Going Back to the Doctor

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I can’t remember when the last time I made an appointment with my doctor was, it has been years since I went to the GP here where I live. When I was at university I got tired of messing around with the psychiatrist and couldn’t stand dealing with the unhelpful person they used to send to see me (presumably to make sure I wasn’t about to hurt myself) and so worked my usual avoidance magic until I was free of them. The medication I used to take was on a repeat prescription so I managed to get that for a few months without making a doctor’s appointment and I’d stopped taking it by the time came for it to be reviewed. The GP I used to see there had left and after all the different medical staff I’ve had to try and explain my situation to over the years I didn’t fancy going through all of that again with someone else. At any rate, I felt I could get on without the antidepressants by that point and I managed reasonably well.

Lately I have felt like I really need to talk to someone again though. I think I would benefit from being back on the sertraline too, I just hope that it works again, it took a lot of tries to find an antidepressant that made a difference without awful side effects. I don’t want to repeat myself, but I am practically in the exact situation I was in back in 2008 yet again, only this time I am 5 years older and don’t have the chance to escape to university.

It’s been months and I just can’t get myself to overcome the obstacles in the way though. It might seem like I should just make an appointment and go, but it isn’t that simple. I will try to explain what’s stopping me. I realise this will sound crazy but it’s just how my mind works.

  • I will have to let my mum know because she’ll want to know where I’m going and I don’t want her to worry about me. She seems to think I am over the depression but in reality it’s just a lot easier to hide when I don’t have the stresses of uni work or a job but that has to change at some point. If I start working I know I won’t be able to cope alone.
  • Having to explain everything to yet another new GP is very difficult for me to do.
  • I don’t even know if I’m still registered at the doctor’s surgery here. I didn’t tell them I’d registered at the one where I went to university.
  • Making the actual appointment itself. This may seem trivial but using the phone is still something I go to any lengths to avoid. I don’t know if I can do it.
  • Money is very tight and because I’m not on jobseekers allowance (for a multitude of reasons that I have gone into before) I would have to pay for the prescription which I can’t really afford.

I might try and talk to my mum about it but I keep remembering how much she used to get upset about it all before. I don’t think she wants to think of me as someone who needs mental health help. Also considering how much she blames my suicide attempt entirely on the paroxetine I used to take despite me being suicidal for years previously, I don’t think she’s too keen on me taking any sort of antidepressant.

Letter to my therapist

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I can never answer honestly when he asks “How are you?” and I assume this is one of the rare occasions where an honest answer would actually be appreciated so I finally decided to write something down. I am tired and can’t really think of everything I want to say but I think this captures the essence of it. It should be a fun hour tomorrow 😦

I feel very depressed every day. I don’t look forward to anything, it seems like there is always something to dread about the future, I’m always worrying about something that’s coming up. Life seems pointless, I can’t even do the most basic things like be in the same room as people. I’m scared of being around most people but I don’t know why. I haven’t made a proper meal at my house for the last two weeks, I’m too afraid that I will be trapped in the kitchen when there are people there and I don’t know what to say or how to act and I’m scared of them thinking I’m weird and saying things about me. It makes me feel even more worthless.

I can’t stop thinking about how I want to die. There is no other reason I can think of other than guilt about causing my family pain why I want to live. It occupies my mind for hours each day, I feel terribly guilty that I feel this way but I wish that I had died when I tried to kill myself.

Frustration

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The last few days have been overwhelmed by frustration. I went for my CBT appointment on Thursday and my therapist seemed much more impatient than usual. I know it must be difficult to deal with me and I have apologised before for being such an awkward patient (which he of course denied I was), it takes me a long time to vocalise my thoughts or explain things which I find embarrassing. A lot of the time I sit in silence and he rattles off suggestions of how I might have felt until he says the right one and  I nod. It’s a slow process indeed.

