightly but not enough to know it’s not helpful.

The problem I have is I don’t think I have any other options. It’s either this or nothing. Some people say, you might as well go, you aren’t doing anything else. Which is fine in theory, but when you’re sat in a room full of people with their own issues there is a certain amount of transference of emotions which leaves me feeling drained and low.

So what do I do? I thought I was allowed to go to 1 in 3 sessions and still get my one to one therapy but I’ve been told it’s all or nothing. I either fully commit to group or I leave the program. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 
 

It’s Been a While

17 Nov

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I last blogged. So much has happened but I don’t want to bore anyone so I’ll just give a brief overview:

– I finally started grieving for my granddad (a very important man in my life) and am currently going through that process

– In terms of therapy, I have managed to work it that if I go to 1 in 3 group sessions, I can carry on my 1-1 and as long as self harm free for 8 weeks, begin working on my ptsd traumas.

– I finally allowed my care coordinator to meet with my parents. It’s something she’s been wanting to do for a while. Not to discuss what’s happened as they don’t (and won’t) know the full story, but to work out a way they can support me more. I’ll be honest, it felt like 3 against one. My coping strategy is take to bed until it passes and then come out the other side. They want me to go to my parents house and be around people. I said I’d think about it but I can’t see me doing that – just because my way currently works.

– One of the biggest things is my care coordinator has left πŸ™ She has been promoted which means I’ve been handed over to a new one. I’ll be honest, I’m absolutely devastated. She always fought my corner and everyone I came across said how good she was and I was lucky to have her. I’m trying to keep an open mind for my new one and I’m having my first one to one with her on Thursday (I met her in the handover session but it was still more me and my old cc talking).

– It’s not important how but I’ve managed to get myself addicted to diazepam. Luckily it’s only been a short time but I’ve been told mentally and physically not to stop them cold turkey because of the effects. So yeah, you’ve guessed it, I’ve stopped them completely. Their plan was going to take me 5 months to get off and I’m too impatient to do that so I’m doing it my way. It’s not been the easiest so far but think it’s more psychological as I don’t expect that many physical symptoms for a few days yet (although headaches and fluey symptoms are starting). It’s going to be hard, knowing that one little pill will make me feel better but I can’t have them in my life, they aren’t good for me.

– A couple of weeks ago, I ended up taking myself to a&e after taking an overdose. That was only part of my plan but my sister in law sent me a pic of my two nieces sleeping and I just couldn’t do it. I was kept in overnight and most of the next day being observed but then saw psych, knew what to say to get home and left. Looking back, I think I should have been honest about how I was really feeling because the other night I called out of hours social worker (just to talk to someone) and had plans to take another overdose. She called an ambulance (wouldn’t let me drive or get a taxi even though I hadn’t taken anything). Anyway, it took over 4 1/2 hours to arrive (she called at 10pm and it arrived at 2.40am) and after getting to the hospital all that happened was I was asked if I could keep myself safe and then left to make my own way home with no money or anything.

– I think that’s pretty much a catch up for now, it would have been my granddads birthday on Wednesday so that’s the next big hurdle to get over and then it’s the anniversary of the major trauma one day in December and burying my granddads ashes the day after so it’s going to be tough.