This time however, he just seemed to be out of patience. He set me the task of asking a stranger for the time and asked how that would make me feel. I knew it made me feel scared, but I couldn’t put into words exactly why and what I was afraid of. Having had some time to think about it; I guess what I’d be worried about is the person wondering why I’m talking to them. Why did I choose them to ask? They might think I’m coming on to them or trying to distract them while someone pickpockets them or something. Another more likely thing is that they’d just ignore me and walk past, because nobody wants to be stopped and hassled by a weirdo like me. I don’t know, it’s hard to express these thoughts aloud when they are so embarrassing. Even though I realise that none of these things would be harmful, I’d still be scared to do it anyway.

Assuming the best case scenario, I manage to do this tiny activity and report back next week, I’d probably be given something larger to do and so forth. But how long would it take building from being a functional retard like I am now to becoming something resembling a normal human being? It will be in the order of years even in the best case. I don’t know if I can handle being such a loathsome wreck of a person for that long. I’ve already wasted almost a quarter of a century, some of the times in a persons life when major personal development happens and, by and large people find to be an enjoyable time.

I don’t really know how to end this post. I think I’ve gone past a point of no return regarding suicide. Once you get it into your head that it is not only a viable escape from the pain, but the best and most immediate one, then it’s hard to take your mind off it and stop your thinking from going there automatically. I don’t know if it’s possible to stop doing that. They’ve tried using guilt on me, but there will be a point (in fact there already was a point) when the pain is too much for that to hold me back. What can I do? Become a permanent inpatient and doom myself to a life of being constantly sedated and under lock and key until I die alone? What a great life to look forward to.

Failure

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I saw the CBT guy again yesterday, we went through the standard stuff that I’ve read a million times about how thoughts and behaviour influence emotions etc and he gave me a mood diary to fill in once an hour for a week. Unfortunately it only has one square for 12pm-6am which is when most of my low mood occurs…  He also informed me that I have a psychiatrist appointment at Lincoln on Friday, I never got a letter about this so had to ask for the day off work on extremely short notice which started the afternoon off with me feeling anxious. Also my therapist is going on leave for 3 weeks so I’m on my own again (with the crisis team to call in case of emergencies, ugh). It seems like I never, ever get any kind of continuity. I hardly even get to see the same person twice. I’ve literally had over 6 GPs in the past 2 years, 5 different psychiatrists, 2 therapists, about 10 million crisis team busybodies. I hate to make excuses but having the condition that I do makes it very hard to explain everything to people. Every single time I have felt like I’ve adequately got my points across I get shunted off to someone else and have to start from the beginning again 😦

My mum and her boyfriend (they both work in schools) have finished for the summer holidays now and they’re going away for a week starting this weekend. I’ve been constantly overcome by thoughts of how this would be the ideal opportunity to get things over with without the chance of being discovered. I am a complete failure. No matter what people say to me, I still can’t find comfort in anything except wanting and planning my own death. I’m worthless even by the standards of mental people. I had to fill in a questionnaire and circle which statements I agreed with most. It said things like “I enjoy spending time with people” “I don’t enjoy spending time with people as much as I used to” well I never spend time with anyone because I don’t know anyone, and I haven’t since I was about 11. There was one about sex 🙄 how can I answer that when the idea of anyone ever finding me attractive is completely ludicrous, I’m 24 and it’s pretty obvious if that has never happened so far then it’s not going to. It asked something about whether you fell worse about your appearance than you used to; I’ve never felt anything but completely ugly. I don’t know how these tests can determine anything about your mental health or level of depression if you actually are a complete failure like me. Sure, I feel like crap and if I’m constantly obsessed with thoughts of suicide then it’s a pretty safe bet to say I am depressed, but this thing was obviously designed for normal people who are affected by depression, not utter fuck ups like me.

The diary thing makes you list your activities each hour and he wants me to rate my mood from 0-10. The handout says that people rarely do “nothing” even though it feels like it and are probably more active than they think which is why it’s important to have a record of it. Well mine makes depressing reading so far, I really do “do nothing” for most of the day. Half my waking hours are spent lying sleepless in bed or mindlessly browsing the internet. I don’t have any friends or anywhere to go, I don’t have any hobbies or activities and there is nothing around where I live except houses and a school. Nothing gives me any pleasure or enjoyment, all that takes away the pain is thinking about how it could soon all be over.

CBT Session 1

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I managed to drag myself out of bed and into town, catch the bus and get off just about in the right place. I’m not feeling good at all, my emotions are all over the place and I keep wanting to cry, I think about the long road ahead and hope that it’s not too late to recover, enough to be happy anyway.

The appointment was yet another hour where I had to tell my tales of woe all over again, I swear no-one in the mental health services communicates with each other at all. I managed to get through a lot of it though, it’s becoming easier with practice I guess. I told her about my bullying by so called friends and year+ long depressive episode that I am currently in and how it’s been as bad as I’ve ever known. We talked about my suicidal thoughts and plans and agreed that has to be worked on before anything else. I was honest about everything, having a plan, going to the place etc. She was understandably concerned and I even admitted that in an emergency I would probably not be able to ring the crisis team (I hate phone calls and I couldn’t just ring up and say “Hello I want to die”) but we talked about other ways I could handle it. I told her about when I went to A&E at Nottingham and she said that if I get into a situation where I might harm myself, I could go to the hospital here and maybe I should do the journey so I know how to get there in case the need arises. She also took the Lincoln crisis team phone number and is going to ring them and explain what happened today, and said that if I really need to ask them to visit I should ring them, say I have been visited before, tell them my name and that I’m having suicidal thoughts and am scared.

It might sound stupid but knowing what to say has made me think that I can do it if I get into that situation again. I don’t know what my issue with phones is, but if I don’t know exactly what to say I get into a panic very easily, I think it’s because you can’t really pause or rely on people reading your expression or whatever.

I have another appointment for next Monday, and I should be able to see them on Mondays in the future which is good news because I won’t miss any more lectures.

Things are very stressful at the moment, I don’t want to feel like I did on Saturday and Sunday, it terrifies me thinking about it now and what the consequences could have been (they were bad enough as it is). I don’t know if the medication change is messing me up even more, venlafaxine is notoriously hard to come off, but I didn’t feel fully in control and my memory is hazy. I didn’t eat for 2 days and didn’t even notice. I wish I had someone I could talk to who could stay with me and keep me company/sane. I feel lonelier than ever, can’t possibly let my mum know because she just gets upset and makes me feel guilty. I can’t really tell my flatmates what’s going on or they will think (perhaps justifiably) that I am nuts. I’m going to try and rest for a bit now, spent half the night unable to sleep and checking my email every 20 minutes.

Also: updated my old “About” page.

Mixed Feelings

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I came back home today and found a letter from the psychotherapy place, they’ve offered to put me on the waiting list for cognitive behavioural therapy but couldn’t tell me how long it’ll take until I can see someone more specifically than “several months”. I’d hoped that it would be sooner than that, although I suppose I’m lucky to get the opportunity at all without having to pay for it. By the time it starts I’ll probably have finished university for the summer, which puts me in the bizarre situation of being back at home but not being around anyone who I know.

It’s going to be difficult to make any progress when I don’t even have to opportunity for any socialising, at least when I’m at uni I could see and say a few words to a person I know every day if I wanted to. When I’m at home, there’s nobody except my family, who I have no problem talking to. I dumbfounded my psychiatrist by telling him this last time, I wouldn’t accept that there was no-one I could ring up and arrange to meet. “No friends? How about a friend of the family?” Nope, sorry doc. I’ve told them this before, I’m sure they don’t listen or they think I’m exaggerating. I really sat at home and didn’t speak to anyone outside my family for months and months. Nobody wants to know me, it’s obvious to me why that is, but they either don’t listen or don’t care (probably both). The place where I live doesn’t help things either, there is literally nothing but houses around here. There isn’t even a shop any more, you have to walk for about half an hour to get to another housing area where there is a Spar. Hardly a vibrant and inspiring place. The local town is a rough area and pretty much consists of £1 shops and bookies. If you tried to strike up a conversation with someone there you’d probably get knifed.

It’s very disheartening to think about how long this would all take if I try to stick with it. I’ve already been waiting over a year since I realised CBT is what I need and it’ll probably be another 6 months before I’d even get to make a start on things. Another package arrived today as well, a way out. I’m not sure how long I can stop myself from using it. I walked around the house with a suicide note in my pocket for 4 days last week, distraction only works for so long.